Vegan Dairy-Free Lemon Buttercream Frosting

Using wooden spoon to stir frosting in glass bowl
Dave King/Dorling Kindersley/Getty Images
Prep: 10 mins
Cook: 0 mins
Total: 10 mins
Servings: 10 servings
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
188 Calories
1g Fat
46g Carbs
0g Protein
Show Full Nutrition Label Hide Full Nutrition Label
Nutrition Facts
Servings: 10
Amount per serving
Calories 188
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 1g 2%
Saturated Fat 0g 1%
Cholesterol 0mg 0%
Sodium 14mg 1%
Total Carbohydrate 46g 17%
Dietary Fiber 0g 0%
Total Sugars 44g
Protein 0g
Vitamin C 0mg 2%
Calcium 5mg 0%
Iron 0mg 0%
Potassium 8mg 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.)

The sweetest memories in life are celebrated with cake. From as far back as the 1400s, 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. It's not just for looks, as it also enhances the flavor of a cake.

Just because you or your guests are vegan doesn't mean you can't frost a cake with buttercream frosting. This dairy-free vegan lemon buttercream frosting will transform any basic cake. Try it on a variety of dairy-free cakes and cupcakes. Your guests won't miss any ingredients and may not know that it's vegan. 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.


  • 1 stick (1/2 cup) dairy-free soy margarine, softened

  • 1 pound confectioners' sugar

  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice

  • 2 tablespoons soy milk, cold

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.

  4. Serve and enjoy!


  • Give yourself plenty of time. This frosting will need time to chill before you use it to decorate your cake.
  • Make sure the margarine is warmed to room temperature. You will need it soft enough to smoothly beat.
  • Store any leftover frosting in a sealed container in the refrigerator. Use it within a few days.


  • To get a basic vegan buttercream frosting, skip the lemon juice and use 1 1/2 teaspoons of vanilla extract.
  • Vegan strawberry buttercream frosting is perfect for a beautiful pink cake. To make it, use only one tablespoon of lemon juice and blend four tablespoons of strawberries in a food processor to make a strawberry puree. Add the puree to the remaining ingredients and mix on a medium speed setting.
  • Vegan lemon-orange buttercream frosting adds a citrus twist to the basic frosting. Add four tablespoons of orange juice, one tablespoon of lemon zest, and 2 tablespoons of orange zest to the existing recipe.
  • Vegan maraschino cherry buttercream frosting will be a festive red color. To make it, replace lemon juice with the juice from a bottle of maraschino cherries. Blend it with 6 diced maraschino cherries and add to the existing vegan icing recipe.
  • Vegan peppermint buttercream frosting will get you holiday-ready when you top a chocolate cake with 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 made a holiday dessert favorite that's dairy-free and vegan.