How to Make Dairy-Free Buttercream Frosting

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Vanilla cupcakes decorated with vegan buttercream frosting and rainbow sprinkles

If you’ve ever wondered how to make dairy-free buttercream frosting, you’re in the right place! This step-by-step tutorial will demonstrate how easy it is to make perfect dairy-free buttercream frosting every time! Plus, we share our favorite dairy-free butter brands, tips for success, and recipes to put it to good use!

Cutting board with vegan butter, vanilla, powdered sugar, and coconut milk for making vegan frosting

Dairy-Free Buttercream Frosting vs. Buttercream Frosting

The two main differences between traditional and dairy-free buttercream frosting are:

  1. The dairy butter is replaced with vegan butter.
  2. The whipping cream or milk is replaced with non-dairy milk.
Sifting powdered sugar into vegan butter to make Vegan Buttercream Frosting

As for preparation, the basic rules still apply:

  1. Use softened vegan (or dairy-free) butter, which blends better (and don’t microwave chilled butter to speed softening time – it will make your buttercream runny)
  2. Use quality powdered sugar and sift it before adding to the butter or it can form clumps
  3. If your buttercream gets too thick, simply thin with a little dairy-free milk of choice (ours being creamy coconut)

How to use it?

On cakes, cupcakes, cookies, and more, including:

Electric hand mixer resting above a bowl of simple homemade Vegan Buttercream Frosting

That’s it!

We hope you LOVE this vegan frosting recipe! If you give it a try let us know! Leave a comment, rate it, and don’t forget to tag a photo #minimalistbaker on Instagram so we can see what you come up with. Cheers, friends!

Close up shot of a plate of cupcakes topped with Vegan Buttercream Frosting and rainbow sprinkles

How to Make Dairy-Free Buttercream Frosting

Fluffy Dairy-Free Buttercream Frosting made with 4 simple ingredients and 1 bowl! Perfect for decorating cupcakes, cakes, and more!
Author Minimalist Baker
Plate of vanilla cupcakes topped with Vegan Buttercream Frosting and rainbow sprinkles
4.72 from 45 votes
Prep Time 5 minutes
Total Time 5 minutes
Servings 14 (2-Tbsp servings)
Course Dessert
Cuisine Gluten-Free, Vegan
Freezer Friendly 1 month
Does it keep? 1 Week


  • 1 stick vegan butter (1 stick = 1/2 cup // our current preferred brand is Miyokos, but Earth Balance also works)
  • ½ tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 ½ – 3 cups sifted organic powdered sugar (ensure vegan-friendly as needed)
  • 3-4 Tbsp full fat coconut milk or other dairy-free milk (optional // we prefer coconut)


  • Add softened vegan butter to a large mixing bowl and use an electric hand mixer to cream butter until light and fluffy – about 1 minute. Then add vanilla and mix once more to combine.
  • Add sifted powdered sugar in 1/2 cup measurements and continue mixing until well combined and fluffy, scraping down sides as needed.
  • If too thick, add 1 Tbsp at a time of dairy-free milk until desired consistency is achieved (optional).
  • Use immediately or store frosting in the refrigerator for up to 1 week or in the freezer up to 1 month.



*Frosting will melt and spoil if kept at room temperature for too long. We recommend frosting immediately before enjoying or storing cupcakes in the refrigerator after decorating.
*Recipe as written makes ~1 ¾ cup frosting
*Nutrition information is a rough estimate calculated with Miyokos dairy-free butter and with lesser amounts of ingredient ranges.

Nutrition (1 of 14 servings)

Serving: 1 two-tablespoon servings Calories: 141 Carbohydrates: 21.5 g Protein: 0 g Fat: 6.3 g Saturated Fat: 5 g Sodium: 38 mg Potassium: 4.2 mg Fiber: 0 g Sugar: 21 g Calcium: 0.2 mg

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  1. Amanda says

    When I make non-vegan buttercream, I usually use heavy cream as the liquid dairy. I was wondering if you thought using a dairy free heavy whipping cream might work here?

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Hi Julie, we prefer salted vegan butter in this recipe but if you would like a less salty version definitely try unsalted vegan butter next time!

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Hi Sami, ideally thawing in a refrigerator for ~24 hours or more, but a few hours at room temperature might work. We do not recommend heating it. Hope this helps!

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Hi Rocio, we find Earth Balance is preferable for keeping it stable at room temperature for a few hours.

  2. Monica says

    Excellent frosting! I used some vanilla bean too and it gave it some speckles of brown. I used it to fill my vanilla macarons. This website is my go-to for vegan recipes. Always a success!

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Yum! We’re so glad you’re enjoying it, Monica. Thanks so much for the lovely review! xo

  3. pauline says

    i haven’t done this yet but am doing my nieces wedding cake. How will the cake hold up in the car in hot weather with this method please, will i have to adjust the consistency, if so how.
    thank you

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Hi Pauline, The frosting will melt and spoil if kept at room temperature for too long. We’d recommend frosting after the drive if at all possible.

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Hi Christy, we haven’t tried this recipe with margarine so we cannot guarantee results, but we think it should work. Let us know how it goes!

  4. Sal says

    Fantastic recipe. The frosting taste very good and the consistency is so good that you can use it for any baking project you may have. Good enough to use even if you have no dietary restrictions.

