Dairy Free Chocolate Icing Recipe (or Traditional)

If you think chocolate ganache has spoiled you forever, think again. This traditional or dairy free chocolate icing recipe tastes extremely similar to chocolate ganache and you can make it in half the time. It sets up nicely as well.

Links You May Need:

Culinary Grade Dutch-Processed Cocoa Powder

Dairy Free Chocolate Icing Recipe

Almost as good as chocolate ganache, this gluten free dairy free chocolate icing can be whipped up in a manner of minutes. No special chocolate required.
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Ingredient Keyword butter, cocoa powder, Dutch-processed cocoa powder, margarine
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 5 minutes
Total Time 10 minutes
Servings 2 8 to 9-inch cake tops


  • 3-1/4 cups confectioners' sugar* (325 g)
  • 2/3 cup gluten free unsweetened cocoa powder Dutch-processed for a darker color (65 g)
  • 1//2 cup water (118 g)
  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter (114 g) (or dairy-free margarine - Smart Balance)
  • 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract


  1. Into a bowl, sift together the confectioners' sugar and cocoa powder; set aside.
  2. In a small saucepan, add the water and butter and bring to a boil. Remove from heat and stir in the vanilla.
  3. Pour the wet mixture into the dry mixture and whisk until smooth. Use to frost cakes like Boston Cream Pie, brownies, and the coating for lamingtons (Australian dessert). Refrigerate until set.
  4. Cover and store leftovers in the refrigerator. Then, use to top ice cream or other desserts.


*For Corn-Free:
Trader Joe's carries organic powdered sugar that is free of corn but contains tapioca starch.

5 Replies to “Dairy Free Chocolate Icing Recipe (or Traditional)”

  1. I use powdered goat’s milk to substitute dairy milk, my diabetic professional approved of this. I have been tweaking a recipe for Irish cream ice cream but, it’s not quite firm enough, yet? Any ideas? Rita Bell

    1. Rita,

      I’m glad to hear that goat milk works for you. It doesn’t work for everyone who has a casein intolerance.

      Please email me the ice cream recipe and I’ll see how I can help you. Just click on contact from my email. OK


  2. This looks exactly like my standard chocolate icing recipe, except that mine uses milk, which I think would be a much tastier liquid than water. To make it dairy free, coconut milk would be the tastiest option, in my opinion.

    1. Karis,

      If you use a culinary quality cocoa powder it tastes just as rich without any dairy. However, coconut milk is definitely an option. I didn’t want to impart any coconut flavor, however, if you are using it for something that already contains coconut, go for it! I try to avoid most other commercial dairy free milks due to the gum they contain. My latest homemade dairy free milk is cashew milk. Check out the recipe. It’s so easy to make and it tastes amazing.

      The best dairy-Free option is adding melted cocoa butter.


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