A recipe for creamy, fluffy, delicious vegan chocolate buttercream frosting that’s perfect for icing your favourite cakes and cupcakes. This easy vegan chocolate American buttercream recipe is dairy-free, egg-free, and very simple to make, plus, all you need is SIX ingredients and ten minutes from start to finish. (Oh, and try your best to resist eating it straight from the bowl!)
Add butter and salt to mixing bowl and mix for 1 to 2 minutes until soft and creamy.
Add 1 cup of the powdered sugar and mix on low speed. Once there are no more spots of dry powdered sugar, add the second cup and mix again on low speed. Stop occasionally to scrape down the sides of your bowl.
Add the sifted cocoa powder and vanilla and mix on low speed. Slowly add milk, 1 teaspoon at a time, continuing to mix. Add additional teaspoons until the desired consistency is met. Stop occasionally to scrape down the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula.
Turn mixer up to medium speed and mix until light and fluffy, about 2-3 minutes. Stop occasionally to scrape down the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula. Mix for a couple more minutes if you want a creamier, fluffier frosting.
Use immediately, or refrigerate / freeze until needed. (Refrigeration and freezing instructions can be found above and below)
Please read all of the information, tips, and FAQ info above, as well as the notes below before making this recipe.
Make sure that your butter is slightly softened before starting, NOT melted or TOO soft. To make sure your butter is at the ideal softness, lightly press your finger into it. If it leaves a shallow indent, your butter is at the perfect temperature. If your finger sinks into the butter with barely any effort, your butter is too soft. Refrigerate it until it has firmed up and then test it again.
This recipe makes enough buttercream to frost 12-16 cupcakes (depending on how much or how little you add to each one), OR one 9 x 13 cake, OR a single layer 8 or 9-inch round cake, OR a double layer 8" or 9" cake using a very thin layer of icing. The recipe can be doubled if you want a thicker layer of buttercream on your 2-layer cake or for a double batch of cupcakes. You can also triple the recipe for a triple layer cake or a triple batch of cupcakes.
If you have a scale, I recommend weighing your powdered sugar and cocoa powder for accuracy. This is the scale I own.
Sift your powdered sugar before starting if it is lumpy.
Be sure you are using vegan butter that comes in sticks, not the type that comes in containers / tubs, since they will be too soft and will result in a very soft frosting. See above for brand recommendations.
If the final frosting is too thick for your liking, add a little more milk. If you want it to be a little thicker, add a little more powdered sugar, a little at a time until you get to the consistency you like.
If using a stand mixer, my preference is to use the paddle attachment. Follow the same directions above.
If refrigerating for later use, store in an airtight container and refrigerate for up to one week. When ready to use, bring it to room temperature, add to a bowl and mix with your electric mixer or stand mixer to freshen it up before using.
If freezing for later use, store in an airtight, freezer safe container and freeze for up to 3 months. When ready to use, thaw frozen frosting in the refrigerator overnight. Once thawed, bring it to room temperature, add to a bowl and mix with your electric mixer or stand mixer to freshen it up before using.
Nutrition info is based on 1/12th of this recipe, made as written, on its own with no cake or cupcakes. Nutrition info is only to be used as a rough guide. Click to learn how nutrition info is calculated on this website.