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Butter Free Funfetti Frosting

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Butter free funfetti frosting is made with coconut cream and coconut oil for an incredibly creamy frosting that is as good as American buttercream.  The naturally vegan frosting is lightly sweetened, vanilla flavored, and adorned with festive rainbow sprinkles.  Use to top your favorite small batch of cupcakes or mini cake for a delightful celebratory dessert!

The creamiest close up of butter free funfetti frosting.

Butter Free Funfetti Frosting

Summer, parties, bbq’s, graduations, and any celebration calls for a little funfetti!  Certainly you can use vanilla butter free frosting, chocolate butter free frosting, and even strawberry butter free frosting to adorn your bakes, but desserts are just a bit sweeter when they are speckled with brightly colored sprinkles.

This funfetti frosting takes my original butter free vanilla frosting and adds sprinkles.  That’s it.  Which is great because then you can have fun with which type of sprinkles you add and make them fit any occasion.  My only recommendation – use sprinkles that are less likely to bleed their color, like jimmies.

What’s so Great About butter Free Frosting

  • It’s super creamy – Coconut cream and coconut oil combine to make the ultra-creamy base of the frosting.  And no, you won’t taste the coconut!
  • No butter or dairy – If you are looking for a vegan frosting, or just want a frosting without all the guilt of 4 sticks of butter, this funfetti frosting will satisfy that.  And you may be hard-pressed to tell they butter is MIA.
  • Delightfully sweet – It is still frosting, so it is still sweet.  But not so cloyingly sweet it hurts your teeth!  And when you balance the flavor with a little salt and vanilla, you have a pretty classic frosting.
  • It’s incredibly versatile – Not only is the frosting great on a vanilla cupcake or mini yellow cake, but you can decorate it up to fit your occasion.  Add some food color, different sprinkles, or even chocolate chips to dress the frosting up however you like.
Pretty close up of butter free funfetti frosting on a cupcake.

Everything You Need To Make Butter Free Funfetti Frosting

Ingredients

  • Coconut Milk – It should be unsweetened and it should contain guar gum.  The guar gum acts as a stabilizer and helps to make the frosting thick and creamy.  Keep reading for brands I recommend.
  • Coconut Oil – Cold pressed and refined coconut oil is solid and does not have a detectable flavor. 
  • Powdered Sugar – My preference is organic powdered sugar for the quality of ingredients.
  • Vanilla – A must for the vanilla flavor!  You can use extract, paste, or even a vanilla bean!
  • Salt – The salt balances all the flavors.
  • Funfetti Sprinkles – I recommend jimmie sprinkles because the color is less likely to bleed into the frosting.

Kitchen Equipment

  • Small Saucepan 
  • Mixing Bowl
  • Hand Mixer – I love my Breville hand mixer with whisk attachments.  It has a digital display, timer, and helpful mixing light!

helpful information about the ingredients to make butter free frosting

coconut milk

  • Refrigerate the can overnight – We only use the coconut solids from the can and chilling the can aids in the separation of liquid and solids in the can.
  • In fact, refrigerate a couple of cans – No two cans of coconut milk are alike.  Even with my favorite brand, sometimes the whole can is coconut solids, and sometimes only 1/3 of it is.  I keep extra cans available in case I need to open two.
  • Leftovers are great for smoothies – Chances are you will have extra coconut milk/solids in the can.  Save it for your favorite smoothies, use it in creamy overnight oats, or whip it up into a flavored whipped coconut cream, like blueberry whipped cream, or cinnamon whipped cream.
  • Use full fat – We need the full fat variety to create a thick and creamy frosting.
  • Canned coconut cream works too – Technically, canned coconut cream should have more coconut solids.  In my experience, the difference between the milk and cream cans is negligible.  But, if that is all you have at your grocery, it will work!  Just make sure it contains guar gum.

coconut oil

  • I recommend refined coconut oil – You will see refined and virgin. Virgin will taste like coconut.  Refined goes through a little more processing to remove the coconut flavor.
  • It is widely available – You can typically find it at the grocery, Target, Walmart, and Amazon.
  • Store it in your pantry – This is just good for the product as it is sensitive to temperature and can loosen in warmer environments.  

