This vegan buttercream recipe is the best plant-based frosting you will ever taste! It is whipped up in minutes and turns out to be so rich, creamy, and fluffy. Decorate your favorite baked goods such as cakes, cupcakes, or cookies with this stiff buttercream.
💡 The recipe in a nutshell
- Vegan (dairy free and egg free)
- Quick and easy to make
- Perfect to decorate your baked goods
- Versatile: Add flavors or food coloring
📋 Flavor variations
This recipe is a great basic that can be flavored for variety. Some flavor ideas include chocolate, strawberry, coffee, lemon, or funfetti.
- Strawberry - blend ¼ cup of dried strawberries in a high-speed blender until they turn into powder. Add to the frosting and beat until combined.
- Chocolate - add 2 tablespoon of unsweetened cocoa powder along with the powdered sugar.
- Lemon - add 1 tablespoon lemon extract along with some freshly grated lemon zest.
- Coffee - add 1 to 2 tablespoon of instant coffee powder to the plant-based butter and whip for one minute, let it sit for 5 minutes, then whip again. Then add powdered sugar.
- Funfetti - prepare the buttercream following the recipe below, then add 2 tablespoon of vegan sprinkles by folding them in with a spatula. (Find vegan sprinkles here)
💭 How much does it make?
This recipe makes enough buttercream to frost 12 cupcakes, enough for one 9x13 cake, which is 23x33cm. It makes enough for a single layer 8 or 9-inch round cake (Ø20-23cm), or a double layer 8 or 9-inch cake using a very thin layer of icing.
Double or triple the recipe if you want a thicker layer of buttercream on a 2 or 3-layer cake.
Equipment to make buttercream
To make buttercream you need minimal equipment. You'll need:
Equipment to frost baked goods
For simple frosting on sheet cakes, you can spread the frosting with a simple kitchen spatula. For decorative frosting use a piping bag with a tip. There are three different types of piping tips: round, star-shaped, and drop flower. All of these come in different sizes for all sorts of baked goods!
You can read more about piping tips, how and what to use them for in this article from Orson Gygi. Orson Gygi is a local kitchen supply store, which offers cooking and baking classes, here in Utah where I live.
🍰 What to use it for?
Use it to decorate any of your baked goods. If you need ideas decorate it with this simple vegan vanilla cake, or this gluten-free cookie cake (seen in the picture below). Another idea is making plant-based filled cookie sandwiches by using this chocolate chip cookies recipe.
Store buttercream in an airtight container and refrigerate for up to one week. When ready to use, bring it to room temperature. If stored for several days whip with mixer to refreshen.
❄️ How to freeze
To freeze store in an airtight, freezer-safe container and freeze for up to 3 months. Don't forget to label it with the date of freezing. When ready to use, thaw in the fridge overnight. Once thawed, bring it to room temperature, add to a bowl, and mix with an electric mixer to freshen up before using.
👩🏽🍳 Other types of frosting
If you are looking for a flat, smooth frosting for decorating cookies or gingerbread houses, try my vegan royal icing. If you are looking for a whipped cream substitute try my vegan easy whipped cream recipe. For a super-light and fluffy frosting try my vegan cream cheese frosting.
3 Ingredient Vegan Buttercream
- mixing bowl, electric mixer with whisk attachment
- 1 stick of softened plant-based butter (eg: earth balance, country crock, miyokos)
- 220 g organic powdered sugar (8.4 oz)
- 1 tablespoon vanilla extract (or 1 package of vanilla sugar)
- pinch of salt optional
- Take butter out of the fridge and let come to room temperature.
- Add butter and an optional pinch of salt to the mixing bowl and mix with your electric mixer with the whip attachment for 2 minutes until soft and creamy.
- Add powdered sugar and mix on low speed. If using vanilla sugar, add now. Once there are no more spots of dry powdered sugar add vanilla extract. Once blended in, increase the speed. Stop occasionally to scrape down the sides of your bowl. Whip for another 5 minutes until fluffy.
- Use immediately, or refrigerate/freeze until needed.
PS: Don't forget to rate this recipe and leave a comment on your experience - this helps improve my recipes and serves you with the best instructions, tips, and substitution ideas. Plus, I love hearing about your takes on my recipes! Tag me on Instagram @thesimplesprinkle to show me your pictures.