The Best Chocolate Frosting

By Sara McGlothlin

I have played around with various frosting recipes in the past. I used to primarily make it out of coconut butter and ghee, and while delicious, melting coconut butter made for a high barrier to frosting entry. In other words, it takes me seconds in my Vitamix to make my own melty coconut butter; I also keep it on my boiler which can be found in a closet it in my kitchen, so it stays a creamy consistency. I later realize not everyone will have access to coconut butter in this way, so I wanted to switch up my strategy.

Then when I was writing my cookbook, nearly all of the frostings entailed coconut butter and palm oil shortening. The latter is a substitute for butter in plant-based and paleo baking, and I came across it when trying to find frosting alternatives to fit under the gluten-free and vegan recipe requirements.

Since then, I have changed my tune on butter, and while I no longer blend it in my coffee, I do cook and bake with it from time to time. There is nothing better than butter in a buttercream frosting, and I recently made what I believe to be the best chocolate version, and it is made with just four ingredients.

Grass-fed butter

coconut oil

Powdered monk fruit

Cacao powder

Planning and prep:

Both the butter and the coconut oil should be at room temperature before making this frosting. Take the butter out of the refrigerator at least an hour before. Then the frosting can be made in under five minutes.


If you do have a dairy intolerance, you can use vegan butter or palm oil shortening. Feel free to also use real powdered sugar to replace the monk fruit. Cocoa powder can also be used if you don’t have cacao powder.

The Best Cacao Buttercream Frosting

Buttercream frosting blended with just four ingredients. A rich, chocolate addition to any dessert or baked good. Can be made dairy-free and vegan.
Prep Time 1 hour
Blend Time 5 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 5 minutes
Course Dessert
Servings 1.5 cups


  • 1 Hand beater, stand mixer, or large whisk


  • 1/2 cup grass-fed butter, room temperature or use vegan butter or palm oil shortening
  • 1/2 cup coconut oil, room temperature
  • 1 cup powdered monk fruit or regular powdered sugar
  • 1/3 cup cacao powder or cocoa powder


  • In a large bowl or bowl of a stand mixer, combine the softened grass-fed butter and coconut oil. Beat until fluffy, about 30 seconds. You can use a large whisk to beat everything by hand if needed, it just might take some elbow grease.
  • Add the powdered monk fruit and cacao powder and beat again until ingredients are combined, about 10 to 20 seconds. Use a spatula to give the frosting a good stir and beat again. Use immediately or place in the refrigerator for 10 minutes for a denser texture. See storage notes below.


Storage: You can transfer the frosting to an airtight container or jar and store in the pantry for up to 3 days or in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks. Frosting will harden in the fridge, so allow it to soften at room temperature for 1 hour before using.
Keyword Dairy-free optional, Egg-free, Gluten-free, Grain-free, keto, Nut-free, Paleo-Option, Soy-free, Tree Nut-free, Vegan Option