Swiss Meringue Buttercream

13 May

ombre petal sideombre crumb side
oreo cupcake side



I’ve made Italian buttercream in the past, but I’ve never tried to make Swiss buttercream and from everything I hear, it is very good and pretty common for slightly fancier cakes. I read a bunch of possible recipes and kind of merged a bunch into what I thought looked the best. It was a really good buttercream and I can see why people use it a lot. It is great if you want wonderful frosting without a lot of sweet.

The first time I made this, the cupcake had an oreo center, so I used some of the Oreo crumbles in the finished buttercream. I need to update that recipe with this new frosting and the new cake mix I used for it. The second time, I tinted some of it purple to make an ombre petal cake (which I’ll be posting about later this week/early next week). 

One thing to note is that while mixing, after the butter is added, this can look curdled, but it’s actually fine. Keep mixing and everything will work out. My heavy duty mixer never showed this curdled stage (the FIRST time), but from all the articles I’ve read, it can be pretty common. *Updated note: the second time it curled like scrambled eggs so bad I thought it would never recover, but suddenly, it was perfect!

Makes: Enough for 12 cupcakes? I didn’t really measure, but I’d say around 3-4 cups of buttercream. Doubling is good enough for 1x 9 inch double layer cake with filling the layers as long as you don’t go too heavy.

4 egg whites
1 cup sugar
3/4 lb butter (3 sticks), cut into 1 inch cubes
2 tsp vanilla

(can easily double to cover a two layer 9 inch cake as I did the second time)

1) Heat a pot of water until almost boiling.
2) Place the egg whites and sugar into a bowl that will fit over the boiling pot (the bowl of your stand mixer is best, but mine didn’t fit). Heat, while constantly whisking, until the sugar is dissolved in the egg whites and the whites are hot.

swiss buttercream on heat

swiss buttercream heat close


3) Attach the wire whisk to your electric mixer and put the sugar/egg white mixture in the bowl. Whip until the mixture is thick, glossy, and most importantly, the bowl feels close to room temperature, about 10 minutes. Otherwise, you’ll melt your butter when you add it in the next step.

SMB meringue
4) Add the butter cubes a few at a time until incorporated and keep mixing until the mixture seems smooth. The speed of this will depend on the strength of your mixer. The first time it was very quick, the second time it took almost 10 minutes to look not like scrambled eggs and I’ve seen reports of up to 15 minutes, so just keep mixing!

SMB done
5) Add in the vanilla and mix at a low to medium speed until thoroughly mixed in.
6) Add any other flavors you want (cookie crumbles in mine pictured above.

I had hardly any left the first time, but you can keep it in the fridge for about 1 week and in the freezer for 2 months. Let it warm to room temperature and whip a few minutes to revive the buttercream. The second batch is still in my freezer.


One Response to “Swiss Meringue Buttercream”


  1. Ombre Petal cake- another yellow cake | Knead time - May 20, 2014

    […] (filling was raspberry jam and frosting was a double batch of swiss meringue buttercream as made here) […]

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