Swiss Meringue Buttercream Recipe

Here is my Swiss meringue Buttercream recipe and tutorial!

I love buttercream.
It is a fact.
I was in the supermarket a while ago snooping around their bakery.
Sometimes they give free samples out to kids, so I was just checking to make sure that their, ahem, free kid samples were fully stocked.  You know, just looking out for the children.
Anyway, there sitting in the bakery was a cake.  Not unusual, I suppose, but on the label for the “bakery-made” cake was a sticker that said “Better-Cream”.
Huh?
What could be better than Buttercream?
I believe, sir, that is a challenge.
So, in the name of research I had to buy the cake and try this “Better-Cream”.
Upon my arrival at home I created the appropriate environment…candles, soft music, the good china.
I was fully prepared to have a new love of my life.
Good silver in hand, I cut my beautiful, frosting rose covered, “better-cream” cake slice.
The moment the first bite hit my tongue I knew I had been foiled.  “Better-Cream” was, in fact, not “better” at all.  It was horrendous.  Whipped garbage would have been a more accurate name.
I am not sure who devised “Better-Cream”, but they obviously have never eaten cake before…or maybe ever eaten at all.
You might think I am being overly dramatic, but buttercream frosting is serious.
This is why when I first read about “Swiss Meringue Buttercream” I was dubious.
It sounded a little sophomoric to me, a self-proclaimed buttercream connoisseur.
Plus, there is no reason to fancy-up buttercream.  No reason at all.
But, again, in the name of research, I went ahead and gave it a shot.
What I ended up with was a light, but dense, incredibly silky, not too sweet frosting.
Beautifully shiny and not for the faint of heart, it will make any cupcake seem like something special.
Have I sold you yet?
 Go ahead, give it a go!
Swiss Meringue Buttercream
5 large egg whites
1 1/4 cup sugar
1 pound (4 sticks) butter, cut into tablespoons, room temperature..I used salted butter, just a personal preference
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract (I used vanilla bean paste)
—————————————————————————————————
Combine egg whites…
and sugar …
into the heatproof bowl of a standing mixer set over a pan of simmering water, much like a double boiler. 
Whisk constantly by hand until the mixture is sugar has dissolved.  First it will look like this…
and then when it is done, like this…
(the mixture should feel completely smooth when rubbed between your fingertips, no grainy sugar), approx 2 minutes. 
Put mixing bowl on mixer and using the whisk attachment start mixing.  Begin on low, raising the speed up to medium high. Beat until stiff peaks form, about 10 minutes.
 Now add your butter, 2 tablespoons at a time.
Beating on medium until each addition of butter is added.
Now add your vanilla.  (I used Vanilla Bean Paste that I bought at Homegoods of all places!)
Remove the whisk attachment and replace it with your paddle attachment.
Mix with paddle for 2 minutes on low speed working out the air bubbles.

Makes enough frosting to cover and fill 1 8″ layer cake.

Store airtight in fridge, for, according to Martha, 3 days.

5.0 from 1 reviews
Swiss Meringue Buttercream
 
Ingredients
  • 5 large egg whites
  • 1¼ cup sugar
  • 1 pound (4 sticks) butter, cut into tablespoons, room temperature..I used salted butter, just a personal preference
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract (I used vanilla bean paste)
Instructions
  1. Combine egg whites and sugar into the heatproof bowl of a standing mixer set over a pan of simmering water, much like a double boiler. Whisk constantly by hand until the mixture is sugar has dissolved (the mixture should feel completely smooth when rubbed between your fingertips, no grainy sugar), approx 2 minutes.
  2. Put mixing bowl on mixer and using the whisk attachment start mixing. Begin on low, raising the speed up to medium high. Beat until stiff peaks form, about 10 minutes.
  3. Now add your butter, 2 tablespoons at a time. Beating on medium until each addition of butter is added.
  4. Now add your vanilla.
  5. Remove the whisk attachment and replace it with your paddle attachment.
  6. Mix with paddle for 2 minutes on low speed working out the air bubbles.
  7. Makes enough frosting to cover and fill 1 8" layer cake
Notes
Store airtight in fridge for 3 days.

