Is Buttercream Dairy Free? Dairy-Free Buttercream Recipe

Traditional buttercream is not dairy-free as it’s typically made with butter, a dairy product. However, you can make a dairy-free version by substituting the butter with a non-dairy butter substitute. Other ingredients like powdered sugar and flavorings usually do not contain dairy, but it’s always good to check labels if you have a severe dairy allergy or intolerance.


Dairy-Free Buttercream Recipe


  • 1 cup of dairy-free butter substitute
  • 4 cups of powdered sugar
  • 2 teaspoons of vanilla extract
  • 2-4 tablespoons of non-dairy milk


  • Beat the dairy-free butter until smooth.
  • Gradually add powdered sugar and beat until fully incorporated.
  • Add vanilla extract and enough non-dairy milk to achieve desired consistency.
  • Beat until fluffy and spreadable.

Dairy-Free Buttercream Alternatives

Coconut Cream Frosting: Chill a can of full-fat coconut milk, scoop out the solid part, and whip it with powdered sugar and vanilla extract.

Cashew Frosting: Soaked and blended cashews create a creamy, rich base that can be sweetened with maple syrup or other sweeteners.

Avocado Frosting: Avocado offers a creamy texture and neutral flavor that can be sweetened and flavored to mimic buttercream.

Best Dairy-Free Buttercream Brands

Miss Jones Baking Co. Organic Frosting

These certified organic frostings are vegan, gluten-free, and non-GMO. They come in various flavors, including vanilla and chocolate, and are made with coconut oil instead of dairy. Miss Jones Baking Co. is committed to using high-quality, sustainably sourced ingredients.

Simple Mills Frosting

Simple Mills offers a line of frostings that are dairy-free and free of gluten, soy, and corn. They’re made with coconut oil and sweetened with monk fruit extract, offering a healthier take on the traditional frosting. They come in both chocolate and vanilla flavors.

Dollop Gourmet Frosting

Dollop Gourmet offers a line of frostings that are both vegan and gluten-free. They come in unique flavors like hot chocolate, peanut butter cookie dough, and Madagascar vanilla, adding a gourmet twist to your baked goods. The frostings are made with non-GMO ingredients and are lower in sugar than many traditional frostings.

Wholesome Sweet Organic Frosting

Wholesome Sweet’s frosting line is certified organic and non-GMO. These frostings are free from artificial colors and preservatives and sweetened with fair-trade sugar. They offer vanilla and chocolate frostings, which are both dairy-free.

Betty Crocker Frosting

While not all Betty Crocker frostings are dairy-free, they have some flavors, including the Rich & Creamy Coconut Pecan and the Whipped Fluffy White, which are dairy-free. Always read the label before purchasing to ensure it fits your dietary requirements.

Cherrybrook Kitchen Frosting

Cherrybrook Kitchen offers a variety of baking mixes and frostings that are allergy-friendly. Their vanilla and chocolate frostings are gluten-free, dairy-free, nut-free, and egg-free, making them a great choice for those with multiple food allergies or intolerances.

Best Dairy-Free Buttercream Brands

Tips to Ensure that you always eat Dairy-Free Buttercream

Read Labels: Always check labels to ensure ingredients are dairy-free. Look for hidden dairy products like whey, casein, or lactose.

Try Homemade: Make your dairy-free frosting to control the ingredients and avoid any potential hidden dairy.

Ask at Bakeries: When buying from a bakery, always ask if their frosting is dairy-free. Even if a cake is dairy-free, the frosting might not be.

Choose Trusted Brands: Stick to brands you trust that clearly label their products as dairy-free.

Dairy-Free Buttercream vs. Dairy Buttercream Frosting

Ingredients: Traditional buttercream frosting is made with butter, a dairy product, while dairy-free buttercream substitutes butter with a non-dairy alternative such as margarine, vegan butter, or coconut oil.

Taste: The taste can be slightly different. Traditional buttercream has a rich, creamy flavor due to the butter. Dairy-free buttercream’s taste depends on the substitute used, with some alternatives like coconut oil imparting a distinct flavor.

Nutrition: Dairy butter has saturated fats and cholesterol, while non-dairy alternatives can have lower saturated fat and no cholesterol, depending on the type used. However, some may have more processed ingredients or trans fats.

Allergies and Dietary Restrictions: Dairy-free buttercream is suitable for those with lactose intolerance, milk allergy, or following a vegan diet. Traditional buttercream containing dairy would not be suitable for these individuals.

Texture: The texture can also vary. Traditional buttercream is creamy and fluffy. Dairy-free alternatives can mimic this texture, but it might vary slightly depending on the type of non-dairy fat used.

Storage: Both types of frosting should be stored in a cool place, but dairy-free frosting can sometimes tolerate warmer temperatures slightly better than dairy-based frosting, depending on the substitute used.

Dairy-Free Buttercream vs. Dairy Buttercream Frosting

Frequently Asked Questions

Is buttercream vegan?

Traditional buttercream is not vegan as it contains butter, which is a dairy product. However, vegan versions can be made with dairy-free butter substitutes.

Is buttercream vegetarian?

Yes, traditional buttercream is vegetarian. It’s made from butter, sugar, and often an extract like vanilla or almond, all vegetarian-friendly ingredients.

Is buttercream gluten-free?

Yes, traditional buttercream is generally gluten-free as it’s made from butter, sugar, and flavorings, none of which typically contain gluten.

Is buttercream keto?

Traditional buttercream is not typically keto-friendly due to its high sugar content. However, keto versions can be made with sugar substitutes like erythritol.

Is buttercream healthy?

Buttercream is high in sugar and fat, so it’s best enjoyed in moderation as part of a balanced diet. Variations can be made using healthier ingredients if desired.

What type of icing is dairy-free?

Icing made with powdered sugar and non-dairy milk or water can be dairy-free. Also, frostings made with non-dairy butter substitutes can be dairy-free.

Does buttercream contain cream?

Despite its name, traditional buttercream usually doesn’t contain cream. It’s typically made with butter and powdered sugar.

Does vanilla buttercream contain milk?

Traditional vanilla buttercream doesn’t typically contain milk, but it does contain butter, which is a dairy product.

What’s the difference between icing and buttercream?

The terms are often used interchangeably, but icing is generally thinner and glossier, while buttercream is thicker and creamier due to adding butter.

What is the difference between butter cream and butter frosting?

There is no significant difference between buttercream and butter frosting. The terms are usually used interchangeably to refer to a frosting made primarily of butter and powdered sugar.


I live in Los Angeles with my better half, Dave, and our child, Corey. Each second with them is the acknowledgment of my fantasies working out as expected — and for that? I am so extremely thankful. Hi! I am Diana Rodriguez, the founder, author, and photographer of ATD.

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