This dairy free buttercream frosting is so delicious and just right for topping cupcakes and cakes! Smooth, creamy, and very decadent, this recipe is sure to be a favorite!
Is there anything better than a cupcake with homemade frosting?
If you have a dairy allergy, you might wonder if it’s even possible to make a delicious dairy free buttercream frosting, but it’s actually very easy to make with just a few ingredients.
And once you have the basic recipe for dairy free buttercream frosting, you can modify it to fit your needs. You can add a little lemon zest for a citrus frosting, or make a rainbow of colors with your favorite food coloring. You can add cocoa powder for a decadent chocolate buttercream, or use more liquid to make a glaze for muffins or coffee cake.
Which dairy substitutes should you use to make dairy free buttercream frosting?
When you choose a non-dairy milk to use in your dairy free frosting, you’ll want to stick to neutral tasting milk – something very plain like unsweetened coconut milk is a good choice.
You can use any milk that works for your diet, but just note that if you use something like hemp milk, it will impart a stronger flavor to the frosting.
If there aren’t any non-dairy milks that work for your diet, you can use water, but the icing will be a little less creamy.
There are a few different choices for vegan buttery spread as well. I prefer to use Earth Balance Soy Free Spread. You could use the baking sticks or the Earth Balance Original Spread.
If Earth Balance doesn’t work for your diet, there are a couple of other options. You can try Melt spread, or even Smart Balance, which can be found in most grocery store chains. All of these spreads have a buttery flavor and a similar texture to butter. As always, read the labels and call the company to make sure a product is safe for you. You could also try palm shortening – that should work well.
Watch the video below to see how easy it is to make perfect dairy free frosting:
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Dairy Free Buttercream Frosting.
Smooth, creamy, and decadent, this dairy free buttercream frosting is just right for piping onto cupcakes or spreading on cookies.
- 5 Tablespoons vegan buttery spread
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 4 cups powdered sugar
- 3 Tablespoons non-dairy milk
Place the vegan buttery spread in a mixing bowl and mix on medium speed until fluffy. Add the vanilla extract.
Sift the powdered sugar in a little at a time, alternating with drizzling in a little bit of the non-dairy milk. Continue to do this until all the sugar is incorporated and the frosting is a smooth, creamy, consistency.
If the frosting gets too thick, add a little more non-dairy milk. If it gets too runny, add more powdered sugar.
Spread the frosting on your cake or cupcakes with an offset spatula, or pipe it on using a decorating bag and an icing tip.
This recipe makes enough frosting to frost an 8-inch single layer cake or about 14 cupcakes.
This dairy free buttercream frosting is perfect for spreading on cupcakes, cookies, or cakes. If you have a double layer cake, you will want to double this recipe.
For more information about non-dairy milk or buttery spread, read my guide to dairy substitutes.
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Can I substitute your sugar option with this version Swerve Sweetener, Confectioners? It appears to be Keto friendly, and best for the glycemic index. Please let me know. I’m trying to do a gluten-free, vegan, keto friendly buttercream for a cake.
I have never tried that, so I don’t know!
I want to freeze frosted cupcake for upcoming birthday parties as my daughter has dairy and gluten allergy. Does this frosting freeze well?
I am using the smart balance stick butter, should it be soft/room temperature or is cold fine? I just want to make sure it is the correct consistency. I am also using canned coconut milk if that makes a difference for the butter temperature. Thanks so much for the recipe! My son has terrible gluten and dairy allergies. It’s very difficult to find cake or frosting recipes that aren’t super complicated with 500 ingredients that cost a car payment to make! 😊
I would let it soften slightly. The sticks are a little firmer than the spread.
Hey there, nice to know I am not alone in this non-diary baking and cooking. I made about a dozen birthday cakes and all sorts of baked treats during the last 18months and there are many many ways. I am from Czech so I wanted to find some variation for buttercream as you know it. We make birthday cake cream / frosting from vanilla pudding, butter and sugar by the way ;)
I made the recipe but it came out grainy almost felt like Almod for was added. How do I fix this??
What brand of confectioner’s sugar did you use? I have never had that issue.
Can you please tell me ASAP if your dairy free buttercream frosting will hold up in warm to hot outdoor temps for a few hours, and will be in shade. We are trying to pipe decorative flowers with a gluten and dairy free option on cupcakes without the flowers melting. We have found that even with doing coconut milk, the frosting melts so we are looking into other milk options. It is for my Wedding in July, and my friend and I are experimenting again this Thursday so that it doesn’t get put off at last minute.. Will your recipe be ok to to do this? I am needing to know before this Thursday, please. Thank you so much for any help and suggestions.
I would try making it with water instead of dairy free milk. I have done that in a pinch, and it results in a firmer frosting. You could also try using vegan shortening to see if that would help! Congratulations on your upcoming wedding!
Do leftover cupcakes need to be refrigerated?
It depends how long you are going to keep them. I think they would be fine sitting out for a day, but beyond that you should refrigerate them.
What type of milk substitute milk would you recommend using?
Love this icing! I use this recipe all the time for cupcakes for my grandkids. Great taste and so easy to make.
So happy to hear that! :)
Hi, do you think doubling this recipe would ice two 8″ round cakes? Thanks!
Yes, that will work!
Ok great! Thank you
Can this be frozen for later use?
I don’t think so, I believe the texture would change.
Does this hold up well sitting out for birthday party?
Yes it does!
This frosting looks amazingly good. I really must try making it this weekend. Thanks for the recipe.
“Mix until fluffy”. How long us that?
I made frosting for the first time on Sunday and I was so not sure what this “fluffy” meant. A cup of buttery spread abd I thought it was fluffy in a couple minutes. My husband didn’t agree to it. I checked some videos online that said “around 8 minutes”.
Can you help me get to the right “fluffy (ness)”?
I would say a couple of minutes at most!