This Vegan Ganache recipe is just about as easy as it gets. It’s made with only 2 ingredients, which you may already have in your pantry, and takes just a few minutes to prepare!
Note: If you’d prefer a frosting that is naturally-sweetened, try one of my other frosting recipes:
- Vegan Frosting (fruit-sweetened; no powdered sugar)
- Purple Sweet Potato Frosting (no food coloring)
- Vegan Cream Cheese Frosting (no soy or nuts!)
- Creamy Cashew Frosting
Chocolate Ganache Ingredients
Traditional chocolate ganache is made with just 2 ingredients: chocolate and heavy whipping cream. You use equal parts (by weight) to make the perfect chocolate frosting!
Making a vegan version of this rich chocolate frosting is easy enough, because you can easily buy vegan chocolate chips at the grocery store. The only swap you’ll need to make here is using coconut cream instead of heavy whipping cream.
Note: This recipe works best with semi-sweet chocolate chips. Darker chocolate chips will make the frosting more stiff, and not as creamy.
What is Coconut Cream?
Coconut cream is the solid part you’ll see when you open up a can of chilled coconut milk.
My kitchen is usually cooler than 76ºF, so my cans of coconut milk are already solid when I open them, but it’s a good idea to place a can (or two) of coconut milk in the fridge the night before you want to make this.
I always chill 2 cans of coconut milk, because the amount of coconut cream inside each can may vary. You’ll need a full cup of coconut cream (about 8 ounces) in this recipe.
Coconut milk does add a hint of coconut flavor to this frosting, but I don’t think it’s super-noticeable. My kids don’t love coconut, and they LOVE this frosting, so I think it’s a winner.
If you need a substitute for coconut cream, cashew cream might work, but I haven’t tested that yet, so I can’t be sure. (The results might be more similar to the coconut milk version below, since cashew cream is lower in fat.)
What Happens If You Use Coconut Milk?
I also tested this recipe using regular coconut milk, instead of just the coconut cream. To do this, I poured the whole can of coconut milk into my blender (both the liquid and solid parts) and blended it for about 30 seconds until it was smooth and creamy.
Using the exact same measurements as the recipe below, the resulting chocolate frosting is light and airy. It reminds me of a fluffy, chocolate mousse frosting.
So, if you’re looking for something super-light and fluffy, you can make this recipe using coconut milk instead of coconut cream.
Note: This version made with coconut milk will melt much faster at room temperature, so keep that in mind. The version with coconut cream is sturdier for serving at a party, if you want to leave a birthday cake or cupcakes sitting out for a few hours.
When making this chocolate mousse version (using coconut milk instead of the cream only), it will need to chill in the fridge overnight. It doesn’t thicken up as quickly as the version made with coconut cream does, so be sure to plan ahead for this one.
How to Make the Best Vegan Ganache
This recipe makes a rich chocolate frosting, similar to a container of frosting you might buy at the grocery store. It’s hard to stop taste-testing it!
It’s important that you make this frosting at least 4 hours before you plan on serving it. I like to make it the night before so I don’t have to worry about it thickening up.
To make it, all you need to do is melt the chocolate chips (I use a double-boiler set up for this, but you can use a microwave if you prefer) until they are very smooth.
Add in the coconut cream, and stir again until it’s totally incorporated. It should look very smooth, with no visible chunks.
You’ll see that the coconut cream becomes thin and runny when it comes into contact with the hot melted chocolate. It will thicken up when chilled again!
Chill the melted chocolate mixture until it feels firm to the touch. This can take up to 4 hours, depending on the bowl you use (metal bowls will chill faster) and where it’s placed in the fridge.
Once it’s firm to the touch, use an electric hand mixer (or a stand mixer, if you prefer) and whip the chocolate frosting until it’s slightly lighter in color. It should have a texture very similar to traditional frosting.
Use the frosting right away to frost your favorite cake, or transfer it to a piping bag and pipe it on your favorite cupcakes.
Pictured here is this vegan ganache on my Coconut Flour Cupcakes. (Which are not vegan, but they are oil-free & dairy-free.)
Vegan Ganache (only 2 ingredients!)
- 8 ounces semi-sweet vegan chocolate chips (about 1 1/2 cups)
- 8 ounces coconut cream (1 cup; the solid part from a can of coconut milk)
- Fill a small saucepan with an inch of water and place a heat-safe bowl over the top of the pot, creating a double boiler. Place the chocolate chips in the top bowl, then bring the water to a boil to gently melt the chocolate chips. Stir occasionally, until the chocolate is smooth. (Alternatively, you can use a microwave to melt the chocolate if you prefer.)
- Remove the bowl from the heat and use a whisk to stir in the coconut cream. Transfer the melted chocolate to a larger bowl, if needed, for mixing.
- Once the mixture is silky smooth, place the bowl in the fridge to chill until firm, up to 4 hours. (It can be ready in as little as 1 hour; you'll just need to check on it if you're in a hurry. You can also leave it in the fridge overnight.)
- When you're ready to serve this frosting, remove the bowl from the fridge and use a hand mixer (or stand mixer) to whip the frosting until it's lighter in color and fluffy-looking. It will spread easily on your favorite cake or cupcake, or you can transfer it to a piping bag to be piped onto cupcakes.
- This frosting is sturdy enough to sit out at a party for a couple of hours, but just like any frosting, it could start to melt if you place it in direct sunlight for too long. Keep any leftovers chilled in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 2 weeks.
Nutrition is for roughly 2 tablespoons of frosting. This information is automatically calculated and is just an estimate, not a guarantee.
- For a naturally-sweetened frosting, you can use a chocolate bar sweetened with coconut sugar (like Eating Evolved brand).
- I just realized that I don’t have any vegan cake recipes on my website yet! My favorite vegan chocolate cake (which is also gluten-free) is in my second cookbook, if you have it.
As always, if you make any modifications to this recipe, please leave a comment below letting us know what worked for you so we can all benefit from your experience.
Reader Feedback: What’s your favorite go-to frosting recipe? I’ve got a date-sweetened one coming at you next!