  5. Chris says

    Hi :) I am looking to make a cake for my nephew’s birthday and wanted to use this vegan buttercream recipe. Any recommendations for colouring this icing? I am hoping to do several batches and have rainbow coloured icing on the cake. Also, for the Earth Balance, was hoping to use the soy free sticks. Have you used both the regular and soy free? Is there any difference?

    Thanks so much and I can’t wait to try this!

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Hi Chris, the soy-free works great! Any food dye will work. If you’re interested, we have a recipe for DIY pink food coloring here, pink strawberry frosting here, or a green matcha frosting here. Hope that helps!

  6. Davi says

    Hey! Thanks for this recipe. I have been exploring cake decorating lately, so I’ve made this several times. I’m wondering, what is this style of buttercream? American? French? Something else?

    – Davi

  7. Liv says


    They say the best compliment is, “you got me to like something I didn’t like before”!

    First time I’ve liked buttercream! The ratios and it being vegan must make all the difference!

    Will have to try Miyokos or Earth Balance for a longer lasting result. We used Melt sticks, and it only lasted a few days before looking unappealing. We used macadamia nut milk to thin when we made it. Was absolutely heavenly tasting! Yet melted completely before we even finished a piece of cake! 🤣

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Whoop! We’re so glad you enjoyed it, Liv! We haven’t tried Melt sticks, but find Earth Balance is preferable over Miyoko’s for keeping it stable at room temperature. Thank you for sharing your experience! xo

      • Liv says

        After reading many replies, I think you are right. The key is DEFINITELY using the Earth Balance sticks and enough icing sugar, if you want what you achieved in the photos. We used the small amount of sugar and really liked the sweet buttery flavour. We will do it that way when it’s just family and increase it when we are frosting 🧁 cupcakes for company! 😀

  8. Kate says

    Would Nutlex ‘butter’ work? I’m in Aus and don’t think we have any of your vegan butter recommendations.

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Hi Kate, we aren’t familiar with that brand so we’re not sure! Perhaps another reader will be able to chime in with their experience?

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Hi Nicole, the powdered sugar provides structure, so we wouldn’t recommend a liquid sweetener here.

    • Sandra says

      As an alternative to powdered sugar I’ve successfully made buttercream with coconut sugar that has been processed in a food processor to make it “powdered”. It will be more grainy but it turned out well!

  9. Katie says

    Question – will this hold up between cake layers? I’ve tried a few vegan frosting recipes that have been great for decorating the outside of a cake, but are too light and ooze out when used between cake layers. Fingers crossed this one will work!

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Hi Katie, yes! We used a similar frosting here. You can add more powdered sugar as needed and use a vegan butter that’s less prone to melting (Earth Balance holds up better than Miyokos). Hope that helps!

    • Jenny says

      I just used this recipe to go in between layers of my Fauxstess Cake. I did not thin it so it would maintain structure between the layers. And it was scrumptious!

      • Katie says

        Yes! Was so excited it held up perfectly between layers of my son’s birthday cake as well! Also ended up crushing a couple Oreos into it/folding those in and it was sooo good!

  10. Olivia says

    This is a great basic dairy free frosting recipe. I’d recommend using Mikonos vegan butter as suggested. I used shortening because that’s what I had on hand. Doesn’t taste as good. I also added the milk before adding the sugar — whoops. I’m sure it would be before as instructed after adding the powdered sugar.

  11. Amy says

    I used the Earth Balance vegan butter as suggested and this turned out perfect! Had no trouble with it being oily even after leaving it out on the counter. It worked great for piping onto cupcakes and spreading on a cake! Thanks for the great recipe!

  12. CM says

    I was going to make this with full-fat coconut milk, but my cupcakes are going to an outdoor event, and since coconut oil melts at lower temperatures than other types of fat, I think other types of milk would work better. Maybe that’s why other commenters are having trouble with melting. Also, King Arthur’s baking blog has an article on the best cake frosting for hot weather. :)

  13. Jenny says

    I have leftover canned coconut cream, from making the Strawberry Cheesecake bars, would it be okay to use that for the liquid in this recipe, if necessary?

    • Janell says

      Hi! Do you have suggestions for making this lemon-flavored? I am afraid to adjust the recipe on my own for fear of curdling or making it too runny.

      • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

        Hi Janell, we haven’t tried making this lemon flavored ourselves but we think it could work. We’d suggest adding a couple tsp of lemon zest at the end, then tasting, if it needs more lemon flavor you could then add a Tbsp or so of lemon juice, but we aren’t sure if the texture will change. You might need a bit more sugar for it to come together. Let us know how it goes!

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Hm, we don’t believe so. We haven’t heard of stiffened powdered sugar and can’t find a product online.

  14. Jennifer says


    I was wondering if I can use this recipe with Earth’s Own Vegan Spread (the tub format) instead of the stick format. I can’t find the vegan butter stick in my local grocery store and would like to make the vegan buttercream.

    Thank you,

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Hi Jen, we aren’t familiar with that brand, but generally the buttery sticks create a better texture. In a pinch, the tub can work, but just know it might be more greasy and not firm up as well. Hope that helps!

      • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

        Hi Sharyn, depending on the brand of vegan butter you use, it might work! Miyokos is more tender, so we wouldn’t suggest using it in that case. Earth balance buttery sticks would be a better choice. Coloring shouldn’t be an issue.

          • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

            Hi Candace, we’d suggest using Earth balance vegan buttery sticks and adding powdered sugar until it reaches your desired consistency. If it needs more thickening, but is already sweet enough, you could add a little cornstarch. Hope that helps!

          • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

            Yes! We’d suggest letting it warm up a bit at room temperature before serving. Depending on the size of the cake, maybe 15-25 minutes?

  15. Elizabeth says

    I made this and it was wonderful. I think I used 3 cups of powdered sugar. I also used orange extract instead of vanilla. Deeeeelicious. Think and creamy. I used Earth Balance unsalted stick butter, and added 1/4 tsp. salt to compensate during the initial creaming.

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Yumm – we love that orange zest idea! Thanks for the lovely review, Elizabeth! xo

  16. Mo says

    I made this frosting today to top vegan chocolate cupcakes and this is definitely a keeper! I used a Melt butter stick with around 2 cups of icing sugar and the result was superb – fluffy, holds together well and not too sweet. My 13 year old daughter said this is the best icing she has ever tasted and wants me to make this for her birthday cake – and she’s fussy so bravo for posting this!

  17. Emilia says

    This was an ok vegan frosting base. Made with Organic Earth Balance (in the tub). Obviously icing is going to be sweet but I think the sugar is overkill. I got a gorgeous fluffy and smooth texture with only 1.5 cups sugar. Once I hit 2 cups it was too thick, but thinned out well once I added in 2 tbsp coffee liqueur. But then it was too sweet! It set up fine with the Earth Balance and the cake’s been at room temp for a day so I have no idea what folks are on about re: the frosting melting.

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Hi Emilia, thanks for sharing your experience! Feel free to only add as much sugar as needed for texture. Different vegan butters will vary a bit in how much they need. We typically use the Earth Balance buttery sticks vs. the tub.

    • Penny says

      My sister can’t have dairy or gluten, and I just made her a gluten and dairy free cake for her birthday. While looking for a frosting recipe, I found this. I have to admit, I was pleasantly surprised! We have a vegan bakery in town that sells their cakes starting at $25. They are dense, chewy, and way too sweet, including their frosting. I made 1.5x the recipe to have enough to do a bit of decorating. This frosting is rich and buttery with the vanilla extract. My boyfriend, who hates all things vegan, really liked it. I didn’t pay attention to how much sugar I added, but I added it in 1/2 cup increments as directed. It came out great! The reason for 4 stars is that it melts really fast when you use it in a piping bag. I had to stop and refrigerate it a couple times. But this frosting is yummy!

      • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerDana @ Minimalist Baker says

        Thanks for sharing, Penny! Earth balance melts far less quickly than Myoko’s. Glad you liked it either way!

      • Ashten Carson says

        Hey there! Hoping to use this icing to frost my son’s smash cake. Could I decorate the cake in the morning, refrigerate the whole cake… and then serve it in the afternoon? Will the icing stay in place? Or is it going to absorb into the cake!? Haha

        • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

          Hi Ashten! That should work perfectly, the frosting won’t absorb in that time. But you may want it to come to room temperature before serving!

    • Emily says

      THIS WAS SO GOOD! Used regular butter and added lemon juice and lemon zest, used it in place of my usual cream cheese frosting for carrot cake as I didn’t have cream cheese on hand. Totally would make this again!!!

  18. Amanda says

    Thanks! I wanted something safe for a friend with food allergies, and this was perfect! I used Country Crock avocado butter sticks and just a little soy milk. The consistency and taste were very similar to dairy buttercream. It even set up nicely.

  19. Meg says

    Thanks for this easy and good recipe! I used a few splashes of unsweetened almond milk and the consistency turned out smooth and creamy. I added half teaspoon lemon extract plus two teaspoons lemon zest which gave great flavor and counterbalanced the sweetness. Worked beautifully on vegan gingerbread cupcakes!

    • Dori says

      I just made this frosting today for an organic carrot cake I made. turned out pretty good. I used monk fruit powdered sugar, which is still very sweet. I doubled the recipe for a double layered cake. But only used 3 Tbsp of the thick canned coconut milk. I liked how fluffy the frosting got. I also used regular butter as I don’t have a problem with butter. Just a note that the monk fruit powdered sugar is very powdery, makes quite a mess, just have to do a little more cleaning up afterwards. Have to stir it in very slow at first or you’ll have powder all over. I did still sift it in, but my bowl was deep, so I held it way down.

    • Steelmagnolia says

      A little orange zest helps curb the sweetness and is great on Namaste Spice (carrot) cake with walnuts!

    • Andrea says

      Isn’t there a recipe someplace on your site with a buttercream with apple cider vinegar and no cream cheese as a mock cream cheese frosting?

  20. Mary B. says

    This turned out great! My 8mo son has a dairy intolerance and this recipe fits into my milk-free diet (I’m breastfeeding so I have to also be milk-free). I use Country Crock plant butter sticks and Chobani plain extra creamy oatmilk with no issue. My husband and 4yo happily eat this vs the full-octane butter-and-milk frosting.

    Thanks for sharing this recipe! Treats like this make cutting milk out of my diet easier!

