Based on my popular vegan Italian meringue buttercream with a few tweaks, this vegan pink champagne frosting is light, airy, and not overly sweet like standard American buttercream can sometimes be.

This recipe was a collaboration with my good friend Anthea from Rainbow Nourishments. Anthea is an incredible vegan baker and cake maker. Her work is of the highest standard, with her experience in the food industry and being a former cake business owner, she has nailed down how to make the fluffiest vegan cakes that rival their non-vegan counterparts.

Having trialed and tested my eggless Italian meringue buttercream endlessly, I knew it was time to develop new and exciting flavors to help take your vegan cake frosting to the next level. Anthea and I have been planning this recipe for a few months now but haven't gotten around to putting it together until now!

We wanted to create a versatile celebration cake that you could create for any special occasion. So here it is, our vegan pink champagne cake with champagne buttercream recipe.

In this post, I'm going to talk you through the ins and outs of getting that perfect vegan frosting nailed down, and you'll be able to learn how to make the perfect fluffy vegan pink champagne cake over on Anthea's post.

vegan pink champagne cake with italian meringue buttercream.Pin

This vegan champagne buttercream is:

  • Perfect for special occasions such as New Year's Eve, birthday parties, hen parties, Mother's Day, Valentine's day, or any time you feel like celebrating!
  • Light and airy
  • Not overly sweet like standard buttercream
  • Eggless and dairy-free
  • Made using only 6 ingredients (one of them being optional)
  • Subtlety flavored with champagne and strawberries
  • Oozing with sophistication 🙂
  • Suitable for frosting three-tier cakes, cupcakes, layer cakes, and sheet cakes
slice of vegan pink champagne layer cake.Pin

Ingredients for vegan champagne frosting

  • Aquafaba: Otherwise known as chickpea brine. This is the liquid with which canned chickpeas are packaged. You can also use the water from any white beans such as haricot or cannellini beans, just make sure they are unsalted.
  • Pink champagne: You can use pink or white champagne, prosecco, or sparkling wine of your choice. To check if a brand of alcohol is vegan you can search it on barnivore.com.
  • Caster sugar: Also known as superfine sugar.
  • Vegan butter: There are many brands of vegan-friendly butter available these days, it’s important to note that this recipe calls for stick butter, not the spreadable kind from a tub, I use flora unsalted plant butter.
  • Strawberries: Strawberries are optional for this buttercream recipe. They add a subtle flavor and color to the frosting.
  • Cream of tartar: A form of tartaric acid, otherwise known as potassium bitartrate. This acid works as a stabilizer for the whipped aquafaba – giving a more stable and stiff end result.
ingredients to make vegan champagne frosting.Pin

Step-by-step instructions (with images)

(Full ingredient quantities and instructions are in the recipe card at the end of this post)

How to reduce aquafaba (chickpea brine)

Prepare the aquafaba at least 2 hours in advance of making this recipe. You can also reduce the aquafaba a day or two in advance and store it in the fridge.

  1. Add the aquafaba saucepan and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and allow it to simmer until it has reduced to half a cup in volume. After 5 minutes of simmering, check the volume by pouring the liquid into a measuring cup. If there's more than half a cup of liquid continue to simmer until it reduces to the required half cup.
  2. Pour the reduced aquafaba into a jar and refrigerate. This can be done the night before or at least one hour in advance of making the recipe. The liquid will thicken and jellify once chilled - this is completely normal.

Make the champagne strawberry syrup

Again, this step should be done a couple of hours in advance of making the buttercream, you can also prep ahead a day or two before and store it in the fridge.

  1. Add the pink champagne/prosecco or cava to a saucepan with 50g of superfine sugar and sliced strawberries and bring to a simmer. Cook on medium heat for about 10-15 minutes, until the liquid has reduced to a quarter cup in volume.
  2. Pass the mixture through a sieve to remove the strawberry pieces and chill until ready to use.

