This silky smooth vegan buttercream frosting is thick enough to beautifully pipe onto cakes and cupcakes, yet light enough to melt in your mouth. Made with just 4 simple ingredients - vegan butter, confectioners' sugar, vanilla extract, and plant-based milk - it comes together in just minutes.
- 👨🍳How To Make Vegan Buttercream Frosting
- Top Tip
- 💡How To Make Vegan Buttercream Frosting White
- ⭐Variations On Vegan Buttercream
- 👨🍳How To Pipe Frosting
- ❄️Storage Instructions
- 🙋Frequently Asked Questions
- More Dessert Recipes
- Craving More Easy Vegan Dessert Recipes?
- 📖 Recipe
- ❄️Storage Instructions
Dairy-free and gluten-free, this lush frosting has the perfect texture and sweetness for frosting cupcakes like these vegan red velvet cupcakes and filling and topping layer cakes like this vegan strawberry cake and this vegan vanilla cake. And, you don't need any butter or eggs. Best of all, the method is so easy. All you need is a mixer, a bowl and spoon, and 5-10 spare minutes.
If you're looking for a vegan cream cheese frosting, I have a recipe for that here: Vegan Cream Cheese Frosting ~ Dairy Free
- Vegan Butter: Butter is the foundation of vegan buttercream frosting, so use your favorite brand. I love Miyoko's plant-milk butter and Smart Balance.
- Powdered Sugar: Powdered sugar, aka confectioner's sugar or icing sugar, is a finely ground sugar with a powdery consistency. You can't use normal granulated sugar in this recipe.
- Plant-Based Milk: Any dairy-free milk will work in this recipe. I used soy milk, but you could also use almond milk.
- Vanilla Extract: I always recommend using the highest quality vanilla extract you can afford for all recipes that call for it. The depth of flavor a good vanilla extract provides can't be underestimated.
👨🍳How To Make Vegan Buttercream Frosting
- Step 1 - Beat The Butter: In a large mixing bowl, beat the softened vegan butter with an electric mixer until creamy and smooth. You can use a stand mixer or a hand mixer for this step.
- Step 2 - Add Powdered Sugar: Gradually add in powdered sugar, about 1 cup at a time, while continuing to beat the mixture.
- Step 3 - Add Liquids: After adding about 2 cups of powdered sugar, add in 2 tablespoons of non-dairy milk and the vanilla extract. Continue to beat until well combined.
- Step 4 - Adjust Consistency: Gradually add more powdered sugar until you reach your desired sweetness and consistency. If the frosting is too thick, add more non-dairy milk, 1 tablespoon at a time, until you reach the desired consistency.
- Step 5 - Beat The Frosting Until Fluffy: Beat the frosting on high speed for 2-3 minutes until light and fluffy.
Adjust the consistency of your frosting based on your decorating plans. For piping intricate designs or swirls, aim for a thicker consistency by adding more powdered sugar until the frosting holds its shape well. If you're spreading the frosting over a cake or using it as a basic frosting, a slightly thinner consistency may be preferable for easier spreading.
💡How To Make Vegan Buttercream Frosting White
If you want a buttercream frosting that's brilliantly white, here's a surprising trick: add color!
To counteract the slight yellow hue from the butter, simply incorporate the tiniest bit of purple food coloring. It might sound unconventional, but purple has the magic ability to neutralize the yellow tones, resulting in a buttercream that's as snowy white as can be. It's simple, yet effective! Just be sure to use the tiniest amount and build up from there.
⭐Variations On Vegan Buttercream
You can use this vegan buttercream recipe as a template for making your own flavor variations. Here's a few ideas:
🍫Chocolate Vegan Buttercream Frosting
- Add ¼ cup of cocoa powder to the frosting mixture along with the powdered sugar for a rich and decadent chocolate flavor. Adjust the amount of powdered sugar as needed to achieve the desired consistency.
🍋Lemon Buttercream Frosting
- Add 1-2 tablespoons of fresh lemon juice and 1 tablespoon of lemon zest to the frosting mixture for a bright and citrusy flavor. Adjust the amount of powdered sugar as needed to achieve the desired consistency. If you want your frosting to have a more vibrant yellow color, add a drop of yellow food coloring.
🍓Strawberry Vegan Buttercream
- Crush ½ cup of freeze-dried strawberries into a fine powder using a food processor or blender.
