Learn how to make this light and fluffy vegan vanilla frosting that you can add to delicious cakes or cupcakes.
This vegan vanilla frosting is so simple it only takes 4 ingredients to make. It’s also the perfect base for vanilla bean buttercream.
In no time, you can enjoy a creamy, stable vegan buttercream that holds its shape between cake layers or when piped.
Just add the ingredients to your mixer and it will be ready in a matter of minutes.
- Vegan butter or margarine – Use the stick version and not the spreadable kind in a tub for a more stable frosting. Soften to room temperature (not melt) for easier mixing.
- Confectioners’ sugar – Be sure to sift to remove any lumps and create smoother results.
- Vanilla – Although vanilla extract will give the frosting a more natural flavor, vanilla flavoring will work fine in this recipe as well. Use clear vanilla for a whiter frosting.
You can also substitute some or all of the extract with vanilla bean paste for a luxurious vanilla bean buttercream with beautiful speckles.
- Soy milk – or other plant-based milk. Add gradually while the mixer is running until it gets to the desired consistency.
1. Add the vegan butter or margarine to the bowl of a stand mixer. Sift in the icing sugar.
2. Using a silicone spatula or spoon, stir to combine for about a minute. This helps reduce icing sugar splattering out of the bowl
3. Add the remaining ingredients and place the bowl on the stand mixer. Mix on high speed until smooth and creamy.
4. Gradually add more soy milk if needed and scrape the sides of the bowl.
Other recipe variations and substitutions
- Coffee or espresso powder for a coffee flavored frosting
- Coconut extract and use coconut milk for coconut frosting
- Try this Vegan Chocolate Frosting Recipe.
- Other liquid extracts in place of vanilla such as rose water, lemon or peppermint.
- Crushed vegan cookies such as Biscoff or Oreo.
This frosting can be kept in the refrigerator for 1-3 weeks. Store in a sealed, air-tight container. It can also be kept in the freezer for up to 3 months.
It may become denser as it’s stored. If that happens, whip with the mixer or by hand for a few minutes at room temperature to make it fluffy again.
Why is my vegan frosting runny?
A runny frosting may be the result of too much liquid. For a more stable frosting, it’s important to use vegan butter or margarine in stick form and not spreadable ones in a tub.
Spreadable margarine tend to have a higher water content which can make the frosting too runny.
Also, ensure the butter, sugar and vanilla are mixed thoroughly before adding any soy milk. Add the soy milk 1 teaspoon at a time and mix thoroughly before adding more.
Other ways to thicken frosting include adding:
- more confectioners’ sugar
- ½ tsp of cornstarch, or
- 1 tbsp (or more) of shortening
Shortening has little to no moisture so it’s more stable at room temperature.
It can result in a heavier, greasier frosting if too much is added so use it as a last resort or if you’re stacking larger layers.
How do you keep vegan buttercream from splitting?
- Mix the frosting just enough to make it smooth and creamy.
Overmixing can cause the frosting to split as the beaters from the mixer get warmer as they run.
If you need to cool it down, place the frosting over some ice or in the refrigerator for a few minutes, then mix again.
- Add just enough soy milk to make the frosting creamy. Too much liquid could also cause the buttercream to split. Adding more sugar can also help.
- Use only stick margarine and avoid spreadable, which has more water.
Why is vegan buttercream grainy?
Unsifted confectioners’ sugar may result in a grainy buttercream if lumps aren’t mixed through.
Add more liquid, a teaspoon at a time to lessen the grainy texture.
Also, make sure your vegan butter is softened at room temperature for easier mixing.
How long can the frosting be left out?
You can leave out the frosting at room temperature for about 2 days. Keep covered in an airtight container to keep it from crusting.
If it still forms a crust, give it a stir until smooth.
How do I thin out the frosting?
Adding more liquid will thin out your frosting. Add 1 teaspoon of soy milk at a time until you get the desired consistency.
Vegan Vanilla Frosting
- Stand Mixer
Baking Recipes: For more accuracy, use Metric measurements and measuring spoons.
- 4 sticks (452 g) vegan butter or margarine (not unsalted), softened (stick not tub)
- 8 cups (1 kg) Confectioners’ sugar
- 2 tablespoons (30 g) vanilla
- 4 tablespoons (59 ml) soy milk
- Add the vegan butter or margarine to the bowl of a stand mixer. Sift in the icing sugar.4 sticks (452 g) vegan butter or margarine (not unsalted) ,8 cups (1 kg) Confectioners’ sugar
- Using a silicone spatula or spoon, stir to combine for about a minute. This helps reduce icing sugar splattering out of the bowl.
- Add the remaining ingredients and place the bowl on the stand mixer. Mix on high speed until smooth and creamy.4 tablespoons (59 ml) soy milk ,2 tablespoons (30 g) vanilla
- Gradually add more soy milk if needed and scrape the sides of the bowl.
- This batch is enough to fill, crumb coat and cover a 3-layer, 6-inch cake or 2-layer, 8-inch cake.
- For extra decorating with frosting, double the recipe.
- For a lighter-colored frosting, use clear vanilla. Shortening may also be used, but it can result in a heavier, greasier frosting.
- You can also substitute some or all of the extract with vanilla bean paste for a luxurious vanilla bean buttercream with beautiful speckles.
- Store in the refrigerator for 1-3 weeks. Store in a sealed, air-tight container. It can also be kept in the freezer for up to 3 months.