This Vegan Chocolate Buttercream Frosting is dairy free, smooth and intensely chocolatey. And its whipped up in a stand mixer in under 15 minutes!
If you’ve been here for a while, you know I decorate a lot of cakes. I have my own cake business, so that means that all of my cake and frosting recipes have to be top notch. And this Vegan Chocolate Buttercream Frosting is definitely top notch. Its smooth and creamy, but sturdy enough for layer cakes. And its soft, yet holds its shape when piped onto cupcakes.
Ingredients for Making Vegan Chocolate Buttercream Frosting
Vegan Butter: To keep this chocolate buttercream dairy free, I use Earth Balance Soy-Free Buttery Sticks. Actually, they are what I use in my baking and frosting recipes. The texture is perfect, its easily accessible and the flavor is really nice. You can sub another vegan butter as long as it comes in a stick form.
Vegan butters that come in a tub are formulated to be softer and more spreadable, so don’t substitute with that.
Palm Oil: Palm oil sometimes called palm shortening, is pretty controversial. The production of palm oil can be the cause of deforestation and thus the destruction of habitats for many kinds of animals. I ONLY buy rainforest alliance certified palm oil and encourage you to do the same. Also, I use palm oil very sparingly. I would not add it to this recipe if it wasn’t necessary.
And the reason palm oil is necessary is because when I made this Vegan Chocolate Buttercream Frosting without it, it dried out really fast. Which is a sign that there isn’t enough fat in the recipe. Vegan butter has water content, where palm oil is pure fat. So I needed to use palm oil to balance out the ratio. I ONLY use Spectrum brand palm oil.
Cocoa Powder: Cocoa Powder is where all of the chocolate flavor comes from in this Vegan Chocolate Buttercream Frosting, so be sure to use a high quality brand. I really like 365 by Whole Foods cocoa powder or Droste cocoa powder. They are both rich and round in flavor and have an intense chocolate flavor.
Powdered Sugar: Powdered sugar, or confectioners sugar, sweetens this frosting and makes it light and fluffy.
Coffee or Plant Milk: Either work here. If you don’t have or don’t like coffee, this Vegan Chocolate Buttercream Frosting will still be delicious without it. You can also make instant coffee!
Dairy Free Buttercream Method
This Vegan Chocolate Buttercream Frosting is incredibly easy to make. It just requires a little patience.
First, be sure that the vegan butter is at room temperature. This will help everything combine much more quickly.
Next, scrape the bowl down a LOT. This ensures that everything is getting evenly combined. You dont want a rogue chunk of straigh butter somewhere in your chocolate buttercream do you? (You don’t, haha)
When adding the siften powdered sugar into the bowl, be sure that the mixer is on the lowest speed possible to avoid a sugar cloud exploding in your kitchen.
And finally, only add as much liquid as necessary to make to vegan chocolate buttercream frosting light and soft. If you add too much liquid the mixture could break and it will be too loose for piping or for frosting a cake.
Looking for Cake Recipes to Put this Frosting on?
Vegan Chocolate Buttercream Frosting
- 2 Sticks Non-Dairy Butter I used Earth Balance Soy-Free Buttery Sticks
- 1/2 Cup Palm Shortening room temperature
- 1 Cup Cocoa Powder, Sifted
- 6 Cups Powdered Sugar, Sifted
- 1 tsp Vanilla Extract
- 3-5 Tbsp Room Temperature Brewed Coffee OR can sub non dairy milk
- In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the non dairy butter with the shortening. Scrape the bowl down a few times to ensure no lumps remain.
- Add sifted cocoa powder to the margarine mixture and combine well.
- Add 1/2 of the sifted powdered sugar and combine on low speed. Add the remaining half and combine on low speed again. The mixture will be very firm here.
- Add vanilla and combine on low speed.
- Then, on medium speed, add room temperature coffee or non dairy milk, one tablespoon at a time letting the coffee or milk fully incorporate before adding the next tablespoon. Scrape the bowl down as needed. I always end up adding 4 tablespoons of coffee.
Let me know how this recipe worked for you and what you’d like to see me make next!