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Overhead view of vanilla cake partially topped with vegan buttercream frosting.

Vegan Buttercream Frosting

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!
Course Dessert
Cuisine American, Vegan
Prep Time 15 minutes
Total Time 15 minutes
Servings 12 people
Calories 244kcal


  • Electric Stand or Hand Mixer


  • 1 cup vegan stick butter , slightly softened at room temp (about 10-15 minutes)
  • 3 cups powdered sugar , sifted (more if preferred)
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2-3 teaspoons non-dairy milk (*optional)


  • 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 for 3-5 minutes until pale, airy and fluffy (turn to med-high for 10-second intervals if needed). Scrape down sides as needed.
  • Add the vanilla extract and mix on medium until fully incorporated (about 30-60 seconds).
  • Now add 1/2 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 (1/2 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.


If you want more vanilla flavor, you can add a 1/2 teaspoon more vanilla extract. Note: This will add a subtle golden color to the frosting. 
This recipe yields enough frosting for 12 cupcakes or an 8-inch double layer cake.
If you use a stand mixer, you can use the paddle or balloon whisk attachment. The whisk adds more air into the frosting which gives it a slightly whipped texture. If you want a more traditional buttercream, use the paddle attachment. 
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.
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.
For chocolate frosting, just add about 1/2 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.
Using organic powder sugar will ensure that it is vegan. 


Serving: 1g | Calories: 244kcal | Carbohydrates: 30g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 14g | Saturated Fat: 3g | Sodium: 117mg | Potassium: 3mg | Sugar: 29g | Calcium: 1mg | Iron: 1mg