It’s kind of funny that one of my earliest recipes has suddenly become one of the most searched, so I’m bringing it back to the forefront with a new picture and a printable recipe card. And it totally deserved this, because I had forgotten how really, truly delicious this icing is.
Before I began doing much in the way of baking and understanding the chemistry behind it, before I had more than one set of measuring cups, before I even really found my groove as a blogger, there was a need: need to make a dairy-free frosting for my kid. Frosting was there for me, because it was a by-feel project (unlike the decorating cupcakes part which apparently I can use all the help I can get with).
You definitely *do not* have to be a vegan to appreciate this as the a great frosting. Coconut obsession is for every person.
So why coconut oil?
You can technically make a frosting with any liquid oil. My chocolate frosting works equally well with canola or light olive oil. But I opted for coconut oil for two reasons: when it comes to mimicking butter in a vegan frosting, you ain’t going to get any closer with a single oil. Also, while you can use unscented coconut oil if you’ve got a problem with the awesome power and flavor of coconut (weirdos), I happen to love the awesome power and flavor of virgin, cold-pressed coconut oil.
It makes an intense, rich coconut frosting. Refined coconut oil is very subtle by comparison, and will be more likely to be drowned out by vanilla or any other flavoring. Which is OK. I guess. If you don’t like coconut (weirdos).
- 2 cups icing sugar + 2-3 more cups reserved
- 1/2 cup virgin coconut oil, room temperature
- 1/4 cup soy milk (or alternative)
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- In a large bowl, add the first two cups of icing sugar, coconut oil, milk and vanilla. Blend at medium-high speed with a hand mixer, until well-blended. Occasionally scrape the sides of the bowl to make sure that the icing sugar gets mixed in properly.
- Gradually mix in the reserved icing sugar until a somewhat firm, spreadable texture that holds a shape is achieved. You may not need all of the icing sugar.
- If you overshoot and your icing is too stiff, or add it all and still find it's too liquid, don't panic! If it's too solid, just add a drizzle of milk; if it's too liquid, add more icing sugar; and blend some more until you find the right balance.
- This recipe will make more than enough frosting to do 2 dozen cupcakes or a full layer cake.
- Make the frosting either before baking the cake or the next day; a hot kitchen will make it difficult to get the frosting to firm up.
Now, your first thought might be to put the frosting into the fridge or freezer until you’re ready to use it. While you can do this (especially if your kitchen is really warm), I recommend that you don’t, for two reasons 1) The oil and icing will firm up and you will lose the easy-spreadable texture, and may have to add more liquid and blend again to attain the right texture when you’re ready to use. 2) You really don’t have to worry about ingredients in the mixture spoiling right away. I can personally assure you that frosting will be fine unrefrigerated for at least three days– assuming it lasts that long!
Need some ways to use up what’s left? Sweet dip for tart fruit, or–if you’re not a coconut-flavor-hating weirdo–make my death-by-coconut version of the cinnamon bun, add a little more liquid to make it a little less thick, and use it as frosting for that.
Larger quantities of leftover frosting will freeze fine, and can be reconstituted later with a little warmth to melt the oil again and maybe a touch of milk… defrosting on a warm counter or a few seconds in the microwave is almost all it needs.