by Olena

Healthy Chocolate Frosting

Olena's image
Olena Osipov
5 from 1 vote

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Three ingredient coconut milk Healthy Chocolate Frosting (without powdered sugar) is a rich, decadent, and creamy chocolate ganache frosting that’s naturally dairy free, nut free, and contains no added sugars!

This healthy icing is also perfect for spreading or piping over healthy vanilla cupcakes, almond flour chocolate cake, or healthy chocolate bread!

Healthy chocolate frosting in sauce pan with mixer beaters.

I haven’t made a traditional frosting recipe in years, even though my family enjoys baked goods regularly.

I simply rely on healthier ingredient recipes like healthy cream cheese frosting or Greek yogurt frosting, and now this decadent coconut milk chocolate frosting without powdered sugar!

Homemade chocolate icing relies on just two ingredients, coconut milk and real chocolate. Result is a dairy free frosting somewhere between healthy buttercream frosting and chocolate ganache frosting.

It may take longer to thicken, but once ready, you’ll want to spread or pipe this healthy frosting over everything!

How Is This Chocolate Frosting Recipe Healthy?

  • All natural, plant based ingredients: NO corn syrup, NO shortening or butter.
  • Lower cholesterol: Compared to regular chocolate ganache frosting or buttercream.
  • No added sugar: This is a chocolate frosting without powdered sugar, simply relying on the sweetness of the chocolate. You can even use sugar free chocolate if preferred.
  • Diet friendly: The type of chocolate you use easily adjusts this recipe to your dietary needs. i.e., keto, low carb, paleo, suga -free, etc. It’s also naturally dairy free and nut free!

Plus, as a bonus, it also:

  • Uses the whole can: This not only makes for a super light and fluffy, almost mousse like coconut milk frosting, but it also means there are less concentrated fats than if you were just using the cream. And no waste!
  • Freezer friendly: Prepare the healthy chocolate frosting up to 3 months in advance and defrost when needed.  
  • Versatile: Use the soft icing for dipping and drizzling, the chilled for truffles, and the whipped for spreading and frosting!

Ingredients for Homemade Chocolate Icing

This simple, healthy, chocolate cake frosting only requires 3 ingredients, plus salt! They are:

  • Coconut milk: You’ll need a can of full fat coconut milk, not coconut cream or coconut butter.
  • Chocolate: Use high quality real (with cocoa butter) chocolate chips, chunks, or bars (finely chopped). For a sugar free healthy chocolate frosting, use keto/sugar free chocolate.
  • Vanilla extract: Use natural and pure vanilla for the best flavor.
  • Salt: A pinch of salt will enhance the cocoa flavor for an overall richer tasting homemade chocolate icing.

Keep reading below (after the recipe how-to) for more information on any add-ins and recipe variations!

Coconut milk, chocolate chips, salt and vanilla extract.

Coconut Milk vs. Coconut Cream in Dairy Free Frosting

While both products contain the same ingredients, it’s the ratio of them that sets them apart.

  • Canned coconut milk: When thoroughly mixed, coconut milk has a similar consistency to cow’s milk (possibly just a little creamier) and is made with a 1:1 ratio of shredded coconut to water. However, it also separates into a solid ‘coconut cream’ layer and leftover water layer once chilled.
  • Coconut cream: Coconut cream is much thicker in consistency and usually made with a 4:1 ratio of coconut to water.

While the thick cream in the coconut milk is technically also called coconut cream, we’re using the entire can of coconut milk for this recipe, so using coconut cream in its place will throw off the entire consistency. Also, while it’s technically possible to turn coconut cream into coconut milk with additional water, I haven’t tried it for this recipe, so I hesitate to recommend doing so.

How to Make Chocolate Frosting without Powdered Sugar?

  • Heat the coconut milk: Transfer the entire can of coconut milk (cream and watery liquid) to a medium saucepan and heat it over medium until just before boiling, mixing often.Then remove it from the heat.

