When I was little, I hated cake. I only ate the frosting.
My mom always made her own frosting. The canned stuff wasn’t around yet, and when it was, she was too thrifty to buy it. You could say I’m sort of a frosting snob. It should be really good, as good as the cake (which I now like, a lot); it has to make or enhance the cake. Cheap store bought frostings and cakes have a lot of weird fat in them, along with GMO corn syrup, or other odd ingredients (propylene glycol, GMO canola or corn oil, fake colors, preservatives) that make it taste as artificial as it is.
Real frosting is basically good butter (organic grass fed) and powdered sugar (made with organic non GMO tapioca starch), with smatterings of flavorings or liquid (cream, coffee, brandy, coconut milk, almond milk, etc). There is so much powdered sugar in it that when you make it, the butter absorbs tons of it somehow and you end up with a smaller amount of frosting than total ingredients that you began with. So when I was needing to make a birthday cake recently with zero sugar in it, that was also gluten and dairy free, I was a little lost.
This cake could have no cane sugar in it at all. For kids with SIFO or SIBO, who struggle to manage any sweet carbs at all, you may be able to get away with a small amount of coconut sugar at birthday time. Coconut sugar works well enough in the cake itself as a cup for cup substitution, if you don’t mind a more brown-sugar or caramel slant on the flavor. But that wouldn’t fly for the frosting, because coconut sugar is grainy, just like regular granulated sugar.
The only recipes I could find for “sugar free frosting” were just frosting made with artificial sweeteners. No thanks.
So I worked up this compromise using honey from our own hive, and much less powdered sugar than frosting recipes usually call for: One quarter cup, versus 2 cups, in most recipes. Unflavored grass fed collagen and tapioca flour stand in to give the frosting structure and spreadability. It worked and was delicious.
I have also made a lemon version of this frosting. In that case, grate fresh lemon zest, and add about a Tablespoon to the butter when creaming it. Use lemon extract instead of vanilla, and add 1/2 teaspoon fresh lemon juice also. Hoping to work out the chocolate version soon too! Flavored stevia drops can also let you vary this. Let me know what you think!