“When I was a kid, my favorite thing was to bake up vanilla cake and spread chocolate frosting all over it. Honestly, who didn’t love that? Long story short, things haven’t changed much in 40+ years. I STILL claim that no matter what the cake used is, whether you take the time to make a cake from scratch or use a boxed mix from the grocery store, there is NO canned replacement for homemade chocolate frosting. There, I said it. All the big companies can argue that their product is smooth and delicious, but they’re just wrong. Frosting out of a can is unacceptable.

I’m sensitive to lactose, so these days I avoid using half and half or heavy cream in my frosting*; however, the real butter doesn’t seem to bother me, until I eat a bowl of this stuff.

Here’s my simple version of Chocolate Frosting from my childhood in New Jersey.”


  • ¾ cup of Real butter, softened (there is no other good replacement – sorry, my vegan friends)
  • 3 cups Confectioners’ Sugar (also called “10x”), sifted
  • ½ cup Cocoa powder, sifted
  • 2 teaspoons Vanilla extract (I also like to use Whisky or Coffee Extract as alternatives!)
  • *Coconut Milk, canned & mixed


  1. Whip the soft butter with a mixer or a whisk.
  2. Add the cocoa powder, vanilla, and a quarter or so of the sugar.
  3. Mix thoroughly, adding in a splash of coconut milk if needed to incorporate the ingredients.
  4. Add the remaining sugar slowly, alternating with more coconut milk until you get the yummy consistency that you want for spreading on a cooled cake or cupcakes. Or just for eating as a side dish.

Silly Side Notes

  • We don’t use this recipe at Sweet Cheeks Baking Co. Partly because I am INCAPABLE of measuring properly, so I’m not allowed to bake in our kitchen! Secondly, because we now create more elaborate recipes. Regardless, it’s an easy go-to for kids and adults alike, plus it’s very forgiving. You can mess with it all you like and just add back in a touch more sugar & coconut milk as needed.
  • When this frosting is CHILLED, it may feel too thick when removed from a fridge due to the chilled coconut milk. Let it come to room temp or zap it for 10 sec. intervals in the microwave to bring it to a “whisk-able” temperature again.

Have fun making this recipe for your friends and family. Please share your creations to our Facebook page, we would love to see them all!

-Elaine & Donna