Paleo Vegan Maple Cream Frosting

This paleo vegan maple cream frosting is cashew-based, maple-sweetened and super creamy! The perfect frosting for pumpkin cake and other fall treats.

After making the vegan vanilla sauce I posted last month, I knew I had to turn it into a frosting. It was too delicious to just use as a sauce!

It was an easy recipe to adapt. Add more cashews and omit almost all the water. The result is a super delicious maple cream frosting that’s quite soft, kind of like a whipped cream frosting. So you definitely can’t pipe it.

This paleo vegan maple cream frosting is cashew-based, maple-sweetened and super creamy! The perfect frosting for pumpkin cake, apple cupcakes and other fall treats.

I’m sure you could add a bunch of palm shortening or something to firm it up, but that just didn’t sound appetizing to me. Nor did coconut oil. Or coconut butter or anything coconutty. No coconut products were allowed in my maple frosting. :D

You’ll want to make sure to use raw cashews. I first tried it with roasted salted cashews and just like the vanilla sauce, I think it tasted peanut buttery the next day. But don’t go using roasted salted cashews on purpose, thinking you’ll be making something that resembles peanut butter frosting. Mr. didn’t agree that it tasted peanutty.

This paleo vegan maple cream frosting is maple-sweetened, cashew-based and super creamy! The perfect frosting for pumpkin cake and other fall treats.

Mr. T did make me promise to tell you something about this maple cream frosting recipe. He thinks that spreading it on anything is a total waste because, “It tastes best from the spoon.”

Well. Cakes and cupcakes need frosting. So I’m happy to use this and don’t think it’s a waste at all!

Autumnal paleo treats!

  • Paleo Apple Maple Muffins (grain-free, gluten-free, dairy-free)
  • Paleo Cinnamon Sugar Pumpkin Donut Holes (grain-free, gluten-free, dairy-free option)
  • Healthier Carrot Cake Cupcakes (grain-free, gluten-free, paleo option)

So yeah. They’re actually all muffins but throw this maple frosting on top and they become cupcakes. :D

One last thing – don’t omit the lemon juice! It’s a small amount but is necessary to make the other flavors pop. And make sure to use the darker Grade B kind of maple syrup so that the maple flavor is more intense. You could also add a bit of maple extract (if you’re not paleo).

The below cake is this paleo pumpkin cake and they’re perfect together!

This vegan paleo maple cream frosting is maple-sweetened, cashew-based and super creamy! The perfect frosting for pumpkin cake and other fall treats.

Paleo Vegan Maple Cream Frosting

Rated 5.0 by 5 readers
Paleo Vegan Maple Cream Frosting
  • Prep Time:
  • Cook Time:
  • Ready in:
  • Yield: slightly less than 1 1/2 cups


  • 1 1/2 cups (198 grams) raw unsalted cashews, soaked1
  • 1/3 cup + 1 tablespoon maple syrup (I recommend using the darker Grade B kind so that the maple taste is more intense)
  • 1 tablespoon water
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 3/16 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons lemon juice


  1. Drain the cashews and place all the ingredients in a high speed blender jar (I don't think this would work in a food processor).
  2. Process on high speed for about 40 seconds or until totally smooth and no chunks remain.
  3. Add more lemon juice, vanilla and salt, if desired. Refrigerate for about 2 hours before frosting your cake or cupcakes.
  4. Refrigerate in an airtight container for up to 3-4 days. I like to use 1 cup (about 2/3 of the batch) on a 1-layer 9" cake.


  1. To soak the cashews, place them in a large mug, small pot, or some kind of container that's safe to pour boiling water into. Pour enough boiling water over the cashews to cover them. Let them sit 1 1/2 to 2 hours.

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53 comments on “Paleo Vegan Maple Cream Frosting” — Add one!

  • paula rothman
    June 19, 2018 @ 8:17 pm

    what is that cake in the photo ( with the pecans>)

  • Jessica says
    December 10, 2017 @ 9:36 pm

    Hi. I am just wondering if I could sub store bought cashew butter for the raw cashews? And if so, how much? Thanks!

    • Erin replies to Jessica
      December 11, 2017 @ 6:30 pm

      Hello! I think that’d be fine. Use the same amount by weight – 198 grams. Hope you’ll enjoy it!

  • Joy says
    December 5, 2017 @ 8:54 pm

    Erin, you said it is really soft. Is it too soft to use on cookies as icing?

    • Joy replies to Joy
      December 5, 2017 @ 8:56 pm

      I am wondering if it will harden?

    • Erin replies to Joy
      December 5, 2017 @ 9:40 pm

      It unforunately doesn’t harden. You can kind of see how soft it is in the first picture. I think it’s much too soft for cookies. Sorry about that!

      • Joy replies to Erin
        December 5, 2017 @ 9:44 pm

        No problem! Looks amazing! Will be used for other things :)

        • Erin replies to Joy
          December 5, 2017 @ 9:45 pm

          Great! Hope you’ll enjoy it. :)

  • Jim says
    October 15, 2017 @ 4:20 pm

    Good sub for Maple syrup in this frosting recipe!

