cashew buttercream in a white bowl on top of a beige tile

This Vegan Cashew Buttercream is rich, creamy and so easy to make! Perfect for cakes, cupcakes, cookies and more.

vegan strawberry buttercream in a white bowl with swirls on top of a beige tile

As far as desserts go, I’ve always been a cookie person but recently I’ve been loving experimenting with cakes and cupcakes. I’ve been working on two vegan vanilla cupcake recipes for the past month now (coming soon!), so of course I needed some frosting for them.

Originally, I wanted to go the traditional route and use vegan butter but here in Canada, we don’t have unsalted butter (yet) so I resorted to my go-to ingredient that seems to make everything buttery, creamy and delicious: cashews.

Cashew frosting isn’t a new thing, I’ve seen many recipe developers use some version of it, especially for carrot cake. This recipe is one I came up with after a lotttt of trial and error. What I love about this version is that it holds up well for cupcakes and it doesn’t taste overly cashew-y or coconut-y.

ingredients for cashew buttercream in bowls on a beige back drop

Ingredients for Cashew Buttercream

I wanted to use ingredients I already had in my kitchen and these 6 ingredients made the final cut:

  • Cashews: the base and what makes this buttercream so rich
  • Coconut Cream: makes it creamier and fluffier
  • Coconut Butter: helps firm up so that it’ll hold when frosting cakes
  • Powdered Sugar: for sweetness– you could also use maple syrup but note that the frosting does get slightly softer
  • Lemon Juice
  • Vanilla
  • Miso Paste: this is optional but it does brings back a bit of saltiness and flavour that you would typically get from butter

How to Make Cashew Buttercream

What I love about this buttercream is how easy it is to make! There is some waiting time but this buttercream does freeze well so you can make it in advance. Here’s how it goes down:

  1. Blend: Add all the ingredients into the blender except the coconut butter and blend until smooth. This will warm up the other ingredients incase any are slightly cooler. The coconut butter has a tendency to firm up as soon as it touches anything chilled so to prevent any lumps, blend it in after everything else has been blended.
  2. Freeze: Freeze the buttercream so that it has a chance to firm up again. It’ll have the consistency of butter after 30 minutes.
  3. Whisk: Then use an electric hand mixer and whip it up until you start to see some fluffiness. Freeze again and repeat 2-3 times until the buttercream is creamy and fluffy.

From here, you can let it chill in the refrigerator until it’s ready to be used.

cashew cream in a bowl with a spoon inside

The picture above is straight out of the blender and then cooled in the fridge. This is great for flat cakes and loaves! Below is after whipping it 3 times– this is best for layer cakes and cupcakes for when you want to frost them. Also delicious right out of the bowl, just sayin’.

cashew cream after being whipped in a white bowl

Tips to Making Cashew Buttercream

  • Chill a Bowl: Keep a bowl in the freezer before blending the ingredients. After blending the ingredients pour it into the cooled bowl– this helps firm up the frosting faster.
  • Frosting Cupcakes: I’ve found it easiest to add the frosting in the piping bag after the third round of whisking. Be sure to remove any air bubbles to prevent gapped frosting. I place it back into the fridge and then frost my cupcakes. If the frosting is too firm let it sit at room temperature for 5 minutes.
  • Best Coconut Cream: Every brand is different and some cans may be duds. I’ve found Nature’s Charm, Aroy-D and Savoy to be the most reliable. Other brands tend to be gritty or strange in texture.
  • Best Coconut Butter: I use homemade coconut butter by blending desiccated coconut in my Vitamix. If you don’t have a Vitamix, I highly recommend purchasing your coconut butter for the smoothest buttercream.
  • Ways to Use: cupcakes, cakes, loaf pan cakes, layer cakes and cookies!
  • How to Store: Keep in the refrigerator covered for up to 1 week. Keep in the freezer covered in a air tight container or freezer safe bag with excess air removed for up to 1 months.
  • Changing Flavour/Colour: Use up to 1 tsp of powdered fruit dye (I used strawberry powder for the pink version), matcha, instant coffee, cocoa powder etc. and blend with the ingredients in the first step.
top shot of cupcake with vegan buttercream on top

I hope you try and love this cashew buttercream recipe as much as we do and use it for your cupcake and cake creations!

head shot of vanilla cupcake with vegan buttercream swirled on top and a piping tip beside it

If you recreate this Cashew Buttercream Frosting recipe let me know how you liked it by leaving a comment and rating below or by tagging me on Instagram @Okonomikitchen, I love seeing all of your tasty recreations!
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cashew cream after being whipped in a white bowl

Cashew Buttercream Frosting

5 Stars 4 Stars 3 Stars 2 Stars 1 Star

5 from 3 reviews

  • Author: Lisa Kitahara
  • Total Time: 10 minutes
  • Yield: 1 1/2 cups 1x


Rich, creamy and delicious vegan cashew buttercream frosting made with just 6 ingredients! Easy to make and perfect for cupcakes, cakes, cookies and more. 


Units Scale


  1. Drain the cashews from the soaking water well and pat dry with a clean kitchen towel. Add all the ingredients except the coconut butter into a high speed blender and blend until smooth and creamy. Scrape down the sides of the blender as needed. Add in the coconut butter and blend until combined. 
  2. Place into the freezer for 30 minutes and then use a electric hand mixer to whip until fluffy. If it’s too firm to whisk, let it sit for 3-5 minutes. Freeze again for 15-20 minutes and whip again until fluffy. Repeat one more time and then chill in the refrigerator before frosting. 
  3. Cover the buttercream and place in the refrigerator until ready to use for up to 1 week. If freezing, pack it into a freezer safe bag or container, cover and freeze for up to 1 month.
  4. The texture and consistency of this buttercream is very similar to the traditional kind where it will hold up for 1-3 hours but will start melting if the temperature is too warm. It tastes the best chilled as well so I do recommend frosting right before serving!  


  • * I make my own powdered sugar by blending organic cane sugar in the vitamix. For a refined sugar free version, use 1-2 tbsp maple syrup. The frosting will be a tad more soft but will still hold up well.
  • Helpful Equipment: vitamix, spatula, electric hand mixer
  • Nutritional Information Disclaimer: Nutrition information is a rough estimate calculated on an online tool (Cronometer). Prep time does not include chilling time.
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Category: dessert
  • Method: freezing
  • Cuisine: vegan, gluten free, north american


  • Serving Size: 1 tbsp
  • Calories: 64.3
  • Sugar: 2.5
  • Sodium: 10.4
  • Fat: 5
  • Saturated Fat: 2.5
  • Unsaturated Fat: 1.8
  • Trans Fat: 0
  • Carbohydrates: 4.5
  • Fiber: 0.7
  • Protein: 1.3
  • Cholesterol: 0


gluten free vanilla cupcake with vanilla cashew frosting on top and a piping tip beside it with pinterest text

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About Lisa

I'm Lisa, a home cook, recipe developer and founder of Okonomi Kitchen. Here, you'll find a mix of classic and modernized Japanese recipes, and creative, plant-forward meal inspiration using seasonal ingredients. I hope to share more about Japanese cuisine and culture through food and recipes.

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  1. Five stars! I was unsure about trying this but decided just to go for it. I have never made coconut butter before but it turned out great. I followed instructions and recipe as indicated but left out the miso and added lemon zest because i am making a lemon cake. I used powdered allulose because i am prediabetic and cant do sugar. It turned out fantastic! Thank you for this recipe.

  2. Hi Lisa, Thank you for sharing your wonderful recipe!
    Is the cashew buttercream stable enough to pipe detailed flower decorations?