Simply the BEST Vegan Chocolate Frosting! It’s buttery, chocolatey, and perfect for piping with NO shortening aftertaste. 

vegan chocolate frosting being piped onto a cupcake

This is my absolute favorite and perfected vegan chocolate frosting recipe, and it’s so easy to make! Just what you need for cupcakes, cakes and more. It’s a chocolate buttercream frosting: smooth, creamy, chocolatey and rich.

What goes well with vegan chocolate frosting?

Well, um, everything! Try not to eat all of it out of the bowl with a spoon! Here are some ideas:

chocolate frosting on a spatula, close up.

How to make Vegan Chocolate Frosting:

It’s only going to take you about 5 minutes to make this frosting. The first important part before you get started though is to SOFTEN YOUR VEGAN BUTTER. But do NOT melt it at all, or your frosting will not turn out.

If you are using the vegan butter sticks, simply leave them at room temperature for 15-30 minutes. If using the tub, measure out 16 tablespoons (that equals 1 cup) and place in the mixing bowl for 10-15 minutes until softened. Try not to microwave, but if you insist, only microwave for 10 seconds at a time, being very careful not to melt any of the butter.

Once your butter is soft, beat with a hand mixer (or stand mixer with whisk attachment) for about 2 minutes until creamy.

collage showing vegan butter sticks, then whipped butter in a bowl.

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Now sift in the cocoa powder (if clumpy). Add in the powdered sugar as well, and the vanilla and soy milk. Beat on low for 30 seconds, then increase to high speed and beat for 2-3 minutes, until fluffy and combined. That’s it!

Tips for the best vegan frosting:

  • If your frosting seems too thick, add a tablespoon of soy milk at a time. If it’s too thin, add 1/4 cup more powdered sugar until a desirable, spreadable consistency is reached.
  • Sift your cocoa powder in to avoid clumpy frosting. You can sift your powdered sugar in as well if you want, but I don’t usually do that. Use a sifter or fine mesh strainer.
  • To ensure frosting is vegan, use organic powdered sugar.
  • This frosting makes enough for about 12-18 cupcakes (depending on how much frosting you use for each one) or one 9×13 inch cake. It is enough for a 8 or 9 inch double layer cake, but if you want the frosting thick or plan to use it for decorating as well, I would double the recipe. For a triple layer cake, triple the recipe to make sure you have plenty.

How to make frosting ahead of time:

You can make vegan chocolate frosting ahead of time if you want. Simply place it in a covered container and refrigerate for up to 1 week. When ready to use, let it come to room temperature and then beat it again with your mixer, or simply stir it well with a spatula.

It can also be frozen for 2-3 months.

bowl full of beaten vegan chocolate frosting

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spatula with frosting on it
4.94 stars (33 ratings)

Vegan Chocolate Frosting

Simply the BEST Vegan Chocolate Frosting! It's buttery, chocolatey, and perfect for piping with NO shortening aftertaste. 
Prep: 5 minutes
Total: 5 minutes
Servings: 10 servings



  • Soften the vegan butter: If using the baking sticks, let them sit at room temperature for 15-30 minutes. If you are using the vegan butter in the tub, you can measure out 16 tablespoons (it equals 1 cup and is easier to measure out of the tub), and place in the mixing bowl for 10-15 minutes until softened. Avoid microwaving, but if you must, only microwave for 10 seconds at a time. If the butter melts at all your frosting will be difficult to work with.
  • With a hand mixer (or stand mixer with a whisk attachment), beat the butter on medium speed for about 2 minutes, until creamy.
  • Sift in the cocoa powder if clumpy, and add the powdered sugar, vanilla and soy milk. Beat on low speed for 30 seconds, then increase the speed to high and beat for 2-3 minutes, until combined and fluffy.
  • If the frosting is too thick, add another tablespoon of milk. If it's too thin, add an additional 1/4 cup powdered sugar until the correct consistency is reached.
  • Use immediately, or store in a covered container in the refrigerator for up to 1 week. When ready to use, let it come to room temperature, then mix it well or beat again before using. The frosting can also be frozen for 2-3 months.


  1. This recipe makes enough for 12-18 cupcakes (depending on how you frost them) or a 9x13 inch cake. It should be enough for an 8 or 9 inch double layer cake, but if you want the frosting really thick or plan to do a lot of decorating I would double the recipe. 
  2. I always use earth balance brand vegan butter, either the baking sticks or the tub. I've heard Miyokos works well but I haven't tried it in frosting. You can try another brand, but I can't be sure it will work as well. 
  3. Feel free to substitute almond, cashew, hemp or coconut milk for the soy milk. Any non-dairy milk works here.
  4. Calories are for about 1/18th of the entire frosting, about as much as would be on 1 cupcake, frosted generously. 


Serving: 1serving | Calories: 314kcal | Carbohydrates: 46g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 16g | Saturated Fat: 4g | Sodium: 150mg | Potassium: 110mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 41g | Vitamin A: 872IU | Calcium: 14mg | Iron: 1mg
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Author: Nora Taylor
Did you make this recipe?Mention @nora_cooks_vegan_ or tag #noracooks!


