Dairy-Free Swiss Meringue Buttercream

After going through the effort of making my vanilla cake gluten free, dairy free and soy free, I needed a dairy free frosting. American buttercream is easy to make dairy free. But the family I'm making the cake for prefers Swiss meringue buttercream. I googled how to make dairy free Swiss meringue buttercream, and basically every blog I found said that it wasn't possible. They all said you have to use butter. I am not willing to accept that answer. So, I decided to experiment a bit until I found a ratio that works.

So, first off, here's the recipe:

Dairy-free Swiss Meringue Buttercream:
7 egg whites
2 cups sugar
1 1/2 cups dairy-free margarine
1/2 cup shortening
pinch of salt
1 tsp vanilla extract or 1 tbsp vanilla sugar
1 tsp butter vanilla flavoring (optional, if omitting, double amount of vanilla flavoring)

 I'm using a stand mixer today with a whisk attachment.
 I first whisk the egg whites, sugar and vanilla sugar, if using vanilla sugar. Then I heat it over a double boiler until the consistency is thin, no more grains appear on the side of the bowl and the mixture feels hot to the touch. It can also have a decent amount of froth on the top.

 I let it cool for a few minutes and then start whipping it up into a meringue. Because my stand mixer has a full plastic base touching the bottom of the bowl, it doesn't cool down very quickly. To help it cool completely, I wrap the mixing bowl with a cold, wet towel. I wrung it out and soaked it in more cold water whenever it got warm. I also cut my margarine and shortening into pieces.
Here's what the meringue looked like after it was whipped up. It's white and glossy and gorgeous.
 Then, when the meringue is room temperature and you can't feel any more heat coming off the bowl, add the margarine and shortening a tablespoon at a time with the mixer on low. Continue beating until the mix becomes a solid and no longer looks liquidy. As a final step, beat or fold in the salt and any liquid flavorings.
 If you're having trouble getting your mixture to come together, try cooling it in the fridge for an hour or up to overnight and then beat it again. It should eventually come together. Also, don't be afraid to beat it longer. It sometimes needs extra beating.
 The consistency was lovely. It was a tiny bit grainy from the margarine and had a more mild flavor than Swiss meringue buttercream with butter, but the butter flavoring did help with that.
The most important thing was that it definitely worked. Yes, you can make dairy-free Swiss meringue buttercream! It is not a myth.

This buttercream freezes and refrigerates beautifully. Just put it in a sealed container. It will keep up to two weeks in the fridge and two months in the freezer. When you want to use it, let it come to room temperature (do not use the microwave! it will melt). Also, it needs several minutes of beating before it comes together after coming to room temperature. If you don't beat it long enough, it will separate and look grainy and kind of liquidy. Keep beating. It will come together. Usually 5-10 minutes.

This was after it came to room temperature, but before it was beaten.

Then after it was beaten and came back together.

Watch us make it step by step on our YouTube channel: https://youtu.be/ldt0Ujv_gXY
Schaut zu, wie wir es Step-by-step machen auf unserem YouTube Kanal: https://youtu.be/8GsPwu5k2UM


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