Vegan Chocolate Buttercream Frosting

You probably didn’t know, that I, Annie, am slightly obsessed with Sprinkles Cupcakes. My secret’s out. I’ll bend my no-sugar rule for a taste of their frosting!

vegan chocolate buttercream frosting

I don’t get to Sprinkles often (I even resisted visiting when I was near Scottsdale last weekend!). I do, however, like to eat chocolate frosting often. And I was beyond pleased when I found a product that would allow me to do this in a healthier way.

It’s Earth Balance Butter that is soy free.

It’s like butter, but not butter and without the bad stuff. It’s creamy and makes the most amazing vegan chocolate frosting.

vegan chocolate buttercream frosting

This buttercream, combined with a healthier butter and delicious natural coconut sugar rivals even bakery frostings. I think coconut sugar makes THE BEST chocolate frosting and this butter free version is no exception. This is as good as that stuff we all covet at bakeries like Sprinkles.

And yet this is totally dairy-free, soy-free, sugar-free, vegan buttercream frosting!

sugar free vegan chocolate frosting


Vegan Chocolate Buttercream Frosting (gluten-free)
Print Recipe

3/4 cup Soy Free Earth Balance Butter
1 1/3 cups Coconut Sugar
Dash of Salt
1/2 cup Cocoa Powder
1 teaspoon Vanilla Extract
2 teaspoons Rice Flour
1/8 teaspoon Natural Butter Extract, optional, but highly recommended!

In a blender or food processor, blend up the coconut sugar until it is a smooth powder.

Dump the sugar in a small mixing bowl. Add the earth balance butter and salt and cream until smooth and combined. Add the cocoa, vanilla extract and butter extract if desired and beat. Add the rice flour and combine. If you want to use this to pipe or you just like a thicker frosting, you can add an extra 1 to 2 teaspoons of flour and place in the fridge to firm. Enjoy immediately or store covered in an airtight container in the refrigerator.

Makes a scant 2 cups of frosting or enough to frost 10-14 cupcakes, depending on how much frosting you like.


Natural Sweet Recipes
Vegan Chocolate Buttercream Frosting
Average Rating
5 Based on 1 Review(s)


  1. says

    Yum! Sometimes I have a hard time covering up that earth balance ‘after taste’, you know what I mean? But adding chocolate always does the trick :) This looks SO good. Love my frosting. its bad. I’ve never tried coconut sugar or butter extract, have to try that next time too, I still haven’t found my perfect frosting, can’t wait to try this girls!!

    • says

      Coconut sugar isn’t the best sweetener to use for vanilla flavored treats because we’ve found it gives a brown sugary kind of flavor. It would taste good, but it would not be a true vanilla buttercream. We are going to work on a vegan vanilla recipe soon though! :)

    • says

      Yes, it is. Sometimes it goes by the name “Coconut Palm Sugar”, but most natural health food stores sell it. And Costco now sells it too. :)

  2. Jackie Tallman says

    Can you substitute the coconut sugar for confectioners sugar? And does the frosting hold up well? I am looking to make my vegan friend cupcakes for her baby shower and I am traveling a few hours to get there so I want to make sure they will hold up with piping the frosting on.

    • says

      Yes, you can substitute with confectioners sugar. If you keep the cupcakes cool after frosted, they will hold a pipe beautifully. Be careful if you live in a hot or humid climate to keep them really cool.. You can also add a bit more sugar to get that desired extra stiffness. Thanks!

  3. Robin says

    Great idea to whiz the coconut sugar in a blender or other to make it a fine powder! I’ve been using chocolate hazelnut butter as a frosting and it is tasty but it isn’t a “buttercream” … look forward to trying this :) Just wondering about the function of the 2 teas rice flour? Is it a binder? Would coconut flour work too? My system doesn’t handle rice products well, that’s why I asked, but it is such a small amount it might not effect me. If you have thoughts on substitutions though I’d love to hear them! Robin

    • says

      Hi Robin, the rice flour just helps this frosting to be a nice texture – smooth, spreadable yet firm. You could certainly use coconut flour! We just found a little bit flour really improves the texture and gives more options for decorating in different ways. Hope you enjoy this buttercream!

  4. oriel says

    While I appreciate you taking the time to offer up this recipe. I must inform you that it is not sugar free. Sucanat, coconut palm, and honey all are sugars that can raise insuline levels. Its best to inform your readers of that since they may make it and serve it to a diabetic who may have complications from eating it.

    • says

      Thank you for your comment, Oriel. You are right about the term sugar free. We try to clarify that our recipes are refined sugar free. We don’t use sucanant in our recipes but we do know that coconut sugar is safe for diabetics, which is why it is one of our favorites! :) Those who are diabetic can read about which sweeteners are safe in our Natural Sweetener Guide. Thank you!

  5. Julie says

    HI. In the Vegan Chocolate Buttercream Frosting what is the difference between the earth balance butter and the natural butter extract? And what is the purpose of the extract?
    Can you use this recipe as is and omit the chocolate IF wanting to make a white frosting?
    Thank you, Julie

    • says

      Hi Julie,

      Earth balance butter is a vegan butter that has a buttery flavor, but isn’t as strong a flavor as new vegans are used to. The butter extract is added to enhance the buttery flavor for a more authentic buttercream. If you are not new to vegan foods or just don’t want to use the extract, you can omit it. We have not made a vanilla buttercream from this recipe and if you do so, you would need a lot more flour and sweetener added to replace the cocoa. If you would like a white frosting, we would suggest this frosting- it’s a vegan cream cheese flavored frosting but tastes delicious on everything!

      Thanks for commenting. I hope those help!

      • says

        Also, coconut sugar isn’t the best sweetener for vanilla frostings, so you would want to change out that sweetener as well if you tweaked this recipe to be a vanilla flavor.

      • Julie says

        Can I use just plain organic butter to replace the recipes amounts for the, Earth balance butter & the butter extract?
        Oh yes what is coconut butter?

        • says

          You can definitely substitute in real butter here. If you aren’t interested in a vegan recipe, this is actually slightly adapted from our chocolate buttercream frosting recipe here:
          The flavor is similar in both and everyone who tries the traditional recipe loves it!
          Coconut butter is literally ground up coconut meat/shreds/flesh. It is the white part of the coconut that get blended up into a butter, just like peanuts become peanut butter. It is different from coconut oil! Coconut oil is just the oil from the meat portion of the coconut. I hope that helps. Thanks!

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