      • Kat says

        Hello! The frosting separated even before I had time to pipe it onto the cupcakes. It was fine in the bowl but by the time I transferred from bowl to bag to prep for piping, it already separated. What did I do wrong?

          • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

            We wonder if it needed to be mixed longer, especially if the vegan butter was cold? Or perhaps the brand of vegan butter? What kind was used?

  21. Vinessa says

    If you like sickeningly sweet, greasy frosting….. I wish I had not used this on my cake, but I had no other options. I followed the recipe and it’s not just this recipe it’s vegan buttercream in general that is so greasy because of the oil in the vegan butters. I added salt to try to cut the insane sweetness and didn’t use all the power weed sugar either and it was still disgustingly sweet after several attempts. I didn’t want to keep adding too much salt and make it high sodium since the butter is salted. I’m not criticizing this page, but if you do not like sickeningly sweet or greasy frosting, do not make this, use a glaze icing instead. This is the second time I’ve tried to make a vegan frosting and I thought this one would be less greasy because it uses less butter but it isn’t. Sorry.

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Hi Vinessa, we’re sorry to hear you didn’t enjoy it! Is it possible that you used the vegan butter that comes in a tub or that there was something off about the specific brand? We recommend Earth Balance buttery sticks for best results.

      • Marissa says

        Omg!!! Why has it taken my years to read the comments and realize I have been using Earth balance in a tub and that’s why mine is always greasy and never will hold shape! They dont have Earth balance sticks where I am or at least I have never noticed them. 🤦‍♀️

    • Colleen says

      Honey, this recipe is literally 90% sugar, so idk why you would expect anything other than a super sweet frosting.

      This frosting is SUPER sweet, but worked well on my tart lemon cake! I used Earth Balance buttery sticks and had no issues with separation. Make sure your cake is room temp or cold before you put it on. It will melt if the cake is warm in any way. Learn from Great British Bake Off!

    • Charlotte says

      I have made this twice now with earth balance sticks and it is perfect and not at all greasy! I made this version and the chocolate one (for the delicious chocolate cake) and I had so many compliments on it. Earth balance is expensive but I use it when it matters and save my cheaper vegan butters (country crock avocado oil plant butter) for when it’s less important. Also it helps cut the sweetness because it is a more buttery/savory tasting stick….but it’s frosting. It’s meant to be sweet :)

  22. Andromeda says

    Been searching for the perfect vanilla frosting and here it is! I live in the UK and used Flora vegan butter sticks. I followed the recipe and added a tiny bit of salt because I like my frosting with a little extra something. This frosting was light and fluffy, creamy, perfectly balanced and delicious! It paired perfectly with my gingerbread cake with apple compote filling. YUM!

      • Lisa Gaskin says

        Is there a way to make this where it can be out of the refrigerator. My grandson needs a decorated birthday cake, gluten and dairy free and I can’t wait to ice it right before it is serve. Thank you

        • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

          Hi Lisa, we’d suggest using Earth balance (vs. a more temperature-sensitive vegan butter like Miyokos). It should be okay at room temperature for a few hours. Hope that helps!

  23. Erin says

    Hi! This looks delish. Hoping I could add some strawberry puree to make a cake filling. Would you just reduce the amount of liquid according to the amount of puree added? Thanks!

  24. Flavie says

    Hi !!!
    I was looking for a dairy free champagne cupcake.. How do you think i could do that ? I tried to add a reduction of champagne instead of the dairy milk but it turns out the frosting isn’t fluffy at all…
    Do you have any clue of what i did wrong ?
    If you have any tips and tricks i’ll be soooo glad !!
    Thank you for your recipes :)

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerDana @ Minimalist Baker says

      So strange I thought that reduction might have worked. How about reducing it even more? And adding a bit more butter to compensate? Love that idea!

  25. Victoria Sosto says

    Would coconut oil work instead of vegan butter? Or margarine? Don’t know what vegan butter is (or where to find it in Switzerland!)

  26. Rob says

    Tastes great! The coffee added a richness taste to the chocolate. Only two things went wrong for me (1) the frosting was a little challenging to spread (it kept melting! as expected though. I added food coloring as I was making this a “Halloween themed” cake) and (2) it didn’t rise as much as I ‘d like (I think I needed to use a smaller pan or double the batch). BUT it tasted great and that’s what matters! For anyone that’s vegan this is a great substitute.

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Hi Rob, we’re thinking maybe you meant to comment on the chocolate cake? Either way, thanks for sharing your experience! If you didn’t use vegan buttery sticks, we’d suggest those to reduce any melting. Hope that helps!

  27. Rob says

    I am not vegan, but have a slight dairy allergy so I avoid heavy cream. Since butter typically does not bother me, do you think replacing the vegan butter with regular butter sticks will still have the same outcome? Thanks!

  28. MICHELLE GISH says

    HELP!! I have two small boys that I am making this for their birthday cake icing. They are allergic to wheat, eggs, dairy and nuts so…Since their cake is one layer vanilla bean and one layer dark chocolate…am I able to add Hershey Special Dark cocoa to this to make a chocolate buttercream filling and if so what would a recommended measurement be without distorting the final texture and stability of the final buttercream. I stumbled across this and so excited to make this tonight for this cake to be delivered tomorrow!

