This vegan chocolate buttercream frosting is easy to make and has a rich, fudgy chocolate flavour making it perfect paired with your favourite cake or cupcakes. This is my go-to recipe and I am so excited to share it with you today!
Buttercream frosting can sometimes be criticised for being overly sweet, but I think when paired with the perfect cake or cupcake, it can really elevate flavour providing the perfect balance. This frosting is rich, but not too sweet making it ideal for chocolate lovers everywhere.
As my diet requires that I enjoy my cakes and sweets without traditional milk and butter, I have found myself spending my time working out how to make baked goods that don’t contain dairy taste just as good, if not better, than the real thing. Let me tell you, this chocolate buttercream frosting is exactly that.
I have made this several times and shared it with so many different people, including vegans and non vegans and I can tell you, every single person has said to me after eating one of my cakes that was topped with this frosting, ‘oh wow, that frosting is amazing!’.
People who know it is dairy free are amazed that the flavour is so rich, while others who don’t know don’t tend to notice but rather are focused on the intense chocolate flavour and the smooth creamy texture. It is every bit of chocolate indulgence that cake eating should be.
But what is chocolate frosting without cake?
Try these vegan chocolate cupcakes which are so incredibly soft and rich on their own, but intensified when a generous swirl of this chocolate buttercream is placed on top. This is what is pictured in today’s post, topped off with a little chopped dark chocolate because why not?
If you are in the mood for a full size cake, try this chocolate layer cake. The correct quantity of the buttercream is already built into the recipe and it is just the thing for any celebration.
Still dreaming of decadent chocolate cupcakes but are unsure about the vegan ones? That’s cool, I have the ultimate chocolate cupcake recipe here waiting for you to try. This frosting will make these the perfect treat for the chocolate lover in your life.
Thinking something a bit different? You can replace the peanut butter frosting in this gluten free chocolate brownie recipe with this chocolate buttercream.
And if you are a fan of the old chocolate and vanilla combination, here is a simple vanilla cupcake that will show off your chocolate buttercream perfectly without stealing the show.
So now that you know (hopefully) what you’re making, let’s talk about how quick and easy this frosting is to make.
If you have a stand mixer, it makes life so much easier with this recipe. Add the butter and vanilla, add the cocoa powder and most of the icing sugar, beat on low to prevent clouds of icing sugar covering your kitchen, and when it starts to come together, add your almond milk to make the creaminess happen.
If you only have a hand mixer, I would recommend adding the icing sugar in much smaller increments and beating into the butter before adding more otherwise the risk of having a white kitchen is much higher. It might take you a couple of minutes longer but the result will be exactly the same.
This vegan chocolate buttercream is perfect for piping and decorating your cakes. Make sure the mixture is still firm enough to pipe and that you haven’t added too much almond milk. If it is a bit soft, simply add a little more icing sugar until you are happy with the consistency.
This frosting amount is suitable for 12-14 cupcakes or 1 x 20cm cake, frosting both the top and sides. You can also do a chocolate layer cake, decorated in the naked style with frosting in between the layers and on top but not on the sides like I did with my chocolate honeycomb cake.
I don’t have much variety in my piping kit, so in the photos here I have again used the 1M tip. I love how easy it is to get a pretty looking result with this tip, which is probably why I haven’t worried too much about trying something new!
It is always a good idea to have some go-to recipes so you know when you need to make something for a celebration, a work morning tea, or insane dessert craving, you know it will be easy, work every time and be a crowd favourite.
That is exactly what this chocolate buttercream is. And if you don’t want chocolate, make sure to try my vegan vanilla buttercream which is perfect for tinting pretty colours or if you want to take it a bit easy on the chocolate.
If you do make this recipe, please be sure to leave a comment and rating below! And tag any of your creations on Instagram with #eightforestlane as I would love to see.
- 125 grams dairy-free spread*
- 1/2 cup cocoa powder
- 3 1/2 cups icing sugar
- 2 tablespoons vanilla almond milk
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- pinch salt
- Using a hand mixer or a stand mixer with the paddle attachment fitted, beat dairy-free spread and vanilla for 1-2 minutes until creamy.
- Add in 3 cups of the icing sugar and the cocoa powder and beat on medium until combined. As mixture thickens, add in almond milk a tablespoon at a time. If frosting is too thin, add in an extra ½ icing sugar until it reaches a smooth and creamy consistency. Add pinch of salt to taste if frosting is too sweet.
Makes enough frosting for about 12-14 cupcakes.
*I use Nuttelex Buttery to replace butter in most of my recipes as it is dairy-free and gives a 'buttery' flavour without being greasy. As this is an Australian product, the closest US alternative I believe is Earth Balance. Otherwise any dairy-free spread will work.