A few days ago I shared my dairy-free chocolate cupcakes with the promise of sharing the buttercream (can you call it BUTTERcream if it’s dairy-free? what do you think?) to go on top.
As with the cupcakes, this buttercream gets it’s really chocolatey flavour from using a combination of both cocoa powder and real melted chocolate (dairy-free of course) in the mix and as with the cupcakes, you’d have no idea it was dairy-free unless you’re told – it’s delicious.
To get the dairy-free buttercream to have the same smooth texture as regular buttercream, I’ve used a combination of Pure Sunflower (a dairy-free spread) and Stork Baking Block. The Pure Sunflower is quite soft so can be used straight from the fridge, but as with butter, the baking block is hard and so it’s best to leave it out for an hour or so before you plan to use it to allow it to soften, otherwise you’ll end up with lumpy buttercream. I do find it slightly harder to get the lumps out compared to when I use butter, so make sure you beat the two spreads together really well before adding any sugar.
At this point I must say thanks to Midge who blogs at The Peachicks Bakery for recommending the half margarine, half baking block combination (although she uses Vitalite rather than Pure). As regular readers will know, I’m no dairy-free baking expert so if you’re looking for more dairy-free recipes and cooking tips take a look at my dairy-free cupcakes where I’ve got a list of places you can look for more recipes.
If you don’t fancy chocolate buttercream then you could easily adapt my coffee and vanilla buttercreams to be dairy-free by simply switching the butter in the recipe for half baking block and half dairy-free margarine. These recipes also call for you to to add a little milk to the mix to get the consistency right. For this simply switch the milk for a dairy-free alternative.
What You’ll Need
Before you start, make sure you have all of the equipment needed.
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- Weighing Scales
- Measuring Spoons
- Knife – to cut the butter
- Something to melt the chocolate in – either a bowl in the microwave, small saucepan, or bowl over a small saucepan.
- Electric Mixer (or a bowl and hand mixer or wooden spoon)
- Piping Bags – if you’re planning on piping the cupcakes
- Piping Nozzle – To pipe the cupcakes as shown in the pictures you’ll need a JEM 1B nozzle.
Dairy-Free Chocolate Buttercream
- 125 g dairy-free margarine - I use Pure Sunflower
- 125 g baking block - I use Stork – soft, at room temperature
- 250 g icing sugar
- 150 g dairy-free dark chocolate
- 40 g cocoa powder
- ¼ tsp vanilla extract
- Break the chocolate (150g) into pieces and melt it (either using short bursts in the microwave – stirring regularly, over the lowest possible heat in a saucepan – stirring constantly, or in a bain marie – stirring constantly).
- Once melted remove it from the heat and pour into another bowl (this will help it to cool as it needs to be back to room temperature before mixing with the buttercream).
- Beat together the dairy-free margarine (125g) and baking block (125g) until soft (it can take a bit of time to get it really smooth but persevere to ensure you get perfect buttercream). Add the vanilla extract (¼ tsp), cocoa powder (40g) and icing sugar (250g) and beat until fully combined (it’s easier to avoid the cocoa powder and sugar flying everywhere if you add it a spoonful at a time).
- Once the chocolate has cooled to room temperature (DO NOT add the chocolate when it’s still warm as it’ll melt the butter and your buttercream will end up too runny) pour it into the buttercream and beat until fully combined. You should find that the buttercream is soft and spreadable.
- Your buttercream is now ready to use.