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Vegan Chocolate Buttercream Frosting

Vegan Chocolate Buttercream Frosting

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.

Cake frosted with dairy free Vegan Chocolate Buttercream Frosting
This chocolate buttercream is the perfect texture for building and frosting cakes and for piping.

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.

Close up of a cake frosted with Vegan Chocolate Buttercream Frosting
I mean look at the details!

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.

Chocolate Cupcakes on a marble board frosted with Vegan Chocolate Buttercream Frosting
It holds up really well piped onto cupcakes, too!

Looking for Cake Recipes to Put this Frosting on?

One-Bowl Chocolate Cupcakes

One Bowl Gluten Free Chocolate Cake

Vegan Funfetti Cake

Cake frosted with dairy free Vegan Chocolate Buttercream Frosting

Vegan Chocolate Buttercream Frosting

Megan Calipari
This Vegan Chocolate Buttercream Frosting is dairy free, smooth and intensely chocolatey. And its whipped up in a stand mixer in under 15 minutes!
Prep Time 20 mins
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Servings 5 Cups

Ingredients
  

  • 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

Instructions
 

  • 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.

Notes

This buttercream will store in the refrigerator for up to 3 weeks or in the freezer for 3 months.  To use, simply bring the frosting to room temperature and put into a mixer fitted with a paddle attachment.  Then mix on medium speed until the the frosting is light and fluffy.
 
Keyword buttercream, chocolate, chocolate buttercream, frosting

Let me know how this recipe worked for you and what you’d like to see me make next!


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1 thought on “Vegan Chocolate Buttercream Frosting”

  • Megan,
    My name is Steve Crosetti and I am Gina Crosetti’s Dad. Gina like so many other graduates in the United States has to forego her graduation ceremony, however she is scheduled to be recognized on Wednesday April 22, via teleconference for her academic achievements at UK. I was wondering if it would be possible for you to deliver one of your Perfect Chocolate Buttercream cakes to Kentucky for the occasion. Your Father, Mother and Brother have been most generous in supporting her during the virus lockdown and I would love to have your cake as one of the surprises for the day. As I realize that this will require more time and effort on your part I would expect the expenses to reflect that. Please let me know if this is doable and if so how you would like to handle the payment. I appreciate your time and look forward to your reply. My cell phone is under my name if you find that more convenient.
    thanks again.
    Steve Crosetti
    510-506-9351

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