This Vegan Sweet Potato Chocolate Buttercream is perfectly sweet, luxuriously rich and creamy, and unbelievably healthy! It’s also refined sugar free and requires just 6 simple ingredients!
One of my favourite sweet treats used to be a rich, chocolatey sponge layer cake enveloped in decadent chocolate buttercream frosting. Since going dairy-free, a lot of vegan buttercream recipes I’ve seen rely on ingredients like cashews, coconut whipped cream or avocado, but I wasn’t particularly keen on using any of these. Cashew nuts, or any other nuts are deliciously rich and creamy when blended, but to make buttercream out of them you’d have to use huge quantities, and nuts are pretty expensive. Coconut whipped cream is delicious but I feel like it’s too light and fluffy to pass as a buttercream substitute. I tried an avocado chocolate cheesecake recipe and it didn’t work out that well because I could still taste the avocado, and I didn’t want another sweet guacamole situation on my hands, so I made sure to steer well clear of that.
Enter sweet potatoes! I just knew sweet potatoes were the solution because I absolutely love using them in new and inventive ways (check out my ice cream, pancakes and mochi). Because of their naturally creamy texture and high sugar content, sweet potatoes make a great alternative. Unlike avocados, their indistinctive taste means they’re great to use as a basis for different flavours. Unlike nuts, they’re really cheap so keeps the frosting super wallet-friendly, and the texture ends up a lot thicker and denser than coconut whipped cream.
I got the inspiration to use sweet potatoes for different dessert recipes because they’re used in a lot of traditional Japanese sweet snacks and desserts. You can even buy sweet potato-flavoured Kit Kats in Japan!
So, to make this simple, magic chocolate buttercream, all you need to do is cook some sweet potatoes then add cocoa powder, maple syrup, vanilla, salt and coconut oil! The coconut oil adds a little richness to the frosting and helps keep it at the right firmness. Then just blend until completely smooth. You can always taste and adjust ingredient quantities as you wish. You can alternatively just blend together melted dark chocolate and sweet potatoes.
I absolutely love how indulgent this buttercream frosting is – it’s deeply chocolatey, perfectly sweet, rich and velvety, and the texture is absolutely perfect for frosting cakes!
If you try out this recipe, I’d love for you to take a photo and tag it #rhiansrecipes on Instagram!
- 2 medium-sized sweet potatoes*
- 2 tablespoons cocoa powder
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- Pinch of salt, to taste
- 3 tablespoons maple syrup (or any other sweetener)
- 1 tablespoon coconut oil
- Cook sweet potatoes by boiling, steaming or roasting them until very soft and tender
- Discard any skins, and add to a food processor or blender along with all other ingredients
- Whizz until completely smooth. Taste and adjust ingredients as necessary - add more maple syrup for sweetness, more salt for saltiness, more cocoa powder for chocolate flavour etc
- Leave to cool before using as a cake frosting
- Keeps for up to a few days in the fridge
- *Makes enough frosting for a 2-layer cake