What’s a cake without frosting? The sweet, creamy concoction not only improves the appearance of a cake but also contributes to its flavor and richness.
Sadly, they aren’t always vegan, so you should either read the ingredients label or look for the ones labeled vegan-friendly to ensure you aren’t accidentally consuming animal ingredients.
I have got some vegan frosting brands shortlisted for your convenience. But before we discuss them, let’s talk a little about frostings.
Why is Frosting Not Vegan? Animal Ingredients in Frostings
Most standard frostings contain milk, cream, butter, and/or eggs (whites). The flavored ones may also have ingredients like cream cheese, chocolate, caramel, and honey.
Though not common, some frostings may also contain gelatin, which, as is common knowledge, is a thickening agent extracted from animal bones, skin, tendons, and ligaments.
One ingredient we generally do not expect to be present in frosting and often overlook is confectioner’s glaze. For reference, it is the substance that makes the crunchy, shiny coating on candies and pills.
Also called shellac, confectioner’s glaze comes from a resinous pigment secreted by female lac beetles. Simply put, it’s an insect product and is unsuitable for vegans.
Potentially Problematic Ingredients in Frosting
While all vegans avoid the above-mentioned ingredients, those with a more strict view may also find a few other frosting ingredients objectionable. These include:
- Palm Oil – This is a plant-based product but is avoided by some vegans for ethical reasons. Palm oil is often harvested in unsustainable ways, which has been contributing to the destruction of rainforests and animal habitats.
- Artificial Colors – These also do not contain animal ingredients, but there is evidence of these being tested on animals. Therefore, some vegans prefer to avoid them (as much as they can, if not entirely).
- Refined Sugar – Sugar is commercially refined using bone char, which leads to its contamination. If this concerns you, choose frostings that contain organic sugar or are certified vegan.
Top 5 Vegan Frosting Brands
There are quite a few dairy-free frosting brands available out there. Some of them are accidentally vegan, while others are specifically prepared for those following a plant-based diet. Here are some of my top picks from them:
1. Duncan Hines (LINK)
If you like frostings (who doesn’t?) or love to bake cakes using readymade mixes, there’s no way you’re not aware of Duncan Hines. Named after its founder, the brand has been helping busy individuals and amateur cooks realize their baked dessert dreams for over 70 years.
It offers dessert mixes (for cakes, cupcakes, muffins, brownies, and cookies), pie fillings, frostings, and frozen sweet treats. The brand also offers keto-friendly desserts and vegan-friendly frostings.
The majority of Duncan Hines frostings are vegan-friendly. However, it’s important to note that they are only accidentally vegan, so it’s recommended to check their labels every time to make sure the brand hasn’t changed their frosting ingredients (it is a possibility for non-certified vegan brands and products).
For your convenience, here’s the list of Duncan Hines dairy-free frostings:
- Creamy Vanilla
- Creamy Cream Cheese (contrary to what the name suggests, it doesn’t contain real cream cheese)
- Creamy Chocolate
- Creamy Dark Chocolate Fudge
- Creamy Lemon Supreme
- Creamy Coconut Pecan
- Creamy Buttercream (One more proof that names can be misleading)
- Whipped Frosting – Vanilla, Fluffy White, and Chocolate
- EPIC Fruity Pebbles Flavored Frosting
Duncan Hines’ non-vegan frosting flavors include:
- Creamy Milk Chocolate
- Creamy Chocolate Buttercream
- Creamy Strawberries ‘ n Cream
- Cream Cheese Whipped Frosting
- EPIC Cookie Dough Flavored Frosting
Please note that Duncan Hines Creamy Cream Cheese Frosting is vegan-friendly, whereas the Cream Cheese Whipped Frosting is not.
2. Pillsbury (LINK)
Pillsbury is not just a self-proclaimed ‘family favorite baking brand.’ It truly is a household name for baking products. The brand offers a range of flours, baking mixes for cakes, cupcakes, brownies, muffins, breads, donuts, and cookies, and frostings.
Unlike Duncan Hines, which takes into account only one specialized dietary category (keto), Pillsbury caters to a broader audience with its zero-sugar and gluten-free products. Some of Pillsbury’s products, including all of their frostings, are also vegan-friendly.
Again, it’s important to mention that Pillsbury frostings are accidentally vegan, so be sure to check their ingredient lists every time you purchase them, more so because some of them previously had animal ingredients.
This shows that the brand has changed some of its frostings composition. It can do the same again as well.