Make the buttercream

  1. Add 200g of the caster sugar and water to a saucepan, gently stir and allow the mixture to sit for a minute until the sugar dissolves into a paste. Place the saucepan on medium-high heat and allow the mixture to come to a simmer and bubble. DO NOT STIR throughout the entire process. Place your candy thermometer into the syrup and continue to simmer until the mixture reaches 120°C (248°F) - about 10-12 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile, prepare the aquafaba. Take a large clean bowl, and make sure it's completely dry and free of any grease. Add the aquafaba and cream of tartar to a large bowl and whisk on high speed for 5 minutes until soft peaks form.
  3. Slowly add in the remaining 50g of caster sugar, one dash at a time while continuing to whisk and incorporate the sugar into the aquafaba. Continue whisking for another 3 minutes.
  4. Once the sugar syrup has reached the correct temperature begin to add it to the whipped aquafaba. Slowly drizzle in a little at a time and continue to whisk until the mixture is incorporated. Be careful not to add the syrup too quickly as this could deflate your Italian meringue. Whisk the meringue mixture for another 10-15 minutes until it has cooled to room temperature.
  5. Start slowly adding the chunks of butter to the meringue, one at a time, allowing the mixture to incorporate for about 5 seconds between each one. The mixture will flatten as you add the butter, just continue to add the butter as it will stiffen when the full amount of butter is incorporated. Once all the butter has been added the mixture be thick like buttercream, continue to whisk on low for 5 minutes.

  • Add the reduced pink champagne one tablespoon at a time, whisking for about 30 seconds between each one to incorporate the liquid into the buttercream. Once all of the syrup has been incorporated continue whisking for 2 minutes.
  • Expert tips

    How to prep ahead

    • Reduce the aquafaba at least 2 hours in advance of making this vegan buttercream, the night before works as well.
    • This buttercream is flavored with a homemade champagne strawberry syrup. Be sure to make this a couple of hours in advance also as it will need to be completely cool before adding to the buttercream.
    • Measure out all of your ingredients in advance.
    • Make sure all of your equipment is ready. You will need a candy thermometer to make this recipe.

    Storage instructions

    For best results, I recommend using this buttercream fresh. If you want to prep the buttercream the day before decorating your cake you can store it in the fridge in an airtight container. Let it soften slightly at room temperature for 1.5-2 hours before using.

    vegan cake with champagne buttercream and pink meringue kisses.Pin

    Frequently asked questions

    Do I need to reduce the aquafaba for this recipe?

    I have trialed this meringue using both regular and reduced aquafaba and believe it or not, skipping this step means that the recipe will require about 100g more vegan butter in order to stabilize. So unless you are happy to add a lot more butter (which intensifies the butter flavor) I highly recommend reducing the aquafaba.

    How to fix split or "soupy Italian meringue buttercream

    I detail how to troubleshoot these problems in the FAQ section of my Italian meringue buttercream post.

    vegan champagne cake with italian meringue buttercream.Pin

    Variations

    • Pink champagne: You can swap this out with regular champagne, prosecco, cava, or a sparkling wine of your choice.
    • Beetroot powder: This buttercream has a very slight pastel peach tone to it, but if you would like to go for more of a coral color, add a teaspoon of beetroot powder to the buttercream (like shown in Rainbow Nourishments photos)

    How to use this vegan pink champagne frosting

    vegan champagne cake with meringue kisses.Pin

    More vegan frosting recipes

    Love this recipe? Please leave a 5-star ★★★★★ rating in the recipe card below and consider leaving a comment as well, thanks!

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    Vegan Champagne Italian Meringue Buttercream

    4.93 from 13 votes
    PREP TIME: 45 mins
    Chilling Time: 2 hrs
    TOTAL TIME: 2 hrs 45 mins
    Servings: 15 enough to frost a 6" 3 tier cake
    PRINT RECIPE PIN RECIPE

    Description

    This vegan pink champagne buttercream is airy, light, and not overly sweet. Made using just 5 ingredients, it follows the Italian meringue buttercream making method and is perfect for frosting everything from vegan champagne cupcakes to three-tier vegan champagne layer cakes.

