Vegan Chocolate Frosting — Buttercream (Keto Option)

The best Vegan Chocolate Frosting recipes are rich and creamy and a perfect dairy-free frosting for your cakes, cupcakes, and other desserts. Vegan frosting recipes are easy to make and so worth it! See my easy-to-follow tips for making this vegan buttercream frosting or how to make it with coconut oil. See my tips for how to make this frosting sugar free for a perfect keto icing glaze. Add this silky vegan icing recipe to your favorite chocolate cake recipe!

A cupcake topped with vegan chocolate frosting and sprinkles sits in front of 2 other cupcakes.

Your sweet tooth doesn’t have to go away just because you’ve take on a vegan diet! In fact, you can make your favorite chocolate cake recipes even better, if you ask me! For example, this dairy-free frosting is better than anything you can buy in a tub at the store!

Be sure to spread vegan icing on these Vegan Chocolate Cupcakes!

How to make Vegan Chocolate Frosting

Is it possible to make a dairy free frosting? Absolutely! In fact, it’s so easy to make chocolate frosting vegan! You’ll use vegan butter in place of butter and a non-dairy creamer in place of dairy cream.

Here are all the ingredients involved: vegan butter, powdered sugar, cocoa powder, and some kind of vanilla extract, and plant-based milk, although I really love using a plant-based creamer (the kind used for coffees).

Step One: Creaming the 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.

Looking down on a stand mixer full of creamed butter and sugar.
Creamed vegan butter and sugar.

Step Two: Add Cocoa Powder

Next, add the cocoa powder and continue beating until the cocoa is incorporated. Add the vanilla and beat again until combined.

Looking down on a stand mixer with cocoa powder added to creamed butter and sugar.
Once you add the cocoa powder the frosting will look crumbly.

Step Three: Make it Creamy

Finally, add the plant-based milk, one tablespoon at a time, until you reach a desired, spreadable consistency. You can leave the vegan chocolate buttercream frosting a little more stiff, or add more milk to make it soft and creamy. It’s up to you!

Looking down on a stand mixer with creamy chocolate frosting.
It’s easy to make this vegan chocolate cake frosting!

This is the best vegan frosting recipe and can be used as a topping for your favorite recipes. Looking for more delicious vegan frosting recipes? You’ll love my Vegan Vanilla Frosting recipe! It’s easy to make and perfect on cakes or cupcakes. There’s also my Vegan Cream Cheese Frosting when you’re ready for an elegant but easy-to-make icing recipe.

A hand drops sprinkles over a chocolate cupcake.
This vegan chocolate icing recipe is perfect on cupcakes!

Here are some of my favorite recipes to top with chocolate or any vegan frosting!

My Vegan Chunky Monkey Cake requires easy vegan chocolate frosting for sure! These Chocolate Banana Brownies taste even better with a thin layer of dairy free chocolate icing.

I find this dairy free chocolate frosting recipe tastes amazing on my Vegan Vanilla Cake. Vanilla and chocolate are so good together! And you can also add a thick layer over the top of this Almond Butter Cake too!

How to Make Keto Icing Glaze

The recipe below provides tips for transforming this chocolate frosting into a keto icing glaze. Use Swerve powdered sugar to make this into a sugar free chocolate frosting which is perfect for keto!

The sugar-free powdered sugar has a thicker consistency than regular powdered sugar so you’ll notice it takes a little more creamer. Be sure and use unsweetened creamer for a true low carb frosting.

Expert Tips

Use these tips and tricks to make this vegan frosting chocolate and creamy every time:

  • It helps to have the vegan butter softened so leaving it out on the counter for about 30 minutes helps
  • I used Earth Balance vegan butter
  • If you want to use coconut oil, you can substitute either half of the butter or all of the butter. Make sure your coconut oil is softened before mixing. Note that this oil turns to liquid in hot temperatures so your coconut oil chocolate frosting will need to remain refrigerated.
  • You can use dutch process cocoa powder, but I prefer the regular cocoa powder
  • I use a vegan creamer but you can use any plant-based milk, like almond milk, soy milk, etc.
  • For an extra rich dairy-free frosting, use a vegan creamer like Silk Creamer, Ripple, or my new favorite Nut Pods (it’s so rich and creamy!)
  • 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. Use 3 tablespoons vegan creamer as the recipe calls for.
A cupcake with chocolate frosting sits in front of two other cupcakes.

I hope you love this recipe as we do! Have you tried it? Be sure and leave a comment and a rating of this recipe below and then take a quick photo and share it with me using #namelymarly on Instagram. I love seeing your creations!

A cupcake with chocolate frosting sits in front of two other cupcakes.

Vegan Chocolate Frosting

Get ready for this delicious, creamy, vegan chocolate frosting. It’s fall on the floor good!
5 from 1 vote
Print Pin Rate
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Keyword: Vegan Chocolate Frosting
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 10 minutes
Servings: 14
Calories: 157kcal
Author: Marly


Vegan Chocolate Frosting

  • 1/2 cup vegan butter , softened
  • 3 cups powdered sugar
  • ½ cup cocoa powder
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3 tablespoons plant-based creamer

Sugar Free Vegan Chocolate Frosting (Keto Icing)


  • Add the butter to your 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 – 2 minutes, until light and fluffy. Add cocoa powder and beat again until combined.
  • Add vanilla and one tablespoon plant-based milk. Beat until combined. Add additional milk one tablespoon at a time until a 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 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.


Use sugar free powdered sugar to make this into sugar free keto icing. Swerve’s statement on their site: “The ingredients in Swerve do not effect blood sugar, so the carbohydrates it contains are considered non impact.” Therefore it shows zero net carbs. 
Nutrition Facts
Vegan Chocolate Frosting
Amount Per Serving
Calories 157 Calories from Fat 45
% Daily Value*
Fat 5g8%
Saturated Fat 1g5%
Sodium 53mg2%
Potassium 46mg1%
Carbohydrates 27g9%
Fiber 1g4%
Sugar 25g28%
Vitamin A 310IU6%
Calcium 4mg0%
Iron 0.5mg3%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

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.


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One Response to Vegan Chocolate Frosting — Buttercream (Keto Option)

  1. Best vegan chocolate frosting ever! Super sweet & delicious. I topped some vanilla cupcakes with this frosting and my family loved them! I only needed about 2 tbsp of non dairy milk to smooth it out.


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