Aquafaba Swiss Buttercream Recipe

Below is my original post from 2 years ago when I first showed you how to make Vegan Aquafaba Swiss Buttercream and now I have updated the video with another more in depth tutorial which is (in my opinion better) but it may be helpful to watch both versions.

The first video here includes a bonus tip on what to do when your buttercream “breaks” or curdles into that horrific mess and most people throw it out in disgust at that point, but wait!
I show you how to come back from that with tips on how to avoid it altogether so be sure to check it out!

Original Post from 2015:

I have been bursting at the seams to show you guys this vegan swiss buttercream recipe for over 2 months!

But I had to wait until I got settled in Florida after my chaotic life upheaval!

So of course this was the first recipe on my list to share!

I am fairly new to Vegan Baking, but as I dabbled here and there with vegan recipes over the last year or so, I quickly learned “WOW, it is nothing like the cardboard and sawdust that everyone thinks it taste like!  Vegan food is AMAZINGLY DELICIOUS!”

But what I already knew about it even before  I started my vegan journey, was that it was going to be really hard to replicate recipes that require foamed eggs like Sponge Cakes and Macarons and sadly the World Famous Swiss Buttercream……since after all eggs are the only things we can get to a stable foam, right??


Introducing AQUAFABA!

FABA meaning BEAN and AQUA meaning WATER ~ we have magical BEAN WATER!

Yes, this magical liquid from heaven is what will transform your foamed recipes into a vegan dream come true!

Just wait until you watch the magic unfold!

Check out this facebook page administered by one of the creators of the Aquafaba and give a great big THANK YOU!

5.0 from 6 reviews
Vegan Swiss Buttercream Recipe
UPDATE: I have been doing more work with aquafaba and have found that if you refrigerate the reduced bean water overnight it will make it much sturdier and gelatinous, more resemblance to real egg whites, thus making your meringue sturdier when you whip it. And we all know the key to a perfect swiss buttercream is the strength of the meringue!
Serves: 5 cups
  • Canned Chick Peas* 2- 15ounce cans for 1¾ cups bean water
  • Granulated Sugar 1 cup
  • Vanilla Extract 2 teaspoons
  • Confectioners Sugar 1 cup
  • Cream of Tartar ½ tsp
  • Vegan Butter 3 sticks (1½ cups) (339g)
  • Hi Ratio Solid Vegetable shortening 1 cup (226g)
  1. Combine the sugar with the chickpea water in a saucepot and bring to a full boil.
  2. Boil for 5 minutes then transfer to a mixer bowl to cool completely
  3. With the whip attachment of the kitchen aid (a hand beater will work but it will take a very long time) whip the aquafaba on high speed until it is thick and glossy and has firm peaks
  4. Combine the cream of tartar with 2 Tbs of confectioners sugar and then add that to the whipped, firm peaked meringue, continue whipping and add the remaining confectioners sugar
  5. Add the shortening and softened vegan butte and continue whipping on high speed to a smooth emulsion
  6. Add vanilla last
Vegan Buttercream is softer than regular buttercream so it is helpful to store it and any cakes, pastries made with it, in the refrigerator ((for up to 2 weeks)), then bring the leftovers to room temperature before using by re-whipping it back to workable consistency.

For those who prefer to use dried beans (like I do) you will soak 10 ounces (280g) beans in 1 pint (2 cups) water over night.

The next day, the beans will have soaked up much of that water so you must add another 2 cups water.

Transfer the beans with the water to a large pot and cook over medium- high heat for about 45 minutes or until the beans are tender.

Drain the chickpea water into a smaller pot and use the chickpeas as you wish for another savory recipe

(I personally love to make hummus as a tasty snack for the busy days when I film videos! )

Reduce the fresh chickpea water as shown in the video above and proceed as the recipe states.


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      1. I specifically use chickpeas but others have used all sorts of beans including Black beans! LOL So yeah, chickpeas, black eyes peas, some have even used tofu water!

  1. Hi Gretchen, you are doing a wonderful job and thank you for all you do. This site is just so helpful and this recipe is amazing. I too have just started baking with vegan principals. However I want to cut down on empty calories, particularly those found in sugar. I was wondering if I could substitute honey or maple syrup for the sugar in this recipe? Kind regards

    1. Hey there! I know what you mean, just cuz it’s vegan don’t mean it’s healthy! LOL Yes you can probably incorporate it no probs, let me know what you find (Im new with this aquafaba myself, so I have some experimenting to do!)

