Vegan Chocolate Swiss Meringue Buttercream

The silkiest creamiest vegan chocolate Swiss meringue buttercream that's made using dark chocolate and brown sugar. This chocolate buttercream is perfect for frosting cakes and cupcakes, all while being completely eggless and dairy free.
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes
4.75 from 4 votes

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close up of vegan chocolate buttercream.

So I’ve been on a bit of a vegan Swiss meringue buttercream roll lately so naturally a chocolate edition was in the works after last month’s vegan coffee buttercream recipe. The results of both recipes are quite similar to vegan Italian meringue buttercream, but the method is a little more simplified, yay!

Swiss meringue buttercream is traditionally made using egg whites and dairy. Luckily, making your own vegan Swiss meringue buttercream at home is so easy. In this recipe we’ll be following the traditional method of making Swiss buttercream pretty closely, but we’ll of course be using fully vegan ingredients.

Here’s what’s to love about this chocolate buttercream recipe:

  • Deep and intense chocolatey flavour thanks to a combination of dark chocolate and cocoa powder.
  • Light and airy consistency
  • Not overly sweet like some American style buttercream recipes.
  • This recipe calls for brown sugar, not powdered sugar. We’ll be melting sugar into a syrup with aquafaba which will magically whip up into fluffy clouds!
  • Using brown sugar also gives a slight caramelised flavour! You can also use regular white caster sugar (superfine).
  • Doesn’t require a candy thermometer
  • No need to reduce the aquafaba. 
  • Fully customisable, you can mix up the flavours or just keep it plain and simple.
 

chocolate buttercream piped on a spoon.

Ingredients overview

  • Aquafaba: Or chickpea brine, is the viscous liquid leftover from cooking chickpeas or other white legumes. It works as an alternative to egg whites in many ways. It can be used to make cake, brownies, marshmallows, meringues and many other vegan-friendly versions of classic desserts and treats. And in this case forms the perfect egg white substitute for a vegan Swiss meringue buttercream.
  • Soft brown sugar: I use light muscovado, but you can also use caster sugar for this recipe.
  • Vegan butter: There are many brands of vegan-friendly butter available these days, it’s important to note that this recipe calls for stick butter, not the spreadable kind from a tub, I use flora unsalted plant butter.
  • Dark chocolate: You’ll want a good quality dark chocolate for this recipe, I use 78%. The flavour will shine through in the frosting.
  • Unsweetened cocoa powder: For an intense and deep chocolate flavour go for Dutch processed cocoa powder, for a milder and more acidic flavour opt for raw cacao powder.
  • Sea salt: This is optional, but it really brings the chocolate flavour of this buttercream to the forefront.
 

ingredients to make vegan chocolate buttercream.

How to make vegan chocolate buttercream (with step-by-step images)

(Full ingredient quantities and instructions can be found in the recipe card at the end of this post)

Melt the dark chocolate over a double boiler (bain-marie) and set aside to cool slightly.

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 – this is known as a bain-marie (water bath). Bring the temperature up to medium and allow the mixture to heat for a few minutes until the sugar is dissolved.

Remove the bowl from the heat and use an electric whisk (or transfer the syrup into your stand mixer) and beat on high speed for 15-20 minutes until the mixture is completely cooled and glossy. The mixture should be stiff and glossy, and should stay in the bowl if you turn it upside down (carefully!).

Start slowly adding 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, continue to whisk on low for 5-10 minutes until the mixture is fluffy and lightened in colour. If the mixture looks split, don’t worry it will come together with enough blending.

Add the cooled melted chocolate to the buttercream and continue to whisk for a couple of minutes until combined. Next add the cacao powder and sea salt and blend for another minute or two until evenly mixed.

Ways in which to use chocolate Swiss meringue buttercream

 

How to store this buttercream

This buttercream is best served at room temperature. Use it immediately to frost your cakes or cupcakes or store in an airtight container in the fridge. Because of the melted chocolate in this recipe, the buttercream will stiffen in the fridge. Bring it back to room temperature for a few hours until it comes back to a creamy consistency before serving.

close up of dairy free chocolate frosting.

Related recipes

close up of vegan chocolate buttercream.

Chocolate Swiss Meringue Buttercream (Vegan)

4.75 from 4 votes
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The silkiest creamiest vegan chocolate Swiss meringue buttercream that's made using dark chocolate and brown sugar. This chocolate buttercream is perfect for frosting cakes and cupcakes, all while being completely eggless and dairy free.
Prep Time 30 mins
Total Time 30 mins
Servings 16

INGREDIENTS

  • 3.5 oz vegan dark chocolate
  • 9 tbsp aquafaba *see recipe notes
  • 1 cup soft brown sugar or caster sugar (superfine)
  • 8.8 oz vegan butter room temperature, cut into 1" chunks
  • 2 tbsp Dutch processed cacao powder
  • pinch sea salt

INSTRUCTIONS

  • Melt the dark chocolate over a double boiler (bain-marie) and set aside to cool slightly.
  • 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 - this is known as a bain-marie (water bath). Bring the temperature up to medium and allow the mixture to heat for a few minutes until the sugar is dissolved.
  • Remove the bowl from the heat and use an electric whisk (or transfer the syrup into your stand mixer) and beat on high speed for 15-20 minutes until the mixture is completely cooled and glossy. The mixture should be stiff and glossy, and should stay in the bowl if you turn it upside down (carefully!).
  • Start slowly adding 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, continue to whisk on low for 5-10 minutes until the mixture is fluffy and lightened in colour. If the mixture looks split, don't worry it will come together with enough blending.
  • Add the cooled melted chocolate to the buttercream and continue to whisk for a couple of minutes until combined. Next add the cacao powder and sea salt and blend for another minute or two until evenly mixed.

RECIPE NOTES

*Aquafaba; the liquid part from tinned chickpeas. 
 

Storage instructions

This buttercream is best served at room temperature. Use it immediately to frost your cakes or cupcakes or store in an airtight container in the fridge. Because of the melted chocolate in this recipe, the buttercream will stiffen in the fridge. Bring it back to room temperature for a few hours until it comes back to a creamy consistency before serving.

NUTRITION

Calories: 182kcal | Carbohydrates: 17g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 13g | Saturated Fat: 4g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 3g | Monounsaturated Fat: 5g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 1mg | Sodium: 106mg | Potassium: 77mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 15g | Vitamin A: 598IU | Calcium: 17mg | Iron: 1mg
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2 thoughts on "Vegan Chocolate Swiss Meringue Buttercream"

  1. 5 stars
    This frosting is fantastic, and I used it for the devils food cake!!! Everyone loved i! I had chilled it for a few minutes before piping it onto the cake, which was also cooled off, but the warmth of my hands???? Made it melt on its way into the cake, essentially, so, the results were hilarious! Sooo good, though!

    1. So happy you loved it and thank you so much for your feedback! Sometimes the warmth of your hands can cause it to melt. I would suggest not chilling the buttercream before piping, rather pipe it straight onto the cooled cakes while it’s freshly whipped – that way you won’t be altering the texture/temperatures. You could also try using a spatula instead of the piping bag in case you ever come across this again