A healthy chocolate frosting that is lower in sugar and still perfect for piping, and a deep chocolate flavor. All because of a healthy mystery ingredient. Also gluten-free and dairy-free of course!
Healthy Chocolate Frosting (with lower sugar)
Say hello to a decadent healthy chocolate frosting beyond your wildest dreams AND with less 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?
How To Make Healthy Chocolate Frosting
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
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 some of the powdered sugar in this recipe.
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!
Is Chocolate Frosting Healthy?
Not really, because of the sugar. That is why replacing some of the sugar with a healthier ingredient like arrowroot is such a great idea. All the sugar isn't replaced of course, but since the texture and shine of frosting depends on sugar, this swap is brilliant. That's because not only does arrowroot behave like sugar in the texture and shine department, but it adds nutrition - a win, win!
Tips On How to Frost Cupcakes
In this dark chocolate cupcake, I used a french tip, 4B to be exact. And I filled them. I 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.
And for the cupcake with sprinkles, I used my chocolate hazelnut cake recipe, and 2M tip.
Other Vegan Frosting & Icing Recipes
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Healthy Chocolate Frosting (lower sugar)
Make Chocolate Frosting
- Chop the butter into rough chunks. If using a bittersweet chocolate bar, chop it 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 - 1 ttbsp at a time - to reach a frosting texture. Depending on the water content of my milk, I have added as much as 4 tbsp sometimes so you decide how much milk you need.
- 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 and another immunity-boosting smoothie shot book, 4-Ingredient Smoothies + Juices , due out in January 2021. 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, editor at The Feedfeed and a nutritional expert at WikiHow. More about Dee Dine here.