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Vanilla Coconut Frosting Trial: Dairy-free, Gluten-free, Nut-free

March 15, 2013
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The hardest part about making a Joseph-safe cake is the frosting. I am very picky with my frostings, and making something that tastes good without butter or cream cheese is difficult. For his birthday cake, this year, I decided to try a coconut oil based frosting from Gluten-Free and Vegan Holidays

The Changes

This recipe is already Joseph-safe. The recipe comes from Katzinger’s Coconut Dream Cake, and I just omitted the shredded coconut.

coconut oil, vanilla, salt, powdered sugar

The Method

Using a hand mixer, whip the oil, powdered sugar, salt, and vanilla on high until the frosting becomes fluffy & creamy. It will take a few minutes to get there. At first, when the oil was forming with the sugar to just look like bits of white gravel, I wondered if it would work, but I kept going, and the fluffiness did form.

strawberry cake & coconut frosting 007

I used this to frost Joseph’s strawberry cake. It was quite stiff, and I had to scrape the bowl to get enough frosting, but it worked.

strawberry cake & coconut frosting 008

Vanilla Coconut Frosting

Adapted from Gluten-Free and Vegan Holidays

Gluten-free, Dairy-free, Nut-free


  • 1 1/2 cup coconut oil
  • 3 cups powdered sugar
  • 3/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1 Tablespoon vanilla

Put all ingredients in a bowl, and whip on high with a mixer for a few minutes until the frosting becomes fluffy and creamy.

Makes enough to frost a double layer 9″ cake

cover copy copy

This recipe is featured in my cookbook The Best of the Rice of Life: Over 70 Gluten-free, Dairy-free, and Nut-free Recipes available now in print (Amazon, Create Space) and e-book (Kindle, iBooks, nook, Kobo and Smashwords).

What I Thought

The level of coconut flavor in this frosting will depend on the coconut oil. I used an unrefined coconut oil, so the taste was fairly strong. It was a bit difficult to work with, and I’m glad I wasn’t trying to do anything fancy with it. I did not like the salt bursts that I would get while eating the frosting. I will admit that I probably ended up with more than 3/8 as I was measuring it out, but I think I would rather just omit the salt altogether. I ended up scraping the frosting off my slices of cake. For my kids, however, the frosting was their favorite part.

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