      1. Keep in mind that much honey or maple syrup is not much healthier over sugar according to the years of research I’ve done as a nutritionist. It’s about portion control. Honey and maple syrup still affect the body in terms of calories and glucose levels. It’s a myth you can just substitute honey for sugar to make a dish healthier.

  2. I tried the whipped bean water a few months ago when I saw it posted on FB. I WAS SHOCKED at how it whipped up, although tasted so gross. I will definitely try this…..too curious NOT to do it. Thank you for your recipes. Love your blog & tutorials!

    1. hahaha I prefer the dried beans (rather than canned) I also think canned beans and the water from the can have a certain – gross taste to them- but after you add the sugar & other ingredients you can notice it and it is so good! I hope you try it!

  3. I just would like to express how much I enjoy seeing you up and running again!!! Since I discovered your amazing videos on YouTube a year ago, you are my best friend in the kitchen!! You seem to know all questions I’m going to have before “I” know them myself…… I have learned so much from you, and continue to do so

  4. Hello Gretchen,
    How many grams of chickpeas do I soak to get d above qty? And Wat would b d qty of water to b soaked in?
    Thanks for d recipe.

    1. For those who prefer to use dried beans (like I do) you will soak 10 ounces (280g) beans in 1 pint (2 cups) water over night.

      The next day, the beans will have soaked up much of that water so you must add another 2 cups water.

      Transfer the beans with the water to a large pot and cook over medium- high heat for about 45 minutes or until the beans are tender, not al dente.

      Drain the chickpea water into a smaller pot and use the chickpeas as you wish for another savory recipe(I personally love to make hummus as a tasty snack for the busy days when I film videos! 🙂 Reduce the chickpea water as shown in the video above and proceed as the recipe states.

    1. If you are using dried chickpeas like me, then yes- soak them overnight then boil them, the remaining water is the aquafaba- you will still have to reduce that liquid though as shown

  5. Hi,
    Thnks for d reply. Tried dis today.I did increase sugar n vanilla coz I couldn’t taste it at all..I think it’s all on how concentrated d aquafaba is.I used home made.also had a qt Y my foam was ivory before the addition of vanilla also..was not white like urs.but dat is not my worry..end result of the recipe fabulous Wid some sweetness adjustment for me :).. Any inputs on d storage of this buttercream?
    Thanks for everything.

  6. Hey gretchen! I’m a big fan of your recipes your great! That looks amazing I’m definitely going to try that. I can’t wait.
    Any chance of doing the cinnamon roll recipe please???

    1. thankyou so much! and YES I plan to refilm EVERYTHING but I just need the time to get it all done! trying my hardest and fastest! thankyou for the support! In the meantime if you go to my Gretchens Bakery facebook page in PHOTOS I have the cinnamon bun recipe, and alot of the most popular recipes and also there are so many people who
      have saved the recipes and can share with you right away! Just ask on the main page! Thanks!

  7. Hey Gretchen,
    Was noting down d recipe.confectioners sugar step is missing in d written context. It might help for ppl who can’t watch video.
    Thanks 🙂

  8. Hi Gretchen! I’m so inspired by your works.. Looking fwd to try this recipe soon… I’m always getting disappointing results whenever I bake a cake.. But you’ve explained your cakes nd icing methods so simply that its tempting to try out! Kudos to you..

  9. Hi Gretchen, what exactly are earth balanced buttery sticks??? Actually I have not heard of it before….. Maybe cos we don’t get it around this side:-)

  10. You are my hero! A true genius! You deserve so much recognition and appreciation for what you do with your gifts and talents. This recipe is going to help me provide an amazing dessert for a family who suffers from a battery of food allergies and intolerances. I’ve said this before and I’ll say it again. You back circles above Buddy Valastro, Candace Nelson and Duff by leaps and bounds. You are truly a force for good and hope you reap all the rewards afforded to kind people who give instead of take and help instead of hinder by judging others and tearing them down. You’ve made me a better baker and not only because of sharing your techniques but also for sharing your joy. Thank you again!

  11. How long can you store this? I would like to make it today than frost the cake tomorrow. Thanks! Can’t wait to try the recipe, looks so freaking good and sure to impress the vegan doubters out there!!

    1. Vegan Buttercream is softer than regular buttercream so it is necessary to store it in the refrigerator (for up to 2 weeks), then bring it to room temperature before using by re-whipping it back to a workable consistency.

