Vegan Buttercream Frosting

by Steph Sunshine at

Yield2 cups

Prep Time20 minutes

Cook Timea minute

Total Time20 minutes


  • 3/4 cup vegan butter sticks, softened to room temperature (I used Earth Balance)
  • 3 cup vegan powdered (icing/confectioner's) sugar
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1/4 tsp. sea salt
  • 1 tbsp. plain, unsweetened non-dairy milk
  • vegan food coloring (optional)


  1. In a stand mixer with the paddle attachment on medium speed, mix up your vegan butter until it's soft and creamy. While your butter is being mixed, sift your powdered sugar to eliminate clumps. Turn off the mixer, then add 1 cup of powdered sugar, and slowly turn the mixer back on. (If you start mixing too quickly, your powdered sugar may be kicked out of the bowl). Repeat with the remaining powdered sugar, one cup at a time. Stop to scrape down the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula as needed.
  2. Add your vanilla, salt, and food coloring (if using) to the bowl and mix until well-incorporated. Add additional food coloring if needed to achieve your desired color.
  3. Add your non-dairy milk a little at a time until you reach the desired consistency. Your frosting shouldn't be too stiff or too runny. It should be spreadable, but it should also be thick enough to stay put when spread on the cake. You may need to use more or less than 1 tablespoon of non-dairy milk, especially if you added liquid food coloring in the previous step. If you accidentally add too much milk, you can thicken the frosting with additional powdered sugar.
  4. To get a light and fluffy texture, turn up the speed on your mixer and let it whip the frosting for a few minutes.

Notes & Hints

For non-dairy milk, I recommend canned coconut milk or regular almond milk. Canned coconut cream can be used as well, but you may need a bit more of it.

When adding non-dairy milk, keep in mind that you may want your frosting to be a bit thicker for layer cakes than for cupcakes, because it needs to hold the weight of the cakes above it.

If you make too much frosting, it can be frozen. Before using the leftovers, let it thaw overnight in the refrigerator.

For frosting instructions and more FAQs please see the post above.