Dairy Free, Soy Free Sugar Free Icing (Dye free too!)

2012 March 17

If there’s one thing that I have really struggled with this past year, it has been to come up with a realistic, healthy, tasty dairy and soy free icing.  Something that could hold up to piping on a cake.  Something that was pretty to look at, and tasted good.  Something that didn’t make me miss that creamy dairy feeling in my mouth. Something that made ‘regular’ people WISH they knew the secret to the fabulous confection they were eating because its so much BETTER than what they’d ever tasted before.

I’ve spent the greater part of this last year trying to figure it out.  I tried recipes from GF Goddess.  They were good, but I wanted something pink and fruity and multi layerd in its flavour. I tried the frosting from Elana’s Pantry- I sucked at making it- I kept getting it wrong and it wouldn’t turn out.  I experimented with grinding cashews and mixing them with honey (good, but, lets face it, not icing).

So I gave up for a while.  Until I figured I’d throw some leftover fruit puree into the blender with some organic non-hydrogenated palm oil.  Hold on one second, I thought. I’m on to something here.

Experimenting came quickly and crazily as I put myself to the test and made icing form my best buddy’s little one, who needed a dairy and soy free birthday cake.  Funny what you’ll do for love, eh?  I stressed about it all week. I avoided the kitchen. I sweated over disappointing a 3 year old.  I stressed about not being able to deliver all these grandiose promises I made.  I felt guilty for saying I “could TOTALLY pull it off no worries!” . Seriously, you just can’t let down your best friend and her little one and especially not at a big family dinner.

I was so worried  I woke up at 5 am and started a frantic blendering blitz.  And I discovered something.

Its all about ratio.

Guys. Its a beautiful thing.  Check out the cake below- everything except the green icing, was made with the examples above.  Isn’t that terrific?  And yup.  My BF had a happy 3 year old. … OH! btw- I can’t take credit for the super piping job-  I made the icing but a certain BF brother in law was the pro decorator. :)


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31 Responses
  1. Sonia permalink
    July 29, 2012


    My son is gluten/dairy/egg/nuts/seeds free (allergies). He is also highly salicylates sensitive. and the only fruit he can have is pear. So my question is will this icing work with rice bran oil and pear?

    I am no baker on top of it so try to make a everything free and flavour free cake that would taste reasonable, seems almost impossible to me. But will try for my son’s sake. he is turning 5 and has never had cake due to his allergies and food intolerance.


  2. July 15, 2012

    yay!! Tracey you made my day! i’m so happy it worked out- if there is anything at all you’d like a recipe for, you just let me know and i’ll do the research :D i’m so glad to help. :D

  3. Tracey permalink
    July 13, 2012

    thank you thank you thank you! It was my daughter’s birthday on Wednesday and although there are plenty of gluten, egg, dairy, soya free cake recipes online, this is the only icing recipe that was anywhere near suitable for my gluten, egg, dairy, soya and sugar free daughter. I used maple syrup, raspberries and coconut oil for the substitutes, the icing was tastey and looked like traditional icing! Being able to make a traditional looking cake for my teenager was important to me. Thank you!!!

  4. June 30, 2012

    Hi Denise! i just found a great tip on making naturally blu icing, I’ll post the link here for you- seems to work pretty well! http://wholenewmom.com/recipes/natural-blue-food-coloring-dye-just-in-time-for-easter/

  5. Denise permalink
    June 30, 2012

    Thanks so much for sharing your experiment! Those icing colors are gorgeous. Any ideas on how to make blue?

  6. May 19, 2012

    Hi there Briel!

    I’m so thrilled you put together a chocolate version! That must be delicious :D
    So for the vanilla version, if memory serves correctly, for vanilla i use the organic palm shortening, macadamia nut butter or home made cashew butter, vanilla (vanilla bean is even better), a little almond extract, and honey. In order for it to not be too runny, i put it in the freeze for a little bit before piping it… Hope that helps? Let me know how it goes! :)

  7. May 19, 2012

    Hello! I have been playing with your recipe for awhile now and made a great chocolate version with your inspiration. I am having serious difficulty with a vanilla frosting and wanted to ask you how you made your white frosting. Mine is WAAAy to runny when I try to make white frosting.

