Coconut Milk Is Key For A Deliciously Creamy Vegan Frosting

As the vegan lifestyle becomes more and more popular, cupcakes aren't getting left behind. Vegan cupcakes have embraced all kinds of dairy alternatives, but like any cupcake, a vegan cupcake is only as good as its frosting. In traditional frostings, milk is a mainstay; it helps prevent sugar from turning grainy and plays a part in bringing a frosting together. Rather than forgo it, use coconut milk to achieve like results.

The reason coconut milk works so effectively is because it emulates the thick, creamy texture of whole milk with only a subtle difference in taste. This means that coconut milk can do the work of whole milk without coconut detracting or distracting from your desired flavors. As for exactly how to whip up a vegan frosting, start by choosing one of the best coconut milk brands. Depending on your recipe, you may only need a few teaspoons for a delicious and creamy frosting.

How to eliminate or amplify the coconut flavor

To make your own coconut milk frosting, take your cue from Tasting Table's vegan vanilla cupcakes. The recipe suggests using a mixer to cream about one stick of vegan butter. Once the butter has been softened, mix in about two cups of powdered sugar and two tablespoons of coconut milk. The recipe suggests using either coconut milk or almond milk in lieu of whole milk, so you can use the almond variation if you'd rather eliminate a coconut undertone altogether. After all, coconut milk still retains a coconut taste. That flavor — no matter how subtle or strong — isn't a bad thing for vanilla cupcakes, however, as coconut pairs well with a splash of vanilla extract and elevates a cupcake's base flavors.

If you want to really lean into coconut milk's potential, you can try a recipe with a different ratio of ingredients. Other coconut-based frostings forgo vegan butter altogether in favor of coconut cream, vanilla, and powdered sugar. Here, coconut cream takes on the role of butter. If you don't have any coconut milk on hand, luckily, it's easy enough to make your own. Homemade coconut milk requires little more than hot water and shredded coconut, so you can mix together a vegan frosting sans any cans.