Buttercream Frosting

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Can you believe I searched 11 years to taste the perfect dairy free buttercream frosting? I must have tried over a dozen different frosting recipes. And wouldn’t you know the recipe of my dreams was under my nose the whole time!

A kitchen mixer with the paddle attachment on it and buttercream frosting all over it.

While I’ve never taken a cake decorating class, I spent years watching my mom bake and decorate cakes. My mother is an incredible cake baker and decorator. While on break from being a school teacher, she spent most weekends and summer vacations baking birthday, anniversary, and wedding cakes. It would not be an exaggeration to suggest my second home growing up was the local Wilton Cake Supply Store.

So it comes as no surprise a pastime of mine is to explore the Wilton Cake Decorating website for cake theme ideas. Out of the blue I recently wondered what the ingredients were in their famous buttercream frosting recipe. The Wilton recipe seemed simple enough, but I was most concerned with taste after substituting dairy free ingredients.

And to my surprise the dairy free substitutes didn’t change the frosting taste, texture, or consistency. It still tastes rich, luxurious, and decadent.

As a matter of fact… I took one spoonful of frosting and knew I’d found my newest food love. I shared some with my kids and they begged for more. Let’s just say my allergen safe frosting recipe has transformed our birthday celebrations for ages to come.

This frosting recipe is perfect for piping, spreading, filling, decorating, and anything else you can think of.

And surprisingly this recipe is perfect for any skill level. Beginners and master cake decorators can ice the perfect cake with this recipe.

buttercream frosting ingredients + notes

  • clear vanilla extract— I’ve found it’s hard to find this locally so you can purchase clear vanilla extract here or use traditional vanilla extract if you’re not looking for the pure white colored frosting
  • dairy free butter— so I use Earth Balance Soy Free Buttery Sticks. I haven’t tried this recipe with other dairy free butter substitutes so I can’t speak for all alternatives working in this recipe.
  • dairy free milk— We use unsweetened almond milk.
  • for a standard three layer six inch cake I triple the buttercream frosting recipe. This provides plenty of icing for piping in between each layer, frosting the sides and top, plus any extra piping along the bottom or top of the cake.
  • to pipe the frosting with this recipe I use disposable bags found here
  • my most used frosting gadget is this angled icing spatula. I can’t imagine frosting cakes without. Tip… warm this under hot water and towel dry just before spreading your icing for a smoother look.
  • lastly I’d suggest this round turntable if you find you’ll be icing cakes for years to come. I wish I’d bought mine years before I finally did. Not only do my cakes look better, but I save so much time icing cakes with it.

dairy free buttercream frosting in a bowl

the perfect cake themes for your next birthday party

Enjoy this rich and allergen friendly buttercream frosting. This is my go-to frosting for any cake theme, cupcakes, Christmas sugar cookies, and smothered over brownies.

Let me know in the comments how you enjoyed this frosting or if you have questions.

As always let’s connect on Instagram or Facebook. Click the tab above to follow me.

Did you make this recipe? Tag me on Instagram and hashtag it #eatingglutenanddairyfree. I look forward to seeing your cake creations with this gluten and dairy free buttercream frosting. Take care and happy celebrating!

Eat well and feel well,


Print Recipe
4.5 from 2 votes

Buttercream Frosting

Keyword: Dairy Free, Gluten Free
Servings: 2 cups
Author: Eating Gluten and Dairy Free


  • ½ c shortening, I prefer palm shortening
  • ½ c softened dairy free butter, Earth Balance Butter Sticks are perfect
  • 1 tsp clear vanilla extract
  • 4 c sifted confectioners' sugar
  • 3-4 tbsp dairy free milk or water


  • In a large bowl, cream shortening and butter with a hand or electric mixer until light and fluffy.
  • Add vanilla and mix well.
  • Add confectioners' sugar 1 cup at a time. Mix on low. Scrape down sides of mixing bowl often.
  • Add in dairy free milk 1 tbsp at a time. Add in more for your desired consistency.


note- buttercream may be stored refrigerated in an airtight container for two weeks. Before using buttercream allow it to rest until room temperature and re-whip before icing. 



  • Donna June 30, 2020 at 6:58 am

    I baked this cake last night for my daughter’s birthday and everyone loved it!

    • Donna June 30, 2020 at 7:03 am

      Just to add this icing was delicious with the cake I made. I did add some coco powder to the recipe.

      • Jill July 1, 2020 at 10:26 am

        Oh this is such a great idea! Thank you for sharing, Donna. Jill

    • Jill July 1, 2020 at 10:24 am

      I’m so excited to hear the cake was a hit. Birthdays are such a special time. Thanks for sharing, Jill

    • Misty September 7, 2020 at 4:02 pm

      Made this for the first time last week, it was amazing. Very delicious, we used water instead of milk since my daughter doesn’t have a safe milk choice. She is obsessed with this icing. I will forever make this! Thanks!

      • Jill September 9, 2020 at 9:25 am

        Misty- thank you so much for your feedback with the water substitution. I am so excited your daughter enjoys this icing. Jill


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