Vegan Vanilla Frosting
This vegan vanilla frosting is fluffy, thick, irresistibly sweet, and infused with rich vanilla flavor! Learn how to make vegan vanilla buttercream frosting at home with just 4 ingredients and one bowl. The easy recipe is dairy-free, gluten-free, and made in 10 minutes. Use it to frost cakes, cupcakes, cookies, cinnamon rolls, and so much more!
We all know cakes and cupcakes are not complete without frosting. So, today, I am thrilled to share this vegan vanilla frosting recipe with you. It’s super easy, quick to make, foolproof, and perfect for beginner bakers!
First thing’s first: this homemade frosting is TOO good. Like, lick-it-by-the-spoonful good. It has a luscious, fluffy, melt-in-your-mouth consistency and sweet vanilla flavor. Spread it on top of, layer in between, or stuff it inside any baked good. Oh, and don’t be fooled by the “vegan” title. It’s safe to say this buttercream frosting can be deemed “secretly vegan” because nobody will ever notice it’s 100% dairy-free!
This vanilla buttercream frosting is:
- Vegan, dairy-free, and gluten-free
- An easy one-bowl recipe
- Made with only 4 ingredients
- Super quick // ready in 10 minutes or less
- Best paired with vanilla, yellow, or funfetti cake and cupcakes!
Ingredients in dairy-free buttercream frosting
- Powdered sugar: Also known as confectioner’s sugar or icing sugar, this is simply white sugar pulverized into powder. Sometimes, a dash of cornstarch is also added.
- Vegan butter: Since this is a dairy-free buttercream frosting recipe, be sure to use vegan butter. I highly encourage you to use butter sticks rather than butter from a tub.
- Vanilla extract: We cannot get that sweet vanilla flavor without a teaspoon of vanilla extract! If you are pairing this frosting with vanilla cake or cupcakes, one teaspoon is plenty since the baked goods already contain vanilla extract. For an even deeper vanilla flavor, you can add extra if you’d like to.
- Salt: A pinch of salt balances the sweet flavor. It may sound strange, but it certainly makes a difference!
How to make vegan vanilla frosting
For the full ingredients list and step-by-step instructions, scroll down to view the recipe card below.
First, cube the vegan butter sticks. Add cubed vegan butter to a large bowl. Using a handheld electric mixer or stand mixer, beat the butter until creamy.
Second, add vanilla extract and salt to the bowl. Cream together until evenly combined.
After, add 2 cups of sifted powdered sugar to the bowl. Beat together to combine. Add the remaining powdered sugar and beat together once more.
If needed, add splashes of non-dairy milk in order to thin the frosting. You can make it as thin or as thick as you’d like. Instantly spread the frosting on cake, cupcakes, cinnamon rolls, cookies, or the dessert of your choice.
Frequently asked questions for vegan homemade buttercream frosting
What is the difference between icing and frosting?
Although frosting and icing have a similar flavor, there are a couple differences between them.
- Frosting is always thick, creamy, and fluffy. It is spread on top of cakes, cupcakes, cookies, and other baked goods. It can also be spread in between layered cake or stuffed inside desserts.
- Icing is thin, runny, and glossy. Typically, icing is used as a glaze for cinnamon rolls, donuts, bundt cakes, cake pops, and holiday cookies. It can also be used for detailed decorating, like writing a message on a birthday cake.
How to thicken vegan frosting?
Did you accidentally add too much non-dairy milk or over-mix the frosting? These mistakes can result in frosting that is too thin. No worries, though! There is an easy fix to solve this error.
If your frosting is too thin, place it in the refrigerator. While it is chilling, the vegan butter will begin to solidify. This helps thicken the frosting. The longer you chill it, the thicker it will become.
How do I make my buttercream white?
You may be wondering, why is my buttercream frosting yellow? As you can see in the photos, this vegan vanilla frosting is not pure white. This is because it’s made with margarine and vanilla extract. Since margarine is yellow and vanilla extract is brown, they create a slightly-yellow hue.
