If you’re looking for a delicious and easy alternative to traditional buttercream, look no further than vegan buttercream! Not only is it dairy-free and plant-based, but it’s also incredibly creamy and flavourful.
With just a few simple ingredients, you can whip up a batch of homemade vegan buttercream frosting or icing that’s perfect for decorating cakes, cupcakes, and more. In this article, we’ll show you how to make vegan buttercream from scratch in just a few easy steps.
Ingredients for Making Vegan Buttercream
Making vegan buttercream is a great alternative for those who want to ditch dairy or follow a plant-based diet. Here are the ingredients you will need:
|Vegan butter or margarine||1 cup|
|Unsweetened non-dairy milk (e.g. almond, soy, oat, coconut)||2-4 tablespoons|
|Powdered sugar||3-4 cups|
|Vanilla extract||1-2 teaspoons|
The vegan butter or margarine should be softened before use, but not melted. When choosing a non-dairy milk, opt for an unsweetened variety to control the overall sweetness of the buttercream. You can adjust the amount of powdered sugar depending on your desired level of sweetness. The vanilla extract is optional but adds a delicious flavour to the buttercream.
If you have specific dietary needs, there are alternative ingredients that can be used to make vegan buttercream. For example, if you have a nut allergy, you can use seed or rice milk instead of nut milk. If you need a gluten-free option, make sure that all ingredients are certified gluten-free.
How to Make Vegan Buttercream: Step-by-Step Guide
Making vegan buttercream is a simple process that involves a few key ingredients and some basic steps. Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to make delicious, plant-based buttercream:
- Start by softening the vegan butter: Take your vegan butter out of the fridge and let it soften at room temperature for about 30 minutes. This will make it easier to mix and create a smooth texture.
- Prepare your equipment: Before you begin mixing, make sure you have all the necessary equipment and ingredients ready. You will need an electric mixer or stand mixer, a bowl, measuring cups and spoons, and your chosen flavourings.
- Mix the vegan butter: Once your vegan butter is softened, put it in a bowl and use an electric mixer or stand mixer to beat it until it’s smooth and creamy. This should take 1-2 minutes.
- Add the icing sugar: Gradually add the icing sugar, one cup at a time, and continue to mix until it’s fully incorporated. Keep mixing until the frosting becomes light and fluffy, this takes 5-7 minutes.
- Flavoring: Add in your desired flavorings such as vanilla extract, cocoa powder, fresh fruit purees, etc. Mix everything until well combined.
- Check the consistency: If your vegan buttercream is too thick, add a splash of plant-based milk to thin it out. If it’s too thin, add some more icing sugar to thicken it up.
- Decorate: Once you’ve achieved the desired consistency and flavor, you’re ready to use your vegan buttercream to decorate cakes and other baked goods. You can spread it with a knife or spatula, use a piping bag for frosting, or try different decorating techniques like swirls or rosettes.
Now that you know how to make vegan buttercream, you can experiment with different flavours and decorations to create your own unique desserts. Happy baking!
Variations of Vegan Buttercream
Looking to mix things up with your vegan buttercream? Here are some variations you can try:
- Chocolate Buttercream: For a rich and decadent chocolate buttercream, simply add cocoa powder to your frosting mix. Start with ¼ cup of cocoa powder for every 1 cup of powdered sugar, then adjust to taste. You can also add a splash of vanilla extract or a pinch of sea salt to enhance the flavour.
- Fruit-Flavoured Buttercream: Add a burst of fruity flavour to your frosting by incorporating fruit puree or juice. Strawberry, raspberry and mango are popular choices. To make the fruit puree, simply blend fresh or frozen fruit in a food processor or blender until smooth. Add the puree to your frosting mix, a little at a time, until you achieve the desired flavour and consistency.
- Coconut Buttercream: For coconut lovers, try adding shredded coconut or coconut milk to your frosting. Simply fold in ½ cup of shredded coconut or 2-3 tablespoons of coconut milk to your frosting mix. This will give your frosting a tropical twist and a subtle nutty flavour.