      I tested recipe this out by storing it in the freezer (up to 1 month) and brought it back to room temperature for the re-whip. Because this recipe is slightly less stable from the start than the original swiss buttercream, I’m not crazy about freezing it since it will be even softer once it thaws

      Ans yes to room temperature butter and shortening

      1. It came out perfect!!! So creamy and yummy. I was really nervous as I haven’t made swiss buttercream since culinary school 13yrs ago; even back then I got nervous making it because it seemed like it could get messed up so easily. But this recipe is easy peasy; I had no trouble at all making it. Yayyyyy!!

        It’s going on an Elsa cake for my neice. I’ll post pics when it’s done (if it looks ok…)

  12. Hi Gretchen; good to see you back and gunning for us food issu-ists. Can I add that in UK we cant get Earth Balance, only in really big cities and its expensive. The alternatives available dont hold or set up too well in warm weather and need to be kept refrigerated so this is a bit of an issue if you wanna use the SBC for filling cake say. I’ve gotten round this by using a quantity of cocoa butter (also ups the flavour..!) which seems to stay firm longer but you gotta work fast. Theres nothing more disappointing than handing over a two tier vegan ‘Frozen’ cake complete with Olaf, which is bulging where the SBC is gradually escaping and distorting the beautiful blue fondant and fluffy clouds. The next time I made a vegan cake, I filled it with whipped ganache made with soya cream- an absolute winner.
    More power to us weirdos; I’m gluten free too but my cakes are NEVER boring or tasteless.

    1. Hi Dancer, Gretchen et al,
      What substitute would you recommend for Earth Balance Butter or Earth Balance Shortening? I too am UK based and am seeing a lot of recipes that call for Earth Balance butter. Unsure what to use though? Also, where can I buy (in the UK) cocoa butter from? Sorry the random questions, I’m really excited to start experimenting with these recipes but unsure where to start from. Thanks, Ria

  13. Hi! What is the shelf life of this frosting? Can you leave the cupcakes on the counter for a couple days without it losing the integrity of the frosting?

    1. Vegan Buttercream is softer than regular buttercream so it is necessary to store it in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks, then bring to room temperature before using by re-whipping it back to workable consistency.

      I tested recipe this out by storing it in the freezer (up to 1 month) and brought it back to room temperature for the re-whip. Because this recipe is slightly less stable from the start than the original swiss buttercream, I’m not crazy about freezing it since it will be even softer once it thaws

  14. Everything was going so well until I added the butter. The meringue was super stiff and glossy even stiffer after the confectioner’s sugar, but once the butter went in, it turned to liquid. Very tasty liquid, but unusable for icing 🙁

      1. I did whip for another 5 minutes, then added more confectioners sugar and beat again hoping this would help stiffen it back up, but no luck. Maybe I gave up too soon, but it was still so liquidy. But I did love how stiff and glossy the meringue became when I reduced and dissolved the sugar ahead of whipping. I had always added the sugar half-way through. Does this method produce a better ‘simple’ meringue when baked? I’m looking for the silver lining here 🙂

        1. awe 🙁 Im sorry it didnt work out – what a bummer.
          I hate that….. but Im glad you liked the meringue with the swiss preparation (I basically wanted to mimic my original swiss buttercream recipe thats why I did it that way) and I thought it was great- however another viewer commented that she felt it weakened the strength by doing it that way, and she had been experimenting with Aquafaba for some time, so I felt her comment was warranted.
          At any rate- we have to go with what works right!??
          I need to do more experimenting with this magical ingredient because sponge cake, macarons and meringues are in my dreams for the future! Thanks for the feedback, always appreciated and very helpful!

          1. I have seen recipes where the butter was whipped until light and fluffy and the cooled Aquafaba syrup was beaten in. The results are supposed to be almost identical. And it takes around 5 minutes mixing time.
            I can’t say that I’ve ever had Swiss meringue buttercream. Is the taste of this version comparable to the taste of the one made with eggs? Can you taste the beans at all?????

  15. So, just to make sure I’m following the instructions correctly- you have to make this two weeks ahead of time to give it enough time to set? Why does it have to chill for that long? Leaving it in the fridge overnight or for 24 hours isn’t enough?

    1. Hmmm, No. Im not sure where you are reading that or where I allude to that?
      I do list storage options in the notes section on all my recipe, perhaps you are reading it as if it is essential, sorry for the confusion
      You CAN store it for up to that long before it will go bad, but you can use this buttercream immediately

      1. Thanks! I saw the part where you said “it is necessary to store it in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks, then bring to room temperature before using” and thought that you meant to do that before using for the first time, but it did seem weird to have to refrigerate for that long so I figured I’d ask.

