The simple answer is no, most standard frosting (whipped, buttercream or otherwise) is not vegan.
This is because standard frosting ingredients include milk, butter or eggs. However with the right mix of a vegan, non-dairy milk substitute and powdered sugar, voila! You have vegan buttercream frosting.
There are many accidentally vegan frosting brands available in the UK or, you can make your own vegan frosting!
The 4 Best Accidental Vegan Frosting Brands in the UK
Betty Crocker Icing
The ultimate question - is Betty Crocker frosting vegan? Some Betty Crocker Icing products are vegetarian certified, accidentally vegan-friendly and can be found in UK supermarkets. Betty Crocker frostings are made with dairy-free ingredients, such as vegetable oil and natural sweeteners. Their vegan options include:
- Classic Coffee
- Indulgent Chocolate Fudge
- Luxurious Salted Caramel
- Zesty Lemon
- Tempting Chocolate
Dr Oetker Icing
Dr Oetker Icing products are also a great brand for accidentally vegan products. With a couple of vegetarian-certified products and one vegan-certified option, this brand could be for you! Dr Oetker vegan-friendly products include:
- Buttercream Style Icing: Rich Chocolate & Classic Vanilla
- Vegan Cream Cheese Flavour Icing: Vegan-Certified
Mr Kipling Icing
Though the standard products in the Mr Kipling icing range contain milk, so are not vegan-friendly, these two limited-edition options do not. They contain no animal products, so are vegetarian-certified but accidentally vegan!
- Christmas Chocolate Orange Icing
- Spooktastic Vanilla Halloween Icing
Don't miss out on your chocolatey fix just because you need vegan-friendly products. Try these surprisingly vegan chocolate buttercream icing products from Cadbury, made from vegan butters and cocoa powder to top your decadent vegan chocolate cake:
- Original Chocolate Icing
- Fudge-flavored Chocolate Icing
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Vegan Considerations For UK Frosting Brand Ingredients
As mentioned above, these frosting brands are only marked as suitable for vegetarians, and include allergen warnings that they may contain milk. Usually, this just means that a product has been made in a factory that also handles milk products, so it is really up to your personal preference and best judgment as to whether you feel comfortable with these products.
As always, we recommend ensuring you check the ingredients list on every individual pack, brand and supermarket product to make sure that it contains no animal products, as ingredients can change all the time.
There is also the issue of palm oil, which is included in some of these products. Though palm oil is not an animal byproduct, there are various vegan considerations to be made when it comes to palm oil. Again, this is a personal preference and may depend on what level or type of vegan you consider yourself to be.
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Make Your Own Vegan Frosting
Why not make your own vegan frosting? Homemade frosting can be a great addition to any cake, like a dairy-free vanilla cake. Though butter, cream and milk may seem like the obvious choice for a delicious frosting. But fortunately, these two ingredients can be quite straightforward to replace with animal-free substitutes. You'll need an alternative that is both sweet and spreads well. We've found two great options below, or you could use dairy-free and vegan milk like almond milk or soy milk in your icing recipe. Alternatively, you can find a vegan buttercream recipe or vegan frosting recipe online to suit your dairy-free diet.
#1: Coconut Cream: Coconut cream is a great substitute for milk or cream. Not only does it taste great, but it's also vegan and gluten-free — making it an ideal choice for those with food allergies. To make your own vegan frosting, simply scoop out the thick part of a can of coconut milk (this should be the top layer). Add some vegan sugar, vanilla extract and coconut oil. Mix until combined. The consistency of your frosting will depend on how much milk you use, so play around with the recipe until you have achieved your desired consistency.
#2: Solid Oils/Spreads: Vegan butter, margarine or vegetable shortening can be used to make a delicious dairy-free frosting. You can even use coconut oil, which is an inexpensive alternative to vegan butter. Melt the solid oil in the microwave or on a low heat until completely liquid. Add your choice of sweetener and flavouring, then beat with a handheld mixture. Leave to set at room temperature for about 15 minutes before spreading on your cake or cupcakes.
Read More: Everything New Vegans Should Know: Top Tips
The Vegan Frosting Verdict
The answer to whether frosting is vegan is: it can be! Even if you decide the above products are not for you, as outlined there are numerous ways you can make your own vegan frosting to enjoy on homemade or shop-bought buns. There’s no need to miss out. We hope you enjoy!