This recipe for dairy-free spiced buttercream frosting was created by Sarah for the Frosted Pumpkin Bars that she and her daughter Katherine created for our Kids Can Cook section. It was tested numerous times to get just the right spice and creamy ratios. But even in the end, Sarah waffled on the salt amount. So frosting lover that I am, I decided to give it just one more outsider taste test for her. And I couldn’t resist taking some pictures of this dreamy topper while I was at it.
Alisa’s Testing Notes: Spiced Buttercream Frosting
This dairy-free, vegan and allergy-friendly spiced buttercream frosting may seem a little stiff at first. But keep mixing. A minute in and it begins to whip up like a dream.
As for the salt levels in this spiced buttercream frosting, I found that Sarah was right with both amounts! See my note in her recipe below for guidance on how much to use.
When Sarah’s young son first ate one of their pumpkin bars, he said the frosting is what makes it *really* good. I have to agree with him the flavor is AMAZING! The spice notes are ever-present (I used Simply Organic Spices – see more great dairy-free recipes here), but they mellow and meld as the mixture is allowed to rest. It’s fantastic for cakes, cupcakes, bars or even cookies. The latter is how I enjoyed it as shown in the recipe picture below.
Special Diet Notes: Spiced Buttercream Frosting
By ingredients, this recipe is dairy-free / non-dairy, egg-free, gluten-free, grain-free, nut-free, peanut-free, soy-free, vegan, and vegetarian.
- ¾ cup dairy-free buttery spread or sticks (such as Earth Balance or Smart Balance)
- ¼ cup palm shortening (such as Nutiva or Spectrum)
- 2 cups powdered sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 teaspoon unsweetened dairy-free milk beverage
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- ¼ teaspoon ground allspice
- ¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
- ⅛ teaspoon salt (see note below)
- Add the buttery spread and shortening to a mixing bowl, and mix them together with a stand mixer or with hand mixer.
- Add the powdered sugar and mix until smooth and creamy.
- Add the vanilla, milk beverage, spices and salt, and mix until the ingredients are fully incorporated and the frosting is smooth and creamy.
- Use immediately or store covered in the refrigerator for up to a week. It will set up when chilled. Just let it come to room temperature for a few minutes, then whip it again with a hand mixer.
I tested this spiced buttercream frosting recipe with Earth Balance Soy-Free Buttery Sticks, Nutiva Shortening, So Delicious Unsweetened Coconut Milk Beverage, and Simply Organic Spices.
Sarah waffled on whether the salt should be ⅛ teaspoon or ¼ teaspoon since her son liked the greater amount. If serving immediately, I would definitely do just ⅛ teaspoon. If you are making this frosting ahead, and you like a little more flavor contrast and depth, you can up the salt to a scant ¼ teaspoon. The salt will have more time to meld and enhance the spices in this case.