        I have one more question, have you tried making a chocolate version of this? Do you think it would work to fold in melted and cooled chocolate or would adding cocoa powder be better?

        Thanks for sharing this awesome recipe!

        1. ohhhhhhhhhhhhhh I got you- I should have used better grammar and punctuation- now I see it.
          It is necessary to store it in the fridge (((for up to 2 weeks)) …..
          Thanks for talking this out with me! hahah
          I think cocoa powder would be better becasue it is already so soft- BUT that is with the vegan buttery sticks- which tend to be softer anyway- so if you are not 100% vegan and are just going for the eggless version- and using butter, then I think chocolate would be OK

  16. Hi there. Question about your UPDATE. Do you mean that you should A: 1) reduce the bean juice, 2) refrigerate overnight, 3) heat again over low heat, 4) add sugar, 5) cool completely? Or do you mean that you should B: 1) reduce bean juice, 2) add sugar, 3) refrigerate overnight?

    Thank you, Can’t wait to try this.

  17. Hi Gretchen,

    Wondering if you think this would be possible with the Earth Balance spread as opposed to the sticks? Looking at the nutritional information online they seem to have the same ingredients but I’m not positive!


  18. Hi, Gretchen

    just wanted to say big fan or your recipes . I also want to know if you had a vegan recipe for cinnamon bums!!!!!! thanks so much

  19. Hi,
    I have nade dis one on d 18th sept. Read dat u dun prefer to freeze it coz of it being soft but if I prefer to store., will it keep fresh as swiss buttercream.
    Also instead of adding melted choc to make choc buttercream I added ganache to it coz it was handy. I hope it’s not wrong.

  20. I’ve been reading up on buttercreams and even in my own experimentation have discovered that Earth Balance is not as stable as other vegan spreads/shortening (like Crisco or Fleishmann’s). Of course, those are partially hydrogenated and Earth Balance is not, which is probably where the difference comes from. I know you can add cream cheese to SMBC; how do you think a vegan cream cheese would hold up in this recipe? Do you think it would improve the stability?

    1. Yes I agree, it is not very stable but it lends the best flavor- so its sort of “pick your poison” ya know?
      I think the cream cheese would be fine- but again, not very stable

  21. Hi Gretchen, You state in the comments that you prefer aqua faba made from dried beans. Can you explain the taste differences? I have a bride whose vegan,but wants a regular buttercream cake (no fondant) I’d like to surprise her and maybe sneak a wedge of your vegan cake and buttercream so when she cuts the wedding cake she’ll be able to eat it!! Any suggestions on how to achieve this idea? As always,thanks for all you do….

    1. I just don’t like canned food that’s all. Its just my personal preference and not really a “baking” preference. (Ill be honest the canned bean water is actually stronger meringue than any Ive made from my own bean water )
      Great and sweet idea for her! So thoughtful! You can always bake a small Vegan Cake and then cut the wedge exactly to the size you are taking out of the main cake, pop it in there, and then ice over it- just be sure to mark where she should cut!
      (they do this all the time with Dummy Cakes- like styrofoam cakes that are used just as the display- and there is just 1 real piece, see if you can google some info for Dummy Wedding Cakes

      1. Thank you so much for this wonderful recipe, I made a beautiful pink rosette cake for my daughter’s birthday tomorrow with it and it looks wonderful! I’m going to post a photo on Vegan Meringue Hits and Misses facebook page, this was definitely a hit!

  22. Made your amazing wonderful Vegan Buttercream today. I even left out the last stick of New Balance and it was perfect! I served at room temperature but just had a piece that was refrigerated and it was also delicious. Silky smooth. Thank you for your recipe. I just can’t get over the possibilities with aquafaba. After making your Swiss Buttercream, I found there are many other things you can do with this stuff…

  23. hi ,
    i love your recipe.
    i have a question for you can i use this under fondant or will it be too unstable?
    and if i can do i have to keep the cake in the fridge after covering because i dont normally do that.
    thank you

  24. I regularly whip coconut oil for use in “buttercream” frostings. The addition of aquafaba is not necessary. Therefore, what is the purpose of adding bean juice to the mix, which would compromise the longevity of the buttercream?

    PS I use the same whipping technique when making moisturizing creams which include other skin-nourishing oils and essential oils.

  25. Hi Gretchen,

    Thank you SO much for this recipe – I am so excited to try it tomorrow! I have held off on making meringue kisses since going vegan, but I finally think it is possible with your recipe! Have you ever tried making meringue kisses using this recipe? Do you think it would hold up in the oven?