- Matcha Buttercream: If you want to add a touch of green to your frosting and experiment with a unique flavour, try incorporating matcha powder. Start with 1 teaspoon of matcha powder for every 1 cup of powdered sugar, then adjust to taste. This will give your frosting a slightly earthy and grassy flavour, with a hint of sweetness.
With these variations, you can make your vegan buttercream truly your own and tailor it to your personal tastes. Don’t be afraid to experiment and try new flavour combinations!
How to Use Vegan Buttercream
Now that you’ve learned how to make delicious vegan buttercream, let’s explore different ways to use it!
- Cake Decorating: Vegan buttercream is a versatile frosting that can be used to decorate cakes of all shapes and sizes. You can pipe it onto cupcakes, spread it onto layer cakes, or use it to create intricate designs. To achieve a smooth finish, try using a cake scraper or bench scraper to spread the frosting evenly over the cake. For an extra special touch, add some edible decorations such as fresh fruit, chopped nuts, or vegan sprinkles. You can also colour the buttercream with natural food colourings to create stunning ombré effects or rainbow cakes.
- Cookies and Biscuits: Vegan buttercream can also be used as a filling for cookies or biscuits. Simply sandwich two cookies together with a generous dollop of buttercream in the middle. For an even fancier treat, use a piping bag to create designs on top of the sandwiched cookies, or roll the edges in some chopped nuts to add some texture.
- Cupcake Toppings: Cupcakes are the perfect canvas for experimenting with different vegan buttercream flavours and designs. You can swirl on some colourful frosting with a piping bag, or use a knife to spread it on top of the cupcakes in a smooth layer. Top with fresh fruit or a drizzle of vegan chocolate for an added boost of flavour.
- Vegan Buttercream Drip Cake: If you’re feeling ambitious, why not try making a vegan buttercream drip cake? This stunning cake features a smooth, buttercream base with drips of melted vegan chocolate or caramel running down the sides. Decorate with fresh fruit, macarons, or other vegan treats for a show-stopping centrepiece at your next event.
With these ideas for using vegan buttercream, you’ll be able to impress your friends and family with your delicious and beautiful creations!
FAQs About Making Vegan Buttercream
If you’re new to vegan baking, making buttercream frosting without butter or cream can feel like a daunting task. Here are some common questions about making vegan buttercream:
How long can I store vegan buttercream?
You can store vegan buttercream in an airtight container in the fridge for up to a week. Before using it again, let it sit at room temperature for a bit to soften. If you need to store it for longer, consider freezing it. Frozen vegan buttercream can be stored for up to two months.
Can I freeze vegan buttercream?
Yes, you can freeze vegan buttercream. Make sure it is in an airtight container and label it with the date. When you want to use it, let it thaw in the fridge overnight, then let it sit at room temperature for a bit to soften.
How can I prevent my vegan buttercream from melting?
One of the downsides of using plant-based ingredients is that they can be more temperamental than traditional butter and cream. To prevent your vegan buttercream from melting, make sure it is not too warm in your kitchen before you start. You can also add a bit of cornstarch or arrowroot powder to help thicken the buttercream.
Why is my vegan buttercream too runny?
It’s possible that you added too much liquid to your vegan buttercream, or that your kitchen was too warm when you were making it. Try refrigerating the buttercream for 10-15 minutes to help it thicken up. You can also add more powdered sugar to help thicken it.
Can I make vegan buttercream without a stand mixer?
Absolutely! While a stand mixer can make things easier, you can still make amazing vegan buttercream without one. Use an electric hand mixer or even a whisk to mix the ingredients together. It will take a bit more time and elbow grease, but it’s still doable.
Can I make vegan buttercream without coconut oil?
Yes, if you don’t like the taste of coconut or can’t have coconut oil for some reason, you can use other oils instead. Try using avocado oil, grapeseed oil or canola oil instead.