Welcome to the Cake Decorators Q&A

asked August 3rd 2019

Dairy free chocolate ganache and buttercream

Hi, I need to make some dairy free chocolate ganache, and wondered if anyone has a recipe? I’m not sure what’s the best alternative to normal double cream. Also any suggestions/advice on dairy free buttercream? I’ve tried making buttercream with dairy spread but wasn’t impressed with the taste or texture. Any assistance much appreciated! Thank you


Hi Sue Cowley

Ganache is a just a simple emulsion of two ingredients, chocolate and a liquid. It can be any liquid but the thinner it is, the more chocolate is required to make it a spreadable consistency. Most people who make dairy-free ganache either make it with their normal dairy-free milk substitute or with coconut cream. Coconut cream comes in cans. Take a peek here to see how to use it:

or google search for dairy-free ganache to see lots more recipes.
It’s a case of playing with ratios until the desired consistency is achieved. With a thinner liquid such as Soya or almond milk, adjust the ratio to slightly more chocolate to the same amount of liquid. Leave it to thicken and check the consistency. If it needs more thickening, melt more chocolate and incorporate well what you have already made. Try not to beat the ganache as this will make air bubbles, which is not desirable. You can, however, use a stick blender as long as it is continuously immersed in the ganache. Blend only for a very short time, it will thicken fairly quickly.
Take a peek here for a previous answer to another member:

Vegan ganache or vegan buttercream, and Swiss meringue butterbream

Most supermarkets stock dairy-free chocolate. If you have a Lidle supermarket branch near you, try their
Fin Carre Dark Chocolate which is vegan. For more information, google it by the brand name. It’s really inexpensive and a bonus to experiment with.
……..and for buttercream here:

Dairy Free Buttercream substitute

If eggs are not a problem, try using Royal Icing, icing sugar instead of the normal type. RI sugar contains egg white powder which helps to firm up the buttercream., eg of:

Hope some of these suggestions help. If you do need more information please post back. If I wasn’t away tomorrow, I would experiment for you. I have a massive stash of the Finn Carre chocolate which needs using up! 🙂


Many thanks, this is very helpful., and I’ll try your suggestions. I’ll update this question with the results in case it’s of help to anyone else.


That would be so helpful. I wish everyone did that as it helps to build up a bigger information database. Very much looking forwards to your results. Thank you 🙂


Just some feedback on this: the ganache made using coconut cream worked perfectly. I used my usual 2.5:1 dark chocolate/cream ratio. Good consistency for spreading and it set firm, so would be happy to use it under fondant. There was a slight coconut aftertaste (quite pleasant actually) but I guess if you don’t like coconut you could use another cream substitute. I came across some oat cream in Tesco so will try it with that. For the dairy-free buttercream, bearing in mind madeitwithloves suggestion about egg white in royal icing sugar, I decided first off to make it just as a normal swiss meringue buttercream as I think the texture is much nicer and it’s not as sweet. I used half Stork block and half Flora buttery spread (no dairy ingredients, but the usual “may contain traces” disclaimer). I must say I was a bit dubious about how it might taste as I am not a marge fan – however was very pleasantly surprised. With a good slug of vanilla it was very palatable with no overly “margy” taste. Also added some melted choc and made a nice chocolate version. I left this out on the counter overnight to make sure it didn’t dissolve into gloop at room temperature, but it’s fine and held its shape. Hope this is of help.


Hi Sue

I can’t thank you enough for this feedback. It will be a constant reference point and so helpful for our many members. Thank you 🙂 X

Membership sale