Vegan Lemon Frosting

This vegan lemon frosting is creamy in all the right ways. Made with only a few ingredients, you’ll love serving this fluffy frosting on your favorite desserts!

A cupcake has vegan lemon frosting on top with a blueberry and lemon zest. There are more cupcakes and a lemon in the background.

This vegan lemon buttercream is a great way of transforming a simple cake into something amazing! And really, you only need a fresh lemon in addition to the other frosting ingredients. You may think, couldn’t I get by with lemon extract? Well, you could, but the flavor of fresh makes all the difference!

In fact, this vegan lemon icing is so good, you can even add it to your muffins, like vegan blueberry muffins. Because a muffin by another name is simply a cupcake. Am I right!

How to Make Vegan Lemon Frosting

You can find the full printable recipe, including ingredient quantities, below. But first, here are some explanations of ingredients and steps to help you make this recipe perfect every time.

  1. Beat the vegan butter with a mixer on medium speed until creamy, around 2 minutes. 
  2. With the mixer on low, add powdered sugar, one cup at a time.
    Looking down on a stand mixer with vanilla frosting on the beater.
  3. Add the lemon juice
    A hand holds a bowl of lemon juice, pouring it into the bowl of a stand mixer with whipped butter.
  4. and vegan creamer
    A hand holds a bowl of vegan creamer, pouring it into a stand mixer with vegan lemon frosting.
  5. Add lemon zest.
    A hand holds a measuring spoon with lemon zest, pouring it into a stand mixer with whipped butter.
  6. Beat until combined. Turn speed to high and whip until smooth and creamy.
  7. Assess the consistency. If it’s too soft, mix in a bit more powdered sugar. If it’s too stiff, mix in a teaspoon of creamer.
Vegan butter has been whipped in a stand mixer and the attachment and bowl are full of the the mixture.

Key Ingredients

Here are the ingredients you’ll need for this recipe:

  • Vegan butter — You’ll need 1 cup of vegan butter. You can substitute coconut oil, but be prepared that it will be softer, especially in hotter weather. Set the vegan butter out at room temperature to soften.
  • Powdered sugar — This recipe uses 4 cups of powdered sugar. Be sure to sift it before measuring.
  • Lemon — Whatever you do, be sure to use a fresh lemon! You’ll need the zest from the lemon and the lemon juice.
  • Vegan creamer — If you use vanilla vegan creamer you can leave the added vanilla extract out below. You can substitute creamy coconut milk (not the watery part). I sometimes will use Ripple Half & Half or Silk Creamer. These are all great. You can also substitute soy milk. It will work!
  • Vanilla extract — A little bit of vanilla extract makes just about everything better!

Marly’s Tips

Make vegan lemon cream cheese frosting by reducing the vegan butter by 2 tablespoons and adding two tablespoons of vegan cream cheese instead. You’ll love the flavor!

Storage Tips

Store frosting in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 2 weeks. When you’re ready to use it, allow it to come to room temperature and maybe even add another teaspoon or two of plant-based milk until the spreadable consistency returns.

Looking down on cupcakes with lemon frosting on them. Each one has a blueberry on top.

Why This Recipe is a Winner

  • Fresh — Using a fresh lemon for the zest and juice infuses this frosting with flavor.
  • Easy — This recipe takes only 6 ingredients and it’s ready in 15 minutes. You’ll ove the simple ingredients and steps to make it!
  • Versatile — Add a bit of vegan cream cheese or lime zest to mix up the flavors in this simple frosting. Then spread it over cakes, cupcakes, cookies, and more.

Frequently-Asked Questions

Do I have to use a fresh lemon for this recipe?

I highly recommend a fresh lemon for the flavor, but you can substitute bottled lemon juice and a bit of lemon extract if you’re in a pinch.

Do I have to bring the butter to room temperature?

Bringing the butter to room temperature helps create the best consistency. You want the butter to be softened but not greasy. I shoot for around 65°F/18°C.

What’s the best way to measure powdered sugar?

Always sift powdered sugar before measuring it. Sift it first, then spoon and level it using a measuring cup.

Serving Suggestions

Serve this fluffy lemon frosting on your favorite desserts such as:

Looking down on cupcakes with lemon frosting on them. Each one has a blueberry on top.

Vegan Springtime Frostings

Looking for some delicious vegan frosting alternatives? Here are my favorites for springtime. Add sprinkles or even color to these light, delicious frostings, and enjoy:

A cupcake has vegan lemon frosting on top with a blueberry and lemon zest. There are more cupcakes and a lemon in the background.

Vegan Lemon Frosting

This creamy, vegan lemon frosting is a must to include on a variety of recipes, from cakes, cupcakes, cookies and more.
5 from 2 votes
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 15 minutes
Servings: 14
Calories: 232kcal

Ingredients

  • 1 cup vegan butter , softened
  • 4 cups powdered sugar , sifted
  • 3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons vegan creamer (see notes)
  • 2 teaspoons fresh lemon zest
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Instructions

  • Beat the vegan butter with a mixer on medium speed until creamy, around 2 minutes.
  • With the mixer on low, add powdered sugar, one cup at a time.
  • Add the lemon juice, creamer, and lemon zest. Beat until combined. Turn speed to high and whip until smooth and creamy.
  • Assess the consistency. If it's too soft, mix in a bit more powdered sugar. If it's too stiff, mix in a teaspoon of creamer.
  • Store frosting in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 2 weeks. When you're ready to use it, allow it to come to room temperature and maybe even add another teaspoon or two of plant-based milk until the spreadable consistency returns.

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Notes

This recipe will make enough frosting for up to 16 cupcakes (depending on how much frosting you add to each cupcake). It will frost a 9×12 quarter sheetcake.

Vegan Creamer Options

  • Vegan Creamer (Silk, etc.)
  • Vegan Half & Half (Ripple)
  • Coconut Milk (shake the can first)
You can substitute a creamy plant-based milk like cashew milk, soy milk, etc.
Calories: 232kcal | Carbohydrates: 35g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 11g | Saturated Fat: 3g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 3g | Monounsaturated Fat: 4g | Trans Fat: 1g | Sodium: 107mg | Potassium: 13mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 34g | Vitamin A: 617IU | Vitamin C: 2mg | Calcium: 1mg | Iron: 1mg

The nutrition information shown is an estimate provided by an online nutrition calculator and should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.

4 Responses to Vegan Lemon Frosting

  1. Avatar thumbnail image for MarlySharon Reply

    There is nothing in the notes about the creamer

    • Avatar thumbnail image for MarlyMarly

      Thanks, Sharon! It’s fixed now!

  2. Avatar thumbnail image for MarlyElaine Reply

    5 stars
    Beautiful! I love lemon frosting and this vegan version is so good!

    • Avatar thumbnail image for MarlyMarly

      So glad you liked this recipe!

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