I’m always interested to learn more about how to make things different and always curious about new recipes. This vegan chocolate icing is currently my favourite one!
Very simple to make, taste delicious and keeps in the fridge for few days. Obviously it’s perfect chocolate icing for vegan diets, but since it’s also dairy free, it’s suitable for anyone who is trying to cut out dairy from their diets.
If you’ve tried my milk vegan chocolate bar recipe, you’ll love this one too!
I’ve included few different versions of this recipe, since all of them have slightly different taste and will suit different styles of your chocolate cakes. Also if you are sensitive to soya, avoid the first recipe.
PIN FOR LATER…
Tips on getting the flavour right
There are few little tricks to make any vegan chocolate icing absolutely delicious.
First of all if you’d like to enhance the flavour of chocolate in your chocolate icing, use about 1/2 teaspoon (or more if you are making a large batch of icing) of granulated instant coffee (decaf if the icing is for children), dissolve in a tiny amount of boiling or hot water and blend into your icing.
The chocolate icing won’t taste like coffee, instead, the coffee intensifies the chocolate flavour.
The next little trick is to add a tiny pinch of salt (again dissolved in a tiny amount of hot water and blended into our icing). This is because no matter what recipe you use, the main ingredients is sugar, which has normally pretty bland flavour.
If you’ve made your vegan chocolate icing and you think to yourself: ‘Hm, something is missing, it’s not quite there….’ add the salt and try again. I can guarantee that you’ll like the result!
There are lots of different options, you can can use here from coconut oil, coconut butter, dairy free butter or margarine and you can even use cocoa butter if you like (since it’s naturally plant based)
I’ve used mainly icing sugar in my recipes, but it’s nice to use other types of sugar too, like maple, agave or date syrup.
Any kind of plant based milk will be absolutely fine to use and if you don’t have any vegan milk, just use water. It actually makes the icing lighter in flavour (weird I know, but try it and see what you think!)
Cocoa powder is naturally plant based, so there is no need to swap the cocoa powder for anything else. Use a good quality cocoa powder as this helps with the flavour.
How to make vegan chocolate icing
- Heat up the butter or margarine
- Add the sugar or sweetener
- Add cocoa powder
- Add the milk & tiny pinch of salt
- Cream the icing to get lighter texture
1. Vegan chocolate icing recipe with dairy free margarine
55g soya margarine or other dairy free margarine (can be easily purchased from supermarkets)
3 table spoons of soya milk
200g icing sugar
30g cocoa powder
Warm up the soya margarine and add it to a bowl with icing sugar and cocoa powder. Add soya milk and either mix it with a wooden spoon or handheld whisk until you get a nice smooth finish. If the mixture is slightly runny add more icing sugar.
More vegan recipes
2. Vegan chocolate icing with dairy free butter
55g dairy free butter (coconut butter or other type – usually bought from health shops)
3 table spoons of almond milk (or other non-dairy milk)
200g icing sugar
30g cocoa powder
1/2 teaspoon of vanilla extract
This recipe is slightly thicker than the previous one, simply because this time round we are using dairy free butter, which is slightly firmer than dairy free margarine.
The method is the same, just warm up your butter first (especially coconut butter is very solid when not warm) and add to bowl with your icing sugar and cocoa powder. Add vanilla extract and almond milk as you whisk your icing.
You’ll notice that by using different type of fat, you get slightly different flavour. For example the coconut butter will add a hint of coconut, but since it goes well with chocolate it’s just really nice additional flavour.
3. Vegan chocolate icing with unrefined sugar
100g unsweetened cocoa powder
30g of melted coconut oil
30-60g of maple syrup or agave nectar
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
This recipe has much higher amount of cocoa powder, which makes it a lot richer than the previous recipes. The other bonus is the addition of unrefined sugar in a form of maple syrup, agave or other liquid type of sugar you like.
The reason why we have less oil or butter type of ingredients, is because the liquid sugar add the ‘liquidity’ to the recipe, so adding even more liquid ingredients wouldn’t really work. You can easily tweak the recipe by adding more or less of the sugar syrup, depending on the consistency you want to achieve, but also depending on the sweetness you want to end up.
Once extra trick with this recipe: the cocoa powder has a tendency to get everywhere, so I always start with adding small amounts of the liquid in and make it into a smooth paste before I whisk it gently to add a little lightness to the icing.
Frequently asked questions about vegan chocolate icing recipe
If the vegan icing is not too thin, whisking it for 5 minutes does help to thicken it. If the icing is too runny, add icing sugar. Start with a tablespoon of icing sugar, whisk or cream the sugar in and add more if needed.
If you don’t want to add more sugar into your frosting, you can also try other thickening ingredients that don’t change the flavour that much. The easier one to use is a cornstarch, which thickens the icing if it’s not too runny. Cocoa butter, is probably not something you would have at home as it’s quite pricey, but if you have it add 1 tablespoon of melted cocoa butter. As you whisk the butter in (and it start to cool down) it will make the icing thicker. Other ingredients also include gelatin, cocoa powder, tapioca or arrowroot powder.
The best thing to do is to place the buttercream into freezer for 10 minutes or so. This will firm up the icing and you can carry on whisking the icing or pipe on your cupcakes. This usually happens when you use coconut oil as this type of fat goes soft in lower temperature than for example regular butter or coconut butter.
These are my three favourite vegan chocolate icing recipes, but as you can see, you can easily make your own version. I’d love to know what you come up with, so do leave me a comment in the section below.
Why not stay in touch…
I hope you enjoy making this recipe and if you do, I’d love to know what you think! Let me know in the comments below or find me on Instagram or Facebook and add the hashtag #cocoaandheart so that I can see your post.
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Vegan chocolate icing
- 100 grams unsweetened cocoa powder
- 30 grams melted coconut oil
- 30-60 grams maple syrup agave nectar, coconut or date syrup
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 1/4 teaspoon instant coffee granules dissolved in 1/2 teaspoon of hot water (add the salt here if using)
- tiny pinch fine salt dissolved in a bit of water ( 1/4 teaspoon)
- Heat the coconut oil, but be careful not to burn it
- Add your choice of unrefined sugar
- Add the cocoa powder, in stages to prevent it from flying everywhere.
- Add salt and coffee granules (if using) to a 1/2 teaspoon of hot water and let to dissolve.
- Mix the salt and coffee into the mixture
- Adjust the taste and consistency by adding more unrefined sugar if needed.
- Cream the chocolate icing to make it a bit lighter and creamier. If you have an electric whisk, whisk the icing for 5 minutes or so.
- Use straightaway or keep in airtight container in the fridge for up to 2 weeks.