Vegan Chocolate Frosting (Oil-Free)

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Bowl of date-sweetened vegan chocolate frosting next to ingredients used to make it

When dreaming up the possibility of a butter- and oil-free, naturally-sweetened vegan chocolate frosting, my mind went straight to dates and cashew butter — a true match made in heaven.

After some experimentation, the result was an incredibly rich, decadent, creamy chocolate frosting that’s secretly made with wholesome ingredients.

Just 1 blender, 6 ingredients, and 25 minutes required. Let us show you how it’s done!

Dates, cacao powder, cashew butter, vanilla, and sea salt in a blender

The base for this frosting is dates + cashew butter. Dates add sweetness and a thick, pillowy texture, while cashew butter adds creaminess and subtle nutty flavor. You’ll want to use a quality cashew butter to avoid ending up with lumpy frosting. See our cashew butter review for brand recommendations.

Cocoa (or cacao) powder is added for chocolaty flavor. For more chocolaty flavor with slightly bitter notes, we recommend using cacao powder. Or for less chocolaty flavor but sweeter notes, use cocoa powder. Take your pick (or use a combo of the two)!

Then sea salt and vanilla are added for additional flavor, and dairy-free milk thins the mixture slightly to help it blend.

You can blend it in either a high-speed blender or a food processor. Use the tamper tool for the blender or scrape down the sides of the food processor as needed to encourage blending. You’re looking for a thick and spreadable texture.

Ta-da! It’s really that easy to make homemade vegan chocolate frosting!

Holding a spoon and bowl of Vegan Chocolate Frosting

We hope you love this frosting! It’s:

Rich
Chocolatey
Perfectly sweet
Creamy
Quick & easy
& Decadent!

It’s perfect for topping cakes, brownies, quick breads, and more! Or eat it by the spoonful (it’s that good) — no judgment here.

More Vegan Frosting Recipes

If you try this recipe, let us know! Leave a comment, rate it, and don’t forget to tag a photo #minimalistbaker on Instagram. Cheers, friends!

Spreading vegan chocolate frosting onto a chocolate cake

Vegan Chocolate Frosting (Oil-Free)

Incredibly rich vegan chocolate frosting made in a blender with 6 whole food ingredients! Sweetened with dates, made creamy with cashew butter, and plenty of rich chocolate flavor from cacao powder. Perfect for cakes, brownies, quick breads, and more!
Author Minimalist Baker
Print
Bowl of oil-free chocolate frosting next to cocoa powder, cashew butter, dates, and dairy-free milk
5 from 9 votes
Prep Time 25 minutes
Total Time 25 minutes
Servings 16 (2-Tbsp servings)
Course Dessert
Cuisine Gluten-Free, Oil-Free, Vegan
Freezer Friendly 1 month
Does it keep? 1 Week

Ingredients

  • 2 cups packed pitted dates (measured after pitting)
  • 1/2 cup creamy cashew butter (or sub another nut or seed butter, such as peanut butter)
  • 1/2 cup cocoa or cacao powder
  • 1 pinch sea salt
  • 1 dash vanilla extract
  • 1/4 – 1/2 cup almond or light coconut milk

Instructions

  • Soak dates in warm water for 15 minutes, then drain.
  • Add pitted dates to a high-speed blender or food processor with the “S” blade attached. Then add cashew butter, cacao or cocoa powder, salt, vanilla, and dairy-free milk, starting with the lesser amount.
  • Blend until a creamy frosting texture is achieved, scraping down sides as needed and using the tamper if blending. Add more dairy-free milk as needed to encourage blending. NOTE: Be careful not to add too much as it can make the frosting too runny.
  • The texture should be thick and spreadable like frosting! If chunky or too sticky, add dairy-free milk as needed. If too thin, add more soaked dates, cashew butter, or cocoa or cacao powder to thicken.
  • Use immediately. Or, if you prefer a firmer frosting, cover and refrigerate at least 1 hour or overnight. You can freeze if you’re in a hurry. Perfect for frosting cakes, brownies, cupcakes, and more!
  • Store leftovers covered in the refrigerator up to 1 week, or in the freezer up to 1 month.

Video

Notes

*Nutrition information is a rough estimate calculated with unsweetened, fortified almond milk.
*Recipe as written makes ~2 cups frosting.
*Adapted from our Date-Sweetened Chocolate Frosting.

