Saturday, January 29, 2011

Delicious Dairy-Free "Buttercream" Frosting

Look no further for the perfect dairy-free substitute for the thick creamy buttery goodness that you loved as a child. (Okay, who are we kidding? We still love it!) This stuff looks and tastes just like the real thing.

To be honest, I didn't invent this recipe from scratch myself. I did what I usually do: searched the internet for recipes, found one somewhere, and made some tweaks. Then when I bragged on facebook about my awesome frosting, I had a few people ask me for the recipe and I couldn't find it again... anywhere!  So this is the recipe that I used, tweaks and all.

Delicious Dairy-Free "Buttercream" Frosting

4 cups (about 1 pound) of powdered sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup ghee
1/4 cup coconut milk
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla
coloring (optional)

Be careful with these directions, because they are extremely complicated.  Read them carefully to make sure that you fully understand them before starting.

1. Cream ghee in a bowl.
2. Add everything else, mixing until smooth.
3. Frost cake/cupcakes/whatever.
4. Lick the bowl and beaters (or give them to your kids if you are feeling really generous).

It's that easy!  The ghee gives it a yummy buttery flavor, and the coconut milk gives it the perfect thickness.  If you are unfamiliar with the wonderful dairy-free butteryness of ghee, then you can click here to learn more.  It's very cheap and easy to make, and has proven itself indispensable in my kitchen.

Please let me know if you have any questions or if you try this recipe!


  1. Hi Stacey,
    Thanks for posting this recipe!
    Very excited a found it as i am able to have ghee without any issues.

    One question does the ghee butter cream hold up like standard butter cream icing?

    Reason i ask is i am wanting to use it underneath fondant on my engagement cake. All the posts use standard butter cream, so am hoping the ghee version will work.

    Thanks :)

    1. Hi! Glad you can use it! I don't see why it wouldn't hold up similarly, but I've never tried using under fondant, so I can't say for sure. You might want to bake a little test cake to try it out! :) Be sure to come back and let me know how it works for you!

  2. Ghee is not dairy free. It is clarified butter - the butter is heated until the water content is evaporated. Just clarifying for others.

  3. You do realize that ghee is pure butterfat, right? And therefore, this is definitely not a dairy-free recipe?

  4. Hi, thanks for commenting, Deana and Anjea. Ghee, although made from butter, is actually considered dairy-free. And I have the personal experience of being extremely sensitive to even the most minute forms of dairy, but I can consume as much ghee as I please with no issues whatsoever.

    When you cook the ghee, not only does the moisture evaporate, but the milk solids turn brown and clump up, just leaving the pure oil.

  5. Just because it is lactose and casein free does notaje it dairy free. That is important to vegans in particular.

  6. Thank you for your post. It's perfect for anyone with milk protein allergy or lactose intolerance. I'm going to try it soon!

  7. I just tried this on cupcakes and it held its shape perfectly. It was a little too dense but that may be because I didn't use mixer with whisk attachment, I used a normal hand beater. I had to use a little more than a quarter cup of coconut milk and next time I may use even more to try and get a fluffier consistency. The salt is a fundamental ingredient. I put it in the fridge after frosting the cupcakes and the shape held perfectly overnight. The frosting was very hard after being in the fridge but softens after sitting at room temperature for a couple of hours.

  8. Anjea, that's a good point for vegans. I wasn't thinking about that, just about allergies/intolerances.

    Rach, I'm so glad it worked well for you!

  9. I've been looking for a recipe like this! My son is amharic to casein so I'm excited to try the ghee and coconut milk. Thanks for posting

  10. Thank you so much for posting this! My little sunshine, my soon to be 6 year old, has a serious dairy allergy. Doctors all diagnosed him with asthma. I had a suspicion it could be dairy, but I was in denial. We are a family who loves all things dairy. I make homemade ice-cream all year long, even in the coldest NJ winters. Every time he had dairy he would get the asthma like symptoms. Since I've stopped he never has an attack. Even the tiniest bit of dairy and even sheep's milk products are triggers. So, we LOVE ghee and we are Indian so we are not new to it. But I have been using ghee to give him the rich taste of butter without the milk proteins in butter. So far, he never has had an issue with ghee. I hope it stays that way. He is having a birthday soon and I can't serve dairy-full cupcakes so I'm going to use this recipe. I will try it out today. I am still looking for the perfect non-dairy very vanilla cupcake recipe. Please do let me know if anybody has one!Thanks in advance! (I never would have figured that my son had a dairy allergy and he never would be off his inhalers had I not trusted my own reasoning and instincts. So, if you or your child has symptoms not typical of food allergies, then try eliminating dairy! Allergists and doctors we saw all went by skin and gastrointestinal symptoms. Some thought it But since he always had a runny nose while having the coughing and wheezing fits, I suspected it had to be an allergy. They even thought he had whooping cough/pertussis! Thanks again and sorry for the long ramble. Now that he's in Kindergarten, I have so much more time!