Sawsen’s Egg Free Swiss buttercream (SEBC) recipe – vanilla, chocolate, caffe latte, maple syrup, strawberry milk, cream cheese flavours & more!

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:

Right from my YouTube vid ๐Ÿ™‚

If you’re still not sold, read on!

Just look…

Eggless Swiss Meringue Buttercream recipe - Sawsen's Egg Free buttercream - SEBC
This is happiness ๐Ÿ™‚

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.

Sawsen's eggless Swiss Meringue buttercream (SEBC)

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 ๐Ÿ™‚

Smooth, shiny, beautiful flowers – see more on my YouTube channel

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 eggless Swiss meringue buttercream SEBC on a mini cake with marshmallows & freesia
great for filling and frosting

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.

Sawsen's eggless Swiss Meringue buttercream SEBC - cream cheese flavour
Cream cheese flavour with butter pecan cake & salted caramel drizzle…. Oh yes ๐Ÿ™‚



Watch the video to see how it’s done:

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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


  1. 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!
  2. Protein powder is used to substitute the protein from egg whites.  You can buy suitable protein powders by using my affiliate links here:
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.



There’s a whole other blog post on how to make the vanilla (& cream cheese) versions of this buttercream without protein powder here:

Sawsen’s Egg Free Swiss buttercream recipe pt 2 – NO protein powder versions

but to make other flavours, read on!

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. CAFFE LATTE: use cooled latte instead of the milk.  For MOCHA dissolve 4 tbsp cocoa powder into the latte before you let it cool.
  4. 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.
  5. 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!
  6. 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 ๐Ÿ™‚
  7. 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:

Sawsen’s Simple Buttercream recipe – smooth, easy, delicious & less sweet!

Want to see my buttercream in use? Check out my videos here:

? Buttercream novelty cake playlist – ?tree stump, ?gift box, ?paint palette cakes and more:

?Buttercream flower & leaf playlist – ?bouquet cakes, ? roses, ?peonies, ?leaves & more:

โค๏ธ My channel โค๏ธ

Don’t forget to subscribe!

Hope you find this useful!

Best wishes,


*some of the links above are affiliate links, which means, at no extra cost to you at all, I get a small commission if you choose to buy using them.  This is because Amazon already build in a small referral fee into their prices which you always have to pay – they just give it to me if you choose to use my links.  So please support my blog by using my links to buy.  Thank you!

55 thoughts on “Sawsen’s Egg Free Swiss buttercream (SEBC) recipe – vanilla, chocolate, caffe latte, maple syrup, strawberry milk, cream cheese flavours & more!

  1. Erum says:

    Hi, Thanx a ton for this recipe, i so wana try it but i live in a very very hot climate and going all butter might end up in a disaster, so how can the
    Recipe be altered for piping flowers considering high soaring temperatures like 45 deg celsius and above??also how to reduce the sweetness in this scenario?

    1. Fancy Favours & Edible Art says:

      Hi, if you look at the bottom of the blog post, the first recipe/ flavour variation listed is “less sugar” which will teach you how to make it less sweet. If you want to pipe flowers in such heat I recommend air conditioning, working fast, and putting them in the fridge every time you finish one! I would use the technique I show in my buttercream rose wreath video using frozen flowers which can be seen here: and I would keep the cake chilled until immediately before serving. Hope that helps!

  2. ajane says:

    I was so excited to come across this recipe! I’ve attempted it twice now, but both times were unsuccessfull. Which icing sugar brand do you use? I made my own by putting pure organic granulated sugar (vegan) in a food processor, but even the powder would never dissolve completely. And even though the sugar became white as a powder, once everything was mixed, it turned back to the pure/organic light brown. As a result, my icing was light brown and still gritty, not smooth like swiss meringue buttercream. Do you have any suggestions about what went wrong? I really want this recipe to work so I can hopefully use it as my go-to vegan swiss buttercream. Thanks in advance for any help or suggestions on how to make this work.

    1. Fancy Favours & Edible Art says:

      Hi, I use silver spoon icing sugar here in the uk, or aldi brand, both of which contain no cornflour and are British grown, hence beet sugar and vegan. I sometimes use granulated sugar too, but I heat up the liquid to let it all dissolve then allow it to cool before use. I have had some people use icing sugar containing cornstarch and tell me their sebc worked well, it’s a very subtle graininess you may not notice if you’re not used to making traditional smbc. If you haven’t tried it you may want to give that a go on a small batch, as the easiest solution ?

  3. ajane says:

    Thanks for the suggestions! I used to make traditional SMBC before I became vegan and would notice even slight graininess, but I’ll try that as a last resort. I don’t live in the UK and looked online for silver spoon icing sugar & all the ones I saw showed that extra “e” ingredient you mentioned in your post. So, I think I will try heating up the liquid and sugar…do you heat the granulated sugar and milk, then add the protein powder after it has cooled, or do you just heat all three together?
    Thanks again for all of your help!

    1. Fancy Favours & Edible Art says:

      I usually heat the sugar and milk then add protein later, but as long as you’re not bringing anything to the boil I don’t think it matters too much. My family and I usually opt for a half or 1/4 sweetness version of SEBC which tastes even more like vanilla ice cream, so if you have a problem melting all the sugar you may find it easier to use half the amount or less. see how you go!

