Swiss Meringue Buttercream Recipe

Swiss Meringue Buttercream will become your go-to buttercream frosting. Swiss meringue buttercream is silky and pipes beautifully on cakes and cupcakes | natashaskitchen.com

Swiss meringue buttercream is better in flavor and texture than American buttercream. Once you try it, you will want to use it on all of your cakes, cupcakes, cookies, everything! It is silky, pipes beautifully, and is stable (scroll down to see the fun design I made for my niece and nephews puppy-themed birthday party).

Swiss Meringue buttercream is my favorite of the meringue frostings because it is not overly sweet or difficult to make, and this method pasteurizes the egg whites in the process – Hooray!! It is simple enough to use for everyday baking but the flavor is special occasion worthy. This frosting makes me think of wedding cakes every time I make it!

Swiss Meringue Buttercream keeps really well overnight at room temperature without drying out or forming a crust like American buttercream will. You can completely assemble your cake ahead of time without taking up space in the refrigerator and it will look and taste just as good the next day!

Swiss Meringue Buttercream will become your go-to buttercream frosting. Swiss meringue buttercream is silky and pipes beautifully on cakes and cupcakes | natashaskitchen.com

Ingredients for Swiss Meringue Buttercream:

7 large (210 grams or 7 oz) egg whites
2 cups (400 grams) granulated sugar
1 1/2 cups (3 sticks or 340 grams) unsalted butter, softened*
2 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 tsp salt (we use non-iodized fine sea salt)

*Butter should be softened at room temperature for about 1 hour (more or less depending on your room temperature). You want it to be still slightly cool to the touch and not overly soft or warm. If it gets too soft, refrigerate for 10 minutes at a time.

How to Make Swiss Meringue Buttercream:

1. In a medium pot, add about 1-inch of water and bring to a simmer.

2. Thoroughly wash and dry the stainless steel mixing bowl from your stand mixer** (you don’t want any fat touching meringue). Add 7 egg whites and 2 cups sugar and whisk together.  Place mixing bowl over pot of barely simmering water, creating a seal over the pot (bowl should be over the steam, not touching water). Whisk constantly until sugar/egg white mixture reaches 160˚F (takes about 3 minutes). Sugar should be fully dissolved (you should not feel any sugar granules when rubbing mixture between fingers), and mixture will feel hot to the touch.

2. Wipe water from bottom of mixing bowl and transfer bowl to your stand mixer fitted with whisk attachment. Beat on medium-high speed until stiff glossy peaks form (about 15-20 minutes) and the bottom of the bowl feels completely at room temperature and not warm (important: if meringue is warm, it will melt the butter).

Swiss Meringue Buttercream will become your go-to buttercream frosting. Swiss meringue buttercream is silky and pipes beautifully on cakes and cupcakes | natashaskitchen.com

3. Once bowl is at room temperature, switch to paddle attachment, reduce to medium speed and add butter 1 Tbsp at a time, adding it just as fast as it can be absorbed by meringue. Once all butter is in, scrape down the bowl and continue beating until the buttercream has reached a thick whipped consistency (3 min on med-high speed). If it looks lumpy or liquid at all, keep beating until smooth, thick and whipped.

4. Add 2 tsp vanilla extract and 1/4 tsp salt then mix on med-high until incorporated (about 1 min).

P.S. The tiny amount of salt at the end gives this frosting incredible depth of flavor.

Swiss Meringue Buttercream will become your go-to buttercream frosting. Swiss meringue buttercream is silky and pipes beautifully on cakes and cupcakes | natashaskitchen.com

**It is ok to use a high speed electric hand mixer, but it may take 5-10 minutes longer of total mixing time. Also, a glass bowl will work but meringue may take longer to whip/cool down because glass retains heat longer.

Swiss Meringue Buttercream will become your go-to buttercream frosting. Swiss meringue buttercream is silky and pipes beautifully on cakes and cupcakes | natashaskitchen.com

Make-Ahead Tip: If not using Swiss Meringue Buttercream frosting the same day it is made, it can be refrigerated. If it has been chilled, bring back to room temperature then re-whip until smooth in texture before using.

