Is Cream Cheese Frosting Healthier Than Buttercream? (The Battle for Your Health!)

I’m guessing you love baked desserts, and let’s face it, the frosting is one of the best bits!

But if you need to look after your health, then you need to make a decision between cream cheese frosting or buttercream.

At face value, you will no doubt automatically assume that cream cheese wins the battle!

But let’s take a closer look at the facts.

What are the nutritional differences between cream cheese and buttercream?

What are the pros and cons of each option?

How do their ingredients differ?

Follow me to discover which one is healthier and also satisfies your tastebuds! 

Cream cheese frosting is generally seen as a healthier option than buttercream. It contains less fat and, therefore, fewer calories. Cream cheese is also an excellent source of proteins and has more minerals and vitamins than buttercream. However, it is still relatively high in sugar and should therefore be consumed in moderation. Buttercream has higher fat levels and more calories and should be used sparingly for those watching their weight. While both cream cheese frosting and buttercream can be a delicious addition to your dessert, neither of them is particularly healthy. 

What Are the Nutritional Differences Between Cream Cheese and Buttercream?

To help us make our decision, let’s start with the nutritional differences.

To be honest, it’s not much of a fight because cream cheese frosting is the definite winner here!

In terms of calories, one tablespoon of cream cheese has only 50, whereas buttercream has approximately 70.

And, as regards fat, buttercream has a whopping eight grams per tablespoon!

So, it is both high in fat and calories.

And, of course, one tablespoon is not very much, and you will probably indulge in more than this. 

Particularly, as the high-fat content means it is not very filling, you may be tempted to eat more to give you that satisfied feeling.

Plus, be honest with yourself; is it an occasional treat, or do you frequently eat desserts topped with buttercream?

There are also nutritional advantages to cream cheese frosting as it is a good source of protein, coming in at around two grams per tablespoon.

Buttercream has no recognizable proteins.

Let’s look at the vitamins and minerals, too.

And again, all hail the cream cheese frosting!

Most importantly, it’s a good source of calcium, which is necessary for your bone health, with around 12 milligrams per tablespoon.

Plus, cream cheese has vitamins A and D and a small amount of potassium.

And what does buttercream have to offer?

None of the above benefits.

How Can You Make Frosting Healthier Without Sacrificing Flavor?

So, having established that even though cream cheese frosting is the healthier option, it’s actually still not really good for you.

How can you change this yet still keep that delicious flavor?

The most obvious option is to use low-fat or fat-free cream cheese or, better still, Greek yogurt.

This will decrease the calories, and the yogurt, in particular, will increase the protein content. 

But you will still get that tangy flavor and creamy texture that we know and love!

And, of course, I haven’t even mentioned the fact that you need to add refined sugar to the cream cheese to turn it into frosting!

In place of the sugar, you can use natural sweeteners such as agave nectar, maple syrup, or honey. 

If you are making your own buttercream frosting, you can reduce the amount of butter and replace it with mashed bananas or applesauce.

You can use other fruit purees, such as fresh berries, to add sweetness and gain benefit from their health-giving properties. 

Buttercream Vs. Cream Cheese Frosting

My Thoughts

  • There are several nutritional differences between cream cheese frosting and buttercream
  • Cream cheese is the healthier option as it has less fat and fewer calories
  • Buttercream is higher in at and has no vitamins or minerals
  • Cream cheese frosting is higher in protein and will keep you feeling full for longer
  • The frosting can be made healthier by using low-fat cream cheese or yogurt and natural sweeteners 

You may also be interested to learn of the uses of cream cheese spread.

Leave a Comment