    1. yes you can, however I am not a pro at this – it needs some testing. If you have had practice with baking aquafaba please let me know you results! My 2016 mission is to master the art of aquafaba!

  26. Looks fab.Does your icing when put on cakes as frosting remain stiff for 2 full days when kept in fridge or lose stiffness to be more runnier ..I tried and though it remains stiff initially ,it becomes runnier the next day . Any suggestions to keep for longer time the stiffness ?? What about agar agar ? How to use them for stiffness up to 2 days??

  27. I made this for my son’s birthday cake. But I used butter. It sat on the counter for about 4 days before I refrigerated it. The fondant started to droop after day two, but the frosting consistency was still nice and light. How does it compare to SMBC made with egg whites, taste-wise? I have never had/tasted Swiss Meringue Buttercream made with eggs but wanted to try it. My son is allergic to eggs and peanuts, so I was elated to find your recipe. The second time I made it I made half the recipe and squeezed half a lemon in to get a light lemon flavor. He said it was the best cupcake and frosting he’s ever had
    I may add the rest of the lemon……….

    1. awesome! thanks for the feedback I’m so glad t worked out and WOW 2 days no refridge before it drooped??! that’s great! Sounds like you made it PERFECTLY!
      AS for the taste comparison, I feel like it is very similar! You cannot really tell!

  28. Gretchen, are you now vegan? just wondering since I am, I would LOVE to follow you more on recipes (I have in the past and love them all) thanks!!!!!

    1. Hi! yes! I am vegan 100% in my personal life, however I love in this bizarre horrible catch 22 with my business 🙁
      Click here for my explanation of the sever hypocrisy in which I live 🙁
      I DO plan to get more Vegan recipes this year so stay tuned. I have been “Veganizing” my recipes already wherever possible but I have alot to learn as Vegan Baking is very different (and wonderful) I just have to learn this new way and new ingredients before I can share with you guys…so….. but click here for my list so far

  29. Hi Gretchen! Me again! I was wondering can you whip up the aquafaba in a ninja blender or a vitamix, just wondering, will it work maybe? Huh, and I don’t know if you know this, BUT you can use 1TBS of flaxseed and mix that with 3TBS of water then set it aside for 5 minutes, and you have an instant egg replacer! Double or triple for how many eggs you need, lol you know WAYYYYY more than I do about baking, so I’ll just let you do the talking! 😉 thanks, and you have no idea how much one person can do! I have been vegan for about 6 months, previously vegetarian for 1 year before that! But, you are helping in many ways possible!

    And vegan baking is healthier too,

    1. I dont have a vitamix and my blender would have a heart attack it is so old! LOL Yes to flax eggs, I use them often in my Vegan recipe here.
      I agree with you about the vegan lifestyle! Keep spreading the good word my brother! Vegan is the way of the future!

  30. Gretchen. In case any of your followers want to mess with this recipe I can tell you and them first hand “don’t do it”. I made this recipe for Halloween and it was fantastic. I’ve been freezing my Aquafaba ever since waiting to recreate the perfect vegan frosting again. But tonight I had buttercream disaster because I used a different brand of Vegan spread. I couldn’t get Earth Balance so I used Pure Soya spread. Enormous fail. So disappointing. Your recipes are fantastic so I’ve learnt my lesson not to swap ingredients. I hope my fail helps someone else.
    Also. I didn’t realise you were vegan too. You go sista! My family thinks I’m weird, but I don’t care. Vegan is the future.

    1. Amazingly, once the aquafaba is whipped there is no residual bean taste/smell. Just a plain aquafaba & confectioner sugar whip tastes something like marshmallow fluff.

  31. Hey Gretchen!

    Question about your update–do you refrigerate the aquafaba overnight first before you add the granulated sugar or after?

    Just wondering bc when making macarons, I refrigerate the AF overnight and then add the sugar when whipping it.


    1. Yes to how you are doing it! I did it both ways and although adding the sugar when it was hot was fine (It worked and dissolved the sugar) I fin d the aquafaba is stronger when you get it cold and nice and gelatinous after it has been reduced

  32. Now that I (finally) have a stand mixer I am going to try this for the next office birthday celebration. I’m sure everyone (not just my colleague who is vegan) will love it! Thank you, as always!

  33. Hi Gretchen,

    Where I live I cant get the earth balance sticks? Would it be ok to swap it with real butter and shortening since I cant have eggs but can have butter.


