Some of the links on this site may be affiliate links. This means, at no additional cost to you, I may be paid a small commission if you follow the links and make a purchase. Learn more here.
Did you know that you can make chocolate frosting without butter or cream or any milk at all? This recipe takes just a few minutes, and uses a surprising healthy super-food ingredient...avocados. Yes, that's right!
This frosting is my go-to frosting on all my kids' birthday cakes (and the cakes I make for fun). Sometimes I even just eat it with a spoon and call it Paleo chocolate pudding. This frosting is so creamy, and it wows every single one of my guests when I tell them the secret ingredient.
If you make this chocolate frosting without butter (and with avocados), you'll quickly learn why avocados as a base for frosting makes perfect sense! The avocado provides a creamy texture, while the cocoa powder and the honey give it the rich chocolate flavor. To make it a vegan chocolate frosting, simply swap maple syrup for the honey.
Why would you make chocolate frosting without butter?
Well, I'm not sure why YOU are deciding to make chocolate frosting without butter. But I can tell you why I do. My body has a tendency to freak out when I eat even the tiniest amount of dairy. Not all the time, just when I'm pregnant. It's weird, I know.
And kind of like torture. With all those hormones raging, a big slice of chocolate cake with creamy chocolate frosting is EXACTLY what I want. So, I use this recipe instead. No butter. No problems. And, seriously, it tastes SO good.
Plus, we still have birthday parties. And my kids still want cake. And if you think I have the willpower to make a chocolate cake and not be able to eat it, you're kidding yourself.
So this frosting (on top of this dark chocolate cake) is what we make for birthday parties around here. See these birthday cakes below?
Yep. that's this recipe. And everybody loved it. My father in-law even said..."this is the best cake I've ever had". He doesn't follow the Paleo diet, or have any food restrictions.
Yep. You heard that right. This Paleo chocolate cake + this frosting = perfection. Even for non Paleo people. Even for non-gluten free people. For everybody.
It's the cake that brings people together, folks.
With just a few ingredients (avocados, cocoa powder, honey, and a pinch of salt), it gives a creamy rich chocolate flavor that's almost too good to be true.
What is chocolate frosting typically made of?
In case you're wondering what's in the containers of chocolate frosting in the store, I'll tell you.
The Betty Crocker brand has the following ingredients...
- palm oil
- high maltose corn syrup
- corn starch
- cocoa processed with alkali
- and less than 2% of:
- distilled monoglycerides
- polysorbate 60
- sodium stearoyl lactylate
- sodium acid pyrophosphate
- citric acid
- natural and artificial flavor
- potassion sorbate (to preserve freshness)
But THIS chocolate frosting is made without butter, and only a few ingredients:
- cocoa powder
- salt (optional, but highly encouraged)
I think it's clear which frosting you'd feel better sharing the ingredient label of (and serving any health conscious guests).
Ingredient Substitution Ideas
This frosting is made with three (four if you add the salt) ingredients and couldn't be simpler to make.
- Avocados - this is what gives the creamy, smooth texture (along with a bunch of health benefits). You can't substitute the avocados here.
- Cocoa or cacao powder - use 100% cocoa powder or cacao powder. I use them interchangeably here.
- Honey or maple syrup - you could probably use some sort of powdered coconut sugar, but I have only tested it with honey and maple syrup.
- Salt - The salt is kind of optional here. I like to add a little salt to make the flavors "pop" a little more.
How To Make Your Paleo chocolate frosting without butter
First, you'll need a few tools...
- You'll need a food processor, stand mixer, or immersion blender to blend it all up.
- And an offset spatula to frost the cake or cupcakes
Alright, now that you have everything you need, it's time to make your frosting. Hopefully you also have cupcakes or a cake to put it on. Here's a delicious Paleo chocolate cake recipe if you need one.
Here's a tip: if you use an immersion blender or stand mixer, put the cocoa powder in the bowl first, then honey, then avocados. That way you won't get a giant puff of cocoa when you turn on the blender (or mixer). Trust me on this one.
Questions about this butter-free chocolate frosting recipe
- How should I store this chocolate frosting? This avocado chocolate frosting will keep well for about 3-5 days in a mason jar in the fridge. If you're making it for a party, feel free to make it ahead of time.
- Can I freeze it? I have had success freezing it, and haven't noticed any off-flavors or textures after defrosting it. Just set it in the fridge overnight before you're going to want to use it.
- Can I pipe my cakes with this frosting? Absolutely. I've made some great looking cakes with this frosting and my piping bags. If the frosting isn't holding its peaks well, add a tablespoon of cocoa powder at a time until you get the consistency you need. As long as it's not sitting in the sun, you should be good though. See the pictures below for a couple of my piping experiments with this frosting.
How to frost your cake with this frosting
To frost the cake, I put one layer of the cake on a plate (upside down so that the "bottom" of the cake is facing up), then add some frosting and spread it around. This is like the "glue" that holds the cake layers together (you could also use nut butter or jam as this layer).
Next, I put the other cake layer on top (right side up) and make sure it looks centered and nice. At this point you can use a knife to trim up any weird bumps. The reason we put the cakes like that is so that the top doesn't slide off the bottom. When we put two flat sides on each other, we can be more sure that it'll say put.
- 2 ripe large Hass avocados
- ½ cup honey (or maple syrup)
- ½ cup cocoa powder
- pinch of salt (optional)
- Using your food processor, stand mixer, or immersion blender, blend the avocados, cocoa powder, and sweetener until smooth.
- Use the frosting to frost the cake (between each layer and on top).
- Eat right away or store in fridge for 2-3 days.
Nutrition Information:Yield: 16 Serving Size: 2 Tbsp
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 83Total Fat: 4gSaturated Fat: 1gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 3gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 10mgCarbohydrates: 12gFiber: 2gSugar: 9gProtein: 1g