Vegan Vanilla Coffee Coconut Buttercream

(V - GF - DF - NF - EF - RSF)

Nuzest Almond Cacao Cake with Coffee Coconut Butter cream, Chocolate Ganache + Salted Caramel Popcorn

These cupcakes were a little project with my daughter using the leftovers from the Nuzest Birthday cake I made for the Health2000 Conference. The cake recipe can be found on the Nuzest website, it is a great low sugar, gluten-free, dairy-free and 100% natural cake option.

You won't be left feeling heavy or like you have over-indulged, it's perfect! The buttercream used is vegan friendly and refined-sugar free, and includes the Nuzest Coffee Coconut + MCTS Functional Protein Powder to add a sweet coffee flavour. Don't worry if you are not a coffee fan, the flavour is not too strong and works well with the coconut to bring a unique delicious taste to the cake. I have then used a vegan friendly chocolate and coconut ganache to drizzle on top, followed by salted caramel popcorn which is also vegan friendly and refined-sugar free! See below for the Topping recipes! Vegan Vanilla Coffee Coconut Buttercream (V - GF - DF - NF - EF - RSF)

Ingredients: 1 cup cup vegan buttery spread, softened

¼ cup non-hydrogenated vegetable shortening, cut into small cubes

2 cups Powdered coconut sugar *

3 scoops of Coffee Coconut + MCTSs Protein Powder (or more adjust to taste preference)

1/3 cup nut butter (I used Forty Thieves Salted Macadamia with Maple and Vanilla Bean) - Optional

2 tablespoons non-dairy milk (I used cashew milk)

3 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

pinch fine sea salt Method:

  1. Using an electric mixer cream together the vegan butter and vegetable shortening until smooth.

  2. In small batches add in the coconut powder mixing on medium to begin with and then switching to high to ensure it is well incorporated. Taste as you go to get your desired sweetness. Add in vanilla extract, coffee coconut protein powder, salt and nut butter.

  3. Continue to mix until smooth again and well combined.

Chocolate Coconut Ganache (V - GF - DF - NF - EF - RSF)

Ingredients: 1/2 cup coconut cream

150g dark chocolate (75-85% cocoa) Method:

  1. Pour the coconut milk in to a small saucepan and place on a small element over a low heat.

  2. Break up the chocolate into small pieces and add this to the saucepan.

  3. Stir the mixture constantly until smooth and to prevent burning.

  4. Drizzle the ganache over the top of the cake or cupcakes while still runny, this will help you to get the drip look down the sides.

  5. Place the cake in the fridge for the ganache to harden before topping with the popcorn.

Salted caramel popcorn (V - GF - DF - NF - EF - RSF) Ingredients:

1 tbsp coconut oil

2 tbsp popping corn

1 cup coconut sugar

1/2 cup coconut cream (the thick part from a can of full fat coconut cream)

1 tsp vanilla paste (or natural vanilla extract)

1/2 tsp salt


  1. To make your coconut caramel sauce. Put all of the sauce ingredients into a small saucepan and bring to a simmer. Continue to cook over a low heat, stirring often, for about 20 minutes or until the sauce is thick, glossy, and forms a channel through the sauce when you draw a spoon across the bottom of the pan. 

  2. While the sauce is cooking, make your popcorn. Heat 1 tbsp coconut oil in a large saucepan with a lid. Once the oil is hot, add the popping corn and put the lid on. Let the corn pop, shaking the pan frequently until the sound of popping corn dies down again. Tip the popped corn out into a large mixing bowl. 

  3. Line a baking tray with baking paper and then spread the popcorn out over the top.

  4. Pour the caramel sauce over the popcorn and mix until thoroughly coated.

  5. Arrange the popcorn on top of the cake and return back to the fridge until it is ready to be served.


  • To make the powdered coconut sugar put 1 cup of coconut sugar + 1 tsp tapioca flour into a coffee grinder or Vitamix. Blend until you reach a powdered consistency, you may need to stop and stir the mixture in between to ensure all the coconut sugar is processed. It should be light brown in colour and a fluffy powdered texture.

  • When making and assembling the cake - I made the cake and the frosting 1-2 days before serving and then the night before serving I decorated with the ganache and salted caramel popcorn.


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