Genius #dairyfree Buttercream Icing | HOMEGROWN KITCHEN

This is genius people… pure genius. While trialling a recipe for my daughter’s birthday last week I decided to have a play with a dairy-free buttercream icing. Wammo, I nailed it first attempt – plus have tested it 2 more times with success. And what’s even better is that this thick and creamy dairy-free icing is made from just 3-ingredients.

So let’s get straight into it. With the response I have had on Facebook & Instagram when I posted a few photos of first the trial cake and then the actual birthday cake I suspect this is a recipe many of you will be excited about also. I love it when I am not the only one excited about a recipe. And the birthday cake was well received gobbled up by all the children – and adults with glee. My Aunty even proclaimed it the best cake she has ever eaten. WOW, not sure if I would go as far to say that but it’s pretty spesh.

Genius #dairyfree Buttercream Icing | HOMEGROWN KITCHEN

Genius #dairyfree Buttercream Icing | HOMEGROWN KITCHEN

The key to the icing is first to make coconut butter. You can buy coconut butter for about $20 for a small jar – I don’t think so! But why would you when it is so easy to make yourself. You need some time on your side here and a food processor. Any food processor will do, but it will take longer the less powerful the machine. But it will happen, so be patient…

Genius #dairyfree Buttercream Icing | HOMEGROWN KITCHEN

Genius Three-Ingredient Coconut Buttercream Icing

Serves: Makes enough to ice two small 20cm cakes or 1 large cake - any extra can be frozen


3 cups unsweetened desiccated coconut OR 1 cup coconut butter

4 Tbsp virgin coconut oil

1 Tbsp honey

Optional additions:

1 tsp vanilla paste

1 Tbsp lemon zest


  1. First make the coconut butter. Place the desiccated coconut + 1 tbsp of the coconut oil into a food processor or high-speed blender and blend until a smooth paste is formed, stopping every few minutes to wipe down the sides. Depending on the gruntiness of your machine this will take somewhere between 2 minutes [high speed blender] and 15 minutes [super slow food processor]. I have a 7 year old Kitchenaid and it took about 4 minutes to reach coconut butter stage. Note: You want the coconut butter to be as smooth as possible for a lovely creamy icing.
  2. Now add the remaining coconut oil and honey and a pinch of salt and blend for a further minute until a creamy consistency. Scrape the sides down as needed.
  3. Note: If it has taken a long blending time to create the initial coconut butter the friction will heat up the mixture so it will be quite runny. Simply place the food processor bowl or blender in the fridge for 30 minutes and then give at another blitz for 30 seconds and continue with the icing. *This will also be the case if you want to firm up the frosting to ice the sides of a cake.
  4. Spread the icing in a thick layer over the top of your cake. It will be quite soft so carefully use a knife to spread the icing to the edge of the cake. As with buttercream it will firm up within 15-20 minutes once it sits undisturbed - there is no need to keep in the fridge unless you live in a hot climate where you may need to chill to set the icing.


Note: I would recommend using organic desiccated coconut - I used Ceres - as they tend to be fresher than the dried coconut found at the supermarket. Some coconut at the supermarket may also be 'de-fatted', meaning the fat has been removed, as much as you try you won't get coconut butter. If buying supermarket coconut check that it looks fresh and a little moist. If in doubt I know the Ceres coconut works perfectly and you can often buy it in the bulk bins at organic stores for a good price.

Coconut Flour Birthday Cake

Serves: Makes 1 cake - double recipe to make a tiered cake as pictured above.

Don't be surprised by the small amount of coconut flour in this recipe. Coconut flour is extremely fibrous and will absorb a lot of moisture as it bakes. Don't be tempted to add more flour or you will end up with a very dry cake!


1/3 cup coconut flour

1/2 tsp baking soda

Pinch of salt

1/2 cup virgin coconut oil

1/3 cup liquid honey

4 large free range eggs

1 tsp vanilla

1 Tbsp lemon juice

1/2 cup desiccated coconut


  1. Preheat oven 170C. Line and grease a 25cm springform cake tin.
  2. In a small saucepan gently melt the coconut oil until liquid. Remove from the heat and whisk in the honey. Add the eggs one at a time whisking well between additions, then add the vanilla and lemon juice.
  3. Combine the coconut flour, baking soda, salt and desiccated coconut in a large bowl. Pour over the egg mixture and whisk thoroughly to combine. The mixture will be quite wet but the coconut flour will absorb a lot of moisture as it bakes. Pour into the tin and bake for 30-35 minutes. Check with a skewer. Remove from the tin and cool completely on a cake rack.




  1. Hi there, just a tip, i made some coconut butter for a chocolate recipe (american) and the tips they had was to use shredded coconut as the (dried) desiccated doesn’t work so maybe worth trying sometime too? Looks amazing – might have to make for my hubby’s birthday next week! Thanks

    1. Thanks Jaimee, That is a point if you can’t get a hold of the organic desiccated coconut then the shredded coconut maybe the next best choice. I will make a note of this in the recipe and give it a try next time I make it. Thanks for sharing !

  2. The cake was delicious! I was surprised at how moist fluffy it was. My food processor can’t get to smooth coconut butter consistency unfortunately (despite many attempts and a broken motor), so I topped it with mascarpone and honey and fresh figs!

    1. Awesome Bonnie! I know, it is surprising how moist the cake is. It kind of looks dry when first out of the oven but it last for several days and stays very moist. Oh la la mascarpone honey + figs sounds just as delish!

      1. And it was so amazing to have a grain-free cake for Odette’s first birthday! And I had all ingredients on hand. How often does that happen? Thank you so much again for this recipe. A definite winner!

  3. I’ve been on the hunt for a good dairy free icing recipe, so I’ll definitely be giving this a go!

      1. Hi Nicola. I’ve been processing it in my food processor (which is a reasonably good one) for what feels like an eternity but it’s still gritty. I’ve turned it off for a while to cool down and put the bowl in the fridge. Should I just keep going?

  4. Thank you! was feeling a bit down until I found this topping. Having a sugar free, gluten free and milk free boy with a birthday on Saturday. Just did a dummy run with the ceres desiccated coconut and it worked an absolute treat. The challenge now will be to leave it untouched until the children get home from school to try it. The only comment was I found it sweet- would half the honey next time. Thank you Nicola you are an absolute gem! Louise x.

  5. Hi again. The cake for your gorgeous daughters birthday… was that actually two of the cakes? My coconut cake hasn’t risen enough to slice….

    1. Hi Louise, yes I made 2 cakes for my daughters cake. There is a note about this in the recipe. You could try doubling the recipe and slicing but I haven’t tried this so not sure how successful it would be.

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