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!
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.
Vegan Mirror GlazeRebecca Coleman
- 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
18 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?
I think you’d want to use something a bit thicker, so coffee cream or whipping cream. Sweetened condensed milk might be good!
You can use sweetened condensed milk, but take out the sugar in the recipe
But then it wouldn’t be vegan???
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.
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.)
I get mine at Gourmet Warehouse.
Good luck! Please post me a photo of your finished cake, I’d love to see it!
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!
Love the recipe!!! Do you think we could use normal butter without using cocoa butter
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.
Does the cake need to be room temperature or Will this work on a chilled cake?
Should be fine on a chilled cake!
Did you use canned coconut milk, like the type you use in baking and curries, or boxed coconut milk like the kind you drink? I know your recipe says canned, but the texture of the milk in your video looks bothering like canned coconut milk.
Pretty sure it’s canned coconut milk. It’s quite thick.
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