I’m that girl.
You know, the girl who scrapes off most of the frosting. It’s always too sweet, the texture is wrong, or its pure butter and I’m bound to have an unbearable belly ache afterwards.
Que vegan buttercream frosting.
And no, not the sad excuse that vegans have been using thus far with Earth Balance as the butter replacement. I could go on far too long a rant about how horrible Earth Balance is - not just in flavor, but for it’s unnatural and not very good for you ingredients. But I’ll spare you…
Instead, let's talk about coconut butter. When it comes to vegan cooking, several challenges are presented. In the case of replacing butter, not all fats are created equal. While coconut oil will solidify as opposed to other oils, as soon as the temperature rises it returns to its liquid state. Many bakers including myself would call this a disaster.
With coconut butter (blended coconut shreds) the presence of fibers gives that perfect holding texture which is essential for baking and other recipes that call for a lot of butter. In terms of versatility, one issue is the coconut flavor. If you intend on omitting that I would suggest searching for expeller-pressed coconut butter, aka coconut manna which has less flavor but all the fats and texture. However, for a coconut lover like me, I’ve yet to run into this problem.
Now let’s talk about these funky flavors.
I’m a little bit obsessed with tahini. Hummus, dressings, it can be found in the best vegan milkshake recipe I’ve yet to uncover, and packed into these delicious brownies. I would even go as far to say that tahini is the unicorn of ingredients. I’m continually impressed at its ability to evolve into such a wide spectrum of recipes. That to be said, tahini being a seed butter helps to cream and hold things together which is absolutely divine when it comes to this frosting!
As mentioned previously I despise frostings that are too sweet, so I’ve written this with a generally lower amount of sugar for two reasons: coconut butter has a subtle pre-exisiting sweetness, and (I’m a broken record at this point) I realllly hate when frostings are ruined with sweetness.
Of course you are welcome to add as much sugar as you like, I prefer the bitterness of the tahini paired with an extra pinch of salt. This sort of recipe is extremely forgiving so go to freaking town.
1 cup coconut butter (I make my own)
½ cup tahini
1 scant cup powdered sugar (more depending on preference)
dash of vanilla extract
big pinch of sea salt
hand or stand mixer with paddle attachment
½ cup measurement
add coconut butter and tahini to a large bowl of a mixer and beat until combined. slowly add powdered sugar and beat until well combined, add salt and vanilla at the end. adjust sugar and salt to taste preferences.
if using homemade coconut butter, you will find that blending your frosting will yield the smoothest texture