For decorators and sweet lovers who are wondering how to make an animal product-free frosting option, our vegan frosting recipe doesn’t use butter or dairy, so you can have an easy non-lactose buttercream icing that still tastes amazing and holds a great swirl. Experiment with taste and texture differences by using vegan butter spread and plain or flavored almond milk, soy milk or even pea protein milk.
In large bowl, beat shortening and vanilla with electric mixer until light and fluffy.
Gradually add sugar, one cup at a time, beating well on medium speed. Scrape sides and bottom of bowl often. When all sugar has been mixed in, icing will appear dry.
Gradually add milk or water; beat at medium speed until light and fluffy.
Note: This recipe is for stiff consistency buttercream, which is excellent for piping decorations like flowers. However, it will need to be thinned for icing cakes and borders.
Vegan buttery spread may be substituted for 1/2 cup of shortening. Note that different brands may yield a softer icing, so only add liquid as needed when using vegan butter substitutes.
Keep bowl covered with plastic wrap until ready to use.
If using a hand mixer, beat shortening, butter (if used) and liquids first, then add sugar, as above. Make one batch at a time to prevent hand mixer from burning out.
Depending on the humidity and climate, it may be necessary to adjust the liquid and the sugar in your icing. If icing looks dry, add small amounts of liquid (1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon at a time). If icing is too wet, add 1 tablespoon of sugar at a time. The key for both adjustments is adding small amounts until you achieve the right consistency.
If you find that this recipe is too sweet, consider using a pinch of salt, which will help cut the sweetness. Let the pinch of salt dissolve in your liquid to avoid granules of salt in the buttercream.
Adding Flavor: Wilton’s Buttercream Icing recipe is a great base for your favorite flavorings and extracts. Add flavoring to taste, but be mindful not to add so much liquid that it affects the consistency of your icing. If you like using a lot of flavor, try substituting some of your liquid with flavoring.
Try using the Treatology Flavor System, designed specifically for decorating. Because these flavors are concentrated, you’ll only need to use a few drops. You can also mix them to create new flavors. In addition, the Treatology Flavor System can be used to flavor cake batter and other baked goods without affecting the consistency of your batter.
Clear Flavors are also a great option for adding flavor to buttercream without adding color. These flavors are essential for making pure white icing and maintaining vibrant colors for decorating.
Storing Buttercream: Leftover buttercream can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to two weeks. Buttercream can also be frozen for up to six months. Before reusing, bring buttercream back to room temperature and rewhip using a paddle attachment until it’s back to the correct consistency.