When my eldest turned 4 a couple of months ago, he requested a Blaze and the Monster Machines birthday party. Our rule for any of our boys’ parties is that everything there will be able to be eaten by both. Because they’re allergic to dairy and peanuts, most birthday parties are kind of a downer for them since they can’t have the cake (I make sure I make his own single-serving chocolate or vanilla bean cupcake for those, though!). That meant that I needed to come up with a great classic dairy-free buttercream frosting recipe that I could dye red, orange, and yellow to make “Blaze”-themed cupcakes. I used my chocolate buttercream frosting recipe as a starting point and came up with a possibly-even-better vanilla version. It’s just as creamy and rich as a buttercream should be, while still having some amazing vanilla flavor and a velvety texture.
Like in that recipe, I used Nutiva shortening because it doesn’t taste coconut-y or greasy and lets the vanilla flavor shine through. It’s a mix of coconut and palm oils that doesn’t have any particular flavor and works wonderfully in baked goods. Nutiva is cheapest on Amazon so use that Prime pantry account— it lets you order everyday foods for cheaper with super-fast delivery! I also make sure I use a real vanilla bean (Costco has them for shockingly cheap, so I don’t feel bad using them in EVERYTHING) to get that great vanilla flavor without watering down the frosting itself.
If you’re looking for some cupcake recipes to put this dairy-free buttercream frosting on top of, I highly recommend these single-serving dark chocolate cupcakes (the frosting keeps great in the fridge, so you can make multiple batches of the cupcakes over the course of a month and always have some frosting on-hand! Just make sure you let it hit room temp before you try to pipe it on) or even these single-serving vanilla cupcakes.
Dairy-Free Buttercream Frosting
4 egg whites
1 pinch salt
1 lb. powdered sugar
1 15 ounce container of Nutiva shortening
1/2 t vanilla extract
1 vanilla bean, scraped
- In a stand mixer (trust me, don’t do this by hand), use the whisk attachment to beat the egg whites and salt. Start it on low and slowly increase it to medium-high to prevent splashing and get the best peaks.
- Slowly add in the powdered sugar, making sure to scrape the sides as you go.
- Once you have soft peaks, reduce the speed to medium-low and add in the shortening a spoonful at a time.
- When you’ve achieved the texture you prefer (you may not use the whole container of shortening– I usually have a few tablespoons leftover), turn the mixer down to low and add the vanilla extract and vanilla bean until combined.