The short answer is a frosting that you make yourself can easily be made vegan. But what about if you want to purchase a store bought one for convenience? In that case, you may be wondering…. what frosting is vegan?? Many frosting flavors contain milk, butter, or cream cheese but there are vegan options out there. Keep in mind that some vegan frostings may still contain palm oil and while technically vegan, many earth conscious people will opt to avoid palm oil because of its harvesting practices that are harmful to the environment. So for the sake of simplicity, this list focuses on vegan frosting options and beyond that is your own choice in determining a good fit for you budget, family, frosting need, etc.
What Frosting is Vegan?
Pillsbury – All 13 Flavors of Creamy Supreme Pillsbury Frosting, the Pastry Bag Pillsbury Frosting, and the Funfetti Pillsbury frostings are vegan– even the cream cheese, buttercream, and milk chocolate flavors! And I know you’re thinking, “milk chocolate is not vegan.” Turns out that calling it milk chocolate doesn’t match up to the ingredients as the base is sugar, palm oil, and corn syrup with various additives (but no milk derived ingredients) to still technically be vegan. Again, some vegans choose to avoid palm oil as it may not be sustainably sourced and may be reducing the rain forests but in terms of straight vegan and if you’re wondering if Pillsbury frostings are vegan, they are indeed vegan and do not contain any animal product.
Betty Crocker – Betty Crocker frostings are vegan except for the Rich and Creamy Coconut Pecan and the Rich and Creamy Cream Cheese Frosting that includes milk. The other 8 flavors of the Rich and Creamy Betty Crocker Frostings, the Betty Crocker Whipped Frosting, and the Hershey’s Gluten Free Frosting from Betty Crocker are all vegan at the time of this post. Similarly to Pillsbury, Betty Croker’s buttercream and cream cheese flavors use a sugar and palm oil base versus a milk derived base. The whipped Betty Crocker frostings use partially hydrogenated soybean and cottonseed oil to create more air but they are also still all vegan.
Duncan Hines – Most of the Duncan Hines Frostings are Vegan. The non-vegan flavors include: Duncan Hines Cream Cheese Whipped Frosting (but the Creamy Homestyle Cream Cheese is vegan), Milk Chocolate Creamy Homestyle Frosting, Chocolate Buttercream Creamy Homestyle Frosting (but the regular Buttercream Frosting is vegan). The other 12 varieties of both the Duncan Hines Creamy Homestyle and the Duncan Hines Whipped Frostings are vegan without animal products like butter, milk, or whey.
If you’re looking for a commercially prepared vegan frosting with cleaner, more natural ingredients, I’ve provided a few suggestions below…
Simple Mills Organic Frosting – Simple Mills Organic Frosting is vegan and comes in chocolate and vanilla with only 8 simple ingredients. The base is powdered sugar, coconut oil, and organic palm shortening that is from sustainably sourced palm oil.
Miss Jones Baking Organic Frosting – This organic vegan frosting comes in 4 flavors: vanilla, chocolate, confetti pop, and peppermint. With an ingredient list similar to the Simple Mills Organic Frosting, Miss Jones is organic and comes from sustainably sourced palm oil and is 100% vegan.
Wholesome Organic Frosting – Similar to the other organic options, Wholesome Organic Frosting is vegan and does not contain added flavors or any high fructose corn syrup and could be a good option for a vegan but more plant-based/cleaner ingredient list.
There you have it folks, six commercially prepared vegan frosting options. There are other vegan frosting options out there including frosting mixes from 365 (Whole Foods generic brand) where you can add your own vegan butter and milk. However, again for the simplicity of this list, I opted to stick to completely prepared vegan frostings that are ready to open and use. If you are going with one of the more traditional flavors (chocolate or vanilla), I would recommend opting for Simple Mills, Miss Jones, or the Wholesome Frosting over the Duncan Hines, Betty Crocker, and Pillsbury simply because the first 3 are organic and do not contain added flavors or colorings. If you’re looking for a vegan frosting with a more exciting flavor profile aside from chocolate or vanilla, you will more than likely have to go with a more conventional commercially prepared frosting.
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