  34. Hi Gretchen,
    Can palm shortening be used entirely rather than part shortening and part earth balance butter?

    Also, if I were to use the aquafaba for baking, is it a 1:1 ratio for eggs? So 30ml aquafaba=1 egg?


  35. Can this be used under fondant? I typically make my cake the night before the party and refrigerate it. Will I need to be worried at all about this buttercream losing shape as it is thawing?

  36. Hi again,
    I did a trial run -the icing is delicious and worked very nicely under fondant! Very happy to know I now have a go-to “vanilla” vegan frosting (as I cannot bear to eat/serve the overly sweet powdered sugar/vegan butter/shortening form of frosting). I’ve never used this type of buttercream before and am assuming it is usually a “softer” version than traditional buttercream? I’m still a little concerned about the cake being outdoors in 80 degree weather and it softening up quickly. I’ve started adding some agar-agar powder to my vegan chocolate ganache frosting (to help the coconut milk fat hold it’s shape in warmer weather) and just wondering if you thought that might work in this recipe too? If yes, at what step would you add it? Thanks again for a great recipe!

  37. I love your detailed recipe, I had never heard about Aquafaba before, i like low sweet icing recipe and found this. Can i put Aquafaba Swiss vegan recipe below rolled marshmallow fondant.
    And after refrigeration for few hours, can i leave it out for 4 hours outside.Pls advice.

  38. Hello. Do you think I could use shortening only and omit the butter? Do you think this would be okay on cupcakes left at room temperature over night and served the next afternoon? I made it once before but did not like the earth balance taste, it tasted great before I added the earth balance. Thanks

    1. Yes you can use all shortening, some would frown on that (just from a taste perspective) but Earth balance is shortening anyway (just tastes better! LOL)
      They will be much more stable with all shortening (I advise a hi-ratio shortening like Sweetex though) I can’t say how they will be overnight not in the refridge, since this is a little softer than a traditional buttercream, just as long as the room temp does not go above 70°F I think it will be OK

  39. Hi Gretchen. I can’t get earth balance here in the UK. Can i use dairy free butter instead or can i just use trex (the shortening we get here)

    1. yes sorry for being “brand specific” I should have noted that- sometimes Im a bit tunnel visioned, but yes to that dairy free butter and also trex is a good mix

  40. What do you think about using coconut oil as substitute for the shortening and margarine? (not a fan)
    And what about adding a teaspoon of cornstarch to hold the whole recipe up? (sometimes, pre-packaged powdered sugar already contain cornstarch, that’s why I ask…) thanks!

    1. Its all worth a try (however I feel that coconut oil is so unstable, it has such a low melting point – just touching it makes it melt in my hands, so I feel it will cause a really soupy unstable icing)

  41. Have you ever made a Korean style buttercream? I’ve seen cakes on instagram that are made with Korean style buttercream, they have a beautiful transluscence…but I cant seem to find a recipe for it. Would you know of one?

  42. Hi Gretchen! Thank you for this recipe!! It was amazing!!!! Only
    Thing is I need a vegan buttercream that’s white, and this one has a yellowish tone. Do you think it’s okay for me to add white food coloring?? Or what else should I do to get it to be a bit whiter. Thank you!!!

  43. Can this Aquafaba buttercream be flavoured too? Will it be able to hold fruit purees? How stable is it, can it be used in cakes or is it just fit for cupcake frosting?

    1. yes however it is already softer than a regular buttercream, and adding anything to buttercream makes it softer again. I prefer to add flavor concentrates since you will add less for more flavor. Purees you have to add a lot to get any real flavor to come through the sweetness, so just be careful or it can break

      1. I added strawberry purée, blended strawberry added sugar and heated it until sugar melted, then put in a fridge for an hour and then added to already whipped aquafaba. Both and taste and flavor were delicious. I made marshmallow from it.

  44. Hi Gretchen I made your Swiss buttercream it came out superb, texture amazing .. It is quite stable I want to show you my flowers I made using your recipe I have posted in Facebook vegan cakes and cakes decorating ..Taste wise I need to find some better tasting vegetables shortening in uk as my Swiss buttercream was bit greasy in taste but I am very pleased with texture.. Thanks a lot..

  45. Is aquafaba non perishable. I mean the frosting from it will b non perishable or can it b kept outside at room temp for few hours

  46. Hi Gretchen,

    This is a wonderful recipe. I will try it soon with a allergen-free strawberry cake. How do I flavor this for chocolate SMBC?


