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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!

 

Honey Buttercream Frosting - No Sugar Allowed
Print Recipe
A lightly sweet, spreadable and relatively healthful alternative for cakes and cupcakes - when cane sugar and artificial sweeteners are a non-starter. This recipe will cover a single layer cake; double the recipe for a double layer cake.
Servings Prep Time
1 single layer cake 30 minutes
Servings Prep Time
1 single layer cake 30 minutes
Honey Buttercream Frosting - No Sugar Allowed
Print Recipe
A lightly sweet, spreadable and relatively healthful alternative for cakes and cupcakes - when cane sugar and artificial sweeteners are a non-starter. This recipe will cover a single layer cake; double the recipe for a double layer cake.
Servings Prep Time
1 single layer cake 30 minutes
Servings Prep Time
1 single layer cake 30 minutes
Ingredients
Servings: single layer cake
Instructions
  1. Place cold (not warm or melted) butter in a stand mixer and beat til it is pale yellow or white. Stop the mixer from time to time to scrape butter down off sides into center, and continue beating. Depending on how hard butter is to start, this may take 10 to 15 minutes. If you are making lemon frosting with lemon zest, beat it with the butter.
  2. Add honey and beat again til smoothly combined.
  3. Blend dry ingredients in a separate bowl. Add them to the butter and beat until smooth.
  4. Add vanilla (or lemon extract and lemon juice) and blend for 2 more minutes. Add coconut milk or milk substitute and blend again until smooth. Taste with your finger; if not sweet enough, add 1-4 drops stevia or more as desired.
  5. Frosting will be soft, spreadable and not very glossy without MCT oil addition. For glossy finish, blend in 2-4 drops of MCT or Brain Octane oil. Too much will make the frosting slimy.
  6. Spread on cooled cake or cupcakes. Ok out of fridge for up to two days; after that, refrigerate, or refrigerate right away.
Recipe Notes

Makes about 1 and 1/2 cups, or enough to frost an 8" cake round. You may wish to double the recipe to thickly frost a 9" cake. You can substitute any flavored liquid for vanilla extract. For a lemon variation, add 1 TBSP grated fresh lemon zest and 1-3 TBSP lemon juice instead of vanilla flavoring .

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