Wonderfully creamy keto cream cheese frosting is quickly whipped by hand and sweetened with stevia. There’s no need for powdered sugar! It’s beautifully thick and holds its shape well.
Cream cheese frosting is so delicious. I used to love it in my high-carb days, but I wasn’t sure if you could make keto cream cheese frosting without powdered sugar. Happily, I discovered that you absolutely can!
How to make keto cream cheese frosting
This tasty frosting has only three ingredients – cream cheese, vanilla and stevia. You can mix it in one bowl with a hand whisk, as long as you’re willing to whisk for a couple of minutes (hey, it’s a great workout for your arm!).
The recipe card below has the complete instructions. The amounts listed make enough frosting for six cupcakes or for a one-layer cake. For 12 cupcakes or for a two-layer cake, double the amount.
How to thicken cream cheese frosting without powdered sugar
Traditional recipes for cream cheese frosting call for lots of powdered sugar relative to the cheese. This recipe, for example, from The Food Network, calls for 4 oz butter, 4 oz cream cheese, and 2 cups (!) of powdered sugar. My recipe uses a quarter of this amount of sweetener, and it’s very sweet!
Sugar is very unhealthy, and it saddens me that we’ve grown accustomed to using so much of it. Before I embarked on a low-carb diet, six years ago, my first step towards healthy eating was to cut the sugar in half in all my baked good recipes.
I was astonished to discover that these recipes were VERY sweet with just half the amount of sugar that I had previously used. Sugar is cheap and accessible, and it gives baked goods moisture and volume, so we use it carelessly. We should really rethink this approach.
So back to the topic at hand. You don’t really need powdered sugar in this keto cream cheese frosting. It won’t be as stiff as frostings with lots of powdered sugar, but it will be creamy and delicious and will hold its shape just fine.
I’ve been making keto cream cheese frosting with stevia and without powdered sugar for several years now, with absolutely no issues.
Should I add butter to keto cream cheese frosting?
Just like powdered sugar, butter is used to create a thicker, sturdier frosting. And just like powdered sugar, personally I find it unnecessary.
If you wish, you can use my recipe with 4 oz cream cheese and 4 oz soft unsalted butter. But I never use butter in cream cheese frosting. I think it tastes much better with just cream cheese, and as I said, it holds its shape well.
Can I use reduced-fat cream cheese?
Yes. I often do. In fact, in the video below I used Neufchatel cheese, which is essentially reduced-fat cream cheese.
Keto purists will tell you that you shouldn’t use reduced-fat products in a keto recipe. But I like to keep dessert calories to a minimum so that they don’t displace more nutritious food in my diet. So I often use reduced-fat products, as long as the fat isn’t replaced with sugar or starches.
Is this a healthy recipe?
Perhaps it’s not “healthy,” not in the sense that vegetables are healthy, but I believe it’s way healthier than traditional frostings.
As mentioned above, sugar is very unhealthy. Some even go as far as to say it’s toxic, especially when consumed in excess.
So it is my opinion that any recipe that reduces or eliminates sugar is an improvement, as long as the substance replacing the sugar is safe. And I do believe that stevia is very safe.
How long can you store keto cream cheese frosting?
I usually use it immediately to frost cakes or cupcakes, then store the finished product in a sealed container in the fridge.
It’s been my experience that these frosted baked goods keep well when stored this way for 3-4 days.
How to use this frosting?
Use it to frost cakes or cupcakes. Or eat it with a spoon. 🙂
Keto Cream Cheese Frosting
- 8 oz cream cheese, cubed, soft
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 1/2 teaspoon stevia glycerite (equals 1/2 cup sugar)
- If you need to soften your cream cheese, remove it from the wrap, cube it, and place it in a microwave-safe bowl. Microwave in 10-second sessions, until soft but not liquid.
- Add the vanilla and stevia.
- Using a hand whisk, whisk vigorously, until the frosting is completely smooth and fluffy, about 2 minutes.
- If you prefer to use an electric whisk, start whisking on low speed until the mixture is uniform, then increase the speed to medium and beat until fluffy, about 1 minute, scraping the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula as needed.
- Spoon the frosting on top of six cupcakes and spread to frost the top, or use a piping bag. You can also use this frosting to frost a single-layer cake.