Learn how to make awesome Vegan Buttercream Frosting in under 10 minutes! Recipes include Vegan Chocolate Buttercream Frosting, and Vegan Vanilla Buttercream Frosting. | picklesnhoney.com #vegan #buttercream #frosting #chocolate #vanilla #recipe #dessert #glutenfree

Easy Vegan Buttercream Frosting

Learn how to make awesome Vegan Buttercream Frosting in under 10 minutes! Recipes include Vegan Chocolate Buttercream Frosting, and Vegan Vanilla Buttercream Frosting. | picklesnhoney.com #vegan #buttercream #frosting #chocolate #vanilla #recipe #dessert #glutenfree

Over the summer, when I was brainstorming recipe ideas for the coming months, I realized I don’t have enough cakes on Pickles & Honey. It’s a problem, for sure.  There are donuts (a phase that maybe I should bring back?) and cupcakes, and recently, the best ever vegan carrot cake. But I think we need more cake options. What’s cake without frosting though? So today, I’m going to show you how to make the BEST vegan chocolate buttercream frosting, and vegan vanilla buttercream frosting too!

Learn how to make awesome Vegan Buttercream Frosting in under 10 minutes! Recipes include Vegan Chocolate Buttercream Frosting, and Vegan Vanilla Buttercream Frosting. | picklesnhoney.com #vegan #buttercream #frosting #chocolate #vanilla #recipe #dessert #glutenfree

I am a frosting girl through and through. I used to live for those corner pieces that were 70% frosting, 30% cake and I was always down for trading my cake for someone else’s frosting. I’ve re-trained my taste buds over the years to be less sugar-dependent, so these days a “normal” ratio of cake to frosting is a better fit, but I have a lot of experience eating frosting and I like to think it’s made me a bit of a connoisseur.

Most grocery store frosting = not worth it. I don’t like that plastic-y taste that coats your mouth and the grainy sugar that you just know is giving you at least two cavities based on the way it physically hurts your teeth to eat it. Similar to baking good cake, there’s an art to making good vegan buttercream frosting.

Learn how to make awesome Vegan Buttercream Frosting in under 10 minutes! Recipes include Vegan Chocolate Buttercream Frosting, and Vegan Vanilla Buttercream Frosting. | picklesnhoney.com #vegan #buttercream #frosting #chocolate #vanilla #recipe #dessert #glutenfree

After much trial and error, I’ve finally mastered vegan buttercream frosting! I may be a vegan cream cheese frosting girl at heart, but I know there are a lot of buttercream lovers out there. It’s a classic after all, and you’d be hard-pressed to find a cake that wasn’t made that much better by a generous coating of light and fluffy buttercream.

Pure vanilla extract and rich cacao powder, with just a few other simple ingredients, are all you really need to make awesome vanilla and chocolate buttercream. A stand mixer certainly makes the process easier, but I successfully used a cheap-o hand mixer (like under $10) for years. What I’m saying is—you’ve got this.

Dreamy vegan buttercream frosting in under 10 minutes, no weird or hard-to-find ingredients, and no excuse to be buying that plastic-y, flavorless “frosting” at the store. This is the good stuff!

Next, we bake a 2-layer vegan vanilla birthday cake!

Learn how to make awesome Vegan Buttercream Frosting in under 10 minutes! Recipes include Vegan Chocolate Buttercream Frosting, and Vegan Vanilla Buttercream Frosting. | picklesnhoney.com #vegan #buttercream #frosting #chocolate #vanilla #recipe #dessert #glutenfree

Learn how to make awesome Vegan Buttercream Frosting in under 10 minutes! Recipes include Vegan Chocolate Buttercream Frosting, and Vegan Vanilla Buttercream Frosting. | picklesnhoney.com #vegan #buttercream #frosting #chocolate #vanilla #recipe #dessert #glutenfree

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Easy Vegan Buttercream Frosting

Learn how to make awesome Vegan Buttercream Frosting in under 10 minutes! Recipes include Vegan Chocolate Buttercream Frosting, and Vegan Vanilla Buttercream Frosting. | picklesnhoney.com #vegan #buttercream #frosting #chocolate #vanilla #recipe #dessert #glutenfree

Easy Vegan Buttercream Frosting

Gluten Free, Vegan,

Serves: each flavor makes 2 cups of buttercream


Prep Time: 10 mins

The BEST vegan vanilla and vegan chocolate buttercream frosting, made from simple ingredients in under 10 minutes! This easy vegan buttercream is so much better than store-bought frosting!

