Indulge in the ultimate chocolate buttercream frosting that is both dairy-free and vegan. Plus, with a few changes, you can transform it into a paleo-friendly buttercream frosting as well.
This frosting is incredibly rich, creamy, and oh-so-decadent, making it the perfect topping for your chocolate cake or cupcakes. When it comes to naming this recipe, I must admit it can be quite challenging. But what's truly amazing about this recipe is its versatility. Depending on your dietary preferences, you can customize it to be vegan, paleo, or dairy-free.
And the best part? This buttercream frosting is made without any actual butter, so it's a healthier option without sacrificing taste or texture. It's a guilt-free indulgence that everyone can enjoy.
The Best Vegan Chocolate Buttercream Frosting
I know that traditional buttercream frostings typically call for a blend of powdered sugar, butter, milk, and vanilla extract. If you are making a chocolate version, cocoa powder is a must-have ingredient. But today, I am excited to mix things up a bit and share with you a variety of chocolate buttercream frosting recipes that cater to different dietary needs and preferences. Whether you are dairy-free, vegan, or following a paleo diet, there's a version of this frosting that you can enjoy.
So let's walk through each variation and the changes you need to make:
If you are looking for a dairy-free or vegan chocolate buttercream frosting, you can use organic palm shortening or vegan butter (or a combination of the two) and any non-dairy milk of your choice.
For those following a paleo diet, you can use powdered coconut sugar or powdered succanat instead of traditional powdered sugar.
And if you do consume dairy, you can use regular butter or a combination of palm shortening and butter.
By making these simple modifications, you can create a delicious chocolate buttercream frosting that fits your dietary needs and preferences without sacrificing on taste or texture. It's the perfect way to indulge in something sweet while staying true to your lifestyle choices.
Using Palm Shortening Instead of Butter
I use organic palm shortening over substitutes like coconut oil for making icing. This was covered in a previous post about my molten chocolate cake recipe. Because organic palm shortening is so shelf stable and unlike coconut oil, which melts at 76 degrees Fahrenheit, it is a dependable option for frosting. If you use coconut oil for frosting in the summer, your elegantly decorated cake or cupcakes will rapidly become a liquidy disaster.
The flavorlessness of organic palm shortening is another reason why I adore using it for icing. However, coconut oil has a distinctive flavor that might overpower the flavor of your frosting. With palm shortening, you get a bland foundation that is simple to include other flavorings, such vanilla extract or raw cacao, to make a rich and luxurious frosting that precisely matches your cake or cupcakes.
What Type of Powdered Sugar to Use?
I know this might be a big question, especially for my paleo readers. As you probably know, I don't label my diet, except for being gluten-free due to my celiac disease. I try my best to consume whole food sources and reduce the intake of refined sugars as much as possible. But, I also believe that treating yourself every once in a while is perfectly fine. When it comes to making a chocolate buttercream, the darker color of coconut sugar doesn't matter as it will be mixed with cacao powder.
However, it's important to note that coconut sugar has a strong caramel flavor that may not be suitable for everyone. But, if you don't mind the taste, then it's a great option. Coconut sugar is less refined and has a lower glycemic index, but I believe that sugar is sugar, and the effects on the body are the same. As always, moderation is key.
How I Make This Vegan Chocolate Buttercream Recipe
To give the chocolate buttercream a deeper, somewhat caramel flavor without going crazy, I personally create this recipe using a blend of 50% coconut sugar and 50% organic powdered sugar. As for the base, I use 100% organic palm shortening, but you could use 50% butter for a classic buttercream or 50% vegan butter for a dairy-free alternative. The nicest thing about this recipe is how easily it can be modified to meet your dietary needs.
The only thing to bear in mind is that it contains sugar, but occasionally, we need to indulge in something sweet.
VEGAN CHOCOLATE BUTTERCREAM FROSTING (DAIRY-FREE, PALEO)
- 8 cups organic powdered sugar, or powdered coconut sugar, powdered succanat, etc
- 1 cup raw cacao powder
- 1 cup organic palm shortening, or vegan butter or a combination of both
- ½-3/4 cup almond milk, cashew milk or coconut milk
- 2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- Add all ingredients to a stand mixer and blend on low for 30 seconds.
- Once the ingredients have started to combine, slowly increase the speed to high and blend for one minute.
- To thin the consistency (if needed) add more milk, or to thicken add more powdered sugar.
- This recipe makes approximately 3 cups of frosting.
- I highly recommend the beater blade if you have a KitchenAid stand mixer. It scrapes the sides and beats at the same time, which is awesome.
- It's really easy to make cashew milk, for use in this recipe and others. Make sure to check out my recipe and video on homemade cashew milk.