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63 Comments on "Swiss Meringue Buttercream Recipe"

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Guest
Corrine
February 1, 2011 1:48 am

I love love love Swiss Meringue Buttercream, definitely my go to frosting :)

Guest
Diane {Created by Diane}
February 1, 2011 1:48 am

I love swiss meringue buttercream! So yummy! Love your cupcakes with I could reach out and take one :) it wouldn't be considered stealing…would it?

Guest
bridget {bake at 350}
February 1, 2011 1:50 am

I love seeing your reflection there!

I've only made SMBC once…and it called for whole eggs! It was a *bit* rich….I'm going to try your recipe!

Guest
JudyR
February 1, 2011 1:58 am

I love swiss meringue buttercream and so does everyone else when I make it. The only problem is that it is a bit on the expensive side – using a pound of butter. But, well worth it!

Guest
keepitsweet
February 1, 2011 2:05 am

i may or may not check for cookie samples when i walk by the market bakery

Guest
Jocelyn
February 1, 2011 2:11 am

I have made the swiss meringue butter cream and liked it too! It is a nice change from regular butter cream. (i like using salted butter too:-)

Guest
Sue
February 1, 2011 2:44 am

Now that looks like frosting, some seriously delicious and beautiful frosting!

Guest
Leslie
February 1, 2011 2:56 am

Oh yeah baby..I have posted this recipe a couple of times on my blog. I am IN LOVE with it. It is the best frosting in the WORLD. Totally and completely different then regular buttercream. Everyone swoons over it when they taste it.

Guest
Meghan @ Domestic Sugar
February 1, 2011 2:56 am

Tried it, but no matter how had I whipped it, it came out lumpy. I am told that continual whipping will solve the lumps… LIES! I whipped for 10 min straight! >.<

Yours looks nice though :) :: jealous ::

Guest
CJ
February 1, 2011 3:23 am

I might have to give this a try at some point.
Bettercream?? I don't even like the name! Don't even try to pass off that whipped cool whippy stuff as frosting to ME.

Guest
Ann
February 1, 2011 3:38 am

Oooh, I love this. I'm on a cupcake/frosting kick lately. Fantastic!

Guest
Pink Little Cake
February 1, 2011 3:44 am

I love Swiss Merengue Buttercream, I use it in all my cakes changing or adding a few ingredients to change the flavor. I am so used to make it now that i think is so easy. I am so glad you tried the recipe and like it.

Guest
Holly
February 1, 2011 3:48 am

OH MY!! This looks so delish! I LOVE any kind of buttercream but yours sounds AMAZING!!

Guest
vertigoxcured
February 1, 2011 3:58 am

what tip did you use to pipe the frosting?

Guest
Joanne
February 1, 2011 4:15 am

I'm always doubtful of supermarket cakes. Not gonna lie. I've never had one that tastes better than homemade buttercream. For realz yo.

swiss meringue buttercream is some dreamy dreamy stuff. Perfect for when ou don't want to rot your teeth with powdered sugar. Or for when you want to basically eat sweetened butter from a bowl. Yum.

Guest
Holly
February 1, 2011 4:23 am

I've never made the Swiss Meringue Buttercream I'm definitely going to give it a try!

Guest
Meredith!
February 1, 2011 4:40 am

this looks delicious! i've never had very much luck making my own icing though! its always runny!

Guest
Stephanie Savors the Moment
February 1, 2011 4:50 am

OMG I am so sorry about your run-in with "better cream" – that sucks! I am totally convinced to try your recipe for the Swiss Meringue Buttercream – boy does that sound dreamy! Thanks for sharing:)

Guest
Brenna Hawley
February 1, 2011 6:19 am

I made some tonight, actually :)

Guest
Manni
February 1, 2011 11:12 am

I've never made swiss meringue butter cream because of the eggs! However I'm hopping that I will find another butter cream that tastes and looks like the swiss butter cream : )

By the way, I absolutely love your site, you always tell a story with amazing photos!!

