Best Recipe of Pipeable Vegan “Buttercream” Icing

Making a buttercream without butter is like making an omelette without eggs! But don’t stress, it’s definitely possible to make a delicious icing and you will be able to put it in your piping bag and pipe away without drama or mess! I’ve made this recipe many times and it’s perfect each time! Bonus points: it tastes great and it’s super white 😉
You need to plan ahead to make this recipe as there is a cooling period. Allow at least 2 hours before you need the icing.

Why vegan?

By definition veganism is a diet without animal products. Some people decide to become vegan for health reason and/or for ethical convictions. It seems to be a trend that will be here to stay and probably become more and more popular over the years. Vegan recipe are also great for people with eggs or dairy allergies. We have also included a version without gluten (see nots below the ingredients).

How to make a buttercream without butter?

Usually in a buttercream there would be butter (obviously!) and also sometime eggs. Those are a big no no for the vegan diet. The recipe we are about to share contain neither of those. It’s classifies as a cooked or flour icing. We will use vegetable shortening as a substitue for the butter.


60 g Copha, soften (1/4 cup)

45 g plain flour (1/3 cup)

250 mL coconut milk or cream (1 cup)

Vanilla or coconut essence to taste

300 g Copha, soften (1 + 1/4 cup)

280 g caster sugar / super-fine sugar (1 + 1/4 cup)

* You can use other vegetable shortening like Crisco instead of Copha. Copha is available in Australia, make sure you read our post about how to use Copha.
* You can make this recipe gluten free by using 23 g (40 ml) of corn flour (corn starch).
* Do not use icing sugar (powder sugar) instead of the caster sugar as the icing will become liquid instead of solid. If you don’t have caster sugar, normal sugar can be made finer in the food processor.


1. Melt 60 g of Copha in a small pot over medium heat.

2. Remove from heat and add the flour. Whisk until completely mixed. Whisk in the coconut milk and essence

3. With the pot over low-medium heat, whisk until the mixture thicken. If the heat is too high, oil might separate from the mixture but don’t stress your icing will still work.

4. Transfer the thicken mixture onto a plate or shallow dish and cover with plastic wrap. Set aside and let cool down completely at room temperature, this should take about 1 or 2 hours. The icing won’t work if this mixture is still hot for the next step. You might be tempted to put it in the fridge to speed up the process. If you do, be aware that the edges of the mixture will turn solid quickly, which is not ideal for the next step either. To cool down the mixture quicker you can stir it while still in the pot over a bath of cold water.

5.  Beat the remaining 300g of soften Copha with an electric or stand mixer (Check out our tips to make sure everything goes well for this step).

7. Scrape the side of the bowl and add the cooled mixture and sugar.

8. Beat on high speed until the icing gets fluffy. If the icing looks split or too soft this is because it’s not mixed enough. Keep beating on high speed.

9. Use now or keep refrigerated for 1 week or frozen for 2 months.


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