Neopolitan Vegan Cupcake Icing.
How about some tri-color vegan icing or frosting action! How about frosting with reduced sugar!
I replaced half the powdered sugar in this traditional frosting recipe with arrowroot, a powder that mimic powdered sugar but adds nutrition and helps you remove sugar – my dream frosting! By the way, if you are interested, the cupcake is actually from my vegan marble personal cakes.
But let’s get back to the recipe.
My Vegan Frosting Adventures
As you might know, my ongoing goal with icing has been to make it vegan and plant-based, and still have the texture to hold piping.
I started this frosting adventure here using the common coconut cream vegan frosting recipe. There was success piping it for these cupcakes, but I have tried to make it 3 more times since and each time the texture was not good for piping.
I am guessing that is because it is based on canned coconut cream and different coconut cream/milk brands will give you different reactions.
Next, I went a more traditional route, though still vegan, and using vegan butter and vegan powdered sugar. But I wanted more. Actually I wanted less. Less sugar.
So now my ongoing goal with my frosting and icing recipe includes making them with less sugar.
Frosting with Less Sugar
I do have a taste for fine chocolate which tends to be bitter, so if you prefer your frosting traditionally sweet, you’ll want to keep with the traditional recipes.
But if you want to get on the reduced-sugar bandwagon that has been rolling through the nutritional streets lately, you’ll want to try my lower sugar version.
And by lower sugar, I mean just that. I reduced the sugar. I didn’t use an artificial replacement. I don’t like using artificial sweeteners so you won’t see them in my recipes.
There are many reasons why I personally don’t like them, but many people do so feel free to make your own choice.
As I work to reduce sugar, my way just happens to be eliminate it or replace with a whole food.
My Sugar Substitute
This time I chose to substitute much of the sugar with arrowroot.
Arrowroot is useful because not only does it mimic the texture of powdered sugar, it also adds significant nutritional value, namely it helps you sleep better, maintain healthy blood pressure, improve kidney health, support your heart and is strong in B-vitamins often missing in a traditional diet.
Corn starch, potato flakes and tapioca can be used instead but they are not nearly as nutritionally strong.
I hope you like my reduced sugar frosting!
Neapolitan Vegan Cupcake Icing (reduced sugar)
For white and pink icing
- 1 3/4 cups vegan powdered sugar (vegan means no bone-char)
- 1 1/4 cups arrowroot (see my post for substitutes)
- 1/2 cup vegan butter soft
- 4-8 tbsp plant milk (or amount needed to achieve desired texture)
- 1 tsp vanilla paste
- 2 tsps beetroot powder (Make beetroot juice by adding 2 tsps powder to 1 cup water and keep refrigerated)
For chocolate icing
Make White and Pink Frosting
- Melt the butter in a pan or microwave. Put the sugar and arrowroot in a large mixing bowl - add the melted butter, vanilla and 2 tbsp of milk. Use a hand-mixer to blend up until creamy. Add the milk last, starting with 2 tbsp and moving up until you have a frosting texture. Taste-test and add more sugar or vanilla if needs it.
- Once the white frosting is ready, remove 1/2 cup and add 1/2 tsp beetroot juice to it and stir until combined. Want it pinker? Add a bit more beetroot juice.
Make Chocolate Frosting
- To mix up the chocolate frosting, melt the butter in a waterbath or microwave at 60 seconds combined with the chocolate - don't let water touch the chocolate if you use a water bath.
Put the sugar and arrowroot in a large mixing bowl - add the butter, chocolate, vanilla and 2 tbsp of milk. Blend until creamy, adding more milk to reach a frosting texture. I used chocolate chips that are 85% cacao; if you want a sweeter chocolate, use 70%.
Pipe All Frostings
- Cover both frosting bowls with a soaking-wet paper towel while you finish prep.
- Once you have the icings created, now let the piping begin. I used a frosting piping system by @wilton to style the frosting on my favorite cupcake recipe.
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.