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This easy chocolate frosting recipe without powdered sugar is naturally sweetened with dates, which gives it the perfect amount of sweetness! This creamy chocolate frosting will quickly become your new go-to for frosting a batch of cupcakes, and your kids will never even guess there’s no added sugar!

Mini cupcakes with chocolate frosting without powdered sugar piped on.

No Powered sugar chocolate frosting – naturally sweetened!

Although it’s perfectly fine to enjoy a more indulgent dessert occasionally, wherever possible, I always like to come up with healthier dessert options to serve up the family. Kids are surrounded by so much sugar! From the gummies to the candy to even the “healthy” granola bars and yogurts, these days added sugar is snuck into everything.

That’s why we’ve been loving this chocolate frosting recipe without powdered sugar!

It’s a great way to add rich chocolate flavor to your favorite chocolate cake without the sugar spike (and crash). And it’s perfectly sweet, so you’d never guess there’s no added sugar!

Up close shot of healthy chocolate frosting in a food processor.

Healthy chocolate frosting

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Why We Love This Date Frosting Recipe

  • Quick & easy: Although you’ll need to let a few ingredients come to room temperature or soften, the actual chocolate cream cheese frosting comes together in the bowl of your food processor in just a few seconds!
  • Light & fluffy: Thanks to a little cream cheese and butter, this healthy chocolate frosting has the perfect spreadable consistency, or if you want to get fancy, it’s great for piping too!
  • Low sugar:  This naturally sweetened frosting includes no other sweeteners besides some dates, which are low on the glycemic index. They’re nature’s candy with the added benefit of fibre, and bone-building nutrients like vitamin K, calcium, magnesium, and phosphorus!

Ingredient Notes

Ingredients for healthy date frosting.
  • Cream cheese: This is the secret ingredient for the perfect consistency! Cream cheese makes this homemade chocolate frosting with cocoa powder light and fluffy every time!
  • Unsalted butter: A little room temperature butter will help give this chocolate cream cheese frosting a glossy, silky softness similar to regular American buttercream.
  • Medjool dates: Dates are the ultimate natural sweetener! If this is your first time using them, you’ll need to soak pitted dates in hot water to help them become nice and tender.
  • Water: You’ll use water twice in this recipe – to soften the dates and to thin out this DIY one bowl frosting to get the right consistency.
  • Vanilla extract: Add a little pure vanilla extract to this date-sweetened chocolate frosting to make them smell amazing!
  • Pinch of salt: Salt enhances sweetness, so a pinch of salt here will actually allow you to highlight the sweetness of the dates.
  • Unsweetened cocoa powder: By using cocoa powder instead of dark chocolate chips, you can make this chocolate icing without added sugar.

How to Make Chocolate Frosting without Powdered Sugar – Step-by-Step Instructions

  1. To prepare, pull the cream cheese and butter out of the fridge so they have a few minutes to soften. Slice the cream cheese into quarters and set aside.
  2. Remove the pits from the dates and place in a heatproof bowl. Pour boiling hot water over them until they are covered. Let them soak for 10 minutes or until softened, and then drain.
  3. In a food processor, combine the pitted dates, ½ cup room temperature water, vanilla, and a little pinch of salt.
  4. Process until the date mixture is quite smooth, about 1 to 2 minutes, pausing to scrape down the sides as necessary.
  5. Then, add the cream cheese and butter and blend until smooth and fluffy. Slowly add the cocoa powder and blend until smooth and combined, scraping the sides of the food processor as needed.
  6. Place in the fridge for 30 minutes to allow it to firm up slightly. Use immediately or store in the fridge for up to 5 days.

Before using, allow the frosting to sit at room temperature for about 15 minutes and briefly rewhip it before using to get it fluffy again.

An up close image of healthy chocolate frosting without powdered sugar piped onto mini cupcakes.
Keep scrolling to the recipe card below for the full printable recipe!

TIPS FOR THE BEST CHOCOLATE FROSTING

  • Don’t skip the step where you soak the dates. This allows the dates to soften up enough to blend into a smooth frosting. If your dates are extra hard, you may need to soak them for extra time.
  • Be sure to allow the frosting to sit in the fridge for at least 30 minutes after blending since this resting time allows the frosting to thicken up into a consistency that resembles chocolate buttercream frosting.
  • You can spread this frosting onto cakes, cupcakes, brownies or loaves. It also has a great consistency for piping. I like to use the Wilton 1M star tip for piping onto cupcakes.
  • For a thicker, fluffier texture, you can add a little heavy cream to the bowl of the food processor. Be sure not to overmix, or the cream can split.
A spatula holding up some of the healthy date frosting.

