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This all-purpose vegan frosting is especially tasty on carrot cake but can be used for any dessert that calls for a rich, creamy topping. The recipe gets its incomparable flavor from seeds scraped from a fresh vanilla bean. Seeding vanilla beans is easy; all you have to do is cut the bean in half lengthwise and use the back (dull side) of a knife to scrape out the soft paste of tiny seeds inside. The pods can be saved for later and used to infuse maple syrup, cooked fruit compotes, and hot cereal with vanilla flavor. Or try tucking the pod into your box of granola to scent it with vanilla!

Recipe from straightupfood.com

Vanilla Bean Vegan Frosting

Ingredients

  • 5 ounces pitted whole dates, chopped
  • ¾ cup unsalted raw cashews
  • Seeds from 1 vanilla bean (or 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract)

Instructions

  1. Combine the dates, cashews, and seeds from the vanilla bean in a blender. Add just enough water to cover the mixture. Let stand for 45 minutes or until dates and cashews are softened. Cover and blend until smooth, adding water if it’s too stiff to easily blend.

Comments (22)

(4.64 from 11 votes)
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Rhonda Chapman1 month ago
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I’m allergic to dates. What could I use in place of those? Maple syrup maybe?

Rebekah Welch2 months ago
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Delicious. I have a Vitamix and started with just a little bit of water and kept adding water as-needed Love it!

Maryanne4 months ago
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I followed the recommendations of others and I think my frosting turned out pretty well with some further additions:
1. I poured off nearly all the soaking water before blending.
2. I added a wee bit back in but very little.
3. I added .25 tsp salt
4. I added 2 tbs of cashew butter to help thicken it.
Once refrigerated, the frosting got thicker. I might add a bit less water next time. Otherwise I liked the results!

Tom5 months ago
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I used this on the carrot cake and was a bit disappointed. I even added a little salt, vanilla and fresh lime juice to perk up the flavor, but it was just creamy and bland. I also cut way back on the water as others suggested. I think in the future, I will make a glaze with some powdered sweetener and citrus juice.

Renee6 months ago
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The Vanilla Bean Frosting came out perfect and was delicious. I would recommend making it. I love that it is sweetened with whole fruit.

Jennifer6 months ago
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We have a cashew allergy in our home. Is there a substitute for the cashews?

Monique2 months ago
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Try using mashed Japanese sweet potatoes.

Elisha Polk6 months ago
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Macadamia nuts work as a sub for cashews. Or sunflower seeds, although the color would change with sunflower seeds.

Deb6 months ago
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Making this for the second time. Last time I made it for Easter. My husband and I have been on a whole food plant based diet since he found out he had Graves’ disease. Which he has no more symptoms of now. My daughters wanted a more traditional vegan carrot cake so they made one with sugar and vegan cream cheese from a store. Everyone ended up like this one better. It was excellent!

Nancy Spotts8 months ago
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Cake smelled very good while baking. Cake is moist and loaded with wonderful flavor.

AUDREY NEHMER8 months ago
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This is very tasty. I’m using it on a blueberry cobbler. What I did to make sure it wasn’t too runny is to pour off some of the water into a cup. I started to blend it, checking the consistency. I added a little bit of the water until I got the consistency I desired.

Judy11 months ago
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How long is this yummy frosting keep in the refrigerator. And can it be frizen?

Judy11 months ago
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How long does this stay good in the frigerator?

Judy11 months ago
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How long will this stay fresh in the frigerator?

Linda1 year ago
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This is delicious! I read the six comments and got a little concerned it might be watery or too sweet so I made sure I didn’t put too much water, just enough to barely cover the dates and cashews. I put it on the carrot cake recipe and we loved it!

Lina1 year ago
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Hello,

i just made the frosting and it has a very nice texture. I added about half a teaspoon of salt. It balanced out the sweetness and made the taste more complex.

Thank you for the nice recipe 🙂

PS: I would be careful not to add too much water.

Amanda Cook1 year ago
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I found the frosting very runny and super sweet. I added I think a good cup of cashews afterwards to get the texture like frosting. It’s very delicious but I’d also scale back on the dates and vanilla next batch too. I will probably just activate the cashews separately and set aside the water. Then soak the dates and tip out that water. Then add water as it’s blending so you can set the desired texture.

Terri Ganow7 months ago
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Can I leave my frosted carrot cake out on my counter? I am worried that the frosting may sink into the cake or become runny.

Flavia Precup1 year ago
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Delicious and healthy alternative to the butter frosting!

Missy1 year ago
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Looks great!

anna1 year ago
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@Tee I have heard that you can substitute the nuts with oats, but I think you should test it before using that for sure 🙂

Tee1 year ago
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Any alternative for nut allergies

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Headshot of Cathy Fisher
about the author

Cathy Fisher

Cathy Fisher is the creator of StraightUpFood.com, a website offering free recipes and information on eating a whole-food, plant-based diet free of salt, oil, and sugar. She is also a cooking instructor, teaching classes at TrueNorth Health Center and the McDougall Program, both in Santa Rosa, CA. Cathy began eating a plant-based diet in 1999, and in 2016 published her first cookbook, Straight Up Food: Delicious and Easy Plant-based Cooking Without Salt, Oil or Sugar. Find her on Instagram and Facebook.

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