Alternatively, you can use a double boiler method with a heat proof bowl. That way, it may be easier to transfer the bowl rather than the whole saucepan to your fridge, for the chilling portion of the recipe.

  • Add the chocolate: Add the chocolate, vanilla extract, and salt. Whisk until smooth and runny.
  • Chill mixture: Transfer the pot to the fridge, uncovered, to chill until set into a thick ganache (usually 3-4 hours).

It’s ready when you press into the mixture and leave a dent with your finger (Nutella consistency. Refer to the image).

  • Whip the chocolate frosting: Using an electric hand mixer or a stand mixer, beat/whip the chocolate coconut milk frosting until light and fluffy. Be careful not to overwork it, though, or it may start to melt the chocolate again.

How to Frost Desserts with Chocolate Ganache?

If you don’t plan on piping the vegan chocolate frosting, you can use it immediately to spread over your cake, cupcakes, or baked good of choice. However, they should then sit in the fridge for several hours to fully ‘set’ for the very best results (though you can enjoy the baked good immediately).

When piping, allow it to refrigerate for a few hours in your piping bag before attempting the piping.

This rich chocolate dairy free frosting is sturdy enough to sit out at room temperature for 2 hours, but as with most frosting, it will melt if left for too long.

Optional Add In’s and Variations

  • Extracts: Natural extracts are the quickest and easiest way to add extra flavor to the healthy dairy free ganache frosting. Coffee, orange, mint, rose, etc., would all work, added to taste.
  • Instant coffee: A small amount of instant coffee/espresso powder will enhance the depths of the chocolate flavor. Increase the amount for a healthy mocha frosting.
  • Seed/nut butter: Adding a few spoonfuls of nut butter (like almond butter, cashew butter, peanut butter, etc.) will add flavor, protein, more heart-healthy fats and make the coconut milk frosting even richer. However, you may need a small amount of additional chocolate to achieve the same consistency.

Tips for Best Results

  • Use high quality chocolate: This recipe only uses a handful of ingredients, with the chocolate providing the dominant flavor. So use one that you like, especially as there’s no added sugar in this recipe. Also, make sure it’s REAL chocolate (with cocoa butter, not other hydrogenated oils/fats).
  • Adjust the type of chocolate: Change the % of cocoa whether you want semi-sweet vs. bitter. However, note that darker chocolate will make a stiffer frosting, which isn’t as creamy.
  • The chocolate to coconut milk ratio: This is important as too much chocolate will yield a super thick (practically hard) chocolate ganache. Too little and the chocolate ganache will never set up enough. Luckily, it can be reheated and adjusted if needed.
  • The yield: This recipe makes enough to frost 12 cupcakes generously with tall swirls, 24 cupcakes spread on with a knife, or a two-three layer 20 – 23cm/8-9″ chocolate cake.

FAQs

Can I make this dairy free frosting sugar free?

Feel free to use sugar free chocolate; just make sure it’s still real chocolate (using cocoa butter).

Can I use cocoa powder instead of chocolate chips?

No, the cocoa butter in the chocolate is needed to achieve the correct ganache consistency. To make a version with just cocoa powder, I’d recommend making whipped coconut cream and whipping in the cocoa powder and some powdered sugar (or sugar alternative). The texture will be far fluffier and more like whipped cream, though.

Can I use any other dairy free milk?

No, other dairy free kinds of milk contain too much water. We need the thick and creamy consistency of full fat coconut milk for this creamy chocolate frosting to work.

If you’re able to get your hands on a commercial dairy free cream, this may work instead but will likely contain several gums, stabilizers, preservatives, etc. Meanwhile, dairy cream would also work but contains a significant increase in cholesterol, so I don’t recommend either for this healthy chocolate frosting.  

My chocolate frosting is runny, how can I get it to become more solid?

If, after chilling the mixture, it still isn’t thick enough, you can either heat it once more and add more melted chocolate OR some coconut oil (both of which solidify when chilled).

Do you have to whip the mixture?

