This vegan chocolate frosting 101 is the first guide-like post this blog has ever seen. When I opened thenakedtable almost one year ago, I had big plans about a DIY section with step-by-step tutorials. Obviously that never happened on this space, but I’m determined to do so this year with a very ambitious project. Kinda like a birtday gift for the blog you know?
Back on what matters now. We’re talking chocolate. Vegan chocolate frosting. I won’t picture the studio status after this shoot, but I’ll happily report I’m almost done with leftovers.
A few weeks ago I asked you guys on Instagram what your favorite recipe for vegan chocolate frosting was. I got tons of lovely responses! So since all of them were intriguing, I decided to write down a list of five recipes, and test them to see which one was the right one for me.
I needed a frosting recipe that was on the healthy-ish side, without butter or heaps of sugar. I’m not used to the American baking style and the (although gorgeous) frosted cakes, which obviously rely on those ingredients I don’t want to include in my baking.
To keep things short, I divided this post into five sections – one for each frosting recipe. There will be my opinion about each recipe and a note on what I’d use each vegan chocolate frosting recipe for. There will also be a picture showing how the frosting holds its shape and how it spreads, and also a closeup for the texture. Obviously the only reason behind this one is to (hopefully) make you hungry lol
Please note that the chocolate I used for these recipes has a 70% cocoa solids content; everything between the 60% – 85% range will work fine. However, make sure the chocolate you use is vegan.
If you want to make sure your vegan chocolate frosting holds its shape, add 1/2 tsp agar agar powder dissolved in a splash of plant milk. It’s 100% vegan friendly and has the same effect as gelatin, without imparting any flavor to the finished product.
So without any further ado, let’s dive right in!
Sweet potato frosting: as healthy as frosting can get.
This is the healthiest vegan chocolate frosting recipe you’ll ever come across. No fat, antioxidants from raw cacao, dates for sweetness, and nutrition-packed sweet potatoes. Bonus, it comes together in a pinch if you already have roasted sweet potatoes on hand.
This frosting doesn’t pipe nor holds its shape very well, so I’d recommend to use it for a sheet cake topping or as a pudding. Texture is a bit fibrous, but still luscious and creamy – just not the creamiest and silkiest.
Avocado frosting: healthy-ish, take #2.
While the sweet potato frosting fits in a high carb low fat diet, this one has definitely more fat. In fact, it’s just avocado, melted dark chocolate and dates for sweetness.
It holds its shape better thanks to the fat content and the addition of dark chocolate, which solidify at lower temps. However, I found that unless you add a lot of dates or chocolate, it tastes a bit weird compared to other recipes. I’d use it to frost the outside of a layer cake and not the inside, because its silky nature won’t support multiple layers of cake.
If you like the idea, here’s another version of the avocado chocolate frosting.
Silken tofu mousse: luscious, protein packed, delicious.
This is the best vegan chocolate frosting amongst the ones I tested, and quite possibly the highest in protein. Make sure to use silken tofu for maximum creaminess, and a high quality chocolate bar.
Agar-agar will help stabilize the frosting, and so you’ll have the creamiest, silkiest concoction that will hold its shape when piped, and also support layers of cake and frosting on top. This frosting also makes for a lovely chocolate pudding, and you can flavor it with basically anything.
Side note, this is the basic, but enriched, version of the custard filling in this gluten free tart.
Coconut milk chocolate ganache: just decadent.
This is a two ingredients wonder. I found that the dark chocolate masks the coconut flavor quite well, nobody will ever guess you frosted your cake with a vegan ganache in place of the dairy based one.
This base works wonderfully both as a fluid garnish, as a whipped frosting and also to make truffles. It all comes down to the ingredient ratios, how long you chill it, if you choose to do so, and to the optional whipping action. Do not refrigerate this frosting for too long before whipping and also afterwards, when the cake is ready to serve, or texture may suffer.
Cashew cream “cremoso”: luxe, for your special cakes.
This recipe is the veganised version of a pastry cream I’ve been seeing around a lot lately. It’s silky, creamy and with a slightly nutty undertone. Unlike the other four recipes there are quite a few steps required. The result is totally worth the extra effort tho!
It keeps well in the fridge, so you can totally prep this frosting in advance. It will actually benefit from a good rest overnight, and is perfect to frost both the inside and the outside of your cake. And to be eaten by the spoonful, obviously.
And that’s it! Hope this little guide/shared recipe testing will be helpful for someone. A special thank you goes to all the lovely ladies who sent me their favorite vegan chocolate frosting recipe in the first place!
with love (and chocolate)
Psst! Don’t forget to follow along on instagram! I’m also on pinterest, bloglovin’, food52, and YouTube. See you there!
Picking the right frosting for a cake can be a tough job. Here’s where this vegan chocolate frosting guide comes in, with five alternatives for any purpose!
- one medium sweet potato
- 3 tbsp raw cacao powder
- 2 medjool dates, pitted and soaked
- 1 medium avocado
- 50 g dark chocolate, melted
- 2 medjool dates, pitted and soaked
- 1 packet silken tofu (250g)
- 80 g dark chocolate, melted
- 2 tbsp plant milk
- 2-3 tbsp liquid sweetener
- 1/2 tsp agar agar powder
- one can full-fat coconut milk (400ml)
- 150 g dark chocolate, finely chopped
- 4 tbsp cocoa powder (optional)
- 50 g cashews, pre-soaked and rinsed
- 50 ml full-fat coconut milk
- 6 tbsp plant milk
- 50 g silken tofu
- 50 g dark chocolate, finely chopped
- 2 tbsp cocoa powder
- 50 g raw sugar
- 1/2 tsp agar agar powder
Preheat oven to 180 C. Meanwhile, soak pitted dates in hot water.
Halve the sweet potato, pierce a few times with a fork, wrap in aluminum foil and bake until tender, about 30′-40′. Let cool.
Scoop sweet potato flesh out from the skin and add it to the blender, together with drained dates and cacao powder. Blend until smooth.
Pit the avocado and blend the flesh with drained, soaked dates and melted chocolate.
Drain excess liquid from the tofu carton and blend with melted chocolate and liquid sweetener of choice. Dissolve agar agar with plant milk and blitz in with the mousse.
Refrigerate 3-4 hours or overnight before using.
Heat coconut milk until almost boiling. Carefully pour over chopped chocolate and let stand for a few minutes, so that the heat melts the chocolate. If you want a thicker ganache, mix in cocoa powder.
Stir to combine and refrigerate about 3 hours if you plan to whip it.
Blend soaked and drained cashews with plant milk, coconut milk, silken tofu, raw sugar and agar agar powder. Pour in a small saucepan and heat over low until bubbles rise to the surface, about 3′-5′.
Pour the mixture over chopped dark chocolate. Let stand a few minutes before stirring to dissolve everything.
Let cool and refrigerate at least 4 hours or overnight.
Please note that dates are pre-soaked and chocolate is already melted, so the prep time does not include soaking and melting.
The chocolate I used for these recipes has a 70% cocoa solids content. However, anywhere between 60% and 85% will work fine.