Vegan Swiss Meringue Buttercream Frosting! No need to cook sugar and eggs for this creamy, thick and irresistible frosting. It whips up like magic before your eyes, thanks to a secret ingredient!
It’s unbelievably fluffy, smooth and wonderfully sweet. If you have ever attempted to make swiss meringue frosting with eggs and sugar, you might remember it’s quite a difficult process. Well, rejoice! My vegan version is not only free of animal products, but it’s super easy to make!
How do you make it?
Find the complete recipe with measurements below.
- Add the vegan butter to a large bowl of a stand mixer (or you can use a hand mixer.) The butter should be barely softened to room temperature, but not at all melted. I like Country Crock brand best for frosting, but Earth Balance, Melt and other brands work as well.
- Beat until smooth, then slowly add in the powdered sugar until mixed in.
- Add the aquafaba (literally the liquid from a can of chickpeas!) and vanilla. Beat on medium-high speed for 5 minutes. Do not cut this time short, it needs that long to fluff up!
- When it’s done, it will be thick and perfectly pipeable. If it’s too thin, add a little additional powdered sugar until it thickens up.
How to use aquafaba?
If you haven’t heard of aquafaba before, it will blow your mind! It’s just the liquid from a can of chickpeas, and it works similar to egg whites. It can be whisked and added to cakes, or turned into whipped cream. You can make lemon meringue pie or meringue cookies, even marshmallows!
For this frosting, it works like magic to fluff up the frosting and make it thick and creamy. Don’t worry, you can’t taste even a hint of beans!
Can I make it sugar free?
I haven’t tried it myself, but if you need a sugar free frosting, try a powdered sugar alternative. Lakanto has a monk fruit sweetened sugar, as does Swerve and several other brands.
But you definitely need some sort of powdered sugar for it to work. Granulated or liquid sweeteners will not work here.
Chocolate Swiss Meringue Buttercream
For a chocolate version, add 4 ounces of melted and cooled vegan chocolate, when you add the aquafaba and vanilla. Yum!
Other flavor variations
Try adding a teaspoon of peppermint extract for a minty frosting, to go with Vegan Peppermint Mocha Cake.
Or add some freeze dried strawberries for strawberry frosting to go with Vegan Strawberry Cake.
You can add lemon extract and lemon zest for lemon frosting. Or coconut extract for coconut! The possibilities are endless.
What recipes go with swiss meringue frosting?
- Vegan Vanilla Cupcakes
- Vegan Funfetti Cake
- Vegan Chocolate Cake
- Vegan Ginger Cookies (make cookie sandwiches!)
- Vegan Carrot Cake
- Vegan Boston Cream Donuts (pipe in the frosting instead of custard)
Recipe inspired by Gretchen’s Vegan Bakery.
Vegan Swiss Meringue Buttercream Frosting
- 1/2 cup (1 stick) vegan butter, slightly softened to room temperature*
- 2 cups powdered sugar + more as needed
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 4 tablespoons aquafaba (liquid from a can of chickpeas)
- Optional: vegan friendly food coloring, if desired
- Add the vegan butter to a large bowl of a stand mixer with the whisk attachment (or you can use an electric hand mixer.) Beat the butter until creamy and smooth.
- Add the powdered sugar, 1/2 cup at a time so it doesn't jump out of the bowl, until all the powdered sugar is mixed in.
- Now add the vanilla and aquafaba to the bowl, and beat on medium-high speed for 5 minutes. Don't cut the time short, it really does take that long to get perfectly creamy and silky smooth. If after 5 minutes the frosting is not thick enough, add more powdered sugar, 1/2 cup at a time, until the frosting is thick, fluffy and creamy.
- If adding color, mix in just a few drops of vegan friendly gel food coloring, or more until you have your desired color.
- Use Swiss Meringue Buttercream to frost cupcakes, cakes or in between cookies. The recipe makes enough for about 12 cupcakes or a double layer cake.
Vegan butter: Don’t let your butter get too soft or at all melted, or the frosting will be too soft for piping. It should be just barely softened. If you leave the stick at room temperature for 20 minutes or so, that will be perfect. Vegan butter tends to be softer and less stable than dairy butter. I like Country Crock brand best for frosting, but Earth Balance and Melt both work great for me as well.
Sugar free: To make a sugar free frosting, use a sugar free powdered sugar. Lakanto has a monk fruit sweetened powdered sugar, and there is also Swerve and other brands.
You don’t need to first whip the aquafaba. Literally drain a can of chickpeas and use 4 tablespoons of the liquid. It fluffs up as it mixes.
Chocolate version: Add 4 ounces vegan chocolate, melted and cooled, when you add the vanilla and aquafaba.