Soy/Dairy Free Frosting

If you’ve been thinking about one of the cake recipes I wrote about last week but wondered what to do for frosting- have no fear!  As long as you can get a butter replacer like Earth’s Balance Soy/Dairy Free spread, Earth’s Balance Organic Coconut Spread, or Spectrum Organic Shortening, you can make frosting.  If you can’t get your hands on exactly what I use in my recipe below, try making it out of one of the other products.  The end texture and taste will vary depending on what you use but you will still get a fair substitute for real frosting.

I’ve come up with a pretty good replacement for buttercream-like frosting using some Earth Balance Soy/Dairy Free Spread and some Spectrum Shortening. Using all Earth’s Balance spread was a bit salty for my taste and it wasn’t very pretty.  Using all Spectrum shortening worked, but the flavor was much improved when I added in some Earth’s Balance spread.  Using both I created a frosting with a texture similar to buttercream and really not unlike many shortening based frostings I’ve tasted on grocery store cakes.  I’ve put this on just about everything that could use frosting: chiffon cupcakes, Back to Nature Vanilla Wafers, a spoon. 🙂

*Also see my post about using 100% cane sugar powdered sugar.

Dairy-Soy Free Frosting


2 tablespoons Earth’s Balance Dairy & Soy Free Spread

6 tablespoons Spectrum Organic Shortening

1 1/4 teaspoon real vanilla extract

1/4 teaspoon almond extract

2 cups powdered sugar  (use brands with 100% cane sugar for best results)

about 2 tablespoons water


In a half cup measuring cup place 2 tablespoons of Earth’s Balance Dairy & Soy Free Spread.  Fill the rest of the measuring cup up with Spectrum Organic Shortening (6 tablespoons).  Place the spread and shortening in the bowl of an electric mixer.  Add the vanilla and almond extracts.  Mix using a medium speed until combined.  Add in 1 cup of powdered sugar and mix on medium high for 1 minute.  Add in 1 tablespoon of water.  Mix again for 1 minute.  Add the second cup of powdered sugar and mix for 4 minutes on medium high.   At the end of 4 minutes check the consistency.  if you want it thinner add a little water and mix again for a minute.  Makes about 1 cup.


15 responses

  1. How does the frosting turn out in terms of hardening? I made a very similar recipe last night and it hardened pretty quickly, which I do not want. Obviously every little bit of every ingredient can make a difference in this. So how did it turn out with your specific ratios?

    • This frosting stays very creamy for quite a long time, there is no rush to use it. After frosting cupcakes I let them sit out for an hour or two to let the frosting harden a bit before I pack them in any tupperware. It definitely acts more like a buttercream than a royal icing, which sets quickly. If I have to leave the frosting in the mixing bowl for a good long while before I get to actually frosting cupcakes (distractions are very common in our house) I might cover the bowl with a wet paper towel but that is just to keep the top of the frosting from dyring at all. Hope it is what you are looking for!

  2. I just wanted to thank you for posting your recipes and ideas for eating with food intolerances! I have an MSPI and banana-intolerant toddler (19 mos now) and trying to make a pretty birthday cake for his big brother’s 4th birthday has been a challenge to say the least! Most of the frostings seemed to taste bland or be too thin. I’m hoping this frosting (looks/sounds delicious!) will meet our needs of MSPI friendly and good for decorating planet-stars-and-moon cupcakes 🙂 Totally bookmarking your blog!

    • I hope it is what you are looking for and works out for you! We haven’t gotten to the birthday thing yet but we will be there soon! Thanks for the message- it is always good to know that someone out there finds my recipes helpful.

  3. Just made your icing with only Earth Balance and vanilla as I didn’t have the Spectrum and have one child that can detect almond oil in anything. I thought using Mimicreme in place of the water would be a good idea, since I’d just bought some for the first time, but it was solid after being in the fridge, so I used the water as described. I think I might have needed more powdered sugar (and/or) less water as it was not very stiff, but that was fine as I didn’t need it to hold it’s shape. I used it on top of some soy/dairy free carrot cake I’d made and the results are scrumptious! Thank you for your post!

    • Glad you could make it work for you! The earth balance buttery type spreads definitely make for a looser frosting so if you use all of that kind, I would add a bit more powdered sugar. Thanks for your comment – I always love to know other people out there are finding my posts helpful!

      • The cake (and especially) was loved by ALL at my Dad’s birthday party. No one could believe the icing didn’t contain any dairy. It really tasted like the typical cream cheese icing you would expect with carrot cake. And it was wonderful that my sister didn’t have to graciously do without in order to keep her baby happy and healthy. Thank YOU for your blog. It helps just to know someone else is going through the same thing, and having “fun” party foods that everyone can enjoy really makes the party more fun. Thanks again!

  4. This is the very first time I’ve ever left a comment on a blog, but I felt it necessary to thank you for posting this recipe! My daughter’s 1st birthday party was today and she has issues with dairy, soy, and wheat. We found a really good chocolate cupcake recipe (after many tries), but then I struggled with the icing until stumbling upon your page just last week. It was crunch time and this recipe is exactly what we were looking for – it is PERFECT in every way. Everyone loved them and I loved that my baby got to have a “real” cupcake on her big day! Thank you so much!!

    • I tried to reply earlier (via iphone- not the best way to do this) but I don’t see it so I’ll reply again. I’m so glad it worked for you and your daughter got to have a “real” birthday cake! I stressed so much over what my little guy could eat on his first birthday. It is great finding those alternatives that let our little ones have the same experiences as everyone else. I also want to thank you for your comment. I know time is limited when you are a parent and I really do love knowing that the things I’ve shared are helping other parents with the same struggles.

  5. This is THE BEST!! It’s my go to for dairy and soy free frosting and I’ve made it several times over the last few years. Thank you!

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