The leaves are finally changing in Michigan and I’m so happy to be spending this weekend in Ann Arbor. There’s nothing like A2 in fall, the city of trees is on fire with color! My brother came into town for the weekend and I trooped down from my new apartment in Riverview for some needed family time. It’s been forever since all four of us – Momsie, Pater, Zach and I – have been in the house together without it being a big occasion or a holiday, and being surrounded with other relatives (No offense, we love you). Just a nice, relaxing weekend. But, of course, Mom had to make it somewhat of a special occasion and baked a ton of chocolate cupcakes. I did not help bake them, I still stand by my #ShutUpCake post.
However, my mom, being the complete opposite of me, loves cupcakes. “They’re so cute and small and adorable!” Luckily for me, she didn’t make a frosting for them before I arrived last night. In the last year, I have become lactose intolerant. It’s been absolutely devastating. I can’t have ice cream, or cheese – Dear God, I miss cheese – or buttercream frosting. It’s been difficult trying to figure out what is safe for me. There’s dairy in so many things that they don’t tell you! I suppose because it’s still a relatively new issue in my 23 years of living, but my mom cannot seem to remember this.
“Here, honey! This place serves quesadillas!”
“Mom…..What does queso mean?”
“Oh…..They have cream of broccoli soup though, you like that!”
“Mom, think about that for a minute.”
I love my mom dearly, and she just wants to feed me, but this lactose intolerance bullshit has been frustrating for the both of us! It’s been hard trying to find a frosting that I can eat, considering that many of them start with butter or cream. So, after mom baked them, she let me find a dairy-free chocolate frosting to go with her cupcakes.
It’s been quite convenient that the vegan food movement has become such a big deal lately, it’s been really easy to search for dairy-free recipes and have a ton of options! I’ve learned that in a lot of baking, you can use coconut oil or even avocados to replace butter! I would have loved to make a chocolate frosting recipe made of coconut oil for superb sweetness, but all that Momsie had on hand was margarine, which is like butter’s salty, dairy-free cousin. It’s made from vegetable oil. So, not the best for you, but better than butter, and it won’t wage war on my delicate stomach.
I started by melting the margarine in a bowl in the microwave. And, by the way, it smelled pretty delicious when it was melted! Like I said, it’s butter’s salty cousin. I had given up on margarine a long time ago, not wanting to cut any corners or substitute anything for the real deal in my baking, but now my life has become full of dairy substitutes….
After it was melted, I added a good heap of cocoa powder, powdered sugar, and a dash of almond milk to help it all mix together.
No one at the table was disappointed by this dairy-free frosting. I’m the only one in my family who is lactose intolerant, but they all loved it as much as I did. Momsie even said that she’d start using this recipe because it was so easy. I would love to retry this recipe with coconut oil and see how much sweeter it makes the frosting. I also really want to try whipping coconut milk as a whipped cream substitute! I made a flourless chocolate cake recently, and though it was rich and delicious, it really needed that light sweetness of whipped cream. Future blog post – Whipped Coconut Cream and Flourless Chocolate cake!
For any other suffering lactose intolerants out there, I feel your pain! You won’t even miss butter after trying this frosting, butter be damned!
Recipe for Dairy-Free Chocolate Frosting:
1/2 cup Margarine
2/3 cup Cocoa Powder
1 1/2 cups Powdered Sugar
2 tbsp Sweetened Almond Milk
1 tsp vanilla, optional – if you want the frosting a bit sweeter
Melt margarine in a bowl. Add cocoa powder, powdered sugar and almond milk. Mix well. If the frosting is a bit too thick, add more almond milk for the desired consistency.