July 30, 2011

Swiss Meringue Buttercream

This frosting is super rich, smooth, and buttery. and I can’t lie, I love butter. So, I think this recipe rocks! It is a lot different than a typical buttercream, but it’s sturdy=great for stacking cakes and more elegant/gourmet=perfect for fancy cakes. It’s also great because you can add so many different flavors: lemon or strawberry for example.


This recipe can seem a little complicated, there are a few steps. I recommend reading the entire recipe before starting. And if you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to comment or email!

Swiss Meringue Buttercream (adapted from a few different recipes I’ve found)

Things that will be helpful, but are not required:

  • double boiler

  • standing mixer

  • candy thermometer

2/3 C Egg Whites (from about 5 Large eggs)

1 C Sugar (not powdered!)

1 pinch of salt

1 1/2 C (3 sticks) unsalted butter cut into 1T bits, room temp

1 tsp vanilla

  • Start with a double boiler. Don’t have one? Make one! That’s what I do. Start with a pot, and add an inch or two of water. Put it over medium heat. Then, place a non-plastic bowl (for 1 less dish, use the bowl from your standing mixer if it works) and place it in/on the pot:


  • the bowl needs to sit high enough so that the bottom is not touching the water.
  • Now add your egg whites, granulated sugar and salt, and whisk together


  • Keep whisking/stirring. It doesn’t have to be vigorous, just enough to keep it all mixed together, and to prevent the egg whites from cooking around the edges. Believe me, you don’t want scrambled eggs in your frosting. Continue until at least 1 of 2 things happens: 1. your candy thermometer reaches about 160 degrees F and/or 2. If you dip a finger in and rub it against your thumb, it is completely smooth, the sugar is dissolved:
  • DSC_0543it will probably take 3-5 minutes
  • Transfer this mixture to your standing mixer. (I definitely recommend standing mixer, but it’s doable with a hand mixer too!) Use the whisk attachment and turn it on high. Let whip until the egg mixture becomes room temperature (the bottom outside of the bowl no longer feels warm) and you have pretty glossy peaks forming:


    this can take anywhere from about 5-10 minutes

  • If you’re using a standing mixer, while the mixture is whipping is when I cut my butter into 1T bits. I like to cut the butter when it’s cold, it seems easier, then lay them out on a plate and microwave it for just a bit to get it to room temp


    note: those are 2 Tblsp slices, I cut them in half before adding.

  • Once your eggs/sugar mixture is room temp with the glossy peaks, turn your mixer to low, and start adding the butter 1T at a time. Only add 1 at a time, and be sure that each incorporates, probably 10 seconds, before adding another bit of butter.


    after you’ve added all the butter, it might look kind of weird:


    a little soupy and probably not what you were expecting. Fear not! We’ll fix it.

    • Turn your mixer on high, and whip away!
  • It might take another 5-10 minutes to get the mixture to come together, and it will start to look like this:


    Isn’t it pretty??

  • Once it looks like this you can add your vanilla extract (or another extract) and mix it on medium to incorporate it.
  • Now, to help with air bubbles, I suggest switching to the paddle attachment and mixing on low for a couple of minutes. Then you’re ready to use!!


    Because of the high butter content in this frosting, you will want to store the frosted cakes/cupcakes at room temperature. Otherwise, it will probably melt, or if you refrigerate it, it will become hard. Also be careful if you’re piping with it, since you’re holding it in warm hands, it can melt even faster.

    If you want to store for future use, you can store it in the fridge in an airtight container for up to a few weeks. Before using, bring to room temperature, and whip to get light and fluffy.

  • 1 comment:

    Carmen said...

    heehee you're so cute! Im not sure if I will try this in the near future, but I miss you and love you. A lot. And I think you are way talented.