Chocolate or White Frosting

cake with chocolate frosting


This chocolate or white frosting recipe is one you’ll want to commit to memory! The recipe is so simple and takes the cake for being a go-to, makes-everything-better frosting you can pipe, smooth or write with!

To achieve a super smooth frosting, spread this recipe of chocolate or white frosting on your cake. Allow it to set for approximately 30 minutes, then gently smooth by rubbing your fingers along a Viva brand paper towel laid on top of the frosting.

gluten free birthday cake

The result is the wonderfully smooth chocolate or white frosting look of the chocolate cake picture above! 

If you’d prefer a lemon-y twist, check out my dairy-free lemon buttercream frosting recipe instead!

white birthday cupcakes

If you choose to use butter (not dairy-free) or vegan butter, the results are a luscious buttercream flavor. If you use shortening instead, the frosting is more like the traditional birthday cake frosting we remember from our childhoods (or maybe that’s just me!?).

Either way, this frosting recipe is a winner: easy, quick, dairy-free and delish!

Chocolate valentines surprise cake with vegan chocolate frosting

Chocolate or White Frosting Recipe

cake with chocolate frosting

Chocolate or White Frosting

Yield: frosts 1 layer cake
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 10 minutes

Creamy chocolate or white frosting is so easy to make, even dairy-free! This recipe makes a buttercream variety or traditional birthday cake frosting.


  • 1/2 cup butter or non-dairy alternative, softened (I like Earth Balance® Buttery Sticks), coconut oil or shortening, especially if you plan on piping or using it to make designs (I like Spectrum® Palm Oil Shortening)
  • 2 1/2 cups confectioner’s sugar
  • 1/2 cup sifted cocoa powder (for chocolate)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • up to 1/4 – 1/2 cup milk of choice, dairy or non-dairy (for chocolate frosting, may use chocolate milk, if desired, not necessary)


Cream the sugar, cocoa (if making chocolate frosting) and vegan butter together with an electric mixer. Add the vanilla and 2 tablespoons of milk, beating well to combine, and additional milk (if and only as necessary)  to achieve a spreadable consistency, beating for several minutes at the end until light and fluffy.

Note:*Depending on whether you use butter, Earth Balance, coconut oil or shortening, you may not need much or any milk to achieve spreading consistency.

White Frosting

Use recipe above, and omit cocoa powder.  Reduce milk to 1-2 Tablespoons, adding more only if needed to achieve the desired consistency.

Food coloring, optional.

Did you make this recipe?

Please leave a comment (and maybe even a picture!) below or share a photo on Instagram! Be sure to tag me! @gfJules

I can’t wait to see what beautiful cakes and cupcakes you make with this easy frosting recipe!

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Chocolate or White Frosting, gluten free, dairy free - gfJules



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  1. Hi Jules, I am from South Africa, I have Celiac and a very bad Maize/Corn allergy. Does your mixes contain any Corn Starch? I need to know before I can order.
    Kind Regards

  2. I made this as a yellow cake and the flavor or so good. My batter was very dough like and I knew that wasn’t right but I baked it anyway. I used monk fruit and whole milk with no other changes/subs. I’m excited to try it again, but what do you think would make the batter so thick and sticky like dough? I know it’s something I did wrong because I’m not a baker. LOL

    • Hi Yvonne, check out this article on measuring your gluten free flour properly, as that might have been the issue here. You’re right that the batter should not have been so thick! Also bring all your ingredients to room temperature before adding for making cakes, especially, and I find that laying out all the ingredients before starting to mix helps me to be sure not to forget anything!! The monkfruit and whole milk are definitely variables, particularly the monkfruit, as there is such a large amount of granulated sugar called for in the recipe. Be sure your monkfruit is one that says it’s a 1:1 for sugar in baking, and just know that your results will likely differ because of it. If you could switch out the whole milk for something with slightly less fat and try that to see if it changes anything (change just one variable at a time) then you’ll know if that was a culprit, but I’m really suspecting it has more to do with the monkfruit and some measuring issues. Don’t give up though – you know the cake tasted good, so keep working with it and you’ll get it right!!
      Check out this other FAQs for baking cakes in this article, as well.

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