Sweet, creamy, and bursting with vanilla flavor! You’d never guess this fluffy vegan buttercream frosting was dairy free. The best part: you only need a few minutes and four ingredients to make it!
A while back I posted a recipe for vegan chocolate buttercream frosting. I never expected a recipe so simple to be such a big hit, but wow, was it ever! I’m happy to report that you guys seem to love frosting just as much as I do.
I had a few people ask if the recipe could be adapted to make vegan vanilla buttercream frosting, and while I was confident that it could, I wasn’t able to provide the exact amounts of the ingredients. To be honest, when I make vegan buttercream frosting I usually skip measuring and just eyeball everything!
With the holidays coming up (as well as a few holiday-themed recipes I’m working on that could benefit from a good buttercream frosting), I decided it was time to come up with an actual recipe that I could share.
Vegan Vanilla Frosting Ingredients
The ingredients for this one are identical to those in my chocolate frosting, except for the omission of (surprise!) cocoa powder. Here’s what this recipe does include:
Vegan butter. What’s this, you ask? It’s basically margarine that’s totally dairy-free (not all margarine is). Look for brands like Earth Balance, Melt, and, my favorite, Miyoko’s.
Vanilla extract. This is where that delicious vanilla flavor will come from.
Non-dairy milk. Just a few splashes are all you need to get your frosting smooth and creamy. Since we’re using so little, you can use almost any variety, though I prefer to go with something unsweetened and unflavored.
Powdered sugar. Look for powdered sugar that’s organic, to ensure it’s vegan.
How to Make Vegan Buttercream Frosting
First your vegan butter needs to be brought up to room temperature, so you can whip it. If you forget to take it out of the fridge you can microwave it for a few seconds, but this isn’t ideal, because it usually heats unevenly and some inevitably melts. So try to remember to take it out a couple of hours in advance!
Place the butter into a bowl, grab an electric mixer, and beat it until it’s smooth and creamy. Now add that vanilla and beat it in, followed by the non-dairy milk.
Now it’s time to add your powdered sugar. You’ll need to do this in increments, adding a bit at a time and beating each addition in before adding the next. I find 1 cup increments to be the perfect amount — much more than that and I’ll usually end up covered in powdered sugar!
Make sure to scrape down the sides of the bowl every so often so you work in all of the powdered sugar.
After you’ve added about 4 cups of powdered sugar the mixture should start to resemble frosting. At this point you can start adding in smaller increments, stopping when you’re happy with the consistency. More powdered sugar will give you a thicker, stiffer frosting, while less will give you a creamier frosting.
FAQ & Vegan Buttercream Frosting Tips
- This recipes makes enough frosting to frost and fill a 2-layer cake, or frost about 24 cupcakes.
- Leftover frosting will keep in a sealed container in the refrigerator for about 3 weeks, or in the freezer for 3 months.
- Where can I get vegan butter? Most supermarkets carry it near the regular butter or in the natural foods section. If your doesn’t, try a place like Whole Foods.
- Why does the powdered sugar need to be organic? Most sugar in the U.S. is processed using animal bones. Organic sugar is processed differently, so it’s considered vegan.
- Is this frosting gluten-free? It is!
- Need some ideas for using your frosting? Try my chocolate cake, carrot cake, or pink velvet cupcakes.
Vegan Vanilla Buttercream Frosting
Sweet, creamy, and bursting with vanilla flavor! You'd never guess this fluffy vegan buttercream frosting was dairy free. The best part: you only need a few minutes and four ingredients to make it!
- 1 1/2 cups (3 sticks) vegan butter, brought up to room temperature
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 2 tablespoons unflavored and unsweetened non-dairy milk, plus more as needed
- 4-5 cups organic powdered sugar
Place the vegan butter into a large mixing bowl and beat it with an electric mixer at high-speed, until creamy.
Beat in the vanilla, followed by 2 tablespoons of non-dairy milk.
Begin beating in the powdered sugar, about 1 cup at a time, making sure to fully beat in each addition before adding more, and scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed.
Continue adding powdered sugar until you're happy with the taste and consistency of the frosting (about 4 to 5 cups total). Less powdered sugar will give you a thinner, creamier frosting, while more will give you a thicker, stiffer frosting.
If you find that you've added too much powdered sugar, thin the frosting with a small amount (1 tablespoon or less) of additional non-dairy milk.
Use the frosting immediately, or store it in a sealed container in the refrigerator for up to 3 weeks, or in the freezer for up to 3 months.