How to Make Vegan Buttercream Frosting

It can be hard to find a satisfactory replacement to decadent buttercream frosting if you’re a vegan. After all, the word “buttercream” itself contains two ingredients that are not in a vegan diet. Luckily, eating a vegan diet doesn’t mean giving up buttercream frosting permanently. If you’re looking for a delicious finishing touch for your vegan baked goods, look no further than this simple, four ingredient vegan buttercream frosting.


  • 1 cup (about 217 g) vegan margarine
  • 3 teaspoons (15 mL) vanilla
  • 4 cups (500 g) icing sugar
  • 1-3 teaspoons (5-15 mL) of non-dairy milk
  • 1 cup unsweetened cocoa powder (optional)


EditMixing Your Ingredients

  1. Whip the margarine. Put the vegan margarine in a mixing bowl. You can whip it in a standing mixer or use a hand mixer – whatever you have in your kitchen. You want to beat the margarine until it’s nice and fluffy, so take your time. This will get you the best texture for your frosting.[1]
    Make Vegan Buttercream Frosting Step 1.jpg
  2. Pour in the icing sugar. Once your margarine is nice and fluffy, it’s time to add the icing sugar. Don’t pour it in all at once, however. Slowly add a bit of sugar and then whip it fully into the margarine. Then, add a bit more. Continue adding just a little at a time until the icing sugar and margarine are thoroughly blended together.[2]
    Make Vegan Buttercream Frosting Step 2.jpg
  3. Add the vanilla and non-dairy milk. Once the icing sugar and margarine are fully combined, add in your vanilla. Mix this in. Then, evaluate the consistency of the buttercream frosting. You may need a couple tablespoons of your non-dairy milk or you may not need much at all.[3] You don’t want your finished buttercream frosting to be overly dense, but you don’t want it to be runny either!
    Make Vegan Buttercream Frosting Step 3.jpg
    • If you want chocolate buttercream frosting, add your cocoa powder now. The amount of cocoa powder depends on how chocolatey you want your frosting, so pour in a portion at a time and do regular taste tests.[4]
  4. Refrigerate your frosting. You can use your frosting right away. If you have leftover frosting, or if you simply aren’t ready to use yours, pop it in the refrigerator. Once you decorate your baked goods, you will want to keep those in the refrigerator as well so that the icing keeps how you want it. You can save your frosting for 3-5 days in the refrigerator.
    Make Vegan Buttercream Frosting Step 4.jpg

EditCustomizing Your Ingredients

  1. Find a vegan margarine you enjoy. It can be tough to find vegan alternatives that accurately mimic the taste of the non-vegan counterparts. It’s important to choose a vegan margarine that you enjoy, so taste a bit before you begin this recipe. If you hate the taste of your vegan margarine, you will not like the taste of your finished frosting!
    Make Vegan Buttercream Frosting Step 5.jpg
  2. Choose your non-dairy milk. Vegans know there are plenty of variations of non-dairy milk on the market. The kind of milk you use can certainly affect the finished taste of your buttercream frosting. You can use soy milk, rice milk, almond milk, cashew milk, and so on – just make sure you can imagine it’s flavor in a frosting.[5]
    Make Vegan Buttercream Frosting Step 6.jpg
    • For example, soy milk’s aftertaste might not work as well as vanilla cashew milk’s. Choosing your milk is a matter of personal preference.
  3. Experiment with optional mix-ins. The great thing about this vegan buttercream frosting recipe is that it can be used as a base for a variety of different flavors. For example, adding a bit of fruit juice can transform it in both taste and color. If you are using it to decorate, you can add a few drops of food coloring to create any color you like.
    Make Vegan Buttercream Frosting Step 7.jpg
    • Don’t be afraid to get creative with your flavors. Add a few drops of peppermint oil for peppermint frosting. A little bit of strawberry jelly will make fruity, pink frosting. If you want, you can even chop up your favorite vegan candy and put it in your frosting for a little bit of crunch. Experiment![6]

EditThings You’ll Need

  • Mixer (standing or handheld)
  • Mixing bowl


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