Vegan Chocolate Buttercream Frosting

Just like my vanilla version, this vegan buttercream is fluffy, creamy, easy to use, and pipes beautifully! It is everything you want in a buttercream frosting! It is very easy to make, so don’t be concerned about the number of photos. I am showing every little step so you can see exactly how to make perfect buttercream every time, but it should take you less than 15 minutes to make. Here are the ingredients you will need:

Using half shortening and half vegan butter gives the best texture without compromising the flavor. Buttercream with all shortening has a greasy texture and doesn’t taste as nice. Buttercream with all vegan butter will not be stable at temperatures above 73 degrees, especially if you use spread from a tub and not the sticks. For the best results, use half Earth Balance Buttery Sticks and half shortening. Next best is all Buttery Sticks, and then all Buttery Spread. I do not recommend all shortening unless you need the frosting to be stable above 76 degrees. (See the recipe notes for recipe adjustments if you are using all vegan butter or all shortening.) Earth Balance Buttery Sticks come in both original and soy free versions and both work well:

I prefer using a mixing bowl and a hand mixer for this recipe. A stand mixer is more convenient only if you are doubling the recipe, but it isn’t necessary even then if you use a large enough mixing bowl. One batch is enough to frost 24 cupcakes or one 8″ double-layer cake without extra piping for decoration. If you are adding decorative piping to a cake or piping large frosting swirls on your cupcakes, make one and a half or two batches.

Your vegan butter sticks need to be soft to the touch like this, but should not be at all melted. This means you need to let them warm up on the counter and not try to soften them in the microwave. If you are using tub spread, use it cold from the fridge.

Add the instant coffee to the coconut milk and whisk to combine. Set aside for now:

Add the shortening to a large mixing bowl and beat on medium speed until it is smooth and fluffy. Any lumps left in now are likely to still be in the finished frosting:

Add the softened stick spread or cold tub spread, and beat again until light, fluffy, and free of any lumps:

Scrape down the bowl, add the vanilla extract and beat again:

Scrape down the bowl, then sift the cocoa onto the mixture:

Mix on low speed until the cocoa is well combined:

Add the salt, 1/3 of the powdered sugar, and 1/4 of the coconut milk. I am using my DIY powdered sugar here because most vegan powdered sugar is very expensive to buy.

Beat in the milk and powdered sugar:

Add half of the remaining powdered sugar and 1/3 of the remaining coconut milk. You can use another plant milk, but light or regular coconut milk gives the buttercream a very nice and creamy texture.

Mix again:

Scrape the sides and the bottom of the bowl really well to remove any hint of fat from the bowl. This step prevents streaks in your frosting later.

Either switch to a clean spatula or wash and dry the used one:

Add the rest of the powdered sugar and half of the remaining milk. Beat again:

Check the consistency of your buttercream. If it is the spreading consistency that you want, do not add any more milk. If it is too thick (as it most likely will be), add a little more milk to get it the way you want it to be. I almost always use the full amount of milk and sometimes need a bit more. Only add 1/2 tsp more at a time when it is getting close. Beat again, then scrape the bowl:

Next, whip the buttercream on high speed for two to three minutes until it has become very light and fluffy.

Scrape down the bowl again. Your buttercream is done and you can use it immediately. Cover any unused frosting tightly with plastic wrap and store in the fridge for up to a week or freeze for up to two months. To use later, allow the buttercream to come to nearly room temperature, then beat it again to fluff it up.

Use your buttercream to frost a cake:

Or cupcakes (Be sure to get sprinkles without confectioner’s glaze as it contains shellac from beetles):

Click on this link for my vanilla buttercream recipe!

 

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Vegan Chocolate Buttercream Frosting

This delicious chocolate buttercream is fluffy, creamy, easy to use, and pipes beautifully!