Recipe FAQs

Can I replace the dates with a different sweetener?

You definitely can, but you’ll need to reduce or eliminate the extra water as well. You can always add a sweetener like maple syrup or powdered coconut sugar, make the frosting, and add a little water if needed until you get the perfect smooth consistency.

How long does chocolate frosting keep in the fridge?

This sugar free icing will last for up to 5 days in the fridge when stored in an airtight container.

Is it possible to make frosting without powdered sugar?

Absolutely! Although the chocolate frosting recipe without powdered sugar will vary depending on the types of sweeteners you can accommodate, you have lots of options!

I’m partial to this chocolate date frosting, which uses softened dates as a sweetener. It tastes absolutely amazing on chocolate cupcakes, and the full flavor of dates makes it hard to tell there’s no granulated sugar.

You can also use other natural sweeteners like maple syrup or honey, but you’ll want to be cautious using honey with children under the age of one.

Storage Guidelines

  • Be sure to store leftover frosting in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 5 days.
  • If you do this, I recommend whipping the frosting a second time in your electric mixer or food processor before icing your favorite cake or cupcakes.
An overhead shot of mini cupcakes topped with healthy chocolate frosting.

What to Do with Leftover Chocolate Frosting

If you end up with too much frosting, the best way to use it is to add it as a topping to your favorite sweet recipes!

These are just a few of my kids’ favorite uses for this easy frosting recipe:

Recipe Variations

  • Add spices or extracts: Chocolate can take on a variety of flavors! Add a little cinnamon or some orange extract or peppermint extract for a totally different flavor profile.
  • Use peanut butter: Feel free to replace some of the cream cheese (up to 1/4 cup) with peanut butter for the most wonderful chocolate peanut butter frosting!
  • Add mini chocolate chips: For a little crunch and sweetness, add mini chocolate chips to your bowl of frosting. Perfect for a birthday party!
A hand holding up a mini cupcake with chocolate date frosting.

More Healthy Treats

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An up close image of chocolate frosting without powdered sugar on a pink spatula.
Recipe
5 from 1 vote

Easy Chocolate Frosting without Powdered Sugar

Created by Elysia
Servings: 24 servings
Prep Time 10 minutes
Resting Time 30 minutes
Total Time 40 minutes
This easy chocolate frosting recipe without powdered sugar is naturally sweetened with dates, which gives it the perfect amount of sweetness! This creamy chocolate frosting will quickly become your new go-to for frosting a batch of cupcakes, and your kids will never even guess there's no added sugar!

Ingredients
 

  • 8 ounces cream cheese
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 18 pitted Medjool dates (about 1 1/2 cups firmly packed)
  • 1/2 cup room temperature water (plus hot water for soaking dates)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder

Instructions
 

  • To prepare, pull the cream cheese and butter out of the fridge so they have a few minutes to soften. Slice the cream cheese into quarters and set aside.
  • Remove the pits from the dates and place in a heatproof bowl. Pour boiling hot water over them until they are covered. Let them soak for 10 minutes or until softened, and then drain.
  • In a food processor, combine the pitted dates, ½ cup room temperature water, vanilla, and a little pinch of salt.
  • Process until the date mixture is quite smooth, about 1 to 2 minutes, pausing to scrape down the sides as necessary.
  • Then, add the cream cheese and butter and blend until smooth and fluffy. Slowly add the cocoa powder and blend until smooth and combined, scraping the sides of the food processor as needed.
  • Place in the fridge for 30 minutes to allow it to firm up slightly. Use immediately or store in the fridge for up to 5 days. Before using, allow the frosting to sit at room temperature for about 15 minutes and briefly rewhip it before using to get it fluffy again.

Notes

  • Don’t skip the step where you soak the dates. This allows the dates to soften up enough to blend into a smooth frosting. If your dates are extra hard, you may need to soak them for extra time.
  • Be sure to allow the frosting to sit in the fridge for at least 30 minutes after blending since this resting time allows the frosting to thicken up into a consistency that resembles chocolate buttercream frosting.
  • You can spread this frosting onto cakes, cupcakes, brownies or loaves. It also has a great consistency for piping. I like to use the Wilton 1M star tip for piping onto cupcakes.

Nutrition

Calories: 80kcal | Carbohydrates: 15g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 3g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 1g | Trans Fat: 0.04g | Cholesterol: 8mg | Sodium: 34mg | Potassium: 163mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 13g | Vitamin A: 108IU | Calcium: 27mg | Iron: 0.3mg
An up close image of chocolate frosting without powdered sugar on a pink spatula.

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