Home RecipesDesserts Healthy Cream Cheese Frosting Recipe Without Butter

Healthy Cream Cheese Frosting Recipe Without Butter

by Heather

Welcome to my go-to healthy cream cheese frosting recipe without butter! No vegetable shortening. No powdered sugar. No heavy cream. This easy recipe is made with 4 simple ingredients and leaves you with a delicious frosting anyone would love! If you are looking for a healthier alternative to traditional homemade buttercream, this is it!

healthy cream cheese frosting recipe without butter

Frosting recipe without butter

If you’ve seen any sweets here on Fit Mama Real Food, you’ll notice a theme. We take traditional recipes and change them up in a better way.

Often the sugar is lowered and swapped with a more natural choice (maple syrup here!). We try and add extra goodness in where we can, and overall make them healthier choices that are still just as delicious.

That’s what you get with this healthy cream cheese frosting! It goes amazingly well with my applesauce cupcakes.

A perfect pair for my no-sugar healthy smash cake recipe if you want an alternative to the fruit juice sweetened frosting that the recipe calls for.

It would also be a tasty topping for these almond butter zucchini muffins! Or, take this frosting and spread it between two oatmeal almond flour raisin cookies for a cookie sandwich.

You can instantly elevate any muffin recipe and turn them into a healthy cupcake just by adding this frosting!

It’s a favorite thing to do and surprise my kids with a breakfast treat. Little do they know they’re getting a MUCH lower in sugar breakfast dessert that you’d typically find when you think of cupcakes.

healthy cream cheese frosting recipe without butter

What makes this frosting a healthy choice?

I wanted a butter-free frosting that still had the right consistency that I like on my favorite desserts.

Nothing too runny. And also not overly sweet, which I find in store-bought but also many homemade frostings.

This mix of cream cheese, plain yogurt, maple syrup, and vanilla extract are the perfect combo!

This recipe uses way less sugar than your average frosting, but the best part is that it’s still giving you the best flavor.

ingredients in frosting recipe without butter

What you need for this healthy cream cheese frosting

healthy cream cheese frosting recipe without butter

How to make this no butter cream cheese frosting

Scroll down to view the recipe card below for the full ingredients list, nutrition facts, and step-by-step instructions.

  1. Into the mixing bowl of a standing mixer, or into a large bowl to use a hand mixer, add the softened cream cheese, yogurt, maple syrup, and vanilla extract.
  2. Using a whisk attachment, turn the mixer on at medium speed to begin mixing the cream cheese mixture. After 1 minute, increase the speed to medium-high and continue to mix.
  3. Continue whisking until the frosting is getting a smooth texture and looks fully combined.
  4. To use, spread with a knife onto the top of cupcakes, or using a piping bag.

Watch me make my go-to homemade frosting recipe

The full how to video can be watched below, or on my YouTube channel!

Pictured in the video: piping the frosting onto my healthy applesauce cupcakes. A fun and festive fall treat!

How to prep this frosting in advance

Whenever I’m prepping for one of my kid’s birthday parties, I love to prep whatever I can in advance.

I pre-bake the cake, and also make the frosting ahead of time too.

To do this, make a batch of this perfect frosting whisking until it’s a smooth texture.

Add it into an airtight container and store it in the fridge for up to 3 days.

When you’d like to frost your dessert, remove the cream cheese mixture from the fridge 1-2 hours in advance to bring it slightly up to room temperature.

Re-whip the frosting with an electric mixer or stand mixer, or simply use it as is without the extra whipping.

homemade healthy frosting for cupcakes and cake

How much frosting will this make?

You will have enough frosting for 18-24 cupcakes.

If you are frosting cakes, it will be enough for a small 2-layer cake.

Spread the vanilla frosting on with a knife, or use a piping bag.

If you don’t have a piping bag on hand, here’s a hack: Add the frosting into a plastic bag seal, and cut a small corner off.

Boom, an instant piping bag when you need one!

It does really well on cinnamon rolls (or cinnamon roll oatmeal), carrot cake cupcakes, birthday cake, red velvet cupcakes, and any pumpkin desserts.

If a recipe calls for vanilla buttercream, try this healthier alternative with it. You will love this quick frosting!

Substitutions

Below you’ll find a list of substitutions that will work well in this frosting recipe without butter. 

If you try something different out, please leave a comment below letting us all know how it turned out!

Cream cheese frosting – Cream cheese is used in place of the butter in a traditional vanilla buttercream frosting. An alternative to cream cheese would be to use unsalted butter or ricotta cheese.

Plain yogurt – Plain greek yogurt is a good alternative to plain yogurt. You will be left with a thicker fluffy frosting. If you’d prefer to thin it out slightly, add in 1-2 tablespoons of milk.

Maple syrup – The purpose of adding maple syrup is for sweetness. You can substitute other liquid sweeteners equally for the maple syrup – try honey, agave nectar, or date syrup. For a non-liquid sweetener, try coconut sugar or powdered sugar.

