Chocolate icing – dairy free


This dairy-free icing is perfect for kid’s tastebuds or adults who have a sweet tooth.  It’s the chocolate icing I made for the Dairy-free Easy Chocolate Cakes.  You can increase the amount of cocoa powder, turning it less sweet and more of a darker-tasting chocolate.

One of the difference when using dairy-free margarine to butter is that the margarine is easily over beaten and for this reason I make the icing by hand.  If using an electric hand whisk use the slow speed on it and only until the point the icing amalgamates.  Butter with fat that naturally stays solid at room temperature has a wider window of tolerance, which the dairy-free (and soya-free)  margarine doesn’t.  Dairy-free margarine fat content sits around the 60% mark, and butter is normally around 80% fat.  Once you’ve over-beaten dairy-free margarine it will release its water content and lose the ability to hold shape.

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How to make dairy-free chocolate icing

I make it by hand unless making a large batch.  Sieve the icing sugar.  Sieve the cocoa powder too but use a mini sieve or a fine-mesh sieve as cocoa powder can retain hard little bits.  Put all ingredients together in a bowl.  Keep pressing down on the dairy-free margarine with a wooden spoon stirring it into the icing sugar mix until it starts resembling large crumbs.

choc icing 2

At first it doesn’t seem to be getting anywhere but within a minute the mixture will start to turn chocolatey.  Do not be tempted to add liquid, be patient and it will turn into icing, I promise.


At this point swap the wooden spoon for a balloon whisk and after a few turns it will start to smooth out.

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If the mixture is almost smoothed out, but has a few little lumps they will be from the margarine and it’s best to leave it here rather than risk over beating.  After cooling in the fridge and with a quick turning of the whisk it will smooth out nicely.



Chocolate icing (dairy free)
Dairy and soya free margarine called Pure available in Tesco, Sainsbury, Waitrose. Marks & Spencer make their own and to my mind better than Pure in taste.
  • 180g icing sugar
  • 125g dairy-free margarine *
  • 20g cocoa powder (if you want a darker taste increase to 50g)
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  1. Sieve the icing sugar. Sieve the cocoa powder using a mini sieve or fine-mesh sieve to remove any tiny hard bits. Mix all the ingredients together, if using electric hand whisk use slow speed, until it all just combines together. If there are little tiny dots in the mixture they will be lumps from the margarine, and it’s best to leave it there and not to whisk until completely smooth as you’ll run the risk of over beating. Place mixture in the fridge for an hour before using.