This incredible secret ingredient vegan buttercream frosting is airy and light without being overly sweet like regular American buttercream.
This frosting is made without milk and instead uses vegan yogurt to give a creamy consistency and amazing flavor, perfect for vegan vanilla cupcakes.
The texture reminds me of vegan Swiss meringue buttercream or Italian meringue frosting, but without the fuss!
💭 What To Expect From This Recipe
- Quick and easy: Comes together with minimal effort in one bowl, without aquafaba or shortening.
- Light and airy: The texture is fluffy and creamy thanks to the vegan yogurt
- Flavorful without being overly sweet: It has a hint of tanginess from the acid in the vegan yogurt and a deep buttery vanilla flavor. This frosting also uses less powdered sugar than most American-style buttercream recipes.
- Versatile: Perfect for piping on cookies, decorating cupcakes, and frosting sheet cakes and layer cakes.
- Allergy-friendly: As well as being eggless and dairy-free this easy vegan frosting can be made gluten-free and nut-free (depending on the brand of vegan butter you use).
🍰 Ingredients Needed
Here's everything you need to make this quick and easy vegan buttercream recipe:
Notes about the ingredients
- Vegan butter (the kind that comes in a block). Please do not use the spreadable kind from a tub, it will not work! Margarine/spreadable butter has a higher water consistency which will throw off the recipe.
- Vegan Greek-style yogurt: This works best for buttercream as it is nice and thick without adding too much water to the recipe. You can also use unsweetened soy yogurt or coconut yogurt if you can't get your hands on Greek-style.
- Powdered sugar: Otherwise known as confectioner's sugar or icing sugar, sweetens the vegan vanilla frosting. If you’re based in the US, some brands use bone char in the processing method. If the sugar is organic it will be vegan, here are some vegan brands of sugar.
- Vanilla bean paste: This is the main flavor for this vegan frosting so make sure you use good quality vanilla. If you can't get vanilla paste, vanilla extract or a scraped-out vanilla pod will work too.
🥣 How To Make Vegan Buttercream Frosting
(Full ingredient quantities and instructions are in the recipe card at the end of this post)
The method for making this quick vegan frosting is incredibly simple and straightforward. It's similar to making vegan cream cheese frosting.
(1) Whip the vegan butter in a large mixing bowl with an electric mixer or stand mixer until light and fluffy.
(2) Add in the powdered sugar in 2 increments, whisking between each one. Whip for another minute to combine.
(3) Pour in the vanilla bean paste and whisk to combine.
(4) Lastly, add the vegan yogurt and whisk for another 30 seconds until incorporated into the buttercream.
👩🍳 Expert Tips
- Sift your dry ingredients: This removes any excess lumps from the powdered sugar, making it much easier to whip the frosting.
- Use room temperature vegan butter: Make sure you take the block of butter out of the fridge an hour before making your frosting. Cold butter is more difficult to mix.
- You can whip the vegan butter for up to 5 minutes to get a lighter color. As it whips and becomes more fluffy, it will appear whiter and less yellow.
- Use this dairy-free buttercream to frost vanilla cupcakes, vanilla cake, chai cake, black forest cupcakes, fudgy brownies, cookies, and more.
This recipe will generously frost a two-layer 8-inch or 9-inch cake. For an 8-9-inch sheet cake, I would cut the recipe by one quarter. This is a light buttercream, so for multiple-layer cakes, I would increase the sugar by up to a cup to give more structure.
For frosting cupcakes: The recipe yields enough buttercream to frost 18 cupcakes generously, or lightly frost 24 cupcakes.
If you don't plan on using the buttercream immediately, or you have leftovers you can store them in an airtight container and refrigerate for up to 3-4 days.
The buttercream will stiffen in the fridge, so take it out at room temperature for an hour before frosting, and re-whip it if needed.
If frosting a cake, I recommend first chilling the cakes before frosting them. Then you can store the frosted cake in the fridge. Take it out to sit at room temperature for an hour before serving to allow the buttercream to soften up slightly.
This buttercream holds up well at room temperature for up to 6 hours when used on cupcakes. However, for cakes, I would not leave them out for more than 2-3 hours as this buttercream is quite light.
Yes, you can freeze this frosting in an airtight container and defrost it in the fridge overnight.
You may need to whip it again before using it for frosting.
Make sure you use vegan block butter for this recipe, otherwise known as butter sticks. Spreadable butter from a tub or margarine will throw off the recipe due to its higher water content.
I use flora plant butter which is nut-free, coconut-free, and gluten-free.
🎂 More Vegan Frosting
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Easy Vegan Buttercream Frosting
- 300 g (10.58 oz) vegan salted block butter , room temperature, *see notes
- 250 g (2 cups) organic powdered sugar, (confectioner's sugar/icing sugar), *see notes
- 2 teaspoons vanilla bean paste, or vanilla extract/vanilla pod
- 50 g (⅕ cup) vegan Greek-style yogurt, preferably Greek-style, but sub with regular unsweetened soy yogurt or coconut yogurt.
- Add the vegan butter to a large mixing bowl (or stand mixer if using) and whisk with an electric mixer for 3 minutes, until light and fluffy. You can whip the butter for up to 5 minutes here to get a lighter-colored frosting.
- Sift in the powdered sugar in 2 parts and whisk between each one. Whip for another minute until it has been incorporated into the frosting.
- Add in the vanilla bean paste and whisk to combine. Lastly, add the vegan yogurt one tablespoon at a time while whisking for another 30 seconds to combine.
Serving and Storage
- For best results, use the buttercream immediately to frost your vegan cake or cupcakes. You can store this buttercream in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3-4 days. It will harden when chilled, so before use, allow it to come to room temperature until it comes back to a creamy consistency.Yes, you can freeze this frosting in an airtight container and defrost it in the fridge overnight. You may need to whip it again before using it for frosting.
- Vegan butter: Take this out of the fridge to sit at room temperature for 30 mins to 1 hour. Make sure you use vegan block butter NOT spreadable butter from a tub. I use flora plant butter which is nut-free, coconut-free, and gluten-free.
- Powdered sugar: This is a light buttercream, so for multiple-tier cakes, I would increase the sugar by up to a cup to give more structure.
- For frosting layer cakes: This recipe will generously frost a two-layer 8-inch or 9-inch cake. For an 8-9-inch sheet cake, I would cut the recipe by one-quarter.
- For frosting cupcakes: The recipe yields enough buttercream to frost 18 cupcakes generously, or lightly frost 24 cupcakes.
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