Guest
lilaloa
February 1, 2011 11:27 am

Wait — your stove burner is Fuschia! That's awesome. And I love Swiss Meringue Buttercream. Almost as much as I love a salted chocolate buttercream. (And I'm not altogether sure that fuschia is spelled right. Or if that is even the correct shade of your burner.)

Guest
Brandy L
February 1, 2011 12:27 pm

I have yet to adventure and try Swiss Meringue buttercream it looks so good in your pictures! I think the only reason i haven't is due to the eggs, unsure how long it stay on a covered cake for.

Guest
Mamabird
February 1, 2011 1:01 pm

love your site, love your ideas and your talent! Thank you for such detailed instructions on the SMBC. I have tried it before but will use your instructions to make the BEST batch ever. TWO QUESTIONS……if I use this to frost cupcakes, do they need to be stored in the fridge? #2: using your instructions, will this SMBC be firm enough to stand between layers of a two layer cake and use it to frost the outside? Some buttercreams cannot withstand the weight of a top layer of cake and squish out the sides – drives me crazy, I like… Read more »

Guest
Fallon
February 1, 2011 1:19 pm

I've never made swiss meringue buttercream but I have tried it before, it is truly delicious and can be a bit more difficult to make! Maybe that why I've never made it myself. 😉

Guest
Caroline
February 1, 2011 1:45 pm

I've never made a cooked frosting, but it looks so good here. I am with you about the grocery store frostings – I absolutely loathe the weird, sort of marshmallowy, cloyingly sweet and fluffy, neon colored frostings on top of their cakes.

Guest
marla {Family Fresh Cooking}
February 1, 2011 2:13 pm

I think if I saw "better cream" I would have run in the opposite direction. Those stores like to trick us, ya know….Thank goodness real swiss meringue buttercream was born. Truly, the only way to roll. Gorgeous cupcakes! xo

Guest
Katie
February 1, 2011 2:38 pm

This sounds awesome! Do you have to keep cupcakes frosted with Swiss Meringue Buttercream in the refrigerator?

Guest
Cara @ The Boys Made Me Do It
February 1, 2011 2:44 pm

never made it but I really want to try my hand at it! maybe sometime soon!

Guest
Mindy
February 1, 2011 2:56 pm

I've had "better-cream" and you're right – I rather eat my cake plain than ever taste that again! (And that's saying ALOT as frosting is my favorite food. Well, that and cookie dough:)
Can't wait to try this!

Guest
Kristan
February 1, 2011 6:41 pm

Better-cream? Better rip off more like it!!

I have tried the Swiss Buttercream and it was a bit buttery for me…not enough butter to sugar ratio. I DID love the texture though!!

So sorry to hear about your romantic night going to ruin. :(

Guest
Debbie
February 1, 2011 7:28 pm

I have never tried a Meringue Buttercream…didn't know it was possible to have both really. Can't wait to try this on my next cupcake!

Guest
Jennifurla
February 1, 2011 11:06 pm

I think I am in love! Thanks for introducing this to me

Guest
Raina
February 2, 2011 12:33 am

I have heard about Swiss meringue buttercream but have never had it. It always seemed like it would be too complicated to make. Thank you for the excellent tutorial. I think I might actually be able to pull it off with your help. I love the idea of using the mixer bowl as a double broiler; you are a baking genius:)

Guest
Goddess of Baking
February 2, 2011 5:09 am

I love swiss meringue buttercream!! It is a great base frosting that you can add any flavor to and its always amazing!! I have made vanilla, chocolate, and cookies and cream all swiss buttercream! It is so light and fluffy and i feel that it is somewhat healthier then a regular buttercream. LOVE LOVE LOVE IT!

Guest
Simply Sweet by Enma
February 2, 2011 5:35 am

I've only tried regular buttercream and I think its deliciously divine!! I'm going to have try this recipe out! :)

Guest
grace
February 2, 2011 10:14 am

supermarket frosting is atrocious, that's a fact. i only recently made swiss meringue buttercream for the first time, and i can state that it's also a fact that it's incredible (and surprisingly easy!).

