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Creamy Coffee Fudge Frosting

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Look closely…

What do you see in this photo?

Mocha Frosted Brownies

Do you see…

A. unicorns and rainbows?

B. flying puppies?

C. Brownies iced in thick fudgey frosting, without ANY butter or sugar?

Mocha Frosted Brownies

Hopefully you see the third choice: a decadent coffee fudge frosting recipe that is made without powdered sugar and without butter or shortening. Yet it is super rich and creamy—the perfect topping for any cake or brownies!

Above: used as frosting for my No-Flour Black Bean Brownies.

Side note: If you chose answers A or B (the unicorns or puppies), it might be a good idea to talk to a psychologist about this. Or maybe an eye doctor…

Coffee Frosting

You won’t miss the butter. Promise.

coffee fudge frosting


Coffee Fudge Frosting

  • 1 cup cashew or macadamia nuts (110g)
  • 1/4 cup plus 3 tbsp espresso or strong coffee (105g)
  • very scant 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 2 tsp pure maple syrup (10g)
  • 2 1/2 nunaturals stevia packets or 4 tbsp powdered sugar (or simply increase the maple syrup to 4 tbsp, and decrease coffee to 1/4 cup)

Place the nuts in a cereal-sized bowl and cover with water. Let sit at least 6 hours, or overnight. Drain the liquid, then combine all ingredients in a small food processor or blender until super-smooth. (I actually used my Magic Bullet for this. If your food processor is too big, you might need to double the recipe for smoother blending.) For all substitution notes, see the nutrition link below:

View Nutrition Facts


Mocha Frosting

Question of the Day:

Do you wear glasses at all?

When I was little, I wanted to wear glasses so badly. My optician uncle sent us pairs of fake glasses, and my sister and I actually wore them to school for a few months. Now that I do sometimes wear glasses, for far distances and driving, I wish I didn’t need them. It’s especially difficult to remember to bring them shopping, and I’m constantly losing them!

Link of the Day:


…………………Giant Oatmeal Bowl

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Katie is the baker, photographer, and author of the popular blog Chocolate-Covered Katie. Her favorite food is chocolate, and she believes in eating a balanced diet that includes dessert every single day. More about Katie—> 
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  1. I’m actually wearing glasses this week because my eye doc found a small scratch on my eye. At first, I hated it, but now I’m loving them! It’s so nice to let my peepers breathe and my students are definitely showing me a bit more respect now that I look all smarty-pants 🙂

  2. Ha! Funny question – I wanted to wear glasses after reading the Baby Sitters Little Sisters books. Then I had to wear them in 4th grade and started losing that desire and then had to get bifocals in 6th grade (no joke!). Then when I was told I didn’t need to wear them to drive, I decided that meant I didn’t need to wear them at all. 😉

    1. Karen C says:

      Me too! Especially since she had my same name!

  3. I do wear glasses, but only at home.

    One place that I never wear them: the gym! They fog up immediately 😛

  4. I should wear glasses because my eyesight has gotten REALLY bad over the past couple of years. However, I have trouble naturally adjusting from far away to up close so even the multifocal contacts or bifocals aren’t cutting it. I just squint all the time and hope some breakthrough will happen so I can see again properly soon!

  5. I’m not a coffee-lover but my husband is and I can’t wait to make this for him! His weaknesses are brownies and coffee. This will be the perfect surprise for him!

  6. Claire says:

    You seriously made me laugh Katie! Your intros to your recipes brighten my day every time. Thanks for being creative and witty. I love it. And I love this recipe- so many options with it. And yes, I did wear glasses when I was little- but I stopped needing them when I hit puberty (how awesome?!). 😀

    1. Karen C says:

      My hair stopped being curly when I hit puberty. I miss my curly hair!

      1. Claire says:

        Ah, now that is sad! You could try getting a perm? I have a friend who lost her curly hair for a bit (after too much straightening), then when she got a perm, the curly hair just stuck! It’s like her head/hair remembered what it was doing before. 🙂

  7. I had to wear glasses and/or contacts for my entire life starting at age 8 and it was TERRIBLE! I remember telling my husband that if I lived as a cavewoman, I wouldn’t have made it to my 10th birthday with such bad eyes!!

    But my favorite memory about having terrible eyesight (800/20!!!) was staring at the Christmas tree without them on – such pretty colors all running together!! 😀

    But last year I was fortunate enough to get a Groupon for LASIK eye surgery…and now my life is soooo much better! 😀


  8. katy sparrow says:

    I also wanted glasses as a kid, cos my best friend in kindergarten wore them, and got my wish at age 7! Wahoo for me, haha. This frosting sounds and looks so good! And I can top my remaining CCK black bean brownies (great recipe!) with it.

