If your vegan buttercream is falling apart, odds are it’s a problem with your recipe. And today on Ask a Vegan Baker we’re talking about exactly what could be going wrong and how you can make sure your vegan buttercream doesn’t fall apart by:
- Being aware of your base’s melting point
- Making sure you have the right balance of wet and dry ingredients
- Making the choice between vegan butter or shortening
The first thing that could be going wrong if your vegan buttercream is falling apart is that you might be using a butter substitute that has a lower melting point, meaning it will start melting at a lower temperature.
Different brands have different melting points and you need to find the one that works for you.
I’ve mentioned in my butter replacements post how I use Earth Balance Soy Free Spread for all my buttercreams and they are very stable.
I often do events for the Curious Cat Bakery where cupcakes and cakes have to be outside in the Florida heat for 4-6 hours and nothing melts to the point of falling apart.
Balance of Wet and Dry Ingredients
Possibility #2 is that your balance of wet to dry ingredients is off.
Like the name suggests, buttercream is basically just butter and powdered sugar. If you’re not adding enough sugar, your buttercream won’t be stable enough to hold its shape for long.
If you’re adding a little plant-based milk to thin the buttercream when frosting a cake, you might be adding too much of it, again, making it too unstable.
You have to find the right balance between it being spreadable while at the same time not being too soft.
Side bar: if you want to know the recipe for the perfect buttercream with that balance, I have it on my eBook, Vegan Baking 101.
Vegan Butter vs. Shortening
Finally, when you’re making vegan buttercream you have to make the decision: are you using shortening or vegan butter?
I’m personally not a huge fan of shortening for buttercream but if you are going to use it, use high ratio shortening. It’s very stable and will not melt at all even if you leave it out for hours.
It’s ideal for doing buttercream decorations like flowers and leaves because of that.
Just make sure to add some vanilla extract to it otherwise it will taste really funky.