Brands of coconut milk I Recommend to make butter free frosting

  1. Good and Gather from Target – It whips up nicely, is thick and creamy, and I successfully use it to make frosting and whipped creamPros:  not a strong coconut flavor and contains guar gum.  Cons:  it can be hit or miss on how much coconut solid you get from can to can.
  2. Simple Truth Organic from Kroger grocery (i.e. King Soopers, City Market) – This brand has all of the same features as Good and Gather.
  3. Thai Kitchen from Walmart and maybe the grocery – This used to be my go-to, but it has become harder to find.  It whips very light and fluffy.  Pros:  not a strong coconut flavor and contains guar gum.  Cons:  some may find the texture chalky, but I find this unnoticeable when whipped into frosting or whipped cream.
A pretty picture of a small bowl of sprinkles.

sTeps For Success

  • Do not overheat the mix when melting it together – The mix of coconut solid and coconut oil just needs to melt together.  We don’t need to overheat it.
  • Add a little powdered sugar to the mix when melting – I find a little powdered sugar gives all of the fat particles something to attach to, and not separate.
  • Allow the mix to cool to room temperature – This will give the mixture some time to start setting back up.
  • Add powdered sugar in 1/2 cup increments – I have found this makes for a creamier texture.  
  • Do not add too much powdered sugar – You may be tempted to keep adding powdered sugar to get the butter free frosting to thicken.  Be warned, too much and the frosting will set up like a brick.
  • Refrigerating the frosting will set it even more – You can make it ahead of time and refrigerate for up to 1 week in a sealed container.  Bring it to room temp and stir/mix before using.
  • If you want to make the frosting truly vegan – I would recommend looking for organic powdered sugar.  Sometimes the process of manufacturing the powdered sugar may not be 100% vegan.  No animal product in the sugar itself, just the processing of it.
The sweetest little funfetti cupcake with butter free funfetti frosting on a mini white cake stand.

FAQ’S: How To Make Butter Free funfetti Frosting

Can this recipe be doubled to make a larger batch?

I have not tested a larger batch, but it should work!

What does dairy free frosting taste like?

In my opinion, like a creamy vanilla frosting. I find that it does not leave a greasy residue like dairy buttercream sometimes can.

What is the texture/consistency of the frosting made without butter?

At room temperature, it is thick and creamy, like store-bought frosting in a tub. When it is refrigerated, the frosting sets up firm.

How many cupcakes or what size cake will the frosting frost?

The frosting should easily frost 6 cupcakes, or a small 6-inch layer cake.

Why do I have to melt the ingredients together first? Can’t I just whip it all together?

Even though cold-pressed coconut oil is solid like butter, I find it doesn’t whip up smooth. Melting the ingredients first creates a homogenous base for the frosting.

My frosting is still loose. What did I do wrong?

A few questions/thoughts: Did your can of coconut milk have guar gum? Was the coconut truly solid from the can, or was it soupy and loose? Did you use cold-pressed coconut oil? Did you try refrigerating the frosting for a few minutes, and try to whip again?

Is the funfetti butter free frosting the same consistency as American buttercream?

I find this butter free frosting to be creamier and thicker than American buttercream.

How long will leftovers last?

The frosting will last up to 7 days in the refrigerator in a sealed container. The frosting does set up firm. You will need to bring it to room temperature and stir to loosen up. Beyond 7 days, and the frosting will likely start to dry out.

A line up of the cutest funfetti gluten free cupcakes on a table.
The creamiest close up of butter free funfetti frosting.
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5 from 3 reviews

Butter Free Funfetti Frosting

Yield: 2 Cups
GF
Small batch butter free funfetti frosting is made with coconut cream and coconut oil for an incredibly creamy frosting that is as good as American buttercream.  The naturally vegan frosting is lightly flavored with vanilla and adorned with festive rainbow sprinkles.  Use to top your favorite small batch of cupcakes or mini cake for a delightful celebratory dessert!
Prep30 minutes
Total30 minutes

