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Creamy Cashew Frosting

Creamy cashew frosting is the perfect topping for cakes, cupcakes, cookies or even baked apples or baked oatmeal! Made with just 5 ingredients, you are going to love how simple this creamy vegan vanilla frosting is to make! Naturally sweetened, this cashew frosting is dairy free, paleo, gluten free and has no coconut or butter!

Single cupcake topped with cashew frosting.

Why you will love this recipe

  • Quick and easy to make! This frosting is so simple to make and blends up in about 1 minute. You do need to soak the cashews and dates ahead but that can easily be done in the microwave if you are short on time!
  • Easy to find ingredients! And this cashew frosting is so much easier than most of the dairy free frosting recipes I’ve read. All you need are dates, cashews, dairy free milk, and a high speed blender (you could also use a food processor).
  • Good for you and so addicting! This creamy cashew frosting is fluffy and creamy and perfectly sweetened. The dates give it a slight caramel flavor that is just perfect on anything sweet!
Ingredients to make cashew frosting.
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Ingredients

  • Cashews- you want to use raw cashews that you soak in hot water with the dates for at least 10 minutes. Check out the tips below on all the ways you can soak cashews.
  • Dates – I use medjool dates. I can find them at any grocery store now and they are the perfect way to sweeten this frosting. The dates do something magical to this frosting and help create a fluffy, creamy consistency that you don’t get when you use maple syrup or other sweeteners.
  • Dairy free milk – you could also use water but dairy free milk is best to help make that creamy consistency you are looking for with frosting.
  • Salt – just a pinch of salt helps to elevate the sweetness from the dates and balances out the flavors perfectly.
  • Vanilla extract – this helps to create that vanilla flavor you are looking for with vanilla frosting. You could also use vanilla bean paste or fresh vanilla bean (scraped).

How to make cashew frosting

Start by pitting the dates. Cut the date in half lengthwise and remove the pit in the center. Discard the pits.

Medjool date cut in half with pit being removed.

Add raw cashews and the dates to a large jar. Cover the cashews and dates in boiling water 4-6 inches higher than the cashews/dates. Soak 10 minutes.

Steps to soak the cashews and dates.

Carefully drain off the hot water and discard the water.

Soaked cashews and dates after water is drained.

To a high speed blender or food processor add the cashews, dates, dairy free milk, salt and vanilla extract.

Steps to make cashew frosting in blender.

Blend on high at least 1 minute until thick and creamy.

To get the best texture, store in the fridge for 1 hour before using, however can be used immediately if needed.

Store leftovers in the fridge up to 5 days in an airtight container or in the freezer up to 3 months.

Glass jar filled with creamy cashew frosting.
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Top tips

  • Be sure to soak the dates and cashews before using them. When the dates are soft, they blend easily and help the cashews create a fluffy, creamy texture. If the dates or the cashews are not soaked, the frosting can be gritty.
  • Cool the frosting 1 hour (or even make it the day before) for the best consistency! I do not think this icing can be piped since it doesn’t have anything (coconut oil/coconut cream) to help it hold it’s shape. This is best spread on cakes, cupcakes, cookies, etc.
  • Store leftovers in the fridge and use them on baked oatmeal, air fryer apples or eat it right out of the jar!

Other flavor ideas

  • Cinnamon – add 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • Chocolate – add 1 tablespoon cacao powder and increase the dairy free milk 1-2 teaspoons.
  • Strawberry – add 3 tablespoons crushed freeze dried strawberries to the blender.

Common questions

Is this the same as buttercream frosting?

No this frosting is thick, creamy, fluffy and delicious but does not have the same texture as buttercream frosting. If you want a tangy frosting, you could add ½ tablespoon of lemon juice to the dairy free milk to make a vegan buttercream.

Buttercream frosting typically uses vegan or regular butter and powdered sugar. This frosting is naturally sweetened and uses cashews so it doesn’t have the same qualities as buttercream frosting.

