See the making of icing in this video.

"cream cheese" frosting ingredients:

1/2 C coconut oil (solid but soft at room temperature)

1 tbsp lemon juice

2 tsp vanilla extract

1/2 tsp apple cider vinegar

2 C powdered sugar

1 tbsp + 1 tsp unsweetened soy milk

Using a hand mixer beat the coconut oil, lemon juice, apple cider vinegar, vanilla extract and 1 cup of powdered sugar to start. Once it's mostly combined add in another cup of powdered sugar and beat together. Then add in soy milk and beat until smooth and fluffy. Then ice the cake!

I'm worried that there's some kind of mistake and this will impact the flavour for no reason. Should I leave out the vinegar? Add baking soda? Leave the recipe as is?

  • 1
    How much vinegar & lemon juice are we talking about? A couple tablespoons might be more for flavor / brightness. Baking soda would get it to foam, which would likely make a mess.
    – Joe
    Commented Aug 7, 2016 at 20:19
  • 1
    @Joe updated with the amounts
    – Alex Hall
    Commented Aug 7, 2016 at 20:23
  • @Joe I have to admit that my first thought was "check that it is not a variant of the Swedish Lemon Angels recipe being discussed" :) Commented Aug 9, 2016 at 16:26
  • @rackandboneman : nah, it'd have been a thin batter for that. Not something thick that'd contain it.
    – Joe
    Commented Aug 9, 2016 at 16:53

2 Answers 2


It's fine as written.

Combining vinegar with baking soda (or any acid with any base) is usually done in baking to produce gas, which can lighten the finished product. This is an icing, which is applied after the baking process; it's not set to capture air bubbles, so any effect would be largely temporary and more easily produced through beating.

The vinegar here is intended to mimic the tangy flavor of real cream cheese. The lemon juice has the same effect, but apple cider vinegar adds a different mix of acids, better matching the flavor of the real thing.

  • 1
    Thanks for the explanation regarding the cheese flavour, that's very interesting.
    – Alex Hall
    Commented Aug 7, 2016 at 20:43
  • @AlexHall Note that the same trick with vinegar or lemon is used to substitute milk for buttermilk. I believe that in most such recipes the acidity is indeed required for the baking process and not just for flavour.
    – user25798
    Commented Aug 8, 2016 at 11:39

Vinegar also changes the consistency of a substrate. For example, it makes toffee malleable, or can be used in a pastry to make it stretchy. It potentially affects the texture of the icing too.

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