my vegan swiss buttercream

Update – I still love this recipe, but I have an updated on that is awesome with less ingredients here!

Im going to start off with a disclaimer for all the baking purest out there – this is not a traditional Swiss buttercream. Traditional ones call for egg whites beat to a meringue and slowly adding a hot simple syrup and then loads of butter. I wanted to recreate this light, creamy and not too sweet frosting, but obviously the traditional route is out of the question for the vegan baker!

I believe I’ve tried every vegan buttercream recipe on the internet. I never got it quite how I wanted. Just using aquafaba (chickpea juice) never got whipped up quite right, and I could never get the simple syrup to hold up in the whip. I tried the all protein powder method but it was all I could taste. So I came up with a combination of all three to get a reliable, creamy, smooth, light and delicious frosting that you can eat by the spoonful and will hold up to the tallest wedding cake. I have tried adding different ratios of vegan butter with the shortening, but it never has the hold that I want.

This recipe is also an excellent base for flavoring. It is wonderful with everything from a little butter extract and vanilla bean paste, jams and jellies, chocolate to any extract you can find! It is also amazing for holding it’s shape because of the shortening base, once this is in the fridge for a little while, it will hold it’s shape for days!


This recipe calls for some unique ingredients that you can easily find either on online or shops around town. Here are some tips that I have found that have really helped me whip up the perfect Swiss buttercream.

  1. Shortening – I only use Spectrum Shortening, this shortening is a neutral taste with no greasy aftertaste. I highly recommend not using Crisco or like shortenings because you will have a greasy aftertaste and it will not whip up as beautiful and fluffy!

  2. Aquafaba – aquafaba is chickpea juice, which is a magical liquid that can whip up into meringue. I have experimented an insane amount with aquafaba when I went through a vegan macaron phase (we are talking thousands of test macarons!!). If you are making one batch, you can definitely use the drained liquid from a can of chickpeas and use the actual chickpeas for a nice snack. BUT if you are going to make this regularly, trust me – it’s way too many chickpeas to eat!! I found this amazing product, VOR Aquafaba Powder, that is the chickpea powder that you mix with water. It works even better if you mix the powder with water and let set covered in the fridge for an hour. This is life-changing if you will make more than one batch of the frosting. It last forever and you wont get sick of chickpeas.

  3. Soy protein isolate – This is a winning ingredient for this recipe. I got the idea from Sawsen’s blog where he goes in depth about eggless Swiss buttercreams. I wasn’t able to use all soy powder because I could really only taste the protein powder, which is not my favorite taste. But one tablespoon of this powder in the buttercream really is enough to stabilize it. I have only ever used Bulk Summplimen’s soy protein isolate and highly recommend it (plus you have enough to bake for the next decade!).


  • 3/4 c. Aquafaba (either from the chickpea can or 1/2 T. Vor powder and 3/4 c. of cold water).

  • 1 T. soy protein isolate

  • 750g powdered sugar

  • 24 oz shortening (see note above)

  • 1/2 t. salt

  • 1 T. vanilla bean paste (or flavoring of your choice)


  1. Place aquafaba in a mixing bowl with the whisk attachment and beat on high for about 3 minutes until very frothy.

  2. Add protein isolate and beat until mixture is thick.

  3. Add powdered sugar (this will deflate the mixture and make it runny) and beat until the powdered sugar is fully dissolved.

  4. Switch your whisk attachment to your paddle, and while beating on medium, slowly add your shortening – 1 spoonful at a time. Once all the shortening is added, beat on medium high for 5-8 minutes until the frosting is smooth and creamy. Add your salt and flavoring, beat for one more minute.

  5. Your buttercream is ready to use! It can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for a week or in the freezer for a couple of months.

Happy Baking!

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Hi, I’m Jamison! This blog is mostly a collection of my favorite recipes with some home/lifestyle stories thrown in for fun. I focus on creating plant-based recipes that will please the pickiest of eaters!

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