Perfect Vegan Buttercream Icing Recipe (3-ingredient, Pipable)
Isn’t a cupcake with piped frosting a cheery sight?
Not terrifically important in the scheme of things in life, but a glance at a prettily frosted cupcake just makes me smile. And a smile can help the day feel better, and maybe make someone else’s day feel better.
So maybe a prettily frosted cupcake IS an important thing.
Well, whether it is or not, I have been putting in major efforts this past year with experimentation of butters and coconut cream and all sorts. Sometimes successful as you would see if you searched frosting on my blog. But not always successfully repeated, and sometimes success is too dependent on a brand of coconut cream or other ingredient, and almost always the ingredient list was tooo long.
And if you know me at all by now, you know I have an aversion to long ingredient lists.
6-ingredients? I begin to get nervous.
10-ingredients, I nearly pass-out, haha.
Well, no need to worry here, I found a perfect pipable frosting with 3-ingredients!
The ingredient that makes this frosting so repeatable is the use of organic shortening. It is lighter and less greasy than butter or coconut oil, and more of a blank slate regarding flavor so you can more easily influence that with additions such as chocolate, tea, berries, etc.
Now, make no mistake, when I say shortening, I do NOT mean that poison that begins with “C” of yester-unhealthy-baking-year — I mean an organic, sustainably harvested, fair-trade, non-GMO, non-hydrogenated (NO trans fats) version, process without hexane or other dangerous chemicals, and whose source is coconut and other plants.
I provide two brand options in the ingredient list below!
The only caution I give you is the color of the shortening you purchase. If you want a white frosting, be careful to choose a whiter shortening. Some, such as the one with healthy red palm, are yellow, and thus are perfect for all other colors, especially yellow!
I hope you are doing a happy dance right now!
I also used this icing recipe on a Lemon Personal Cake I made posted here!
Vegan Buttercream Icing Recipe (3-ingredient, Pipable)
(about 2 cups of icing)
For White Pipable Icing
- 1 Piping Tip Kit (I use this brand)
- Chocolate needs 2 tbsp cacao powder (or black cocoa powder) and possible a tsp more of milk
- Pink needs 1 tsp beetroot powder (I use this brand)
- Green needs 2 tsp ceremonial grade matcha (I use this brand)
- Yellow needs organic shortening with red palm (I use this brand)
- Purple needs blueberries blended smooth in a bit of water
- Vanilla needs 1 tsp vanilla powder
To Make Frosting
Using a mixer, blend up shortening and vanilla.
- Once smooth, gradually add sugar one cup at a time. Beat until smooth before adding another cup.
If your frosting isn't smooth, but more dry and stiff, add tsps of plant milk to soften it. I added 2 tsps to my result. Whether you will need milk depends on the dryness of the brands of sugar and shortening you use.
A sturdy creamy texture is important for piping. If the frosting is too stiff, the piped edges will crack. If the frosting is too fluid, the piping shape won't hold.
- Cover frosting with a soaking-wet paper towel until you are ready to pipe.
To Make colors:
Chocolate: To mix up the chocolate frosting, add in the cacao or black cocoa, and a tsp or 2 of plant milk if frosting is too stiff.
- Pink: Add the beetroot powder to 1 tsp of water to dissolve, then add to shortening
- Green: Add matcha to the shortening
- Yellow: If you use the red palm shortening, the frosting will be a natural yellow.
Purple: Blend up blueberries with as little water as possible into a puree, then add to the shortening
To Pipe Frosting
- Push your choice of tip (I often use Wilton 1M) to the bottom of the frosting bag. If using disposable bags, snip the bag tip off so the metal tip can push through just enough to allow frosting through the tip.
- To fill the bag, put it tip down into a glass, and use a spoon to fill the bag about half way.
- Twist the bag up, forcing frosting through the tip.
- To frost, point the tip toward the cupcake center and hold vertically, going round and round, and remember to finish by pulling straight up and stop squeezing bag at same time.