A perfect vegan buttercream frosting recipe with only three ingredients, easily pipable, and with options to create colored frostings using whole healthy unprocessed foods.
Perfect Vegan Buttercream Frosting
Vegan buttercream frosting. 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.
This Vegan Buttercream Frosting is Only 3-Ingredients
And if you know me at all by now, you know I have an aversion to long ingredient lists.
I begin to get nervous.
10-ingredients, I nearly pass-out, haha.
Well, no need to worry here, I worked out the perfect pipable frosting with only 3-ingredients!
And the ingredient that makes this frosting so repeatable is the use of organic shortening.
Use Organic Ingredients in This Vegan Buttercream
The powdered sugar you use should be organic and certified vegan. Vegan means no bone char.
And the shortening I recommend is also organic. Using shortening in frosting is interesting because 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 some overly processed brand. 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. Or, to achieve yellow, you can also just add a pinch of turmeric.
I also used this frosting recipe on a Lemon Personal Cake I made posted here! And it is perfect for holiday cupcake decorating.
The frosting is also perfect for Halloween.
If you are yearning however for a vegan frosting recipe that is pipable but uses actual butter, try my fruit colored dairy free frosting recipe.
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Perfect Vegan Buttercream Icing Recipe
For White Pipable Icing
- 1 Piping Tip Kit (I use this brand)
To Make Base Frosting
- Make sure all ingredients are at room temperature. Then, using a mixer, blend up the butter until it is creamy. Add in the rest of the ingredients except for the milk, and blend until smooth. I have made this frosting in a blender, with a hand-mixer and a stand mixer.
- Add in the milk 1 tbsp at a time, and blend in between. The number of tbsp of milk you need depends on the water content of your vegan butter. If your frosting seems too dry, at a bit more powdered sugar.
- 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 and Flavors:
- 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.
- You can refrigerate this frosting for a week, or freeze for a few months. But I get best piping results piping it right after making it.
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 sciences and journalism. More about Dee Dine here.