The Easiest Dairy Free Chocolate Frosting

Vanilla cupcakes topped with dairy free chocolate frosting next to a bowl of frosting

If you’re searching for a dairy free chocolate frosting to slather onto a cake or a batch of brownies, you’ll love this recipe.  It’s by far one of the easiest recipes on this site – you only need a couple simple ingredients and five minutes to make this frosting!

How to make dairy free chocolate frosting

Here are the only ingredients you need for this recipe:

  • Vegan butter (like Earth balance or Country Crock plant butter)
  • Pure maple syrup
  • Cocoa powder
  • Vanilla oat milk or almond milk

Cocoa powder, maple syrup, and vegan butter in bowls

Toss all your ingredients into a mixing bowl, and use the whisk attachment on a stand mixer to beat it until light and fluffy.  That’s it!

If you don’t have a stand mixer, you can definitely use a hand mixer instead.  It will work just fine.

Or you can break out a regular whisk, use a little elbow grease, and whip it up by hand.

A bowl full of dairy free chocolate frosting

A healthier chocolate frosting

Aside from this being a simple recipe, as an RD I appreciate that this recipe is a little step up nutritionally.  You only need 1/3 cup of pure maple syrup to sweeten the whole batch (though you can add more if you find it needs extra, depending on your taste preferences). This is much less than the cups of powdered sugar that are often used for frosting.

Plus, the cocoa powder packs in different flavanols that are good for your health.

Because the whole thing uses minimal sweetener, you end up with a rich and indulgent frosting that clocks in at just about 70 calories per serving with only 5 grams of sugar.  But it still tastes amazing, I promise!

Dairy free chocolate frosting on a spoon over a bowl

Substitution ideas

If you’re out of maple syrup, you can use powdered sugar in here instead too.  You’ll just need to add more oat milk.  Start with a cup of powdered sugar and add in more as needed until it reaches the sweetness level you’d like.

You can also use any dairy-free milk that you have on hand, rather than the vanilla oat milk or almond milk.  If it’s a plain unsweetened unflavored milk, just add about ½ teaspoon vanilla extract to the recipe.

I would not recommend trying to substitute the vegan butter with an oil (like coconut oil).  It gives the frosting an off taste (in my opinion) and doesn’t add that classic rich, buttery flavor.

Allergens in this recipe

Disclaimer:  I try to note potential allergens in all recipes – but as you know, manufacturers can change ingredient formulations or I may miss something.  Always double check ingredients and labels prior to consuming if you have an allergy.

This recipe is naturally dairy free and egg free.

It can easily be made top-8-free by using a vegan butter that’s free of allergens (like the Earth Balance red soy-free container) and using oat milk as the liquid.  If you’re gluten-free, double check to ensure the oat milk you use is certified gluten free.

Cupcakes topped with vegan chocolate frosting

I hope you enjoy making this vegan chocolate frosting!  Try it on a batch of dairy-free vanilla cupcakes (coming soon to the site!) or even over these dairy free brownies if you want to get them extra chocolatey.  If you get a chance to try it, be sure to leave a recipe rating or comment below.

Cupcakes topped with dairy free chocolate frosting
5 from 1 vote

Dairy Free Chocolate Frosting

This dairy free chocolate frosting is rich and indulgent - and you only need 4 simple ingredients to make it!

Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Keyword dairy free chocolate frosting, vegan chocolate frosting
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 0 minutes
Total Time 5 minutes
Servings 12 servings
Calories 71 kcal
Author Dairy Free for Baby


  • 1/4 cup vegan butter softened
  • 1/3 cup pure maple syrup
  • 3/4 cup cocoa powder
  • 1 to 4 tablespoons vanilla oat milk or almond milk


  1. Combine all the ingredients in a large mixing bowl, starting with 1 tablespoon of dairy-free milk. Use a stand mixer or hand mixer to beat until light and fluffy. If the frosting is too thick, beat in the extra dairy-free milk one tablespoon at a time.

Recipe Video

Recipe Notes

This recipe makes enough frosting for 12 thinly-frosted cupcakes.

Nutrition facts (approximate per serving):

71 calories, 4.5 g fat, 41 mg sodium, 9.5 g carbohydrate, 2 g fiber, 5 g sugar, 1 g protein, Vitamin A: 0%, Vitamin C: 0%, Calcium: 2%, Iron: 4%

Share:  Are you team chocolate or team vanilla when it comes to frosting?  If you tried this dairy free chocolate frosting, what did you think?

5 thoughts on “The Easiest Dairy Free Chocolate Frosting”

  1. Uhhh, my kids would love this! I’m also struggling for a healthier me, I’ve even start running with SportMe marathon training app and I can say I’m on the right track now. Nutrition is an important part of my losing weight plan, and your blog posts are a true inspiration!

  2. This website was a great find! My husband is doing dairy and soy free in solidarity with me until I’m done pumping. It has been challenging navigating the holidays. Your dairy free sugar cookies saved us! Please hurry with the vanilla cupcake recipe. My birthday is January 18 and I can’t imagine no cake! Thanks!

    1. Aw, I’m so glad to hear you liked the cookies – I will get the cupcakes up before your birthday!! <3 Aiming for this weekend. 🙂

  3. 5 stars
    Loved this recipe! The consistency was smooth and it spreads easily. The chocolate is pretty dark but I like dark chocolate so I was good with that. Thank you for bringing a little light to my dairy free, grain free, sugar free, soy free diet!!

    1. I’m so glad you enjoyed it! I’m a fellow dark chocolate fan so I like the rich, slightly bitter notes that you get with this recipe. 🙂

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