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This vegan chocolate frosting is luxuriously creamy, rich, and decadent. The recipe is completely dairy free and incredibly easy to make. It’s the perfect vegan and paleo chocolate frosting for cakes or cupcakes!

mixing up vegan chocolate frosting in a bowl

In this world, there are two types of people. People who eat cake for the cake, and people who eat cake for the frosting. No surprises here—I eat cake for the frosting. Specifically, this gloriously rich and decadent vegan chocolate frosting. In the last few months, I’ve basically just been trying to find reasons to make it again. It’s easy to whip together, and tastes incredible on cake, cupcakes, and fruit!

The best part? This frosting is dairy free and a fabulous paleo chocolate frosting for the best paleo chocolate cake on the planet.

I’m not exaggerating when I say this vegan chocolate frosting recipe is just as good (if not better) than my paleo chocolate cake recipe. It’s everything layer cake dreams are made of—supremely chocolatey, rich, and creamy. This recipe makes plenty of frosting so you can add enough to create thick and even layers, and lick some from the spatula.

How to Make Vegan Chocolate Frosting

For the best results, I highly recommend using a stand mixer for this recipe so you can add and mix while it whips. Use the flat beater attachment for best results. If you have a KitchenAid mixer, the BeaterBlade is the perfect attachment because it scrapes the sides as it mixes.

To make vegan chocolate frosting, start by whipping organic palm shortening in your mixing bowl on high for 2-3 minutes until soft peaks form. Add the vanilla extract and continue to whip. Slow added the sifted cocoa powder and powdered sugar while whipping. Then, add the coconut milk.

When you’re mixing up the vegan frosting, make sure your dairy free milk is room temperature. The magic number for the milk is somewhere between 1/2 cup and 2/3 cup.

Add 1/2 cup, then add a tablespoon at a time until the frosting is light and creamy. The full amount I find is just a little too much. You want to add enough milk so that it is rich, creamy, and smooth and no clumps remain, but it shouldn’t be soft or wet. If you see any remaining clumps after achieving the perfect consistency, just press them out with the spatula and continue to whip.

vegan frosting finished in a mixing bowl with beaters

Buttercream Without the Butter

This vegan chocolate frosting recipe is basically a buttercream frosting without the butter and cream. Yes, it is possible! Traditional buttercream recipes include a combination of butter, heavy cream, and sugar. Buttercream frosting is fluffy, smooth, and decadent. It’s what most people associate with cake and frosting.

In this vegan frosting recipe, the butter is swapped out for organic palm shortening, and the heavy cream is swapped out for dairy-free milk. You still get your smooth and creamy fat and milk, which results in an incredibly rich and decadent frosting. I personally love using full-fat coconut milk in this recipe, as it’s thick and provides a true creamy buttercream texture.

This frosting recipe is completely dairy-free, which makes it a vegan chocolate frosting recipe. If you want to make it strictly paleo, I’ve got some tips on how to make your own powdered sugar from coconut sugar below.

Organic Palm Shortening

Organic palm shortening is made from organic expeller-pressed palm oil. Essentially, palm shortening is palm oil with some of the unsaturated fatty acids removed. This gives it a thick and luxurious texture that’s perfect for baking. Palm shortening isn’t hydrogenated and is completely trans fat free, unlike it’s highly processed and hydrogenated counterpart, Crisco.

I absolutely love using organic palm shortening in this vegan frosting recipe because it’s shelf stable and has a neutral flavor. While I typically using coconut oil in baking, it’s not a good fit for paleo or vegan frosting recipes. It doesn’t have a neutral flavor, and it has a melting point of 76 degrees Fahrenheit. This means your frosting will melt at room temperature during the warmer months. Palm shortening lets the chocolate flavor shine, and gives the vegan chocolate frosting a rich and creamy texture.

