Simple and delicious gluten-free chocolate frosting. Perfect for birthday cakes, especially gluten-free yellow cake.
Is Chocolate Frosting Gluten-Free?
Good question. It really depends on the recipe. Classic American chocolate buttercream frosting, which is what many people think of as “chocolate frosting” tends to be gluten-free. However, some chocolate frosting recipes call for flour as a thickener.
As always, check ingredients to ensure their gluten-free status. The same goes for store-bought canned frosting. Always read labels to make sure the frosting is gluten-free.
How to Make Gluten-Free Chocolate Frosting: Explained
Just like my gluten-free vanilla frosting recipe, this simple buttercream comes together quickly and easily!
- Sift together the powdered sugar, cocoa powder, and salt. Sifting or whisking the powdered sugar together with the cocoa powder and salt gets rid of clumps and prevents a lumpy frosting.
- Cream the butter until light and smooth. For a creamy chocolate frosting, start by beating the butter (or dairy-free butter) until light. Use medium-low setting on an electric mixer and beat the butter for about four minutes before adding the other ingredients.
The temperature of the butter matters. If it’s too cold, it won’t get nice and light. If it’s too warm, the frosting can turn out greasy. Aim for a temperature between 65 and 68 degrees F.
- Add the powdered sugar mixture and milk. Once you mix the butter, stop the mixer and add the powdered sugar/cocoa mixture and milk. Mix until smooth and creamy. If you like a very light frosting, beat for several minutes. If you prefer a denser frosting, stop the mixer once the frosting is smooth.
Gluten-Free Chocolate Frosting Tips
- Use a Dutch-process cocoa powder. It has a more intense chocolate flavor than natural cocoa powder.
- Don’t skip the salt. Salt enhances the flavor and helps to control the sweetness a little.
- If the frosting seems thick, add a little more milk.
- If the frosting seems thin, add a little more powdered sugar.
Five Gluten-Free Cakes Taste Great with Chocolate Frosting
- Gluten-free yellow cake
- Gluten-free chocolate cake
- Almond flour yellow cake
- Almond flour chocolate cake.
- Coconut flour chocolate cake
Gluten-Free Chocolate Frosting
Easy gluten-free chocolate frosting. Comes together in minutes. Only five ingredients.
- 4 cups powdered sugar (16 ounces; 455 grams)
- ¾ cup dutch-process cocoa powder (2 ½ ounces; 75 grams)
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 1 cup softened butter (or dairy-free alternative) (8 ounces; 226 grams)
- 4 tablespoons milk, more as needed (2 ounces; 56 grams)
Sift together powdered sugar, cocoa powder, and salt. Set aside.
Beat butter until light and creamy in a large bowl. Use medium-low speed on a mixer. Beat for about four minutes.
Stop mixer. Add powdered sugar/cocoa powder mixture and milk. Turn mixer to low. Mix until powdered sugar is combined. Increase mixer speed to medium. Mix until fluffy. Stop mixer. Scrape the bottom and sides of the bowl. Turn the mixer on and beat for an additional minute. If frosting seems thick, add additional milk.
Use to frost cooled cakes or cupcakes. Store leftover frosting in the refrigerator for up to one week. Allow frosting to come to room temperature and then beat for 30 seconds before using.
Makes enough frosting to frost and fill one 8-inch round cake or 24 cupcakes.