Vegan Strawberry Buttercream Frosting

Vegan Strawberry Buttercream Frosting

Vegan Strawberry Coconut Butter Buttercream. You all are going to love this creative take on traditional buttercream frosting. This is a Vegan Strawberry Buttercream Coconut Butter Frosting and it's dairy-free, gluten-free and no added oil!


No, that's not ice cream. It's strawberry frosting. And no, there is not butter or oil added to this recipe. The texture reminded me of soft serve, so I really couldn't help myself photographing it in the ice cream cone.

Well, I promised to share with you all the strawberry frosting from my daughter's birthday cake party and here it is. I hadn't originally planned on posting this frosting today, but after my reader Deborah wrote me a couple days ago wanting it for her granddaughter's birthday cake, I rushed to get it up for her.

Super simple, just 5 ingredients (+ salt) and a wonderfully sweet and strawberry-infused "buttercream" frosting, perfect for little girls, or little boys, or big girls and boys, birthdays! Haha!

I also wanted to thank several of you who have already made the Dreamy Vanilla Vegan Gluten-Free Cake! I have loved seeing your photos and hearing your amazing feedback.

This. Rich, moist, chocolate, decadent cake....topped with vegan strawberry buttercream  frosting. Does it get any better? Oh, and you must make this Vegan Gluten-free Chocolate Cake.

This chocolate cake is freaking unbelievable too. After all the vanilla cake testing I did previously, I was soooo ready for chocolate.

Now, I normally never use powdered sugar, but stick with maple syrup or coconut sugar, but I wanted to try to mimic a buttercream as much as possible. Eliminating any oil or butter was a challenge in itself, and the frosting needed a thick powdery sugar for both flavor and texture. Besides, I'm ok with eating it once or twice out of the whole year. So what did I do for butter? I used coconut butter instead of traditional butter! It gives a smooth, silky, creamy flavor and structure to the frosting. It worked so darn amazing on my Pumpkin Spice Latte Cupcakes, that I was just itching to use it again in another frosting. To use a natural food coloring, I used dried beet powder and it gave this natural gorgeous pink color.

You only need a food processor and 5 main ingredients to make this:

  • fresh strawberries
  • powdered sugar
  • coconut butter
  • vanilla
  • lemon juice

Vegan Strawberry "Buttercream" Frosting

Instead of unhealthy oils or butters, this "buttercream" uses whole coconut butter for a creamy, sweet flavor. It is accented with fresh strawberries and sugar to give a creamy, sweet and slightly tart frosting that is perfect for cupcakes, cake or any dessert, really.

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  • 1 heaping rounded cup of fresh strawberries (175 g), de-stemmed and rinsed and patted dry
  • 1/2 cup (240g) of liquid melted coconut butter (not coconut oil), make sure it is totally a melted liquid when you measure out 1/2 cup. I make my own here .
  • 3/4 cup powdered sugar (This sugar is necessary because it's finely ground and contains starch. Other sugars will not give the same effect. Also, most buttercream type of recipes use nearly twice this much, but I found 3/4 cup to be perfectly sweet, feel free to add more if you like, after tasting. I wouldn't use less though, because it will make the frosting more thin/runny)
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice
  • small pinch sea salt
  • Optional: 1/2-3/4 teaspoon dried beet root powder (this will give a dark pink color like in the photos. It is not necessary for flavor and it won't affect the flavor, only the color. If you don't want to use this, the frosting will be a lighter pink, still pretty, just not as dark pink, it will basically look like traditional light pink strawberry frostings. I found mine at Whole Foods.)


  1. Make sure to follow the order of processing that I have listed.
  2. Measure out your whole strawberries, then remove the stems and chop them in half. Add them to a food processor and process until they are a complete liquid.
  3. Melt your coconut butter to a complete runny liquid, stir really well and then measure out 1/2 cup. If using a storebought jar, heat the whole jar first, stir after about 30 seconds all from the bottom up and reheat again for about 10 seconds until it's a complete liquid. Add this to the food processor and process quickly until it's blended and smooth. Add the remaining ingredients and process again, scraping the sides a couple of times. Process for at least a minute until completely smooth and thick like a pudding consistency.
  4. Pour into a container and chill in the fridge at least 2-4 hours until it sets and thickens up. The coconut butter will cause it to thicken up, as it will be too runny to use immediately.
  5. To frost cupcakes, add the chilled frosting to a piping bag or ziplock bag and cut off a tiny corner and pipe it on.
  6. This will make just enough for a 9 inch single layer cake. Would be perfect on my Dreamy Vanilla Vegan Gluten-Free Cake or my Vegan Gluten-Free Chocolate Cake . Double or triple for a large double layer cake or if you like a lot of icing.


