This is a totally delicious cooked frosting recipe for Gluten-Free and Corn Free Frosting with a Dairy Free option – make it with butter or with a non-dairy butter substitute. Either way, it’s totally yum – think pillowy clouds of marshmallow goodness.
– Updated May 2021 –
I’ve included a vanilla and a chocolate version – I’ve been known to throw in a little espresso powder in the chocolate version for a mocha/dark chocolate kick.
Freeze dried strawberry powder does fabulous things to the vanilla option, but you’ve gotta be the kind of person who has freeze-dried fruit powder in your pantry to begin with. I’m that kind of person, and I know it makes me odd. But whatever. Top this frosting with sprinkles, fruit, or just make fun, fluffy swirls.
For fluffy + delicious results:
Use finely ground sweet or white rice flour (my favorite is from Koda Farms, I use it for everything.) Brown rice flour won’t work well here, and a gritty grind with make grainy icing.
Since most powdered sugar has corn, the rice flour acts as the binder here. The finished texture of this frosting is actually smoother and has a better mouthfeel than traditional “easy” buttercream made with powdered sugar.
Flavor it up: chocolate or vanilla!
Try vanilla bean paste if you haven’t already – it’s got vanilla extract and vanilla bean specks combined, and it will help take all your baked goods to the next level. It can be used 1 for 1 for vanilla extract in all recipes, and it’s a game-changer. It adds a big punch of vanilla flavor to this frosting.
If you’re making chocolate frosting, I like Dutch-processed cocoa, which is also called Dutched-chocolate. It gives a richer chocolate flavor than standard cocoa powder, and certainly better than raw cacao, which isn’t roasted. I prefer Droste dutch-processed cocoa, it’s my go-to. You can also add a pinch of espresso powder to get a deeper dark chocolate taste.
This gluten-free, dairy-free, corn free frosting is perfect for icing cakes and cupcakes, but it’s not stiff enough for fancy decorating. So give it a few lovely swirls with a spatula and call it good. And it is good.
Recipe frosts 12 cupcakes liberally or a 9×13 sheet cake. Now you’re ready to make cookie sandwiches, party cakes, or attempt and dairy-free version of my friend Kyra’s Red, White & Blueberry Cake Roll.
Gluten Free, Dairy Free + Corn Free Frosting – Vanilla or Chocolate
- stand or hand mixer
- 1 cup any kind of milk* Coconut, Rice, Soy, Almond or Dairy
- pinch of salt
- 5 tablespoons FINELY GROUND sweet rice flour or rice flour
- 2 teaspoons vanilla bean paste or extract
- 1 cup (2 sticks) butter or butter substitute
- 1 cup baker's sugar or white sugar
- In a small saucepan over medium heat, whisk flour into milk and heat until it thickens (stir constantly). Remove from heat, stir in vanilla and salt and let the mixture cool to room temp. This is important because if you don’t let it cool, the end result will be lumpy and will separate.
- Cream the butter (or butter substitute) and sugar together with an electric mixer. Add cooled milk/flour mixture and beat until it resembles whipped cream.
for Chocolate Frosting
- Add 4 tablespoons cocoa and 5 tablespoons sugar to the beating process after the butter and sugar are creamed together and beat to combine. Then proceed with the milk/flour process as described above. For extra chocolate flavor, reduce the vanilla extract to 1 1/2 teaspoons and add 1/2 teaspoon gluten-free chocolate extract at the prescribed time. You can add a pinch of Espresso Powder too.
Photos: Meg van der Kruik
Don’t threaten me with a good time. I never met a party cake I didn’t like.
Frequently Asked Questions about Gluten-free + Corn-Free Frosting:
You can make frosting with white sugar and rice flour and get a smooth, fluffy texture by cooking the base quickly before whipping it.
Most powdered sugar has cornstarch. Some brands offer powdered sugar (als called Confectioner’s sugar) stabilized with tapioca starch instead. If you see “powdered sugar” listed as an ingredient, you should assume it contains conr unless is specifically says otherwise.
This recipe can be made with non-dairy substitutes. The plant-based version is equally fluffy and delicious.
You can uses sweet rice flour or white rice flour to make a quick, fluffy gluten-free frosting that is corn free too.
Quickly cooking a “frosting base” made with sugar and rice flour before blending makes a smooth, fluffy frosting.