Rich Chocolate Vegan Frosting

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I’m not a vegan, but, like most of us, I know people who are, including my sister.  I thought it would be fun to formulate a dairy free frosting in anticipation of the holidays, when I’ll be cooking more for others.  With two college aged daughters home on break I never know who’ll be hanging around the kitchen or sitting at my dining room table.  Of course for right now I’ll just be eating my frosting with a spoon, because I don’t have a reliable vegan cake recipe.  I think making a delicious cake without dairy products or eggs is one of the great baking challenges, and I have yet to figure it out.  If any of you have, please let me know in the comments!

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Luckily some foods are a breeze to convert to vegan.  This one is based on my go-to chocolate buttercream, and all I did was swap out the butter and milk for coconut cream.  I used coconut cream, not coconut milk, because it’s a little richer and has a little more body. You could use full fat coconut milk as well, (but don’t use cream of coconut, that’s a different product altogether, it’s sweetened, and used for cocktails, etc.)  Yes, this frosting will have e a background coconut flavor, but it’s a nice change, I think.  I have a couple of secrets to balance out that coconut and keep it from becoming too dominant, keep reading…

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I like chocolate frosting made with real chocolate instead of cocoa powder, it just tastes richer and has a better chocolate flavor.    It also works in this frosting because, as opposed to cocoa powder, the melted chocolate is liquid, so less coconut milk is required.  The large amount of vanilla and the espresso powder really help to tame the coconut flavor as well.  You won’t taste the coffee, but it will enhance and deepen the chocolate.  It’s a lovely frosting that even  non-vegans will love.

Rich Chocoate Vegan Frosting

Yield: makes enough for 1 layer cake, 1 sheet cake, or 12 cupcakes

Ingredients

  • 3 squares (3 oz) unsweetened chocolate (I used Baker's)
  • approximately 1 cup (about 1/2 of a 14oz can) of coconut cream (you may need more)
  • 1 tsp espresso powder (instant espresso)
  • 5 cups confectioner's sugar, sifted
  • 1 Tbsp vanilla paste, or vanilla extract

Instructions

  1. Chop the chocolate into small pieces and put in a microwave safe bowl, preferably a bowl big enough to make the frosting in. Add the coconut milk and the espresso powder.
  2. Microwave for 1 minute, then give the mixture a stir. Microwave for another 30 seconds and stir again. Keep microwaving in short bursts, if necessary, until the chocolate is melted..Let the heat of the mixture melt the last remaining chunks.
  3. Start beating in the sugar, adding more as you go to get a nice spreadable consistency. Make sure you beat the frosting until it is smooth and creamy. Scrape down the sides of the bowl a few times. Add more coconut milk if your frosting is too thick, and add more sifted sugar if it seems too thin.
  4. Use right away.

Notes

If you need to keep the frosting for later, spoon it into a large zip lock baggie, remove any excess air, and store in the refrigerator. Then when you are ready to frost, snip the tip off one corner and pipe it out.

http://theviewfromgreatisland.com/rich-chocolate-vegan-frosting/

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Don’t forget, link up your favorite vegan cake or cupcake recipe, I’m really curious to finish the job I’ve started.

24 Comments

  • Reply
    Maggie
    July 1, 2016 at 6:50 pm

    Is the coconut creamer the same as coconut milk? I can’t seem to find it at our local grocery stores.

    • Reply
      Sue
      July 1, 2016 at 7:58 pm

      Coconut cream is thicker than coconut milk, but you can use the coconut milk, just refrigerate the can and scrape off the thick part that rises to the top.

  • Reply
    Nicole
    June 23, 2016 at 2:27 am

    I’ve been using an amazing vegan red velvet cake recipe for about a year now.It’s amazing and no one ever guesses
    that it’s vegan.The cake would be out of this world with this frosting !
    You’ll find at the recipe when you Google “eggless red velvet cake recipe” by revisfoodography :)
    Trust me this recipe is 100% foolproof and will only take you 15 minutes to prep. (Sub milk for almond or soy milk, and use vegetable oil instead of melted butter)
    Please try it out and post the outcome :D thanks I love your blog!!

  • Reply
    Heather
    March 7, 2016 at 7:39 am

    Are you sure the Baker’s chocolate is vegan? Most use milk (or derivatives) in them, even dark chocolate. Only a few dark chocolates are vegan like Lindt 70% and Bournville.

    • Reply
      Sue
      March 7, 2016 at 7:46 am

      I’ll check that Heather and revise the wording of the recipe, thanks!

  • Reply
    Juli Tanner
    November 8, 2015 at 8:07 am

    I see this post is a couple years old but I’m really excited to make this.

