Sometimes I get grand visions in my head for a recipe and then there is no stopping me until I get them tested out in my kitchen. I have long wanted to create a dairy free frosting that wasn’t runny and impressed people who don’t even follow a dairy free diet. Trust me, when you tell people something is dairy free, you can instantly see the wheels turning in their head. I’m like no really – it’s good..I don’t eat crappy food, much less desserts. Anyway — The key was that I wanted my frosting recipe to be light, airy and dairy free, yet still taste sweet and delicious. Like a buttercream without all the butter or cream 😉 A tall order, I know. So, I set out to recreate the icing from my Brown Butter Ghee Cookie Bars, except I wanted it a little bit more fluffy. Okay, I wanted it really fluffy. Come on – who doesn’t love fluffy icing?! Today I’m sharing the trials it took to get me to the final recipe I’m sharing, plus a few tips to increase your success along the way for this delicious dairy free dessert frosting. Let’s get started!
Fluffy Dairy Free Frosting
The recipe for the frosting I made for the Brown Butter Ghee Bars is delicious, but like I said earlier it didn’t have the fluffy, pillowy factor I was going for. In fact this time I didn’t use solid ghee (it has been HOT!) and the result was kind of a runny mess. Bleh. So I trashed it and had a half frosted pan of cake bars when I started chatting with my friend Liz on Instagram who saw my recipe photo posted.
I was talking about the trials and tribulations of dairy free baking (they are aplenty, trust me) and she had mentioned subbing in coconut cream. A lightbulb went off in my head. My plan was to recreate the recipe using a vanilla bean ghee I saw on Amazon, but that would have required waiting about a week more. I wondered…what if I subbed in coconut cream instead of coconut milk and then added fresh vanilla bean? I also wanted to get my hands on some vegan butter, so this was the perfect excuse to go to Whole Foods and snag some. Honestly I didn’t feel like dealing with the ghee nightmare again!
The final result was absolutely amazing. Seriously – it’s one of those recipes I’m going to probably use for everything from here on out – dairy free or not dairy free, because Dane and I both could not get over how creamy it tasted (not at all like coconut for anyone wondering) and just…YUM. Can you tell my mouth is watering a little reliving this?
To recreate this at home, you will need:
5 tbsp. Earth Balance Buttery Spread
4-5 cups confectioner’s sugar (if you’re making this vegan, don’t forget to use vegan confectioner’s sugar)
1 tbsp. coconut cream
1/2 vanilla bean pod, scraped
Really quickly before we go any further, the fact that I had vanilla bean pods is kind of ironic. When we visited Tahaa this year, it’s also known as Vanilla Island, so the parting gift from our resort was fresh vanilla. That is literally the only reason I had it on hand, so it was a really ironic pantry win!
food coloring gels (totally optional, but fun!)
1. In a large bowl, beat together the Earth Balance until it look a bit whipped in the bowl using a hand mixer.
2. Slowly add in confectioner’s sugar until well mixed. I really like my icing sugary, so I fall squarely in the 5 cup demographic, but you could get away with 4!
3. When well combined, add in coconut cream and beat on high for one minute.
4. It will look very fluffy! Scrape in vanilla bean and food coloring gel (if you’re using it) and fold together using a spatula.
5. Frost your cake right away and enjoy!
A couple things to note: First, I stored these cake bars in the refrigerator and the frosting did slightly crust, which I am not entirely sure why, so if frosting that gets slightly crusted is a turnoff, perhaps eat all of your cake on day one 😉 Second, if you don’t use food coloring this icing will have a buttery yellow color that is not attractive against yellow cake. Take my word on that one!