This Healthy Vanilla Frosting is a healthy cream cheese frosting recipe perfect for frosting cupcakes or cakes for any occasion. Bonus, this vanilla frosting recipe contains 3 times less refined sugar than a classic frosting, and it’s gluten-free!
What Makes This Frosting Healthy?
A healthy vanilla frosting is a creamy smooth frosting recipe made of cream cheese to reduce the saturated fat and calories from butter. Plus, it’s sweetened with maple syrup to decrease refined sugar in the recipe and keep the sugar per serving low.
This healthy frosting, compared to a classic frosting recipe, contains:
- 3 times less refined sugar – Did you know that regular frosting contains, on average, 4 cups of powdered sugar per recipe!
- Less saturated fat.
- Fewer calories per serving.
- No additives like corn starch.
So is this a healthy cream cheese frosting?
Well, let say it’s definitely healthier. Using a third of the powder sugar you would have in a regular frosting and less saturated fat.
In fact, full-fat cream cheese is often chosen as a healthier option for frosting recipes because it contains less saturated fat than butter. Also, cream cheese contains fewer calories and makes lighter and fluffier frosting that kids love.
How To Make Healthy Cake Frosting?
All you need to make this maple cream cheese frosting recipe are:
- Softened cream cheese at room temperature for 30 minutes or so.
- Softened butter, same as before, take out the butter from the fridge half an hour before starting the recipe to soften.
- Pure maple syrup, preferably a grade B for best flavors.
- Powdered sugar – you can use sugar-free powdered erythritol to decrease sugar in the recipe too.
- Almond milk or heavy cream.
- Vanilla extract.
- Maple extract – optional, but this adds a delicious extra maple flavor if you feel like it!
Beat the frosting
To make this easy, healthier frosting recipe with maple syrup, you need an electric mixer or stand mixer with the whisk attachment.
First, add the softened cream cheese and butter to a large bowl. Beat on medium speed until creamy, smooth, and no lumps appear.
Stop the hand mixer, add vanilla, maple syrup, and powdered sugar. Beat on low speed to gently incorporate the ingredients and prevent the powder sugar from bursting out of the bowl.
Test and adjust
Test the frosting and adjust sweetness if needed. You can add more powder sugar up to 1/2 cup extra or some stevia drops to add a touch of natural sweetness without changing the texture of the frosting.
Use to frost a batch of 12 cupcakes or a cake.
This maple frosting recipe frosts about 12 regular-size cupcakes or one of 9-inch cake. You can pipe the frosting with a piping bag or spread it on a cake with a spatula.
Frequently Asked Questions
This healthy frosting recipe is easy to make, but sometimes, things go wrong, so below, I listed some little helpers for you.
What should I do if my frosting split?
This happens when the butter or cream cheese is either too cold or too hot. Always place all your frosting ingredients at room temperature before starting. Then, to fix a frosting that splits, there are two options.
- If the mixture is too hot – you can pop the bowl in the fridge for a few minutes, then beat it again.
- If the mixture is too cold – place the mixing bowl in a bain-marie.
Can I make it sweeter?
This maple cream cheese frosting contains less powder sugar than regular recipes. If it’s not sweet enough to your liking, add more powder sugar, 1/4 cup at a time, and up to an additional 1/2 cup.
Can I make the Frosting thinner?
You may want to thin out your frosting if you are not piping this onto my healthy cupcake recipe.
For example, to frost a carrot cake or cinnamon rolls, it’s better to have a more spreadable frosting. To make a light and fluffy frosting that you can spread, beat in 1-3 extra tablespoons of heavy cream at room temperature in the mix.
Always add heavy cream one tablespoon at a time and stop when it reaches your favorite texture.
Can I make-ahead the frosting?
You can make ahead this frosting and store it in a piping bag in the fridge. However, the frosting will slightly harden in the fridge so remove the piping bag from the fridge 20 minutes before using it to soften.
Can I make the Frosting less liquid?
Add more powder sugar or 1-2 tablespoons of cornstarch to firm it up.
If you have food allergies, I listed some options for you below:
- Dairy-free – you can use dairy-free cream cheese and dairy-free butter in this recipe to make a vegan maple cream cheese frosting.
- Sugar-free – you can use sugar-free maple syrup and powdered erythritol in this recipe to make it low-carb keto-friendly.
- Maple syrup – you can use any liquid sweetener you love in this recipe to replace maple syrup. Obviously, it will remove the maple flavor, but other options that work really well include agave syrup, honey, or brown rice syrup.
Have you made this easy maple cream cheese frosting recipe? Share a comment or review below to connect with me and let me know what you frosted with it!
Healthy Vanilla Frosting
- 8 ounces Full-fat Cream Cheese softened at room temperature
- ½ cup Unsalted Butter softened at room temperature
- 2 tablespoons Maple Syrup or sugar-free maple syrup
- 1 cup Powdered Sugar or sugar-free powdered erythritol
- 2 teaspoons Vanilla Extract
- 1 teaspoon Maple Extract optional
- In a large mixing bowl, beat the softened cream cheese and butter until smooth, creamy, and no lumps show.
- Add maple syrup, vanilla extract, maple extract, and powder sugar.
- Beat on low speed to gently incorporate. Add up to 1/2 cup extra powder sugar if the frosting is not sweet enough or not as thick as you like.
- This recipe frosts up to 12 cupcakes or one 9-inch cake.