    Ingredients

    • 1 cup (236 g) aquafaba, *see notes, prep ahead of time (see step 1)
    • 1 ⅓ cups (236 ml) pink champagne, prosecco, cava or sparkling wine
    • 6 fresh strawberries, hulled and sliced
    • ¼ cup (50 g) caster sugar, (super fine sugar)
    • ¼ teaspoon (0.75 g) cream of tartar
    • 1 cup (200 g) caster sugar
    • 4 tablespoons (60 ml) water
    • ¼ cup (50 g) caster sugar, (super fine sugar)
    • 10.6 oz (300 g) vegan block butter , slightly softened (see step 2)

    For garnish here's the recipe for Vegan Meringue Kisses

      Instructions

      Preparation (At least 2 hours before making the buttercream)

      • Start by reducing the aquafaba, add it to a saucepan and bring it to a boil. Reduce the heat and allow it to simmer until it has reduced to half a cup in volume. After 5 minutes of simmering, check the volume by pouring the liquid into a measuring cup. If there's more than half a cup of liquid continue to simmer until it reduces to the required half cup. Pour the reduced aquafaba into a jar and refrigerate. This can be done the night before or at least one hour in advance of making the recipe.
      • To make the pink champagne syrup add the champagne/prosecco/cava to a saucepan with 50g of sugar and the sliced strawberries and bring to a simmer. Cook on medium heat for about 10-15 minutes, until the liquid has reduced to a quarter cup in volume. Pass the mixture through a sieve to remove the strawberry pieces and chill until ready to use.

      Buttercream

      • Remove the vegan butter from the fridge about an hour before making the buttercream, and cut it into 1” chunks. 
      • Add 200g of the caster sugar and water to a saucepan, gently stir and allow the mixture to sit for a minute until the sugar dissolves into a paste. Place the saucepan on medium-high heat and allow the mixture to come to a simmer and bubble. DO NOT STIR throughout the entire process. Place your candy thermometer into the syrup and continue to simmer until the mixture reaches 120°C (248°F) - about 10-12 minutes.
      • Meanwhile, prepare the aquafaba. Take a large clean bowl, and make sure it's completely dry and free of any grease. Add the aquafaba and cream of tartar to a large bowl and whisk on high speed for 5 minutes until soft peaks form.
      • Slowly add in the remaining 50g of caster sugar, one dash at a time while continuing to whisk and incorporate the sugar into the aquafaba. Continue whisking for another 3 minutes.
      • Once the sugar syrup has reached the correct temperature begin to add it to the whipped aquafaba. Slowly drizzle in a little at a time and continue to whisk until the mixture is incorporated. Be careful not to add the syrup too quickly as this could deflate your Italian meringue. Whisk the meringue mixture for another 10-15 minutes until it has cooled to room temperature.
      • Start slowly adding the chunks of butter to the meringue, one at a time, allowing the mixture to incorporate for about 5 seconds between each one. The mixture will flatten as you add the butter, just continue to add the butter as it will stiffen when the full amount of butter is incorporated. Once all the butter has been added the mixture be thick like buttercream, continue to whisk on low for 5 minutes.
      • Add the reduced pink champagne one tablespoon at a time, whisking for about 30 seconds between each one to incorporate the liquid into the buttercream. Once all of the syrup has been incorporated continue whisking for 2 minutes.
      • For best results I recommend using this buttercream fresh, ice the cake as per the instructions in Anthea’s Pink Champagne Cake recipe. If you want to prep the buttercream the day before decorating your cake you can store it in the fridge in an airtight container. Let it soften slightly at room temperature for 1.5-2 hours before using. 

      Storage

      • For best results, I recommend using this buttercream fresh. If you want to prep the buttercream the day before decorating your cake you can store it in the fridge in an airtight container. Let it soften slightly at room temperature for 1.5-2 hours before using.

      Notes

      • Aquafaba: The liquid part from tinned chickpeas. 
      • I have trialed this meringue using both regular and reduced aquafaba, skipping this step means that the recipe will require about 100g more vegan butter in order to stabilize. 

      Nutrition

      Calories: 206kcal | Carbohydrates: 21g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 13g | Saturated Fat: 3g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 4g | Monounsaturated Fat: 5g | Trans Fat: 1g | Sodium: 131mg | Potassium: 40mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 20g | Vitamin A: 766IU | Vitamin C: 3mg | Calcium: 3mg | Iron: 1mg
      Did you make this recipe? Tag me TodayBe sure to leave a rating and a review in the section below, and mention @addictedtodates or tag #addictedtodates

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