Vegan Coconut Milk Chocolate Frosting

18 Apr

This frosting recipe I created contains no icing sugar; the sole sweetener used in this decadent, velvety chocolate icing is agave nectar. Full-fat coconut milk gives it the perfect creaminess. Now that I have made frosting this way, I will never ice cake or cupcakes with buttercream icing again. The flavor and texture of this icing is so much better. It is not stiff enough to make intricate decorations with, but wouldn’t it be nice to send kids home from a party not hyped up on a bunch of refined sugar? With all of the options for decorations (cookies, candies, etc.), you can still make beautiful cupcakes and keep the sugar input minimal.

This recipe was a wildly wonderful success. I managed to get it right on my first trial. There is virtually nothing that I would change. If stiff icing is required, it needs to be kept cold in the refrigerator, but the icing is very stable at room temperature (as photographed) and will not run. You could make it a vanilla icing by simply omitting the cocoa powder and using 2 teaspoons of artificial vanilla extract instead of 1 tsp of pure vanilla. This was the perfect icing recipe to give to my kids, who are allergic to dairy products. It was so rich, despite having no butter in it. It was also perfect for my dad, who is a diabetic. Agave nectar has a low glycemic index and has only 60 calories per tablespoon. That means this whole recipe iced 12 cupcakes with only 240 calories from sugar. Icing sugar can’t even touch those numbers. I made a batch of my vegan Fudge Brownie Cupcakes with Splenda so that my dad could have one guilt-free. So get ready to indulge in divine, chocolaty decadence. You won’t be disappointed. Frosts 12 cupcakes.


1/2 cup full fat coconut milk

5 tbsp flour

1/4 cup agave nectar

1 tsp vanilla

6 tbsp vegan margarine, melted (try Earth Balance or Becel Vegan)

3 tbsp cocoa powder


1. Melt margarine in a small saucepan over medium heat. Whisk in flour until smooth.

2. Combine and mix remaining ingredients in a separate bowl.

3. Add contents of bowl to the saucepan and whisk continuously until no lumps remain and icing is heated through (about 4-5 minutes). If lumps remain, use an immersion blender right in the saucepan to smooth it out.

4. Remove from heat and refrigerate at least 2 hours before using.

5. Stir and frost away!

This is how we decorated them for Easter. Check out my blog tomorrow (April 19, 2011) for the directions!


8 Responses to “Vegan Coconut Milk Chocolate Frosting”

  1. Britt May 20, 2011 at 9:05 pm #

    Thanks! I made it gluten free by substituting 4 tbsp of rice flour and following the rest of the directions exactly.

  2. Eeefa September 21, 2011 at 9:59 am #

    I made this but with some changes. No cocoa powder because I added blue dye (the cake was for my 4 year old’s birthday bash). Also used gluten free flour. Trebled the quantities apart from the vanilla because I find the extract very strong. It still had a lovely vanilla flavour, which developed as it set in the fridge overnight.

    It has a beautiful, luscious sheen that makes you want to eat it straight away. All the children ate the icing first, as usual, so it appealed to their sweet tooth. Adults also praised it, even though it was a little runny. Next time I omit cocoa powder I will add extra flour to compensate.

    Was worried that it would taste very strongly of coconut, but it doesn’t. Great recipe, thank you for sharing.

  3. Hilary November 2, 2011 at 8:28 pm #

    I just found this recipe and wanted to try it out immediately, since I have all the ingredients at home. I, too, tried it gluten free with some brown rice flour.

    After adding the coconut mix into the saucepan, and whisking it continuously on a low heat for about 3 minutes, I notice that the mixture start to separate and clump up a bit, where there was no clumping before. What am I doing wrong?? Am I overcooking it? Should I just wait until it’s blended in and smooth and refridgerate then?

    Any help would be appreciated!!

    • Andrea, Morsels Minus November 3, 2011 at 8:36 pm #

      Hi Hilary. I couldn’t say for sure. I haven’t had any issues with clumping, but I have never attempted the icing recipe with rice flour. In fact, I have no experience cooking with rice flour at all. If it is clumping, my instincts tell me that it is likely over-cooked. How did it turn out?

      • Hilary November 5, 2011 at 9:58 pm #


        I think I definitely overcooked it the first time around. The second time, I followed the instructions and shortened the heating through time.

        The margarine still started to separate a little, and the rest did clump a bit, but I thought I should just see what happened after I refrigerated it. I took it out the next day, let it sit a bit to get to room temperature, and blended it with a hand blender, and of course it went back to that wonderful pre-clumping consistency, but better and just like buttery, sugary, dairy filled icing!

        Sooo, in the end, I’ve found my new favorite way to make icing! Thank you so much!!!

  4. Emily Binder (@adoreajarbakery) April 29, 2013 at 8:24 am #

    Hello, I am wondering about the stability of the frosting. Would it be stable at room temperature for three days (during shipping for example)? Thank you.

    • Andrea, Morsels Minus April 29, 2013 at 2:38 pm #

      I would definitely not recommend shipping cupcakes frosted with this recipe. They must be refrigerated until served. You could make a frosting by blending 1 cup coconut oil + 1/4 cup maple syrup (or agave nectar) + 1/3 cup cocoa/cacao powder until smooth. This is more stable at room temperature, but it might be worth experimenting with at home by leaving a decorated cupcake on your counter. You could put the coconut oil-based frosting in a jar and ship it with un-decorated cupcakes: a little DIY might be fun for the recipient!

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