How to Make Vegan Frosting: A Simple and Delicious Recipe

Frosting is the ideal way to finish off cakes and cookies, giving them a professional finish. However, if you are unsure how to make vegan frosting, you’ll be happy to know it’s effortless.

Besides piping frosting over cakes and cupcakes, you can also use it as a filling for layered cakes and over brownies.

Vegan Frosting Recipes

You can buy ready-made vegan frosting for cakes from several companies, but it’s very easy to make at home since it requires a few ingredients and a few minutes of mixing time.

For those who don’t mind using powdered icing sugar, here’s a vegan vanilla icing recipe from SimpleVeganBlog that requires three ingredients and 5 minutes of prep time.

Yummly has several recipes for different-flavored frostings without icing sugar if you prefer to sweeten your frosting without it. Dates, maple syrup, agave nectar, stevia, etc., are some ingredients that lend their sweetness to these delicious frostings. The choices are all incredibly delicious and include a Purple Sweet Potato Frosting, Date-Sweetened Chocolate Frosting, and the heavenly Black Bean Chocolate Frosting.

Easy Vegan Buttercream

Buttercream frosting is decadent and delicious. If you thought that you could not make it as a vegan, you were wrong. Here’s how to make a vegan frosting even nicer than the one with non-vegan ingredients.

Easy Vegan Buttercream

Yields enough buttercream frosting for an 8-9 inch layer cake or 24 cupcakes.


  • 1 cup vegan butter(your own or bought), softened to room temperature
  • 3 cups powdered sugar
  • About 2 -3 T. non-dairy milk
  • 1 t. pure vanilla extract


  1. Beat the vegan butter with a stand mixer and its paddle attachment, or use an electric hand mixer. It takes about two minutes to become smooth.
  2. Gradually add the sugar, starting at a low speed and increasing to medium, until all the powdered sugar is fully incorporated.
  3. Add the 2 tablespoons of milk and vanilla while beating on medium until everything is combined, scraping the sides of the bowl as required.
  4. If the frosting is too thick, add more milk, one teaspoon at a time. If it’s too runny, add about a ¼ cup more powdered sugar, and repeat until it reaches the desired consistency.
  5. Pipe onto cooled sponges or cupcakes.


  • If you want to make the frosting in advance, it will keep well for two days in a refrigerator or 3 months in the freezer. Allow to reach room temperature before using.

Best Vegan Frosting Options

Matcha cup cakes

There are several vegan frosting options if you don’t have time to make your own. Some of the best are both dairy-free and gluten-free. Here are five to try on your baked goods:

Miss Jones Organic Frosting – If you are going organic, you’ll be happy to know that Miss Jomes has several flavors of this vegan and gluten-free frosting. Miss Jones has two popular frostings: chocolate and vanilla-flavored. The range also includes salted caramel, cream cheese, and confetti pop, covering all your baking needs.

Duncan Hines Creamy Homestyle Frosting – With several frosting flavors, you’ll be happy to know you can find this frosting in most grocery stores. Besides the classic chocolate and vanilla, try the dark chocolate fudge, strawberry cream, and coconut pecan.

Wholesome Organic Frosting – A second company with organic frosting, you’ll be happy to know it’s available in chocolate and vanilla.

Simple Mills Frosting – Here’s another popular ready-made frosting option with organic ingredients. They have two choices: vanilla and chocolate.

Pillsbury Creamy Supreme Frosting – Most people think Pillsbury frostings contain dairy, but these are all vegan. However, it’s always best to check the labels before purchasing.

How to Make Vegan Icing

Learning to make vegan icing is simple, requiring pantry ingredients and a few steps.

The texture of a good frosting or icing is smooth and creamy. You can use a whisk or hand-held mixer to achieve this. Add the powdered sugar, vanilla extract, and some plant milk to a bowl and whisk. If needed, add more of the milk or more icing sugar.

On the other hand, if you are making vegan buttercream, there are more factors to consider:

  • Make sure the vegan butter is at room temperature and not melted. It usually takes about two hours to reach this temperature once you remove the butter from the fridge, but this will depend on the temperature in your kitchen. You’ll know it’s reached the right temperature when it’s not cold to the touch, and you can make an indent in the butter without any pressure.
  • The first step for making the vegan buttercream frosting is to cream the butter with your mixer to ensure a fluffier texture. You will also notice that it will have a lighter color once it is ready.
  • At this point, you can slowly add the icing sugar or whatever sweetener you prefer.
  • Once everything is nicely incorporated, add a tiny amount of the dairy-free milk at a time to avoid splitting the cream. It’s during this stage that you can add the flavoring.