Pillsbury is owned by the same parent company (General Mills) that owns the Betty Crocker baking line, Cheerios, Lucky Charms, Cocoa Puffs, Count Chocola, and Trix cereal brands.
Pillsbury has a ton of frosting varieties (probably the largest of all the brands on this list). Listing all of them here isn’t possible due to space constraints, but to give you an idea of Pillsbury vegan frosting varieties, here are the major categories they come in:
- Creamy Supreme Frosting
- Funfetti Frosting
- Fluffy Frost Frosting
- Zero-Sugar Frosting
Pillsbury also offers several seasonal flavors and frostings in pastry bags for quick and easy cupcake/muffin decoration.
3. Miss Jones Baking (LINK)
If flavor isn’t your only criterion in food shopping, and you also prioritize health, Miss Jones frostings would be a better option. Made from organic ingredients, they rank higher on the health scale and are also vegan-friendly. Your options include:
- Vanilla Buttercream Frosting
- Chocolate Buttercream Frosting
- Confetti pop Buttercream Frosting
- Cream Cheese Buttercream Frosting
- Peppermint Frosting (Limited Edition)
Miss Jones Baking is a USDA and OTCO-certified organic brand. It’s also non-GMO certified, vegan, and uses Rainforest Alliance Certified palm oil.
Miss Jones products are also free of artificial colors, flavors, gluten, trans fats, and hydrogenated oils. Even the sprinkles in Pillsbury confetti frosting are vegetable-dyed.
4. Betty Crocker (LINK)
Betty Crocker is a leading name in the world of convenience cooking; the brand needs no introduction. While it isn’t a vegan company, many of Betty Crocker’s mixes and frostings are 100% plant-based and hence, can be consumed by those following a vegan diet.
Betty Crocker frostings come in two main varieties – Rich & Creamy and Whipped. Besides these, there is one gluten-free option, too. And as stated before, most of them are accidentally vegan-friendly. Here’s the list of them for your convenience:
- Betty Crocker Rich & Creamy Vegan Frosting – Creamy White, Cherry, Dark Chocolate, Milk Chocolate, Lemon, and Vanilla.
- Betty Crocker Vegan Whipped Frosting – Butter Cream, Fluffy White, Cream Cheese, Vanilla, Strawberry Mist, and Whipped Cream.
Betty Crocker’s gluten-free frosting, i.e., Hershey’s Milk Chocolate Frosting, is also dairy-free and vegan-friendly.
Better Crocker’s non-vegan frosting flavors include:
Rich & Creamy
- Cream Cheese
- Rainbow Chip
- Milk Chocolate
Please note that Betty Crocker’s Cream Cheese frosting is vegan-friendly in Whipped form but is non-vegan in the Rich & Creamy variety. Conversely, it’s Rich & Creamy Milk Chocolate frosting is vegan, and Whipped Milk Chocolate frosting contains milk (see why I always emphasize checking the ingredients list?)
5. Simple Mills (LINK)
Simple Mills makes clean, healthy, nutritious snacks and baking and breakfast mixes using real, whole-food ingredients.
The entire line of products is dairy-free, sugar-free, gluten-free, GMO-free, and soy-free. It also doesn’t contain excessive sugar or any artificial ingredient, offering you a variety of healthy and flavorful food choices to start your days with and munch on throughout the day.
There’s only a limited variety of frostings, though. In fact, there are only two – vanilla and chocolate. Both of them, however, are free of animal ingredients. Also, the palm shortening they contain is made from sustainably-sourced palm oil. So, they are deemed fit for those on the vegan diet.
Is There Any Vegan Frosting Without Palm Oil?
Most frostings contain palm oil, and it can be hard to find one that doesn’t. Your best bet is to look for a brand that uses sustainably-sourced palm oil, such as Simple Mills and Miss Jones, or make your own vegan frosting at home.
Check out the following video for a quick and simple vegan frosting recipe…
Conclusion – Which is the Best Vegan Frosting Brand?
The answer to this question can be different for everyone, depending on what their selection criteria is. If you’re looking for a brand that offers the most variety of vegan-friendly frostings, Pillsbury is your answer.
But if your purchasing decision is based on how healthy a frosting is, you may want to opt for one of Miss Jones’ or Simple Mills’ frostings.
Want something more with frosting to decorate your cake? How about chocolate? Check out my article Best Vegan Chocolate Brands to know your top options.