Easy vanilla buttercream frosting that is vegan and grain-free! It is made with powdered sugar that is free of cornstarch.
This post is short and sweet, just like the recipe! It’s for vegan vanilla buttercream that is both vegan and grain-free. I created it for use with my Grain-Free & Vegan Vanilla Layer Cake recipe.
The vegan part is simple: in place of butter, I use vegan margarine sticks. Be sure to use sticks, not tub margarine. The latter has significantly more water and will throw off the proportions of the recipe. I used Earth Balance Soy-Free Buttery Sticks. I have zero affiliation with the brand. I chose the buttery sticks because I think that they have the best flavor, are made with expeller-pressed oils, and are trans fat-free.
The grain-free part requires finding a powdered sugar that is free of cornstarch. Powdered sugar (also known as confectioners’ sugar) is simply granulated sugar that is ground into a powder, but most brands also add cornstarch to prevent caking.
Several brands (e.g., Thrive Markets, Wholesome Sweeteners, Safeway O Organics and Whole Foods 365 brand) use tapioca starch instead of cornstarch. Check the label, as more and more brands are making the switch from cornstarch to non-grain starches.
If you cannot find ready-to-use grain-free powdered sugar, make your own! In a clean coffee grinder or high speed blender, process 1 cup of granulated sugar with 1 tablespoon arrowroot/tapioca starch/potato starch until powdery (sorry, regular blenders and food processors will not work for this).
The buttercream itself is a breeze: beat the margarine until light and fluffy, then gradually add the sifted powdered sugar and vanilla until completely blended.
The buttercream is perfect for frosting layer cakes:
And for piping, too!
- 2 sticks (1 cup total) vegan margarine, softened
- 5 cups grain-free powdered sugar, softed
- 1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste (see notes)
- In a large bowl, beat the with an electric mixer on medium-high speed until light and fluffy.
- With the mixer on low speed, gradually add the powdered sugar, stopping several times to scrape down sides of the bowl, until completely blended, light and fluffy. Beat in the vanilla until incrporated.
- This makes enough frosting to frost a 2-layer cake or 24 cupcakes.
Tip: Be sure to use sticks, not tub margarine. The latter has a much higher water content and will alter the proportions of the recipe.
Vanilla: Technically, vanilla extract is not grain-free because it is made with alcohol, which is made from grain. Vanilla paste is made without alcohol. If you are fine using vanilla extract, use an equal amount (1 teaspoon).