Dairy-Free and Soy-Free Frosting

cake frosting

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Total Time: 15 min
Prep Time: 15 min
Cook Time: 0 min
Servings: 12 (2 T + 2 tsp. each)

Nutrition Highlights (per serving)

145 calories
7g fat
20g carbs
0g protein
Show Nutrition Label Hide Nutrition Label
Nutrition Facts
Servings: 12 (2 T + 2 tsp. each)
Amount per serving  
Calories 145
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 7g 9%
Saturated Fat 3g 15%
Cholesterol 0mg 0%
Sodium 74mg 3%
Total Carbohydrate 20g 7%
Dietary Fiber 0g 0%
Total Sugars 20g  
Includes 19g Added Sugars 38%
Protein 0g  
Vitamin D 0mcg 0%
Calcium 2mg 0%
Iron 0mg 0%
Potassium 4mg 0%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calorie a day is used for general nutrition advice.

Cake frosting is pretty simple, as far as recipes go. You generally take powdered sugar and blend it with something to make it creamy. Throw in a little flavoring, and you're ready to frost.

It gets a lot trickier, though, when you're dealing with food allergies, especially allergies to dairy and soy. That's because, in most frosting recipes, the ingredient that makes it creamy is butter or soy-based margarine. Frosting recipes also commonly include milk, which, of course, won't work if you're dealing with a dairy allergy.

So does that mean you have to live with unfrosted cake? No! It is important for both children and adults to enjoy the foods they love and for caregivers to have simple recipes on hand to accommodate food allergies. Lucky for us, there is an alternative—this basic vanilla frosting recipe is free of dairy and soy. It suits people with dairy or soy allergies, or people with multiple allergies (since it's also gluten-free).


  • 1/2 cup soy-free, dairy-free margarine
  • 1/4 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 2 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 tbsp. rice milk (or more, as needed)


  1. Using an electric mixer, beat together the margarine, vanilla extract, and 1 cup of the powdered sugar until they are well combined.

  2. Slowly add remaining powdered sugar until all is mixed in.

  3. Continue to beat with a mixer and add rice milk a little bit at a time until the frosting is smooth and fluffy.

Variations and Substitutions

To stay safe with a soy allergy, you might try either Earth Balance Soy-Free Buttery Sticks (made from a combination of palm fruit, canola, and olive oils), or Earth Balance Soy-Free Buttery Spread (made from a combination of palm fruit, canola, safflower, flax, and olive oils). Other Earth Balance margarine products contain soy, and so won't be safe on a soy-free diet. If you use a different brand, be sure to check labels carefully to make sure that it doesn't contain the allergen that you are trying to avoid.

You can substitute other flavors for the vanilla to vary the taste of the frosting. Try using maple extract or peppermint extract or crushed allergy-safe peppermint candies. You might also add some mashed fresh strawberries.

Cooking and Serving Tips

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2 Sources
Verywell Fit uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial process to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy.
  1. Begen FM, Barnett J, Barber M, Payne R, Gowland MH, Lucas JS. Parents' and caregivers' experiences and behaviours when eating out with children with a food hypersensitivity. BMC Public Health. 2017;18(1):38. doi:10.1186/s12889-017-4594-z

  2. Peniamina RL, Bremer P, Conner TS, Mirosa M. Understanding the needs of food-allergic adults. Qual Health Res. 2014 Jul;24(7):933-945. doi: 10.1177/1049732314539733. Epub 2014 Jun 17. doi:10.1177/1049732314539733

By Jeanette Bradley
Jeanette Bradley is a noted food allergy advocate and author of the cookbook, "Food Allergy Kitchen Wizardry: 125 Recipes for People with Allergies"