Buttercream Frosting (Dairy Free!)
I’m baaaaack! I haven’t been the healthiest person lately but with my kids visiting, I wanted to spoil them a bit. Their regular meals throughout the year aren’t terribly full of flavor and they deserved some sweetness from their mama. So we practiced making gluten-free cakes and of course, they needed frosting! One thing for sure I’ve perfected is vegan buttercream. Below are just a few I love: chocolate, rose confit (real rose petals!), lemon curd, raspberry, and pineapple.
Yeah, yeah. Vegan and buttercream don’t belong in the same sentence together, much less as the sweet, creamy, decadent fluff on top of cake. Or on a spoon. Or piped straight into my mouth. As I come up with new flavors, I have to hold back and not eat the frosting straight out of the mixing bowl. There’s something about a light frothy cream with fresh fruit swirled throughout… that makes me gain weight like a mofo and complain when I have to run a few extra miles to work it off. But LOOK AT IT!
I’m actually not much of a fan of sugar frosting, nor fondant. Regular sugar icing is nice but seems so grainy to me, and store bought cakes are laden with it. Then the exception is my sister’s marshmallow fondant, which is actually edible and someday I’ll wrassle that recipe out of her. She has her own little home bakery in Kansas and I could eat that fondant by the forkful. But I love a good buttercream as long as it complements the cake and doesn’t overpower it. I tend to ice cakes with only about a 1/4 to 1/2 inch of frosting and then use flowers, herbs or fruit for other decoration. The cake is the real showstopper. When adding real fruit flavorings, start with a 1/4 cup at a time, or you risk having a runny mess because the frosting becomes too wet. Being a mix of shortening and butter, it doesn’t blend well when too wet and won’t stay on your baked goods. This recipe calls for vegan ingredients but regular butter and milk can work as well. I’ve also made it with ghee and rice milk or coconut milk. It’s fairly forgiving as long as you whip it long enough.
This buttercream is a real close second as the diva of my baking. Whether piped on, used as a crumbcoat and then piled high on a cake, it just works.
I’ve been busy the last several months after the chili cookoff developing different flavors of buttercream because I didn’t want to stick to plain vanilla. Plus, with some of the added flavors, beautiful colors from natural fruits, spices, infused oils, and herbs came thru in the frosting, allowing for prettier cakes without artificial colors. For instance, look at the gorgeous color from adding deseeded raspberries to the cream above. Not a drop of artificial coloring to be found. Such a pretty ruby! I’ve also added rose water to the raspberry cream for added depth of flavor.
In the recipe below, you’ll find two flavors, chocolate and vanilla, but I’ve made this buttercream literally 20 different ways with different flavors! I have 50 more I want to try!