⬇️Print Friendly Swiss Meringue Buttercream:

Swiss Meringue Buttercream Recipe

4.8 from 29 reviews
Prep time:
Cook time:
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Swiss meringue buttercream is supremely better in both flavor and texture than American buttercream. Once you try it, you will want to use it on all of your cakes, cupcakes, cookies, everything! It is silky, pipes beautifully, and is very stable.
Author:
Skill Level: Easy/Medium
Cost To Make: $6-$8
Serving: Frosts 9" cake or 24 cupcakes

Ingredients

  • 7 large (210 grams or 7 oz) egg whites
  • 2 cups (400 grams) granulated sugar
  • 1½ cups (3 sticks or 340 grams) unsalted butter, softened*
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • ¼ tsp salt (we use non-iodized fine sea salt)

Instructions

  1. In a medium pot, add at least 1-inch of water and bring to simmer.
  2. Thoroughly wash and dry the stainless steel mixing bowl from your stand mixer* (you don't want grease touching meringue). Add 7 egg whites and 2 cups sugar and whisk together. Place mixing bowl over pot of barely simmering water, creating a seal over the pot (bowl should be over the steam, not touching water). Whisk constantly until mixture reaches 160˚F (takes about 3 min). Sugar should be fully dissolved (you should not feel any sugar granules when rubbing mixture between finger tips). Mixture will feel hot to the touch.
  3. Wipe water from bottom of mixing bowl and transfer bowl to stand mixer fitted with whisk attachment. Beat on medium-high speed until stiff glossy peaks form (about 15-20 min) and bottom of the bowl feels completely at room temp and not warm (important: warm meringue will melt the butter).
  4. Once bowl is at room temp, switch to paddle attachment, reduce to medium speed and add butter 1 Tbsp at a time, adding it just as fast as it is absorbed by meringue. Once all butter is in, scrape down the bowl and continue beating until it reaches a thick whipped consistency (3 min on med-high speed). If it looks lumpy or liquidy at all, keep beating until smooth, thick and whipped.
  5. Add 2 tsp vanilla extract and ¼ tsp salt and mix on med-high until incorporated (about 1 min).

Notes

*Butter should be softened at room temp about 1 hour (more or less depending on your room temperature). It should be slightly cool to the touch and not overly soft or warm. If too soft, refrigerate for 10 minutes at a time.

If you make this recipe, I’d love to see pics of your creations on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter! Hashtag them #natashaskitchen

And here are the puppy cupcakes I made using this Swiss Buttercream for my niece and nephews birthday party! The kids LOVED them!! Here is the vanilla cupcakes base that I used for these. I used mini M&M’s on the eyes, a Hershey’s chocolate drop for the nose, then used a rolling pin and my hands to form the ears out of tootsie rolls and the tongue out of a similar shaped pink candy (similar to an airhead candy).

Swiss Meringue Buttercream will become your go-to buttercream frosting. Swiss meringue buttercream is silky and pipes beautifully on cakes and cupcakes | natashaskitchen.com

If you make this frosting, let me know what you think of it in a comment below.

P.P.S. I do have another recipe coming soon for a cake using this very same frosting – can’t wait to share it with you all!

Swiss Meringue Buttercream will become your go-to buttercream frosting. Swiss meringue buttercream is silky and pipes beautifully on cakes and cupcakes | natashaskitchen.com

Read comments/reviewsAdd comment/review

  • Irina
    January 15, 2018

    Hi Natasha! Love all your recipes and how easy they are to follow. I was wondering what would be a good frosting recipe to use for a naked cake style? Wondering if this recipe is ok to use or if any frosting will work! Thank you so much! Reply

    • Natasha
      natashaskitchen
      January 16, 2018

      Hi Irina, I think this would work, but I’m leaning more towards the cupcake frosting for a naked cake, maybe double the recipe though. It’s a little stiffer. Reply

