This is the easiest vegan lemon buttercream frosting recipe, perfect for decorating your cakes and cupcakes. With a sweet and zingy lemon flavour from real lemon juice, this is the only frosting recipe you want to finish off your lemon desserts.
This buttercream frosting is so silky smooth and creamy, and is perfect for decorating both cakes and cupcakes whether you’re using a knife or want to pipe swirls.
I absolutely love lemon flavoured desserts and there is no better finisher than a tangy and creamy vegan buttercream that’s been flavoured with both lemon zest and lemon juice for maximum flavour.
Based on my favourite vegan vanilla buttercream, this is the frosting you want to serve to people who don’t love how overly sweet standard buttercream is because the lemon tang works to offset the sweetness and its tastes SO GOOD.
This easy lemon buttercream frosting recipe uses just 4 ingredients, so it’s important that we make sure we’re using good quality ingredients and for this one, I don’t recommend any substitutions.
- Dairy-free butter – this is the key ingredient to make this the best frosting. Use a quality dairy-free butter substitute here for the best flavour and texture. I love and always use Nuttelex Buttery which is an Australian product. In the US, the closest alternative is Earth Balance which I understand to be very similar.
- Icing sugar – I use the icing sugar mixture from the supermarket, not the pure icing sugar. The only difference is the mixture has a little bit of cornflour added which means it’s less likely to clump together and turn rock solid.
- Vanilla Extract – for the best flavour, make sure you’re using vanilla extract not imitation or essence.
- Lemon – using both the zest and the juice from a fresh lemon for the best flavour.
To make this buttercream you’ll need an electric mixer as without it you’re going to struggle to get the same creamy texture so I wouldn’t recommend attempting it. I find it easiest to use my stand mixer but you can also use a hand mixer.
Start by beating together the vanilla extract and dairy-free butter using the paddle attachment on your stand mixer.
Add in three cups of icing sugar and continue mixing. After a minute or two it will start to come together and get thick and creamy.
Add in the extra cup of sugar and the lemon zest and keep mixing. The frosting will be a bit lumpy so add in 1 tablespoon of lemon juice. If it’s still too thick and not creamy add a little bit more lemon juice until the desired texture is reached.
Once smooth and creamy but still holding stiff, this means it’s ready to use. If it’s still too soft, you can either add a little more icing sugar, or if it’s a warmer day, just put the frosting in the fridge to firm up for 15-30 minutes before using.
You can now add to a piping bag or spoon directly onto your cake.
This amount will generously frost a batch of 12-14 cupcakes or a 2 layer, 8 inch cake. Any leftovers can be kept tightly covered in the fridge for about a week. Just be sure to beat it again before using it to get the best, creamy results.
More vegan frosting recipes:
Vegan Lemon Buttercream
- ½ cup (125 grams) vegan butter
- ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
- 4 cups icing sugar
- Zest of 1 lemon
- 1-2 tablespoons lemon juice
- Using a hand mixer or a stand mixer with the paddle attachment fitted, beat dairy-free butter and vanilla for 1-2 minutes until creamy.
- Add in 3 cups of icing sugar and beat on medium until combined. Add in the final cup of icing sugar along with the lemon zest and 1 tablespoon of the juice. Continue to beat until smooth and creamy.
- If the frosting is still too thick, add a little more of the lemon juice until it reaches the right consistency.
- Store covered frosting in the fridge, or pipe directly onto cupcakes or cake.
Nutritional information is provided as a guide only and is calculated using automated online tools, therefore we cannot guarantee the accuracy. We encourage you to make your own calculations based on the actual ingredients used in your recipe.