For decorators and sweets-lovers who are wondering how to make an animal product-free frosting option, our vegan buttercream frosting recipe doesn’t use butter or dairy, so you can have an easy dairy free frosting that still tastes amazing and holds a great swirl. Experiment with taste and texture differences by using vegan butter spread and plain or flavored almond milk, soy milk, coconut milk, or even pea protein milk.

Vegan Buttercream Frosting Modifications

  • This recipe is for medium consistency buttercream, which is excellent for piping decorations like flowers. However, it will need to be thinned for frosting cakes and borders.
  • Keep the bowl covered with plastic wrap until ready to use.
  • If using a hand mixer, beat shortening, vegan butter (if used), and liquids first, then add sugar, as above. Make one batch at a time to prevent the hand mixer from burning out.
  • Depending on the humidity and climate, it may be necessary to adjust the liquid and the sugar in your frosting. If the frosting looks dry, add small amounts of liquid (1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon at a time). If frosting is too wet, add 1 tablespoon of sugar at a time. Adding small amounts of liquid until you achieve the right consistency is key.
  • If you find that this recipe is too sweet, consider using a pinch of salt, which will help cut the sweetness. Let the pinch of salt dissolve in your liquid to avoid granules of salt in the buttercream.

Adding Color: Use natural coloring by placing freeze dried raspberries in the bowl of a food processor and pulse until a fine powder forms. Sift raspberry powder with the powdered sugar and discard any seeds.

Adding Flavor: Wilton’s dairy free buttercream frosting recipe is a great base for your favorite flavorings and extracts. Add flavoring to taste, but be mindful not to add so much liquid that it affects the consistency of your frosting. If you like using a lot of flavor, try substituting some of your liquid with flavoring.

    • Clear extracts are also a great option for adding flavor to buttercream without adding color. These flavors are essential for making pure white frosting and maintaining vibrant colors for decorating.

What Can I Substitute for Butter in Vegan Buttercream Frosting?

  • Vegan buttery spread may be substituted for 1/2 cup of shortening. Note that different brands may yield a softer frosting, so only add liquid as needed when using vegan butter substitutes.

How to Store Vegan Buttercream Frosting

  • Leftover buttercream can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to two weeks. Buttercream can also be frozen for up to six months. Bring buttercream back to room temperature and re-whip using a paddle attachment before reusing.

Vegan Buttercream Frosting Recipe

This easy vegan buttercream frosting is smooth, creamy and delicious. Pipe this 4-ingredient, dairy free buttercream onto your favorite cakes and cupcakes.
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Prep Time 20 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes
Course Dessert
Servings 2 1/2 cups


  • Large Bowl
  • Electric Stand Mixer or Hand Mixer
  • Measuring Cup
  • Spatula


  • 1 Cup Solid Vegetable Shortening
  • 1 Teaspoon Vanilla Extract
  • 4 Cups Powdered Sugar (confectioners' sugar)
  • 2 Tablespoons Non-dairy milk


  • In a large bowl, beat shortening and vanilla with an electric mixer until light and fluffy.
  • Gradually add sugar, one cup at a time, beating well on medium speed. Scrape sides and bottom of the bowl often. When all sugar has been mixed in, the frosting will appear dry.
  • Gradually add non-dairy milk or water; beat at medium speed until silky smooth.
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vegan buttercream frosting piped onto cupcake

How- Tos

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