  47. Hi Gretchen, the merengue was stiff, then I added the confectionery sugar and the merengue became softer, and the whole thing became liquid after adding the vegetable spread. I kept beating but the mix never came back. What did I do wrong? I read in some of the comments and some people had the same problem. I don’t hv the fat shortening that you have used. I really want to make this buttercream but it so frustrating when you can get right a recipe

  48. I’m so excited to try these recipes!!!. i’m not a vegan, but I’m am vegetarian weaning herself off of products like eggs and milk. one question, when you make the fluffy stuff (the aquafaba and the sugar) can I just use that for icing? without adding the butter and shortening…. will it hold?

    1. GREAT! theaquafaba is just bean water whipped up so without sugar it is (like plain eggs, PLAIN pretty tasteless) but yes you can leave out the butter part and have more of a merignue

  49. This turned out beautifully! Everyone thought the cupcakes with this frosting was from a bakery. Thank you so much for the recipe!!!

  50. Thanks for the recipe… I have a question regarding not adding shortening and using only butter, is it ok to do that and if yes, should I keep the quantity same or not?

    1. yes it would be the earth balance, Im finding I have to cut the salt down or out altogether when I use Earth Balance

  51. Dear Gretchen

    I made this recipe yesterday …..And Ohhhh my Gosh it is a miracle. So smooth and delicious. Thank you for this recipe.
    Can i make this in different flavors …like lemon… chocolate…. orange ect?
    Could adding extract change the consistancy and maby make it less stable?
    I want this to be my staple buttercream from now in.

    With love..

  52. Can I leave the shortening out of this recipe? I just refuse to use it because it’s so unhealthy in my opinion. I want to make frosting for vanilla cupcakes. if this recipe won’t work do you have one that would?

    1. yes you can leave it out, but you have to replace that same amount in butter (just FYI this is a vegan recipe, so the “butter” here is vegan butter which is essentially shortening as well. If you are looking for a non vegan buttercream recipe CLICK HERE (same applies for taking out the shortening)

  53. Hi Gretchen, I’m going to make this due to an egg allergy, if I’m not specifically needing to omit dairy what do you think tastes better? Using shortening plus the earth balance or using shortening with butter?

  54. Ahh! Help I reduced my bean water & chilled it overnight but forgot to add the sugar when it was hot. Totally my fault but can I add the sugar now that I’ve already whipped my chilled bean water to stiff peaks? I’m just hoping I can still salvage since I don’t have time to reduce & chill again at this point.

  55. My first attempt using aquafaba and it was a success! I am not vegan but I still wanted to try this amazing bean water. I have made your SMBC many times and this gave me the exact same results (and you cant taste beans in it). I used normal butter and Crisco in place of hi ratio shortening. The only thing I didnt like is the huge whipping time. I had to whip it for 20 mins using kitchen aid stand mixer.

  56. Hi, I would love to try this recipe tomorrow or on Friday. I live in South Africa and have no idea how to get the following: granulated sugar as well as Hi Ratio Solid Vegetable shortening. Now I was hoping to substitute the granulated sugar with normal sugar- normally I like to use brown sugar, coconut blossom sugar or xylitol would any of those be an option? I have a Thermomix and can blend any kind of sugar into icing sugar if that might assist? For the vegtable shorting could I use either vegan butter or coconut oil instead? Thanks for your help… the icing looks so yummy!!!

    1. Hi Granulated sugar IS normal sugar. Just regular white sugar yes? You can use brown sugar though if you prefer.
      yes to vegan butter, coconut oil tends to melt too quickly causing a soupy icing so stay away from that! Good luck and thanks!

  57. Hi, I love your smbc, it is well loved in our family. I am so looking forward to making this for my daughter who can’t eat butter. I made smbc with Earth Balance baking sticks and it was not good..not only is it expensive, it was super salty and ruined the buttercream..any other butter replacement suggestions?

    1. Hi! thanks! I agree with you on the Earth Balance and the saltiness, I wish they would stop doing that! But there are two reason I use the shortening, #1 to reduce the salty-ness and #2 for stability.
      I would recommend to find a margarine that is UNSALTED instead of the EB (after all EB is just margarine with a fancy Vegan name on it!)

  58. Hi Gretchen! Love your blog and YouTube channel. I was wondering if you could use all vegan butter rather then shortening? And if there was a good way to flavor this maple whether it be extract or actual syrup? I apologize if these questions have already been asked.
    Thank you!

