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Lemonade Buttercream Frosting

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Recipe Information

Category: Frostings
Recipe Created By: Kathy Przywara

Lemonade Buttercream Frosting

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1 stick butter or stick margarine at room temp
1/2 lemon, zest and juice
1 Tbsp water
3 cups powdered sugar
1 tsp vanilla
pinch salt


Cream butter or margarine until fluffy. Add lemon zest and juice. Beat until fluffy. Add 1 cup powdered sugar and beat until well combined. Add another cup and beat well. Add water, vanilla, salt and final cup of powdered sugar. Beat until fluffy. Adjust consistency with a little more powdered sugar or water (tsp at a time) if needed.


This is a light lemony frosting that goes really well with Lemonade Cupcakes.

This is a rather soft frosting, but can be piped with a 1M star tip to make a nice swirl/rosette on cupcakes. Garnish was some lemon zest or twist.


I have not tried this with shortening, but it should work. It will likely be stiffer and may require an additional tsp of water. I would not use tub or light margarine as it will be too soft.

Butter and Margarine: Butter is a dairy product made from cow’s milk. Margarine typically contains milk or soy, but there are milk-free and soy-free versions available.

Corn Substitutions: Corn is a common ingredient in products. Starch, modified food starch, dextrin and maltodextrin can be from corn. Consult with your physician to find out which corn derivatives you need to avoid. Many corn-free options are available in the US. Find out more about corn substitutions.

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PA Toussaint 4/2/2015 12:44:55 PM

The lemonade cupcakes that this frosting is paired with are dairy free but frosting made with butter negates that.

Yes, if you make the frosting with butter, it will not be dairy free. But the frosting can be made with stick margarine as indicated. There are dairy free stick margarines available. Do you need help finding a brand?

Wow. I tried this with the recommended cupcakes as my first allergy-conscious recipe, and it is outstanding! I will make them again for sure. I'm especially grateful because I'm making these for my youngest son's first birthday! His two older brothers had no allergies, so I am new to this. I thought he wouldn't be able to have cake on his birthday, but it looks like he's going to!! Thank you so much for the delicious and safe recipes!

Kathy P - KFA Admin 6/24/2015 12:25:20 PM

Yay for safe cupcakes! I'm so glad you are able to have safe cake for your little for his birthday! Please join us over in the Food & Cooking forum for cake decorating ideas!

I need to make this frosting dairy free. I have tried earth balance with and without soy but the result wasn't quite good. Frosting was way too soft and would melt almost immediately if not kept in the fridge, I tried to add more powdered sugar but the mixture was very oily. Flavor was horrible! Not buttery at all and kids didn't eat them, a big fail!
Do you know of another brand dairy substitute I can try?
Thank you!

Kathy P - KFA Admin 12/30/2015 11:27:44 AM

There are some other dairy free margarines. I like Nucoa sticks and Saffola Unsalted. You can also make frosting with just shortening. It will be a little more bland and have a greasier mouth feel though. Spectrum shortening is not as greasy feeling, but can be finicky to work with - it can "break" if you overbeat it.

My best friend's son is severely allergic to dairy. I like to bake for them and she advised I use crisco instead of the dairy free margarine, so that's what I do and things always come out good.

My son s 19+ now. I've been experimenting with all kinds of "allergy free" baking, cooking, and treat making for almost 17 yrs.
Finding allergy safe butter replacements is difficult. I found that palm shortening is a stable and good choice for frostings and allergy free baking. If you want it to taste more "buttery" use a small portion of Grape seed oil as part of your "butter" Just a bit! Or your frosting will get oily.
In baking, substituting for butter or margarine with part palm shortening and part coconut oil works great! It's a simple substitute. If you want to use a liquid oil vs the coconut oil, use less.
Have fun baking!
Always Remember, Gluten free, and Allergy free Baking can taste GOOD!

Kathy P - KFA Admin 4/12/2017 11:40:56 AM

Great tips Michele!

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