This makes just enough to lightly frost an 8 or 9 inch round cake, so the nutrition is based on 1 slice of cake, frosted, out of 8 slices.
Nutrition: 145.1 calories, 9 g fat, 1.1 g protein, 16.4 g carbs, 13.2 g sugar, 19 mg sodium, 2.9 g fiber


  1. Wow, Brandi! Look at that beautiful pink colour! This frosting is absolutely stunning. I love that it only has a few ingredients too! It sounds delicious. Seriously wishing I wasn't allergic to strawberries right now!!!
      Thank you so much for such kind compliments Harriet! You are so sweet! Omg, noooo, that sucks you are allergic!!
  2. I have been so excited to see this part of the cake saga, because frostings are tricky! I knew you'd have some sort of wonderful idea, but my mind was not guessing coconut butter!?! I never would've imagined you could get that stuff to be so creamy, the perfect buttercream mimic! And I'm sure the flavor is wonderful with that coconut undertone too! Powdered sugar is hard to replicate in any less processed form, i have brainstormed long and hard on that one. But using the organic stuff every once in a while is perfectly fine with me, and 3/4 cup is nothing compared to the buckets in a traditional buttercream haha :D Looks beautiful Brandi!
      Thank you so much Natalie for your compliments! Yes, and you can't even really taste it! My husband absolutely hates coconut and did not know it was in there when I did a taste test on him...I didn't tell him it was in it and he loved it and thought it was perfect. I agree too about the powdered sugar, no other sugar tastes like it, and it was necessary for this recipe! And yes, all other frosting recipes always use like 3-4 cups of powdered sugar, it's insane!
  3. I thought it was ice cream too first ;) But that's okay...since then eating it straight up won't get you weird will look like some nice strawberry soft serve ;)
      Haha, looks totally like it!
  4. I'm typically not a fan of frosting but i think id eat this with a spoon! I love that you use fresh strawberries :)
      We were totally eating it with a spoon, a little spoon, haha!
  5. The pink frosting looks wonderful. Have you substituted blueberries for blue frosting and if so what are the amounts? I have a grandson's birthday coming up.
      Hi Fran! I have only tried this with strawberries, but knowing there is a lot more liquid in strawberries, then you would possibly need 1 1/2 to 2 cups of blueberries to get the right consistency. I'm just not sure without testing it. Give it a go and let me know. Keep in mind it will thicken more after firming in the fridge, but after blending in the processor, it should have a thickened pudding consistency, that's how you know it's right.
  6. I was thrilled and excited at the same time knowing that a cake related recipe was coming soon, Brandi! What can I say! It's so beautiful. Love you created a frosting that is fat free and only with a few ingredients. This topping is so versatile you can put it on a whole range of different cakes or just dip in with some fruits. Your photos are beautiful as always. Love the garnish with strawberries around the cake.
      Awww thank you so much Florian! So glad you like these photos, you are so kind! Yes, this honestly would work on any type of dessert! It holds up well after chilling, so it is perfect even at room temperature. Thank you so much Florian! Oh, and it's not fat-free, haha....there is no added butter or oil, but the coconut butter has fat for sure. But a whole food form instead.
  7. Absolutely gorgeous and looks amazing! Where do you get beet powder and what is the cake (not your pumpkin spice latte - these look more like chocolate)?
      Thank you so much for the compliments Marsha! So sweet! :) I got the beet root powder from Whole Foods..I will add that to my recipe. Oh, that is the chocolate cake from my daughter's birthday party...that recipe is coming next week :)
  8. Gorgeous! What would we do without coconut butter? That stuff is amazing!
      Thanks! Yes, I've used it for a TON of recipes on my blog, so I thought, I bet this would make an amazing "buttercream" and sure enough, it does! No need for butter or oil! I didn't want to do the usual cashews for icing..., so this coconut butter fit the bill.
  9. I am in love with the color of this frosting!!!! Beautiful! I tried making a strawberry frosting once and it was waaaaay to tart for me - leave it to the master to nail the flavor ;-) I also love that you used coconut butter! It does look like soft serve and I'm pretty sure I would eat it as is. I'll pin this for a future birthday cake/cupcakes! YUM!
      Awww thanks my friend!! You are so sweet. My first trial like I mentioned above was WAY too tart as well...I couldn't stand it...but my sister and mother-n-law loved it, lol. My mom didn't like the tartness either and I have to love a recipe in order to post it, so I remade it and love it now. Perfect balance of tart and sweet....and it can easily be made sweeter with extra sugar if desired :)
