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Vegan Chocolate Birthday Frosting

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The BEST Vegan Chocolate Frosting – This dairy free chocolate frosting recipe has all the rich, chocolate-y goodness without the dairy! No one believes me when I tell them it’s vegan!

The Best Vegan Chocolate Frosting // One Lovely Life
While we eat a diet mostly built around whole foods and clean ingredients, if there’s a time to splurge, it’s your birthday. We have two birthday celebrations coming up, and this is our favorite chocolate frosting. In fact, it’s the best chocolate frosting we’ve ever eaten–I mean it.  And it’s dairy and gluten free!

The Best Vegan Chocolate Frosting // One Lovely Life
I didn’t want to dance around sugar in this frosting, so there it is, loud and proud. It’s your birthday! We like the powdered sugar from Wholesome! brand, as it’s produced without any animal products. Any kind will work (though if you have gluten sensitivities, be sure your brand doesn’t have any trace gluten in it).

If you’re not dairy free, there’s no reason that butter and dairy milk wouldn’t work in this recipe. I actually really like the coconut oil here, and I don’t feel like the coconut oil flavor is overly prominent in either the cake or frosting.

The Best Vegan Chocolate Frosting // One Lovely Life
You know how Ina Garten (and lots of other people) swear by adding a little coffee or extra vanilla to a chocolate-y recipe to enhance the chocolate flavor? My secret weapon is a combination of vanilla and a little almond extract. It’s not enough to be overpowering, but I often have people ask what was in my recipe. They love the little something extra it brings to the table, and I totally agree. I love a little almond extract.

As for the cake…well, I have yet to master my own dairy/gluten-free cake. I have dreams of coming up with one that’s dairy and gluten free as well as naturally sweetened. But in the meantime, our favorite boxed mix is the Devishly Chocolate Cake Mix by Among Friends. We can find it at our Sprouts store for less than Amazon carries it, but if you can’t find it locally, Amazon is a great resource. Baked in round cake pans and layered with this beautiful, close-your-eyes-while-you-eat-it frosting, you’ll have a happy birthday indeed.

p.s. If you’re fancy, you could certainly pipe this frosting. I am not fancy yet, so spreading it is 🙂 

The Best Vegan Chocolate Frosting // One Lovely Life

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The Best Vegan Chocolate Frosting // One Lovely Life

Vegan Chocolate Birthday Frosting

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5 from 5 reviews

  • Author: One Lovely Life
  • Total Time: 10 minutes


You’d never believe this gorgeous, rich vegan chocolate frosting is made without dairy! It’s the perfect way to top your birthday cake. 


  • 3 oz unsweetened chocolate, roughly chopped or broken up
  • 2 Tbsp coconut oil
  • 1/31/2 cup almond milk (dairy or other nondairy milk also ok)
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/4 tsp almond extract
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened baking cocoa powder
  • 35 cups powdered sugar


  1. In a small saucepan, gently melt together chocolate and coconut oil until smooth and glossy. Remove from heat and slowly stir in the almond milk, vanilla, and almond extract. Mixture will thicken.
  2. Transfer chocolate mixture to a large bowl. Add powdered baking cocoa. Using a hand mixer (or your muscles), blend in 1 cup of powdered sugar at a time until you’ve reached your desired consistency.
  3. If the mixture gets too dry, thin it out with a little more almond milk as needed. If the mixture gets too thin, add a little more powdered sugar. You should reach a nice thick frosting texture between 4-5 cups of powdered sugar. Use immediately for best results.
  4. This will yield enough frosting for the tops of a 2 layer (8-9″) cake, or 1 (9×13) pan.
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Category: Dessert, Frosting, Cake
  • Cuisine: American



  1. Does this icing refrigerate ok or does It dry out in the fridge? I made it for cupcakes and am trying to figure out how to store them now. By the way, this icing is AMAZING and is my husbands new favorite!

    1. Brittany – We always refrigerate ours. We frost our cake/cupcakes, then cover and refrigerate them. It’s held up well for us that way. I’m glad you liked it!

    1. It absolutely can be depending on the sugar you choose. Many organic brands (like Wholesome) use sugar that does not use bone char. I’m trusting that vegan eaters are mindfully sourcing their own products.

  2. This is a great vegan frosting! I left out the almond extract as I’m not a fan of it.
    Also did not have unsweetened chococolate so used a dark chocolate bar. I usually don’t change a recipe the first time but didn’t want to go to the store!.

    1. Pri – The biggest issue you’ll run into is that the recipe would only make about 1/2 as much frosting. It will also likely be wetter, so you’d want to start with less milk.

  3. Do you think this icing would hold up ok, if I wanted to do some decorating with it (with piping bag and tips)?

    1. If you plan to pipe with it right after you make it, it should work great! I’ve decorated several cakes with this frosting. You can also test it on a piece of parchment or a plate before adding to the cake. If it’s holding its shape well, go ahead and pipe! If it’s a bit loose, you can add a little more powdered sugar to stiffen it up and try again.

  4. What a fantastic chocolate vegan frosting recipe WITHOUT any butter whatsoever. Difficult finding a recipe without butter, even vegan. I made this for cupcakes and the flavor, consistency, and end result were all perfect. Highly recommend, thanks for a great recipe!

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