Single cupcake with creamy cashew frosting.

Can you freeze cashew frosting?

Yes! Freeze the frosting in freezer safe bags (you can freeze them in ½ or 1 cup portions using Soupercubes and transfer them to a freezer safe bag after frozen solid for easy storage). Allow the frosting to defrost in the fridge. Before using, it is best to blend the frosting again in a high speed blender, food processor or with a hand wisk to ensure it’s fluffy and has the right texture.

Can you make this in advance?

This frosting is actually better the next day so if you have an event and want to make this the day before, simply store it in an airtight container overnight.

How to soak cashews

  • Boiling water– bring water to a boil (I like to use the electric kettle). Pour boiling water over the cashews/dates and soak 10 minutes.
  • Countertop – cover the cashews/dates with room temperature water and allow to sit out on the counter 12 hours.
  • Microwave – cover the cashews/dates in just enough water to cover them. Microwave 2 minutes on high. Allow to soak 5 minutes before draining water. Be careful removing from the microwave as the glass or bowl will be hot.
  • Stovetop – add cashews/dates to pot and cover in water. Bring the water up to a boil. Once boiling, turn off the heat and cover the pot. Let sit 10 minutes.

How long can you store vegan cashew frosting in the fridge?

Store leftovers in the fridge up to 5 days (be sure they are in an airtight container).

Cupcake topped with cashew frosting wiht a bite taken from the cupcake.

Substitutions

I have not tested this recipe with anything other than cashews or dates.

  • Dairy free milk – You can also use regular milk or water if you don’t have dairy free milk on hand.
  • Vanilla extract – this is 100% optional and if you don’t have any vanilla extract you can simply omit it. You could also use vanilla bean paste, or fresh vanilla from a pod if you have it on hand.

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Cupcakes topped with cashew frosting.

Creamy Cashew Frosting

$3.95 Recipe/$0.33 Serving
Creamy cashew frosting made with just 5 ingredients in just minutes. This vegan vanilla frosting is perfect on top of cakes, cupcakes, cookies, oatmeal bakes or baked apples.
Print Pin Save Rate
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Keyword: cashew frosting, vegan vanilla frosting
Prep Time: 10 mins
Cook Time: 1 min
1 hr
Total Time: 1 hr 11 mins
Servings: 12

Ingredients

Instructions

  • Remove the pits from the dates by cutting them in half and removing the pits from the center.
  • In a large bowl or jar, add the raw cashews and pitted dates. Top the bowl/jar with boiling hot water. Let soak 10 minutes.
  • Carefully drain the hot water from the cashews/dates.
  • Put cashews, dates, dairy free milk, salt and vanilla extract in a high speed blender. Blend on high at least 1 minute.
  • After blending, store in the fridge 1 hour (optional).

Notes

Other flavor ideas
  • Cinnamon – add 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • Chocolate – add 1 tablespoon cacao powder and increase the dairy free milk 1-2 teaspoons.
  • Strawberry – add 3 tablespoons crushed freeze dried strawberries to the blender.
Can you freeze cashew frosting?
Yes! Freeze the frosting in freezer safe bags (you can freeze them in ½ or 1 cup portions using Soupercubes and transfer them to a freezer safe bag after frozen solid for easy storage). Allow the frosting to defrost in the fridge. Before using, it is best to blend the frosting again in a high speed blender, food processor or with a hand wisk to ensure it’s fluffy and has the right texture.
How long can you store vegan cashew frosting in the fridge?
Store leftovers in the fridge up to 5 days (be sure they are in an airtight container). This frosting is actually better the next day so if you have an event and want to make this the day before, simply store it in an airtight container overnight.
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Nutrition Information

Nutrition Facts
Amount per Serving
Calories
100
Fat
 
5
g
Carbohydrates
 
13
g
Fiber
 
1
g
Sugar
 
9
g
Protein
 
3
g
Where does nutrition info come from? Nutrition facts are provided as a courtesy, sourced from the USDA Food Database.
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