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Cream Cheese Frosting

Enjoy this gluten-free cream cheese frosting on carrot cake or banana bread.

Cream Cheese Frosting


  1. Whip heavy cream until stiff
  2. In a separate larger bowl, whip cream cheese until smooth, then blend in agave and vanilla
  3. With a rubber spatula, gently blend whip cream into cream cheese mixture

posted on October 21, 2007, 19 comments

  1. Bethany

    Hi Elana,

    I want to make a carrot cake with this frosting. Should I frost the cake and then leave it in the fridge for several hours to make it really set? Or should I ice it last minute? What do you recommend for this concoction. :)

    I love your site! It’s so refreshing to see other people out there using healthier ingredients.

  2. colleen

    Hi Elana,
    You have so many great recipes.
    I’m going to make your cream cheese frosting for my son’s first birthday “banana bread” cake on Saturday. I wanted to make the frosting ahead of time, but I don’t want it to go bad, knowing there will be leftovers for a few days too eat too. How far in advance would you recommend making the frosting? on Friday? or Thurs? Wed? Thanks so much for your wonderful recipe and for your help too!

  3. Jenn

    I made this tonight to put on Elana’s Carrot Cake made into cupcakes (which were fabulous!) and it turned out great! I’d suggest beating some of the honey into the cream to make sure it’s stabalized if you’re thinking about keeping it around, but it all blended well and was very tasty. It was a great cream cheese taste with the smoothness of the cream, a keeper to be sure! We actually divided this into thirds and tinted it so the kids could have colored frosting:) Thanks for much for the recipe!

    • Jenn

      Beating honey into the cream didn’t seem to make a shelf life difference, so disregard that bit (though I did use honey instead of Avage and it worked fine). I did a test run (and ate it with a spoon, I LOVE this frosting) and waited to see how long it would last before seperating. At about 3 days it started to weep slightly. I made Elana’s carrot cake for a birthday cake, and made this the morning of to give it time to set in the fridge. The frosting held well overnight on the counter, as we had it for breakfast the next day! Maybe shouldn’t have, but we did, and it was fine.

  4. Stacie

    Hi, I tried this recipe for frosting for my little girl’s 3rd birthday. We absolutely loved it!! It is now my favorite icing recipe. I plan to make it again for my husband’s birthday this weekend. Thank you!

  5. Dawn Lee

    Elana, Thank you so much for your site. I just have the most basic question. Which brand of cream cheese is safe for me to use? Thank you so much for your time! Dawn

  6. Grace

    Has anyone tried any of these recipes with agave necter but instead used splenda? I’m wondering if I use the same amount.

    I am insulin resistant and it was recomended to me that I do the South Beach Diet so for now I am not eating any kind of sugar. Before the diet I used agave and will use it again on phase 3 of my diet. Im miss sweets so much but don’t have the budget to mess up too much on recipes.

    any input would be greatly appreciated. thanks

    • Grace, you *might* still be ok with agave. I am diabetic and it doesn’t raise my blood sugar; however, it does for my diabetic mother-in-law. I guess you just have to try to see how it affects you!

      I’m super excited to make this. I have your carrot cake recipe in the oven right now for a “test run” for my daughter’s first birthday next month. Ill report back!

  7. Glenda Storm

    Thanks for a FANTASTIC frosting recipe! It holds up really well and tastes delicious!!

  8. lisa gloria @ youtube.com/kharmadoll

    Well, there’s no heavy cream in the house, so I made it with half and half and that was a total bust. My fault – I should have added the whipped half and half slower to pay attention to what was happening. Tried again, with a couple tablespoons of half and half instead and it it tastes great, though I wonder if the agave is enough liquid as it is.

  9. Bernadette

    I want to make this frosting to frost a double-layer cake. Do you think just doubling the recipe will be enough?

  10. We used honey instead of agave, and it seemed to be a fine alternative. You become used to the coyingly sweet flavor of the canned frostings you buy at the store, & this one tasted almost un-sweet. As we worked and played with it for frosting Christmas cookies, the flavor grew on us and it was actually nice having a frosted cookie that didn’t make you want to gag from the sugary sweetness after biting into it!

  11. Joy

    I fairly recently have discovered that I am lactose intolerant. I really miss the cream cheese flavor. Does anyone know if there is any substitute?? I know this is a long shot, but I’m desperate! :)

    • Kim

      My sister in law can’t have any dairy and she makes delicious cream cheese frosting with soy cream cheese. I think the brand is tofutti. It is not healthy (neither is cream cheese, but…) but tastes great, she always makes it for her cakes and cupcakes for parties and get togethers and no one can even tell the different. Just substitute the soy cream cheese for the cream cheese 1:1 and then she uses mocha mix or vanilla soy milk for the liquid but if you can get away with lactose free whole milk you could also do that. She uses powdered sugar also but you could play around with agave or honey if you wanted to go that route.
      Hope that helps!

  12. Mark

    I made this frosting tonight for a double layer carrot cake, and will be serving this tomorrow for my son’s 2nd birthday party.

    The icing is light and sweet, but not overly so. Traditional frosting with cups of white sugar in it are way too sweet and overpower the taste the of the cake (or whatever else you’re serving it on/with).

    It goes on smooth, holds a nice just off-white color (due to the addition of the vanilla).

    I’ll report after tomorrow how it actually tasted with the cake, how it held up, and what everyone thought as a whole.

  13. Gabrielle

    Hi, Mine came out quite runny! Though tastes delicious it won’t frost well. Suggestions thoughts?? Thanks!

  14. Vita

    Hi Elana,
    I am trying to bake a cake for someone’s birthday this week. I would really love to use this recipe for my frosting, but I would just like to know if I can substitute stevia, or maple syrup for the agave nectar. Thanks!

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Comments are greatly appreciated! Unfortunately Elana is not able to answer substitution questions, as the only way to know if something works is to test it, and she does not provide this service. If you have a substitution question, please don't hesitate to leave a comment here, and another reader may jump in to answer. ↑ back to top