Cherry Buttercream Frosting

Thick and creamy buttercream frosting sweetened with maple sugar, not the powdery white stuff. And real cherries add a pop of color and true cherry flavor, no artificial stuff here. Pairs perfectly with our rich Grain Free Chocolate Mud Cake.

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Have you ever had plans to do something, then something else happens that sidetracks you and it takes you a while to get back to it? Yeah, me too. Like this recipe. I’m actually embarrassed to say I started on it back in July 2014. Is 18 months too long of a sidetrack?

Maybe it was meant to be that way. Because at the time, I didn’t really have a chocolate cake recipe I really loved and it wasn’t until I discovered the magic that is cassava flour that I was able to create the best grain-free chocolate cake I’d ever eaten (or any chocolate cake, for that matter). And this frosting pairs so perfectly with that chocolate cake, so I think it was meant to be that I waited this long to get it done.

Cherry Buttercream Frosting by Our Paleo Life

What I really love about this frosting is that it can made with or without dairy. Truth be told, I love butter in frosting, but I know not everyone can tolerate it well (myself included, though I do torture myself simply because I love the taste). So if dairy isn’t your thing, go without the butter and know this will still taste great.

The real turning point for me was the powdered sugar, though. In all my pre-paleo baking years, I was a buttercream master. I had perfected the almond buttercream frosting, but trying to make it without powdered sugar would be next to impossible. I tried many paleo variations using different techniques, but none were really great enough for me. I did make some swiss meringue buttercream to go with my chocolate cake, and while it really is great, I missed the plain old buttercream. Then I realized I could make my own powdered sugar with granulated maple sugar. Lightbulb!

So armed with my trusty Blendtec, I powdered up some sugar and made a delicious cherry buttercream frosting and couldn’t be happier. My husband thinks it’s just not right to add fruit to desserts, so he would prefer this as a plain almond buttercream which would be easy enough. Just leave out the cherries and add a little coconut milk to the desired consistency, but why would you leave out the cherries?! I mean, come on, it’s cherries!

Cherry Buttercream Frosting by Our Paleo Life

Speaking of cherries, we planted a Montmorency cherry tree in our yard last fall. I can not wait to eat cherries straight off the tree. It’s fairly mature already, so fingers crossed for cherries this year.

Now go, make some cupcakes and frost them with this gorgeously pink frosting and maybe share some with the fruity dessert lovers in your life.

Cherry Buttercream Frosting by Our Paleo Life
Cherry Buttercream Frosting by Our Paleo Life

Cherry Buttercream Frosting {refined-sugar-free and dairy-free option}

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 10 minutes

Thick and creamy buttercream frosting sweetened with maple sugar, not the powdery white stuff. And real cherries add a pop of color and true cherry flavor, no artificial stuff here. Pairs perfectly with our rich Grain Free Chocolate Mud Cake.


  • 1/2 cup Grass-Fed Butter, like Kerrygold, omit for dairy-free, room temp
  • 1/2 cup Spectrum Shortening, increase to 1 cup if omitting butter, room temp
  • 3-1/4 cups Maple or Coconut Sugar, coconut sugar will result in a darker frosting
  • 1/4 cup + 2 Tbsp Arrowroot Starch
  • ¼ tsp Sea Salt
  • ¼ tsp Pure Almond Extract
  • 1/2 - 3/4 cup Frozen Cherries, keep the juices, pitted and thawed


  1. In a food processor or high powered blender (I prefer to use a Blendtec), add the sugar and arrowroot starch. Depending on the size of your blender, you might need to do half at a time. Blend on high for a minute or two until the sugar has been turned into powdered sugar. If your blender/processor gets hot, stop one or two times in the process so the sugar doesn't heat up too much. Set aside.
  2. In the food processor or blender, add the cherries and blend/process until not-quite-pureed (some cherry pieces should still be left). Set aside.
  3. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, add the butter/shortening and beat for 2-3 minutes until light and fluffy.
  4. Reduce mixer speed to low and add the powdered sugar 1/2 cup at a time, combining between each addition.
  5. When all sugar has been added, add the salt and almond extract and beat to combine.
  6. Add the cherries and juice (start with 1/2 cup) and beat on low until fully combined, then beat on medium-high for another 2-3 minutes until creamy and smooth.
  7. If frosting is too thick, add the other 1/4 cup.
  8. If the frosting is too thin, continue whipping another couple minutes to fluff it up. If it's still too thin (possible if your cherries had a lot of liquid), make some more powdered sugar and add 1/4 cup at a time until desired consistency.
  9. Use a piping bag fitted with your desired tip to frost cupcakes or an offset spatula for a rustic-frosted cake. Pairs deliciously with our Grain Free Chocolate Mud Cake.
  10. Store leftovers in the refrigerator in an air-tight container up to 1 week. Let sit out at room temperature for 20 minutes and then whip again for a couple minutes until it's light and fluffy again.
  11. You can also make this ahead of time and store in the fridge until ready to use. I actually prefer piping this frosting after it's been refrigerated overnight and re-whipped.
  12. Best served shortly after frosting, because it will darken and soften the longer it sits out at room temperature.

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1 comment
  1. Can I omit the shortening and use all butter or will that significantly alter the structure of the frosting? Also, can I use strawberries instead of cherries?

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