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  1. Using the middle sized scoop (40) to portion the frosting, I was able to cover 24 cupcakes. I still had some left over (probably could have done about 5-6 more). I made it pretty thick too! Also, I added a pinch of salt 😊

  2. I used miyoko’s vegan butter for this – turned out absolutely delicious! The one downside was that it got very melty since it was a warm day. I would avoid this for an outdoor picnic or other event where you can’t control the temperature.

  3. hey Nora!!
    we love this frosting so so much!! question: how would you make it flavored like mint chocolate or mocha? how much extract would you use for this batch size?

    1. I’m glad you are loving the frosting, Leyla! Sub about 2 Tbsp of strong espresso for the plant milk, and it will make a really nice Mocha icing. Use 1/2 tsp mint extract for the mint flavor. Enjoy!

  4. Hi, do you think it would work if I used melted white chocolate instead? If yes, about how much do you think I should use? I want to be able to decorate with more colors and it be easier with white icing.

    1. I think that should work, although I haven’t tried it! You could try using 3/4 cup chopped white chocolate instead of the cocoa powder. Just whip the butter, sugar, and vanilla together before incorporating the melted chocolate and milk.

      1. The 3/4 cup of white chocolate worked out great! I was able to create the colors I needed and still get that chocolate taste.

  5. Hey Nora
    I just have a quick question.
    Can I or can I not frost the cake the night before without having to chil it? Does “use immediately” just mean frost immediately while perfect consistency or use immediately as in eat straight away?

    I already made the frosting and will refrigerate just in case, but would love to get a reply. Thanks!

    Oh, it’s really good by the way. I used about 100g less of the sugar, because my cake is already pretty sweet.

    1. Hi Jennifer. Yes, this refers to the consistency. You can frost the cake the next day. If you do refrigerate the frosting prior to frosting the cake, you want to let it get to room temperature before using on a cake. I hope this helps and is the information you were looking for. I’m glad you like the cake!

  6. I love this frosting so much. Thank you.

    How long can I let it sit out on the counter once I make it? And how long do I leave it out once refrigerated?

    1. You are welcome! You do not have to refrigerate the cake once it’s frosted. It can sit out on the counter for 2-3 days. If you refrigerate the frosting prior to frosting the cake, you want to let it get to room temperature before using on a cake. I hope this helps and is the information you were looking for.

  7. This was amazingly creamy and worked perfectly with her chocolate cupcakes! I can hardly find vegan frosting/cupcake recipes and this one was just perfect! One question though could this frosting be piped from a plastic bag with a small hole cut into it? I personally used a icing bag and piping tips but I know some people can’t access that. Amazing recipes 10/10 love this!

    1. I’m so happy you loved the frosting, Julia! It does work well for piping but if you find that it’s a little too thick for a small plastic bag, you can thin out the consistency by stirring in a splash of milk.

  8. The best frosting I’ve ever made. No kidding. I did use a bit less sugar, but it turned out beautifully. It also pipes very well.

  9. Hi Nora, I have made this frosting many times and while Mine turns out darker than yours, it’s still a great flavor! Today I used oat milk and while
    Frosting taste great, the appearance is strange. It looks like it has fine streaks of milk.
    What can I do to fix it?

    1. Hi! It sounds like everything did not get mixed well enough. And maybe your vegan butter was a little too cold and hard perhaps? Those could be cold butter streaks. Either way, you need to scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl well, and mix until there are no streaks at all. Hope that helps!

  10. I love this recipe. I used I Can’t Believe Its not Butter! In the 4 quarter package. I also used 2 tablespoons of Country Crock plant based heavy whipping cream instead of water. Wow, the frosting tasted great, spread well, and was light and fluffy. This recipe will be my go to!! Thank you!!

  11. Absolutely delicious. Sometimes I make the frosting first, then have to decide what to add to it ? I always add a shot or two of decaf espresso to enhance the chocolate taste.

  12. I also had a dark, dense, fudge-like result like another commenter. Followed the recipe to a T using country crock brand avocado butter, maybe that was the reason? Still tasty, just not quite that light buttercream experience. 5☆ anyway because I love your blog and always check it first for specific recipes. ?

  13. Loved this frosting! It is so nice and thick and you can make it not as sweet! It is so refreshing to have a frosting that is firm! Thanks!

  14. Mine didn’t come out either and I have thought really hard about why since I followed the instructions and recipe to the tee. I believe it is because the milk was very cold from the fridge and not at room temperature like the rest of the ingredients. Maybe something to add as a note in the recipe. I will try again next time with room temperature milk. 

  15. I made this frosting and the texture was super dense and similar to fudge…yummy but not useable for frosting. Want to try it again and I’m not really sure what went wrong. Help! I added more milk and it made it worse:

    1. Hmmm it’s hard to say what happened, but it sounds like something went wrong. Did you follow the instructions completely? Was your vegan butter softened but NOT melted? Were all your measurements correct?

  16. Literally the best frosting. If you’re not vegan you should use this anyway because it is superb. Thank you!

  17. I used Miyoko’s and the frosting turned out amazing!! Thanks so much for sharing this recipe; I’ll definitely be using it again!

  18. If using margerine from a tub would it end up being too soft and not firm? Can you use corn starch to firm it up?

    1. It will probably work okay, but it may be pretty soft. Use less milk and add more as needed. Cornstarch will give the frosting a grainy texture, so I wouldn’t do that. Add more powdered sugar instead, if needed.

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