Best Ever Vegan Buttercream Frosting

by Living Freely Gluten Free

Nothing says happy birthday like a real legit from scratch birthday cake and when you are gluten and dairy free that means smothering that delicious cake in vegan buttercream frosting. This recipe is a dairy free buttercream frosting with shortening because that is how you give it that fluffy melt in your mouth texture and flavor. Has your vegan buttercream too runny? This recipe will show you how to make it with the perfect texture.

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When I first went gluten free and dairy free I honestly thought enjoying cake was a thing of the past. That was until I started experimenting and I first created my My Personal Gluten Free All Purpose Flour Blend. With that I was able to create the Vanilla Cake that is pictured here and what really made me decide to pursue this whole gluten free blog thing. Once I finally created a vanilla cake with the perfect buttercream that melted in my mouth I knew others would appreciate these recipes.

buttercream in a jar with sprinkles next to it.

Before creating this dairy free buttercream frosting I did not like buttercream. I preferred a whip cream topping because it was lighter. The combo on vegan butter with the right vegetable shortening gives this dairy free buttercream frosting with shortening the absolute perfect flavor and consistency. You can decorate with it, it doesn’t get too hard and it tastes absolutely amazing!

Vegan Buttercream Frosting

cake decorated with vegan buttercream frosting

This recipe is light and fluffy but provides the perfect amount of sweetness to your desserts. You can use it to decorate cookies and frost all of your favorite cakes.

Dairy Free Buttercream Frosting with Shortening

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

Dairy Free Buttercream Icing

slice of cake with a bite on a fork

Has your vegan buttercream been too runny before?

The combo of vegan butter, shortening, and powdered sugar give this recipe the perfect texture and consistency. If your frosting has been too runny before then you likely used too much liquid, or the ratio needed shortening. Nutiva or Spectrum Organic shortening are my go-to’s. Literally, these are all that I will use.

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.

cake frosted with vegan buttercream frosting

When I decorate cakes I start with adding some of this frosting to the top of the first layer, spreading it evenly and then placing the second layer on top. Then you will add a thin layer of the buttercream and refrigerate for 10 minutes. Continue this process until the cake is frosted to your desire and then you can pipe it. If you plan on doing a lot of piping then you will need to double this recipe.

vanilla buttercream in a jar with sprinkles next to it
So, for your next birthday or gathering make sure to try out this buttercream. You will love how simple it is with amazing flavor. Don’t forget to leave a star rating below and share on Instagram with #livingfreelyglutenfree. Enjoy!

Dairy Free Buttercream Icing

4.7 from 13 votes

Vegan Buttercream Frosting

This perfect vegan buttercream recipe will melt in your mouth

Course Dessert
Keyword dairy free buttercream icing, vegan buttercream frosting
Servings 12
Calories 230 kcal


  • ½ cup vegan 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 until smooth
  2. Add sugar and beat for 1 minute on medium speed
  3. Add vanilla and milk and beat 3 minutes on medium/high speed until very smooth and fluffy

Recipe Notes

Make sure to share your culinary creation on Instagram with the #livingfreelyglutendfree

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Nutrition Facts
Vegan Buttercream Frosting
Amount Per Serving
Calories 230 Calories from Fat 135
% Daily Value*
Fat 15g23%
Saturated Fat 4g25%
Sodium 63mg3%
Carbohydrates 25g8%
Sugar 25g28%
Protein 1g2%
Vitamin A 360IU7%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

If you want the chocolate version of this buttercream it is below.

Click here for printable version

Chocolate Buttercream
½ cup Vegan Butter (Earths Balance is my preferred)
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!


Need some delicious recipes to decorate with this vegan buttercream frosting? I’ve got you covered…



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