4-Ingredient Coconut Macadamia Frosting

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Plate of cookies decorated with our homemade Gluten-Free Vegan Frosting recipe

A dozen or so days out of the year I find it completely acceptable to slather buttercream frosting on anything and everything in sight and go to party town. Birthdays, weddings, anniversaries, promotions, finding a really good sale at Target. Go ahead, girl. Celebrate. But then for the other five 353 days out of the year we need something a little lighter, right? A little, less-than-1,000-fat-grams-per-serving. I’m not saying frosting is bad. In fact, if you say that, I say shun you, non believer. I’m just saying, we could use a healthier one in our arsenal once in a while for when the healthy mood strikes us. And for those times, I have just the solution.

Macadamia nuts resting on a kitchen towel
Food processor filled with homemade Whipped Coconut Macadamia Frosting

Guess what?! Shredded coconut and macadamia nuts whirled together make frosting! A creamy, coconut-y, vanilla frosting that goes perfect on sugar cookies, pancakes, waffles, angel food cake and anything else for that matter. And there’s no butter and very little sugar involved.

Bowl of green Coconut Macadamia Butter Frosting
Plain sugar cookies and bowls of healthy homemade frosting for decorating

The buttery, creamy goodness of macadamia nuts + the rich flavor of coconut is kind of perfect in this frosting.

If you are a coconut fan you will LOVE this recipe. I colored mine for frosting sugar cookies with, but you could just as easily leave it plain and dress it up with colored sprinkles or sugar.

Sugar cookies decorated with healthy vegan homemade frosting

The important part: What’s it taste like?

Not too sweet
Infused with vanilla
Smooth with just a little texture from the coconut flake
& Perfect for piping!

Plus, with only 4 ingredients and a virtually endless shelf life, it’s the perfect “frosting” to have on hand for both special and everyday use. Enjoy!

Adding sprinkles on top of our Gluten-Free Sugar Cookies with Vegan Frosting
Sugar cookies decorated with blue, yellow, and white homemade frosting
Gluten-Free Sugar Cookies topped with homemade frosting and sprinkles

4-Ingredient Coconut Macadamia Frosting

Simple, 4-Ingredient healthier frosting made with a base of coconut flake and roasted macadamia nuts. Both spreadable and great for piping onto cookies, muffins, pancakes, cakes, and more.
Author Minimalist Baker
Plate of sugar cookies with Coconut Macadamia Frosting
4 from 1 vote
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 25 minutes
Servings 50
Course Dessert
Cuisine Gluten-Free, Vegan
Freezer Friendly No
Does it keep? 1 Month


  • 1 3/4 cups macadamia nuts
  • 2 1/4 cups shredded unsweetened coconut
  • 1/4 tsp vanilla extract
  • 4-6 Tbsp powdered sugar


  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (176 C) and place macadamia nuts on a baking sheet.
  • Bake for 8-10 minutes or until the macadamias have a bit of golden color and become fragrant. Remove from oven and let cool for a few minutes.
  • Add nuts to a food processor and blend into a meal. Remove and set aside.
  • Add coconut flake to the processor and blend until creamy and smooth. This will take anywhere from 5-10 minutes depending on the strength/blade of your food processor. Scrape down sides as needed.
  • As soon as you have your coconut butter, add macadamia nut meal and vanilla and blend again until smooth.
  • Add powdered sugar 1 Tbsp at a time until you reach desired sweetness. I found that 5-6 was perfect for me, plus helped it thicken up a bit (amount as original recipe is written).
  • At this point it’s perfect for adding to a squeeze bottle or piping bag and piping onto your baked good. Otherwise, you can refrigerate it to make it thicker. Will keep stored in the refrigerator for up to a month. Recipe (as originally written) makes enough to frost at least 3-4 dozen cookies + leftovers.


*Nutrition information reflects 1 of about 50 servings. This is just an estimation.
*If you can’t find or don’t like macadamia nuts, sub a similar nut such as cashews.
*Make chocolate frosting by adding ~ 1/2 cup melted bittersweet chocolate.

Nutrition (1 of 50 servings)

Serving: 0 g Calories: 49 Carbohydrates: 1.8 g Protein: 0.5 g Fat: 4.8 g Saturated Fat: 1.6 g Trans Fat: 0 g Cholesterol: 0 mg Sodium: 1 mg Fiber: 0.7 g Sugar: 1 g

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My Rating:

  1. Toni says

    Hi Dana, this is the most creative icing recipe I’ve found and I can’t wait to try it. Any chance I could sub cashews as I do t have macadamia nuts? Thanks so much!

  2. Aravinda says

    Does this icing solidify and retain shape on the cookie. Like if place the cookie vertically as a cake topper, will the icing just flow away?

  3. Nettie says

    This recipe comes out wonderfully! It kept for many months in the fridge and was fresh and usable for many different toppings . . . great on pancakes!

  4. Diana says

    Just finished making it . While it tastes great it is very runny. I dont want to add more sugar. How do I make it thicker?

  5. ChronicMasterBaker says

    According to the pictures, it looks runny :.( If it is going to be runny, it may as well be served on the side as a dip, not a topping that will smudge up against and stain stuff it touches. Does it “set” AT ALL?

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  7. Daniela says

    Hi Dana, I will try this! Do know if we can substitute sugar for anything else? Im doing a sugarless birthday cake for my suns first birthday, an this frosting sounds sp easy and yummy!:)

  8. Sophia says

    I’ve been repinning tons of your posts, thanks!!! Do you used reg food coloring to color your frosting? Do you know of a good/easy ‘alternative’ food coloring?

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerDana @ Minimalist Baker says

      Thanks Sophia! As for natural food coloring, simply search “natural food dyes” for a plethora of results. You’ll also find some DIY tutorials in there. In a pinch, I’ll use berry juice for shades of blue/purple and red. Hope that helps!

  9. Kate says

    This frosting is so genius! Reminds me of some toasted macadamia and coconut butter I made a while back. I wouldn’t thought to spread it on cookies!

  10. Christine @ Gotta Eat Green says

    So simple, and looks sooo delicious. I was going to make some vegan sugar cookies tonight and this would be heavenly layered on top!

    • Katherine says

      I just wanted to comment that this should firm up if refrigerated. The coconut oil will harden and stay hard as long as below room temp.

  11. Abbie @ Needs Salt says

    Oh man I have a weakness for frosting. This one looks amazing, though, and so simple! (and pretty healthy, too.) Gorgeous!