So, one of my friends is making a cake for her sister, who is a vegan. She asked me to help her out because she doesn't know how to decorate a cake. I agreed, kind of thinking it would be a basic border and maybe some writing in the middle kinda thing. But, when I asked what kind of design she had in mind, she sent me me pictures of cakes with buttercream flowers and succulents. I've made buttercream flowers before, but my buttercream recipe uses 100% real butter, so it's definitely not vegan. Especially since I'm not the one making the buttercream, I'm not sure what the consistency is going to be like.
Do any of you have experience with vegan American buttercream? What's it like to work with? I'm not sure whether she's going to be making it with all shortening or a mix of shortening and vegan butter substitute. Any tips on decorating a vegan cake?
Okay, not gonna lie...vegan buttercream is a pain in the hiny. It’s much softer and doesn’t set up as well. But it CAN BE DONE!!!
those vegan “buttercream” flowers don’t even get super hard when you freeze them, but if you’re careful it WILL work.
You need a combo of hi-ratio shortening and vegan butter. If you’d like my recipe, just let me know. Apparently my vegan customers think it’s quite good...brave souls :)
That cake is super pretty!
I'd love your recipe, if you don't mind sharing it. I'll pass it along to my friend who's going to be making the cake and hope she decides to use it. If this cake ends up looking half as nice as yours, I'll be happy!
1.5 cups vegan butter
1.5 cups hi-ratio shortening (you CANT USE REGULAR CRISCO)
6 cups vegan confectioners sugar
3 t vanilla extract
some people also add 1/2 t butter extract - but it grossed me out :)
1/4 t salt
-mix butter/shortening on medium with paddle attachment for about 3 minutes
-add salt and extracts, scrape down sides of bowl
- add all of the sugar at once
- mix on low, then medium for three or so minutes
- whip on high for 2 minutes
(store up to 3 days in airtight room temperature or 3 weeks in fridge)
If you pipe flowers, you won’t get the definition you see with ABC...at least i can’t. Couldn’t pipe a real rose or anything, but I could make fun flowers, freeze and then place on cake. It’s warms up FAST, but don’t get discouraged - you can do it!!!
Thanks so much! You're awesome. I wouldn't have even known to specify vegan confectioner's sugar. I just thought it was all vegan. And thanks for managing my expectations with the definition on the petals. I probably would've been kind of disappointed if I went in thinking it would work for a nice rose or something.
I think my friend is leaning more towards succulents instead of flowers atm, which makes me a little nervous, because those seem to require a bit more definition on them than flowers since you can't rely on a vibrant color pallet to make them pop. But I guess I'll just have to see how it goes. I'd also be unsure about butter extract. I usually make my buttercream with 100% butter, so obviously I like a little butter flavor in my frosting. But I'd be concerned that butter extract would have that kind of artificial, over the top move theater popcorn type butter flavor. And while I do like buttered popcorn, that's definitely not the flavor I want for buttercream.
Whew! Glad I'm not the only one! My family is allergic to dairy so my BC is always made with Earth Balance sticks. I always get a lot of compliments on the taste, especially from the dairy eating crowd, but I can't make flowers with it to save my life! Piping borders is fine, but no roses here. :(
I much prefer using vegan ganache (full fat coconut milk in the can and dairy-free chocolate chips) and using fondant over that along with fondant decorations. :)
Amen to that, sister.
That vegan ganache sounds delicious. I love coconut milk! Unfortunately I'm pretty sure fondant isn't vegan since most recipes I've seen either use marshmallows or gelatin. But fondant decorations would probably be a bit easier.
I know it's possible, because the pictures my friend sent me of what she has in mind were done with vegan frosting. But that's from a vegan bakery. So a professional baker who specializes in that stuff and has spent probably years perfecting her recipes. On the other hand, I just do this as a hobby and definitely do not specialize in vegan recipes, so I'm at a significant disadvantage. But I think my friend is probably level-headed enough to realize that and not be annoyed at me if the cake I help her with doesn't look the same as the cakes from the vegan bakery
Actually, Wilton and satin Ice are free of all animal products, including gelatin. That’s why those fondant daisies and ladybugs got to make an appearance on my vegan cake :).
geez....hope I’m not wrong about that!
That's good to know! The stores by me don't carry Satin Ice, though. Idk if the fondant they stock is vegan, but even if it is, I wasn't super impressed. It was dry and pretty tough to work with
MerMadeBakedGoods, what kind of high ratio shortening are you using? I used to use Sweetex, until the trans fats were removed. I was not about to buy a 50 pound box of the new stuff and find that it was no better than Crisco, which is now also gross without any trans fats.
Sandra - ya know what’s crazy...I used to use a CK products hi-ratio shortening but the last time I ordered it from Amazon it had changed to regular cake and icing shortening and was way too soft to do anything with! The other stuff seems to no longer exist!! So now I’m on the hunt...I was going to try KitchenKrafts and experiment with it since it’s way cheaper than Sweetex.
If you find anything that is nice, MerMadeBakedGoods, please share. I've been using all butter because the Crisco is awful!
Will do! Ditto on the Crisco.
Thanks for all the advice! Not my best cake, but it came out better than I was expecting with vegan frosting.
You go girl!
very colorful nicely populated floral cake! you did great -- it's not always so easy to collaborate like that
It is beautiful!
Thanks everyone! My friend's sister loved it! She told me all her friends thought it came from the bakery she originally wanted to get her cake from. And when I was decorating with my friend and showing her how to make the succulents she commented that she was tempted to get a set of piping tips for herself, so I may also have also have gotten her hooked on decorating :)
How cool is that?! You could decorate together!