This is a vegan buttercream, I didn’t put vegan in the title as I seem to get a lot of hate when I use the word “Vegan”. Am not sure why the hatred for veganism, but each to their own. My only comment on a vegan lifestyle is that I appreciate my vegan friends that don’t push their choices onto me, and respect my decision to consume animal products and cater to me, as much as I do the same for them. And let me point out, no I am not going vegan, I am a baker, i love all things baking related and I love to try all things and perfect things for myself as I go along…. Kindness and mutual respect people!
So that’s me off my soap box and on to more important things… cake and this awesome recipe!
So where did I start with my frolic into vegan buttercream? In 2021, our handsome godson met and fell in love with a beautiful young vegan lady. They got knocked up from their endeavors and while he was going to put a ring on it, the bubby on the way, sped up the time line. So an engagement was planned in August and a Baby shower in November. Lock down happened and the engagement was postponed. Fast forward to Nov, number rising again and they decided to move the baby shower to early December and combine it with a baby shower/engagement….
Queue the baking fairy god mother to ensure not only the guests were happy but so was the bride to be/mama to be….. and I fell down a rabbit hole of great recipes, crap online content, poor information, untested recipes, hard to find ingredients etc etc.
Can you say stressful?
I ended up making about 5 buttercream recipes, an Italian meringue one was the most palatable, so I then went ahead and started tweaking one I found on Pinterest until I got it wayyyyyy close to my signature Italian Meringue Buttercream recipe on this site.
Enough chatting out of me, ( I lie, I will chat more through the recipe as I usually do and by now, you expect it!) here it is…. My Moreish Plant Based Italian Meringue Buttercream Recipe….
1 1/2 cups of chickpea water (aquafaba - I used salt reduced chickpea water. Any brand will do, it might take up to 3 cans to get the quantity)
2 cups of sugar (now here is the fun bit, you can use any sugar you like, white sugar will obviously help with white buttercream, but dark brown sugar in this recipe is to DIE for!)
3/4 cup of water (yes just water… don’t get fancy here)
1/4 teaspoon of cream of tartar
350grams of vegan butter (I used Nuttelex baking and cooking butter, the regular Nuttelex spread is too soft for this)
180grams of vegetable shortening ( I used Solite)
Flavouring of your choice
A spoon of titanium dioxide if you want white white buttercream (this is optional)
Strain off the chickpeas, measure up to 1 1/2 cups, pour the chickpea water into a saucepan and boil on medium for 20 mins to reduce by approx 1/3 - Ideally, you need about 1 cup - take off the heat, leave to cool and then refrigerate.
Once chilled, pour the reduced chickpea liquid into your mixing bowl. Turn on your mixer and start whipping. Add in the cream of tartar.
Meanwhile, place sugar, water and titanium dioxide if you are using is, high temp on the stove top. Do not stir. You want it to reach 118 degrees Celsius. I find a Loyal Infrared tool the best for my temp checking as I have a nasty habit of burning myself with candy thermometers.
Meanwhile, your chickpea liquid has created magic and turned it’s self into meringue!
When your sugar syrup reaches 118 degrees, take it off the heat and , turn the mixer down a little and slowly pour into your meringue while the beaters are going, careful they are not too fast so you avoid splash back and nasty burns!
Turn your mixer back to high, and leave it run until the meringue is cooled to below 30 degrees Celsius.
Add in the shortening and the vegan butter, one big table spoon at a time.
Once all incorporated, add in your fav flavour.
It’s ready to use straight away and can keep on the bench for a couple of days. Fridge for a week, and freeze for up to 3 months.
Remember to tag me into your bakes as I can’t wait to see your creations!
Check out some of my recent caking creations with this recipe: