Introduction: Coconut Oil Frosting

Picture of Coconut Oil Frosting
This coconut oil frosting is delicious and a great alternative for vegans or people who are lactose intolerant. And it's so yummy I have to say I don't even miss the butter. :D

Coconut oil frosting tastes very much like a buttercream frosting - very sweet and creamy and loaded with powdered sugar! It will taste a little like coconut, too - but it's not overpowering.

It's perfect on my carrot cake, too - you should give it a go!

  • 1/4 cup unrefined (virgin) coconut oil
  • 16 oz powdered sugar
  • 4-6 tablespoons coconut or soy milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
This is much easier with a hand blender, but you can definitely do it with a whisk - and build some muscles! It's also best if you can measure out the powdered sugar with a scale. If you don't have one, feel free to just use two cups of powdered sugar and a little less soy milk. :)

  1. "cream" the coconut oil until it breaks up and gets nice and smooth
  2. add in 1/4 of the powdered sugar, the vanilla and 2 tablespoons of soy milk
  3. mix together until nice and smooth
  4. keep adding powdered sugar along with tablespoons of soy milk as needed until everything is combined - you don't want any clumps of powdered sugar or coconut oil.
  5. frost everything in the vicinity
This frosting melts pretty easily, so make sure whatever you put it on is nice and cool. It should be enough to cover one 9x13 sheet cake. :D


Venüs3 (author)2017-04-05

Can I substitute the sugar with brown sugar?

loveurbelly (author)2016-05-31

This looks and sounds amazing! will try it out soon.

That Redhead (author)2016-05-14

This looks wonderful! Can't wait to try it!

solmstea (author)2016-02-25

I took a vegan cupcake baking class and asked the chef (proprietor of Sticky Fingers bakery in DC) about coconut oil frosting, which seems like an obviously delicious choice. She pointed out the main problem (as you note) is the temperature sensitivity. But the other thing she pointed out is that it doesn't hold structure very well, so if you transport the cake, even in chilly conditions, vibrations will destroy any structure to the frosting that you seek. If you are applying it in situ and it's a cold environment, then you can probably achieve structure and loft. But those are likely rare conditions. So good to keep in mind that it will probably look a bit drippy and runny (see JulianaS12's picture below), not firm and thick, like buttercream. But still delicious! Might be good as a filling too (like for stuffed cupcakes or homemade twinkies).

foehn (author)solmstea2016-02-25

I have had coconut frostings on vegan cakes at fairs I have had the pleasure to judge. Coconut oil will hold shape, but use as little additional "milk" as possible. Plus, if you are working with it cold, it will probably need more milk to make it workable. Do not add this milk--just let the frosting get a couple of degrees warmer for better workability.

The problem I have seen with coconut oil frostings is that they can "weep" liquid coconut oil if it gets too warm. Keep that thick frosting cool and make it thick for best results and if you need more workability, do not add more liquid, let it warm up.

JulianaS12 made it! (author)2016-02-20

Hello! Thank you for this recipe! I read the comments before making it and at some point you gave an advice that is essencial for the recipe to work: add first the coconut oil and slowly add the sugar, than a little of milk - or something else liquid: i added cherries on half of it, added more sugar and it worked as well (i made in a mixer). That is the secret for having a harder consistency, not runny. If you add all the milk suggested by the recipe, all in once, hardly you gonna have the frosting effect. Maybe it would be worthy to edit the steps above! Tks again!

admaree (author)2016-01-03

Delicious! Thank you!

Jenniferbarroso made it! (author)2015-10-22

The picture didn't upload before.

Jenniferbarroso (author)2015-10-22

Perfect frosting!!! After reading the comments here, I omitted the milk completely so it wouldn't become a glaze, and the thickness and texture was perfect. It is a bit on the sweet side, but the coconut taste makes up for it ;) I wanted to share the picture before adding the shredded coconut - a little addiction here :) - but forgot, you can still see the beautiful texture.

benji_and_wilbur (author)2015-08-26

This was a very very tasty frosting that melts in your mouth. But! It's wayy to sweet for my liking and is more of a glaze then a frosting. I don't think I will make this again.

MichaelA53 (author)2015-08-07

Very tasty and easy frosting recipe. My daughter gives it her bug eyed I can't believe it taste so good look of approval! I substituted honey granules (powdered in mixer) and homemade soy milk and it turned out great. My coconut oil was a bit runny at room temp and would not completely mix in so I need to find a different one for next time. I had the opposite experience as the previous comment where mine turned out a little thick, probably due to my oil not fully incorporating.

shari.kolke (author)2014-09-15

This frosting tasted nice but was way too thin - I would call it a glaze rather than a frosting or icing. Also, I found the coconut oil made it look almost gritty (though it tasted smooth) so I didn't end up using it, as I needed them for a friend's birthday at work and was looking for more of a "neat" look. I would make this again if I needed a glaze for a cake though, the coconut oil gave it a nice light coconut taste.

thedavynator (author)shari.kolke2015-05-13

This recipe uses a technique similar to most buttercreams, so this will apply with many frostings: always make sure to add the powdered sugar and milk in doses! You're in control of the consistency that way, and you can decide what looks good! Different climates and humidity make determining precise measurements for a buttercream really tricky, so consider the amounts as guidelines (with the exception of your fats, always use the recommended amount for those!) Good luck!

