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 (32 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. Hi Nora, at the moment I only have Hershey’s special dark cocoa powder on hand. Would using this type of cocoa powder affect the taste of the frosting at all, instead of using the unsweetened? Thank you!

    1. Dark cocoa works well in the frosting, just be aware the frosting will be darker in color and not look like the photo. It will taste great though!

      1. Thank you! I made the frosting with the dark cocoa yesterday to put on top of your funfetti cake and it all tasted great!!!

  2. Thank you for this awesome recipe! My family all agreed that this was the best chocolate frosting I have ever made. It was simple to make and looked beautiful piped on cupcakes. I love the deep chocolate flavor. So yummy!

  3. Good Day!! I love this frosting! I used Country Crock vegan baking sticks made with Olive Oil. Delish, cannot taste any olive oil as this product has the taste closest to real butter. Give it a try!

  4. Best frosting I’ve had in ages. I used the Stater Brothers store brand plant based butter, and did have to add extra powdered sugar because it was so soft and fluffy…my daughter and I keep licking the beaters, the bowl… for ages I haven’t made a frosting because it seems like too much trouble but it is definitely worth it, and much less time consuming than I remembered.

    1. Thank you, Edith! I’m glad you gave the frosting a try, and that you love it! Thank you for sharing!

  5. Hi Nora! I am planning to make this frosting recipe for my cake and I was wondering by any chance if you know the stick amount in the earth balance stick box. Is each stick 1/2 cup? 

  6. So easy to make and so delicious. Thank you.

    I used the Forager brand of plant based “butters.” I love the other
    brands, too. However, I just happened to have Forager on hand so I used
    that one.

    Easy to spread.
    Great recipe!

  7. This is the creamiest, dreamiest frosting I have ever made. The secret is definitely in the room temp butter so don’t skip this step! I made it a few months ago and tried to soften in the microwave and while it was delicious, it was hard to spread onto my cake. I planned better today and let it soften on the counter and the frosting spread like a dream. Thank you so much for this recipe!

  8. Hey Nora, how do you think this would work if I did your strawberry cake frosting recipe (using vegan shortening as well as butter) and if I added some melted vegan chocolate chips?

    I’m trying to make a dark chocolate frosting, and I want it to look extremely dark, almost like a drizzle. But I can’t seem to find any vegan chocolate buttercream frosting recipes with that appearance!

    Five stars for your strawberry cake recipe that I made last weekend and absolutely loved, and for your lemon bars, which I absolutely love. And for your egg salad, which is incredible. You’re my go-to.

    1. That would probably work, but I’d have to test it to know exact amounts, etc. If you want a chocolate ganache type frosting, you may want to try this recipe: Vegan Chocolate Ganache. Also, use dark cocoa powder to make it really dark in color. I’m so glad you are enjoying the recipes, thank you so much!

  9. This frosting is AMAZING!! I used the Mykonos block, softened super fast. I definitely recommend doing a crumb coat so you can put it in the freezer to set for about 10 minutes because as I was doing that coat, I could see the frosting getting softer. The freezer also helped make the second layer go on super smooth and easy. Also, do yourself a favor and add a little mint extract! I will probably eat the rest with a spoon. (I frosted 2 8in rounds).

  10. I halved the recipe, using one Earth Balance stick and So Delicious Coconut coffee creamer in place of the soy milk.  I was able to frost a dozen cupcakes and still had almost 3/4 cup left over. It is so fluffy, creamy and delicious! This will be my new go-to chocolate frosting. 

  11. Hi.can I omit the cocoa powder and just have it as a vanilla buttercream?
    Actually my plan is to have some cupcakes with the chocolate, some vanilla and then I wish the combine the two and make some as a twisted buttercream when I pipe it. Is that doable?

  12. Absolutely delicious!!!! Best frosting I’ve tasted! I did only used 1.5 cups of powdered sugar and it came out great!

    1. It’s great that taking out much of the sugar worked for you, but be careful in the future as your frosting won’t hold up it’s shape well and turn into a glob.

  13. This frosting is so delicious! I made it for my son’s birthday party (who has a dairy allergy) and everyone raved about it. They (and I) couldn’t believe it was vegan!

  14. Super yummy frosting! I added a 4th Tbsp of almond milk (used almond instead of soy) and it was definitely not needed. Used my extra fancy vanilla too because it’s sooo yummy. I did find the frosting greatly benefitted flavor wise from a half tsp of salt. Will use this again!

    1. Yes, it’s best to freeze the cupcakes I frosted, then frost when you are ready to serve them. But you could freeze them frosted as well. I go into detail in the frosting post on this, but it can be kept in the fridge for 5 days or so.

  15. First off, looooong overdue … I LOVE you Nora!

    After several years using Earth Balance, I’ve pretty much switched over to Miyoko’s because it seems better to me for every use I’ve tried. Also, I have used Miyoko’s for your “The Best Vegan Chocolate Cake Ever” recipe that includes your Chocolate Buttercream Frosting (nearly identical to this version), and it seems perfect to me.

    P.S. Trader Joes has Miyoko’s for only $5, Sprouts has it for $7 (40% higher cost for some reason?) You’ve got both stores in your area, would love to finally hear your take on Miyoko’s Butter.

    1. Thank you so much!! I’m happy to hear Miyoko’s has worked well for the chocolate cake and frosting, I will definitely be trying it out next time I make the cake. I’ll have to search out the best deals around. Thanks!!

    2. Is this frosting like dairy based frosting in that it can be placed on a cake and kept out at room temperature for a couple of days, or does the frosted caked need to be refrigerated?

    1. Hmmm I don’t know I haven’t tried it, I think it would be a totally different frosting and I’m not sure you would be able to pipe it, but it might be fun to try it out!

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