This simple plant-based recipe gives you deliciously rich vegan vanilla frosting in under 5 minutes with only 4 ingredients – it’s the perfect way to dress any vegan birthday cake! Follow our simple instructions below.
Trying to find the perfect frosting for your plant-based cake? You might be surprised to learn that some store-bought cake frosting is vegan, like many Duncan Hines flavors. While they don’t contain dairy, many have palm oil, corn syrup, and a range of other less-than-appealing ingredients.
And homemade frosting recipes, while far tastier, often contain butter, eggs, cream, or milk, which is why we decided to build this simple plant-based frosting recipe for all your cake and cupcake needs.
We used silken tofu as the base, which gives each serving a whopping 12 g of protein and only 7 g of fat, a considerable improvement compared to fat-laden classic recipes.
While we made our vegan frosting vanilla-flavored, you can read our FAQ to learn how to adjust the flavor of this essential, 4-ingredient recipe to suit any vegan cake!
Fat-Free Frosting Recipe - Nutrition Information
Per serving: ¼ recipe
Calories: 149 kcals; Fat: 7g; Carbs 12 g; Protein: 12 g.
Healthy Vegan Frosting - FAQ
What’s the difference between frosting and icing?
Though many people use the terms frosting and icing interchangeably, there is a distinction that makes the difference between icing and frosting.
Cake frosting is a thick, fluffy textured paste that provides a rich coating and filling for both cakes and cupcakes. On the other hand, vegan icing is thin and glossy looking – we use it to decorate detailed cookies or provide a glaze on cookies or loaves, like banana bread.
Is frosting vegan?
With frosting, you get a mixed bag – some frosting is vegan, like many Duncan Hines pre-made icing products, while others contain dairy, like cream cheese frosting. Traditionally, frosting recipes include sugar, liquid (usually water or milk), and any number of add-ins like butter, eggs, cream cheese, and flavors.
While it’s not impossible to find vegan frosting at the grocery store, the best frosting is homemade with better quality ingredients than some store-bought products, full of unhealthy palm oil and corn syrup.
We made our vegan frosting without butter using a silken tofu base and powdered sugar. The result is creamy and rich, with the added benefits of being high-protein and low-fat compared to classic versions.
What is silken tofu?
Silken tofu is Japanese-style tofu with a much smoother, softer texture than regular, firm, or extra-firm tofu blocks. Unlike other tofu, you can find silken tofu on the grocery store shelves rather than the refrigerated section – it’s completely shelf-stable.
Silken tofu isn’t a great option for frying, as it’s far too soft and falls apart under the heat. Instead, silken tofu best works in recipes to thicken sauces, soups, dressings, and make desserts creamy.
Can I use another type of tofu instead of silken?
This easy vegan frosting has the best texture when made with silken tofu, but you can also use soft tofu, patted dry with some paper towel or a dishtowel.
If you can only find blocks of firm or extra-firm tofu, you can adjust the recipe to use those instead. Since you want the tofu to maintain as much water as possible, skip using the tofu press this time.
Instead, pat the firm tofu dry, then follow the recipe as usual. You likely need to add a little bit of water to the blender to get the texture just right for frosting – start with ¼ c., blend, and add in more as needed.
Can I use another type of sugar?
Yes, you absolutely can! Play around and experiment with any sweetener you like instead of powdered sugar. You can use white sugar, brown sugar, coconut sugar, maple syrup, or even honey to sweeten your dairy-free frosting – they’ll all slightly affect the flavor, which can lead to some tasty combinations.
If you want to make your vegan vanilla frosting sugar-free, skip the powdered sugar and opt for stevia instead. Beware: a little liquid stevia goes a very long way. Start with a few drops, and add more as needed.
This cake frosting will last in a sealed, airtight container in the fridge for up to 5 days. We don’t recommend freezing the vanilla frosting, as it will become too watery as it thaws, losing its fluffy texture.
Different Flavor Add-Ins
While we love this vanilla frosting, why stop there? You can adjust the flavors of your vegan frosting to suit any cake or cupcake of your choice!
Here are a few of the very best vegan icing alternatives:
- Chai spiced frosting - with cinnamon, cardamom, cloves, and dried ginger
- Lavender frosting - with dried lavender extract
- Espresso “buttercream” frosting - with espresso powder and unsweetened cocoa
- Rainbow frosting - with vegan rainbow chips
- Chocolate chip frosting - with vegan dark chocolate chips
- Peanut butter frosting - with creamy peanut butter and pure vanilla extract
- Strawberries and cream frosting - with strawberry syrup and pure vanilla extract
Final Notes on Dairy-Free Vegan Frosting
The sky is really the limit for making vegan cake frosting from scratch. This tofu-based frosting is something you don’t need to feel guilty about indulging in – while the recipe still contains sugar, it’s far lower in fat and higher in protein than most dessert frostings.
Enjoy a big slice of vegan cake topped with vegan vanilla or one of the fun alternatives above!