Vegan chocolate buttercream frosting that is rich, velvety, silky and smooth with maximum chocolate flavor. The best thing on cakes or cupcakes!
This vegan chocolate buttercream frosting is extremely versatile and can be used for spreading onto cakes or cookies or piping onto cupcakes.
It makes enough to very generously frost a three layer 8-inch cake or a two layer 9-inch cake. It will also be enough to pipe frosting very generously onto 12 cupcakes or a bit less generously on up to 24 cupcakes.
It’s flexible and versatile and you can make it super thick, or thin it out a little depending on what will work best for your needs.
And if you want the vanilla version of this recipe then try out vegan vanilla buttercream frosting.
Ingredients You’ll Need For This Frosting:
- Vegan butter – you can use the stick version of vegan butter like Earth Balance buttery sticks or you can use tub style but it’s ideal if it’s as firm as possible. The very soft tub-style vegan butters may be too soft to work well in frostings. Alternatively you can even use our homemade vegan butter.
- Non-dairy milk – you can use any non-dairy milk that you have on hand.
- Instant espresso powder – you can replace this with any instant coffee powder or you can omit it completely. It doesn’t make the frosting taste like coffee at all, it just enhances the chocolate flavor.
How to make Vegan Chocolate Buttercream Frosting
You will find full instructions and measurements in the recipe card at the bottom of the post. This is a summary of the process to go along with the process photos.
This frosting is a simple mix of vegan butter, powdered sugar, cocoa powder, vanilla, non-dairy milk and a little surprise ingredient in the form of some instant espresso powder.
Now I usually have a method for frosting where I throw ALL ingredients into the bowl of the stand mixer and just go for it! But I thought I’d be more professional this time and do it ‘properly’.
The proper way to make frosting is to beat the butter first until very soft and creamy and then gradually add in the powdered sugar and the cocoa powder until folded into the butter and then you add your other ingredients.
To be honest, I don’t find any difference in the final result which is why I usually choose the easiest route which is throw it all into the bowl and then go for it.
However, especially if you have a small mixer like I do (I’m dreaming on that Kitchenaid upgrade!), then doing it the ‘proper’ way does mean you have less chance of your mixer throwing stuff out the bowl as it starts mixing.
But you can do it either way really. The end result is the same.
Once you’ve made your frosting, don’t put it into the fridge. It will get too firm and will be hard to spread onto your cake or pipe onto cupcakes. So keep it at room temperature until you’ve used it, and then the frosted item can go into the fridge to firm up if needed.
Be flexible with the amount of non-dairy milk you add. The amount you need will depend on the type of vegan butter you use. If you use a stick variety, then you may need more, as the sticks have a lower water content. Whereas if you use the type in a tub then you may need less, as those usually have a higher water content. So be flexible with how much you add.
If you do still end up with frosting that is too thin, then add more powdered sugar. If you end up with frosting too thick, add non-dairy milk a very small amount at a time until you reach the right consistency. You want it to be silky and smooth and spreadable and not too thick to pipe.
Storing and Freezing
Keep leftovers in the fridge for up to 1 week. It is also freezer friendly so if you have more than you need, feel free to freeze it.
More Vegan Frosting Recipes
- Vegan Buttercream Frosting
- Vegan Cream Cheese Frosting
- Vegan Chocolate Ganache
- Vegan Vanilla Frosting
- Vegan Chocolate Frosting
- Vegan Chocolate Ganache Frosting
Did you make this recipe? Be sure to leave a comment and rating below!
Vegan Chocolate Buttercream Frosting
- Add the vegan butter to the bowl of a stand mixer and beat it for a couple of minutes until very creamy.
- Gradually add in the powdered sugar and cocoa powder until properly mixed in with the butter. Then add the vanilla and slowly add the non-dairy milk, only as much as needed to get to the right consistency. If you end up with frosting too thin then add more powdered sugar. If it’s too thick, add more non-dairy milk a drop or two at a time until you reach the right consistency.
- Lastly, add the instant espresso powder (if using) and mix in.
- Keep the frosting at room temperature and then spread onto your cake or pipe onto cupcakes.
- The amount of non-dairy milk you need will depend on how thick you want your frosting to be, but also on the water content of the vegan butter you use. So add it in slowly and carefully and only as much as you need. If you are using a very firm vegan butter (stick type) you may even need a little more.
- We used soy milk but any non-dairy milk will work fine.
- This recipe makes enough to generously frost a three layer 8-inch cake or a two layer 9-inch cake. It will also pipe frosting onto around 12-24 cupcakes depending on how generously you pipe it.
- Keep leftovers in the fridge for up to 1 week. It is also freezer friendly so if you have more than you need, feel free to freeze it.