  10. WHHHAAATT!!? This is unreal...I would struggle resisting the urge to eat this by itself. Although it looks 10x better WITH that gorgeous cake!
      Aww thanks Britt, you are so funny!
  11. I know I'd love this because tart and sweet is my favorite combo! The color is unreal, I love strawberries and how vibrant they become in recipes! So pretty. I'm pretty sure I'd just keep it in that ice cream cone, because really, it's essentially ice cream right ;)
      Thank you so much Sophia! I love the color too! It's a beautiful pin color from the strawberries, but I wanted it super dark pink, so the beet root powder helped that. Without it, it just looks like other strawberry frostings out there, a softer pink, which is still pretty too. I did try one first with all dried strawberries and it was way too tart and I decided to just make one with fresh, since they are much easier to find, than the dried ones for readers...and cheaper too.
  12. Frosting looks very tasty.
  13. That frosting.... makes Frosty the Snowman envious! Even though it's a different kind of frost :D But still, it looks PERFECT! Thanks for sharing Brandi!
      Haha, thank you Levan!
  14. This vegan buttercream frosting looks unreal! I just want to eat it like ice cream :) Can't wait to try this recipe :)
  15. You're so right, Brandi, it's impossible to make buttercream frosting without powdered sugar. This looks so delicious, I love that there are real strawberries in the frosting.
      Yes, it would taste a lot less authentic for sure! Besides, I am ok with using it once or twice a year, I'm not stressing over it!
  16. I love using beet for color - such a vibrant dark pink! I want a big ol' cone of this frosting right now...
  17. Oh my goodness - I must have that right now. You always have the most delicious recipes. Thanks for sharing.
      So sweet of you, thank you Nancy!
  18. Oh wow.. isnt this just so amazingly delightful.. it was such a visual treat.. loved each and every photo and yes the recipe is amazing too
      Thank you so much, so glad you love these photos!
  19. Oh yes please. I'll have a large slice. That looks divine! I am so sad that berry season has come to an end here, only a few blackberries left :(
  20. Wow, Brandi! This frosting looks absolutely amazing! I love the color!
  21. Ooo! A healthy strawberry frosting that is beautiful, too! What lucky daughter on her birthday! Love how this looks with the shaved chocolate! Yum!
      So sweet of you to say that Patricia, thank you so much!
  22. Gin
    This frosting is just gorgeous!! And I can imagine how purely the strawberry flavor must come through. I love the pics of strawberries you shared too, beautiful!
      Thank you so much Gin, that is so nice of you!
  23. This recipe looks great! I was going to try to use it on my son's cupcakes for his birthday party and wanted to find out if the frosting needs to be refrigerated after it has been put on the cupcakes. So if I frost my cupcakes the day before the party, do I need to place the cupcakes in the fridge?
      Hi Jennilee! I would say it is best to leave them in the fridge since they are made with fresh strawberries and I wouldn't want the frosting to soften too much. They will be fine for awhile at room temperature of course, but I wouldn't let them sit out all night. I personally don't like to frost cupcakes until the day of a party and have always done it that way, so it's freshest, but let me know how it turns out!
  24. I would love to make this strawberry frosting and chocolate cake for my daughter's first birthday. She is allergic to dairy and egg, and I am searching for new recipies to use. I can't find your chocolate cake recipie on here, though.
      Hi Mary! Here is the recipe for the chocolate cake, I have it in the notes on how to omit the peppermint and just add vanilla instead. Please let me know what you think of it!
      • Unfortunately the cake uses almond flour and my daughter is allergic to nuts too. A friend recommended a 'depression cake' that will work with her allergies so I plan to try it with your strawberry icing.
          Oh, such a bummer Mary! Yes, please let me know how the frosting turns out for you. It is enough for an 8/9 inch cake, but you would need to double for a large double layer cake.
          • I did a test run of the cupcakes today, including your frosting. All four in my family liked it, which is definitely saying something. It did have a fairly strong coconut flavor and I couldn't get the coconut butter to melt, which makes me wonder if I got the wrong thing. I kept microwaving it and it smelled and looked like it was cooking it instead of melting it. The jar says "raw coconut butter" in big letters and "whole coconut purée" in small letters under it. Does that sound like the right thing? This whole no regular butter thing is new to me.
