Dairy Free Vanilla Frosting


To go with the Chocolate Mayonnaise Cupcakes, I wanted to make a tasty dairy-free frosting for the birthday girl. I first thought about doing a standard marshmallow frosting, made of egg whites and sugar and cooked over simmering water. But marshmallow frosting just doesn’t say “frosting” to me– it’s too sticky and sweet, and not creamy enough. Besides, I had horrific visions of a roomful of children, all getting salmonella from not-quite-cooked egg whites, and quickly nixed that idea.

I thought about using canned frosting, but that seemed like cheating, and besides it’s pretty expensive when you’re using it to frost several dozen cupcakes (at least the way I frost cupcakes). So I decided to improvise.

I started with a base of canned vanilla frosting, to provide creaminess and vanilla flavor without having to use butter (not allowed) or shortening (too greasy on its own). Then I whipped in large quantities of marshmallow Fluff, which is light and fluffy and provided some nice lift to the frosting at a relatively low price– Fluff is, by volume, about 1/3 the price of canned frosting.


I originally intended to just use those two ingredients, but the resulting frosting was a bit too runny to really pipe well onto cupcakes, plus being extremely sweet. I decided to add some shortening (Spectrum Palm Oil Shortening, which has the best mouthfeel I’ve found of all shortenings) to cut the sweetness and improve the texture– it worked perfectly. The resulting frosting was light, fluffy, and tasty, with a good marshmallow flavor but enough richness to nicely set off the chocolate cupcakes. It’s not my favorite frosting in the world (I’m still partial to my favorite vanilla frosting), but it’ll do in a pinch, and it tastes better than either of its components alone!

Dairy Free Vanilla Frosting

1 can vanilla frosting (16 oz. weight)

1 large container Marshmallow Fluff (16 oz weight)

1 cup Spectrum Palm Oil Shortening (192 grams)

Beat all ingredients together until thoroughly combined. Can be stored at room temperature for several hours, though it gets less sticky once it’s been piped onto cupcakes.


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