This eggless and dairy-free raspberry Swiss meringue buttercream is fluffy, with an intense raspberry flavor while not being overly sweet. The buttercream is naturally flavored and colored using freeze-dried raspberries (or raspberry powder), which gives it an intense raspberry flavor.
Here’s what’s to love about this vegan raspberry buttercream
- Fluffy, light, and creamy.
- Made in under 30 minutes, with just 5 ingredients.
- Bright pink hue, giving your vegan cakes and cupcakes a pop of color.
- Perfect for Valentine's Day and Mother's Day, or for a birthday party.
- Not overly sweet like some American buttercream recipes tend to be.
- No need to reduce the aquafaba for this recipe.
- It's based on my popular vegan Swiss meringue buttercream recipe, which is so versatile and customizable.
- Can be used to frost vegan layer cakes and cupcakes.
Notes about the ingredients
- Freeze-dried raspberries: My friend Anthea used strawberry powder in her vegan strawberry cream cheese frosting and I thought it would also work well in a vegan Swiss meringue buttercream recipe. There are a number of reasons why using raspberry powder is better than fresh raspberries. Mainly because fresh berries have a high water content which adds a lot of liquid to the recipe and that is almost always guaranteed to split your buttercream.
- Aquafaba: In other words, chickpea brine! It's the viscous liquid left-over in canned chickpeas and it works amazingly well as a vegan egg replacer, especially for meringue-based recipes.
- Superfine sugar/caster sugar: I recommend using fine caster sugar as opposed to granulated sugar as it will dissolve into the aquafaba much easier due to the smaller sugar crystals.
- Vegan block butter: This recipe calls for stick butter, it won't work with margarine or spreadable butter from a tub. I usually use flora plant butter.
- Vanilla extract: This adds another layer of flavor to the raspberry frosting.
How to make this recipe (with step-by-step images)
(Full ingredient quantities and instructions can be found in the recipe card at the end of this post)
How to make raspberry powder
If you're using freeze-dried raspberry pieces you'll first want to grind them into a powder with a food processor.
- Add the raspberries to a food processor and blend for a few minutes until they form a powdery consistency. Wait a minute or two to open the blender, as the raspberry powder will form a (delicious smelling) raspberry cloud unless you allow it to settle before removing the lid.
- Pass the raspberry powder through a fine-mesh sieve to remove any of the raspberry seeds. You can use the seeds for garnishing desserts or for adding a boost of flavor to smoothies or oats.
How to make vegan raspberry buttercream
Similar to traditional Swiss meringue buttercream recipes, this vegan version starts by heating the ingredients over a bain-marie (double boiler). Add the aquafaba and sugar to a large clean heatproof bowl and place it on top of a saucepan-filled quarterways with simmering water. Continue to heat the ingredients over the water bath for 10 minutes or so, until the sugar has dissolved into the aquafaba.
You can use a stand mixer or electric whisk for this next part. If you're using a stand mixer, start with the whisk attachment and switch to the paddle attachment before adding the vegan butter. You'll whisk the aquafaba mixture at high speed until it becomes light and fluffy, similar to meringue. This can take up to 20 minutes, so be patient. If you're using a stand mixer it will take slightly less time.
Next, turn the mixer down to medium-low speed and slowly start adding the vegan butter little by little whilst continuing to whisk the mixture. Once all of the butter has been incorporated, turn the speed back up to medium-high and whip for another few minutes until the buttercream becomes light and fluffy. Be sure to scrape down the side of the bowl or bowl of your stand mixer every so often.
Lastly, add in the vanilla extract and raspberry powder and give them ingredients a mix with your spatula before whisking again to combine.
Ways in which to use raspberry Swiss meringue buttercream
- To frost layer cakes like this vegan raspberry chocolate cake. You can use it between the cake layers as well as on the outside of the cake.
- You can scoop it into a piping bag to frost vegan raspberry cupcakes.
For best results, use the vegan raspberry buttercream recipe immediately to frost your cake or cupcakes. You can store this buttercream in an airtight container in the fridge. It will harden when chilled, so before use, allow it to come to room temperature until it comes back to a creamy consistency.
More Vegan Frosting Recipes
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- 70 g (½ cup) freeze-dried raspberry pieces, or freeze-dried raspberry powder
- 135 g (9 tablespoons) aquafaba, *see recipe notes
- 220 g (1 cup) superfine sugar, (caster sugar)
- 250 g (8.8 oz) vegan block butter, room temperature, cut into 1" chunks
- 1 teaspoon (1 teaspoon) vanilla extract
- Add the freeze-dried raspberries to a food processor and blitz for a few minutes until they turn into a powder consistency. Allow the powder to settle in the food processor for a minute before opening the lid. Then pass the powder through a fine-mesh sieve to remove any seeds. If you're using raspberry powder you can skip this step.
- 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 (known as a bain-marie or water bath). Bring the temperature up to medium and allow the mixture to heat for a few minutes until the sugar is dissolved. Check the sugar has dissoled by stirring the mixture with a spoon, the syrup will coat the spoon and shouldn't have visable granules.
- Remove the bowl from the heat, and use an electric whisk or stand mixer with a whisk attachment to beat the mixture on high speed for 15-20 minutes until the mixture is completely cooled and glossy. The mixture should become stiffened and glossy.
- Reduce the speed to low-medium and slowly add 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, bring the speed back up to medium-high and 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.
- Lastly, add the vanilla extract and raspberry powder to the buttercream and fold the ingredients with a spatula (this prevents the powder from puffing up when you whisk the ingredients). Continue to whisk for a couple of minutes until combined.
- For best results, use the buttercream immediately to frost your vegan cake or cupcakes. You can store this buttercream in an airtight container in the fridge. It will harden when chilled, so before use, allow it to come to room temperature until it comes back to a creamy consistency.
- Aquafaba: the liquid part from tinned chickpeas.
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