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Vegan Italian Meringue Buttercream

How to make Italian meringue buttercream without eggs or butter!

Egg and dairy free buttercream sounds like science fiction. But is it?

This incredible possibility is mostly thanks to the amazing properties of Aquafaba or bean water. Yes! The liquid from cooked chickpeas (or other beans).

Aquafaba can be obtained by draining the liquid found in canned beans or from dried beans after the cooking process.

The liquid has a very high starch content and, in this case, acts very much the same way as egg whites do.

What about the taste? Well, that’s the best part of Aquafaba as an egg replacer. You can alter the taste with all sorts of flavourings.

If you practice a vegan lifestyle or you have a dairy and/ or egg allergy or you simply just don’t like eggs. Then this recipe is for you.

It looks and feels exactly the same as meringue made from egg whites.

Vegan Italian Meringue Buttercream recipe


Sugar 200g

Water 60g

Aquafaba* 150g

Sugar 50g

Vegan egg replacer* 15g or 1tbs

Cream of tartar* 1.25g or 1/4 tsp

Vegan butter or margarine 500g

1 1/2 tbs vanilla extract or other flavourings of choice.

Citric acid – just a pinch (optional)


1. Combine Aquafaba, 50gr sugar, egg replacer and cream of tartar in a mixing bowl with the whip attachment. Whip on medium to high for about 10min.

2. Turn up mixer to high speed. Meanwhile, place 200g of sugar and the water in a saucepan and bring to boil. Keep boiling until the temperature reaches 247-248 degrees Fahrenheit. Please be extremely cautious and take appropriate safety measures to avoid any burns. Hot Sugar syrup can cause serious burns.

[Please ensure there are no children near or around the area where you are making and pouring the hot syrup. Make sure you have all your utensils laid out before you start. For safety reasons, please ensure you have a first aid kit at hand and cold water].

3. While the mixer is still on, pour the sugar syrup you have just made into the mixer in a thin stream. You should aim the stream in between the whip attachment and the side of the bowl. You don’t want hot sugar syrup hitting the attachment and flicking everywhere.

4. When the meringue is thick and glossy and has cooled down, you can start to add your vegan butter of choice. Add in small pieces at a time, in a constant motion. Do not throw in the “butter” all at once. ideally it should have a high fat content, otherwise your buttercream may turn out too soft.

5. Whip the meringue and “butter” together until a homogeneous mixture is obtained. If your buttercream curdles, do not fret. Just keep mixing.

6. Add flavourings.

Notes: adding vegan egg replacer and cream of tartar just makes the meringue more stable. This is a must when filling and stacking tall cakes. Of course you can make vegan Italian meringue without these two ingredients.

And the taste?

Absolutely amazing!

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Back to The Future car cake

car cake

Back to the future car cake. How to make a car cake.

The very first thing I do, when I am faced with the challenge of creating a 3D car  cake, is to draw a sketch. It doesn’t need to be perfect but it does need to be precise.

Once I create the draft of the car, I place an acetate sheet over it to draw the internal structure. Because this will ultimately be the foundation that will hold the cake together.

There are several basic structures recommended. But I basically build the skeleton of the car and fill in the gaps with cake and chocolate. Sounds easy right?

At this point I wish I had studied engineering or some other study of the sort. I also wish I had strong carpentry skills but in that arena, I am still quite a novice.

I confess, I do my part in researching as much as I can. Not exactly university, but My YouTube history is full of “How to’s”. Out of the many we have, there are no fabrication or wooden construction books left unread. But my fiancé is the one actually doing all the cutting and sanding, and stacking the parts for me to build the structures. I don’t know what I would do without him.

It is extremely important to have a sound and strong frame/ internal structure. The last thing you want is to have the cake fall apart as soon as you move it. Here is an example of the Delorean’s internal structure. The most important parts which require support are those that will defy gravity.

Back to the Future car cake structure

In the image above, you will notice the floor of the car is suspended by two bolts. This will help give the illusion that the car is supported by its wheels. Once the car is finished, these bolts will not be seen.

It is extremely important to keep your project food safe at all times. Here, I have used foil on all surfaces that will come into contact with the cake.

Fabrication Guide

Here is a guide with the steps taken to build the Back to The Future time machine – car cake:

1. Drawing a sketch/ blueprint of the car.

There are hundreds of images online of the Delorean. I used them as inspiration to design a car. This cake is by no means a replica.

2. Fabrication of the frame parts

3. Cutting the base board and constructing the frame

4. Food safety – covering the frame with foil

5. Baking the cake – Three layers of 9″ x 12″ Belgian chocolate mud cake layered with chocolate ganache.

6. Stacking the cake at front and rear.

7. Rough carving of the cake according to the blueprints/ drawing/ sketch.

8. Fine detail carving

9. Masking in chocolate ganache until a smooth surface is obtained.

10. Covering in Modelling chocolate/ fondant until a smooth surface is obtained.

11. General exterior detailing

12. Making the cabin, exterior details and tyres

While you can make all the elements that form the inside of the cabin and the exterior details ahead of time, I highly recommend making them after you have built the frame. This will ensure a perfect fit. In any case, these elements will require adequate production and drying time. Planning ahead is a crucial part of making a successful car cake or any cake for that matter.

13. Putting everything together

14. Airbrushing and shading.

15. Covering the presentation board. For this commission, I cover the board in grey textured fondant and airbrush it black. Further detailing is done to the base to create a drastic contrast in textures.

A thousand years later …

Just kidding. This cake takes approximately 18 hours to complete from start to finish and a lot of love.