I only have time for a short post today.  I’m trying to do homework but was distracted by discussion topics in my bioethics class.  From what I can tell, I’m the only student in the class with real life experience in the engineering medical device industry.  One student in particular thinks that there is no conflict between the free sharing of research and the incentive for universities to profit from research.  Guess what, for profit companies don’t want to buy what you’ve been giving away for free (much like your grandmother told you about men 😉 ).

I’m probably that old cranky [bad word] that is ruining their perfectly nice and easy 1 credit ethics requirement.

Oh well.  It’s a reason why I think everyone should work in industry for at least a year or two before entering graduate studies, at least in technical fields.

I want to let you in on a little secret that I have known since back in the days when I didn’t know that vegan baking was really a “thing”.  The secret to amazing buttery icing without any animal products in it.IMGP7763

I learned about it when I thought I had the patience for cake decorating (I have none) and wanted to make pure white frosting.  Butter has a yellow tinge to it and forget about vanilla.  The vanilla is solved by using a clear vanilla-based extract.  Butter is replaced with vegetable shortening and here’s the secret – butter flavor.

Yes, despite the name, butter flavor is vegan.  And it adds a punch of flavor to your icing.  It really could be filed away as “something that could trick an omnivore”.

Amazing vegan buttercream frosting


Prep Time: 7 minutes

Keywords: dessert vegan

Ingredients (about 3 cups)

  • 1 cup vegetable shortening, room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon butter flavoring
  • 4 cups powdered sugar
  • 2 tablespoon non-dairy milk (I used a blend of almond and coconut milk


With an electric mixer beat vegetable shortening until fluffy.

Add vanilla and butter flavor.

Add sugar one cup at a time. Beating until sugar has mixed in and adding sugar until mixture looks dry.

Add non-dairy milk, beat until mixture looks light and fluffy. Adjust sugar and milk as necessary.

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I brought these cupcakes into work this morning.  At first my coworkers were skeptical of the vegan gluten-free cupcakes (I used Bob’s Red Mill Vanilla cake mix).  But after they worked up the courage to try a bite, they loved the cupcakes.  I probably should just have claimed they were normal cupcakes.

And I got a new camera this morning.  I can’t wait to try it out more and tell you all about it.  I only used it from work today.  I accidentally took a picture in black and white.IMGP7766

And I grabbed a quick shot of the sunset.IMGP7776

Be sure to check out Vegan Mother Hubbard’s Meatless Monday today.  I love her mushroom recipe.

Back to writing about implantable materials.

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2 Responses to The Secret of Vegan Buttercream Icing

  1. I’m making this for some Valentine’s cupcakes I’m making tomorrow. I don’t have butter flavor, so I think I’m going to make it using lime juice. The cupcakes have raspberries and cherries in them, so I think lime will work well. Wish me luck!

  2. Ashley says:

    I will definitely be trying this recipe soon! :)

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