  • January 14, 2018

    I made this for first time on my birthday cupcakes. It took a long time but came out great. Much less sweet than American butter cream which is exactly what I was looking for. I added 1/4 c raspberry sauce (thickened and seeds removed). It came out great. My problem was piping it. It was a lot less forgiving than American butter cream. Do you have technique that works? My main problem was when I stopped it left jagged edge. Use Wilton open star tip ( think its#1) Reply

    • Natasha
      natashaskitchen
      January 15, 2018

      Hi Caye, I wonder if it was due to adding the raspberry sauce which could have thinned it out? Normally, this pipes pretty easily. Maybe try boiling down the raspberry sauce a little to thicken it. I hope that helps! Reply

  • Cristina
    January 12, 2018

    Is it possible to add less sugar without altering the recipe ? I have diabetic family members and would like it a bit less sweet . Reply

    • Natasha
      natashaskitchen
      January 12, 2018

      Hi Cristina, the frosting is not overly sweet to taste, but I do understand where you are coming from. I think you could make it work with 1 1/2 cups sugar but I’m not sure if it would work with less than that.
      Has anyone else tried using less sugar – I’d love to hear your results! thanks in advance 🙂  Reply

  • Victoria
    January 10, 2018

    I made this on cupcakes and it was so lovely. I just wanted to eat all the frosting off the tops! Ha! Thank you 🙂 Reply

    • Natasha
      natashaskitchen
      January 10, 2018

      Hi Victoria, I’m so glad you loved it! 🙂 I have the same temptation when I make this! Reply

  • Linda Tagaro-Mahina
    January 10, 2018

    Hi Natasha,
    Can this be used with Russian Tips as well. i like your full instructions though Reply

    • Natasha
      natashaskitchen
      January 10, 2018

      Yes this would work for Russian tips. I have that on my to-do list for tutorials this year. 🙂 Reply

  • Tessa
    January 10, 2018

    I made this per instruction, it came out exactly as pictured in the instructions. I will say I had higher hope for this recipe it started to melt while in the icing bag and it melts quickly when left at room temperature, I would probably make this for an ice cream cake rather than a regular cake. The flavor is very subtle and it wasn’t very sweet at all, almost just tasted like fluff. I won’t be making it ever again Reply

    • Natasha
      natashaskitchen
      January 10, 2018

      Hi Tessa, Swiss Meringue Buttercream is normally a very stable buttercream and should not be melting easily, unless you are in a very hot and humid climate. I wonder if maybe it needed to be beaten longer or if the butter was added when the meringue was still warm? That is usually the case if it doesn’t form correctly, then I would suggest refrigerating it 10 minutes at a time and re-beating for a few minutes until it is fully at room temp and fluffy when beaten. I hope that helps! Reply

  • Claudette
    January 9, 2018

    Hi: just wondering if I can use “egg whites” from a carton instead of using eggs then throwing out the yolks. I’m in the process of starting this so would really appreciate a reply asap. Thanks.
    PS: Love your recipes. Reply

    • Natasha
      natashaskitchen
      January 9, 2018

      Hi Claudette, I haven’t tested with carton eggs so I can’t say for sure, but I would stay away from carton whites to err on the side of caution. It may have additives or be pasteurized. I had one reader report that hers did not form for a really long time and while troubleshooting we discovered she used carton eggs so that may have been the culprit. Reply

    • Claudette
      January 9, 2018

      Thanks Natasha. I did try with the egg whites from a carton and it didn’t work. I started again, this time using egg whites from regular eggs and it worked beautifully. Thanks again. Wonder what I can do with all those egg yolks. Any suggestions? Thanks again. Reply

      • Natasha
        natashaskitchen
        January 9, 2018

        I’m so glad it worked out and thank you for reporting back with that information. I’m sure that will be super helpful for others wondering about carton whites. I don’t really have many egg yolk only recipes. My custard cake uses alot of egg yolks. If anyone else has any great suggestions, please share and thanks in advance!! 🙂 Reply

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