I want to make a tipsy carrot cake. One where I make a nice sugar pickle with brandy, treacle sugar, powdered ginger and nutmeg. Grate the carrots and let them marinate overnight in the sugar pickle and then add the brew to a pre-mixed bran muffin mix to get carrot cake.

I have a question on the icing. I'm pretty allergic to dairy. Can you make butter-milk icing with icing sugar beaten into margerine?

Im sure it will be different and maybe not as nice but will it be a flop?

  • What icing are you planing to make? You could ice a cake with many different things, and we cannot answer the substitution question before knowing which one you mean. Are you asking about making buttercream with margarine, or some other type?
    – rumtscho
    Aug 26, 2022 at 6:27
  • Ok it looks like buttercream is the one I want. Will edit.
    – Neil Meyer
    Aug 26, 2022 at 6:30
  • Sugar terminology will depend, in part, on where in the world you are.
    – Ecnerwal
    Aug 26, 2022 at 13:14
  • There are dairy free/vegan versions of butter-cream icing (or frosting). I'd try to find a recipe that someone has tested, to ensure it actually works.
    – Billy Kerr
    Aug 26, 2022 at 16:38
  • Hey, you are asking multiple questions at once. I answered the margarine one, but you should ask the sugar one as a separate question (mostly because people have Opinions About Sugar)
    – FuzzyChef
    Aug 27, 2022 at 0:52

2 Answers 2


Yes, you most definitely can, and I have done so many times, since I often can't use dairy in cakes. Of course the flavor will be different, since margarine doesn't taste quite like butter. But the texture is fine, and if you're putting flavorings (such as vanilla) in anyways, your frosting should taste quite fine!

Note that I am assuming actual "margarine" available in the US, which by the standard of identity for margarine must be at least 80% fat. If you wish to use "vegan butter" (which has no labelling requirements and often contains less fat), then be sure that it contains at least 79-80% fat, otherwise the texture of your frosting will be off.


Joshua John Russell, video cakemaker, says you can. Cooking with Caffeine offers advice on which specific margarine to use.

  • 1
    in the US, at least, "margarine" has a standard of identity that requires at least 80% fat to be labelled as "margarine". The linked article speaks about "vegan butter," which has no such labelling requirements, but anything labelled as "margarine" in the US would fit the recommendations in the linked article.
    – Esther
    Aug 29, 2022 at 16:29

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