Non-Dairy Vanilla Buttercream Frosting (Pareve)

Non-Dairy Vanilla Buttercream

The Spruce / Miri Rotkovitz

Prep: 10 mins
Cook: 0 mins
Total: 10 mins
Servings: 8 servings
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
383 Calories
19g Fat
53g Carbs
0g Protein
Show Full Nutrition Label Hide Full Nutrition Label
Nutrition Facts
Servings: 8
Amount per serving
Calories 383
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 19g 25%
Saturated Fat 5g 27%
Cholesterol 4mg 1%
Sodium 92mg 4%
Total Carbohydrate 53g 19%
Dietary Fiber 0g 0%
Protein 0g
Calcium 4mg 0%
*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.)

It's pretty tricky to make a simple pareve buttercream that actually tastes good. This dairy-free vanilla buttercream utilizes a mix of vegetable shortening and margarine to achieve a desirable texture and easy spreadabilty, without the waxy mouthfeel or off flavors of many pareve frostings. 

Basic vanilla plays well with all sorts of cakes, so you can use this with almost any cake that needs a dairy free-frosting. And since the frosting is just slightly off-white, it's a perfect choice for tinting with food coloring when you want to decorate cupcakes or birthday cakes.

Try it with on this dairy-free carrot cake, fresh strawberry cake, or chocolate cake. You can also sandwich it between these oatmeal raisin cookies with chocolate and nuts, or use it to dress up mint chocolate chip brownies


  • 1/2 cup/113 g. shortening (non-hydrogenated such as Earth Balance or Spectrum Organic Palm Shortening)
  • 1/2 cup margarine (non-hydrogenated such as Earth Balance Buttery Spread)
  • 3 1/2 cups confectioners sugar (sifted)
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 2 tablespoons pareve soymilk

Steps to Make It

  1. In a large bowl using electric beaters, cream together the shortening and margarine on medium-high speed. (You can also use a stand mixer.) 

  2. Add the confectioner's sugar one cup at a time, beating on low speed after each addition until the sugar is well integrated. 

  3. Add the vanilla extract and the soymilk, beating on medium speed until the frosting is smooth, fluffy, and spreadable, about 3 minutes.  Enjoy! 


  • Look for an all-natural pareve shortenings, which are typically made from tropical oils such as palm or coconut oil. Though they are rich sources of saturated fat, they are still healthier options than partially- or fully-hydrogenated commercial shortenings.
  • Want to amp up the vanilla flavor even more? Scrape the seeds from a vanilla bean pod into the frosting and beat until they're evenly incorporated and the frosting is flecked with the seeds. You can also use vanilla soymilk instead of plain.
  • Even if dairy isn't a concern, this is a good recipe to have in your frosting repertoire—while regular buttercream can melt or sweat, the shortening in this recipe helps stabilize it, so it's a good choice if you'll be transporting the cake, or displaying it for a bit on a warm day.