Best Ever Buttercream Frosting (Dairy Free)

by Living Freely Gluten Free

Nothing says happy birthday like a real birthday cake. You know, from scratch with delicious decadent and rich buttercream frosting. When you are gluten free and dairy free you might think that you will never again enjoy such a thing, but my Vanilla Cake or Chocolate Cake recipe with this fluffy and rich frosting will make your birthday worth celebrating again.

I never loved buttercream prior to creating this recipe. I always felt is was too rich to enjoy.

This recipe is light and fluffy but provides the perfect amount of sweetness to your desserts.

With only 5 ingredients you will find yourself turning to this recipe because it so simple to make and will never let you down.

This frosting is incredibly simple to make and also pipes well. You can put it in the fridge for 10-20 minutes to stiffen after making it if it is too soft.

When I decorate cakes I put a thin layer on and then refrigerate for 10 minutes in between each layer. This gives it time to set so its not melting off while you are decorating.
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I have also created a Chocolate Coconut Cake with Coconut Buttercream Frosting that is amazing if you are a coconut lover like I am.

So, for your next birthday or gathering be sure to make this buttercream. You will find it incredibly simple but so very delicious.

Vanilla Buttercream


½ cup earth’s best dairy free butter

½ cup vegetable shortening (I used Spectrum Organic Shortening — 24 oz )

2 1/2  cups powdered sugar

1 tsp. vanilla

4 tsp. dairy free milk


  1. With a beater or stand mixer cream the butter and shortening
  2. Add sugar and beat for 1 minute.
  3. Add vanilla and milk and beat 3 minutes until very smooth and fluffy. Enjoy!


½ cup Vegan Butter

½ Cup Vegetable Shortening (I used Spectrum Organic Shortening — 24 oz)

2 ½ Cups Powdered Sugar

1 tsp. Vanilla

½ Cup Cocoa Powder

6 tsp. Dairy Free Milk


  1. With a beater or stand mixer cream butter and shortening
  2. Add sugar and cocoa and beat for 1 minute.
  3. Add vanilla and milk.
  4. Beat on medium high speed for 3 minutes until very smooth and fluffy. Enjoy!

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Lisa December 31, 2018 - 3:17 pm

Can I make this in advance and just store in fridge till needed?

livingfreelygf January 2, 2019 - 6:17 pm

You can make it in advance, but you will need to let it sit out and soften before frosting. It hardens once you refrigerate it. It will last about 3 days in the fridge.

Kaylene January 8, 2019 - 8:49 pm

Do you have any advice on how to know if my powdered sugar is vegan? Or is any powdered sugar considered vegan? I’m baking cupcakes for someone who is vegan and am planning to use your recipes, but I was just concerned about some of my ingredients. I’m not finding much helpful info online. Thanks!

livingfreelygf January 9, 2019 - 5:02 am

Powdered Sugar in general is vegan. The ingredients are typically starch and sugar, so as long as those are the ingredients you are good to go.

Kayh January 28, 2019 - 10:15 pm

What if I don’t have vegetable shortening? Can I just use more of the dairy free butter instead?

livingfreelygf January 28, 2019 - 11:53 pm

For the best frosting I would recommend shortening. Too much butter will give it a greasy consistency.

Jaqueline February 6, 2019 - 4:08 pm

Can I use coconut butter for this recipe? I live in South Africa and am finding it extremely difficult to find vegan butter

livingfreelygf February 7, 2019 - 2:06 am

I have never tried it, so I’m not sure how it will turn out but give it a try and let me know. If you are not dairy free you can use regular butter too.

Heather March 14, 2019 - 10:36 pm

I’m sorry but I made this recipes and it is completely horrible. The cake tastes bad and the frosting is SUPER sweet. I don’t recommend.

livingfreelygf March 17, 2019 - 3:56 pm

I’m sorry you had that experience Heather. What would you change about it? I’m always looking for ways to improve my recipes.

Bridget Sinclair April 29, 2019 - 4:47 am

Hi! Do you think this buttercream can be made in advance and frozen? I’m making my own 30th birthday cake next month and have a few dog/gf guests. I normally make a normal buttercream that can be frozen, but not sure if df ingredients freeze as well. Thank you!

livingfreelygf April 29, 2019 - 3:56 pm

The frosting gets kind of weird when it has been frozen. Would you be freezing it on the cake, or freezing defrosting and then frosting the cake?

Robin September 12, 2019 - 1:32 am

Hi! I made the vanilla cupcakes the first time and the baking soda ruined the flavor, so I started over and made them without baking soda and they were beyond perfect! Then I made the frosting without the shortening and it tasted exactly like my Nana’s buttercream frosting she made when I was little! Long story short, this is now a huge hit with my friends and family and nobody has any idea that it is gluten – and dairy- free except the people who need to know for dietary reasons. It is absolutely the yummiest cake and frosting combo I have tasted in a long, long time!! Thank you!!!

livingfreelygf September 12, 2019 - 3:16 pm

Hi Robin,
Thank you so much for this review! I am so excited you were able to make it perfect to your liking!!! Did you use extra butter for the frosting, or just leave it out? You took all of the baking soda out, but still used the baking powder? I would love to give it a try and see how we like it.


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