Vegan Buttercream

Joined May 31, 2015
I don't make VEGAN buttercream a lot at my bakery.  But made as usual the vegan buttercream. It would not stay on the cake, I added more 10x sugar beat it very well it still was not work. Is there a problem with vegan butter these days??
Joined Mar 4, 2015
I have never made vegan buttercream before. Margarine instead of butter I am guessing?
Joined Jun 27, 2012
Are you using the vegan sticks marked for baking?

It will act more like butter thus creating a thicker stiffer "buttercream".

How about the temperature of your work space (too warm and any product based on fat will get "melty" and slide right off).

If you are already using it and still having problems try substituting half for an equal amt solid vegetable shortening like Crisco or


Kitchen Dork
Joined Jun 15, 2006
You need to provide a little more information about the problem(s) you are having. What is your "vegan buttercream" recipe? Have you used

it before successfully and now you are having problems, or have you actually never made it before? What kind of cake are you trying to apply the icing to? Is your cake cold/cool when you go to apply the icing? Are you working in a warm space that isn't ideal for icing a cake? What is the consistency of the buttercream when you think you're done whipping it? Is it soupy? Is it too stiff? Do you have a lot of experience icing cakes with non-vegan buttercream?
Joined Jan 4, 2011
A lot of times the problems with "vegan" cooking come from difficulties sourcing and using good proper ingredients. Everything must be "animal-free". Nothing can be any part of an animal or come from an animal. In the beginning I really didn't understand this. Honey "comes from" bees. That is a disqualifier. Stupid me that time. Anyway ... good high-quality ingredients are very important (sometimes very costly), and are not all that easy to get. Still, you gotta use the right stuff.

Regular Vegan Butter Recipe - Cocoa Butter Base

¼ cup + 2 teaspoons soy milk
½ teaspoon apple cider vinegar
½ teaspoon coconut vinegar (if you can’t find coconut vinegar, substitute with ½ teaspoon apple cider vinegar so the total is 1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar)
¼ + ⅛ teaspoon salt

¼ cup + 3 Tablespoons + 1 teaspoon (85 grams) refined (deodorized) cocoa butter, melted
¼ cup canola oil, light olive oil or rice bran oil

1 teaspoon liquid soy lecithin or liquid sunflower lecithin or 2 ¼ teaspoons soy lecithin granules
¼ teaspoon xanthan gum or ½ + ⅛ teaspoon psyllium husk powder

1) Curdle your soy milk
Place the soy milk, apple cider vinegar, coconut vinegar and salt in a small cup and whisk together with a fork. Let it sit for about 10 minutes so the mixture curdles.

2) Mix your Vegan Butter ingredients
Melt the cocoa butter in a small saucepan over low heat so it's barely melted and as close to room temperature as possible. You can also use a microwave but the melting is considerably faster using the saucepan melting method. Measure it and add it and the canola oil to a food processor. Making smooth vegan butter is dependent on the mixture solidifying as quickly as possible after it's mixed. This is why it's important to make sure your cocoa butter is as close to room temperature as possible before you mix it with the rest of the ingredients.

3) Transfer the Vegan Butter to a mold so it solidifies
Add the soy milk mixture, soy lecithin and xanthan gum to the food processor. Process for 2 minutes, scraping down the sides halfway through the duration. Pour the mixture into a mold and place it in the freezer to solidify. An ice cube mold works well. The vegan butter should be ready to use in about an hour. Store it in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 1 month or wrapped in plastic wrap in the freezer for up to 1 year. This recipe makes 1 cup (215 grams), or the equivalent of 2 sticks Regular Vegan Butter - Cocoa Butter Base.

Easy Vegan Buttercream Frosting Recipe

1 cup (215 grams) Regular Vegan Butter or margarine, refrigerator temperature
2 cups (260 grams) confectioners sugar
1 Tablespoon + 2 teaspoons (24 mL) non-dairy milk
¾ teaspoon apple cider vinegar
¾ teaspoon vanilla extract
⅛ teaspoon salt
⅛ teaspoon almond extract

1) Prepare your chilled Vegan Butter
Transfer the Vegan Butter or stick margarine to a medium mixing bowl and place it in the refrigerator for at least 20 minutes so everything chills. This will allow the Vegan Butter to melt slowly and whip properly.

2) Whip the Vegan Butter
Remove the bowl from the refrigerator and whip on low while working your way up to high until the Vegan Butter is smooth. This should take about 30 seconds.

3) Beat in the confectioners sugar
Add the confectioners sugar and beat on high until the sugar has been moistened by the Vegan Butter, about another 30 seconds. Scrape the sides of the bowl down towards the center with a spatula.

4) Beat in the rest of the ingredients
Add the non-dairy milk, apple cider vinegar, vanilla extract, salt, almond extract and beat on high until the frosting is smooth and slightly fluffy, about 4 minutes. Due to coconut oil having a melting temperature of 77F (25C), beating beyond 4 minutes can result in the frosting melting if you’re using a Vegan Butter that contains this oil. If this happens or if you’re working in an especially hot kitchen, don’t hesitate to place the mixing bowl in the refrigerator briefly to give the frosting a chance to firm back up slightly. Keep in mind that your cake will need to be kept below 77F (25C) in order for the frosting to maintain its shape on the cake. If you’d prefer a frosting that stays put in higher temperatures, look to Vegan Butter made with cocoa butter which has a melting temperature of 93-100F (34 to 38C) which is closer to the melting temperature of milkfat found in most traditional frosting recipes.

