This 4-ingredient vegan buttercream frosting is dairy-free, and can by colored using fruits. Best of all, it is perfect to use for piping frosting on to cakes and cupcakes because of three secret tricks. The perfect frosting for piping for cupcakes and cake decorating.
4-Ingredient Vegan Buttercream Frosting
So we are here to discuss frosting. And not just any frosting, a buttercream frosting that is vegan – no dairy or bone char – and is stiff enough to pipe properly.
You might remember I have another vegan icing recipe here that uses shortening.
This recipe is different because it uses butter. It comes out to be the perfect texture to pipe with, just as the recipe that uses shortening. However, this frosting takes a bit more buttery if that is important to you.
I also stuffed some of my icing into the center of these cupcakes.
Kind of an icing overload here.
To stuff them, I removed the center core of each cupcake with the opening side of the piping tip. If you press it down into soft cake, it grabs a tube of cake as you pull out.
I then let these excess cake cores air-dry overnight at room temperature. After the cupcakes were frosted, we crumbled the cake crumbs over the top as a sprinkling.
How is that for multi-tasking ingredients!
Tricks to Make Vegan Buttercream Frosting Pipable
Are you ready to learn the best way to make a frosting stiff and excellent for piping?
It’s using room-temperature vegan butter. I was using cold for the longest time and then one day recently I forgot to chill it. The butter creamed up so much more easily.
The other trick is to whip up the butter first, for about 3-5 minutes. Then add the sugar gradually.
I have to say you’ll get a smoother consistency if you use a stand-mixer because the even mixing power is stronger than a hand-mixer. But I have used a hand-mixer and still found it pipable, just not quite as smooth as you see here.
A third trick is to add a bit of tapioca, a vegan thickener that comes from a cassava plant.
How To Make Healthy Pink Buttercream Frosting
I love to use fruit and other plants to color frosting.
And here I made two different batches of cupcakes two different shades of pink with dragon fruit, or pitaya, a superfood fruit indigenous to Central America, that is grown now in many Asian countries and tropical areas. No where near Washington DC though.
So I used frozen dragon fruit pulp that I found in the freezer area of Whole Foods. If you can find pink pitaya fresh in your area, grab it up!
Or you can use pitaya powder, I use this brand for both the fresh pulp and the powder. Here in the markets in Washington DC, I can often find fresh dragon fruit with white flesh, but not pink.
Still the frozen variety serves up the same nutrients.
It is a super immunity-booster, high in fiber and even has prebiotics. It also stabilizes blood sugar levels, and is high in disease-fighting antioxidants.
And the color is swoon-worthy, so it was the first fruit I thought of when I wanted to make pink buttercream frosting. The secret to achieving a uniform color is in the puree.
And I have since started subbing other fruit to make other color frostings. Mango for yellow, kiwi for green, blueberries for blue, and carrots (why not?) for orange! The beauty of using fruits to color the frostings is that you add flavor as well! The options are endless really.
Now, I realize I am repeating the word “healthy” a lot. But I’m not kidding myself that because I use organic sugar and fruit to color that this frosting that it is suddenly all highly nutritious.
Nope, sugar is sugar and needs to be eaten in moderation.
So I also make sure the cake also uses healthy whole food ingredients.
I hope you enjoy my colorful vegan buttercream frosting recipe! Are you on pinterest? Perhaps share this image..
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4-Ingredient Vegan Buttercream Frosting
White Vegan Buttercream Frosting
- 3 cups vegan powdered sugar
- 1 cup vegan butter (I use Earth Balance sticks of butter I find at Whole Foods)
- 1 tbsp tapicoa powder (add this to stiffen the texture further)
- 2 tbsp almond milk (or more if needed for texture)
- 1 tsp vanilla extract (Or powder for stronger flavor, I use this brand)
- 1 tbsp pink pitaya puree Add this to make it pink; or leave off to leave frosting white
- On baking day, set butter sticks out early to allow it to get to room temperature.Thaw a single package of pink pitaya (I use brand PitayaPlus which can be found in Whole Foods frozen fruit areas). You only need a tbsp of the pitaya, so put the remainder of the package in the refrigerator and use within a day in a smoothie or stir into yogurt for a nutritious bowl.Set milk out to reach room temperature shortly before making frosting.
Make Fruit puree
- Make pitaya (dragon fruit) puree by adding 1 tbsp of pink pitaya thawed flesh (or powder) to 2 tbsp of the milk and wisk vigorously until the color is uniform (no dark pink dots remain)
- Cream the butter in a large mixing bowl.Add the powdered sugar, tapioca blend until combined.
- To turn some or all of the frosting pink, add in 1 tbsp of the pitaya puree until you have the color you want.
Frost and/or Stuff the Cupcakes
- To stuff the cupcakes, first pipe icing directly into the hole where you removed a cyclinder of cake. Then pipe the top of the cupcake.
- The buttercream frosting can keep refrigerated for about a week. It doesn't seem to like to be frozen.
Dee Dine is founder of Green Smoothie Gourmet, a plant based recipe blog, and author of the recent cookbook, Crazy Healthy with 4 Ingredients . On this blog you’ll find incredibly easy recipes with hidden veggies for anyone wanting to eat healthier, regardless of diet. Dee has graduate degrees in immunological nutritional studies and journalism. More about Dee Dine here.