    • Mary Caroline says

      Michelle, my son also has severe allergies to wheat dairy and eggs, and I would really like to make him a cake for his second birthday, which cake recipe did you use for your birthday cake??

        • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerDana @ Minimalist Baker says

          Vegan butter is similar to margarine, depending on the ingredients. But we prefer the brand Miyoko’s which has pretty great ingredients. We wouldn’t recommend coconut oil here, but if you try it let us know how it goes!

          • Victoria Sosto says

            OK, will go with margarine then.
            (I think I might have posted the same question again by accident – feel free to delete!)

          • Brittany Garcia says

            Are there any vegan glazes or butter creams that do not have to be refrigerated? I am working with cottage laws in CA, and trying to figure out what will be non hazardous and can be left outside of the fridge. Thank you!

          • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerDana @ Minimalist Baker says

            Hmm, none that come to mind other than perhaps a simple dairy-free milk and powdered sugar glaze? And even then, only for short lengths of time.

  29. Royale P. says

    Would this recipe modify well to reduce the sweetness by reducing the amount of powdered sugar? I’m making it for a baby’s first birthday cake, and he’s never had refined sugar before. I did a test run, and while it was delicious to me, may be too sweet for him. Thanks!

  30. Julie says

    I just made this for a two-layer vegan carrot cake. I used two sticks of Earth Balance buttery sticks and 680g powdered sugar (one bag from Whole Foods), about 1 tsp vanilla, and the zest of half an orange. I added maybe 2-3oz Silk Soymilk towards the end in three additions, blending each time to make sure it wasn’t getting too soft. Oh. My. Word. This is perfect. I was a little concerned about the plastic taste of the margarine and its saltiness, but it is completely drowned out by the vanilla and orange and sugar. I’ve used shortening in the past to make fluffy frostings, but this one is so superior. I also like that it is yellow like a traditional buttercream. The ratio, the flavor, perfect. Vegan cream cheese is prohibitively expensive here, but it won’t be missed with this stunning alternative.

  31. Abbie says

    Hi! I haven’t tried making this buttercream but all the comments sound delicious! Wondering if I can add (and how much) peanut butter to make a vegan PB Bc?? And if it will hold to decorate a cake?

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Hi Abbie, we’ve never tried that, so we’re not certain. But we wonder if it would work to reduce the butter by 1/4-1/2 and replace that portion with peanut butter? Let us know if you do some experimenting!

  32. Heather says

    Hi! If I am making this 1 day before, should I add food coloring in when I make it, or after it chills before I apply? Thanks

  33. Kim Wikoff says

    I just made this frosting for my daughters birthday cake and it was so amazing I added a few drops of food coloring too. Definitely using this again for all her cakes. I am not vegan but my daughter is and I was just in awe of the flavor. I used the country crock plant base butter sticks and I used unsweetened vanilla almond milk. Can’t wait to make it with the coconut milk.

  34. Nancy says

    I’m having a hard time finding vegan butter in stock form – can I use Butter flavored Crisco shortening sticks? And should I use the coconut milk in a can, or will the carton version work? Thank you!

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Hi Nancy, we haven’t tried that and aren’t sure whether it would work! Either coconut milk should work as long as the canned one isn’t chunky. Carton would be better for this recipe though!

  35. Nickola says

    Thank you for posting this! I’ve been looking for a vegan buttercream recipe for a long time! :)

    Is there a difference between the Earth Balance spread and the buttery sticks? This is the only vegan brand in my local supermarkets…

      • Margaret says

        Hi, I am wondering if you can substitute Earth balance in a tub, for the baking sticks in this recipe?
        Thank you!

          • Margaret says

            Just out of curiosity, is there a difference in the ingredients between the two? Or that the spread has more air incorporated?
            Also, I have made it with the sticks, and this recipe is delicious! A picky eater friend simply could not, would not, believe that it was vegan. Thank you for the recipe!

          • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

            We’re not quite sure what the difference is in ingredients, but the tub seems to have something in it that makes it spread more easily and not firm up as well with frosting.

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerDana @ Minimalist Baker says

      You can make powdered sugar by blending normal sugar in a high speed blender. It needs to be fine and powdery in texture.

  36. Deb Axelrod says

    This tasted wonderful – thank you! I did find that it started to melt so quickly…any suggestions or is this simply a function of working with vegan butter? Regardless, it was lovely and really made my celiac/dairy-allergic kiddo (and mom) so happy!!

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Hi Deb, we’re so glad you both enjoyed it! Our best guess is that it was the type of butter used and/or the room temperature. We find that Miyokos melts faster than other brands such as Earth Balance.

  37. Safa says

    I’m curious if you know how to make an espresso/coffee buttercream? Do you think using espresso instead of the non dairy milk would work? Or should I use coffee powder? This recipe seems like a great base to add other flavors to. Thanks!

  38. Tiffany Hereda says

    I thought it was delicious. With vegan gluten free chocolate cupcakes it was perfect, thank you!

  39. Kathy says

    I followed the recipe. Love it! I put it on a vegan chocolate cake. I used the Miyokos brand of non-dairy butter. It is so close to the taste of butter that it’s amazing.

