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Easy Chocolate Buttercream Icing Recipe (No Butter)

Ever feel the frosting blues because you can’t use dairy in your recipes, thanks to cottage food regulations or dietary restrictions? Well, my friends, worry no more! This is your new go-to for chocolaty, butter-free frosting.

chocolate icing recipe no butter

This easy recipe for chocolate buttercream frosting is dairy-free, using butter-flavored Crisco instead of traditional butter. It’s the perfect frosting for chocolate cupcakes,  red velvet cupcakes, and for frosting sugar cookies.

For the vanilla version of this recipe, check out my Shelf Stable Vanilla Buttercream Frosting Recipe.

Your Go-To Icing Recipe: No Butter Needed!

Creating a silky and delicious, dairy-free frosting doesn’t have to be a dream anymore. Whether this is your first time or you’re an old hand at frosting cakes, this recipe guarantees a smooth texture and irresistibly chocolaty taste. It’s your ticket to chocolate frosting that’ll have customers and family members alike asking for more.

Simple Ingredients = Unbeatable Taste

The secret to this frosting’s irresistible flavor lies in choosing top-notch ingredients. To maximize that deep chocolate richness, I recommend opting for Dutch cocoa powder—Ghirardelli Premium Dutch Process Baking Cocoa is my go-to.

I love the creamy texture of American buttercream. To make a dairy-free and cottage food-friendly version, I swapped out the butter for my secret ingredient: butter-flavored Crisco.

Ingredients neded

Here’s What You Need to Make this Easy Frosting Recipe

The printable recipe card can be found at the bottom of this post.

  • Butter-Flavored Crisco
  • Powdered Sugar
  • Cocoa Powder
  •  Water (or plant-based milk)
  • Vanilla Extract
  • Salt

Pinterest pin for chocolate frosting recipe

Affiliate Disclosure: I may earn a small commission through affiliate links in this post, but I only recommend products that I have tested and used myself.

Step-by-Step Tutorial

This recipe makes 4 cups of frosting, which is enough to decorate 24 cupcakes piped with a tall swirl, or a double layer, 6-inch birthday cake.

Step One: Get Everything Ready

Get your large mixing bowl and hand mixer or electric mixer ready. Sift the confectioners’ sugar and cocoa powder together to remove any lumps.

Step Two: Mix Away!

Place your butter-flavored Crisco in the large bowl, and using your hand mixer or stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, mix until you achieve a fluffy texture.

Step Three: Combine The Goodies

Alternate adding in the powdered sugar and cocoa powder mix with the water while mixing at low speed. Want a thicker consistency for your frosting? Start with 3 Tbsp water and add a little bit more water as needed.

Step Four: Adjust the Flavor

​Now just adjust the flavors to suit your taste. I always add a pinch of salt to my traditional buttercream recipe because it brings out the flavors of the butter.

In this recipe, I increased the salt just a bit more to offset the Crisco’s mouth feel. I also doubled the amount of real vanilla extract to create a more complex flavor.

chocolate icing shelf stable

Recipe Notes

To ensure you get a fluffy frosting, make sure to whip it well, incorporating a lot of air during the mixing.

Some of My Favorite Flavor Variations:

Almond Extract– Adds a delicious “bakery” flavor to the frosting.

LorAnn Cheesecake Emulsion– gives this recipe a delicious chocolate cream cheese icing flavor.

Plant-Based Milk– Replace the water with full-fat canned coconut milk for a richer flavor.

 Storage Tips

Store frosting in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 7 days or refrigerate for up to 1 month. 

Recommended Tools

  • Electric or Hand Mixer
  • Large Mixing Bowl
  • Piping Bag 

 

chocolate icing recipe no butter

Shelf Stable Chocolate Icing Recipe: No Butter

This easy recipe for chocolate buttercream frosting is dairy-free, using butter-flavored Crisco instead of traditional butter. It’s not just the perfect frosting for your layer cakes and chocolate cupcakes, but it’s also a blessing for your cookies!
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Prep Time: 15 minutes

Ingredients

  • 1 cup Butter-Flavored Crisco
  • 4 cups Confectioners Sugar
  • 1/2 cup Dutch-Processed Cocoa Powder
  • 6 Tbsp. Water
  • 1/4 tsp. Salt
  • 2 tsp Vanilla Extract

Instructions

  • Sift the confectioners’ sugar and cocoa powder together to remove any lumps.
    chocolate icing recipe no butter
  • Place your butter-flavored Crisco in the large bowl, and using your hand mixer or stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, mix until you achieve a fluffy texture.
  • Add the vanilla extract and salt to the Crisco mixture and mix until combined.
  • Alternate adding in the powdered sugar and cocoa powder mix with the water while mixing at low speed. Want a thicker consistency for your frosting? Start with 3 Tbsp water and add a little bit more water as needed.
    chocolate icing recipe no butter

Related Recipes from My Blog

Easy Dairy-Free Sugar Cookie Recipe

Shelf Stable Vanilla Buttercream Frosting Recipe

Want a frosting with less sugar?  Check out this delicious creamy ermine frosting recipe.

The Ideal Icing Recipe No Butter Needed!

Next time you need a dairy-free chocolate frosting recipe, give this a try. It’s sure to become your new favorite frosting! If you’ve tried this recipe, I would love a 5-star rating below! And if you’re planning to give this a go, drop me a comment and let me know what you’re planning to decorate with it!

Recipe Rating




Regina

Friday 21st of June 2024

I am wanting to make a chocolate shelf safe frosting. I am wondering if I could add melted chocolate instead of the powdered

Better Baker

Thursday 4th of July 2024

You can definitely add chocolate ganache to make a delicious shelf-stable frosting. Just ensure that adding ganache is allowed in your state’s cottage food laws, as regulations can vary. If you try it, I'd love to hear how it turns out! Happy baking!

Terri

Thursday 2nd of May 2024

Can coconut oil be used instead of butter-flavoured crisco?

Better Baker

Thursday 9th of May 2024

Hi Terri, I haven't personally tried using coconut oil as a substitute for butter-flavored Crisco in frosting recipes. Coconut oil has a different texture and could affect the stability and taste of your frosting. If you choose to experiment, you might find the frosting a bit less sturdy at room temperature due to coconut oil's lower melting point. Let me know how it turns out if you give it a go!

Jan

Saturday 9th of March 2024

This isn't a new recipe. My mother made this back in the 60's. It was also on the side of cake mix boxes back then.

Denise

Monday 19th of February 2024

Hi,I'm interested in using a icing for frosting a cake donut to sell as whole sale to a bakery is this a recipe to use for that a cake donut?

Better Baker

Tuesday 20th of February 2024

This recipe would be good, but you might also want an icing. This one is made with royal icing so it will dry hard:https://betterbakerclub.com/royal-icing-recipe-with-meringue-powder/

Amy Watson

Sunday 31st of December 2023

I second the reply regarding the comment on doubling the vanilla. I am anxious to try this recipe and hope for a reply to come timely. Also, please clarify if this lasts at room temperature 2 or 3 weeks. Thanks for these recipes!

Better Baker

Thursday 11th of January 2024

Hi Amy, I like to add two teaspoons of vanilla and the recipe has been updated to reflect that measurement. I've also clarified how long this recipe lasts. You can store it at room temperature for up to a week or in the refrigerator for up to one month. I hope you love this recipe as much as I do and thank you so much for commenting!