Learn how to make awesome Vegan Buttercream Frosting in under 10 minutes! Recipes include Vegan Chocolate Buttercream Frosting, and Vegan Vanilla Buttercream Frosting. | picklesnhoney.com #vegan #buttercream #frosting #chocolate #vanilla #recipe #dessert #glutenfree

Easy Vegan Buttercream Frosting

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Ingredients

For the vegan vanilla buttercream frosting:

  • 1/4 cup vegan buttery spread, softened just a little
  • 1/4 cup non-hydrogenated vegetable shortening*, cut into small cubes
  • 2 cups vegan powdered sugar, sifted
  • 2 tablespoons plain plant milk (I used cashew)
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • pinch of sea salt

For the vegan chocolate buttercream frosting:

  • 1/4 cup vegan buttery spread, softened just a little
  • 1/4 cup non-hydrogenated vegetable shortening*, cut into small cubes
  • 1/2 cup raw cacao powder (or cocoa powder), sifted
  • 2 cups vegan powdered sugar, sifted
  • 1/4 cup plain plant milk (I used cashew)
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • pinch of sea salt

Cuisine: Gluten Free, Vegan Servings: each flavor makes 2 cups of buttercream

Prep Time: 10 mins

The BEST vegan vanilla and vegan chocolate buttercream frosting, made from simple ingredients in under 10 minutes! This easy vegan buttercream is so much better than store-bought frosting!

Instructions

  • To make the vanilla buttercream: In a large mixing bowl, cream together the buttery spread and shortening until it's light and fluffy.
  • Slowly mix in the powdered sugar. Once all of the sugar has been added, turn the mixer to high speed and continue to mix for 2-3 minutes. Add in the non-dairy milk, vanilla, and sea salt, and continue to mix on high for 5 minutes until the sugar has dissolved and the frosting is fluffy.
  • To make the chocolate buttercream: In a large mixing bowl, cream together the buttery spread and shortening until it's light and fluffy.
  • Slowly mix in the cacao (or cocoa) powder, followed by the non-dairy milk, and then the powdered sugar. Once the cacao powder and powdered sugar have been incorporated, turn the mixer to high speed and continue to mix for 2-3 minutes. Add in the vanilla and sea salt, and continue to mix on high for 5 minutes until the sugar has dissolved and the frosting is fluffy.

Notes [3]

If you can’t find non-hydrogenated vegetable shortening, feel free to replace it with an equal amount of vegan buttery spread (and skip the salt, as most vegan butter is already salted).

I prefer the rich, slightly fruity chocolate flavor of this raw cacao powder, but cocoa powder will also do the trick! Choose whichever you like.

Not all sugar is vegan. When in doubt, buy organic sugar, which is always made without animal products.

Copyright © 2019 Amanda Maguire for Pickles & Honey

Leave a Comment

  1. I love this! But I still wish there was some way to avoid using shortening in frosting, just because I don’t always have it on hand…. Sigh.

    1. Amanda says

      You may be able to get a good result with all vegan buttery spread…maybe worth trying?
      I actually always seem to have shortening on hand because I buy it for one recipe and then completely forget about it. 🙂

  2. I could definitely devour a whole bowl of this frosting straight.. it looks wickedly delicious. Love that it’s vegan too! Great recipe Amanda!

    1. Amanda says

      Wickedly delicious is a good way to describe it! Thanks, Thalia. <3

  3. Cathy says

    No matter how many times I follow a vegan frosting recipe it still comes out somewhat ok. I sift the sugar, and I use equal part of shortening and earth balance butter because when I only use butter it doesn’t hold its shape well. Any tips?

    1. Amanda says

      Hi Cathy! It’s tough for me to say what might be the problem, though it sounds like maybe the ratio of powdered sugar to shortening/vegan butter could be off, or it’s being over-whipped and melting? I think you should give it another go with this recipe–I’ve tested it several times and never had any issue with the frosting not holding its shape. Make sure you soften the earth balance at room temperature–but just until it’s not rock hard–and use cold shortening straight out of the fridge. And be careful not to over-mix. 🙂 I hope this helps!

  4. Shana says

    I just wanted to say that I think the site re-design is stunning! The pictures are big and bright, the font is lovely, and everything pops because there isn’t a lot of clutter on the page. I think he organization actually has a calming effect for me! Anyway, thank you for this post because I am forever trying to find frosting recipes in a pinch. It will be nice to have a standard go-to that I can whip up anytime.

    1. Amanda says

      Thank you, Shana! I’m so happy to hear that you like the re-design. I hate clutter (in real life and in blogging) so I try to keep things as clean as possible.

    2. I agree, the site design looks awesome and the photos just make me hungry!!

      1. Amanda says

        Thank you! Happy to hear it!

    1. Amanda says
  5. Kerrie says

    Hi Amanda, is non-hydrogenated shortening the same thing as copha ? Maybe someone else in Australia can tell me what it may be known as here? Thanks.

    1. Amanda says

      I’m not sure, Kerrie! I’ve never heard of copha. You’ll want to look for vegan shortening, likely in the refrigerated section.