  40. Paola Espinoza says

    Can’t wait to try this recipe! Can I use a kitchen stand mixer instead of hand held? If so, what speed? Sorry, and lastly any tips to preventing the powder red sugar from flying everywhere as you add it to the butter? I always have the happen :(

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerDana @ Minimalist Baker says

      A stand mixer will work well! Add the powdered sugar in small amounts to avoid splattering.

      • Carly A says

        You can also cover your stand mixer with a tea towel to keep the powdered sugar dust from flying everywhere!

  41. Melissa says

    This was delicious!! I’m a huge fan of butter cream and wanted to make something for my son who is very allergic to dairy. We chose to use a non-vegan buttery spread and it worked perfectly!! Smart Balance was the only deviation that we did. For the milk, we used organic coconut milk from the can.

  42. Abby says

    Awesome recipe! I was worried it would be greasy but turned out great. I used Country Crock vegan butter with almond oil, otherwise stuck to the recipe exactly. Thanks for a reliable recipe!

  43. tanya Smith says

    Hello and thfor this really easy recipe. I am trying to make a special occasion cake and was wondering could this stay out on display for around 6 hours without fail?

      • Jhinae says

        Hi, I am planning on making and using this for my son’s 1st birthday cake. His cake will need to be made a day or 2 ahead of time by someone else. So if we refrigerate it for a day of 2, Will the frosting soften on the cake after removing it from the refrigerator before I give it to him? Thank you in for reading.

        • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerDana @ Minimalist Baker says

          It will, yes. So try and keep it refrigerated for as long as you can before serving! Especially in warmer climates.

          • emmy says

            For making ahead — would you recommend making frosting and refrigerating on its own, then bringing to room tempt to use and frost, OR making and frosting the cup(cake) and putting the whole thing in the fridge?

          • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

            Hi Emmy, Refrigerating and letting come to room temp before frosting the cake is best. Hope that helps!

        • Heather says

          I stuck to the exact recipe and thought it tasted awful :( I tried it out but definitely not going to make for my daughters birthday.

          • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

            Oh no! So sorry to hear that was your experience! What type of vegan butter did you use? We wonder if it had a strange taste?

        • Alisha Reed says

          Does this buttercream freeze solid, or stay pretty soft? I’m curious to know whether this will work for an ice cream cake. Thanks!

          • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

            Hi Alisha, we haven’t tried freezing it, so we’re not certain. But we think it would stay somewhat soft.

  44. Christine says

    High five! This was simple and tasty! I’ve made American buttercream before and this was no different except for products! Country Crock Plant butter (almond oil version), Simple Truth unsweetened coconut milk. I also added a additional almond flavoring after the vanilla, because I just love almond. The almond flavor also cuts the sweetness some. Nice fluffy all purpose frosting! ♡

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Thanks so much for the lovely review, Christine. We are so glad you enjoyed it! Next time, would you mind leaving a rating with your review? It’s super helpful for us and other readers. Thanks so much! Xo

        • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

          We’d say use more powdered sugar and Earth Balance will probably hold up better than Miyokos for the vegan butter. Hope that helps!

  45. Tina says

    This recipe is so easy! I love how the icing gets super fluffy when using the mixer. Only thing I changed is lowering amount of powdered sugar to my liking. I used Earth Balance vegan butter, and let the butter sit out until softened. Made this for the first time for a friend who allergic to dairy products. EVERYONE loved the cake, couldn’t tell it was Vegan. I’ve also used this website for their non dairy yellow cake. EASY! Love it and will definitely try their other recipes.

  46. Ryan says

    I made this recipe twice so far, I’m not sure what I’m doing wrong but the icing is very runny, even after I add more sugar and/or cornstarch to make it thicker. Maybe it’s because I’ve been using Earth Balance or using the blender too long? I’m not sure but the next time I will use Miyokos and let you know if there is a texture difference. You are my go to recipe blogger for all things vegan, most things I’ve tried via Minimalist Baker does not disappoint!!

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Hmm, are you melting the butter? If you microwave chilled butter to speed softening time – it will make your buttercream runny.

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Hm, we haven’t tried that and aren’t sure how it would turn out. Let us know if you try it!

  47. I don't want to share my name. says

    Can you taste the coconut? My dad doesn’t like coconut and I want to do something that he would like for his birthday.

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      You could use almond milk (or another non-dairy milk) instead of coconut milk. Hope that helps!

  48. Tomo Dugan says

    Can you recommend specific types of vegan butter to use?

    I have made a cream cheese frosting for a vegan carrot cake. I used Earth Balance sticks and the frosting tasted off.

  49. Cristie says

    Hello! Quick question, and it may be a silly one. But I want to make sure I have it correct!! So I have the earth balance butter. In the recipe, you say 1 stick. They are like half sticks (half of a regular stick of butter that is) So, is it one stick (one of the 4 in the box) that this recipe is calling for? Thanks so much!!

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Hi Cristie, 1 stick would be 1/2 cup or 114 grams. We aren’t exactly sure which size of butter you are referring to, but hope that helps!

        • Molly says

          You probably won’t see this, but where I live, the earth balance sticks that look like half sticks are actually the same amount of butter as a regular stick! They are thicker and shorter, but they have the same weight per stick. Just sharing in can a case it helps tier baking!

