Okay people. Frosting is HELLA hard to do without powdered sugar. I have tried and tried and tried and this is what I’ve got. It isn’t exactly like “normal” frosting, but it does work well and taste good. I do intend to keep reinventing frosting and see what other types I can come up with, but this works well as a basic cream cheese frosting. It has just a touch of a very pleasant maple flavor. I put this on the spice cake I make from the recipe a wonderful baker invented for our wedding (no artificial sweeteners and SO GOOD!). I haven’t shared the recipe on the blog, though, because it isn’t my recipe and Peggy does make cakes professionally, so I don’t want to just post her recipe on the internet willy-nilly. Sorry guys. I am working on some cakes of my own, though, so hopefully I can help you out there soon. If you do have a cake or cupcake recipe you like already, this will likely go well on it. I wouldn’t really recommend it for chocolate cake, but it would be good on white, yellow, or (as mentioned) spice cakes.

The powdered dry milk you use in this recipe MUST be high quality and a very fine grind. None of that coarse stuff in the box–it WILL NOT WORK AT ALL AND WILL BE DISGUSTING. I use this stuff because I can get it at my local Whole Foods and it works well. Fundamentally what you want is a product that is the texture of very fine sand, like what you find in hour glasses or sand-art kits. It is actually pretty close to the texture of powdered sugar, though not nearly as dissolve-y (and the flavor is, obviously, different) so you can’t just sub it in.


Natural Sugar Cream Cheese Frosting


8 oz. cream cheese (one standard grocery store sized block), softened

1 stick (1/2 cup) butter, softened

3/4 cup powdered dry milk

3/4 – 1 cup fine maple sugar (which measure is to your taste)

1 tsp vanilla



1. Place cream cheese and butter in a large bowl (I use my stand mixer to make this, so the mixer bowl in that case). Blend until well combined with a whisk attachment or hand blender. You could mix by hand but it’ll take a while.

2. Add the powdered dry milk and mix on low speed to combine.

3. Add the maple sugar and mix on low speed to combine.

4. Add the vanilla and whip the whole mixture well on a medium high to high speed to get some fluff in it. This frosting will be thinner and less poofy than you’re used to with a sugared frosting–if it isn’t too runny, frost the cake now and then put in the fridge immediately so that the frosting will finish stiffening up. If it is just too runny (this can happen if your “room temperature” for softening the cream cheese and butter is quite warm, as in the summer), refrigerate the frosting until it has stiffened up some (not too long, you don’t want a frosting block!) checking frequently and stirring to keep it evenly cooled and check the consistency. Once it is spreadable and not too runny or hard, frost and refrigerate as mentioned before. Refrigerate the cake until serving and the leftovers if there are any :D. Enjoy!