    This cake just came out of the oven and I bet it’ll be great with this frosting. Can’t wait to find out!

    http://chelseawinter.co.nz/egg-free-chocolate-cake/

  • Reply
    Katherine
    July 7, 2015 at 5:40 pm

    I have made this recipe so many times, for friends who have allergies, and it works out great every time! No eggs, no butter, no milk, and I have made it with gluten free flour to great success too! http://www.sweetlittlebluebird.com/2013/03/tried-true-tuesday-crazy-cake-no-eggs.html

  • Reply
    sarah
    February 14, 2015 at 10:41 am

    Although many people know you can substitute 1/4 cup applesauce per egg, they forget that you need to add 1/8teaspoon of baking soda. This will mimic the normal chemical reaction so that the cake stays moist.

  • Reply
    Pamela
    January 26, 2015 at 1:59 pm

    I’ve been baking for over 40 years. This frosting is excellent! Just give me the bowl.

    • Reply
      Sue
      January 26, 2015 at 3:18 pm

      Thanks Pamela! I’m not by any stretch vegan, and I love it too!

  • Reply
    Julie
    November 22, 2014 at 8:43 am

    Here is an AMAZINGLY tasty chocolate vegan & gf cake recipe you should try!
    http://www.nourishingmeals.com/2009/02/gluten-free-vegan-sugar-free-chocolate.html

  • Reply
    Maria
    October 7, 2014 at 9:53 am

    So, we shouldn’t worry about the fact there are 5 Cups of Confectioner’s Sugar in the icing? Just asking…all new to Vegan recipes.

    • Reply
      Sue
      October 7, 2014 at 10:26 am

      Well, it does make a lot of frosting!

  • Reply
    The Very Versatile Avo | Caliber Magazine
    March 25, 2014 at 5:48 pm

    […] with whatever icing you like! Here are two vegan frosting recipes: Rich Chocolate Vegan Frosting or Vegan […]

  • Reply
    Tofu Mom
    October 11, 2013 at 9:38 pm

    I have a “War Cake” (also known as Wacky Cake) recipe on my blog that is probably the same or very similar to the commenter above.My Grandma made it during the Depression and by request, for my birthday when I was a kid…
    I didn’t realize until many years later – when I went vegan – that is WAS actually vegan!
    http://tofu-n-sproutz.blogspot.com/2007/06/war-cake-and-chinese-seitan-with.html
    It’s not the “perfect” cake but wonderfully easy, moist, dense and super-chocolate-y.
    Google “war cake” and you’ll get tons of great stories about it!

    • Reply
      Sue
      October 12, 2013 at 8:05 am

      I love it — googling right now!

  • Reply
    Chocolate Vegan Frosting Recipe | Chocolate Driven
    October 8, 2013 at 9:20 am

    […] Chocolate Vegan Frosting Recipe […]

  • Reply
    Teresa
    October 4, 2013 at 8:01 pm

    I have a chocolate cake recipe that I used to make for a vegan friend. I got the recipe from my Grandmother…it’s moist & yummy…even without icing! It’s a depression era cake recipe. Please let me know if you would like the recipe.

    • Reply
      Sue
      October 4, 2013 at 8:58 pm

      I would love to see it, Teresa, do you mind emailing it to me? My email is : slmoran21@sbcglobal.net I’m really interested in Depression era recipes anyway, thanks!

  • Reply
    Laura (Tutti Dolci)
    September 30, 2013 at 9:59 am

    Oh please pass me that spoon, love!

  • Reply
    Candace
    September 29, 2013 at 9:47 am

    Wow – this frosting certainly meets my criteria for spoonable – thick and creamy and who needs the cake, Sue (wink)!
    Cheers!

  • Reply
    The Café Sucre Farine
    September 28, 2013 at 10:11 pm

    If looks could speak, I think your icing is screaming “I am amazing!” Sue. Wow, who needs cake, I think a bowl of this would do just fine for me!

  • Reply
    Averie @ Averie Cooks
    September 28, 2013 at 3:03 pm

    I love the looks of this frosting. Large amount of vanilla and the espresso powder, yes please! When I make vegan frosting, normally I just whip vegan butter, confect sugar, with either melted choc or cocoa powder and vanilla. Love that you used coconut cream. How rich and wonderful this must be!

    Vegan cakes? Well I have tons of muffins and quickbread-ish recipes that could double as cakes. This one (and there are like 10 backlinks within the post for other vegan baked goodies) is one I just made this week. http://www.averiecooks.com/2013/09/soft-vegan-pumpkin-bread-with-brown-sugar-streusel-crust.html It’s more cake than bread, trust me :)

    • Reply
      Sue
      September 28, 2013 at 6:06 pm

      I’m checking them out now, thanks Averie!

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