Vanilla extract – Try almond extract (but use half the amount), lemon extract, or lemon juice for a different flavor profile.

naturally sweet cream cheese frosting

More recipes you’ll love with this healthy frosting

healthy cream cheese frosting recipe without butter
Print Recipe
5 from 7 votes

Healthy Cream Cheese Frosting Without Butter

Welcome to my go-to healthy cream cheese frosting recipe without butter! No vegetable shortening. No powdered sugar. No heavy cream. This easy recipe is made with 4 simple ingredients and leaves you with a delicious frosting anyone would love! If you are looking for a healthier alternative to traditional homemade buttercream, this is it!
Prep Time5 minutes
Cook Time0 minutes
Course: Dessert, Sauce
Cuisine: American
Keyword: cream cheese, frosting
Servings: 18
Calories: 57kcal
Author: Heather

Ingredients

Instructions

  • Into the mixing bowl of a standing mixer, or into a large bowl to use a hand mixer, add the softened cream cheese, yogurt, maple syrup, and vanilla extract.
  • Using a whisk attachment, turn the mixer on at medium speed to begin mixing the cream cheese mixture. After 1 minute, increase the speed to medium-high and continue to mix.
  • Continue whisking until the frosting is getting a smooth texture and looks fully combined.
  • To use, spread with a knife onto the top of cupcakes, or using a piping bag.
Did you make this recipe?Be sure to tag me @fitmamarealfood or tag #fitmamarealfood!

Nutrition

Calories: 57kcal | Carbohydrates: 3g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 4g | Saturated Fat: 3g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.2g | Monounsaturated Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 13mg | Sodium: 42mg | Potassium: 32mg | Sugar: 3g | Vitamin A: 174IU | Vitamin C: 0.02mg | Calcium: 21mg | Iron: 0.02mg
healthy cream cheese frosting recipe without butter

If you try this healthy cream cheese frosting recipe, I’d love it if you left a star rating and comment below letting me know how it turned out!

XO

Heather

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16 comments

Jenn March 22, 2023 - 9:24 am

Hi, there. So excited to try this recipe. Quick question—could I use vanilla flavored Greek yogurt?

Reply
Heather March 23, 2023 - 5:53 am

Hey Jenn – Yes, you definitely could! Taste and adjust the sweetness since you’d be using a sweetened yogurt. Can’t wait to hear what you think!

Reply
Ana April 19, 2023 - 7:40 pm

5 stars
Helloo! Can i use this recipe for a baby frosting? Is the maple syrup good for a 1 year old child? Or can i substitute the maple syrup with greek yogur flavored? Thank you!

Reply
Heather April 20, 2023 - 5:44 am

Hi Ana! Yes, maple syrup is okay for a 1 year old. It’s honey that you want to avoid with young kids. If you want a no sugar added frosting, check out my apple juice concentrate sweetened frosting in this recipe: https://www.fitmamarealfood.com/babys-first-smash-cake-healthy-no-sugar-banana-cake/

Reply
Ashley September 11, 2023 - 6:47 am

Looking forward to trying this! Our family is dairy free, do you think it would work with the dairy free alternatives? Thanks!

Reply
Heather September 12, 2023 - 4:52 am

Yes, definitely! If you do find it’s more runny using those alternatives, you would replace a little bit of the maple syrup for powdered sugar which would thicken it slightly. Can’t wait to hear how it goes!

Reply
Karolina September 17, 2023 - 2:04 am

Hi Heather, this frosting looks amazing! (+ the fact that it’s healthier makes me wanna try it even more 😋). I would like to use it on a carrot cake next weekend. How much cups of frosting does this recipe make? I’m wondering if I will have to double the recipe etc. 😊

I hope you have a great and safe day 😘

Reply
Heather September 17, 2023 - 5:50 am

Hi Karonlina! When it’s all whipped up and made you’ll get about 1 3/4 cup frosting. If it’s a large cake you’re make you may want to double or 1.5x the recipe. Can’t wait to hear how it goes!

Reply
Karolina September 23, 2023 - 8:02 am

I tried it and it came out great! I used it on a carrot cake which was not very sweet and the frosting gave it the right amount of sweetness. It was not overly sweet, just perfect! 😋 The consistency wasn’t too runny, it became firm enough after 30 minutes in the fridge (I couldn’t wait more 🙈). I used 130g of cream cheese (+ other ingredients in proportion) and it was enough to spread only on the top, just like I wanted. I really recommend it to everyone who doesn’t like heavy and overly sweet frostings or is just looking for a healthier version!
Thank you so much for the recipe! 💓

Reply
Karolina September 23, 2023 - 8:08 am

5 stars
I forgot to add that it was a 26 cm diameter round cake (about 10 inches) 😊

Reply
Heather October 6, 2023 - 6:47 am

Fantastic, thank you!!

Reply
Heather October 6, 2023 - 6:47 am

Karolina, thank you so much for coming here and sharing your win!

Reply
Erica January 3, 2024 - 7:19 am

5 stars
I have used this recipe for my daughters smash cake and it came out amazing! I’d like to use it for a paleo chocolate cake and am wondering if there’s a easy way to make it chocolate? Could I just add some melted chocolate to the icing or would it make it too runny? Thank you!

Reply
Heather January 4, 2024 - 5:18 am

Hi Erica! I’m so glad you loved the recipe! You could definitely add melted chocolate. I would make sure it’s not too hot – warm it to melt but let it cool to almost room temperature before adding. If it gets too runny, pop the frosting in the fridge for 10 mins or so and it should thicken! Let me know how it turns out!!

Reply
Courtney March 8, 2024 - 9:55 am

My icing kept getting lumpy…what did I do wrong?

Reply
Heather March 9, 2024 - 5:26 am

Hi Courtney! Did you use fat free cream cheese or yogurt? That can happen with those I’ve noticed. Was your cream cheese fully at room temp?

Reply
5 from 7 votes (4 ratings without comment)

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