So I've been on a bit of a vegan Swiss meringue buttercream roll lately so naturally, a chocolate edition was in the works after last month's vegan coffee buttercream recipe. The results of both recipes are quite similar to vegan Italian meringue buttercream, but the method is a little more simplified, yay!

Swiss meringue buttercream is traditionally made using egg whites and dairy. Luckily, making your own vegan Swiss meringue buttercream at home is so easy. In this recipe, we'll be following the traditional method of making Swiss buttercream pretty closely, but we'll of course be using fully vegan ingredients.

Here's what's to love about this chocolate buttercream recipe:

  • Deep and intense chocolatey flavor thanks to a combination of dark chocolate and cocoa powder.
  • Light and airy consistency
  • Not overly sweet like some American-style buttercream recipes.
  • This recipe calls for brown sugar, not powdered sugar. We’ll be melting sugar into a syrup with aquafaba which will magically whip up into fluffy clouds!
  • Using brown sugar also gives a slightly caramelized flavor! You can also use regular white caster sugar (superfine).
  • Doesn’t require a candy thermometer
  • No need to reduce the aquafaba.
  • Fully customizable, you can mix up the flavors or just keep it plain and simple.
chocolate buttercream piped on a spoon.Pin

Ingredients overview

  • Aquafaba: Or chickpea brine, is the viscous liquid leftover from cooking chickpeas or other white legumes. It works as an alternative to egg whites in many ways. It can be used to make a cake, brownies, marshmallows, meringues, and many other vegan-friendly versions of classic desserts and treats. And in this case, forms the perfect egg white substitute for a vegan Swiss meringue buttercream.
  • Soft brown sugar: I use light muscovado, but you can also use caster sugar for this recipe.
  • 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.
  • Dark chocolate: You'll want a good quality dark chocolate for this recipe, I use 78%. The flavor will shine through in the frosting.
  • Unsweetened cocoa powder: For an intense and deep chocolate flavor go for Dutch-processed cocoa powder, for a milder and more acidic flavor opt for raw cacao powder.
  • Sea salt: This is optional, but it really brings the chocolate flavor of this buttercream to the forefront.
ingredients to make vegan chocolate buttercream.Pin

How to make vegan chocolate buttercream (with step-by-step images)

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

Melt the dark chocolate over a double boiler (bain-marie) and set it aside to cool slightly.

Add the aquafaba and sugar to a large bowl and place the bowl on top of a saucepan with a few inches of water in the bottom - this is known as a bain-marie (water bath). Bring the temperature up to medium and allow the mixture to heat for a few minutes until the sugar is dissolved.

Remove the bowl from the heat and use an electric whisk (or transfer the syrup into your stand mixer) and beat on high speed for 15-20 minutes until the mixture is completely cooled and glossy. The mixture should be stiff and glossy and should stay in the bowl if you turn it upside down (carefully!).

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 5-10 minutes until the mixture is fluffy and lightened in color. If the mixture looks split, don't worry it will come together with enough blending.

Add the cooled melted chocolate to the buttercream and continue to whisk for a couple of minutes until combined. Next, add the cacao powder and sea salt and blend for another minute or two until evenly mixed.

Ways in which to use chocolate Swiss meringue buttercream

How to store this buttercream

Serve this buttercream at room temperature. Use it immediately to frost your cakes or cupcakes or store them in an airtight container in the fridge. Because of the melted chocolate in this recipe, the buttercream will stiffen in the fridge. Bring it back to room temperature for a few hours until it comes back to a creamy consistency before serving.

close up of dairy free chocolate frosting.Pin

More vegan frosting

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Chocolate Swiss Meringue Buttercream (Vegan)

4.73 from 18 votes
PREP TIME: 30 minutes
TOTAL TIME: 30 minutes
Servings: 16
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Description

The silkiest creamiest vegan chocolate Swiss meringue buttercream that's made using dark chocolate and brown sugar. This chocolate buttercream is perfect for frosting cakes and cupcakes, all while being completely eggless and dairy free.

Ingredients

Instructions

  • Melt the dark chocolate over a double boiler (bain-marie) and set it aside to cool slightly.
  • Add the aquafaba and sugar to a large bowl and place the bowl on top of a saucepan with a few inches of water in the bottom - this is known as a bain-marie (water bath). Bring the temperature up to medium and allow the mixture to heat for a few minutes until the sugar is dissolved.
  • Remove the bowl from the heat and use an electric whisk (or transfer the syrup into your stand mixer) and beat on high speed for 15-20 minutes until the mixture is completely cooled and glossy. The mixture should be stiff and glossy and should stay in the bowl if you turn it upside down (carefully!).
  • 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 5-10 minutes until the mixture is fluffy and lightened in color. If the mixture looks split, don't worry it will come together with enough blending.
  • Add the cooled melted chocolate to the buttercream and continue to whisk for a couple of minutes until combined. Next, add the cacao powder and sea salt and blend for another minute or two until evenly mixed.

Storage

  • This buttercream is best served at room temperature. Use it immediately to frost your cakes or cupcakes or store it in an airtight container in the fridge. Because of the melted chocolate in this recipe, the buttercream will stiffen in the fridge. Bring it back to room temperature for a few hours until it comes back to a creamy consistency before serving.

Notes

  • Aquafaba: The liquid part from tinned chickpeas. 

 

 

Nutrition

Calories: 182kcal | Carbohydrates: 17g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 13g | Saturated Fat: 4g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 3g | Monounsaturated Fat: 5g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 1mg | Sodium: 106mg | Potassium: 77mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 15g | Vitamin A: 598IU | Calcium: 17mg | Iron: 1mg
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Recipe Rating




12 Comments

  1. 1 star
    I didn't manage to do this! I have a good electric whisk and the aquafaba I used was thick, but it took me an hour to get to something like step 2, and the soft peaks nerver appeared.
    Don't know where this went wrong. Will try another, less ambitious frosting, since I have baked other recipes from this website and liked them!

    1. Hi Marie,

      I'm sorry to hear this 🙁 When you say the aquafaba was thick, did you reduce it? Did you move past the second step or stop there? Sometimes aquafaba can be finicky and not fluff up as much, but anytime this has happened to me it always ends up working out once the butter is incorporated.

  2. Hi Thanks for this recipe it looks delicious.
    I want to make a Nutella version, do you think just adding vegan nutella at the stage you have added the melted chocolate would work ?

  3. Happy Holidays. I hope you answer. It is taking more than 15 min to fluff up the aquafab and sugar. Should I start over?
    Thank you so much in advanced

    1. Hi Lillian,

      Yes, it can take longer to whip up depending on your equipment etc. The mixture should be stiff and glossy, and should stay in the bowl if you turn it upside down (carefully!). You can't overwhip it so just keep on going until you reach that stage 🙂

  4. 5 stars
    This frosting is fantastic, and I used it for the devils food cake!!! Everyone loved i! I had chilled it for a few minutes before piping it onto the cake, which was also cooled off, but the warmth of my hands???? Made it melt on its way into the cake, essentially, so, the results were hilarious! Sooo good, though!

    1. So happy you loved it and thank you so much for your feedback! Sometimes the warmth of your hands can cause it to melt. I would suggest not chilling the buttercream before piping, rather pipe it straight onto the cooled cakes while it's freshly whipped - that way you won't be altering the texture/temperatures. You could also try using a spatula instead of the piping bag in case you ever come across this again