How to Make Low-Fat Frosting

Updated April 17, 2017

Homemade frosting is delicious and easy to make. It can be used on cakes, cupcakes and brownies. Frosting is made from various combinations of high fat ingredients such as milk, butter, cream cheese, whipped cream, sour cream and chocolate. People watching their fat intake can still enjoy frosted treats by using non-fat or low-fat frosting recipes. Buttercream frosting is a great multipurpose frosting that works well with low-fat and non-fat substitutions. It can be made in a wide variety of flavours, and is easy to spread. It also works well for simple cake decorating needs.

Pre-measure all ingredients. After measuring them, pour the vanilla extract into the milk. Place all pre-measured ingredients within reach of mixing bowl.

Place butter in the mixing bowl. Set mixer on low speed, and beat the butter until it is fluffy.

Slowly add icing sugar to the butter mix, scraping the sides of the bowl as needed.

Pour in the vanilla extract and milk mixture while continuing to beat the butter and sugar mixture.

Beat until combined mixture is light and fluffy.

Turn off mixer. Use the rubber spatula to carefully scrape the frosting off the beaters and back into the bowl. Frost desired treat.


Any frosting can be made low fat by using low-fat or non-fat substitutions. Butter, margarine, milk, whipped cream, sour cream and cream cheese are easy to find in such alternative forms. Chocolate chips and squares are more difficult to find low-fat substitutes for, but if the other fat sources in the recipe are replaced with non-fat and low-fat alternatives, the recipe will still be a reduced fat recipe.

If you do not normally purchase non-fat milk but want to use it as a non-fat substitute for regular milk, purchase a package of powdered milk instead. It is non-fat and can be made in small quantities just for cooking and baking.


Substitutions may affect overall taste, texture and quality. Be sure to use high-quality products for the best results. In cooking and baking, sometimes a little fat is needed for flavour or thickness to produce high-quality results. Removing all of the fat from a frosting that needs to be slightly thick may produce poor results.

Things You'll Need

  • Medium mixing bowl
  • Electric mixer
  • Rubber spatula
  • 1/2 cup low-fat butter substitute
  • 4 cups icing sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup low-fat or non-fat milk
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About the Author

Award-winning freelance writer Daniella Nicole is also a published contributing author and a contributing editor. Nicole has a Master's Certification in English vocabulary, has successfully passed an AP editing course and proficiently writes about numerous topics. Her writing has appeared in newspapers, a book and across the web for over five years.