No eggs? No problem! Who says you need egg whites to make Swiss meringue buttercream? With this nifty substitution and easy almost one-step method, you can make a gorgeous bowl of eggless, silky, glossy, vanilla ice creamy Swiss Meringue buttercream that’s so good you’ll have to force yourself not to eat it all at once with a spoon!
Move over SMBC – SEBC is now here! Get ready – it’s time for Sawsen’s Egg-free Buttercream recipe!
See the introduction to my thinking behind the SEBC recipe in this 15 second mini-video below – the first Swiss buttercream recipe ever to use protein powder and liquid in place of the eggs. I was so excited to be the first one to discover you could use protein powders in this way! I think this secret ingredient makes the absolute easiest eggless (and vegan) swiss buttercream in the world! Not to mention not having piles and piles of chickpeas/ garbanzo beans left over!
See the full YouTube video here:
In a nutshell:
If you’re still not sold, read on!
Have you ever seen anything that looks so delicious? It’s like a soft, sweet, fluffy cloud of bliss! It’s what unicorns sleep on and what good dreams are made of! JUST LOOK AT IT!
If all you’ve ever tried is American style frosting /decorators buttercream, you NEED to try this! Not a hint of graininess, no crunch of sugar beneath your teeth, and a less sweet, subtle, creamy, grown up, gorgeous vanilla whipped cream taste – you’ll never look back! It’s glossy, smooth texture and stability is perfect for piping flowers, filling or smooth icing the outside of a cake – all with the same consistency, no faffing about with extra liquid. It sets super firm in the fridge, allowing you to get those beautiful sharp corners under your fondant, and freeze your flowers for easy placement. Ever wanted that glossy finish Korean buttercream flowers seem to have? This is your answer! It contains only real, natural ingredients – no artificial nasties – and is so easy to make in hundreds of flavours – see the list below!
This is the absolute BEST buttercream ever in my book – the most versatile, yummiest, most natural, silkiest & most stable – the only one I ever use, which my clients, friends & family all rave about.
So being so great, it’s probably really complicated to make, right? WRONG! It’s SO EASY! It’s basically an all in one, one bowl method – I just add the ingredients in stages purely to prevent powder lumps and splashing out of the mixer bowl. Anyone telling you they have an “easy” Swiss buttercream recipe who then tells you to stand for 15 minutes over a double boiler – praying you don’t make scrambled egg frosting by accident – is having you on! THIS is the real easy, right here!
All the ingredients are READILY AVAILABLE, no pre-preparation, heating, cooking, NO DOUBLE BOILER or anything else – literally just mix and go! It’s practically FOOLPROOF, as long as your ingredients and temperature are right! I initially tried using aquafaba (chickpea/ garbanzo bean water) to make Swiss buttercream, but it requires so much effort to boil and reduce before use (and can cause bloating and indigestion, yuck) that I came up with this alternative. So this recipe, unlike other egg free/ vegan SMBC recipes out there, contains NO CHICKPEAS either! It also tastes a lot more ice-creamy due to the milk, and is way more versatile flavouring wise – more on that below 🙂
Literally 7 minutes start – to – finish and you too could have a bowl of buttercream heaven to call your own – with no eggs, this recipe is perfect for people with allergies, dietary restrictions, or vulnerable individuals who wish to avoid raw egg due to the risk factor.
This recipe was featured in American Cake Decorating magazine’s January issue. There’s a modified, fruit puree version which was published in Party Cakes Magazine here in the UK, but that’s a different blog post.
You lucky people now get to have the vanilla version for free! Hurrah!
Sawsen’s Egg Free Swiss buttercream – SEBC
As featured in American Cake Decorating magazine, by Sawsen of Fancy Favours & Edible Art
Ingredients: makes enough to ice and fill an 8″ cake generously, or 30 cupcakes
- 300ml (1 cup plus 3 tablespoons) milk of choice – cow, soy, almond…
- 30g (about 4 tbsp, depending on brand) unflavoured protein powder – buy whey protein powder here, or soy here for dairy free
- 750g (6 sticks) unsalted butter, vegan butter or block margarine (note: no spreadable types, must set *hard* when refrigerated), room temperature
- 660g icing/ powdered sugar (should not contain cornflour/ cornstarch – see note below)
- 1 tbsp (15ml) high quality vanilla extract such as Nielsen-Massey
NB: if you want to make the cream cheese version, there are only 3 ingredients and you don’t need protein powder! See flavour variations section below.
Watch the video to see how it’s done:
- Ensure that all ingredients are at room temperature before starting. Pour the milk, protein powder and powdered sugar into a jug and combine until the powders are melted.
- Place the butter in a stand mixer. Using the whip attachment, start on low to soften the butter, and slowly pour in your liquid. Build up to high speed and beat until all of the ingredients are well combined. The mixture will go through the familiar Swiss buttercream stages, first appearing curdled, then lumpy, then beginning to smooth and aerate but still tasting like sweetened butter. At this point switch to a paddle attachment.
