This dairy free frosting is like traditional buttercream frosting but without the top 8 allergens. Plus, it is really easy to make and spreads easily on cakes, cookies, and bars!
Just because you can't have dairy doesn't mean you can't have frosting just like buttercream.
To make buttercream frosting dairy free, you'll need to make two swaps in a traditional recipe:
Dairy free margarine instead of butter
I like to use Earth Balance buttery spread which comes in both dairy free and dairy free/soy free varieties.
Dairy free milk
You can use any milk substitute that you like. I tend to use soy milk but have also made this rice milk which works really well, too. Just make sure it is safe for you!
How to make it
First, you start with softened dairy free margarine. It works best to let the margarine soften at room temperature for a while. Whenever I try to soften in the microwave, it inevitably melts rather than softens which will make this frosting runny. Patience is key here! If you have a "soften butter" setting on your microwave, that might work fine.
The margarine needs to be whipped so it is smooth and without lumps. I love using my Kitchenaid stand mixer for this job!
Next, you sift in about half of the powdered sugar. This prevents lumps in your frosting. I don't own an actual sifter so I use my mesh strainer. It is a little big so I have to remove the beater from my mixer but it works!
Begin mixing on low speed until the powdered sugar is mixed into the margarine. Scrape the sides of the bowl and mix some more.
Next, you add dairy free milk and the vanilla. In this recipe, I use ¼ cup of milk and this creates a good consistency for frosting cakes and cookies. If you want an even stiffer frosting for a cupcake, you can reduce the amount of milk. Start with 2 tablespoons. You can always add more at the end if it's too thick.
Finally, you mix in the remaining powdered sugar, sifting as you did before.
If you want chocolate frosting, reduce the amount of powdered sugar by ¾ cup and replace it with cocoa powder.
Dairy Free Buttercream Frosting
- ¾ cup ”safe” margarine softened
- 5 cups sifted powdered sugar
- ¼ cup ”safe” milk such as rice, soy, or coconut
- 1-½ teaspoons vanilla extract
- In a mixing bowl, beat the margarine until it is smooth and creamy. Gradually add 2 cups of the powdered sugar, scraping the sides of the bowl periodically. Add the milk and vanilla and beat well.
- Gradually add the remaining powdered sugar. Add a small amount of additional milk if needed to get to the right spreading consistency. This will frost 24 cupcakes or two 8 inch layers.
- Variation: to make chocolate frosting, reduce the powdered sugar to 4 ¼ cups and add ¾ cup unsweetened cocoa powder.
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