  6. Bee says

    Will nuttelex work for the vegan butter? I’ve tried using it in vegan buttercream before, and it didn’t react the same way as normal butter would, so it didn’t pipe and hold it’s shape very well. Plus it doesn’t really have a nice taste. Any recommendations? (Australian options preferred)

    1. Amanda says

      Hi Bee! I’ve never heard of nuttelex, but it sounds like it didn’t work well for you in other buttercream recipes. Do you have Earth Balance? That’s the brand I use.

    2. Kat says

      Hi Bee. I’m about to try to make this recipe with Nuttelex and Copha. I’ll let you know how I go. 🙂

      1. Meagan says

        Did you end up trying with Nuttelex and copha? I’ve been wondering how it would turn out? 🙂

  7. Hey Amanda! Do you have any brand recommendations for vegetable shortening? 🙂

    1. Amanda says

      Hi Sarah! I think I usually buy the earth balance brand.

      1. Laura McGuiness says

        Hi Amanda. I have been decorating vegan cakes for many years and relied solely on Earth Balance shortening sticks. Since they have stopped making them, what are you using as a replacement? Hopefully you are still managing this blog–thanks 🙂

      2. Hi Laura! I’ve been using 100% earth balance buttery spread. It works in buttercream frosting, although it can be a bit salty sometimes (so make sure you don’t add exrta salt! 🙂 ). I haven’t looked into other shortenings…there may be some good options out there.

  8. Chelsee says

    Would coconut oil work as a substitute for the shortening perhaps? Since it’s a solid at room temp?

    1. Hi Chelsee! I haven’t tried using coconut oil in the frosting before, but it may work (as you said, it’s a similar consistency when it’s solid). Another alternative would be to replace the shortening with buttery spread. I’ve had success with that in the past. Let me know if you give it a try!

  9. Caro says

    Can I make this a day ahead or is this something that should be used immediately?
    Can’t wait to try it out!

    1. I think you should be fine making it a day ahead, though you will probably need to re-whip it a bit in your mixer to get it to be easily spreadable after it chills in the fridge.

  10. Sonja Samudio says

    I used this recipe for my daughter’s birthday party “Cupcake Wars”. She has a friend with dairy/egg allergies and this frosting did the trick. It was amazing! I make both the vanilla and chocolate and they were a hit with all the girls and my teenage sons that were judging the cupcakes. We are not a vegan family but this will be my go to frosting from now on.

    1. That’s awesome to hear, Sonja! I love that you did a “Cupcake Wars” birthday party for your daughter. So fun!

  11. Boris says

    Hi Amanda,
    I love making rich cupcakes but buttercream frosting has been my bane so far. It usually results in very much the texture you describe in your store-bought frosting. I’ve decided to give it one more last try and do it *entirely* by the book this time. I think one of the issues – if not *the* issue – I may have is, rather crucially, with measuring. I’m from Germany, and the whole cups thing is still difficult to negotiate when it comes to solids like shortening. (Measuring volume rather than weight seems so inaccurate!) I suppose you use differently sized spoons, but sadly all I’ve got is a 1-cup measure. Would you have any advice on how to measure out 1/4 of shortening / vegan butter. I’m not sure whether converters (such as the one on http://www.traditionaloven.com) can be trusted.
    I any case: love the pics! Hope you find the time to enjoy lots of baking (and eating)!

    1. Hi Boris! Thank you for the compliment on the photos! I don’t have measurements in weight, but the next time I make this recipe I will be sure to take them and add them to the recipe (and let you know!). This may be a silly question since you don’t use measuring cups in Germany, but do you have a standard-sized tablespoon you could use for now? 1/4 cup = 4 tablespoons.

      1. Boris says

        Hi Amanda,
        thanks for your immediate reply! Yes, I’ve used a spoon to measure out cups in other recipes, but it still strikes me as tricky when it comes to solids, particularly for something like shortening cut into cubes. Depending on the size of the cubes, wouldn’t one layer of cubes already be a heaping tablespoon? (Obviously measuring out fluids or flours that way is no issue at all.) I must sound *really* nitpicky to American readers, who probably haven’t wasted a single thought about the matter in their entire life. – I think I’ll go with the four tablespoons somehow and see how it goes. Should you ever add weights to your measurements I know I (and probably quite a number of other continental Europeans) will be very grateful.

      2. I see what you mean about using measuring spoons for the cubes. I think I’d try to measure out the buttery spread/shortening first if possible (mold it into the spoon) and then cut it into cubes.

  12. Nancy says

    How much does this make?

    1. Each variation makes about 2 cups of buttercream.

      1. Nancy says

        Great! Also, I forgot to ask can this be made ahead of time and be stored? If so, how far in advance and how do I store it?

      2. Hi Nancy! I usually make it just before I plan to use it because it’s the ideal texture for spreading. If you need to make it in advance, up to a few days ahead of time should be okay. You would need to store it in the fridge and then re-whip it until it’s a spreadable texture again, or let it sit at room temperature for a bit to soften (it will firm up in the fridge).

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