    • Erin replies to Jim
      October 15, 2017 @ 8:32 pm

      Was that meant to be a question? Or a response to someone else confirming that something was a good sub for maple? You could try honey but then it’s not vegan (in case that’s important to you) and the frosting will probably taste quite strongly of honey. I personally think maple is a much better option for this recipe. :)

      • Stefanija replies to Erin
        March 6, 2018 @ 11:11 am

        I’ve tried with maple and with honey as well. I like it equally. It did not taste very strong using honey but I cut down the amount. It was delicious both ways so you will not be making mistake If you try with honey

        • Erin replies to Stefanija
          March 8, 2018 @ 9:14 am

          Good to know! I guess it depends on the type of honey. I tried it with honey and didn’t like that it tasted so strongly. But I didn’t reduce the amount! Thanks for the tip.

  • Alexandra says
    September 23, 2017 @ 10:51 pm

    hi there! this recipe looks so good! I was hoping to use it on a layer cake. do you think it’s firm enough to frost the sides of a cake? ty!

    • Erin replies to Alexandra
      September 25, 2017 @ 9:10 pm

      Hi there! Thanks. :) I’m not very hopeful about it being firm enough to frost the sides of a cake. Or to be put in between layers. It’s really soft!

  • Mickey
    November 19, 2016 @ 12:18 am

    This recipe looks soooo good!! Erin, I would LOVE to share your recipe with my followers. Would you mind if I share this for a round up of delicious healthier Thanksgiving dessert options over on my fitness blog? I’d love to use a picture with your permission and of course link people over to your site :) Thanks!

    • Erin replies to Mickey
      November 19, 2016 @ 9:25 pm

      Sure! Thanks so much for asking and for wanting to including my recipe. :)

  • Lauren @ Hall Nesting says
    October 31, 2016 @ 9:37 pm

    We can just eat this a spoon right?

  • Nicole Hood says
    October 26, 2016 @ 5:28 am

    Oh my goodness! This frosting looks amazing on your cake! Can’t wait to try!

  • Angie | Big Bear's Wife says
    October 24, 2016 @ 4:50 pm

    I bet this does taste best from the spoon! However I think I need to spoon this over EVERYTHING just to make sure hahaha

  • Miranda
    October 22, 2016 @ 11:36 pm

    Wow, this would be the perfect topping for so many desserts! Sounds fantastic!

    • Erin replies to Miranda
      October 24, 2016 @ 8:25 pm

      Thanks! It really is yummy. :)

  • Ashley @ Wishes & Dishes says
    October 21, 2016 @ 7:50 pm

    Love that you turned that amazing vanilla sauce into a frosting! Now I have to think of ways I can use this because it looks too good to be true!

  • Karyn Granrud says
    October 21, 2016 @ 6:48 pm

    WOW! This looks so creamy and yummy. If you didn’t tell me, I’m sure I’d never know it was vegan. I want to slice into that amazing cake ASAP!!

    • Erin replies to Karyn Granrud
      October 24, 2016 @ 8:28 pm

      It definitely doesn’t taste vegan! It just tastes… magical. ;)

  • Amanda| The Kitcheneer says
    October 21, 2016 @ 5:07 pm

    Can I just use a spoon for this? Looks amazing!

  • kellie @ the suburban soapbox says
    October 21, 2016 @ 5:06 pm

    Just hand me a shovel, this looks so amazing…love anything maple!

  • Renee - Kudos Kitchen says
    October 21, 2016 @ 3:59 pm

    I’m always amazed at the ways cashews can be utilized. I love eating them raw, roasted, toasted, and salted. This is a new way I’ve never tried. Who knew you could use them to make frosting?
    Thanks for the recipe. I need to give this a try!

  • carrie @ frugal foodie mama says
    October 21, 2016 @ 3:02 pm

    Love that you used cashews in this frosting! I bet this tastes amazing. :)

  • Amanda | The Chunky Chef
    October 21, 2016 @ 1:28 pm

    This is definitely going in the saved category… looks delicious!!

  • eat good 4 life says
    October 21, 2016 @ 12:59 pm

    Such a great idea. I have never seen anything like this before. Keeping this recipe so I can actually make it next time I need frosting in a cake!

  • katerina @ says
    October 21, 2016 @ 11:28 am

    YES, please!!! This frosting is absolutely amaaaazing!!!

  • Kimberly @ The Daring Gourmet says
    October 21, 2016 @ 8:03 am

    Wow, that looks so creamy! I’ve always been intrigued at the idea of using cashews as the base for sauces, dips and frostings – I really need to give it a try!

  • Charlotte Moore
    October 21, 2016 @ 2:16 am

    It amazes me that someone thought of using cashews for frosting and as cream cheese sub I think I read somewhere. My brain doesn’t think like that. Haha!! It looks very tasty.

    • Erin replies to Charlotte Moore
      October 21, 2016 @ 9:24 pm

      Haha. Right?! That’s exactly what it is here – a cream cheese sub! A few years ago I thought it was SO weird but now that I’ve tried it, I love it!

  • Kelly @ Nosh and Nourish says
    October 21, 2016 @ 1:31 am

    I love that the ingredient list is so simple. Never would’ve thought to make frosting out of cashews :)

  • Alyssa | EverydayMaven says
    October 21, 2016 @ 1:08 am

    Ohhhhh, printing. I need to make this for my pecan banana loaf!

  • Lauren Kelly Nutrition says
    October 21, 2016 @ 12:53 am

    I just want a big spoon and face plant into that bowl!


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