This Vegan Buttercream Frosting will turn your cake into a slice of heaven! It's sweet, fluffy and silky smooth! It requires just 3 ingredients and whips up in minutes! Use it for cakes, cupcakes, cookies, piping and more!
There's just nothing better than homemade baked treats that are covered in sweet and buttery frosting! Wouldn't you agree? This Vegan Buttercream Frosting is the bee's knees and will make your baking experience complete. It's literally the icing on the cake!
I love baking cakes and cupcakes for special occasions and this is my go-to frosting for mostly everything. Sometimes, I'll branch out and use my Vegan Cream Cheese Frosting for an extra zing. They are both heavenly!
The best thing is that vegan buttercream is really easy to make and it's completely foolproof. Plus, you'll just need simple kitchen staples and a few minutes of your time.
WHAT DO I NEED FOR VEGAN BUTTERCREAM FROSTING?
- Vegan Butter
- Powdered Sugar
- Vanilla Extract
- Non-Dairy Milk (optional)
HOW TO MAKE VEGAN BUTTERCREAM FROSTING
- Add the softened vegan butter to the bowl of a Stand Mixer (or use a large bowl with a Hand Mixer). Cream the butter on Medium until pale and fluffy for 3-5 minutes (turn to med-high for 10-second intervals if needed). Scrape down sides as needed.
- Add the vanilla extract and mix until fully incorporated for 30-60 second.
- Now add ½ cup of powdered sugar over LOW SPEED until it's combined with the butter. Scrape down sides as needed. Now beat for 60 seconds on Medium-High until fully incorporated. Repeat step (½ cup at a time) until all the sugar is gone.
- Now turn up to Medium-High speed and mix until thick, smooth and fluffy. Add more sugar for a thicker consistency. If the buttercream is too thick or stiff, add a few teaspoons of non-dairy milk and mix until fully incorporated.
TIPS FOR BUTTERCREAM FROSTING:
- Sift the powder sugar to break up lumps and to make it light an airy. This will ensure that your buttercream is silky smooth. To sift, place a Mesh Strainer over a bowl and pour measured sugar into the strainer. Tap the strainer on the side until all the sugar has gone through.
- Make sure the butter is whipped into a soft and creamy texture before adding any other ingredients (whip about 2-3 minutes between medium and medium-high speed). Whipping air into the butter creates a light, silky texture and will help create a pale color.
- Resist the urge to add all the powdered sugar at once. Adding it slowly while the mixer is on low will help it incorporate well and avoid gritty frosting. Keep the mixer on low speed until the sugar starts to combine or it will fly everywhere and create a powdery mess.
- If your frosting is too stiff, whip in a few teaspoons of non-dairy milk to thin it out. Add more powdered sugar if it's too thin using a ¼ cup at a time.
- If you want a stark-white frosting, you'll need to substitute the Vanilla Extract with Clear Imitation Vanilla Extract and White Food Coloring. I didn't use them for this frosting, I just used Miyoko's and made sure to whip the butter well. It's not stark-white, but pretty close.
- If you'll be adding sprinkles or decorations on top of the frosting, make sure to do so right away or they won't stick.
- When adding color to frosting, I prefer to use gel coloring because it's concentrated and it won't change the texture of the buttercream at all. You'll just need a small amount to get a vibrant color. I like Americolor Gel Food Coloring because it's a top-quality product and it's vegan.
WHAT'S THE BEST NON-DAIRY BUTTER TO USE FOR FROSTING?
I prefer the stick variety because the spreadable kind is a little too soft for my taste. However, if that's all you have, you can use it, but don't soften it first and you probably won't need to add any non-dairy milk.
The only downfall to Miyoko's is that it really stiffens up in the fridge because it contains coconut oil. So, when you make your frosting ahead of time, you'll need to let it soften to room temp for 10-15 minutes before whipping again. Also, if you chilled frosted treats, you'll need to let them sit out as well. Earth Balance will stiffen a little in the fridge, but it will soften fast at room temp.
DO I NEED AN ELECTRIC MIXER FOR BUTTERCREAM FROSTING?
I personally haven't tried making it without a mixer, but it can be done and it'll give you a good arm workout, too. Here's a visual tutorial on how to make frosting without a mixer. Let me know if you give it a try!
