Easy No-Refined Sugar Vegan Chocolate Frosting

Melted couverture in small bowl and on kitchen spoon
Michael Paul / Getty Images
Prep: 5 mins
Cook: 0 mins
Total: 5 mins
Servings: 12 servings
Yield: 3 cups
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
200 Calories
12g Fat
22g Carbs
1g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 12
Amount per serving
Calories 200
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 12g 16%
Saturated Fat 2g 11%
Cholesterol 0mg 0%
Sodium 4mg 0%
Total Carbohydrate 22g 8%
Dietary Fiber 1g 5%
Total Sugars 16g
Protein 1g
Vitamin C 0mg 0%
Calcium 28mg 2%
Iron 2mg 14%
Potassium 60mg 1%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

Vegan baking and cooking have been exploding in recent years, with many more plant-based eating enthusiasts that are looking for alternatives to favorite foods that are usually made with dairy or animal-derived products. Our 5-minute, no-cook, refined-sugar-free chocolate vegan frosting checks all the boxes for easy, delicious, and one hundred percent plant-based. Use it on vegan cakes, cupcakes, or cookies, or spread it on waffles or pancakes. Make vegan crepes and smear them with this frosting, adding some fruit to taste to make a decadent dessert. Mix it with vegan ice cream, layer it with coconut yogurt and nuts, or eat it by the spoonful! This frosting is as versatile as it is easy to make.

Many newly plant-based and vegan cooks don't realize that refined sugar sometimes contains animal-derived bone char from cattle bone, which is used to process sugar and help it achieve that coveted white color. Not all sugar manufacturers do this, but it's a common practice so if you want to adhere to truly plant-based eating, for health or ethical reasons, simply do your research, double-check the package, and stick to turbinado sugar when possible as this type of sugar isn't filtered with bone char. Or for an easy-to-find, natural sweetener, use the wonderfully delicious maple syrup as we did in our recipe. We suggest richly flavorful organic maple syrup for the frosting. Since many grades and colors are available, it's up to your personal preferences if you want a light and delicate flavor or robust and dark maple syrup.

For the cocoa powder, choose the unsweetened kind to avoid other refined sugars. Cocoa powder is the leftover pasty matter that gets left behind when the cocoa butter is extracted. Dried and powdered cocoa is what we buy to add deeper chocolate flavor to batter, cookies, desserts, and beverages. The two types of cocoa powder you can buy are Dutch-processed and natural. The first is darker in color with a milder flavor, the latter is bold in flavor and more acidic. It's up to you to decide how strong you want the chocolate flavor to be. We suggest you start with Dutch cocoa first and then try a second batch of frosting with natural. But no matter which cocoa or maple syrup you use, don't miss out on this easy frosting, as it's a game-changer and can make any vegan treat even more decadent!


  • 1 cup cocoa powder

  • 3/4 cup margarine, softened

  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

  • 1 cup maple syrup

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

  2. Process all ingredients in a food processor or blender until smooth and creamy.

  3. Enjoy!