Basic Cupcake Topping: vegan “Buttercream” & my favourite flavours


This is just a short, basic recipe for a delicious cupcake topping [or frosting or icing – whatever it’s called… ; ) If someone knows what the correct name or the difference between these terms is, please let me know!]. Simple, sweet, quick and easy!

I also share my favourite flavour and colouring options with you below.

Ingredients for 12 cupcakes 

  • 150 g vegan margarine
  • 180 g icing sugar, sifted (‘gesiebt’) – more, if you like it sweeter
  • 1-2 tbsp water or lemon juice
  • optional, for better stability : 1 tbsp carob bean gum (‘Johannisbrotkernmehl’)
  • optional: flavour and/or colouring, see below

You’ll also need…

…a piping bag (‘Spritztülle’)! I use this wonderful reusable one. It’s spacious, easy to clean, stable – and that’s what you want, cause otherwise the front bit or nozzle will fall off when you press it. Of course, you can also use paper ones or make your own from parchment paper (just roll a cone and cut the top off – in terms of sustainability and stability, I recommend getting a reusable one after a while ; )).


How to do it

Put the margarine in a bowl and blend it with a hand mixer for a couple of minutes. Add the sifted icing sugar and mix until fluffy. Add liquid and/or colouring/flavour of your choice, blend it until well combined (but not too long, otherwise it can get runny).

If you want it a bit more stable and thicker, add some carob bean gum, stir the mixture with a spoon and put it in the fridge for a bit if you have the time (the carob bean gum needs time and stirring to work best). After a few minutes, stir again and fill the topping in the piping bag. If you don’t add it, just put the topping in the piping bag and – if you have a few minutes, let sit in the fridge for a bit.

Now, decorate your little sweets!


Flavour and colouring options

For a certain kind of flavour and/or colour (see pictures below), add the following ingredients after whisking margarine and sugar together. If you’re using a liquid ingredient like puréed fruit, omit the water/lemon juice from the recipe. You can add as much as you need until your topping has reached your preferred colour and/or taste.

  • vanilla flavour: fresh or dried ground vanilla
  • lemon flavour: finely grated lemon zests (use a parmesan grater)
  • chocolate colour & flavour: cocoa powder or vegan chocolate spread
  • beige colour & peanut butter flavour: peanut butter (creamy)
  • beige colour & wintery kind of cookie flavour: Spekuloos cream (creamy)
  • pink colour & berry flavour: fresh or frozen raspberries, puréed
  • purple colour & berry flavour: fresh or frozen blueberries, puréed
  • green colour: fresh or frozen spinach,puréed (don’t worry, there’s enough sugar in it to not taste it)

Cupcakes_6 Kopie

This is the spinach one – try and purée it into a really fine mousse (I should’ve done a better job, but I still like that herb-butter-look ; )). I’ve sprinkled some grated lemon zests over it and decorated it with fresh mint and a piece of lemon.


This is obviously the raspberry version…


…followed by my favourite: puréed blueberries. Look at that natural purple! No chemicals needed…


This is real ‘food porn’: Wintery cupcakes with a Speculoos cream frosting, topped with shredded peanuts and chocolate sprinkles.


  • If you want to have a topping with two colours, divide your basic topping into two bowls, add the different colourings and each topping on one side of the piping bag (so when you hold the piping bag upright, it is vertically divided into two halfs).
  • Use coconut flakes, chocolate sprinkles, coloured sprinkles (make sure you use vegan ones, not ones with carmine/E120 or other non-vegan additives), nuts, berries, pieces of lemon or orange, grated lemon zest, little sweets, dried fruit, chocolate pieces, mint leaves etc. for additional decoration.
  • Store the cupcakes in an airtight container in the fridge until you enjoy them – they’ll keep fresh and nice for up to two days. The temperature will thicken the topping and make it more stable.


/Thanks for reading! If you like my stuff (or have some improvements ; )), feel free to like, share and/or leave a comment here. Every comment makes me happy!

7 thoughts on “Basic Cupcake Topping: vegan “Buttercream” & my favourite flavours

  1. Pingback: My 2nd vegan birthday: Still lovin’ cakes! | vegänsch.

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