This soft and fluffy vegan buttercream icing is the best! Only 2 ingredients for a quick and easy frosting for your cupcakes, cakes, cookies, or just to lick straight from your finger!
Seriously, no one is going to know this icing is vegan. Serve them up with delicious carrot cake cupcakes or some classic, vanilla cupcakes at your next celebration and everyone will beg you to bring them again next year!
Extremely versatile, this buttercream frosting can be flavored or added to however you want! Add some vanilla and a little lemon juice or apple cider vinegar for a tangy vanilla buttercream, and if you are a fan of coffee, a splash of instant coffee or espresso powder will take this classic icing to another dimension.
This recipe also has a webstory! Check it out if you'd like!
🧾 Ingredient Notes
The butter you use is going to make or break this recipe. The butter that I use is from a local natural store's own plant-based line, however there are other great plant-based butters out there that are more readily available: Earth Balance sticks, Country crock avocado or canola oil sticks, if in Australia, I have heard a brand called Nuttelex is the best, and for the UK, a brand called Flora is the best.
If you do not want to use powdered sugar, I believe some people have had success with Swerve powdered sugar replacement, or you can use a food processor or spice grinder to grind down coconut sugar into fine powder. This recipe is meant to be sweet and unhealthy, so the options are pretty limited.
I have the best results using butter right out of the refrigerator, but room temperature butter works just fine. Do not melt the butter or let it melt. Use a knife and slice the butter into pieces to make it easier to mix, if using directly from chilled.
Add the butter to a stand mixer bowl, or a regular mixing bowl as well as the powdered sugar.
On the lowest speed mix the powdered sugar and butter together. This will take up to 1 minute to come together, in case you start to wonder! You may also need to cover the bowl initially just so powdered sugar doesn't go flying every where.
Stop mixing as soon as you see that everything is combined and there are no dry bits of sugar. Do not overmix your icing, especially if you plan to add anything else!
If you find the mixture is still a bit dry, you can add up to 2 tablespoons of any liquid at all. Really, you can use water, any plant-based milk you have on hand.
Alternatively, you can add more powdered sugar if the mixture is too thin.
This is the time to make your buttercream really pop! If you want something other than plain buttercream frosting, you can add virtually anything to this recipe to make it yours! Add any liquid up to 2 tablespoons: vanilla, citrus juices, maple syrup, coffee, fruit drinks, etc. And vice versa, add different powders like: instant coffee, fruit powders from freeze dried fruits, matcha tea powder, etc. If using food coloring, go for gels or powders over liquids.
You can use butter from a tub, but be aware that tub butter has more water content and can make your icing more runny or keep it from setting up properly. If you have no other option, you can try a few tricks to still get amazing frosting!
- Add the butter to a pan and cook just until it boils and all that is left is the fat, then pour into a glass dish and refrigerate until solid again. The fat content is what you're really going for here to make a great buttercream.
- Or you could try less time consuming ways such as adding more powdered sugar to the mix than the recipe calls for. Do understand that you will be using a lot of powdered sugar as is for this recipe, so why not use more! This method may not always work, especially if it is in a warm environment.
- You can make this frosting using a can of full fat coconut milk. It can not be light, as the fat is needed for this to work. Make sure you chill the can in the refrigerator overnight and let the solids and liquids separate, then use only the solids and whip together in the same fashion.
- Lastly, you can also make your own butter.
You can store this icing in a few easy ways:
- This frosting can be left out at room temperature no more than 2 hours.
- Store in the refrigerator in an airtight container for up to 1 month.
- Or store in the freezer in an airtight container for 3-6 months.
- Can be stored in the piping bag for up to 2 days if needed.
This buttercream frosting is
- Pipeable and spreadable
- Simple to make
- Just 2 ingredients
- Versatile and customizable
You must use a powdered type of sugar for vegan buttercreams. If you use regular cane sugar, this will result in a grainy icing. Try running regular sugar through a food processor to turn it more into a fine powder if you're in a pinch.
If you notice that your vegan buttercream is too soft or starting to separate, place it in the refrigerator or freezer to stiffen it back up. Use a stand or hand mixer after to remix the icing.
Perfect Vegan Buttercream Frosting
- 3 cups powdered sugar/icing sugar
- 1 stick plant-based butter
- In a medium bowl or bowl of a stand mixer, place cold, or room temperature butter. If using cold butter, cut it up to make it easier to mix.1 stick plant-based butter
- Next, dump the powdered sugar in.3 cups powdered sugar/icing sugar
- Start the stand or hand mixer on the lowest speed possible to avoid throwing sugar everywhere. You may cover the bowl with a towel as best as you can if you want to be cautious.
- Whip on low speed for up to 1 or 1 ½ minutes or until the mixture has come together and there are no dry spots. Do not overmix.
- The frosting is finished at this point, however you may now add any other flavorings or extra liquids if the mixture seems a bit too dry. Mix until just combined.
- Use any plant-milk you'd like if you need to thin out the icing.
- Be sure to use a full-fat butter or other substitutions mentioned in the post. Without the fat, this frosting simply won't work.
- No stand or hand mixer? No problem! A food processor will also work to make this frosting. Of course you can always use a whisk and your hand, but that will require a lot of arm work.
- If you would like to thicken your buttercream for a "crustier" texture, you can add a bit of cornstarch to the mixture. This will also help the frosting hold up better in warmer weather. Think outside gatherings.
- This frosting is versatile, you can add up to 2 tablespoons of nearly any type of flavoring you'd like
Check out some of my other delicious recipes!