Non-Dairy Vanilla Buttercream Frosting (Pareve)

Non-Dairy Vanilla Buttercream. © 2013 Miri Rotkovitz
  • 10 mins
  • Prep: 10 mins,
  • Cook: 0 mins
  • Yield: Frosts a 9-in cake (8 servings)
Ratings (8)

It's pretty tricky to make a simple pareve buttercream that actually tastes good. This dairy-free vanilla buttercream utilizes a mix of vegetable shortening and margarine to achieve a desirable texture and easy spreadabilty, without the waxy mouthfeel or off flavors of many pareve frostings. 

Basic vanilla plays well with all sorts of cakes, so you can use this with almost any cake that needs a dairy free-frosting. And since the frosting is just slightly off-white, it's a perfect choice for tinting with food coloring when you want to decorate cupcakes or birthday cakes.

Try it with on this dairy-free Carrot Cake, Fresh Strawberry Cake, or Chocolate Cake. You can also sandwich it between these Oatmeal Raisin Cookies with Chocolate and Nuts, or use it to dress up Mint Chocolate Chip Brownies

Tip: Look for an all-natural pareve shortenings, which are typically made from tropical oils such as palm or coconut oil. Though they are rich sources of saturated fat, they are still healthier options than partially- or fully-hydrogenated commercial shortenings.

Want to amp up the vanilla flavor even more? Scrape the seeds from a vanilla bean pod into the frosting and beat until they're evenly incorporated and the frosting is flecked with the seeds. You can also use vanilla soymilk instead of plain.

Even if dairy isn't a concern, this is a good recipe to have in your frosting repertoire -- while regular buttercream can melt or sweat, the shortening in this recipe helps stabilize it, so it's a good choice if you'll be transporting the cake, or displaying it for a bit on a warm day. 

What You'll Need

  • 1/2 cup/113 g shortening (non-hydrogenated such as Earth Balance or Spectrum Organic Palm Shortening)
  • 1/2 cup margarine (non-hydrogenated such as Earth Balance Buttery Spread)
  • 3 1/2 cups confectioners sugar (sifted)
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 2 tablespoons pareve soymilk

How to Make It

 1. In a large bowl using electric beaters, cream together the shortening and margarine on medium-high speed. (You can also use a stand mixer.) 

2. Add the confectioner's sugar one cup at a time, beating on low speed after each addition until the sugar is well integrated. 

3. Add the vanilla extract and the soymilk, beating on medium speed until the frosting is smooth, fluffy, and spreadable, about 3 minutes.