Vegan Mirror Glaze

Vegan Mirror Glaze

You probably already know this about me, but I love to bake. What you may or may not know about me is that I am terrible at decorating. Like I watch shows like Nailed It on Netflix and honestly I don’t know that I could do any better.

When I make a birthday cake (find my go-to vegan birthday cake recipe here), I mostly use a chocolate ganache, it’s just easier, and it tastes delicious.

I’m not amazing with piping, etc. But I’m trying to learn!

Vegan Mirror Glaze

I’ve been curious about mirror glaze ever since I learned about it. It’s a very cool decorating technique that makes your cake look like it has been covered by a shiny pond. You can even dye it with food colourings to make it look galaxy-like, or more unicorn, rainbow-like. The cool thing about this technique is that you don’t have to really have any “technique” to make it work. You just kinda pour and swirl, and the final effect looks like someone tie-died your cake.

The problem with mirror glaze is that it uses gelatin to thicken. And gelatin, clearly, is not vegan, or even vegetarian. Many mirror glaze recipes also call for white chocolate, which is not vegan, so I set out to try to find a vegan mirror glaze recipe. This one incorporates cocoa butter (which is the base of many chocolates) and agar as substitutes for the white chocolate and the gelatin.

I had a bit of a challenge finding cocoa butter in Vancouver, but eventually found it at Vegan Supply. Since then, I spotted it at Whole Foods as well, and I think maybe Tao Organics in North Van may stock it as well.

It’s honestly not difficult to make. The whole process, though, if you are doing this from scratch, takes some time, as you have to bake the cake, let it cool completely, make the icing, ice the cake (this one works great), let it cool completely (again) and then you can put the mirror glaze on. I had a leftover cake in the freezer that shortened my process, but I still think it took me a couple days to complete, so be sure if you are making this that you give yourself lots of time.

It’s worthwhile to note that you can sub out the cacao butter for dark chocolate, but that means that you need to choose dark colours for your glaze, like blues and purples. It’ll make more of a night sky/galaxy cake.

Mirror Glaze Vegan

Vegan Mirror Glaze

Rebecca Coleman
A vegan version of a galaxy or mirror glaze for a cake.
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 30 minutes
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Servings 4


  • 1.5 cups sugar
  • 1/4 cups coconut milk the canned kind
  • 1/4 cup plus 2 tbsp water
  • 1/8 tsp cream of tartar
  • 2 tbsp agar
  • 1/2 cup cacao butter chunks
  • food colouring of your choice


Keyword vegan


20 thoughts on “Vegan Mirror Glaze”

  • Hey im really impressed with this recipe. Dp you think i can substitute the coconut milk with standard cow’s milk or with pouring cream perhaps?

        • they make vegan condensed milk. carnations brand is sugar and substitutes. other brands tend to use coconut.

          • Right. So when I wrote this post originally in 2018, there weren’t any on the market. Then for a while there was one I could get, but it was horrible. It was coconut, but it separated, I hated it. It’s literally only been in the last 6 months that I’ve been able to get good vegan sweetened condensed milks. It’s been on my list to update this post for a while, so maybe now I might.

        • You can make your own vegan condensed milk. You can use any milk alternative, but the thinner kinds (rice, almond, etc) will take longer to cook down. I try to use oat milk for baking since it’s the most allergy friendly.

  • Hi there – I am wondering if you used agar powder or flakes? My 8-year-old has been watching cooking shows on Netflix and he wants us to try this together – I wasn’t sure if we would be able to make vegan mirror glaze, so we were very excited to find this. Thank you so much for sharing your recipe! (PS We are also in Vancouver, and I bought my last few bags of cacao butter at Choices if you would like to add another source to your list.)

  • Perfect – thanks! We may experiment with cupcakes first (I am baking some for a birthday party tomorrow anyway, and so we may run a test with a couple of the extras before we move on to a whole cake). We will definitely post a photo if we have any kind of success!

    • I don’t think so, because of the viscosity of the cocoa butter as compared to the viscosity of the butter. The cocoa butter, when melted, is thicker, which means is pours slower and covers better. I think if you made it with butter it would just run off.

  • Hi! Thank you for sharing! I want to try this one… been looking for a white/ neutral mirror glaze and found yours to be the one worth trying… the only thing that worries me is the agar powder. I have been through trials and errors with the cacao (normal brown, chocolate) version and everyone was saying it can be replaced in same amount as gelatine, but at the end I realized agar is much stronger! In your case I also am concerned since you use such big amount of agar. They might be a little different from brand to brand but there shouldnt be such a big difference… I would love to hear your opinion about that. P.S. by coconut milk from can you mean the cream that comes on top after refrigerating, right? P.S.2: are you planning on making white mirror glaze as well? Thank you and pls, keep sharing your wanderful ideas!!! Ciao from Europe

    • Hi. Okay! So!

      Agar and gelatine are not equal AT ALL. You can’t sub them equally. I think it comes in different formats, here in Canada I get mine as a powder at specialty gourmet food stores, or you can try amazon.

      The coconut milk is from a can! The regular stuff, not light, not cream. Shake it well.

  • Absolutely amazing colour…have to admit apart from the occasional peanut M& M I tend to try and avoid really brightly coloured foods coloured with artificial colours..HOWEVER it’s so nice to see a cow bone \gelatine free mirror few glaze so even I could try it

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