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:

Perfectly sweet
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
Bowl of oil-free chocolate frosting next to cocoa powder, cashew butter, dates, and dairy-free milk
5 from 20 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


  • 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


  • 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.



*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. Aisha says

    This was so decadent, chocolatey and delicious! Once it was on the chocolate cake, you couldn’t even taste the dates at all! Love the wholesome ingredients and pipable texture, highly recommend!

  2. jackelyn carwford says

    I’ve made this cake im using fondant over the top but want to ice before and in between layers is the frosting going to be ok or should i just do a buttercream frosting?


  3. masha says

    thank you for your detailed recipe!
    i have a question about dates. i have no dates, but have fresh, rather soft date paste (100% dates), do you think it could work? i’d tear it in pieces and soak the same way.
    thank you!

  4. Samantha says

    This is my go-to chocolate frosting recipe. I also like to freeze it in pint sized jars and eat it like ice cream topped with cacao nibs and walnuts. It is spectacular- you will not miss traditional ice cream in the slightest! One batch makes two pints of ice cream for me.

  5. Randi Steckler says

    I made this to go with Easy Chocolate cake. Both were outrageously good! The frosting is fudge and yummy. I served it on Thanksgiving to some fussy eaters and no one could detect the dates.

    I used 3 six inch cake pans. I didn’t have quite enough dates so the result was a bit short of being able to frost all 3 layers (which I’m sure was my fault for not checking the dates before food shopping)
    But no harm done…I now have 1 six inch layer of cake with some frosting in the freezer for another time.

  6. Jane says

    Hi, would it be okay to make the 1 bowl vegan gluten free chocolate cake then ice it with the vegan chocolate cashew frosting then freeze the whole thing for a week? I wondered whether it would taste the same?

    Thanks and can’t wait to try out this recipe!

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Hi Jane, we haven’t tried that but we think it should work pretty well if you can thaw it in the refrigerator. Let us know how it goes!

  7. Monica says

    This was heavenly!! my skin is not fond of peanutbutter & we do our own tahini, so i used that instead of cashew butter, it tased like a hint of mild peanutbutter but didn’t take over.
    I made some for a cake, but had a small cup & we spread it on some flat bread to taste, it reminded us of nutella.
    **delicious sweet spread for morning toast.
    loved it. & Thanks!!

  8. Chloe says

    I love your recipes they are always so geat! I am going to make this with the GF vegan chocolate cake. I was wondering if there would be a nutty taste if I used peanut or and butter in place of cashew butter

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Hi Chloe! Cashew butter has a very very mild taste, we think peanut butter would definitely add some peanut taste – could be yummy though!

  9. Christine says

    I used this as frosting for chocolate cupcakes. Also substituted almond butter as that was what I had on hand. It is delicious and makes quite a lot. Definitely will use again.

  10. Anna says

    Amazing! This frosting is a game-changer; it makes all other frostings taste too sugary and/or fake. Thank you for another great recipe.

  11. Jennifer wende says

    This frosting is so easy to make and tastes so good! I very rarely eat cake or frosting because it’s too sweet for me (and usually not ingredients I like to have either). I could have eaten the whole thing! Thank you. I highly recommend this recipe! I used it with the one bowl vegan chocolate cake recipe (also amazing) for my daughter’s 6th birthday and it was a huge success.

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Aw, yay! We love to hear this. Thanks for the lovely review, Jennifer, we’re so glad everyone enjoyed! xo

  12. Aline says

    Hello! is this recipe enough for the one bowl chocolate cake? I am baking two 20X20 cm square containers to make a square two layer cake.

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Hi Aline! We haven’t tried it but we would suggest doubling the frosting recipe for that size of cake, just to be safe! Let us know how it goes! xo

  13. Robyn says

    Hi! I’m making this frosting tomorrow for cupcakes that won’t be consumed right away (probably a day or two later) and I’m wondering if they should be refrigerated or left in an air-tight container at room temp with this frosting?

    Thanks!! Excited to try!

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Hi Robyn, we’d suggest storing the frosting in the refrigerator. Cupcakes are typically best left out of the fridge though. Could you frost them just before serving?

  14. Claire says

    Dr. Warren here.
    Made this with the one bowl vegan choc cake
    I think the icing is a 5/5.
    It does not taste like milk chocolate icing which is fine.
    Spreads beautifully and very rich and chocolatey .
    Really healthy alternative to sugary, coconut oil vegan frostings which I call “junk food” vegan. So happy to see you are offering SOS free (salt, oil, sugar)recipes. And the recipe was so easy to follow. Even I could make it.

  15. Gregory says

    The BEST vegan friendly, refined sugar free icing in the WORLD! I have continual questions about the icing we use every party we host and cake we bake 🥰
    Thank you! 🥳

  16. Greg Pismiris says

    The BEST vegan friendly refined sugar free icing in the WORLD, without fail I have continual questions about the icing we use every single party we host and bake cakes 🥰
    Thank you!

  17. 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!

  18. 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!!

  19. 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!

  20. 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!!!!

  21. 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.

  22. 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.

  23. 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!

  24. 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!

  25. 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

  26. Tess says

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

  27. 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!

  28. Marcia G Maiten says

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