Earth Balance and Swiss Meringue Butter Cream

Baking By JWinslow Updated 29 Jan 2015 , 3:31pm by Bekah913

JWinslow Posted 29 Jun 2013 , 4:04pm
post #1 of 24

Hello All,


Has anyone used Earth Balance butter substitute when making Swiss Meringue Butter Cream?   SMB is my go to icing but I need to make a dairy free version.  I've been searching for a recipe but also the tips that can make or break it as I have no experience using butter substitutes. Any suggestions and advice would be gratefully welcomed. 



23 replies
JWinslow Posted 29 Jun 2013 , 4:30pm
post #2 of 24

Please?  Anyone ? 

auzzi Posted 30 Jun 2013 , 12:41am
post #3 of 24

Butter is approx. 80% fat. As long as the butter substitute has the equivalent percentage of fat, it should work. Use Earth Balance baking sticks not the spread [from tubs].

JWinslow Posted 30 Jun 2013 , 1:41am
post #4 of 24

Thanks so much for the reply.  I bought the sticks.  I'm concerned about the water content and meringue.  I thought I would experiment first before I have to actually do the cake.  I have seen recipes where some confectioners sugar is added to the stiff meringue (before adding a mix of butter and Crisco.) 

Thought I might try this route to see what happens.  What do you think?

lorieleann Posted 30 Jun 2013 , 6:10am
post #5 of 24

you can always try!  I would think that the water content in the earth balance, as well as the added salt would not make for a good buttercream.  


If i had to make a dairy-free SMBC, I would sub the butter for  hi-ratio shortening, and if that wasn't available I would use crisco with a TON of butter-vanilla flavor to try to make up the taste.  I actually have subed half hi-ratio in my SMBC for heat stability and while it isn't the same, it is a tasty end result (very marshmallowish)

auzzi Posted 30 Jun 2013 , 6:15am
post #6 of 24

As long as the fat-content is comparable to butter, I can't see any reason to add powdered sugar to the meringue. It will throw off the balance between the the egg white and granulated sugar. Also, it will make it a lot sweeter.


If in doubt, do a trial run using your normal SMBC recipe using the substitute ..

JWinslow Posted 30 Jun 2013 , 1:14pm
post #7 of 24

Thanks.  I appreciate your help.  I was asked to make a cake for a birthday and 3 days later I get a email "Oh, I forgot to tell you it has to be Dairy Free and alcohol free".  That included extracts.  A bit irritating to be told after the fact.

JWinslow Posted 30 Jun 2013 , 1:16pm
post #8 of 24

Today is experiment day :)

JWinslow Posted 11 Jul 2013 , 3:13pm
post #9 of 24

I just wanted to get back to you with an update.  First, Thank you for all the help. 


LorieLeann, I ended up using almost half high ratio shortening so when it chilled it would be firm enough for ganache and fondant.  The buttery sticks just stayed too soft.   You were right about flavoring.  I had to add much more to get the right taste.  I think the fact this is a raspberry butter cream helped a lot. 



lorieleann Posted 12 Jul 2013 , 3:11am
post #10 of 24

i'm glad it worked out!  thanks for the update :) 

Moakeoni Posted 28 Aug 2013 , 7:22pm
post #11 of 24

Sorry to jump in on this late. So you did use the Earth Balance Sticks and half hi-ratio? I am thinking of trying as well.

JWinslow Posted 28 Aug 2013 , 7:41pm
post #12 of 24

Yes.  I was trying to do a dairy free SMBC.   I made two batches.  One with Earth Balance & high ratio shortening and the other with earth balance & palm shortening.  The palm shortening tasted better but was way too soft and never did firm up (a problem for the high heat & humidity and stacking).


I went with the high ratio shortening and also added 2 teaspoons of cornstarch to help firm it up. If I have to do it again I will try 2 tsp of powdered sugar.  Like I said, the raspberry flavoring helped a lot.


I know many people do dairy free but I am just not use to this taste and thought it was acceptable but It will not taste anything like regular SMBC.  The person I made it for love it, so..........I guess that's what matters.



Bekah913 Posted 9 Aug 2014 , 5:42am
post #13 of 24

AI know this was posted a year ago, but I just wanted to share my experience. I tried making SMB with earth balance and hated the results. I prefer using Fleischmann's unsalted margarine sticks (only unsalted is dairy free). Here is my recipe for chocolate SMB:

I am currently working on a vanilla version.

-K8memphis Posted 9 Aug 2014 , 12:41pm
post #14 of 24

Agood information, thanks for sharing, bekah

still_learning Posted 9 Aug 2014 , 7:34pm
post #16 of 24

I'm actually looking for a good frosting recipe that is milk AND egg free for a friend's son that is severely allergic to both.  Does anyone have any recommendations?

Bekah913 Posted 9 Aug 2014 , 8:45pm
post #17 of 24

AHere is my vanilla frosting recipe:

I also have a chocolate frosting recipe. I prefer using Fleischmann's Unsalted margarine sticks. It is dairy free and works very well in almost all recipes. I also have vegan chocolate cake and vegan sugar cookie recipes.

still_learning Posted 9 Aug 2014 , 10:38pm
post #18 of 24

Bekah913 - thanks for those recipes! It's so hard to find things both milk and egg free!

Bekah913 Posted 10 Aug 2014 , 12:34am
post #19 of 24

AStill_learning, You are very welcome. :)

bluebluesdancer Posted 22 Jan 2015 , 1:48am
post #20 of 24

I wish I had come here before I bought my Earth Balance!
I made my SMBC using the tubs because that was all that was available at the store... and it won't thicken! It's just soupy! Do you think that adding some coconut oil might help? I have to avoid any milk products for my client.

Shoot... I hate to throw it out and buy more!


Any suggestions?



Bekah913 Posted 22 Jan 2015 , 2:08am
post #21 of 24

AAdd some shortening.

bluebluesdancer Posted 22 Jan 2015 , 4:31am
post #22 of 24

I'll try that tomorrow! Thanks for the suggestion!

bluebluesdancer Posted 23 Jan 2015 , 2:49am
post #23 of 24

I decided to give up on the Earth Balance disaster and went and bought some Hi-Ratio Shortening from my local "Decorette Shop"... It worked great! It doesn't taste as good as real butter, of course, but by adding a little salt and vanilla it is a great substitute for the 'real McCoy'.
Thanks for your help!

Bekah913 Posted 29 Jan 2015 , 3:31pm
post #24 of 24


Original message sent by bluebluesdancer

I decided to give up on the Earth Balance disaster and went and bought some Hi-Ratio Shortening from my local "Decorette Shop"... It worked great! It doesn't taste as good as real butter, of course, but by adding a little salt and vanilla it is a great substitute for the 'real McCoy'.

Thanks for your help!

I'm sorry you got so frustrated. I personally do not like EB at all. If you need to go dairy free again, use Fleischmanns unsalted margarine sticks. That's what I use for swiss meringue buttercream and I've never had a problem and it's behaves the most like the real thing that I have found. Actually, I use it whenever butter is called for.

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