  50. Michelle Parker says

    This has become my go-to buttercream! Delicious as vanilla, but a perfect base to launch any flavor. I made the vegan peppermint cupcakes today (Christmas), and added half vanilla extract and half peppermint to this buttercream for a wonderfully subtle peppermint flavor. I thought about tossing in some crushed candy cane at the end, but opted for a sprinkle on top and a mint leaf for garnish. Thanks for all the wonderful, easy, one bowl recipes!

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Thanks so much for your kind words and lovely review, Michelle! We’re so glad you enjoyed this and are other recipes! xo

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerDana @ Minimalist Baker says

      Hmm, sounds like some liquid got into the batch. Was the bowl or utensil wet? Did you add liquid sweetener?

    • Sarah Bassett says

      Hi! I haven’t made this recipe yet, but I’m an avid cake decorator. When buttercream separates, try whipping it for a good long while with a wet cool towel wrapped around the bowl. Keep an eye on it to make sure it’s moving in the right direction. Sometimes, the heat from the mixer can cause the butter to melt. It’s worth a shot (rather than tossing the whole thing). You can also try letting it sit for a bit on the counter (maybe a half hour), and try whipping it into submission again :)

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Thanks so much for the lovely review, Lori. We are so glad you enjoy it! Next time, would you mind leaving a rating with your review? It’s super helpful for us and other readers. Thanks so much! Xo

  51. Donna says

    I have a multigrain sandwich round with vegan butter and cinnamon every morning. It tastes like a cinnamon bun, but it is much healthier. This morning, I whipped up this super easy butter cream icing and topped my “cinnabun” with it, and it was decadent! I used Silk Original Protein Nut milk instead of cow’s milk, and it worked beautifully! Thank you so much for this recipe!

  52. Korrin says

    My good friend baked a cake for my “Blessingway Memorial” in honor of my baby. (Our stillbirthday cake)
    We only took home about 3 slices! It was delicious and I especially enjoyed this buttercream. No one else at the event was vegan but everyone was raving about it!

  53. Rachael Becker says

    Delicious! I just made this recipe, although I admit I also added 1/4c. of shortening, and only 1Tblsp of milk, instead of 3. So it wasn’t exactly your recipe. I didn’t have coconut from the can, but I did have an almond/coconut blend of half and half I subbed instead. I thought it might help it hold a bit better with the crisco. It ended up piping nicely, although it was a bit softer than I’d prefer. I am interested to see how it holds up overnight in the fridge, and then at the party. The taste was perfect!

  54. Samantha Jaramillo says

    Is there a big difference if you dont use the organic powdered sugar? All I have is the powdered sugar that has corn starch in it. Would it still be considered soy and dairy free?

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Hi Samantha, that should work! We mentioned organic for those who want to make sure their sugar is vegan.

  55. Debbie Hernandez says

    I’m thinking of using this recipe in-between the cake layers and to use as a crumb coat before covering in fondant. Will the fondant hold up on top of this icing?

  56. Sanju says

    Hi, I don’t have an electric hand mixer, so I am just wondering if it will still work if I do this by hand? If not, then do you happen to have any suggestions? Thanks in advance!

  57. Andrea says

    I’m wanting to use this to frost a cake “naked” style ;) It will be a multi-level cake (two 8 in cakes stacked and two 6 in cakes stacked) will one batch do it, being that it goes on so thin, or should I make 2?

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerDana @ Minimalist Baker says

      I’m thinking one batch should do it! Or, times it by 1.5 to be sure! Find the option to adjust serving size just about the ingredients.

    • Mike says

      Did I do something wrong? After following this to a T. I ended up with a pile of buttery sugar that wouldn’t spread and was not the right consistency. It gave me a headache just tasting it.

      • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

        Hi Mike, sorry to hear that! It sounds like something went wrong. Did you make any modifications? What brand/type of butter did you use?

  58. Gina says

    I’m so excited to find this recipe! I love making homemade frosting, and your recipe is perfect to top my favorite dairy free, egg free cupcakes.

  59. Des says

    I just made this frosting with earth balance and rice milk. I colored the frosting with gel and it has white specks. I have whipped it several times but the specks won’t go away. Any advice??

  60. Franki says

    I’m frosting my wedding cake in a couple days and I wondered whether this recipe would be okay.. considering the cake will sit at room temperature for some time on display. If it isn’t okay – do you have a recommendation? Thanks so much!


    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerDana @ Minimalist Baker says

      That should work well, actually! In that case though, I’d recommend using Earth Balance vs. Myokos b/c myokos tends to melt quicker! Happy wedding day!

  61. Melissa says

    My daughter has a milk protein allergy and I need to make her birthday cake, but we live in Florida so even though her birthday is November it’s going to be pretty warm. My question is have you ever used rice milk in the recipe, if so how did it turn out or do you just recommend using the canned coconut milk?

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerDana @ Minimalist Baker says

      Hi there! I think that should work. We haven’t tried it but I don’t see any reason why it wouldn’t. Let us know how it goes!

  62. Joanne Gero says

    HI there…can you please tell me what is the brand of your sprinkles used on top of the buttercream as well as the funfetti vanilla cupcakes you make.. thank you for sharing your magic with us xo:)

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerDana @ Minimalist Baker says

      Hmm, did you whip in the sifted powdered sugar yet? That’s what will make it fluff up well.