    Also, I wanted to ask: Is it palm shortening you are using or something else? I switched to that because it it cheaper but it is not as firm as the coconut oil and I was wondering if that is why I am having difficulties?

    Many thanks!

  8. January 22, 2012

    Hi Ashley!
    I’ve had some luck cooking peaches and mango til they are really thick, jam consistency for yellow. I bet a pinch of tumeric would be great! Asfor nut butters- if yo uare nut free it might be better to just omit them- i’m not sure if the fibre and starchiness of beans will blend with the other ingredients, but you never know – might be worth a shot! if you can have coconut, yo ucould also try coconut butter? best of luck! alea

  9. January 17, 2012

    Hey I just came across this post and I think I’ll try it out soon. I have family that needs dairy free so whenever we get together I need creative thinking for desserts. Anyway, some people asked if there was any non nut butters and what do you know….coconut butter! simply put a ton of shredded, non sweetened, organic coconut into a food processor and turn it on…and leave it, leave, leave it, until it becomes “buttery”. Add water if necessary. So yummy.

  10. Ashley permalink
    January 15, 2012

    This recipe looks great! I’m wondering if you have done yellow frosting? I’m looking for a bright yellow, as my son wants a Wolverine mask cake for his birthday… I was thinking of trying your variation for white, and using turmeric? I also cant use nuts, would some type of beans work ok?


  11. November 1, 2011

    yay!!! great stuff stephanie! what flavour did you make :) ?

  12. November 1, 2011

    I LOVE it! I used this recipe in my most recent round of cupcakes (http://thenuttygarbanzo.weebly.com/1/post/2011/11/chocolate-bean-cupcakes-gluten-sugar-dairy-and-nut-free.html) and it was a HUGE hit in our house. Thank you!

  13. November 1, 2011

    I LOVE it! I used it for my most recent round of cupcakes (http://thenuttygarbanzo.weebly.com/1/post/2011/11/chocolate-bean-cupcakes-gluten-sugar-dairy-and-nut-free.html) and it was a HUGE hit in our house! Thanks for such a wonderful recipe!

  14. August 22, 2011

    Cassidy- i’m SO glad that i could help!! I love the recipe . my favorite is the strawberry with adding lemon juice. awesome. Oh- hey, if you are looking to experiment, also check out http://www.dietdessertndogs.com and http://www.thespunkycoconut.com they both have dairy/soy/sugar free icing recipes and I’ve heard they are fantastic :D its always good to have options! :)

  15. August 21, 2011

    Yeeeaaahhhhh!!! I’ve been looking and experimenting forever trying to find a thick icing that will hold up and isn’t packed full of powdered sugar and food coloring!!!! We’re having a kids party next week and I’m going to use your icing on for cupcakes – I’m so excited! Thank you so much :)

  16. Joe permalink
    August 13, 2011

    Is there a substitute for the nut/seed butters? I can’t handle anything made from nuts and seeds but I’d really like to try this recipe.

  17. April 19, 2011

    oh my goodness. Sara, you are a totally GENIUS!! I must add that to the post… terrific!! I bet with a little mint extract, it would be reallllly cool for christmas or spring themed desserts. wow. spirulina. brilliant. !

  18. Sara permalink
    April 19, 2011

    For the green you should try spirulina powder. I have used it and it totally works without an after taste!

  19. April 14, 2011

    haha it was the only way i could make myself do it! :) i work best under pressure lol

  20. Rumpshaker permalink
    April 14, 2011

    I didn’t know you sweated so hard for these – at least not at the last minute like that :-)
    She/We loved them – No one was disappointed, even the carnivores couldn’t get over the flavours in these. Thank you so much for your love and devotion.

  21. February 10, 2011

    Wow- thank you so much Ricki! That is high praise coming from someone i admire so much :) I find the flavours of the fruits really do something special to the icing… I had some frozen peaches i used for the flesh colour of the strawberry shortcake themed cake below, and they were packed with citric acid to keep the flavour . They gave this wonderfully tart flavour that was so perfectly ballanced with the fat of the icing that its almost like the icing is a separate dessert of its own!

  22. February 10, 2011

    It’s beautiful! I love all the colors you created–so pretty! And I bet the fruits also impart a little bit of their individual flavors. Congrats on getting the formula down! :)

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