In the spring, I love bright, happy flavors like lemon, strawberries, or orange. For Easter, I’ve decided that yellow would be a gorgeous color for cupcakes, so I plan to make vanilla bean cupcakes with a dairy-free lemon buttercream frosting. They’ll be a perfect centerpiece for the table and the best part is, I won’t have to pack it away after the holiday is over. Thankfully, this frosting is safe for everyone in my family– even the dairy-free ones– so I don’t have to tell my kids no on a holiday where they ought to be finally enjoying themselves after Lent!
Finding a good buttercream recipe that doesn’t have butter in it is next to impossible. I use Nutiva shortening instead of butter because it doesn’t taste coconut-y or greasy and lets the lemony goodness shine. It’s a mix of coconut and palm oils that doesn’t have any particular flavor and works wonderfully in dairy-free lemon buttercream frosting. Nutiva is cheapest on Amazon so use that Prime pantry account— it lets you order everyday foods for cheaper with super-fast delivery! Plus, using lemon essential oil that is the highest quality on the market makes a huge difference. Because I have doTERRA essential oils in the house all the time, I can whip up a batch of this on the spur of the moment to take over to a friend’s house who might need a little cheer. Make sure you’re using ONLY CPTG oils in your cooking, though, to keep it safe for everyone. This post will explain why it makes such a difference!
If you’re looking for some cupcake recipes to put this dairy-free buttercream frosting on top of, I highly recommend these single-serving vanilla cupcakes. They don’t overpower the lemon, but do add a nice touch of sweetness to the frosting and look super pretty on a platter!
Dairy-Free Lemon Buttercream Frosting
4 egg whites
1 pinch salt
1 lb. powdered sugar
1 15 ounce container of Nutiva shortening
1/2 t vanilla extract
20-25 drops Lemon Essential Oil
Yellow Food Dye, optional
- In a stand mixer (trust me, don’t do this by hand), use the whisk attachment to beat the egg whites and salt. Start it on low and slowly increase it to medium-high to prevent the eggs from splashing out.
- Scraping the sides as you go, slowly add in the powdered sugar.
- Once you have soft peaks, reduce the speed to medium-low and add in the shortening a spoonful at a time.
- When you’ve achieved the texture you prefer (you may not use the whole container of shortening– I usually have a few tablespoons leftover), turn the mixer down to low and add the vanilla extract, lemon essential oil, and yellow food dye until combined.
- Taste, and adjust the sweetness or lemon-y flavor as needed.