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerDana @ Minimalist Baker says

      Use light or full fat canned coconut milk vs those that come in a carton, which are very watery.

      • Tokasa says

        Hi, I find that if you use Kara coconut cream or any coconut cream not milk, it works so much better and more fluffier . The cream usually settles up at the top of the can or carton and you can use that and try not to stir it.

  63. Lauren Campbell says

    I have a question or two I’m hoping you can help with! I’ve been asked to make a birthday cake for a three year old and while I have done a lot of vegan cooking, I don’t have a ton of experience with vegan baking (or baking at all, for that matter!). I see this recipe makes about 1 3/4 cups of frosting, would that be enough to frost an 8” cake with two layers, or would you recommend doubling the recipe? I’m also trying to figure out what brand of butter to buy, I see you recommend earth balance for something that will keep its shape outside of the fridge. Would that be the earth balance baking sticks or spread, or does that even make a difference? I’m sure I’m overthinking this, but any help you can give me would be wonderful! I always feel pressure to prove that vegan food is every bit as good as the regular version and want it all to turn out right. ?

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerDana @ Minimalist Baker says

      I’d recommend the “butter” sticks, yes, vs the kind that comes in tubs. And I think 1 batch should be sufficient! However, if you like more frosting, try multiplying the quantities by 1.5!

  64. Gizelle says

    I just finished this recipe!!! Delicious!!!
    I used:
    3/4 cup homemade ghee
    1 1/2 cup icing sugar
    1/8 cup + 1 tsp cocoa
    1/2 tsp vanilla
    3 tbsp almond milk
    Followed exactly your instructions.
    Thank you for your always RELIABLE recipes. Thanks again.

    • Hank says

      Love it. But realize ghee means it’s no longer vegan. What vegan oil can I use that not a pre-made processed food like earth balance?

      • Cheryl says

        I have replaced butters and processed oils with coconut oil with almost perfect results. I haven’t tried it yet with this recipe but I’ve been using it for about six years and it’s always been consistent. A straight across 1:1 replacement has worked in all my baking!

  65. Vera says

    I loved this recipe plus my vegan friend liked it sooooooo much that she even ended up asking me where I got the amazing recipe from, so I recommended your website. She has been cooking of it 24 7 now (:
    Somebody is getting popular around my neighborhood! ?

  66. Hayley says

    Love all of your recipes! Can you PLEASE do a strawberry cake/cupcake recipe? I can’t find any good ones that are Vegan and/or GF.
    Some use Strawberry jam, purée or freeze-dried strawberries. I’d love to see how you would choose to do it.

    Thanks for all the great recipes!

  67. Chantel says

    Just used this frosting recipe for some vegan vanilla cupcakes I made, and they were a hit! The frosting was easy to make and it was sooooo delicious! Non-vegans ate the most!! Going to make it again this weekend for a graduation party! Thanks for a great recipe!

  68. Blueeyed Vegan girl says

    Hi! I love your recipes!
    A few questions
    Any suggestions on why the frosting has a gritty/grainy texture? I am using vegan/organic powdered sugar and sifting prior.
    I’ve heard some vegan bakers use vegetable shortening and butter?
    Lastly, once cake/cupcakes are decorated I store in the fridge but then frosting gets hard but if I leave it out it gets soft… I am useing earth balance butter.
    Thank you

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerDana @ Minimalist Baker says

      Always make sure your butter is softened before whipping, and sift your powdered sugar into the butter to prevent clumps.

      Vegan butter is a little trickier to work with as it is more temperature sensitive. But Earth balance is the best way to go in my experience.

      Sorry I couldn’t be of more help!

  69. Becky says

    I need to make cupcakes for a party. I want the buttercream to be the consistency to pipe flowers and they will need to sit out at room temperature for 6-8 hours. Any suggestions to make sure they dont melt? What do you do if cannot keep it refridgerated? Also do you have a recipe and suggestions to make a vegan royal icing to decorate cookies (pipe and flood)?
    Thank you

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport says

      Hi Becky, We haven’t tried that and can’t say for sure, but we think using Earth Balance would be a better choice than Miyokos for this. We would recommend using the maximum amount of powdered sugar you can without it getting clumpy. Also, it would be best to omit or reduce the dairy-free milk. We don’t have a recipe for vegan royal icing, but it’s on our ideas list. Hope that helps! Let us know if you give it a try!

      • Dhani DeFelice Sell says

        I used your icing recipe last night for the vegan chocolate birthday cake I made my grandson. I added a bit more powdered sugar to ensure the icing would hold up. It did! Even when the cake was left on the counter for hours. Everyone loved it. So impressed!

  70. Noelle says

    Hello I am always confused with coconut milk. Do you mean the kind in the can or the kind in the milk carton? Thanks! Will definitely try these.

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Hi Noelle, In this recipe, we recommend full-fat canned coconut milk, but the carton milks should work as well since it is a small amount and is primarily used to add moisture, not flavor. Hope that helps!

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      We think that would work well- Earth Balance would probably be a better choice than Miyokos for this. We would recommend using the maximum amount of powdered sugar you can without it getting clumpy. Also, it would be best to omit or reduce the dairy-free milk. Hope that helps!