It sounds to good to be true, I know, but here is the proof! Creamy, all natural, Vegan Chocolate Swiss Meringue Buttercream does exist! Thanks to the amazing discovery of Aquafaba (literally “bean water”, from a can of beans), all kinds of wonderful things that used to require egg whites are now possible! This Vegan Swiss Meringue Buttercream is one of those things! This icing is like heaven on Earth, on your cake. Seriously! It is light, fluffy, and melts in your mouth. It goes on your cake like a dream too. I’ve made the Vegan (gluten Free) Chocolate Lover’s Cake seen above with this icing several times recently, in preparation for this post, and also for a birthday party and I’m happy to say that not only was it a huge hit, but it is now my go-to cake and icing recipe! It’s a cake that you can bring anywhere and because it’s dairy free and egg free, everyone will be able to enjoy it. They’ll love it too – I promise! Unless you know people who don’t like chocolate…. are there people like that? I’m going with not many!
So, before you start thinking that this must be complicated or something, let me assure you that it is not! I did try a few more complicated versions of this, like the Italian style method of making meringue buttercream, which was harder, and I opted for this one. With the Italian method, you have to cook sugar in water and then pour it into the mixer while it’s mixing and it needs to be a certain temperature, and you need a candy thermometer, and there were some problems when I did it… twice… so I decided to opt for this, because I want you to love this recipe (and my blog!) for years to come! So let’s talk about what we need to do to get this creamy confection on top of your favorite cake!
These are the ingredients for the buttercream: Aquafaba, semi sweet dark chocolate discs, chunks or chips, Earth Balance Vegan Stick Margarine, Sugar and vanilla. You’ll need a mixer (preferably with a balloon whisk), a pot and some water.
When you make an icing like this with egg whites, it’s important to make sure that no oil comes into contact with the egg whites before they are whipped and form stiff peaks. I don’t know if this is also completely necessary when using aquafaba, or for this recipe, because we aren’t whipping to peaks, but I figure it couldn’t hurt. So I wiped down anything that would be coming into contact with the aquafaba with apple cider vinegar (white vinegar is fine too). When that is done, you’ll need to heat about 1 inch of water in a sauce pot, and place the mixing bowl over it, making sure the water doesn’t touch the bottom of the bowl. Before I start heating the aquafaba and sugar, I go ahead and melt the chocolate in the microwave, so it can start cooling off until I’m ready to pour it into the mixer. Be cautious when melting the chocolate in the microwave. I have a powerful microwave (1250 watts) so I use half power and do it in 15 second increments, stopping to stir in between. It usually takes about 45 seconds to get it smooth and melted. When that is done, go ahead and pour the sugar and Aquafaba into the mixing bowl, and heat, whisking continuously until the sugar is dissolved. The mixture should look opaque when it’s ready. Now move the mixing bowl to the mixer, add your vanilla and begin whipping on high ( I use the 9 setting on my Kitchen Aid stand mixer), with the whisk attachment. This is a link for my Kitchen Aid mixer. I adore this mixer because the bowl is really big, and it comes with several attachments and a shield. (In case you are curious about what I use!)
Keep mixing until the bowl is completely cool. Now you can turn the mixer down a notch or two and start dropping in the sliced margarine, one at a time, waiting about 5 seconds between pieces. If at any point during this process, the mixture starts to look separated, turn up the speed on the mixer and wait for it to come back together before adding any more margarine. I’ve had problems with other recipes, and other processes, but this one worked really well for me. If you have any problems keeping the emulsion together, you can stop the mixer, and put the bowl (with whisk attachment in it) into the refrigerator for about 10 minutes and then go back to the mixing. Sometimes if the bowl is not completely cool, or if the margarine is too warm, separation could happen. Once you have a nice creamy mixture, you will want to add the melted (cooled) chocolate.
You’ll probably need to stop a couple of times and scrape down the sides of the bowl. Mix until the frosting is light and fluffy.
One thing that I adore about this buttercream is that the ‘butter’ flavor is not too heavy, and unlike traditional American style buttercream, this Swiss Meringue buttercream doesn’t use huge amounts of powdered sugar, so it is not super sweet. It is really the perfect compliment to any cake. If you need a great chocolate cake recipe, check out my Vegan Chocolate Lover’s Cake, it’s gluten free, easy to make, and is amazing! This icing recipe makes enough to frost 2, 8 or 9 inch layer cakes, 1 sheet cake (13×9) or 24 cupcakes.
I’d love to share more recipes with you, so make sure you sign up for my email newsletter, or connect with me on social media! All of the recipes on my site are vegan and gluten free, and I specialize in sharing recipes that you can make for anyone. I like to test my recipes out on my non-vegan family and friends and at cooking classes, to make sure they are crowd worthy! So hang out and get lots of great recipes and some other goodies along the way. Thanks for reading! If you have any questions please email me or leave a comment, and as always, feel free to share this post! xoxo, Angel
- 9 T Aquafaba (I prefer the liquid from a can of cannellini beans) *updated*
- 1 C granulated sugar
- 1 C (2) Earth Balance Vegan Margarine Sticks (don't use the tub kind, it's too soft), cut into 1" slices and slightly softened, but cool
- 1 t vanilla
- 4 ounces semi-sweet dark chocolate, melted and cooled
- In a glass bowl, melt chocolate in microwave, on half power in 15 second increments, stirring at least once during the process to prevent burning. (About 45 seconds in a 1250W microwave).
- Put about 1 inch of water in a large sauce pot and begin heating. Place aquafaba and sugar into your mixing bowl (use metal or glass).
- When water is simmering, place your mixing bowl on top of the pot, making sure the water does not touch the bottom of the bowl. Stir with a whisk, as mixture heats. Keep heating until sugar is completely dissolved and AF is opaque.
- Remove bowl from heat and place on stand mixer.
- Add vanilla.
- Attach the balloon whisk, and begin mixing on high speed. Continue whipping on high speed until bowl is completely cool.
- Begin adding margarine, one piece at a time, waiting a few seconds between each piece. Keep beating until fluffy. If frosting separates, keep whipping on high speed. If necessary, place in refrigerator for about 10 - 15 minutes and then beat again, adding any remaining margarine.
- Drizzle in melted chocolate. Whip until blended.
** This post contains affiliate links, which means that if you click through, and make a purchase, I will receive a small commission from Amazon. It helps me keep the blog running, so if you do purchase after reading my post, that’s awesome, thanks! Most importantly, I just want to inspire you, and be inspired by you. I never write about products that I don’t use, or don’t believe in. When I do find something that I’m passionate about, I like to share it with my readers.