      1. ajane says:

        Thank you for your reply and the suggestion about reducing the sugar-I’ll be sure to try that!

  4. Sa says:

    I’d like to find your buttercream with egg whites version but can’t seem to. Can you pls help me. Also can I use the egg white buttercream to pipe flowers

    1. Fancy Favours & Edible Art says:

      hi, there is no egg white version of this buttercream, thats why you can’t find it! Why would you want to use eggs when I’ve given so many ways to do it without, between this and my next post with substitutions for protein powder?

  5. Alison says:

    Hi, can you troubleshoot for me what went wrong? I followed this recipe exactly using a 90% protein grass fed pure unflavored whey protein powder and granulated sugar, following your instructions for the less sweet version. It came out beautifully. The party was the following day, so, because it was less sweet, I stuck it in the fridge. When I took it out, it did not stay pretty. It broke into a sweet thick butter and a milky sweet liquid. I was still able to use it somewhat (it was for filling layers along with a layer of lemon curd.) I just want to know what I did wrong that made it break when it was thawing. I tried mixing it some more but it was still cool and would not mix. Would it have worked if it came all the way back to room temp first?

    1. Fancy Favours & Edible Art says:

      Hi Alison, you’re right with your guess – any meringue buttercream recipe, mine included, will split if you try to mix it or use it from cold. It needs to come to room temperature fully before you agitate it, then it will be the beautiful, creamy texture it was when first made (you can microwave it in 5s bursts on half power to help this, stirring when the egdes start to become a little liquidy or when a spatula cuts through the centre easily and its no longer hard, just be careful not to overheat). If it’s split fully you can save it by rewhipping everything from scratch for another 10 minutes, just as when you first made the buttercream. Hope that helps!

    1. Fancy Favours & Edible Art says:

      Hi Mymi, my Amazon images & links are right there just below the recipe quantities, ready for you to use! Just click on the buy button for the one you like most ?

  6. Adrian Thompson says:

    Thanks for the recipe. I used to ice a 70th birthday cake for a birthday party yesterday. I did have trouble with one batch of the icing splitting when I added food colouring. I wondered if you could share what kind of food colouring you use and if you’ve had similar problems?

    1. Fancy Favours & Edible Art says:

      Hi, I use gel paste or concentrated dropper colours only, never the liquidy ones as those do make it likely to split because you have to use so much. You can see the ones I mean on my recommended products page – I’ll be releasing a colour mixing video later this week or early next so watch out for that.

  7. Adrian Thompson says:

    Thanks. I have always used Sugar Flair, which is a gel kind. I think because I was trying to mix red I had to use a lot. Maybe I should try Wilton next time. I saw afterwards Sugar Flair have an extra concentrated one for making bright red so I guess that would have been better. Thanks. I’ll look forward to having a second attempt soon. Adrian x

    1. Fancy Favours & Edible Art says:

      My video will be out in a couple of days now, that’ll show exactly how I do mine ?

  8. Sharon M says:

    What a money-saving, brilliant, clever, wonderful recipe! I have yet to try it but only because I just came across it! Love all your videos and so appreciate how you generously share all your recipes and secrets for free! Super excited to try your Naked Cake recipe, it looks so amazing, no holes/dents just pure yumminess ๐Ÿ™‚

    I wonder about coloring issues, even with my regular SMBC recipe (from Kara’s Couture Cakes/Avalon/Lauren Kitchen’s) lol I sometimes had to color a small portion of icing then add it into the BC sort of like tempering. I’m not sure if there’s any reasoning behind it, perhaps I read it somewhere but it might be worth a try. Then again, you probably have some clever fix ๐Ÿ˜‰


    1. Fancy Favours & Edible Art says:

      Hi Sharon, thank you for your comments! Glad you’re enjoying my tutorials ๐Ÿ™‚ I usually find my buttercream colours without too much of a problem, I have a video on DIY natural food colours on YouTube and a blog post and video on how to make dark shades of buttercream like rose red and black – feel free to check those out ?

  9. Liz Wilson says:

    Thanks for sharing this recipe!
    I’m starting out with my own vegan friendly baking company and finding my go-to basic buttercream not quite professional enough so venturing into swiss meringue buttercream for the first time.
    I tried this for the first time last night and had some trouble getting it to be firm enough to hold its shape. It was delicious, smooth and light but melts out of whatever shape I pipe. Do you have any ideas where I went wrong? Thanks!

    1. Fancy Favours & Edible Art says:

      Hi, sounds like one of two problems. First, did you use a true vegan butter? One that’s a solid block in the fridge? There’s a reason i specify that in the instructions and not a spreadable tub type margarine, that will be a lot softer and wont handle the same way when piping or chilled. The second is making sure your working temperature isn’t too warm. Have hot hands? Hot house? Warm climate? It’ll all make your buttercream too soft and runny. Keep an ice bowl on hand to put your bags in for a minute or two if you need. Good luck ?

