Dairy-Free Buttercream Frosting: A Vegan and Versatile Recipe


This dairy-free buttercream frosting is just like traditional buttercream, but with a couple simple swaps.

The “butter” is the key to flavor, so be sure to pick one you really like. We prefer to use buttery sticks in this recipe rather than buttery spread, as it tends to be firmer. The buttery sticks are usually sold next to the buttery spreads, and are made by a few companies. Or, you can use the Bakeable Butter Recipe in my cookbook, Go Dairy Free.

For more of a decorator’s frosting, swap 1/2 cup of shortening (like sustainable palm shortening) for 1/2 cup of the buttery sticks.

Dairy-Free Buttercream Frosting Recipe - an essential basic that's also vegan and allergy-friendly

Special Diet Notes: Dairy-Free Buttercream Frosting

By ingredients, this recipe is dairy-free / non-dairy, egg-free, gluten-free, nut-free, peanut-free, soy-free, vegan, and vegetarian. Just be sure to pick the dairy-free butter and milk beverage that work for your dietary needs.

Buttercream Frosting
Prep time
Total time
Serves: enough to frost a 2-layer cake
  • 3½ cups powdered sugar
  • 1 cup dairy-free buttery sticks
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract or pure vanilla flavoring
  • 1 to 4 tablespoons unsweetened dairy-free milk beverage
  1. Sift the powdered sugar into a large bowl. Add the buttery sticks, 1 tablespoon milk beverage, and vanilla. Beat with a hand mixer until smooth, adding more milk beverage as needed to get a frosting consistency.
  2. Store leftovers in an airtight container for up to 5 days.

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Eat Dairy Free - Your Essential Cookbook for Everyday Meals, Snacks, and Sweets

About Author

Alisa is the founder of GoDairyFree.org, Food Editor for Allergic Living magazine, and author of the best-selling dairy-free book, Go Dairy Free: The Guide and Cookbook for Milk Allergies, Lactose Intolerance, and Casein-Free Living, and the new cookbook, Eat Dairy Free: Your Essential Cookbook for Everyday Meals, Snacks, and Sweets. Alisa is also a professional recipe creator and product ambassador for the natural food industry.