- Your buttercream will finally reach a light, fluffy and voluminous mixture which tastes like whipped cream or vanilla ice cream. This should take around 7-10 minutes in total. Use as you would traditional Swiss buttercream.
Keeps for about 2 weeks in the fridge, or 2 days at room temperature (depending on climate).
Nutritional information per 30g for basic vanilla version (please note your serving size may vary): 141 kcal, total fat 10.6g, carbs 11.7g of which 11.4g sugars, protein 0.3g
- Temperature is crucial! Too cold and the mixture will take forever- like 45 minutes on high – to combine, and will keep climbing the edges of the bowl. Too warm and you have butter soup. Ensure your ingredients are all between 22-25 degrees C to make sure they whip up nicely!
- Protein powder is used to substitute the protein from egg whites. You can buy suitable protein powders by using my affiliate links here:
- If you live in a different country or can’t buy these protein powders, you can use any pure, unflavoured, soluble protein powder with more than 70% protein content per 100g. To see a few protein powders that don’t work, watch the end of the video about protein powder substitutions, here. Examples of what don’t work are protein shakes, pea, almond, hemp protein powders, egg replacers, cornstarch – any of these will make your buttercream grainy or weird tasting.
- Some icing/ powdered sugar contains cornstarch. While some people don’t notice it, this does lead to a very slightly grainy texture to the buttercream. Please use one which is free of cornstarch, or grind your own from regular sugar. In the UK I use Silver Spoon or Aldi brand icing sugars, both of which don’t contain any (NB: cornflour/ cornstarch is sometimes listed as modified maize starch, or an E number between E1400-1500). You can even use straight up granulated sugar with a slight modification to the quantities, just use my Simple buttercream recipe and add 30g protein powder to the liquids at the start to improve the stability.
- If not using real butter do make sure you have a true block type butter substitute. It must set absolutely solid in the fridge to work right, like butter does. You should be able to poke it firmly with your finger and not leave a dent in the chilled block. Do NOT use margarine out of a tub or anything you can spread directly from the fridge, like Flora, Vitalite, Pure spreads and so on, or a spreadable shortening like Crisco, as the buttercream will stay too soft to work with as I show in my videos. I have had countless queries from people asking why their vegan or dairy free buttercream is too soft, only to find they used a spreadable margarine because they couldn’t find butter substitute in a solid block.
FLAVOUR & RECIPE VARIATIONS:
There’s a whole other blog post on how to make the vanilla (& cream cheese) versions of this buttercream without protein powder here:
but to make other flavours, read on!
- LESS SWEET: use half the sugar, but store in the fridge until 1 hour before serving, to allow to come to room temperature for the best eating experience. You could make it SUGAR FREE by using powdered erythritol sweetener with stevia such as Natvia, Sukrin or Swerve, but you may need to vary the quantity to taste. I also find that the stevia versions start to taste sweeter after being stored in the fridge, so you may need to experiment to avoid it getting too sweet.
- CHOCOLATE: melt 200g of very dark or unsweetened chocolate into the milk at the start, then follow the recipe as normal. You could also use dark ganache and melt that into the milk instead. Edit: there’s now an easy chocolate buttercream recipe post & video – watch here.
- CAFFE LATTE: use cooled latte instead of the milk. For MOCHA dissolve 4 tbsp cocoa powder into the latte before you let it cool.
- MAPLE SYRUP: lessen the milk by 50ml and the sugar by 150g, then add 150ml of pure Maple syrup instead and proceed as normal. You could also do this with HONEY or any other syrup.
- STRAWBERRY MILK: or RASPBERRY, CHERRY, BANANA… make a quadruple – strength version of the flavoured milk of your choice using milkshake syrups, lessen the sugar by 75g and proceed as normal. If you want to use fruit puree you’ll need a different version of the recipe – coming soon!
- CREAM CHEESE FLAVOUR: this is one of my personal favourites! You don’t need protein powder for this at all – just replace all of the milk with strained/ blended zero fat Greek yoghurt. The sharp yoghurt tang makes it taste just like cream cheese frosting! Great with your red velvet cake 🙂
- PRESERVES, CURDS, CARAMEL SAUCE, NUTELLA: you can add any amount of jam/ preserve, curd (lemon, orange, passionfruit…), caramel sauce or Nutella to your buttercream to taste. This will however make the buttercream softer and more sweet than the vanilla version, so I would use this for filling rather than sharp edges, and store it in the fridge.
If you’re a home baker or hobbyist and this all sounds quite confusing, take a look at my Simple Buttercream recipe which uses only granulated sugar, butter, milk and vanilla:
Want to see my buttercream in use? Check out my videos here:
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