Ingredients
 

Instructions

  • Refrigerate the can of coconut milk at least overnight. This causes the liquid and coconut solids to separate – we are only using the solids from the can. You will have extra coconut milk solids and liquid which can be used in smoothies.
  • In a small saucepan, add the coconut milk solids, solid coconut oil, and 1 tablespoon of powdered sugar. Heat over medium-low heat and stir the mix with a spatula until it has completely melted together – this should only take about 1 minute. Do not boil. The mixture will resemble a creamy soup.
    5 tablespoons unsweetened canned coconut milk or cream, full fat, 5 tablespoons cold pressed refined coconut oil
  • Transfer the mix to a small mixing bowl and stir in the vanilla extract. Let cool to room temperature – about 10 to 15 minutes. You still want the mix to be be liquid when you add the powdered sugar. Note – You can also refrigerate it for a few minutes to speed up the cool down.
    1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • Add the remaining 2 cups of powdered sugar in 1/2 cup increments at a time. Using a handheld mixer fitted with the whisk attachments, add a 1/2 cup of the powered sugar and salt to the coconut mixture. Start at low speed to incorporate the powdered sugar and avoid having it spray everywhere. Turn up the speed to high and beat for 1 minute. At this point, the frosting will look sticky and gooey.
    2 cups + 1 tablespoon powdered sugar, 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • Continue to add a 1/2 cup of powdered sugar at a time – beating for at least 1 minute after each addition. With the final 1/2 cup, beat the frosting for an additional 2 to 3 minutes, until it is light and creamy. The frosting should be thick and creamy and resemble the store-bought frosting you buy in the small tubs at the grocery. Add the funfetti sprinkles and use a spatula to fold into the frosting.
    1 to 2 tablespoons funfetti sprinkles
  • If the frosting still looks loose, refrigerate it for about 10 minutes, then beat for a couple more minutes until it thickens. Be cautious about adding more powdered sugar. If you add too much powdered sugar, you will likely end up with solid frosting – i.e. fudge. See Notes and the Blog Post for more tips and faq's that are helpful for making and troubleshooting the frosting.
  • The frosting is ready to use right away or can be refrigerated. If refrigerating, the frosting will firm even more. Allow refrigerated frosting to come to room temperature and stir/mix to fluff before frosting.
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RECIPE NOTES

  • Serving Size – The recipe makes enough frosting for 6 cupcakes or a small 6-inch 2 layer cake.  The recipe can easily be doubled.
  • Unsweetened Canned Coconut Milk – The coconut milk should contain guar gum.  It works as a stabilizer to help the frosting set.  Do not use carton coconut milk.
  • Full Fat Coconut Milk  – Low-fat will not yield a creamy frosting.
  • Coconut Cream – A can of unsweetened coconut cream will also work – as long as it contains guar gum.  Note that I have found minimal differences between a can of coconut milk and cream – just price!
  • Only Coconut Solids – Be sure you are using only the solids in the can.  Any extra water may impact the way the frosting turns out.
  • Try A Few Cans – It can be hit or miss on how solid the coconut milk (cream) is in the can.  If your can does not have coconut solids, you may want to save that can for another recipe and try a new one.
  • Cold Pressed Coconut Oil – Is solid, not liquid, and resembles a lighter shortening.    
Frosting Tips
  • Refrigerating the frosting will set it even more.  You can make it ahead of time and refrigerate for up to 1 week in a sealed container.
  • Allow refrigerated frosting to come to room temperature and give it a good stir before using.
  • You may be tempted to keep adding powdered sugar to get the frosting to firm up.  Be warned.  Too much powdered sugar and the frosting will set up solid, like fudge.
  • I have piped this frosting into a simple swirl on cupcakes and as a filling in cookies.  Do not expect the frosting to work for intricate designs or flowers.
  • The texture and consistency of the frosting is similar to the store-bought frosting in the small tubs.
  • This frosting is great as a filling in cakes, cupcakes, or cookies.  Or to simply frost cakes, cupcakes, or bars.
  • If you want to make the frosting truly vegan, I would recommend looking for organic powdered sugar.  Sometimes (it’s hard to say), the process of manufacturing the powdered sugar may not be 100% vegan.  No animal product in the sugar itself, just the processing of it.
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Author: Erin Cernich

NUTRITION ESTIMATES

Calories: 224kcal | Carbohydrates: 42g | Protein: 0.1g | Fat: 7g | Saturated Fat: 6g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 0.4g | Sodium: 50mg | Potassium: 15mg | Sugar: 41g | Vitamin C: 0.1mg | Calcium: 2mg | Iron: 0.2mg
Nutrition information is calculated by a third-party and should only be considered an estimate and not a guarantee.
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about the author ...

I'm Erin and I'm all about desserts - and a little bit of butter!

I've tested, written, and photographed hundreds of recipes on my website. Here you'll find the tastiest small batch gluten free and traditional desserts - all homemade, all simple, and all for you!

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comments & reviews

2 thoughts on “Butter Free Funfetti Frosting”

  1. 5 stars
    Yummy and pretty easily accomplished. I was a bit worried early on but refrigerated, added a touch more powdered sugar, whipped and refrigerated again- yum. I used on sugar cookies

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