Dairy-free raspberry frosting recipes
October 14, 2020 1:01 PM   Subscribe

My daughter would like a chocolate cake with raspberry icing for her birthday this year. Do you have any tried-and-true recipes for a delicious raspberry frosting? Difficulty level: Several dietary restrictions.

Due to allergies and other restrictions, we can't use any dairy products, eggs, tofu, cashews, pistachios, or hazelnuts. However, we’re pretty experienced at making substitutions, so recipes that include one or two of these ingredients might still be useful. (Our go-to frosting is a basic buttercream made with vegan butter and milk substitutes.)
posted by mbrubeck to Food & Drink (11 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
Here's an easy raspberry buttercream you make with jam. Don't see why you couldn't sub in your vegan butter and alternative milk.
posted by briank at 1:16 PM on October 14, 2020 [1 favorite]

Stella Parks's recommendation here is for freeze dried fruit, and if you've got the time to acquire some raspberries, it's probably your best bet, added to your usual veganized buttercream.
posted by piro at 1:39 PM on October 14, 2020 [6 favorites]

At first glance, I was going to suggest a Swiss meringue buttercream with the addition of freeze m-friend raspberries ground into a find powder. With the food restrictions- I thought of Aquafaba Swiss meringue breed cream and it’s a thing. Here’s a recipe for a raspberry version.
posted by Champagne Supernova at 1:48 PM on October 14, 2020 [2 favorites]

I apologize for being slightly off tangent, but our "house" birthday cake is chocolate cake, with chocolate buttercream, with raspberry jam spread very thickly in the middle. We use homemade jam, but if I was buying, I get the no seed one. So not a receipe for raspberry frosting, but so so so good.
posted by Ftsqg at 2:13 PM on October 14, 2020 [3 favorites]

Native Foods' makes (used to make?) really decadent cupcakes. Their base frosting (from their cookbook) is 1 cup vegan shortening and 1 cup vegan margarine, beat for 3 minutes in a mixer until fluffy, followed by the addition of 4 cups powdered sugar and whatever flavorings you like, beating for another three minutes. My favorite recipe of theirs adds 2 tbsp rose water (to be used when frosting cardamom cupcakes), but any addition of jam or preserves or wet or freeze dried fruit would be a cinch here. Just add the fruit in whatever form in small volumes and keep tasting for your desired level of raspberriness.
posted by late afternoon dreaming hotel at 2:29 PM on October 14, 2020

As someone who has dreamed of raspberry cakes but often ends up disappointed in the reality, I would go with a raspberry frosting made from your vegan buttercream plus the quantity of jam/puree/freeze-dried called for in recipes listed above, PLUS a pool or glaze (like in this application) or side-serving of vegan raspberry curd (and maybe the jam between layers too) to bring the actual POW of raspberries to the table.

You can also go the poke cake route, which I can confirm is real good in chocolate cake.

They're so wet you can't really go full-out with them in the frosting without it being runny, or you have to put so much confectioner's sugar to stiffen it that it dilutes the raspberry flavor. So it requires augmentation.
posted by Lyn Never at 2:45 PM on October 14, 2020

If your chocolate cake is pretty rich, you could also just do a raspberry icing with raspberry puree and powdered sugar like you'd see on a donut.
posted by vunder at 3:55 PM on October 14, 2020 [1 favorite]

I recently made a pretty stunning raspberry buttercream using fresh raspberries that I boiled down into a paste. Even a teaspoon of them gave a rich, fresh raspberry flavor- much better than the jam technique I've used before.

I have only done it with butter but I don't see any reason why it wouldn't be just as good with a non-dairy spread.

It was based on this one and was much easier than it looks, but because I blended them, sieved them and then boiled them, there were dishes to clean.


EDIT: Also, the color was very pretty without any dye.
posted by small_ruminant at 4:52 PM on October 14, 2020

+1 for piro’s rec of Stella Parks. Her American buttercream has a few simple but important tweaks that will raise the bar on your frosting game. A commenter veganized it and reported it delicious.

Make her recipe, add in some pulverized freeze dried raspberries (TJ’s is a good source), and you are in a very good place. Adding jam, glaze, curd, etc will take you to an excellent place.

Happy Bday to your daughter!
posted by jenquat at 10:48 PM on October 14, 2020

Just going to add another voice for freeze-dried raspberries. Powder them in a blender or food processor and add to your frosting in small amounts until you get the color and flavor you like. I get mine from Target, they have a large variety of freeze-dried fruits in their snacks and nuts aisle.

Additionally you can put fresh raspberries between the layers of the cake along with some of your frosting, and also garnish the top of the cake with fresh raspberries.
posted by Jenny'sCricket at 5:04 AM on October 15, 2020

So I ended up using the freeze-dried raspberries that many of you suggested, added to my regular frosting recipe. I accidentally sacrificed the first batch to the compost (didn't realize there was a silica gel packet in it until after I'd ground up all the raspberries and sliced the packet in a few places). The second batch went just fine and while I added it in to the frosting a bit at a time, the correct amount was all of it. It was a quite dark pink, quite impressively so.
I went with my original plan of wacky cake (it's the house chocolate cake) with raspberry jam between layers. I even managed to slice it into 5 layers, so, um, a lot of jam. It is delicious and tastes very raspberry. Our daughter said it was really good cake.
posted by Margalo Epps at 2:58 PM on October 22, 2020

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