Paleo Chocolate Frosting

So, let’s talk powdered sugar. Powdered sugar is just sugar that has been ground into a fine powder. You can easily do this on your own. Just take your favorite sugar and throw it in a high-speed blender or food processor and blend until broken down and fine. I personally love using this organic powdered sugar in this vegan chocolate frosting recipe, which is derived from organic cane sugar.

If you’re one of my OG paleo peeps, you’ll know that cane sugar isn’t exactly paleo. But let’s be honest, neither is frosting. However, I personally always strive to use the most unrefined, wholesome ingredients in my baking. And coconut sugar is a great and paleo-friendly option for sweetened baked goods.

The good news is, you can easily make paleo chocolate frosting with powdered coconut sugar. Just add 2 1/2 cups coconut sugar and 2 1/2 tablespoons tapioca flour to a high speed blender or food processor and process for 1-2 minutes. 

It’s important to note that coconut sugar has a deeper caramel flavor, so the flavors will change just slightly. You can use a combination of powdered coconut sugar and organic powdered sugar, or all coconut sugar depending on your taste preference.

vegan frosting in between cake layers

Storing Vegan Chocolate Frosting

After making your vegan chocolate frosting, you can store it in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to a week. For best results, I recommend making the frosting the same day you’ll be using it.

If you want to make the frosting ahead time, store it in an airtight container in the fridge and lay it out at room temperature a few hours before you use it. You’ll likely need to rewhip the frosting before using it.

Why I Love This Vegan Frosting Recipe

  • This recipe makes the most luxuriously creamy and rich vegan chocolate frosting!
  • The frosting has a light and whipped texture that melts in your mouth.
  • This frosting is a great paleo chocolate frosting for paleo cakes and cupcakes!
  • The recipe is easy to follow and perfect for special occasions.
  • You’ll get just about 3 cups of frosting from this recipe. Great for icing a layer cake or adding decoration to a traditional sheet cake.
  • This recipe is completely gluten-free, grain-free, and dairy-free! It’s paleo-friendly, too!
paleo chocolate frosting on a paleo chocolate cake

Stocking the Pantry

I’ve had this KitchenAid stand mixer for over 10 years and it is durable and works beautifully! I highly recommend it. I personally use Thrive Market for most of my pantry needs because it saves me some cash—especially when it comes to commonly used items like organic powdered sugar and organic coconut milk. For a complete list of my recommend pantry items and what I use in my home, check out my Baking and Cooking Resources Page.

Other Recipes You’ll Love

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Vegan Chocolate Frosting (Paleo, Dairy Free)


This vegan chocolate frosting is luxuriously creamy, rich, and decadent. The recipe is completely dairy free and incredibly easy to make. It’s the perfect vegan and paleo chocolate frosting for cakes or cupcakes!




  1. Place the palm shortening in a large mixing bowl, and whip on high for 2-3 minutes until soft peaks form. Add the vanilla extract and continue to whip. 
  2. Add the powdered sugar and cocoa powder to the bowl and continue to whip until combined.
  3. Add ½ cup dairy free milk. Continue adding a little more milk, 1 tablespoon at a time, until the frosting reaches your desired consistency. Whip for 2-3 minutes until no clumps remain. 


  • If using a stand mixer, use the flat beater or BeaterBlade (my personal favorite!) to whip the ingredients together.
  • 1 recipe will successfully frost a three layer cake. You’ll get about 3 cups frosting from this recipe.
  • To make this paleo, you can make your own organic powdered sugar from coconut sugar. Just add 2 1/2 cups coconut sugar and 2 1/2 tablespoons tapioca flour to a high speed blender or food processor and process for 1-2 minutes. 
  • Prep Time: 15
  • Category: Dessert
  • Cuisine: American

Keywords: paleo frosting, vegan frosting, paleo chocolate frosting, vegan chocolate frosting, vegan buttercream frosting, paleo buttercream frosting

Did you make this vegan chocolate frosting? Let me know what you thought in the comments below!

Be strong,

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