Vegan Fudgy Dark Chocolate Frosting

A few weeks ago, Craig and I watched Forks Over Knives. I’m kinda food documentary obsessed, so I was totally into it. 

Now, of course, all of those documentaries are propaganda—not journalism—and should be approached as such. I like to take them with a grain of salt and do my own research before I go and change my diet to 100% kale juice and tree bark just because some guy said so in a voice over some B-roll of a happy family playing in a field of daisies. But even though I’m decidedly…skeptical…about the things that are said in these documentaries, they do always get me thinking.

chocolate cupcake frosting

If you haven’t seen or heard of Forks Over Knives, it’s basically selling what they call a “plant-based diet” (AKA: veganism) as a great way to live a healthy life. Included are lots of stories about folks who were sick (mostly with cardiac issues, diabetes, high blood pressure, etc.) and when they transitioned to a whole foods, vegan diet, many of their diseases disappeared or at least diminished. Cool! Whatever works to get people healthier is totally awesome in my books.

But, personally, I still eat animal products, and don’t plan on changing that—even after watching FOK. I’d much rather live a life where animal products are an accent in my diet rather than a main pillar. For me, when I eat that way, I feel my healthiest, strongest and my grocery budget is at its happiest.

That being said, what FOK did do for me is start to reevaluate some spots in my diet where I could maybe think about leaning more heavily on plants.

chocolate cupcake frosting

So what does this have to do with chocolate cupcakes? Well, I was perusing the Forks Over Knives website to get some creative recipe ideas and stumbled onto this little dose of genius—Double Chocolate Cupcakes with Date Frosting. I was totally in disbelief that you could make frosting out of dates. It was the same feeling I had the first time I heard about banana soft serve. Mind. Blown. Maybe this is something that is common knowledge in vegan communities, but for this carnivore, date-based frosting is pretty much the most insane and awesome discovery on the planet. What other crazy cool secrets are you vegans hiding over on the cheese-free side? Share your wealth of creative plant-based goodies with the rest of us!

chocolate cupcake frosting

I changed up the method and ingredients a little bit, but the end result was still an incredible, fudgy, frosting masterpiece! All made without a drop of refined sugar or dairy. This is no buttercream (drool.yum.) but it is an awesome alternative to your normal cake shop frosting. If you’ve ever made a ganache before, it’s almost the same consistency as that, and the flavor is 100% chocolatey-goodness. Considering it’s made with dates, you’d think it’d be a little gritty, but it actually turns out incredibly smooth, spreadable and creamy. I’m pretty much in love with this stuff!




Fudgy Dark Chocolate Date Frosting

Fudgy Dark Chocolate Date Frosting

Yield: About 2 cups of frosting
Prep Time: 3 hours
Total Time: 3 hours

Considering this fudgy dark chocolate date frosting is made with dates, you'd think it'd be a little gritty, but it actually turns out incredibly smooth, spreadable and creamy.


  • 2 cups Medjool dates, pitted
  • 1 cup boiling water
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • Pinch salt


  1. Place the dates in the basin of a blender, or in a tall, narrow container if using an immersion blender. Pour boiling water over dates and let sit for 10-15 minutes or until the dates are very soft.
  2. Blend water and dates on high until very, very smooth. Add in the cocoa, salt and vanilla and blend until well-mixed.
  3. Chill the frosting until completely cool (about 3 hours) before spreading on cupcakes.
Nutrition Information:
Yield: 24 Serving Size: 1 1/2 tablespoons
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 60Total Fat: 0gSaturated Fat: 0gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 0gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 6mgCarbohydrates: 15gFiber: 2gSugar: 13gProtein: 1g

At Wholefully, we believe that good nutrition is about much more than just the numbers on the nutrition facts panel. Please use the above information as only a small part of what helps you decide what foods are nourishing for you.

Do you like food documentaries? Which one is your favorite?

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  1. So I just used this icing recipie for a triple layer cake that’s completely allergy friendly for a baby shower and it came out perfect thank you so much!

  2. You weren’t lying when you said “fudgy!” I made this to top another cupcake recipe, and I pulled it out tonight after making it yesterday. I took a quick swipe from the lid of the personal blender jar I’d used to make it to taste it. No lie: Tastes like really rich chocolate pudding. I had a small amount left over after topping the cupcakes and dipped an apple in it — perfect snack.

  3. I am transitioning to plant based and I don’t consider what I eat to be ” tree bark ” :(( I eat abundant fibrous foods and I don’t even like salads ( some of them can be just literally romaine lettuce piled on top of fat 🙁 )
    i really like their recipes though and this was a nice little spin on the Forks Over Knives website recipe for Fudgy Date Frosting

  4. Found this fabulous recipe on pinterest. Made straight away as I promised a vegan friend at work to bake him a cake for his leaving do. I can’t believe how good this turned out! In the back of my mind I thought ‘well, he can’t say I haven’t tried’. Will definitely make this again for non vegans who are watching their waistline 🙂

  5. I just tried your frosting recipe on a yellow birthday cake and it tastes amazing! I appreciate not having to add more sugar while keeping the sweetness. Thanks!