EUREKA! Snow White Vegan “Buttercream” Icing

“Buttercream” atop vegan chocolate microwave cupcakes

Another bit of hypoallergenic, vegan goodness brought to you by none other than moi! First Shift of Kids had their birthday parties in school the last day before Christmas vacation, and they both wanted to bring Chai Latte Cupcakes. I thought that was a little sophisticated for the early grades and asked why. They both said that they wanted something that could be eaten by the kids who usually have to run down to the nurse’s office to get their hypoallergenic treats whenver there’s a birthday.

Hear that? That’s the sound of my heart melting. I used to feel cruddy that my kids don’t get the joy of peanut butter because of my allergy. I guess it just taught them empathy for those kids in their classes who live with the same kind of stuff. Besides, turns out they don’t like peanut butter anyway. I know, peanut tolerance is wasted on the peanut-tolerant.

Anyway, last we checked, the cupcakes themselves worked, but the icing was slimy and gross. I used the term “zombie phlegm.” I went in search of a vegan buttercream, and had two more failures. Finally I came up with something to try, and by golly it worked. And how it worked! It tasted like the very best wedding cake icing you’ve ever had. Leave it out a few hours, and it even gets that nice “crust” on the outside that gives it the texture of something sweeter than it actually is.

Snow White Vegan “Buttercream”

1/2 c palm shortening
2 T (or more) rice milk
1/4 t Kosher salt
1 t vanilla extract
3 c sifted powdered sugar

In bowl of an electric mixer, combine shortening, rice milk, salt and vanilla until smooth. Slowly add powdered sugar, then whip on high speed until fluffy. If the icing is too thick to your liking, whip in more rice milk, 1 teaspoon at a time, until desired consistency is reached.

Palm shortening may be my new rockstar of an ingredient. It’s cheaper than coconut oil, flavorless, shelf stable, hypoallergenic, and I believe it has way less saturated fat and fewer calories than coconut oil. I do like virgin coconut oil, especially in frostings, but sometimes you just want something that doesn’t taste at all like coconut. Palm shortening pulls through.

Back to post-Christmas scheduling, so back to Wednesday desserts!


About Erin McCole Cupp
Erin McCole Cupp is a wife, mother, and lay Dominican who lives with her family of vertebrates somewhere out in the middle of Nowhere, Pennsylvania. Her short writing has appeared in Canticle Magazine, The Catholic Standard and Times, Parents, The Philadelphia City Paper, The White Shoe Irregular, Outer Darkness Magazine, and the newsletter of her children’s playgroup. She is a contributor to and has been a guest blogger for the Catholic Writers Guild. Her other professional experiences include acting, costuming, youth ministry, international scholar advising, and waiting tables. When Erin is not writing, cooking or parenting, she can be found reading, singing a bit too loudly, sewing for people she loves, gardening in spite of herself, or dragging loved ones to visitors centers at tourist spots around the country. Find out more about her novels and other projects at .

One Response to EUREKA! Snow White Vegan “Buttercream” Icing

  1. Mom says:

    That doesn’t sound scary…I think I’ll try it!

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