  9. Yes! I was looking for the perfect frosting recipe and I think I just found it! ;D

    I’m in the 7th grade and so far I haven’t needed glasses yet. I never want them, either! Having fake glasses has never appealed to me since I don’t look that good in them. 😉

  10. Anna says:

    This may sound like a silly question, but is the coffee for this recipe made up into a liquid, or do you process the grounds (is that what you call it? What you buy in the jar!)

    I love your site by the way. I always read your recipes and they brighten my morning 🙂

    1. Aw thanks, Anna 🙂

      And not a silly question at all, especially since so many of my recipes call for the grounds. This time, though, it means the liquid.

  11. Oh my goodness those look so good! And I went to the eye doctor once in the 4th grade and he gave me glasses. I wore them for a month but stopped because they hurt my eyes… Haha haven’t been back since!

  12. Funny you mention the glasses. I’m on my last pair of contacts & since I should have thrown them out weeks ago, I’m wearing my my glasses that have the right side of the frame ripped off (only lenses, & left ear piece/frame), thanks to my 18 month old! It’s pretty lame, but we’re waiting for our insurance to kick in in a few days until I buy some new frames. At which point, I’m going to go for it & buy something a bit more expensive–some frames that I would *love* wearing.

  13. Abigail says:

    Hi Katie! I stumbled upon your website given to me by a vegan friend (I’m not vegan, though) and I am OBSESSED. I seriously stay up until midnight almost every night looking at everything. My faves have been the single cupcakes & dessert pizzas. Oh. my. goodness. Desserts are my weakness, but I am really trying to eat healthy and stay away from sugar! You have brought life back into my dessert-loving body! So, thank you! Question – if you use cashew butter for this, how much would you suggest? Thanks again! 🙂

    1. Maybe 1/2 the amount… so 1/2 cup?

  14. I have glasses, but I usually wear my contacts since I need them all of the time. Have you ever thought about trying a pair?

    1. I have tried… my eyes were just too sensitive and I couldn’t get them in without tearing up. Granted, it was quite a few years ago so I should probably try again.

  15. Jamie says:

    I’ve needed glasses since I was in first grade! My mom let me pick out my own…they were clear and with pinkish purple swirled through. (What was I thinking??) Now I wear contacts 99% of the time. I do have some amazing Chanel glasses that I would love to wear, but I’m almost too blind to wear them because a prescription that gets distorted! Is it weird to want to get partial Lasik so that my eyes are better, but I’ll still need glasses? 🙂

    1. Claire says:

      No, it’s not weird! Well, a little…but it totally makes sense. Glasses are part of your identity- I’m sure that’d be hard to give up!

  16. Karen C says:

    Cashews soaking right now!

  17. Teresa says:

    I’m not usually a frosting fan, but this looks delicious.

    I started wearing glasses when I was 6 (beginning of my 2nd grade year in school). I wore them until I got contacts when I was 16. Now I wear glasses only when I’m not wearing my contacts (usually first thing in the morning and before I go to bed). I have to wear the RGP lenses but dream of one day getting IOL surgery (they implant a lens behind your iris but in front of your natural lens). I would love to not have to rely on glasses.

  18. Lea says:

    This frosting sounds absolutely magical, I need to make this asap.

    I’ve had glasses since 7th grade (but I usually wear contacts) I’m pretty blind without them, I can’t even see the big E at the top of the eye chart!

  19. Leslie says:

    Oh man, are your photos getting better and better every day. Have you ever thought about doing professional photography? Although for selfish reasons, I would prefer you keep blogging. I check your website first thing every day!

  20. Fran says:

    I am SO excited to try this sugar-free frosting recipe, Katie! I was talking with a friend the other day about how much fun vegan baking is (‘cuz I’ll promote veganism from ANY angle; I do it for ethical rather than health/weight concerns!). But when she asked me about frosting, I told her I usually don’t bother with it now that I know it’s all just sugar and “butter.” Even if I don’t particularly care about eating healthy foods all the time, consuming powdered sugar by the spoonful is just an unappetizing concept to me. So THANK you for this delicious-looking alternative. Mmmmm….

    And I’ve had the same love/hate relationship with my glasses: When a girl at school got glasses in kindergarten, I wanted them so badly; but now that I’VE been wearing them since kindergarten myself, they’re driving me crazy. So I just got the go-ahead from the eye doctor for PRK/LASIK surgery YESTERDAY!!! I’ll have clear vision in a couple of weeks!!!!

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