Neither of these recipes are at all original to me. I have however, used both of them, and they work just fine.
Joined Jun 27, 2012
Thanks @IceMan  for posting these two recipes.

Now I will have a couple of vegan icing recipes in my hip pocket that I can pull out should the need ever arise.

Question..... why are we curdling the soy milk?

Does it contribute to the flavor profile or is this just to help keep the product thick?


OBTW is the veg shortening a vegan no no or does the cocoa butter contribute to the flavor as well (one more or....does the cocoa butter just solidify better?)

Joined Jun 27, 2012
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Joined Jan 4, 2011
Sorry FFG ... but I'm not sure if my answers really answer your questions.

I curdle the soy-milk because the recipe says so. It comes out nice following, and I have no better recipe. I prefer cocoa butter to vegetable shortening just because it's emotionally/psychologically easier for me to eat strait-up in a frosting. Eating Crisco is just kinda really icky for me. Yeah ... I know ... sorta hypocritical coming from a guy that smokes, and can eat haf'a'dozen hot-dogs in a single sitting. I also won't eat tofu or mayonnaise either because they're both communist, and will make you sterile.
Joined Jun 27, 2012
's alrite @IceMan.

It is kinda gross.

My go to is usually based on a stabilized meringue but living and baking on the Gulf of Mexico means sometimes I just have to go there.

There are those brides who have planned their weddings since they were toddlers and they always insist on a beach or the middle of daddy's north forty JULY.

Not Crisco  but the hi ratio shortening (works better and is not as greasy on the palate IMO) and I call it DECORATOR ICING lol.

Jam under fondant works ok also.

As well as delivering straight from the walk in cooler.

A few years ago I was into a really firm ganache under fondant which worked until someone's planner moved a huge stacked cake to a "pretty" location next to the pool.

Ummm no I will not refund your money.

But the pictures are really PRETTY (not...the fondant had started bubbling and sliding).

If I know the room has good cold air (hotel ballrooms are the bomb in my world) then I can whip out the eggs and butter and chocolate whoohoo!.

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Joined Feb 18, 2007
I've used the Whimsical Bakehouse original recipe with high ratio shortening (ugh, this stuff feels weird, I can't imagine eating it! I personally refer to this as "yucky buttercream" and no butter and it works as a vegan "buttercream".  Just this past weekend we had to use it and it was hot and humid so we reduced the water according to the recipe and I was surprised at how much firmer it was compared to when I made it last with the butter and the full amount of water. I still didn't care for it (too sweet and too gritty from the cornstarch in the confectioners sugar) but if you need vegan or dairy free, it works.

@flipflopgirl love the description of the toddler wedding planning and poolside cake tables....
Joined Jun 27, 2012
jcakes jcakes Good old American Buttercream....makes my teeth ache just thinking about it.
My 4.5 year old grand is already tearing pages out of magazines lol.
Mostly just dresses...her fave is the one Angelina Jolie's kids designed (from People Magazine).
Hope I am spry enuf to dance at her wedding.

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Joined May 1, 2015
I've used coconut oil several times as a base for vegan buttercream. You need to experiment a bit to get the correct flavor profile you're looking for but it holds very stable at room temperature.
Joined Aug 17, 2015
Hey everyone, I'm the Head Pastry Chef at VSPOT Organic in the East Village (Latin vegan restaurant) and I struggled with my vegan buttercream for years before I started baking commercially. The secret I found to this issue was to eliminate the vegan butter altogether and stick to the Organic Palm Oil Shortening. Best results for decorating & having it keep its shape & not melting. :)
Joined Jan 4, 2011
OK. So that would be a nice enough idea/answer, if palm oil wasn't now one of the world’s leading causes of rainforest destruction. Unchecked expansion is pushing new plantations deep into the heart of some of the world’s most culturally and biologically diverse ecosystems. Irreplaceable wildlife species like the Sumatran Rhino, Sumatran Elephant and the Sumatran and Borneo orangutan are being driven to the brink of extinction. The clearing of rainforests and carbon-rich peatlands for new plantations is releasing globally significant carbon pollution, making palm oil a major driver of human induced climate change. Palm oil production is also responsible for human rights violations as corporations often forcefully remove Indigenous Peoples and rural communities from their lands. Tragically, child labor and modern day slavery still occur on plantations in both Indonesia and Malaysia.

OK ... again. Does this mean anything to anyone here? I don't know. It does mean a lot to me. My vegan buttercream comes out just fine. I don't/won't use palm oil. That's me.
Joined Nov 13, 2016
You need to add a touch of seaweed and guargum to replicate traditional butter texture. We also recommend using a butter essence and our DAIRXY yeast - see all our products online for vegan info

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