I use this KitchenAid Stand Mixer for my frosting and it's effortless! I've had it for years and it's still going strong. I use it all the time for Pizza Dough, Bread, Cookie Dough, Mashed Potatoes, Whipping Cream, Cake Batter, Pasta, and even Ice Cream. It's my favorite appliance!
If you'd rather have a hand mixer, this KitchenAid Hand Mixer is another favorite of mine. It's lightweight and very sturdy. It's not as powerful as the stand mixer, but it gets the job done.
WILL THE FROSTING KEEP AT ROOM TEMPERATURE?
The buttercream frosting can stay out at room temperature for a few hours without melting, so you can leave decorated cakes/cupcakes out. However, if it's too hot, the frosting will start to melt. I prefer to store decorated cupcakes/cakes in the fridge (in an airtight container) and take them out an hour before serving. This helps set the buttercream and prevent it from getting too soft.
However, if you're piping the buttercream it will soften quickly in the piping bag with warm hands. If you don't feel you can pipe the cupcakes/cakes fairly quick, it's best to add the frosting to the piping bag in small batches. It also helps to keep frozen veggies or an ice pack nearby to keep your hands cool in between piping.
CAN I MAKE THIS AHEAD?
Absolutely! Just make sure it's covered in an airtight container or with cling wrap and keep it chilled in the fridge until ready to use. You'll need to whip it again after chilling to make is soft and fluffy (just a few minutes). You may need to add a touch of non-dairy milk too. If you're using Miyoko's butter, you'll need to let the frosting sit 10-15 minutes to soften up before whipping.
HOW LONG DOES IT KEEP?
It will stay fresh in the fridge for 5-7 days in an airtight container.
CAN I FREEZE IT?
Yes, you store it in the freezer for 2-3 months. To use, thaw it in the fridge overnight and whip it up again until light and fluffy.
HOW MUCH FROSTING DO I NEED TO DECORATE?
This recipe yields enough frosting for 12 cupcakes or an 8-inch double layer cake. If you'll be piping on extra decoration, you may want to make a double batch.
WHAT GOES WELL WITH VEGAN BUTTERCREAM FROSTING?
Well, it's definitely perfect for frosting cakes or cupcakes. You can create a basic frosting coat as I made for these Chocolate Peppermint Cupcakes or make fun piping designs as I made for these Mummy Cupcakes. Buttercream works well as a cupcake filling too.
However, buttercream is not limited to just that. You can use it to frost Cookies, Brownies, Rice Crispy Treats, Donuts, Whoopie Pies or basically any sweet treat you can think of. It makes a great topping for Pancakes, Waffles and Ice Cream Sundaes, too!
CAN I TURN THIS INTO VEGAN CHOCOLATE BUTTERCREAM FROSTING?
YES! Just add about ½ cup of unsweetened cocoa powder after you have fully incorporated the powder sugar. Beat on medium-high until fully combined and lighter in color (about 2-3 minutes. I like to add 1 additional teaspoon of vanilla extract and a small pinch of cinnamon (it boosts the chocolate flavor). Taste and add more sugar or cocoa powder as needed. If it's too thick, just add a few splashes of non-dairy milk.
MORE VEGAN SWEETS TO ENJOY:
I’D LOVE TO HEAR FROM YOU
If you make this Vegan Buttercream Frosting, let me know what you think by ★ star rating it and leaving a comment below. It would really make my day. You can also follow me on Instagram and share your creation with me. Just tag me @veganhuggs and hashtag #veganhuggs so I don’t miss it.
Vegan Buttercream Frosting
- 1 cup vegan stick butter , slightly softened at room temp (about 10-15 minutes)
- 3 cups powdered sugar , sifted (more if preferred)
- ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2-3 teaspoons non-dairy milk (*optional)
- Add the vanilla extract and mix on medium until fully incorporated (about 30-60 seconds).
- Now add ½ cup of powdered sugar over LOW SPEED until it's combined with the butter. Scrape down sides as needed. Now beat for 60 seconds on Medium-High until fully incorporated. Repeat this step until all the sugar is gone (½ cup at a time).
- Now turn up to Medium-High speed and mix until thick, smooth and fluffy (about 3-5 minutes). Add more sugar if you want a thicker consistency. If the buttercream is too thick or stiff, add a few teaspoons of non-dairy milk and mix until fully incorporated.
Useful Tools To make This Recipe
- Electric Stand or Hand Mixer