Nutrition (1 of 16 servings)

Serving: 2 Tablespoons Calories: 123 Carbohydrates: 22.5 g Protein: 2.4 g Fat: 4.4 g Saturated Fat: 1 g Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.69 g Monounsaturated Fat: 2.48 g Trans Fat: 0 g Cholesterol: 0 mg Sodium: 9 mg Potassium: 261 mg Fiber: 2.8 g Sugar: 17.2 g Vitamin A: 45 IU Vitamin C: 0 mg Calcium: 30.29 mg Iron: 1.01 mg

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My Rating:




  1. Jared says

    This oil-free frosting turned out amazing! I made it to frost the 1-bowl Vegan Gluten-Free Chocolate Cake and the combination was so delicious and decadent. Highly recommended!

  2. Ben Lambert says

    I made this to frost the 1-Bowl Vegan Gluten-Free Chocolate Cake for my son’s 1st Birthday. I made a four layer cake in the end using 4×7 inch cake tins and this was pretty much perfect amount to frost the entire outside. After soaking the dates in this recipe I saved the water to make delicious almond milk. And finally I used your sweet cashew cream frosting recipe for the layers – although didn’t bother with quite as much freezing since I was in a hurry and it didn’t seem necessary. The cake was demolished by kids and adults alike and the almond milk was enjoyed with decadent Booja Booja chocolates the night after. Here endeth essay. Short story – Thanks for the recipes!!

  3. Christine Benjamin says

    OMG! This is so chocolatey and creamy. I was eating it by itself. I’m going to make the chocolate cake that you posted.

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerDana @ Minimalist Baker says

      Please do! Let us know how it goes! Next time would you mind adding a rating to your review? It’s super helpful to us and other readers! xo

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      We don’t have a specific brand recommendation, but we like getting them in the produce section of health food stores for freshness. Hope that helps!

  4. Lauren says

    I made this a few weeks ago, amazing!! It’s so good and easy. I’m going to make your gf chocolate cake and this icing next week for my birthday. I’m sure it’s going to be delicious!!!!! Thanks for such a great recipe!!!!

  5. Valerie says

    Delicious. I don’t usually leave comments but this is surprisingly and unbelievably good. I can’t even taste the dates. I left out the nut butter and blended in high speed. Thank you for making a chocolate recipe that is amazing.

  6. Carla Sokol says

    Last summer, I had a chocolate cake challenge w 6 of my friends. All cakes AND frosting had to be whole food, plant based, no oil, no nuts, no seeds. While I had no trouble with the cake part, I tried multiple different ways to make frosting. The closest I got to it being thick, creamy and tasty was using cacao powder, dates, vanilla powder and roasted Hannah Yams. Have you ever tried making a frosting without nuts, oil or seeds? Would you consider it for the future, if you haven’t already? I think you do a wonderful job and often turn to your site for recipes!

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerDana @ Minimalist Baker says

      You could basically just blend dates, cocoa powder, and add water or rice milk until creamy! But it won’t be *as* creamy without a little nut or seed butter, FYI.

  7. Jaime says

    I had just been wishing for a healthier frosting recipe the week that you put this out, so I was super enthused to give it a try! YUM!!! I cannot thank you enough for such a delicious, oil-free, sugar-free recipe! I used almond butter instead of cashew, soy milk instead of almond, and changed the quantity to meet my needs with perfect results. Thank you SO much for this healthy alternative!! This is now my go-to frosting recipe!

  8. Caitlin Chumbley says

    I made this for the 1 bowl vegan chocolate cake for my non-vegan boyfriend. I halved the recipe because my cake was 1 layer, used tahini for the nut butter, and used strong brewed vanilla almond black tea the for liquid. It was gone in 24 hours!

  9. Kat says

    This was sooooo delicious! I paired it with your vegan chocolate cupcake and wow! My hubby and friends loved them too! Can’t wait for the chocolate cake that you’re going to reveal soon:)

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerDana @ Minimalist Baker says

      xoxo! Thanks for sharing, Kat! Next time would you mind adding a rating to your review? It’s super helpful to us and other readers! xo

  10. Tess says

    looks AMAZING. Would you recommend using your own home made cashew butter? Or is store bought significantly better for this?

  11. Debbi says

    I just saw this and haven’t made it yet – need to buy cashew butter! But I have a question. Did you test this recipe with raw vs. roasted cashew butter? My instinct would be using the roasted with that extra roasted flavor but maybe it doesn’t matter….

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerDana @ Minimalist Baker says

      Hmm, I think 1 cup cashews usually condenses down quite a bit to like 1/2 cup nut butter? Let us know if you try!

  12. Marcia G Maiten says

    Thank you for a most useful recipe item for us Whole Foods, Plant Based group. Much appreciated!