Icing can be dairy-free or contain dairy, depending on the specific recipe. Traditional icing recipes often use butter or milk, making them not suitable for those following a dairy-free diet. However, dairy-free alternatives exist, such as vegetable shortening, dairy-free margarine, or plant-based milk (like almond or coconut milk) instead of dairy ingredients. It is important to check the recipe or look for specifically labeled dairy-free icing options to ensure it meets your dietary needs.
Ingredients To Avoid While Buying Dairy-Free Icing
Butter: Butter is a dairy product made from churning cream. It adds richness, flavor, and a creamy texture to the icing. However, for a dairy-free version, you can substitute it with dairy-free margarine or vegetable shortening.
Milk or Cream: Milk or cream is often used in icing to adjust the consistency and texture. It provides moisture and helps bind the ingredients together. You can use plant-based milk alternatives like almond, coconut, or soy milk for a dairy-free option.
Yogurt or Sour Cream: Yogurt or sour cream can add tanginess and moisture to certain types of icing. They are dairy products, but you can find dairy-free alternatives made from plant-based sources, like coconut or almond milk yogurt, to achieve a similar effect in dairy-free icings.
Famous Types Of Icing
A popular type of icing made with butter, powdered sugar, and flavorings. It is creamy and smooth, and can be easily piped or spread onto cakes, offering a deliciously rich buttery flavor.
This icing is made with egg whites, powdered sugar, and lemon juice. It dries to a hard, smooth finish and is commonly used for intricate decorations, such as on gingerbread houses or cookies.
Cream Cheese Frosting
Cream cheese is combined with butter, powdered sugar, and vanilla to create a tangy and creamy frosting. It pairs exceptionally well with carrot and red velvet cakes, providing a delightful balance of sweet and tangy flavors.
Fondant is a pliable icing from sugar, corn syrup, and water. It can be rolled out and draped over cakes, giving them a smooth and flawless appearance. Fondant can also be used for creating intricate decorations and cake toppers.
Ganache is a luxurious icing made from a combination of chocolate and cream. It can be poured over cakes for a glossy finish or whipped to create a fluffy texture. Ganache adds a rich and decadent flavor to desserts.
A simple and thin icing combines powdered sugar with a liquid such as milk or citrus juice. Glaze is often used to coat pastries and donuts or drizzle over cakes for a glossy and slightly sweet finish.
Whipped cream is a light and fluffy topping made by whipping heavy cream with sugar and vanilla extract. It is commonly used for frost cakes, top pies, or desserts and can be flavored or stabilized for various applications.
Dairy-Free Icing Recipe
- 1 cup dairy-free margarine or vegetable shortening
- 3 cups powdered sugar
- 1-2 tablespoons dairy-free milk (such as almond milk or coconut milk)
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- Cream the dairy-free margarine or vegetable shortening in a large mixing bowl until smooth and creamy.
- Gradually add the powdered sugar to the bowl, mixing well after each addition. Continue mixing until the mixture is smooth and well combined.
- Add the dairy-free milk, starting with 1 tablespoon, and the vanilla extract to the bowl. Mix on low speed, then gradually increase to medium speed until the icing reaches your desired consistency. Add more milk if needed to achieve a spreadable texture.
- Once the icing is smooth and creamy, it is ready to use. You can spread it on cakes or cupcakes or for piping decorations.
Note: If the icing is too runny, add more powdered sugar to thicken it. If it is too thick, add more dairy-free milk to thin it out. Adjust the consistency according to your preference.
Icing vs. Frosting
Icing and frosting are sweet toppings used in baking, but they differ in composition and texture. Icing is typically thinner and more transparent, made with powdered sugar and liquid, and often used for glazing or drizzling over pastries. On the other hand, Frosting is thicker and creamier, often made with butter, sugar, and flavorings, and used to spread or pipe onto cakes and cupcakes for a smoother finish.
Tips To Avoid Dairy In Your Icing/Frosting
Use plant-based milk: Substitute cow’s milk with non-dairy milk like almond, coconut, or oat milk. Each has a unique flavor that can complement your frosting.
Substitute butter with solid fats: Use coconut oil, palm shortening, or vegan butter replacements. These can provide the same rich texture as traditional butter.
Non-dairy yogurt: It can be a good substitute for cream cheese in frosting. It adds tanginess and creaminess, similar to cream cheese.
Experiment with nut butter: Nut butter, like almond or cashew butter, can give a rich, creamy texture to your frosting while also adding a delightful flavor.
Avocado-based frosting: Avocado is a great dairy-free substitute that can create a creamy, rich frosting. It also has the added benefit of being a healthier fat source.
Dairy-Free Icing/Frosting Brands
Their organic frostings are dairy-free and made with simple, whole-food ingredients. They offer flavors like chocolate and vanilla.
Miss Jones Baking Co.
Their organic frosting line is not only dairy-free but also vegan. It’s made with coconut oil and comes in a range of flavors.
This brand offers a range of vegan, non-GMO, and gluten-free frostings. They use palm fruit oil as their base.
Known for their dairy-free products, their CocoWhip line can be used as a light, fluffy frosting substitute.
While not all of their frostings are dairy-free, some of their products, like the Rich & Creamy Cherry Frosting, are.
Different Ways To Use Icing/Frosting
- Cake Decoration: The most common use, icing, can be piped or spread on cakes to add decorative elements and enhance the cake’s overall flavor.
- Cookie topping: Add frosting to cooled cookies for a sweet and colorful finish.
- Filling for cupcakes: Frosting can be injected into the center of cupcakes for a surprise burst of flavor.
- Sweet dip: Use frosting as a fun and decadent dip for fruits or pretzels at a party.
- Pancake/Waffle topping: Swap out the syrup for a scoop of frosting to make breakfast feel like dessert.
- As a base for cake pops: Crumbled cake mixed with frosting can be formed into cake pops, offering a fun and creative treat.
Frequently Asked Questions
Is Icing/Frosting Healthy?
Icing or frosting is typically high in sugar and fats, which aren’t particularly healthy when consumed in excess. However, it can be part of a balanced diet when used in moderation.
Is Icing/Frosting Vegan?
Traditional icing is not vegan as it often contains dairy products like butter and cream. However, there are vegan-friendly versions made with plant-based alternatives.
Is Icing Gluten-Free?
Most icing and frosting recipes are naturally gluten-free as they primarily use sugar, butter, and potentially dairy. However, some could have additives or thickeners that contain gluten, so it’s important to check the label.
Is Icing Lactose-Free?
Standard icing is typically not lactose-free due to the presence of dairy ingredients like milk and butter. Lactose-free versions can be made using non-dairy alternatives.
Is Icing Vegetarian?
Yes, most icing or frosting is vegetarian as it usually contains no meat or fish products.