- Add the crushed freeze-dried strawberries to the frosting mixture along with the powdered sugar for a natural and intense strawberry flavor.
- You may need to adjust the amount of powdered sugar and non-dairy milk to achieve the desired consistency, as the strawberry powder can affect the texture of the frosting. You can see my vegan strawberry buttercream frosting in on a vegan cake here: vegan strawberry cake.
- Add ½ teaspoon of coconut extract to the frosting mixture for a tropical twist. You can also sprinkle shredded coconut on top of the frosted cake or cupcakes for added texture and flavor.
👨🍳How To Pipe Frosting
- Pick Your Tip: First things first, grab the piping tip that matches the vibe you're going for. Round for basic swirls, star-shaped for fancy designs – you get the drift.
- Load Up Your Bag: Stick the tip into your piping bag and load it up with frosting. Twist the top tight so it doesn't go squirting everywhere.
- Get a Grip: Hold the bag with one hand, and use your other hand to guide the action.
- Squeeze 'n' Release: Start squeezing gently to get the frosting flowing, and when you're done with a dollop, release the pressure.
- Find Your Angle: Hold the bag straight up and down if you're going for lines or swirls, or tilt it a bit for some artsy flair.
- Start in the Middle: Begin piping from the center and work your way out. Keep the pressure steady for consistent lines and swirls.
- Play Around: Experiment with different techniques – rosettes, stars, whatever floats your boat.
- Chill with Perfection: Don't stress over every little bump or squiggle. Embrace the imperfections – they're what make your treats unique!
- Practice Makes Perfect: Like anything else, practice makes progress. Keep at it, and soon you'll be piping like a pro, adding that special touch to your goodies effortlessly!
If you plan to use the frosting within a few days, transfer it to an airtight container and store it in the fridge. Before using refrigerated frosting, allow it to come to room temperature and give it a quick stir. This will help restore its creamy consistency for easy spreading or piping. Vegan buttercream frosting can typically be stored in the refrigerator for up to 5-7 days.
Transfer the frosting to an airtight container or resealable freezer bag, squeezing out any excess air before sealing. When you're ready to use the frozen frosting, transfer it to the refrigerator and let it thaw overnight. Once thawed, give it a good stir to restore its texture before using. Vegan buttercream frosting can typically be stored in the freezer for up to 1-2 months without significant changes in flavor or texture.
🙋Frequently Asked Questions
Vegan buttercream frosting can melt if exposed to warm temperatures for an extended period. Its melting point is similar to traditional buttercream, so it may become soft or lose its shape in hot environments. To prevent melting, store it in a cool place or the refrigerator, especially if you live in a warm climate or if the frosting contains ingredients that are sensitive to heat.
Miyoko's Creamery vegan butter is an excellent choice for vegan buttercream due to its high fat content, which helps mimic the richness and creaminess of traditional buttercream. Its smooth texture and rich flavor make it ideal for creating silky-smooth frostings with a luxurious taste. Plus, it's crafted with quality ingredients and has a buttery flavor that pairs perfectly with sweet recipes.
To fix runny vegan buttercream, start by chilling it in the refrigerator for about 15-30 minutes to help it firm up. If the frosting remains too runny, gradually add more powdered sugar, a tablespoon at a time, until it reaches the desired consistency. Alternatively, you can try adding a small amount of cornstarch or vegan shortening to thicken the frosting without affecting the flavor.
Craving More Easy Vegan Dessert Recipes?
Vegan Buttercream Frosting
- 1 cup vegan butter softened (such as Earth Balance or Miyoko's)
- 3-4 cups powdered sugar
- 2-3 tablespoons non-dairy milk such as almond, soy, or oat milk
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- In a large mixing bowl, beat the softened vegan butter with an electric mixer until creamy and smooth.
- Gradually add in powdered sugar, about 1 cup at a time, while continuing to beat the mixture.
- After adding about 2 cups of powdered sugar, add in 2 tablespoons of non-dairy milk and the vanilla extract. Continue to beat until well combined.
- Gradually add more powdered sugar until you reach your desired sweetness and consistency. If the frosting is too thick, add more non-dairy milk, 1 tablespoon at a time, until you reach the desired consistency.
- Beat the frosting on high speed for 2-3 minutes until light and fluffy.
- Use the frosting to decorate cakes, cupcakes, or cookies!