GannaP (author)2015-03-10

Thank you! This recipe is a real treasure! All simple ingredients you always have in a fridge and as a result-delicious taste! I've never ever loved any kinds of frosting but this one is good, thick, smooth...!

jessyratfink (author)GannaP2015-03-10

You're welcome!! It's definitely my go-to frosting - it tastes so much better than other frostings I can easily make :D

JessicaP2 made it! (author)2015-02-06

I did it! It tastes so amazing! I especially liked it with the blueberries. Now I have to wait to see how it tastes with my cake! Thank you for providing a frosting with what I had in my cupboard =)

jessyratfink (author)JessicaP22015-03-10

Oh yum! That does look good. Happy it turned out well! :D

emmelineam made it! (author)2014-09-16

Thanks for the recipe. It was an inspiration! It's easier to use oil than softened butter. I basically followed your ingredients list & proportioned them till I thought they look icing. I googled the possibility of this recipe & was glad to see it was out there.
First I put in the powdered sugar & added cocoa. Then I spooned in some oil, added the vanilla, milk & just kept checking for desired consistency. I substituted the soy milk with almond milk. My little one loved it!

jessyratfink (author)emmelineam2015-03-10

Ohhhh now I want to make a chocolate version!! Thanks for sharing :D

JessicaP2 (author)2015-02-06

Hi, I'm new to baking and was wondering what "cream" means I tried googling it but i'm not having much success with the term. Thanks!

jessyratfink (author)JessicaP22015-02-06

Creaming is basically combining sugar and a fat until the mix is no longer grainy and also a little fluffier because of all the air you'll incorporate in. It's pretty easy with powdered sugar because the grains are so much smaller :)

Here's a good video from Epicurious explaining it:

JessicaP2 (author)jessyratfink2015-02-06


mardhavi.sakuntala (author)2014-09-10

Absolutely SUPER!!! One suggestion I have for new folks. If you're making this in the summertime, put your coconut oil in the fridge beforehand to get it solid. Not ROCK hard, but NOT LIQUID. My first batch was a flop, then my chef friend explained why. You cannot use melted butter/margerine or any liquid oil. It must be a solid for the correct chemical reaction to happen, and then "cream" it, as step #1 says. 2nd time was a SUCCESS! Thank you! <3

suzanne.simcox.31 (author)2014-08-07

I made this an added cocoa powered for the icing to top off my gluten free chocolate cake...delish!

asanchez67 (author)2014-04-30

I stirred too. searched everywhere for the glaze. Good straight to the point recipe glaze

TANZMEISTER (author)2014-04-03

I made this to top a coconut pie. I forgot to take pictures, but it turned out great! Thanks for the structable.

Una (author)2014-01-22

Wish I had found this at Christmas. I don't have a hand mixer, so I just stirred with a spoon. Added cocoa to go on chocolate vegan cupcakes ( was having baking fit). The only issue I had was that when I added the cold milk my oil tried to lump up a little. Was remedied when I put on a slightly warm cupcake. Handy recipe. Will be using often, and with pride.

Una (author)2014-01-22

Wish I had found this at Christmas. I don't have a hand mixer, so I just stirred with a spoon. Added cocoa to go on chocolate vegan cupcakes ( was having baking fit). The only issue I had was that when I added the cold milk my oil tried to lump up a little. Was remedied when I put on a slightly warm cupcake. Handy recipe. Will be using often, and with pride.

ebilwabbit (author)2014-01-21

Try a tablespoon of honey for flavoring and it's amazing! My husband threatened to eat the whole bowl before I could frost a cake. heh

lilsydb (author)2013-07-06

Can I use regular milk instead?

jessyratfink (author)lilsydb2013-07-06

Definitely! I just can't have it, so I had to sub. :D

truepeacenik (author)2013-03-15

Life saver on a morning when I was asked to make birthday cupcakes. Everything is already in my cupboard. Mil gracias!

Vonhazard (author)2013-02-21

gosh i gotta try this! it looks amazing *_* thanks for sharing!

bajablue (author)2013-01-24

lol @ "frost everything in the vicinity" ;-D

mbaker22 (author)2012-12-21

This frosting is tasty. It worked very well for making gingerbread houses with graham crackers.

Tiktaky (author)2012-12-05

In my experience cocoanut oil melts before butter, is that an issue with this frosting?

onlinebeat (author)2012-11-26

very nice.

kenbob (author)2012-11-26


pjwolos (author)2012-11-12

I'm curious as to whether MCT oil would act the same?

PitStoP (author)2012-11-10

Umm... I love everything coconut! =) I wonder how it will taste with carrot cake.

chefsea (author)2012-11-10

This looks good and like that it's easy.

AussieAnglerGal (author)2012-11-09

mmm sounds like a really nice alternative :) not a huge fan of icing (that's what we call frosting) but this one sounds tasty!

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