This is the best vegan chocolate frosting recipe because it’s so rich and creamy. It’s a perfect frosting for cakes, cupcakes, and other desserts.
Your sweet tooth doesn’t have to go away just because you’ve taken on a vegan diet. Trust me, mine hasn’t! In fact, you can make your favorite chocolate cake recipes even better, For example, this dairy-free chocolate frosting is better than anything you can buy in a tub at the store!
Why This Recipe is a Winner
- Using vegan butter creates a rich, buttery flavor for this frosting
- Butter and sugar are creamed together to make a light, whipped texture
- Rich, creamy plant-based milk is used to make this frosting extra creamy and irresistible!
What You Need
You can find the full printable recipe, including ingredient quantities, below. But first, here are some explanations of ingredients and steps to help you make this recipe perfect every time.
Here are all the ingredients involved:
- Vegan butter — You can use Earth Balance or any favorite plant-based butter. It should be softened so leave it out on the counter for about 30 minutes.
- Powdered sugar – Feel free to substitute a zero-calorie powdered sugar if you want a low carb frosting
- Cocoa powder — Either natural or Dutch-processed cocoa will work here. The Dutch-processed cocoa will make a very dark frosting
- Plant-based creamer — I love using plant-based creamers, like the kind used for coffees. But any thick and creamy milk will work, such as soy milk, cashew milk, or even pecan milk.
How to Make Vegan Chocolate Frosting
- Cream the butter using a mixer on medium speed. Then add the powdered sugar and beat until light and fluffy.
- Add the cocoa powder and mix until combined.
- Pour in plant-based creamer one tablespoon at a time while continuing mixing until you achieve a desired consistency.
Is it possible to make a dairy-free frosting? Absolutely! In fact, it’s actually very easy to make any chocolate frosting vegan. Let’s go into the steps to make your next chocolate frosting vegan.
Step One: Cream Butter and Sugar
It’s important to begin your frosting by creaming the butter first. This article from Cooks Illustrated shows why it’s important to use softened butter to save time.
Begin by placing the softened vegan butter in a mixing bowl. Beat on medium speed until the butter is creamed, about one minute. Next, add the powdered sugar and beat another minute until light and fluffy.
Step Two: Add Cocoa Powder
Next, add the cocoa powder and continue beating until the cocoa is incorporated.
Step Three: Make it Creamy
Finally, add the plant-based creamer, one tablespoon at a time, until you reach a desired, spreadable consistency. You can leave the vegan chocolate buttercream frosting a little stiffer, or add more milk to make it soft and creamy.
Keep any unused chocolate frosting stored in an airtight container in the fridge. It will keep up to 7 days if stored properly. Once it’s chilled you will need to let it come to room temperature before spreading over a cake. It might thicken as it chills so stir in a teaspoon or two of plant-based milk to get it back to a spreadable consistency.
How to Make Keto Icing
You can transform this chocolate frosting into a keto icing by using Swerve powdered sugar. If you’re on a low carb or keto diet, having a sugar-free chocolate frosting can add indulgence to your diet.
The sugar-free powdered sugar has a thicker consistency than regular powdered sugar so you’ll notice it takes a little more creamer to make it smooth. Be sure and use unsweetened creamer for a true low-carb frosting.
- You can substitute all or half of the vegan butter with coconut oil. Make sure the coconut oil is softened before mixing. Note that this oil turns to liquid in hot temperatures so it will need to remain refrigerated.
- Be sure to use a mixer or stand mixer for this recipe to get a whipped texture to your vegan buttercream frosting
- Vegan icing is best when it’s smooth and spreadable but still holds peaks, like the swirly tops on those cupcakes. I find 3 tablespoons of vegan creamer makes the best texture.
More Vegan Frosting Recipes
Here are even more delicious vegan frosting recipes:
Be sure to spread vegan icing on these Vegan Chocolate Cupcakes.
Best Cakes for Chocolate Frosting
Here are some of my favorite recipes to top with vegan frosting!
Vegan Chocolate Frosting
Vegan Chocolate Frosting
- Add the butter to a mixing bowl and beat over medium speed for up to a minute, until butter is creamy.
- Add the powdered sugar and beat on medium speed for 1 to 2 minutes, until light and fluffy. Add cocoa powder and beat again until combined.
- Add one tablespoon plant-based creamer. Beat until combined. Add additional creamer one tablespoon at a time until the desired consistency is reached.
- Top your favorite cakes or cupcakes with this frosting.
- Keep any unused chocolate frosting stored in an airtight container in the fridge. It will keep up to 7 days if stored properly. Once it's chilled you will need to let it come to room temperature before spreading it over a cake. In fact, it might thicken as it chills so stir in a teaspoon or two of plant-based milk to get it back to a spreadable consistency.
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The nutrition information shown is an estimate provided by an online nutrition calculator and should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.
This post was originally published in 2019 and was updated to include new photos, new text, and an updated recipe in 2021.