To make frosting without butter, combine 1 cup Earth Balance Whipped Buttery Spread, 2 pounds powdered sugar, 1/2 cup vanilla coconut milk and 1 tablespoon vanilla extract. This recipe takes five minutes and yields enough icing for a 9-inch cake.
Place 1 cup Earth Balance Whipped Buttery Spread in the bowl of an electric stand mixer. Whip it for one minute at high speed, and then gradually add 1 pound powdered sugar while beating the mixture on low speed. Pour in 1 tablespoon vanilla extract and 1/2 cup vanilla coconut milk, and then gradually add the remaining powdered sugar. Wait until each addition is incorporated before adding the next. Increase the mixer speed to high, and whip the frosting until it is smooth and voluminous, which usually takes between two and four minutes, and then use the frosting immediately.
This basic butter-free frosting recipe is extremely versatile, according to About.com. For example, add liquid food coloring to create colored frosting, or add cocoa powder to make a rich chocolate frosting. Replacing the vanilla with orange, lemon, almond, mint or rum extract varies the frosting's flavor. Another option is to incorporate coffee or espresso powder. This creates a luxurious espresso buttercream frosting that pairs well with chocolate and mocha cakes and cupcakes.