A perfect vegan buttercream frosting recipe with only three ingredients, easily pipable, and with options to create colored frostings using whole healthy unprocessed foods.
Vegan Buttercream Frosting
This easy vegan buttercream frosting uses only 3 ingredients, and includes a substitution for butter, and a way to make your whites even whiter. It is also and delicious and creamy. You also might consider my newest fluffy white frosting recipe - it has a video and another trick to help you make your white frosting snowy white.
Use Organic Ingredients in This Vegan Buttercream
The ingredients are classic to any buttercream frosting recipe, but they are also tweaked to be slightly healthier (although this is bowl of sugar so I'm not kidding myself), and more delicious.
Powdered sugar. The version I suggest is an organic brand. Organic means no bone char, hence making it suitable for vegans. But it also has no additives which can alter the flavor. So, in short, you will find your frosting is more delicious. Even non-vegans will ask you why this frosting tastes so good.
Butter. To keep the frosting vegan, vegan butter is necessary. I use the brand that comes in sticks as the water content will be lower. But you can also use an organic shortening to keep it healthier, although technically it's no longer called "buttercream."
Organic shortenings use things like red palm oil and coconut so the nutritional value really is higher than butter, and far higher than commercial non-organic shortenings such as brands like Crisco.
Milk. I use dairy-free milk to keep it vegan, but I also opt for a higher fat milk such as cashew, as opposed to oat. The fat quality helps make the frosting creamier.
More About Organic Shortenings
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. Spectrum is a great brand and white in color. Nutiva also makes a healthier shortening strong with red palm oil which has nutritional qualities. It is yellowish however, so only suitable for a chocolate or dark frosting color.
How to Make Vegan Buttercream Frosting
To Make Base Frosting:
1. In a bowl, blend up the butter until it is creamy.
2. Add in the rest of the ingredients except for the milk, and blend until smooth. 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.
3. Cover the bowl of frosting with a soaking-wet paper towel until you are ready to pipe to keep it from drying out.
To Make Colors and Flavors:
In each instance, add the coloring to the frosting, blend and wait a moment for the color to react before deciding if you need more. Some colors will need more than others depending on the shade you want.
Brighter White: Add a bright white food coloring with titanium. I use this brand.
Pink: Add the beetroot powder to 1 tsp of water to dissolve, then add to the frosting.
Green: Add ceremonial grade matcha. Don't use culinary grade, I don't know why they sell it, it's too bitter.
Yellow: If you use the Nutiva's red palm shortening, the frosting will be a natural yellow. Or you can add food coloring or a pinch of turmeric.
Purple: Blend up blueberries with as little water as possible into a puree, strain, and add to the frosting.
How to Use this White Buttercream
I also used it on Halloween cupcakes.
Other Vegan Frosting & Icing Recipes
If you like this frosting, you might be in the market for more.
My healthier fluffy White Frosting has a video and special trick to make it oh so snowy white.
And my healthy Fudge Frosting is to die for..
Making cookies? You might like my Vegan Royal Icing for Sugar Cooking Decorating.
And this 2 ingredient Chocolate Frosting uses sweet potatoes.
And this one is a crowd favorite, Peanut Butter Frosting
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Vegan Buttercream Icing
For White Pipable Icing
- 3 cups organic powdered sugar (organic labeling means it has no bone-char and is thus vegan)
- 1 cup vegan butter, room temperature (or white organic shortening such as Spectrum organic shortening
- 3 tbsp milk
- 1 Piping Tip Kit (I use this brand)
Natural Healthy Colors and Flavors
To Make Base Frosting
- In a bowl, blend up the butter until it is creamy.
- Add in the rest of the ingredients except for the milk, and blend until smooth.
- 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.
- Cover the bowl of frosting with a soaking-wet paper towel until you are ready to pipe to keep it from drying out.
To Make Colors and Flavors:
- Brighter White: Add a bright white food coloring with titanium. I use this brand.
- 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, strain, and add a bit of the liquid 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.