Vegan Vanilla Frosting

mo cupcakesVegan frosting? Yes, it does exist. And this version is delicious.

Okay, so most folks who are vegan are probably more health-conscious than I am and might be appalled to see one full cup of vegetable shortening in this recipe, but trust me, it’s the only way to go. I got this recipe from my cousin Barb, who has a friend whose children have various food allergies, including dairy and egg allergies. The friend actually got this recipe from her grandmother, who called it something like “Depression frosting,” likely because during the Depression dairy and eggs were scarce. It remind me a great deal of my grandma Zella’s frosting, which includes egg whites.

Just a caveat: you really do need to take the full 10 minutes to whip this frosting, or the ingredients won’t come together properly. You could also certainly cut the recipe in half for a smaller yield; this frosted 36 cupcakes very generously, with just a bit left over.


  • 1 cup shortening
  • 3 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 8 cups powdered sugar


In a mixing bowl, combine shortening, 1 teaspoon vanilla, water, and 4 cups powdered sugar. Mix on low speed, then increase to medium-high and beat for 10 minutes, until smooth. Add remaining powdered sugar and additional teaspoons of vanilla extract, beating until smooth.

Frost cupcakes as desired; you can add food coloring for tint if you like, once frosting is fully mixed.


2 thoughts on “Vegan Vanilla Frosting

  1. I remember the first time I tried this at Tamara’s house. I said, “Wow, this frosting is delicious!” And she said, “That’s because of the Crisco!” It’s probably not good to eat shortening all day every day, but once in a while it makes for some true deliciousness.

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