            Hi Mary! Oh, I'm so glad to hear it was enjoyed by all! :) Yes, that sounds like the correct coconut butter, it should melt to a liquid in about 30 seconds. But if you cook it too long, it will crumble and burn almost. How long did you heat it? Are you in a cold climate?
  25. I did 30 seconds and it wasn't all the way melted so I did 10 more seconds several times. It was probably a minute total by the time I gave up and just used it. I'm live in SC, so definitely not a cold climate. The coconut butter was really hard in the jar. So much that I had a really hard time scooping it out.
      If the jar comes solid and hard like that, next time I would just heat it in the jar first (I'm guess you scooped it out first before heating?), this is what I do and then stir it in between several seconds. This works for me each time if I use a storebought jar and it always turns to liquid really easily. That's so strange yours did not turn to liquid. My only guess is that if you scooped it out first and then heated it, you may have gotten the part without a lot of the natural oils, therefore it was the driest part and why it did not melt properly. I would just heat the whole jar next time :)
  26. In case anybody is curious, this icing freezes pretty well. My plan is to freeze pre- iced cupcakes so I can grab one for my daughter to take to birthday parties and such as needed. I tested it with one and there wasn't much difference from the fresh ones.
      Wow, that is great to know Mary! Thank you so much for sharing!
  27. Can u freeze leftovers? I only need to frost 2 cupcakes
      Hi Vicki! I have never tried freezing this frosting before since I frost the whole cake immediately. My guess is if you do, when you are ready to use it again, let it thaw in the fridge a few days and maybe whip it a bit if necessary. Since there is coconut butter in it, it will get super hard in the freezer.
  28. I was looking for a special frosting and cake for my son's high school graduation party. Every recipe of yours that I have made before was a huge hit and so I didn't have to look anywhere else. This was a huge hit with everyone (I am vegan, my boys are both vegetarian, and he had friends who were neither). I had to hoard the last piece to make sure my other son got one. That's how good it is. The coconut butter was a challenge, but stick with it and it will turn out perfectly. Once again, thanks for all of your wonderful recipes, Brandi!
      Thank you so much Lori for such kind words! So happy to hear all of my recipes are big hits and especially this frosting and cake! SO glad that all the boys all loved this too, thank you so much for the feedback!
  29. Sam
    Wow love that this frosting does not use butter but coconut butter instead. If I want to make a plain vanilla frosting,would it be fine just to leave out strawberries.
      Hi Sam! The strawberries provide the much needed liquid to get the right consistency of the frosting, so leaving it out wouldn't work. You would have to replace some with milk, maybe 1/2 cup?? That is just a guess, as I have only tested it with strawberries. BUT, I do have actually a vanilla "buttercream" frosting and a Funfetti cake recipe coming up in 2-3 weeks and the frosting is to die for! Otherwise, if you need it before then, I would just try doing about 1/2 cup milk, chilling, etc. and then following the steps. I say 1/2 cup because that is what I'm guessing 1 cup of fresh strawberries would end up being. Let me know if you try it please!
  30. Sam
    I cant wait for the vanilla “buttercream” frosting. Will keep a look out over the next few weeks. Will it also be on your facebook page?
  31. Does this melt?? I have never worked with coconut butter. Is it different then coconut spread?? Can I transport a cake a few hours without it melting, or do I need to keep it cool??
      Hi Cassie! Coconut butter is not the same thing as the butter spread in the cold section of the store. Coconut butter is just pureed coconut and is by the nut butters usually. It is very hard at room temperature but it needs to be melted down to a complete liquid, stirred well, and then measured. Then after the icing chills, it becomes firm. The coconut butter is what helps to make it firm up. It will stay firm as long as it is in an air conditioned room for a good while, but it will eventually soften and of course, if it's in the heat or a warm room, it will melt to a liquid.
  32. Hi Brandi, i would like to make this cake for my sons birthday, its sounds so delicious! I know you mentioned that it's best to make it the day off, but i will be pressed for time, so I was wondering if you'be ever tried or recommend freezing it and finishing it off with frosting the day off?
      Hi Monika! Oh, yes, you can totally make this cake the night before. It is a really moist cake so you should be fine. Just keep it at room temperature covered well on a plate with tight foil. I wouldn't freeze it. Just make it the day before.

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