Saturday, October 29, 2016

Dairy-Free Sweet Potato Buttercream Frosting (refined sugar-free, vegan)

It's not easy coming up with a whole food-based frosting that is as nutritious as it is tasty, but way back in 2010 I came up a sweet potato icing recipe based off of the ingredients I was using in the liquids for this Buckwheat Cinnamon Roll Recipe. I've made a number of different variations on this theme and included some in my cookbooks. I have even made this into a chocolate sweet potato frosting! Below you will find a delicious dairy-free sweet potato buttercream that you can use to frost your cakes or cookies.

Use this frosting to make sandwich cookies using my Gluten-Free Shortbread Cookie Recipe, or use it to frost your favorite cupcakes. Using orange-fleshed sweet potatoes will create a beautiful orange frosting (perfect for fall holidays), while using white-fleshed sweet potatoes will create a gorgeous white frosting (to replace those sugary vanilla frostings).

Sweet Potato Buttercream Frosting

To cook the sweet potatoes, I usually just slice them into thick rounds (leaving the skin on) and then place them into a small pot filled part way with water, then cover and cook over medium heat until tender. You can also bake them whole in your oven or steam them using a steamer basket.

1 cup cooked, mashed sweet potatoes (still warm)
1/2 cup coconut cream (scooped from the top of a chilled can of full-fat coconut milk)
1/4 cup pure maple syrup
1/4 cup softened coconut oil
2 tablespoons arrowroot powder
1 tablespoon unsweetened applesauce
1 tablespoon vanilla
pinch sea salt

Place all ingredients into a high powered blender or food processor and blend until super smooth and creamy. Scoop frosting out using a rubber spatula and place into a glass bowl. Cover and refrigerate overnight or place uncovered into your freezer and chill for about 30 minutes, whisking frequently with a fork. The mixture will thicken into a beautiful, spreadable frosting. If you have it in the refrigerator, then be sure to whip it up using a fork before using.

Frosting will last in the refrigerator for up to 10 days, or a few months in your freezer.

Yield: enough to frost 1 dozen cupcakes or a 9-inch cake (double the recipe for a layer cake)

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About the Author

Alissa Segersten holds a Bachelor's of Science in Nutrition from Bastyr University. She is the founder of Whole Life Nutrition, the mother of five children, a whole foods cooking instructor, professional recipe developer, and cookbook author. She is passionate about helping others find a diet that will truly nourish them, and offers elimination diet recipes, healthy gluten-free recipes, paleo and vegan recipes, as well as tips for feeding your family a nourishing, whole foods diet. Alissa is the author of two very popular gluten-free, whole foods cookbooks and guidebooks: The Whole Life Nutrition Cookbook and Nourishing Meals. She is also the co-author of The Elimination Diet book. Connect with her on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and Instagram!


  1. Hi Ali: I just wanted to let you know that I made this recipe for my daughter's 2nd birthday yesterday and it was a hit! I used white sweet potatoes and then colored the frosting with natural food dyes. I used your suggestion for decorating with freeze dried fruit. Thank you again!

    1. Hi Jill,

      Thanks so much for your feedback! I bet the frosting was gorgeous. What a special treat for your daughter! :)

  2. I forgot to mention that I used the your grain-free chocolate cupcakes here on the blog too. Perfect for my nut, gluten, and dairy sensitive child!

    1. Yay! Glad you enjoyed that recipe. Thank you! :)

  3. Hi! Did you use a pastry bag or just spread it with a spreader on the cookies? We're making these tomorrow! So excited!

    1. Hi Alicia,

      I like to spread the frosting on with a knife but you could also use a pastry bag. The frosting will cause the cookies to become soft if left on overnight so they are best served right after they've been frosted (or within a few hours).

      Happy Holidays! :)


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