This vegan buttercream frosting is so creamy and smooth! It has the perfect classic texture. This homemade dairy free frosting takes only 5 minutes to make. Only 4 pantry staple ingredients required. Make this frosting for cupcakes, cakes, cookies, brownies and more!

Vegan buttercream frosting.

Why You’ll Love This Recipe

  • This vegan buttercream frosting is quick and easy.
  • Only 5 minutes total.
  • Everything is mixed in one bowl.
  • No need to chill the frosting. It can be used right away.
  • This dairy free buttercream is so creamy!
  • It can be easily made more thick or more thin.
  • This recipe is gluten free, dairy free, egg free, vegan, and easily made nut free.
  • Great for many uses, occasions and holidays.
  • Check out this Vegan Vanilla Frosting for another delicious recipe!

Ingredients & Substitutions

These are the main ingredients and substitutions for vegan buttercream frosting. Scroll down to the recipe card for full ingredients list and instructions.

Use softened vegan butter. When you touch the butter, your fingers should leave a slight imprint. If the butter immediately melts, it is too soft. Earth Balance butter sticks are great. Do not use coconut oil. I have not tried shortening, but that may work.

A little pure maple syrup adds a subtle flavor and natural sweetness.

Powdered sugar adds the substance and sweetness. Your frosting may need slightly more powdered sugar. More powdered sugar thickens the buttercream.

Use just a little dairy free milk as needed. Add a tablespoon initially then drops as needed. Use any type of dairy free milk. For nut free, use coconut milk or oat milk.

If desired, add in a pinch of nutmeg or cinnamon for added flavor.

Ingredients for vegan buttercream frosting.

Taste & Texture

This vegan buttercream frosting tastes like classic vanilla buttercream. The maple syrup adds a very subtle natural sweetness.

This frosting is creamy and velvety smooth. Adjust powdered sugar and milk to make it thicker or thinner.

How to Make

Step 1

First, add softened butter and maple syrup to the bowl of a stand mixer. Mix on high until completely creamy.

Creamy vegan frosting in bowl.

Step 2

Use a spatula to scrape down the sides of the mixing bowl.

Step 3

Add powdered sugar to the bowl. Mix until completely combined.

Gingerbread buttercream frosting.

Step 4

Add in a tablespoon or so of milk. Add more for a thinner frosting. Otherwise, add frosting to piping bag and frost dessert!

Expert Tips & Tricks

Use softened butter. Do not use melted or cold butter.

Place butter on countertop about an hour beforehand.

Fully mix the butter and maple syrup.

To make frosting thicker, add more powdered sugar.

To make frosting thinner, add slightly more milk.

If desired, add in a pinch of sea salt.

This yields about 1 cup of frosting. This usually lasts for about 10 medium sized cookies.

This vegan vanilla buttercream frosting recipe can be easily doubled or tripled.

Thick frosting on cookie.

Ways to Use

This vegan buttercream frosting is versatile.

Use it to frost cupcakes.

Use it to frost cakes.

Top cookies with it.

Top brownies with it.

Use it to make cake pops.

Flavor Variations & Add Ins

Replace maple syrup with molasses. Add in a pinch of ginger to make gingerbread frosting.

Add in a pinch of cinnamon.

Use some lemon zest to make lemon frosting.

Add in a drop of food color to make colored frosting.

Use mini chocolate chips in the frosting.

Add in creamy peanut butter.

Make this Keto Chocolate Frosting.

How to Serve & Store

Serve this vegan buttercream frosting with your favorite desserts.

Add to cupcakes, cakes, cookies and brownies.

Use a piping bag for ease.

Store frosting in the fridge for up to 2 days.

If needed, freeze for 1 month. Defrost in the fridge overnight before use.

Stack of cookies with frosting.

Frequently Asked Questions

How do you pipe it?

Add frosting to a piping bag. If you do not have a piping bag, add it to a ziplock plastic bag. Remove any air from the bag and zip shut. Then cut off one small corner of the bag. Use that hole to pipe.

Can I make other flavors?

Sure! See section above for flavor variations.

Can you freeze it?

Yes! Freeze for up to 1 month.

Can you substitute the butter?

I do not recommend substituting the butter. Vegan cream cheese may work however.

What brand of vegan butter is the best?

Earth Balance is a great vegan butter.

You May Also Like

If you make this vegan buttercream frosting recipe, I would really appreciate a review! You can find me on InstagramFacebook, and Pinterest. Join my exclusive Facebook Group for a behind the scenes look. I would love for you to follow along!  For more ideas and recipes, check out these Vegan Recipes.

Sweet Addison's cookies
Vegan buttercream frosting.

Get the Recipe: Vegan Buttercream Frosting

This vegan buttercream frosting is so smooth and creamy! It is quick and easy to make. Only a few pantry staple ingredients needed. Use this frosting for cakes, cupcakes, cookies, brownies and more!
5 from 1 vote


  • ½ cup unsalted vegan butter, softened
  • 1 tbsp pure maple syrup
  • 2 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 tbsp dairy free milk, as needed


  • First, add softened butter and maple syrup to the bowl of a stand mixer. Mix on high until completely creamy, about 2 to 3 minutes.
  • Use a spatula to scrape down the sides of the mixing bowl as needed.
  • Add powdered sugar to the bowl. Mix slowly until completely combined.
  • Add in a tablespoon or so of milk. Add more for thinner frosting. Otherwise, add frosting to piping bag and frost dessert!


  • Use softened butter.  I put mine on the countertop an hour before making this recipe.
  • Do not use cold or melted butter.
  • I like using Earth Balance butter sticks.
  • Cream the butter and pure maple syrup completely.
  • For a thicker frosting, add slightly more powdered sugar.
  • For a thinner frosting, add slightly more milk.
  • Add in a pinch of sea salt if desired.
  • For gingerbread flavor, replace maple syrup with molasses.  Add in a pinch of ground ginger.
  • This recipe makes about 1 cup of frosting.  This was enough for 10 cookies.  Feel free to double this recipe if needed.
  • If needed, freeze frosting for up to 1 month.  Place in fridge overnight to thaw.
Calories: 1754kcal, Carbohydrates: 254g, Protein: 1g, Fat: 86g, Saturated Fat: 16g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 26g, Monounsaturated Fat: 41g, Trans Fat: 16g, Sodium: 707mg, Potassium: 90mg, Fiber: 0.1g, Sugar: 247g, Vitamin A: 59IU, Vitamin C: 1mg, Calcium: 48mg, Iron: 0.4mg

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