Swiss Meringue Buttercream Recipe
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. Watch the easy video tutorial and you will be a pro in no time!
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Swiss Meringue Buttercream Video
Swiss Meringue Buttercream (SMBC) 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 a special occasion worthy frosting (scroll down to see the fun design I made for my niece and nephew’s puppy-themed birthday party). 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 as 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. It’s also freezer-friendly (see instructions below).
Cook’s Tip for Swiss Meringue Buttercream
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 a 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 the mixture between fingers), and the mixture will feel hot to the touch.
3. 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).
3. Once bowl is at room temperature, switch to the 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.
For egg whites to become glossy and reach stiff peaks, it’s critical to make sure your mixing bowl and attachments are free of any grease, egg yolks, or water. You need to start with thoroughly clean and dry tools.
This is usually due to the mixture being too warm or adding the butter before the meringue has fully cooled down. Thankfully, it is easy to fix. Refrigerate the bowl for 15-20 minutes then continue mixing until the frosting thickens.
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.
Avoid using coarse sugar. Granulated sugar works best here. Also, make sure to heat your mixture over the water bath until it registers 160˚F on a thermometer.
Absolutely! See how we frosted our 9-inch, 2-layer Chocolate Cake with Swiss Meringue Buttercream.
- Room Temperature – Swiss Meringue Buttercream is a stable frosting, meaning it will keep well covered at room temperature for 1 to 2 days in a low humidity environment.
- Refrigerator – cover and refrigerate for up to 5 days. Bring back to room temperature to re-whip before piping.
- Freezing – SMBC can be frozen for up to 3 months. Transfer to a freezer-safe zip-top bag, squeeze out any excess air, and store flat for quicker thawing. Thaw at room temperature then re-whip for a few minutes to lighten it up.
More Frosting Recipes
We haven’t found a storebought frosting even comes close to homemade. If you love homemade frosting as much as we do, you’re sure to find some new favorite frosting recipes in this list:
- Chocolate Buttercream Frosting
- Cream Cheese Frosting
- Vanilla Buttercream
- Cupcake Frosting
- Chocolate Cream Cheese Frosting
Swiss Meringue Buttercream Recipe
- 7 oz egg whites, from 7 large egg whites
- 2 cups granulated sugar
- 1 1/2 cups unsalted butter, softened, (3 sticks)*
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
- 1/4 tsp fine sea salt
In a medium pot, add at least 1-inch of water and bring to simmer.
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 a large saucepan 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.
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).
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.
Add 2 tsp vanilla extract and 1/4 tsp salt and mix on med-high until incorporated (about 1 min).
*Butter should be softened at room temp for 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.
Troubleshooting: If your frosting seems soupy, or won’t thicken up properly, this is usually due to the meringue or butter being too warm. See the Common Questions section above to troubleshoot.
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).
If you make this frosting, let me know what you think of it in a comment below.
Read comments/reviewsAdd comment/review
Hi, I would love to make a cake using this recipe. Can I use pasteurized egg whites and if so what steps will I need to revise. Also how many cups does this recipe yield? I need 5 cups of frosting will this be enough? Thanks.
Hi Olivia, you can use pasteurized eggs. Keep in mind, when you put them over the hot steam, you are essentially pasteurizing them (see the second paragraph).
I tried making this Swiss Buttercream. It was a disaster! I don’t know what happened. It curdled. Is there anyway it could be salvaged? I wish I could download a pick of this disaster. Any hints?
Hi Jerry, I’m not entirely sure what happened. Were there any substitutes used? What happened with the result?
My icing consistency was perfect. I started adding to a piping bag then realized there was still some butter not mixed. When I went to mix again everything curdled. Any ideas how to fix it?
I am not sure what happened. It could be that the butter was too cold and didn’t mix in well. Or it wasn’t mixed long enough, or the temperature of the mixture was off.
Beautiful frosting for your chocolate cake recipe. Your directions were spot on for temp and whipping procedure. I also really appreciate you including metric measurements for weight. I halved this recipe since the cake recipe was also halved to make one layer. It’s much easier to divide or multiple recipes when using metric system along with kitchen scale. Thank you!
Hello Theresa, thank you for your good comments and feedback. I’m happy to know that you enjoyed making this recipe!
Hi Natasha. Will this buttercream resist hot/humid climate? I would love to try this recipe but I live in a very hot country.
Hi Ana, Since it contains butter, it will soften at 80 degrees and will melt at around 90 degrees so it’s best to keep it out of the hot sun.
Is this recipe good for piping delicate buttercream flowers such as the Korean style flowers?
Hi Tasnim, I haven’t tried that yet to advise. If you do an experiment, please share with us how it goes!
Is a drop of blue coloring necessary to achieve a true white color?
Hi Nat, I have never had to do that, but my best advice for a true white is to avoid yellow-colored butter.
Hi Natasha, just wondering if it will work if I add some freeze dried raspberry powder, and a couple of drop of pink colouring to the buttercream. If so should I add it at the end? Thanks, Judy
Hi Judy, While I haven’t tried this. One of my readers tried berries for a tang, here’s what they wrote “when I finished making the Swiss meringue buttercream, I gently folded in some freeze dried strawberry powder. It gave a beautiful pink fleck to it and it also had a slight strawberry tang.” That sounds like an awesome idea, I hope that helps!
