Dairy-Free Lemon Buttercream Frosting

Using wooden spoon to stir frosting
Dave King/Dorling Kindersley/Getty Images
Ratings (25)
  • Total: 5 mins
  • Prep: 5 mins
  • Cook: 0 mins
  • Yield: About 3 Cups (up to 10 Servings)
Nutritional Guidelines (per serving)
225 Calories
5g Fat
46g Carbs
0g Protein
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

The sweetest memories in life are celebrated with cake. In the late 1400's cake-like dishes called marchpanes were frosted with icing to appear like more decorative items at celebrations. Buttercream frosting, a staple in American cakes and cupcakes, carries with it the versatility to transform cakes into beautiful works of art, but also enhance the flavor of a cake. With that in mind, this dairy-free vegan lemon buttercream frosting will you transform a basic vanilla cake. Try it on a variety of dairy-free cakes and cupcakes. Your guests won't know that it's vegan.

Ingredient Substitutions and Cooking Tips

Birthdays, anniversaries, weddings and other life milestones are book-ended with the sharing of sweets. But going vegan doesn't mean you need to completely change how you celebrate. This recipe will help you rethink what ingredients you use, but you should never have to sacrifice taste. You can turn this frosting recipe into your go-to for all things sweet. Here are some flavors you can try with this recipe and the ingredients to help you enhance them into whatever your palate and your cake base can handle.

To get a basic vegan buttercream frosting, skip the lemon juice and use 1-1/2 teaspoon of vanilla extract. From there the possibilities are endless.

Vegan Strawberry Buttercream Frosting: Use only one tablespoon of lemon juice, blend four tablespoons of blended strawberries in a food processor to make a strawberry puree. Add with the remaining ingredients and mix on a medium speed setting.

Vegan Lemon-Orange Buttercream Frosting: Add four tablespoons of orange juice to the existing recipe as well as one tablespoon of lemon zest and 2 tablespoons of orange zest to the existing vegan icing recipe.

Vegan Maraschino Cherry Buttercream Frosting: Replace lemon juice with the juice from a bottle of Maraschino cherries. Blend with 6 diced Maraschino cherries and add to the existing vegan icing recipe.

Vegan Peppermint Buttercream Frosting: Get holiday happy by topping a chocolate cake with this vegan peppermint icing. Simply add 1/2 teaspoon of peppermint oil/essence to the basic vegan vanilla buttercream frosting recipe. Add peppermint crumbles and you've got a holiday dessert favorite that's dairy-free and vegan.


  • 1 stick (1/2 cup) margarine (dairy-free soy, softened)
  • 1 pound sugar (confectioners')
  • 2 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoon  milk (cold soy)

Steps to Make It

  1. In a large mixing bowl, beat the dairy-free soy margarine with an electric hand mixer until smooth.

  2. Add in the remaining ingredients, beating for about 2 minutes on a medium speed setting until the mixture resembles a thick frosting.

  3. Chill slightly before using to ice dairy-free cakes and cupcakes.