Quick Cake Frosting

This is similar to the recipe you may have used before canned frostings were available. But before serving it to a vegetarian guest, check out our note on the use of table sugar, including confectioner's sugar.


  • One pound (one box) confectioner's sugar (read this first)
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/3 cup (2/3 stick) Earth Balance or Soy Garden vegan margarine, room temperature
  • 1/4 cup thin liquid
  • 1-2 teaspoons flavoring, optional (usually vanilla extract)
  • some drops of coloring, optional (juice of crushed berries works well)


Mix the sugar, salt, and margarine in a very clean bowl. Add the liquid. Beat until smooth, adding more liquid if necessary. Use immediately and rapidly: spread over a cooled cake with a rubber spatula or blunt knife. Decorate the cake quickly, before the frosting hardens.


The salt is indispensable. If you leave it out, the frosting will not become a proper emulsion and will be runny. This is science!

The liquid can be almond/rice/soy milk, coffee (make it from instant or there will be too much oil), tea (try green tea!), fruit juice, juice from mashed berries of any sort, or even cow milk if you don't follow a strict vegetarian diet. All-natural suggestions for flavor and color (always use a quarter cup of liquid):

  • Mint flavor -- add some peppermit extract to some strongly-brewed mint herbal tea and cool to room temperature
  • Green color -- use a few drops from one "shot" of wheatgrass juice or some packaged green juice drink
  • Strong pink color -- mash a half pint of ripe raspberries through a strainer
  • Mystery melon -- purée some canteloupe or honeydew and strain
  • Pale pink color -- try Knudsen Hibiscus Cooler or a tablespoon of black cherry juice concentrate
  • Summertime treat -- combine the juice of half a lemon with light, watery juice or other thin liquid (enough to make a quarter cup)
  • For adults only -- use some kind of liquor: rum, bourbon, or brandy

Takes five minutes or fewer to prepare.

As shown, recipe will cover two layers of a 8- or 9-inch round cake.

When preparing this recipe and any other food you enjoy, please use organically-grown vegetables, fruits, grains, and flavorings. The Earth you save may be your own.