Technically, no, you could scoop the mixture directly into a piping bag when it’s in the ‘Nutella consistency’ phase after the first chill. However, it will be harder to pipe and have a dense, ganache like consistency rather than fluffy, like a typical buttercream frosting.

Recipes Ideas to Put Easy Chocolate Frosting to Use

You can use this healthy chocolate frosting without powdered sugar the same way you would any regular chocolate frosting. Here are just a few recommendations:

You can also enjoy this whipped frosting as a dip for fresh fruits or even healthy Christmas cookies.

You can enjoy the soft, just-mixed frosting (not chilled) as a healthy chocolate sauce, dip, or drizzle for fruit, whole wheat buttermilk pancakes, vegan vanilla ice cream, or on a dessert charcuterie board. Alternatively, if you achieve a thick, moldable set ganache consistency, you could roll it into simple chocolate truffles. Delicious!

How to Store It?

Make ahead/store: Once prepared, you can store the frosting for up to two days before using it. The frosted bakes can then be stored for an additional 3 days.

Freeze: Transfer the homemade chocolate icing to an airtight freezer-safe container (box or bag) and store for up to 3 months. Allow it to thaw in the refrigerator overnight before using it.

More Healthy Chocolate Desserts to Try

Healthy chocolate frosting on cake slice plated for serving.
Healthy Chocolate Frosting

Healthy Chocolate Frosting

Three ingredient coconut milk Healthy Chocolate Frosting (without powdered sugar) is a rich, decadent, and creamy chocolate ganache frosting that’s naturally dairy free, nut free, and contains no added sugars!
5 from 1 vote
Print Save Rate
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Cook Time: 5 minutes
Cooling Time: 4 hours
Total Time: 4 hours 5 minutes
Servings: 2 cups
Calories: 120kcal
Author: Olena Osipov

Ingredients

Instructions

  • In a medium pot, warm up entire can of coconut milk (cream and clear liquid) just until it starts to boil but not boiling.
  • Remove from heat, add chocolate, vanilla extract, salt, and whisk until smooth. It will be runny. Place right in the pot in the fridge to solidify – should take about 3-4 hours.
  • Frosting is ready to be whipped when there is a dent from your finger. Whip it up with an electric hand mixer for a few minutes or until a bit fluffy.
  • If you are using frosting without piping, you can spread it immediately on a cake or cupcakes but will have to let your baked goods to sit in the fridge for a few hours for frosting to solidify (optional but better). If you would like to pipe it, let it refrigerate for a few hours first.

Store: Refrigerate the frosting until ready to assemble the cake or cupcakes for up to 2 days. Refrigerate frosted baked goods for up to 3 days.

    Freeze: Freeze frosting in an airtight container or up to 3 months. Thaw in the fridge overnight.

      Notes

      • The yield: This recipe makes enough to frost 12 cupcakes generously with tall swirls, 24 cupcakes spread on with a knife, or a two-three layer 20 – 23cm/8-9″ chocolate cake.
      • Use high quality chocolate: This recipe only uses a handful of ingredients, with the chocolate providing the dominant flavor. So use one that you like, especially as there’s no added sugar in this recipe. Also, make sure it’s REAL chocolate (with cocoa butter, not other hydrogenated oils/fats).
      • Adjust the type of chocolate: Change the % of cocoa whether you want semi-sweet vs. bitter. However, note that darker chocolate will make a stiffer frosting, which isn’t as creamy.
      • Sugar free: Feel free to use sugar free chocolate; just make sure it’s still real chocolate (using cocoa butter).
      • Milk: Only canned full fat coconut milk has been tested in this recipe. I do not recommend using any other dairy free milk or coconut cream.
      See recipe post for more tips and FAQs.

      Nutrition

      Serving: 1/12th cup | Calories: 120kcal | Carbohydrates: 9g | Protein: 2g | Fat: 9g | Saturated Fat: 8g | Cholesterol: 1mg | Sodium: 19mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 6g

      Recipes and images are a copyright of ifoodreal.com. It is against the law to republish recipes without permission. Nutritional info is approximate.

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