Most of these dairy-free frosting recipes are just as easy as their conventional counterparts. Once you have a standard pantry of dairy-free margarine, dairy-free milk, confectioners’ sugar, and vanilla extract, you can tackle many of these recipes. Some call for additional ingredients, like soy yogurt or apple cider vinegar. These are easily available at almost all grocery stores.
Vegan Dark Chocolate Frosting
Perfect for vegan chocolate cakes and cupcakes, this frosting is rich, delicious, and just plain good—too good not to make. It gains richness from melted dark chocolate, which is in addition to cocoa powder. It’ll be hard to find a go-to chocolate frosting recipe to top this.
A little bit of espresso goes a long way in this coffee-flavored frosting. Simple to make and so delicious, this is the perfect topping for dairy-free chocolate cakes and cupcakes like this vegan mocha cake. Do be sure to use a good quality espresso that you personally enjoy drinking, because you will be able to taste it in the finished product.
Royal icing is a simple icing that is typically used for decorating sugar cookies, gingerbread houses, cakes, and cupcakes. Prepared with just a few ingredients, this icing is perfect for everyday treats as well as special occasions. And it’s totally dairy-free. While some royal icing recipes use egg whites, this recipe provides the option of using meringue powder, which is a bit easier and neater to work with.
Dairy-Free Cream Cheese Frosting
Perfect for carrot cake, this recipe is identical to its conventional counterpart—if not better. Note that this is only possible with a high-quality vegan cream cheese product. Tofutti is by far the brand we recommend using here; some other brands, like Daiya, can have a particular cheesy aftertaste that is better suited to savory uses.
Peanut Butter Frosting
Peanut butter is a particularly useful addition to dairy-free frostings. Its fatty texture provides a satisfying mouthfeel and body to dairy-free icings that otherwise lack the richness of butter. And, of course, the flavor is absolutely crave-worthy.
Coconut Frosting With Coconut Flakes
Compared to the other recipe for coconut frosting on this list, this frosting is slightly more complex and carries more overt coconut flavor. It calls for flaked coconut, which provides texture and bites to an otherwise silken frosting.
Dairy-free desserts have come a long way in the past two decades, thanks to milk and butter substitutes that better replicate the complex sugar and protein structures present in dairy. Once you figure out how to bake without butter, frosting your cake, cookie, or muffin is the easy part.