Anyone who knows me knows that I don’t have a sweet tooth. When it’s time for dessert, I would rather have the appetizer menu back. So if you eat a piece of cake in front of me, there’s no need to worry, the cake is safe. As for the frosting…that’s a completely different story. While I’m not a great fan of cake, I love frosting. To me, the cake is just a pedestal to hold up the frosting though I’m also quite happy to eat it straight out of the bowl (and I often do).
Frosting may be sweet but it’s also creamy, silky, and delicious. When I was a kid, frosting came out of a can but now, homemade is the only way to go. Making vegan frosting is easy and healthier because you get to choose the ingredients and how sweet you want it. Here’s how to make all kinds of creamy, delicious vegan frostings.
Buttercream may not sound vegan at all but you can make luxurious buttercream frosting without butter or cream. Coconut oil or vegan butter will help you make a frosting that is creamy and delicious. All you have to do is put about ½ cup of coconut oil or vegan butter in a bowl and use a mixer until it is smooth. Then add powdered sugar, one cup at a time, and mix until the sugar is blended in. Add sugar until the frosting has the consistency and taste you want. Add in vanilla, a pinch of salt, and any other flavorings you want in your frosting. If it’s too thick, you can always add a spoon or two of non-dairy milk.
This Brown Butter Cardamom Cake with Chai Buttercream Frosting uses vegan butter and powdered sugar as do these Chocolate Cupcakes with Rich Maple Buttercream. These Double Chocolate Cupcakes with Buttercream Frosting uses coconut oil and cashew butter for creaminess and dates plus maple syrup for sweetness. For a shot of intense flavor, try this Homemade ‘Nutella’ Buttercream Frosting with hazelnuts, cocoa, and a bit of bourbon.
Is anything more delectable than chocolate frosting? Probably not and it’s really easy to make. Just like buttercream, all you have to do is mix vegan butter or coconut oil with some type of sugar or sweetener and then add chocolate. It can be chunks of chocolate, chocolate chips or cocoa powder. Of course, add some vanilla extract, a pinch of salt and then go crazy with peanut butter, spices and even a shot of liquor.
This Chocolate Carrot Cake with Walnut Date Frosting uses walnut butter for the fat, cacao for the chocolate, and is sweetened with dates. Coconut oil and cocoa powder make the Chocolate Fudge Frosting that tops cocoa brownies. If you love the taste of chocolate and hazelnuts, you’ll want to make this Chocolate Teff Cake with Chocolate Hazelnut Frosting. These Chocolate Cupcakes with Peanut Butter Swirl Frosting combines dark chocolate and peanut butter and don’t forget white chocolate as in these Blueberry Cupcakes with White Chocolate Frosting.
3. Cream Cheese
My favorite cake is carrot cake and part of what I love about it is the cream cheese frosting that usually goes with it. I make my cream cheese frosting by combining vegan butter with vegan cream cheese. Then I mix in powdered sugar until I have the consistency I want and add some maple syrup and a double dose of vanilla. Get the recipe in my Walnut Carrot Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting. A similar recipe is used in these Vanilla Birthday Cake Cupcakes with Cream Cheez Frosting and this Spiced Gingerbread with Cream Cheese Frosting.
Instead of store-bought vegan cream cheese, you can make your own. This Italian Cream Bundt Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting uses cashews to make homemade cream cheese as do these Raw Vegan Carrot Cupcakes. You can also add special flavors as in these Red Velvet Cupcakes with Peppermint Cream Cheese Frosting and these Vanilla Cupcakes with Blackberry Cream Cheese Frosting.
4. Fruit and Veggie Frostings
Using fruit and veggies is a great way to add creaminess to frosting with an added hit of nutrition. Applesauce and other pureed fruits will also add natural sweetness. Pumpkin, squash, and other veggie purees can help replace some of the oil and butter. Avocado can replace butter or any type of dairy as they do in these Brownies with Creamy Chocolate Frosting.
5. Icing and Glazes
Icing and glazes are much thinner than frostings, and are achieved usually by adding milk. When they harden, icings are like a sheet of yummy glass on baked goods. My favorite is the peanut butter glaze I use on my banana doughnuts. I heat 2 tablespoons each of non-dairy milk and peanut butter in a saucepan and stir until smooth. Then I add a cup of powdered sugar and stir until it is a thin glaze. Remove it from the heat and mix in a teaspoon of vanilla. I dip the doughnuts in the glaze and place them on a cooling rack where the glaze hardens in about 5 minutes.
These Baked Pumpkin Spice Doughnuts with Chocolate Cinnamon Icing is made with just sugar, cocoa, milk, and cinnamon. These Apple Cinnamon Rolls with Maple Vanilla Icing use silken tofu to make the icing while avocados are the secret ingredient in these Zucchini Carrot Cupcakes with Avocado Frosting. This Chocolate Beet Cake with Raspberry Frosting has an icing made with cashews and fresh raspberries while this Chocolate Beet Cake has a beautiful raspberry icing. Beets aren’t just for the cake. This Fudgy Chocolate Cake with Pink Frosting has an icing that gets its color from beetroot juice. These Mini Coconut Pound Cakes have a bright lime glaze that gives you a burst of tart citrus flavor.
There are so many ways to make rich, luxurious frostings, icings and glazes without any dairy! With these delicious recipes, no cookie, cupcake, doughnut or cake need ever go naked again.
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