Healthy Chocolate Frosting
Published Oct 31, 2021, Updated Apr 28, 2023
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This healthy chocolate frosting is creamy, rich and made with just 3 simple ingredients. No butter or powdered sugar needed! It’s the perfect recipe for frosting your favorite muffins, cupcakes or cake!
Are you ready for the easiest chocolate frosting ever?! My grandma always made homemade frosting so I’ve always been a fan of making my own… the taste is just so much better than store-bought! This version is super simple and made with just coconut cream, chocolate chips, vanilla extract and a pinch of salt, which is optional. No need to deal with messy powdered sugar!
Why You’ll Love This Healthy Chocolate Frosting
- Everyone needs a chocolate frosting recipe in their back pocket!
- It’s gluten-free, vegan, dairy-free… and still absolutely delicious. Just make sure to use vegan chocolate chips!
- It’s made with just three simple ingredients! Keep these ingredients in your pantry for when you need a sweet treat.
Here’s What You Need
- coconut cream – we’re scooping out just the cream part from the can, not the liquid! I tried this recipe with Thai Kitchen and Native Forest and both worked well, but any brand of coconut cream works! Just make sure you look for coconut cream and not coconut milk. I will note that the Native Forest can is 5.4 ounces, which yielded 1/2 cup of coconut cream. If you use a larger can of coconut cream you’ll have leftovers, so check out my ideas below on what to do with your leftover coconut cream!
- chocolate chips – I used Lily’s dark chocolate chips because they are vegan and lower in sugar and calories but any chocolate chips work. Enjoy Life is a great allergen-friendly brand.
- pure vanilla extract – a flavor enhancer.
- sea salt – optional, but you can add just a pinch to bring all the flavors together.
How to Make Healthy Chocolate Frosting
The first step might be the most important! The night before you make your frosting, place the can of coconut cream into the refrigerator to chill. This makes it easier to just remove the cream and not the coconut water/juice.
When you’re ready to make your frosting, open the can of coconut cream and remove just the firm cream, leaving the liquid behind. You can use this in a smoothie if you’d like! Use a double boiler to melt the chocolate, coconut cream, vanilla and sea salt. You can also microwave by placing it in a large microwave-safe bowl and heat in 30-second increments. Stir between each increment and repeat until the chocolate is melted and smooth. Make sure you don’t let the mixture burn or it won’t taste great and could be clumpy.
After the mixture is smooth and well combined, place the bowl in the refrigerator to chill for 1-3 hours. You want the mixture to be firm but not too hard. If you accidentally chill it for too long, you can just let it soften at room temperature for a few minutes.
When the frosting is firm, use a hand mixer or stand mixer to whip the frosting until it’s lighter in color and fluffy. If your frosting is too hard to spread, add a splash of milk and whip again until it’s fluffy and can easily spread on a cake or cupcakes!
tip! When placing the can of coconut cream in the fridge to chill overnight, make sure to place it in the coldest part of your fridge so the cream firms up nicely.
Tips for Success
- When melting the chocolate, make sure you are stirring regularly to prevent the chocolate from burning. If you are melting the chocolate in the microwave, make sure you heat in 20-30 second increments so you don’t overcook and burn the chocolate, which will result in clumpy frosting! Trust me, been there, done that!
- If the frosting is too hard before it’s time to whip, simply let it sit on the counter for a few minutes to soften a bit.
- If the frosting is too hard when you’re trying to spread it on cake or cupcakes, add a splash of milk or water and whip again until a fluffy texture is achieved.
Tips For Frosting
You can frost this in a variety of different ways! I usually just use a knife or spatula to spread the frosting on cake or cupcakes but you could also pipe it! Scoop the frosting into a piping bag or a plastic baggie. Cut the corner of the baggie and pipe out the frosting on your treats.
How to Use Chocolate Frosting
This recipe will make enough to frost about 12 cupcakes or a 8-9 inch layered cake. I’m already envisioning this on a chocolate cake or chocolate cupcakes! You can never have too much chocolate, am I right?! It would also be delicious on my healthy birthday cake, protein mug cake or chocolate protein muffins or as a fun topping to my chocolate baked oatmeal or birthday cake baked oatmeal. The options are endless!
Why Didn’t my Coconut Cream Firm up Overnight?
If when you open your can of chilled coconut cream and the consistency is similar to thick milk vs. a firm cream, you’re going to want to place it back in the fridge (place it in the coldest part of your fridge) to see if it firms up. If it doesn’t firm up, you likely got a bad can of coconut cream. When I first tested this recipe I used Whole Foods coconut cream and the can didn’t firm up after sitting in the fridge for 2 days! The end result was a delicious chocolate pudding, but it definitely wasn’t thick enough for a frosting.
What Can I do With The Leftover Coconut Cream?
Don’t throw away your leftover coconut water or cream! Both can be used in a variety of different recipes. The leftover coconut water is a great liquid base for smoothies like this tropical green smoothie or mango smoothie. With the leftover coconut cream you can mix it with a little water to make coconut milk, which can be used in so many different recipes. Some ideas: coconut shrimp curry, tropical oatmeal, mango chia pudding or this butternut squash turkey chili.
How to Store Leftovers
Store any leftover frosting in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 1 week. The frosting will firm up in the fridge so if you’re making this ahead of time to use on a cake or cupcakes at a later date you’ll likely have to whip the frosting again to achieve a fluffy spreadable texture.
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Healthy Chocolate Frosting
- ½ cup coconut cream, not coconut milk
- 1 cup dark chocolate chips, I used Lily's
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- pinch of sea salt, optional
- splash of almond milk, if needed
- The night before you plan to make your frosting, place the can of coconut cream in the refrigerator to chill.
- When you're ready to make your frosting, open the can of coconut cream and scoop out just the firm cream, leaving the liquid behind. Add your coconut cream, chocolate chips, vanilla and salt to the top of a double broiler with water in the bottom. On medium low heat bring water to a boil to melt the chocolate, stirring occasionally until chocolate is smooth and all clumps are gone. If you don't have a double broiler you can create one by filling a small saucepan with an 1-2 inches of water and placing a glass or heat-safe bowl over the pot with the coconut cream and chocolate chips in it. You can also microwave by placing the chocolate chips and coconut cream in a large microwave-safe bowl and heating in 20-30 second increments, stirring in between until chocolate is melted and smooth. Make sure to stir in between otherwise your chocolate could burn and turn out clumpy.
- Transfer mixture to the refrigerator to chill for 2-3 hours or until frosting firms up. You want your mixture to be firm, but not too hard. If the frosting is too hard when you pull it out from the fridge, you might have to let it soften up at room temperature for a few minutes.
- Once frosting is firm, remove the bowl from the fridge and use a hand mixer (or transfer to a stand mixture) to whip the frosting until it’s lighter in color and fluffy. The frosting should easily spread on a cake or cupcakes, but if it’s too hard to spread, add a splash of milk or water and whip it again until a fluffy texture is achieved.
- Frost your favorite cake or cupcakes and serve.
- Keep any leftovers chilled in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 1 week.
Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.
Thank you. This sounds great. I want to try it. Allergies can be so difficult at times.
I want to add some peanut butter so it’s a chocolate peanut butter frosting… do I need to change anything about your recipe? Do you think it will work? I was thinking 1/4-1/3 cup of creamy peanut butter.
Hi Stephanie – I’d whip the chocolate + coconut first then add the peanut butter (I’d start with 1/4 cup) and then whip it in.
I haven’t tried it with peanut butter so I a not sure how it’ll turn out or if it’ll change the consistency of the frosting.
If you give this recipe a try with peanut butter, I’d love to hear how it turns out!