Delicious Vegan Buttercream

Making delicious vegan buttercream frosting is so easy! As you can see from this recipe from Alison Andrews and her lovingitvegan blog, you need only four ingredients and 5 minutes before you are ready to layer your favorite cake or cupcakes.

Changing this to a chocolate frosting is easy by adding four tablespoons of unsweetened cocoa powder to the recipe. Add the cocoa powder to your other ingredients, and then continue adding the milk slowly until it reaches the right consistency.

Simple Vegan Frosting Techniques

When learning how to make vegan frosting or buttercream, here are a few vital frosting techniques to keep in mind:

Use Powdered Sugar

Don’t attempt to make vegan frosting or buttercream with any other granulated sugar because it’s too coarse. It must be powdered sugar unless you use syrup or other sweetener. First, measure the sugar, then sift it into the mixing bowl to aerate it and remove any lumps for a smoother result.

Correct Temperatures

Make sure your ingredients or kitchen are not too warm. If your frosting is not fluffing, place it in the fridge for about ten minutes and beat it again.

Never Overbeat

The right technique for making frosting and buttercream is to beat them well, ensuring all the ingredients are combined and you have a fluffy texture. However, avoid beating it too long.

Use Just the Right Amount of Liquid

Never pour all your liquid for the frosting in at once. Otherwise, it will turn out too thin. Start with a small amount, adding more as needed.

You Can Adjust the Sugar

When making buttercream, you can add less sugar if you want it less sweet. However, when adding less sugar, you must also omit some liquid to ensure it retains the right consistency.

Refrigerate to Prevent Melting

The buttercream can melt on a warm or humid day when decorating a cake or cupcake for an event. Once you have decorated, place the cake in the refrigerator to set. It will be fine outside the fridge for a few hours without melting.

Top Vegan Butter Options

You can make vegan butter at home for your baking. However, it may be difficult to keep up with the demand and supply if you are an avid baker. Here are some of the top vegan butter options to fuel your baking and frosting needs:

Earth Balance Original Buttery Spread

A vegan butter meant for baking mustn’t liquify at room temperature; otherwise, it won’t cream for cakes or frostings. Earth Balance Buttery Spread is perfect for this, and it comes in stick form, making it easier to use. You can find Earth Balance Buttery Spread at most grocery stores, and it comes in many varieties, including Organic and Unsalted.

Country Crock Plant Butter with Avocado Oil

Another top vegan butter option, Country Crock Plant Butter with Avocado Oil, is available at most mainstream grocers. It’s also an excellent butter for baking because it’s available in stick form and doesn’t liquefy at room temperature.

Violife Plant Butter

Here’s another plant butter that’s perfect for baking and buttercream. It’s also available in most stores, has a good texture, and has a realistic butter flavor.

Miyoko’s Creamery Cultured Vegan Butter Unsalted

The unsalted version of this butter is perfect for baking since it softens like regular butter. You can find it at several grocery and health food stores.

Homemade Vegan Buttercream Guide

When looking for vegan butter options, it’s good to know that there are several ready-made variations, including favorites like vanilla and chocolate. However, if you prefer to learn how to make vegan frosting at home, your only option is not just vanilla. Here are some more ideas to give your cakes and cupcakes a great flavor:

Variations for Vegan Buttercream

  • Add vegan-friendly food coloring to the frosting for the color
  • Add ½ teaspoon of peppermint extract for a peppermint-flavored cake.
  • Add two tablespoons of fresh lemon or orange juice and one tablespoon of zest from the fruit for a lemon or orange-flavored cake.
  • Turn the buttercream into a chocolate frosting by adding ½ cup of sifted cocoa powder with the powdered sugar. You may need to add more milk, but don’t overdo it.
  • Add half a cup of vegan caramel or salted caramel to the butter. Only use milk if needed to thin.
  • Blend a 1-ounce bag of freeze-dried berries, like strawberries or blueberries, into a fine powder and mix into the frosting.
  • Use cream cheese for vegan carrot cake frosting.

With this information, you can make vegan frosting or shop for the right ingredients for all your baking needs.

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