Bakers know there is a trick to achieve crisp white frosting, and that’s purple food dye. You know how purple shampoo is a popular way to achieve icy, white-blonde hair? Well, the same method works for frosting! Believe it or not, a teeny tiny drop of purple food coloring will counteract the yellow and result in snow white frosting. Make sure to use a very small amount.
Can I add food coloring to white frosting?
Of course you can! In order to dye white frosting, follow the recipe instructions as written. Then, once the frosting has been created, add a few drops of food coloring. For natural food coloring, I recommend using superfood powders. See my recommendations below.
How to naturally color frosting
Instead of using artificial food dyes, I recommend adding a superfood powder, tea, or spice to create colored frosting. If you aren’t a fan of powders, you can use fresh fruit instead.
- Red: beet root powder, beet root powder, or fresh cherries
- Pink: pitaya powder, fresh pitaya, strawberries, or raspberries
- Orange: carrot powder
- Yellow: ground turmeric
- Green: matcha or green spirulina
- Blue: blue spirulina or butterfly pea tea powder
- Purple: blackberry powder or fresh blueberries
- Brown: dark cocoa power
- Black: activated charcoal
Can frosting be made ahead of time?
Yes! You can create this vegan vanilla buttercream frosting ahead of time. After preparing the frosting, transfer it to an airtight jar or container. Store in the refrigerator for up to 1 week or in the freezer for up to 3 months.
When you are ready to use the frosting, let it dethaw until slightly softened. Then, use a handheld electric mixer or stand mixer to whip it together.
Does vegan frosting need to be refrigerated?
If you are storing the frosting longterm, keep it in the refrigerator. This is a good safety precaution to take.
How to use vegan vanilla frosting?
There are so many ways to use vanilla frosting. See my favorite uses below.
- Frost: spread on top of cake, cheesecake, cinnamon rolls, or Edible Funfetti Cookie Dough (Vegan)
- Swirl: add a thick swirl on Vegan Funfetti Cupcakes or Vegan Chocolate Cupcakes
- Sandwich: spread a layer between cookies, such as these Vegan Chocolate Chip Cookies, Vegan Birthday Cake Cookies, or Vegan Double Chocolate Chip Cookies
- Dollop: add a dollop on mug cakes, like this Funfetti Mug Cake (Vegan, Gluten-Free)
What frosting brand is vegan?
If you don’t want to make homemade frosting, there are several vegan frosting brands to choose from. Surprisingly, many are made by popular brands such as Pillsbury, Betty Crocker, and Duncan Hines. Check out this list of Vegan Frosting Brands for recommendations.Print
Vegan vanilla frosting is fluffy, creamy, super sweet, and infused with rich vanilla flavor! Learn how to make vegan vanilla buttercream at home with just 4 ingredients. It’s easy to make, dairy-free, gluten-free, and ready in 10 minutes. Use this easy recipe to frost cakes, cupcakes, cookies, cinnamon rolls, and so much more!
- 1 cup vegan butter sticks (2 sticks)
- 4 cups powdered sugar, sifted
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1/8 tsp salt
- 2–4 tbsp non-dairy milk, only if needed
- Chop the vegan butter into cubes and add to a large bowl.
- Using a handheld electric mixer or stand mixer, beat the butter until creamy. Add vanilla extract and salt to the bowl. Beat together until combined.
- Add 2 cups sifted powdered sugar to the bowl. Beat together until evenly combined. Then, add the remaining powdered sugar and beat together again. If needed, add splashes of non-dairy milk to thin the frosting.
- Spread frosting on cake, cupcakes, or any dessert of your choice. Enjoy!
- I strongly encourage you to use vegan butter sticks rather than margarine from a tub. Tub butter is greasy and melts easily. I always use Earth Balance Vegan Buttery Sticks.
- Be sure to sift the powdered sugar in order to remove any clumps.
- Serving Size: 1 serving
- Calories: 246
- Sugar: 29g
- Fat: 14g
- Carbohydrates: 29g
- Fiber: 0g
- Protein: 0g
Keywords: vegan vanilla frosting, vegan buttercream frosting
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