Guest
Shannon
February 2, 2011 1:04 pm

I wish I liked SMBC, but to me, it's like eating a whole stick of room temp. butter. Not very sweet, which in my mind, frosting is suppose to be. But, it pipes up really pretty!!

Guest
Carolyn Woods
February 2, 2011 1:08 pm

It has a great texture, so smooth and pretty. But it's not sweet enought for me.

Guest
cookies and cups
February 2, 2011 2:43 pm

A bunch of you have asked about refrigeration for this frosting.I would say yes, if you frost cakes or cupcakes they should be refrigerated. Just let it come up to room temp before you eat it, and it can sit out for *I have read* 4-6 hours. I understand that there are cooked egg whites in it, so with the big fear of salmonella I will say you can't go wrong if you keep it cold.WITH THAT SAID~ I loathe cold cake so I don't refrigerate it, and have frosted cakes with this and let it sit out overnight and… Read more »

Guest
Meaghan Luby
February 2, 2011 4:42 pm

this looks SO pretty! definitely worth the effort! thanks for posting, i look forward to giving my cupcakes an omph of class 😉
-meg
@ http://www.clutzycooking.blogspot.com
@
http://www.myscribblednotebook.blogspot.com

Guest
Sweet Sins
February 2, 2011 5:30 pm

It is my favorite frosting! I love making it white chocolate flavored!! It is so amazing!! I have a hard time even liking other frostings now…YUM now I am craving it!!

Guest
Cookie Sleuth
February 3, 2011 5:01 am

So fancy!

Guest
georgescookie
February 4, 2011 1:08 am

i tried Swiss Meringue once using the packaged egg whites in the refrigerator. didn't work at all .lol, do you think it matters?
real eggs vs the egg whites in the box?
cupcakes look divine.

Guest
The Girl in the Pink Dress
February 6, 2011 4:44 am

I have never made this frosting. I might have give it a try. Thanks for posting the recipe.

Guest
Monica H
February 6, 2011 5:35 am

I love swiss meringue buttercream. I've made about half a dozen different versions and flavors and they have all been buttery, creamy, silky, light and great for piping.

Guest
Avanika [YumsiliciousBakes]
February 8, 2011 10:37 pm

Oh I Love SMBC. I'm always glad to see another convert, because I really detest the American style powdered sugar buttercream!!

Guest
LauraM
February 12, 2011 5:19 am

I make SMBC and also Italian Meringue Buttercream both delicious if flavored right…not a huge fan of it plain, also for the better cream I buy it at my local CashNCarry often its actually quite delicious if its flavored…I have done straweberry's, dolce leche, coffee, its really good for a filling for cakes or cupcakes, everyone that has ever tried it loves it because it is light and fluffy, it probly depends on the brand that they used possibly, its usually frozen and in a milk carton where I buy it, I let it thaw out then whip it up… Read more »

Guest
DnaBoo
February 24, 2011 4:35 am

I think you've been bamboozled by that bakery! lol I'm so sorry to hear you didn't like bettercreme. I, too, have to admit that I am not a fan of that whipped topping-like-icing. I loooooooove me some sinfully sweet buttercream. But I can GUARANTEE that if you purchase this yourself & 'doctor' it up a bit you'll change your mind! :) Depending on your area you may find this sold under different names/brands. Rich's Bettercreme — Dawn Velvet Top — Frostin' Pride but it's all the same type of product AND there's a chocolate flavor too!Basically, it's a liquid that… Read more »

Guest
o_ø
March 14, 2011 3:38 am

o_o. I am intrigued. Can someone tell me about this purple stove burner? I've searched the internet and found nothing on it, is it a custom thing or can someone give me a brand name or website of this please. xD Its so pretty.. thanks in advance and very much appreciated.

Guest
Anonymous
April 28, 2011 2:36 am

Can you please tell me why your stove burner is purple and how I can find one like that?

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