  59. Tons of questions. So my mom’s surprise birthday party is on Sunday and I’m making her a cake (because homemade is so much better and I’m the only one that belongs in the kitchen, plus with being vegan it’s not easy to trust the store stuff) anyway. I’m thinking of making a two tier cake the first tier being 10″ and the second 8″. Thinking of going with vanilla “butter”cream. 1) So here comes the questions: with it being made on Thursday what are my filling options? 2) Will the cake and icing still be as good when it’s 3 days out? You suggest freezing or refrigerating it for that long? I want the cake all assemble so the person bringing it doesn’t have to do anything. Ideas?

    1. Sure, you can pretty much use any filling you like. Once it’s in the cake it is going to stay fresh for days. I would sometimes assemble wedding cakes on Thursday for Saturday weddings if I had a crazy weekend in the bakery with limited time to get it all done.
      The icing will be fine too, just keep it in the refrigerator (not freezer) until pick up delivery time

  60. Thank you so much for sharing this recipe! Although I don’t eat eggs, I can eat dairy. Can I replace the vegan butter and shortening with real butter? Also for the vegan recipe, is it possible to make a decent batch if I omit the shortening altogether and only use vegan butter? Thank you!

  61. Wow this recipe looks amazing thank you. I’m hoping to try it this weekend and add it to my favourite carrot cake as I don’t like overly sweet topping and going recently vegan I’m too chicken to try vegan cream cheese.

  62. So, for those of us that live in countries where we can’t get the egg replacement you mentioned in this recipe do you have an alternative we can use? Thanks

  63. Hi Gretchen, I have another question. Do you have any recommendations for flavor variations for this recipe? Chocolate, mocha, etc. Is the stability affected a lot by adding melted chocolate or cocoa powder? Thanks so much!

  64. Hi Gretchen
    Question regarding the update mentioned – if we refrigerate reduced AF and then later how we can add granulated sugar to it as sugar won’t dissolve in cold AF or do we need to warm it again to dissolve sugar?
    Secondly, if we add sugar to reduced AF prior to refrigeration, do we whip up that already cold or first we need to get it to room temperature before whipping up?

    Still so excited to try this version of buttercream.

    1. You would need to rewarm the AF if you add it later, to dissolve yes you are correct.
      Whipping cold AF has never been a problem

  65. Hi, Gretchen!

    Thank you so much for this recipe. I love the silky texture of SMBC frosting! Question… Can this be made with the addition of cream cheese for a Cream Cheese SMBC? If so, how/when would you add the cream cheese? How long do you think it would hold up if made in advance of when it’s needed? Thanks!

    1. I prefer to make cream cheese icing separate then add it to the SMBC, storage same as cream cheese icing (about 1 week in the fridge)

  66. Hi, thanks for this recipe!
    I wouldn’t know where to find shortening here in Germany, do you think it would work with more vegan butter instead? Maybe if I add more sugar?
    Cheers xx

  67. Hi,

    Love your recipes as always. Gonna give this a try.

    I do not have vegan butter in Taiwan but shortening (Spectrum). Can I just use shortening? will it turn into crumbs if i do so?


  68. The texture is incredible, it stays very well, but it tastes and smells a little like fat. The shortening that I use (crisco) was already open for a few months, does that influence?

    How can I make it a little less creamy and more firmer? Or would that not be buttercream? I’m sorry, as you mentioned in one of your posts, many of us are used to the taste of cheap icing and we don’t know what the true flavor of buttercream is LOL

  69. Hi I just finished making it and I used Crisco as the shortening since I couldn’t find any other brand but now it feels greasy and smells and tastes like crisco .. I tried adding more powdered sugar and vanilla but it still tastes like the shortening. Is there anything I can do to fix it or could I add anything to make it a different flavor?

    1. Many people have that aversion to Crisco, and why I always used Sweetex (it is a hi ratio cake shortening formulated specifically for icings and cakes) BUT once they changed their formula to abide by the new BAN the Trans Fat laws, it became unstable (in icings) and I also resorted back to crisco since after all the only reason we use shortening in icing is for stability! SO this was very frustrating and many people have that same reaction as you to the Crisco.
      You can add another stick of butter if you like, or more extract too.

  70. Hi Gretchen!

    Is this good under the fondant? I am so relying on your SMBC, but this time I’m making cake for an egg allergy customer

  71. What a wonderful icing recipe I’ve made this yesterday, added the butter by little amounts (used only vegan butter, no shortening) and it didn’t separate. It’s soooo shiny and silky!! Thank you!

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