      1. Liz Wilson says:

        Thanks for the advice. I used stork block margarine, not spread so that shouldn’t have been the problem. The house temp was 21 so I’ll try again and check the ingredients’ temp too! ๐Ÿ™‚

  10. Natasha says:

    Hi. This sounds great but I am having alot of trouble trying to find vegan block butter. I live in the uk, do you have any brand name suggestions or where to find it? I can only locate the margarine types.
    Thank you.

    1. Fancy Favours & Edible Art says:

      Anything in the butter section wrapped in paper and not a tub will do, as long as it’s unsalted.

  11. Debbie Noble says:

    For years I have made Swiss Meringue buttercream the conventional way. Everyone liked the taste and the silky texture, Then a friend asked me to make Egg free cupcakes. The Cupcakes were great and I thought I would have to use ordinary buttercream. I researched on the internet and came across your recipe. LOVE IT, LOVE IT, LOVE IT. I now make it all the time and would not bother with the egg version Swiss Meringue. Thank you

  12. JJ says:

    Hi, the SEBC looks great! would love to try it soon.. however, my climates here is hot and does this stays well at room temperature especially work under fondant? May I still getting sharp edges after covering with fondant? Will it stays firm and sharp under room temperature with fondant? And, can I use Nutrilite protein powder to make this version? Many thanks for your advise. ๐Ÿ™‚

    1. Fancy Favours & Edible Art says:

      many of your questions are answered in the blog post above. if your room temperature is below 25C and you keep your cake chilled while working, it will be fine for your purposes.

  13. Karla says:

    I I just made my first batch of your egg free Swiss Buttercream and I have to say it is the best buttercream I’ve ever made! It was so easy to work with and didn’t harden like I find with other buttercreams. The taste was also delicious. So light and creamy. Thank you for the recipe!

  14. Jennifer says:

    Just made it–results were amazing. I’ve thrown out so many batches of traditional Swiss buttercream after failing at one step or another, and this worked perfectly the first time.

    Just a note: I had vanilla whey protein powder in the house and used it instead of purchasing unflavored…no issues and tasted great. I added a small bit of vanilla extract as well. THANK YOU for sharing this.

  15. Nattycat says:

    Hi, can you tell me how many cups of powdered sugar is needed for this recipe? I’m not sure what 660g translates to. Thanks!

    1. Fancy Favours & Edible Art says:

      hi, powdered sugar is not easy to measure in cups because humidity and packing affect it. If you want cups try my Simple Buttercream Recipe, link above, and add protein powder to that

  16. Trisha says:

    Hiya made a batch of this yesterday. I made the cream cheese – no-fat Greek yoghurt- flavour as I didn’t have any protein powder. It came out great. I wanted to see how it performed after a day in the fridge – no problems. I just gave a short blast in the microwave and then a short mix to combine. I would have done that if it had been SMBC so no change there. I don’t like the sweet taste of buttercream and no matter what recipe or method I use the crusting buttercream always has a gritty feel so glad to have found this – not so sweet and no grit! I am looking forward to trying your chocolate one. One question I would not usually use margarine in buttercream but if I did would the water content not affect the end result? Also is there any difference in using whey and soy protein – that’s two questions – sorry.

    1. Fancy Favours & Edible Art says:

      hi, glad you liked it. you can use solid block margarine instead without a problem (spreadable or low fat types may cause failure). There’s very little difference between whey and soy, the main consideration is dietary restrictions of the people eating it!

  17. Janet says:

    I am wondering if it’s possible to double the ratio of sugar to butter in you recipe to make a crusting and extra stable buttercream that’s not gritty like American style buttercream. Love your recipe but wanting a really heat proof silky bc to cope with Aussie summers

    1. Fancy Favours & Edible Art says:

      I’ve never tried it with more sugar but I guess it’s possible as long as you use powdered sugar – any other type won’t dissolve because there’s too little liquid. Then again the added sugar may well cause some grittiness – I guess we won’t know unless you try it!

  18. Janet says:

    Wondering whether you could make Italian meringue buttercream version using protein powder? Maybe make softball stage syrup and beat dissolved protein powder into it and then beat the lot into beaten butter? I like imbc stability but always worry about egg whites not really being foodsafe.

    1. Fancy Favours & Edible Art says:

      hi Janet – I haven’t tried IMBC with this method, I’m not sure how that would work but I guess you could try… if you do let me know how it goes!

    1. Fancy Favours & Edible Art says:

      sure, but it’ll take longer. If you want to see me do just that, look for my Simple Buttercream Recipe post

  19. Erika says:

    Hi! due to my cottage laws (laws which allow me to sell baked goods made out of my home kitchen) i am not allowed to use egg based buttercreams anymore. and going back to american buttercream was slightly depressing! haha!! i tried, but i just can’t do it anymore, so i went to Youtube to find a vegan recipe and stumbled upon your recipe! i can not wait to try it!!!! i do have one question about the cream cheese version, will i be able to leave it out at room temperature even with the added yogurt?

    1. Fancy Favours & Edible Art says:

      hi, glad you found this useful! you should be able to leave it out for a day or two if you use full sugar (less sugar means faster spoilage). If in doubt for your climate, leave some out and test!

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