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Five carrot cake cupcakes on a marble platter, topped with carrot cake frosting without cream cheese.

Carrot Cake Frosting without Cream Cheese

This Carrot Cake Frosting Without Cream Cheese will blow your mind! It's ready in just 10 minutes and requires only 5 basic ingredients. With hints of vanilla, this icing is perfect for any cake!
4.88 from 8 votes
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 0 minutes
Total Time 10 minutes
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Servings 2.5 cups
Calories 203 kcal


  • Mixer


  • 1 cup (230g) unsalted butter, at room temperature (use vegan butter if needed, we like Miyokos and Earth Balance)
  • 2 ¾ cups (400g) fine powdered sugar
  • 6-8 tablespoons milk of choice, or more as needed (either non-dairy milk or regular)
  • teaspoon salt, or to taste
  • 1 teaspoon clear vanilla extract*


  • To a large mixing bowl, add the butter. Using a handheld or a stand mixer, beat on high for 2-3 minutes, or until creamed and fluffy.
  • To a small bowl, sift the powdered sugar 1-2 times until no clumps remain. Add it to the butter, alongside the vanilla extract and salt.
  • Beat on slow speed until it incorporates, then beat on high speed for 2-3 minutes. Start adding the milk gradually, 1 tablespoon at a time, until you reach the desired consistency.
  • Taste and adjust the flavor, adding more salt, vanilla, or milk as needed. Use immediately or store in the fridge for up to 1 week.


  • Use room temperature butter. Cold butter won't cream as well, and melted butter doesn't work at all.
  • Beat the butter long enough. This is one of the most important parts of this recipe. Whipping butter for at least 2 minutes will incorporate air into it, which makes the frosting light and fluffy.
  • Don't add too much milk at once. If the frosting is too thick, you can always add more milk later. But if you've added too much milk, you can't take it back.
  • Always frost your cake when it's completely cooled down! If you frost the cake while it's still warm, the buttercream will melt and soak into the cake.
Frosting storage
  • Fridge: Transfer frosting to a plastic bag or an air-tight container. It will keep for up to 1 week in the fridge. Before using, take it out of the fridge and let it come to room temperature.
  • Freezer: Transfer the frosting into a plastic bag and freeze it for up to 3 months. Before using, let it thaw in the fridge overnight. After thawing, you may need to stir in a splash of milk to loosen it up.
*If you're using pure vanilla extract, make sure to double the amount.
**This recipe makes enough frosting for 12-16 cupcakes, or for one layer of frosting on a sheet cake. If you want to frost a 2 layer cake, you should double this recipe.
***Nutrition information is a rough estimate calculated with 8 tablespoons of milk, and without optional ingredients. The calories marked above are for the frosting of 1 cupcake, assuming you frosted a total of 16 cupcakes with it.
****Recipe adapted from Sally's Baking Recipes.


Calories: 203kcal
Keyword buttercream frosting, vanilla frosting, vegan buttercream, vegan frosting
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!