A delicious healthy chocolate frosting that is lower in sugar naturally, and yet still rich in chocolate flavor and perfect for piping. All because of a mystery ingredient. Also gluten-free and dairy-free of course!
Healthy Chocolate Frosting (naturally reduced sugar, GF, DF)
Say hello to a decadent healthy chocolate frosting beyond your wildest dreams AND with half the sugar of any traditional frosting recipe. Naturally. No sugar substitutions here my friends. Just less sugar.
AND the addition of a wholesome ingredient that helps you sleep better, and maintain healthy blood pressure. It also is said to improve kidney health, support your heart and is strong in B-vitamins often missing in a traditional diet.
We all love frosting right? But who hasn’t cringed when they pour the traditional 3-plus cups of powdered sugar into the bowl. Even vegan powdered sugar is missing bone char, yes, but it is still terrible nutritionally for us to eat.
Still, balance is key. We can’t give up all our frosting dream, right?
But we can reduce that sugar and still make a dreamy fudgy frosting.
One that honestly is so delicious I would think I’d find it on gourmet dessert cake in a fine restaurant. I think that might be because it is not overly sweet and has such a deep chocolate flavor. In fact, I often call this frosting a chocolate ganache because it leans toward the flavor of a bittersweet ganache found on fine pasteries.
So how do I reduce the sugar and still keep the pipable texture?
How to Reduce Sugar in Frosting with Arrowroot
So what is the best way to replace sugar in chocolate frosting? Arrowroot!
What is arrowroot powder?
Arrowroot powder is an alternative flour derived from a tropical tuber called the arrowroot plant. It is used, as is corn starch, as a thickening agent. But unlike most thickening agents which are merely fillers, arrowroot contributes several B vitamins, minerals and useful zinc, a nutrient often found short in western diets.
Arrowroot powder is used often these days in gluten-free and paleo diet, and here it is a useful replacement for half the powdered sugar in this recipe. Yes, I said half.
An added plus to reducing the sugar in this recipe is the texture adds a shine to frosting so your piping results have more pizzazz!
Oh, and one last note.
Technically, this frosting is not a true chocolate ganache. Technically, it is more of a buttercream. Because I used butter, see? And not cream which is the definition of a true ganache.
I often refer to this frosting as a ganache however because the reduced sweet flavor make is much closer to a chocolate ganache than to a chocolate buttercream.
If you want to learn more about how to make a true chocolate ganache, visit my dark chocolate ganache tart recipe and learn all about it.
The Most Beautiful Frosting Tip for Cupcakes
In my opinion, the most beautiful frosting tip is a french tip. 4B to be exact.
And I didn’t stop at just frosting the top, haha.
Oh no, I first turned the tip around and dug out a center hole of each cupcake and pumped the frosting into the center as well just prior to frosting.
You can use any cupcake recipe of course. I used my black chocolate cupcake recipe here.
Interested in sharing on pinterest? Perhaps use this image…
Or this one?
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Healthy Chocolate Frosting (reduced sugar, gluten-free, dairy-free)
- 1 1/2 cups vegan powdered sugar (vegan means no bone-char)
- 1 1/2 cups arrowroot
- 1/2 cup vegan butter
- 4-8 tbsp plant milk (or amount needed to achieve desired texture)
- 1 tsp vanilla paste (or vanilla extract)
- 2/3 bar bittersweet dark chocolate (100% cacao)
(use quality chocolate brands such as these: Enjoy Life, HU, Chocolov, Alter Eco Organic Chocolate, and Eating Evolved)
Make Chocolate Frosting
- Chop the chocolate into rough chunks. Chop the butter into rough chunks.Add both to a small sauce pan with a stick-free surface, and over medium to low heat, slowly stir until both are melted. Be careful not to let it burn. You can also melt both over a water bath.
- Put the sugar and arrowroot in a large mixing bowl.Pour in melted butter/chocolate mixture, and the vanilla. And add about 2 tbsp of milk. Blend until creamy, adding more milk to reach a frosting texture.
- Cover frosting bowl with a soaking-wet paper towel while you work with frosting. I advise you frost as fast as possible while the frosting is shiny; it hardens faster with the arrowroot.
- If you want to put a creamy center in a few of your cupcakes, dig out the center core of each cupcake with the other side of the piping tip - it pops the core right out! Then pump icing inside so the cupcakes have a filling.
- I piped the icing rosettes on top with a piping bag and French tip, 4B. I hope you love my reduced sugar icing!
Dee Dine is founder of Green Smoothie Gourmet, a plant based recipe blog, and author of the recent cookbook, Crazy Healthy with 4 Ingredients . On this blog you’ll find incredibly easy recipes with hidden veggies for anyone wanting to eat healthier, regardless of diet. Dee has graduate degrees in sciences and journalism. More about Dee Dine here.