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This rich and buttery Vegan Chocolate Frosting is easy to make and tastes oh so decadent with cake, cupcakes, and more! Using simple ingredients, this sweet treat is ready to enjoy in only 5 minutes!
Cake deserves the best frosting on top. That’s why I’ve paired this ultra-smooth and buttery Vegan Chocolate Frosting with my vegan chocolate cake. The two together taste like a chocolate dream!
Just like vegan buttercream, this recipe for chocolate frosting is made with whipped butter, icing sugar, and cocoa powder. All you need are a handful of ingredients, one bowl, and 5 minutes!
Ingredients You’ll Need
- Vegan butter
- Powdered sugar
- Vanilla extract
- Non-dairy milk
- Cocoa powder
(full amounts and instructions in the recipe card below)
How To Make Vegan Chocolate Frosting
First, you'll need to sift the powder sugar and cocoa powder together to break up the clumps. This will help create a silky-smooth frosting. Place a mesh strainer on top of a medium-sized mixing bowl. Add the powdered sugar and cocoa powder into the strainer and sift together. Set aside.
- STEP 1 - Add softened vegan butter to the bowl of a Stand Mixer (or use a large bowl with a Hand Mixer). Beat on medium speed for 2-4 minutes until fluffy and pale.
- STEP 2 - Now add the vanilla extract and mix on medium speed until incorporated
- STEP 3 - Add 1 cup of the cocoa and powdered sugar mixture over low speed until it's mostly incorporated, scraping down sides as needed. Now turn up to medium-high speed and mix until smooth and fluffy. Repeat until the mixture is gone. Taste and add more sugar if needed.
- STEP 4 - On medium speed, add the milk 1 tablespoon at a time until desired consistency is reached.
Recipe Tips and Tricks
- Using slightly softened butter is important! It should be softened at room temperature, but not melty. Set it on the kitchen counter for 10-20 minutes to soften.
- Use your favorite kind of dairy-free milk to thin the consistency of the icing. Almond milk, cashew milk, or soy milk will all work well.
- To thicken vegan chocolate frosting, simply mix in a tablespoon of powdered sugar at a time until you’ve reached the desired consistency.
- Sift the powdered sugar and cocoa powder for silky and creamy frosting. Hold a mesh strainer over the mixing bowl and tap it against your hand until you’ve sifted out all of the lumps.
- A KitchenAid Classic Stand Mixer will be your best friend for this frosting recipe, saving you from any manual labor. If you don’t have one, a handheld mixer works just a good.
Which vegan butter is best?
I love using vegan butter sticks in my vegan frosting recipes because they yield a thick consistency, which helps the frosting hold together.
Be wary that Miyoko’s contains coconut oil, and the frosting will stiffen up in the fridge more noticeably than if you were to use another brand. Let the chocolate frosting sit on the counter for 5 to 10 minutes before using so it will have time to soften. You can also beat it again to make it soft and fluffy.
This recipe will still work with tub butter, but some contain more moisture which can cause it to have a runny consistency. If you use tub butter, don't soften it first and be careful not to over whip it or it will turn runny. Also, don't beat it on high speed for more than a few seconds at a time.
Which cocoa powder is best?
Any cocoa powder will work in this recipe! You can use regular or find a high-quality Dutch-processed cocoa powder for the best, most rich flavor. If you go with regular cocoa powder, you may want to add ¼ cup more to the recipe. Taste before adding more.
Is powdered sugar vegan?
Most refined powdered and granulated sugar is processed, filtered, and bleached with bone char, meaning they are not vegan friendly. Don’t worry! There are many organic brands available in major grocery stores that don’t use bone char and are certified vegan.
Making it ahead of time
Vegan chocolate frosting can be made up to 3 days ahead of time. Simply store the batch in an airtight container in the fridge until you’re ready to decorate your cake or cupcakes. After taking it out of the fridge, give the icing a quick stir and let it sit on the counter for 5 to 10 minutes at room temperature. You can also whip it again in your mixer to make fluff it up.
How to store it
If you end up with leftover frosting, store it in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 weeks.
You can even freeze chocolate frosting! Store leftovers in an airtight container and freeze for up to 3 months. To thaw, place the frozen icing in the fridge overnight, then use a mixer to beat the mixture until it’s light and fluffy.
Looking for more frosting recipes?
Try any of these tasty vegan frosting recipes on cakes, cupcakes, or brownies:
I love to hear from you
If you make this Vegan Chocolate Frosting recipe, let me know what you think by ★ star rating it and leaving a comment below. It would really make my day. You can also follow me on Instagram and share your creation with me. Just tag me @veganhuggs and hashtag #veganhuggs so I don’t miss it.
Vegan Chocolate Frosting
- Place a mesh strainer on top of a medium-sized mixing bowl. Add the powdered sugar and cocoa powder into the strainer and sift together. Set aside.
- Add the softened vegan butter to the bowl of a Stand Mixer (or use a large Stainless Steel Bowl with a Hand Mixer). Beat on medium speed until fluffy and pale for 2-4 minutes.
- Now add the vanilla extract and mix on medium speed until incorporated (about 30-60 seconds)
- Add 1 cup of the cocoa and powdered sugar mixture over low speed until it's mostly incorporated, scraping down sides as needed. Now turn up to medium-high speed and mix until smooth and fluffy. Repeat this step until the mixture is gone. Taste and add more sugar if needed.
- On medium speed, add the milk 1 tablespoon at a time until desired consistency is reached.
- Use right away or store in the fridge for a few weeks in an airtight container. The frosting will harden in the fridge. Just stir it and let it sit for 10 minutes before decorating your baked goods. You can also whip it again for a few minutes in the mixer to make it extra fluffy.
- STAND MIXER: you can use the paddle or balloon whisk attachment. The whisk adds more air into the frosting which gives it a slightly whipped texture. If you want a more traditional buttercream, use the paddle attachment.
- FROSTING: it can stay out at room temperature for quite a while without melting, so you can leave the decorated baked goods out. However, if it's too warm, the frosting will start to soften. I prefer to store the decorated cake/cupcakes in the fridge and take them out an hour before serving. This also helps set the frosting and prevents it from getting too soft.
- If you'll be adding sprinkles or decorations on top of the frosting, make sure to do so right away or they won't stick.
- If you're using regular cocoa powder for the frosting, you may want to add ¼ cup more to the recipe. Taste before adding more.
- Use organic powder sugar to ensure that it's vegan.
- This recipe makes enough for 12 cupcakes or a double layer 8/9-inch cake.