Dairy Free “Buttercream” Frosting

Dairy Free “Buttercream” Frosting

dairy free buttercream frosting


Dairy Free “Buttercream” Frosting is so simple to make!

You simply need a little fat, a splash or two of dairy-free milk, a few drops of vanilla extract and a lot of confectioners’ sugar.

Healthy? No! Delicious Dairy Free “Buttercream” Frosting? Yes! ;)

And when applied to the occasional cupcake, it can be a wonderful thing!

This recipe is adapted from the Wilton Buttercream Icing recipe.

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Dairy Free "Buttercream" Frosting
Prep time
Total time
This recipe is free from: gluten, dairy/casein, soy, peanuts, tree nuts, eggs.
Recipe type: dessert, frosting, icing, cake
  • ½ cup coconut oil, softened (room temperature)
  • ½ cup dairy-free butter substitute, softened (like Earth Balance; I use soy-free.)
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 4 cups sifted confectioners' sugar
  • 2-4 Tablespoons dairy-free milk of choice (I use unsweetened coconut milk.)
  1. In your stand mixer (or with a hand mixer), whip coconut oil and butter substitute together until smooth and creamy.
  2. Add vanilla extract and confectioners' sugar, one cup at a time, mixing in between each addition.
  3. Add milk, a little at a time, using less for thicker frosting and more for a thinner frosting. Whip after each addition until desired consistency is achieved.
  4. Store in airtight container in the fridge up to 1 week, or freeze for up to 1 month. Thaw at room temperature to use (do not microwave frosting).
  5. Color as desired with natural or gluten-free gel food safe colors.

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Gluten Free Gigi

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As someone with celiac disease and multiple food allergies, Gigi understands how food can harm or heal. Fully restoring her own health with diet alone after a 25-year health struggle, Gigi now uses her own experiences and the skills she gained as a former neuroscience researcher to share practical, easy-to-understand strategies, science-backed nutrition information, immediately useful tips and recipes to make gluten-free living liberating and positive for everyone!
  • Davonne Parks

    Wilton’s icing is our favorite! I used your modified recipe tonight and it was delicious! It had a very light coconut flavor which I found quite delightful, especially when I topped the cupcake with a fresh strawberry. My husband and daughters enjoyed it as well. Thank you for posting the recipe!

  • Lindsey

    Can I frost a cake a day ahead of time with this? Or will it melt at room temp?

    • glutenfreegigi


      It should hold up as buttercream would.

  • glutenfreegigi

    Hi, Sarah.

    If you cannot use coconut oil, you could substitute vegetable shortening. Of course, those with soy allergy would want to avoid this (I don’t use vegetable shortening, but I think most of it contains soy oil these days).

    Also, you could use more of the dairy-free butter substitute; however, you may find best results using a combination of 2 fats, as I’ve done here. I think the substitute on its own is not stable enough and the result is a frosting that melts too quickly and may be “runny”.

    Hope this helps!


    • Steph

      can i use vanilla flavored almond milk and almond extract instead of vanilla extract? i seem to enjoy the almond flavors alot more

      • glutenfreegigi

        Hi, Steph.

        I am tree nut allergic, so have never tried these options;however, I feel certain they would make a lovely frosting with the almond flavor you love!

        Happy baking!

        • Steph

          Thanks GiGi… I will keep posted when I actually make the butternut cream frosting

  • JD

    I used this frosting on some gluten free, dairy free cupcakes that I made for my daughters’ birthday party and all the “regular” people couldn’t even tell the difference :) Thanks

    • glutenfreegigi

      Yay, JD!! Love it when the “regular” people can’t tell the diff! Good for you! :)


  • C.J.G.

    I just used this recipe today and it was very good. I used Earth Balance coconut spread instead of coconut oil (since I already had it in the house) and didn’t need any extra coconut milk.

    • glutenfreegigi

      Awesome! Thanks so much for letting me know! :)


  • Melissa

    Can you pipe with this or would it be to soft?

    • glutenfreegigi

      It would not be acceptable for piping intricate designs such as icing roses, for example, but you can certainly pipe it. Use more confectioners’ sugar for an even stiffer icing, if you would like to use it for piping. Great question, thank you! :)