Dairy Free Frosting for Allergy Free Cupcakes


This post created a lot of interest.

 Just in case any readers are wondering what my “buttercream” recipe is, here it is 🙂

  • about 100g non-dairy/nut free margarine
  • approx. 4 cups of icing sugar
  • a couple of tablespoons of rice milk
  • colour and flavouring as desired. You might want to read my post on cochineal before you decide to use red colouring. It can present problems for some food sensitive people. You will find the post HERE.
  • can I suggest natural flavourings like orange, vanilla or cocoa if you are attempting to reduce or eliminate artificial colourings and flavourings from your child’s diet? My client ordered these pink and blue frosted cakes 🙂 Faced with food sensitivity I would probably try to go as natural as possible.

I used the same method as I do for regular frosting.

The margarine was whipped in the Kenwood Chef mixer, using the K beater until it was very pale and fluffy. I stopped the mixer, added all the other ingredients and started off very slow to combine everything.

 Then I increased the speed to high and whipped for about 5 minutes.

 The mixture will go smooth and glossy. If you feel it is too stiff and dryish looking, add some more “milk”; a teaspoon at a time. If it goes too wet on you: just add some more icing sugar.

When you think you have it right, stop the mixture and drag a fork or spoon through the mix. See if it’s firm enough to hold it’s shape when you pipe it. Does it hold the tracks of the fork, or does it need a bit of firming up? Does the fork/spoon drag too much? Maybe a few more drops of “milk” are needed.

The icing will firm up and crust over a bit so take that into account too.

My aim when I am making these kinds of icings/frostings is to get the mix looking like soft-serve ice-cream. I have found that the milk: dairy or non-dairy, seems to dissolve the sugar and eliminate some of the grittiness you can get with buttercreams.


Trial and error work miracles 🙂 It will soon become instinctual, and you will quickly learn to recognise when you have the perfect consistency.

Lots-of-luck! I’d love to receive you comments and feedback!

BTW : I have recently come across this great US blog. Written by a Mum who has a child with multiple food allergies, the author has some terrific recipes and a friendly, informative style.


28 thoughts on “Dairy Free Frosting for Allergy Free Cupcakes

  1. Thanks happygrub 🙂

    I’m guessing you didn’t get my reply? I will go into my sent folder and see what’s going on. My Vista Mail is so bad sometimes.

    I will email you using my alternate email address anyway 🙂

  2. Awww Rosie that was sweet, thank you! 🙂
    I have my own frosting recipe, but yours is prettier, now I don’t know which one to use. I have a feeling though that the beauty in your frosting comes from the decorators hand and not from the frosting itself. Not much I can do about that…You wouldn’t want to visit US to frost my daughters birthday cake, would you? 😉

  3. Thank you for your kind words 🙂 *blush*

    Yeah, I’ll come to your place and ice the cake – after I see if I won the lottery this week 😉
    I’d love to come visit. I’ve never been to America. Whereabouts are you?

    Have a lovely week.

  4. I’m in Oregon. You probably wouldn’t want to come here right now. it’s cold and covered in snow.
    I made Emily’s practice cake this weekend…It’s a sheet cake with a doll stuck in the middle. LOL Cake decorating is NOT my thing.

  5. I would want to come there… grass is always greener 😉

    I can’t imagine life in the snow. We talk about it with wonderment when we see the world weather and say Chicago is -15!! – how do they get to work? how do they stay warm? what happens to the car? It’s like another world. Coldest winter temps in Adelaide are about 9C during the day, maybe -2C in the middle of the night if it’s exceptionally cold 😉

    Cake sounds great – like something I’d do. Your daughter will still be in awe – a dolly IN a cake – how magical!

  6. Hi Sweetrosie,
    The cakes look great and so uniform. The alternative natural flavours you mention are a good idea but I did wonder about lactose intolerants and cocoa? Mummyogg

  7. Thank you for the kind words mummyogg 🙂

    No problems for the lasctose intolerant with pure cocoa- it shouldn’t contain any milk products at all. Read the label though. Drinking Chocolate does contain milk products, as do other choccy drinks like Milo and Quik 🙂

  8. well Rosie, I’m closing my wordpress blog. I so appreciate you putting my links here and was wondering if you would mind changing them to my new one. I’m not even sure if you can add blogger to a wordpress blogroll, but I noticed you have a link up above here too. My new blog is at
    Thanks so much Rosie,
    Lots of love,
    Charmaine (allergymom)

  9. Not a problem at all Charmaine 🙂 I have changed the address on the blogroll and will go in and change the link in the post asap.

    All the best over at blogger. Hope you make lots of $$$$ 😉

    xx Have a lovely day

  10. OK, I know I’m just being a pain now, but the link isn’t working and I’m not sure why. When I scroll over it it shows up on “snap shots” but when I click it I get a dead page. I dunno.

  11. No problem Charmaine! I will check them both from my end as well. I know how frustrating computer”stuff” can be.

    You may have tried the one in the post that I hadn’t changed yet? Maybe that’s where it went wrong for you – try them now 🙂

    Have a fabulous weekend!

  12. Hi Sweetrosie,

    Your recipes looks really good and I am going to try it for my Son’s birthday party this weekend. He has an egg allergy so your recipe is much appreciated.

    I just have a quick question about the icing recipe. Can you use butter instead of margarine or does margarine give better result and can you use cow’s milk instead of rice milk. I live in Sweden so rice milk is not something that I can get my hands on so easily.

    Thank you for your website.

    1. oh Snorfruken – I am so sorry! You took the time to write and I missed your comment – forgive me… I gues the cakes have been made and eaten without my help ;( Actually, butter is so much nicer than margarine in the icing, the margarine is really to cater for vegans and those who don’t eat dairy. Same with the milk – dairy is fine. Happy holidays and my sincere apologies once again.

    1. So sorry for the late reply – end of the uni year and frantic at work 😉 Yes, icing suagr is what is known as confectioners’ sugar in the US. A hand whip would be hard work and would take ages – but it could be done if you’ve got th stamina.

  13. Hi Rosie,
    I made my own version of df cupcakes because they are lower in fat however……..The best df frosting i have made! it was creamy but not too sweet and held its shape when piped and harden slightly when set ~ ABSOLUTLEY PERFECT and I told my friends after they had eaten them, that they were dairy free and they couldnt believe it.

    Thank you!

  14. How much margarine is 100 grams (how many cups?) Also, can I use butter instead of margarine? Can’t wait to try this recipe for my daughter’s St. Patricks Day party next week!

    1. Hi there Chloes mummy! you can use butter and it will be delicious! It’s an option I prefer to use when I can. Butter offers much more in the way of taste and texture and of course it’s a more “natural” option. Have fun!

  15. Hi Rosie
    I’m wondering about the brand of margarine you have used in your recipe. Did you use Nuttelex? I have noticed that they don’t provide an unsalted variety….. if you did use this brand, did you find the buttercream had a strong salty taste or was it not noticed at all?
    Thank you!

    1. Hi there Kate and thank you for taking the time to write 🙂 Yes, I used Nuttelex. The flavour was great and I seem to remember reading recipes for frosting/icing where salt is added to the recipe to mitigate the intense sugary taste – salt seems to balance out very sweet things. I always think of Arnotts Kingston biscuits when I think of this, Kingstons and Tim Tams – both delicious but both quite salty!
      Happy baking! x

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