Gluten-Free and Dairy-Free Vanilla Frosting

Gluten-Free and Dairy-Free Vanilla Frosting

The Spruce / Julia Hartbeck

Prep: 15 mins
Cook: 0 mins
Total: 15 mins
Serving: 1 serving
Yield: 1 cup
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
1553 Calories
77g Fat
221g Carbs
1g Protein
Show Full Nutrition Label Hide Full Nutrition Label
Nutrition Facts
Servings: 1
Amount per serving
Calories 1553
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 77g 98%
Saturated Fat 35g 177%
Cholesterol 38mg 13%
Sodium 264mg 11%
Total Carbohydrate 221g 80%
Dietary Fiber 0g 0%
Total Sugars 215g
Protein 1g
Vitamin C 0mg 2%
Calcium 10mg 1%
Iron 2mg 9%
Potassium 101mg 2%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

A go-to frosting is a great recipe to have in the recipe box. You want one that is easy, simple, and reliable. This easy recipe for gluten and dairy-free vanilla frosting is perfect for frosting cakes and cupcakes for kids on gluten and casein-free diets.

The frosting does not require cooking and is very easy to work with. Instead of butter, this recipe calls for vegetable shortening that is creamed together with gluten-free powdered sugar, salt, your choice of dairy-free milk substitute, and gluten-free vanilla extract.

Why does powdered sugar need to be gluten-free? Some powdered sugars include a starch that contains gluten, similar to marshmallows. Be careful to read labels; when in doubt, call the manufacturer to confirm.

The milk substitute is up to you. Canned coconut milk is dreamy for super creamy frosting with a subtle hint of coconut lingering in the background. Cashew milk adds a lovely creaminess as well, but both almond milk and soy milk would work well, too.

You can adjust the amount of dairy-free milk substitute to the desired frosting consistency, less if you want a slightly thicker frosting, a bit more for a silkier, creamier texture.

For the flavor of vanilla but a burst of color to your baked treats, you can add a touch of gluten-free food coloring for a more festive dessert.


  • 1/3 cup vegetable shortening

  • 1/8 teaspoon fine salt

  • 2 cups gluten-free powdered sugar

  • 2 to 3 tablespoons canned coconut milk, or milk substitute

  • 1/4 teaspoon gluten-free vanilla extract

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    Gluten-Free and Dairy-Free Vanilla Frosting ingredients

    The Spruce / Julia Hartbeck

  2. In a medium mixing bowl, cream together the vegetable shortening and salt with an electric mixer.

    In a medium mixing bowl, cream together the vegetable shortening and salt

    The Spruce / Julia Hartbeck

  3. Add gluten-free powdered sugar, coconut milk (or milk substitute), and vanilla extract. Whip on high just until the frosting is smooth and creamy.

    Add gluten-free powdered sugar, vanilla extract, and coconut milk to the mixture in the bowl

    The Spruce / Julia Hartbeck

  4. If the frosting is too stiff, gradually add more milk substitute, 1 teaspoon at a time to desired consistency.

    If the frosting is too stiff, gradually add more milk substitute

    The Spruce / Julia Hartbeck

  5. Use the frosting on your favorite gluten-free, dairy-free baked goods. Enjoy.

    Gluten-Free and Dairy-Free Vanilla Frosting

    The Spruce / Julia Hartbeck


  • Always make sure your work surfaces, utensils, pans, and tools are free of gluten. Always read product labels—not all brands are created equal. Manufacturers can change product formulations without notice. When in doubt, do not buy or use a product before contacting the manufacturer for verification that the product is free of gluten.​