Course Dessert, Frosting
Prep Time 15 minutes
Total Time 15 minutes
Servings 24 Servings
Calories 155 kcal
Author Deborah Mesdag

Ingredients

  • 112 g (1/2 c) Earth Balance Vegan Butter
  • 96 g (1/2 c) Shortening
  • 15 g (1 TBS) Vanilla Extract
  • 0.8 g (1/8 tsp) Salt
  • 80 g (1/3 c) Light Coconut Milk
  • 0.4 g (1/4 tsp) Instant Coffee Granules
  • 60 g (2/3 c) Cocoa Powder
  • 450 g (3 1/4 c) DIY Powdered Sugar (use 3 3/4 c of store-bought)

Instructions

  1. If you are using vegan butter sticks, let them warm up to room temperature on the counter and do not try to soften them in the microwave. If you are using tub spread, skip this step and use it cold from the fridge.

  2. Add the instant coffee to the coconut milk and whisk to combine. Set aside for now.

  3. Add the shortening to a large mixing bowl and beat on medium speed until it is smooth and fluffy. Any lumps left in now are likely to still be in the finished frosting.

  4. Add the softened stick spread or cold tub spread, and beat again until light, fluffy, and free of any lumps.

  5. Scrape down the bowl, add the vanilla extract and beat again. Scrape down the bowl, then sift the cocoa onto the mixture. Mix on low speed until the cocoa is well combined.

  6. Add the salt, 1/3 of the powdered sugar, and 1/4 of the coconut milk. I am using my DIY powdered sugar here because most vegan powdered sugar is very expensive to buy. Beat in the milk and powdered sugar.

  7. Add half of the remaining powdered sugar and 1/3 of the remaining coconut milk. You can use another plant milk, but light or regular coconut milk gives the buttercream a very nice and creamy texture. Mix again.

  8. Scrape the sides and the bottom of the bowl really well to remove any hint of fat from the bowl. This step prevents streaks in your frosting later. Either switch to a clean spatula or wash and dry the used one.

  9. Add the rest of the powdered sugar and half of the remaining milk. Beat again. Check the consistency of your buttercream. If it is the spreading consistency that you want, do not add any more milk. If it is too thick (as it most likely will be), add a little more milk to get it the way you want it to be. I almost always use the full amount of milk and sometimes need a bit more. Only add 1/2 tsp more at a time when it is getting close. Beat again, then scrape the bowl.

  10. Next, whip the buttercream on high speed for two to three minutes until it has become very light and fluffy. Scrape down the bowl again. Your buttercream is done and you can use it immediately. 

  11. Cover any unused frosting tightly with plastic wrap and store in the fridge for up to a week or freeze for up to two months. To use later, allow the buttercream to come to nearly room temperature, then beat it again to fluff it up.

Recipe Notes

  • Using half shortening and half vegan butter gives the best texture without compromising the flavor. Buttercream with all shortening has a greasy texture and doesn’t taste as nice. Buttercream with all vegan butter will not be stable at temperatures above 73 degrees, especially if you use spread from a tub and not the sticks. For the best results, use half Earth Balance Buttery Sticks and half shortening. Next best is all Buttery Sticks, and then all Buttery Spread. I do not recommend all shortening unless you need the frosting to be stable above 76 degrees. (See the recipe notes for recipe adjustments if you are using all vegan butter or all shortening.) Earth Balance Buttery Sticks come in both original and soy free versions and both work well.
  • If you are using all vegan butter and no shortening, increase the butter to 226 g. That is two sticks or one cup. Also, decrease the salt to 0.4 g (1/16 tsp).
  • If you are using all shortening and no vegan butter, increase the shortening to 192 g (1 cup). Also, increase the salt to 1.6 g (1/4 tsp), increase the vanilla to 17.5 g (1 TBS + 1/2 tsp), and increase the coconut milk to 90 g (3/8 c).
  • I prefer using a mixing bowl and a hand mixer for this recipe. A stand mixer is more convenient only if you are doubling the recipe, but it isn’t necessary even then if you use a large enough mixing bowl. One batch is enough to frost 24 cupcakes or one 8″ double-layer cake without extra piping for decoration. If you are adding decorative piping to a cake or piping large frosting swirls on your cupcakes, make one and a half or two batches.

2 thoughts on “Vegan Chocolate Buttercream Frosting”

    1. Good question! The coffee just adds a little extra depth to the chocolate flavor. You can definitely leave it out and the buttercream will still be great.

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