Ive been trying to make this buttercream and its just a soupy mess! I have done this before and managed to whip it back. I have kept in the fridge for over an hour and when I took it out to whip again, it just turned back to liquid… I may try overnight in the fridge. I am in a hot and humid climate at the moment, so I know thats playing a part in this!
Hi Natasha, I don’t have a stand mixer but rather a hand-held electric one. How should I go about the whisking part after it has been heated on the stove? Thanks!
Looking forward to trying this recipe
Hi Jenny, a stand mixer is much more efficient at whipping mixtures like this so it would take longer if using a handheld mixer with the normal egg-beater attachments and I imagine if you tried to use the single whisk attachment that comes with the Kitchenaid hand mixer, it would take even longer.
Super easy to follow but for some reason mine didn’t quite thicken up at the end? It seemed almost to slightly seperate?
If I will make a two layers of 8×2 inch round cake pan for my chocolate cake recipe, how many eggs, sugar and butter should I use for my swiss meringue buttercream? Thanks!
Hi Marie, I would use 1 recipe for 1 cake just like we did with our Chocolate Cake with Swiss Meringue Buttercream.
Made this today. Cut the recipe in half and used four eggs. Let it come to room temp. Had to put it in the fridge for ten minutes after I added the butter but it came together. will be using it tomorrow for my son’s 2nd bday so I will update after I rewhip it.
Happy Birthday to your son! I hope you’ll all enjoy the day and the food that you will be making.
Yay! This was my first Swiss meringue that worked! It started out not working at all, but I read the comments, put it in the fridge for 10 m, whipped, back in fridge for 10 m, whipped for 3m, and it was PERFECT. Really did pipe perfectly and wasn’t too sweet. If I cut down even further on the sugar, would it still hold up??
That’s just awesome, Jill! I’m so happy to hear it worked for you! The foresting is already lightly sweet so I would not recommend using less sugar because it can affect the consistency and it will start tasting buttery.
I tried using less sugar anyway, and it didn’t come together. Then I realized I love the taste of your buttercream the way it is. I even tried another recipe that called for less sugar, and hated the taste. So yours is my go to from now on!! So grateful!
The first time I made this, it was flawless. The second time, it never came together. The third time, it didn’t come together…until I realized the mistake I’d made both the second and third times: I’d measured the butter by the stick, not by the cup. As such, I’d used half the amount of butter I’d needed. So, if your frosting is runny, liquidy, thin, or otherwise not coming together (these are all words and phrases I searched for in the comments when I was troubleshooting!), make sure you added the correct amount of butter.
Thank you for your feedback!
Dear Natasha, I just wanted you to know that I love your recipe for Swiss Meringue Buttercream. I have tried many versions, including Martha Stewart’s. Yours is the perfect balance of sweetness and fat for my tastes, and I get raves everytime I make it. I have made this into chocolate by adding melted and cooled semi sweet chocolate, and some cocoa powder, all to taste. It comes out beautifully. Thank you for sharing your recipe!
Aww, thank you so much for that lovely compliment! I’m so happy you’re enjoying my recipes, Shell!
About how many cupcakes does this recipe frost? Do the egg whites need to be pasteurized as well?
Hi Sonia, This recipe makes maybe about 5 or 6 cups. It is enough to frost a 9″ two-layer cake, OR it will ice 24 cupcakes.
Hi, I am about to make this but I wanted a small portion of this to be chocolate (mainly for decorations). Can I take some of it out and add cocoa powder to it? Do you know what the amounts would be? I would like to make only 1 batch if possible.
Hi Suwanee, I haven’t tested this with chocolate to advise but here is what one of our readers wrote “I ended up adding 3oz of melted semisweet chocolate and 3 oz of bitter 100%cocoa chocolate after adding the vanilla. I didn’t want the sweetness to go up because of the chocolate. And I also sifted about 1/4 cup of cocoa powder at the end and hand mix that in. Tastes amazing! I’ll re-whip on Friday for the cupcakes I’m making” I hope that helps.
i tried this recipe and it tasted great but it’s too drippy and runny. how should i fix it?
Hi Harriet, usually the reason for it turning soupy is adding butter while the meringue is still too warm and the remedy is usually to refrigerate the mixing bowl for 10 minutes at a time and continue mixing until it forms. It may be the humidity that is also affecting it.
I made this for a batch of strawberry crunch cupcakes I baked for a friend. At first, the consistency was runny after beating it at the indicated speed for the suggested times. But, I chilled the whole bowl of buttercream for about 20 min then beat it again using the paddle for another 4 mins and it turned out perfectly. It was so silky, smooth, and delicious! It pipes like a dream.
That’s just awesome! Thank you for sharing your wonderful review, Rum!
I see the comments asking about doubling the recipe, to which it would appear that you don’t suggest that. What about 1 1/2 the recipe? My previous SMBC recipe called for 9 egg whites, 2 c. Sugar, and 1lb butter, and I didnt have trouble with the bowl capacity with that one. I’d like to try your recipe with its slightly different ratios but there definitely wouldn’t be enough to frost a wedding cake. Just wondering if I could 1 1/2 it, or try to do the recipe twice. Thanks!!
Hi Jo, if you have the capacity, it may work, but again without trying it myself, I can’t comment or recommend specific measurements for that kind of adjustment! If you try it, I’d love to know how you like this recipe!
I always use this recipe and it’s amazing! I was wondering, can you replace the butter with dairy-free / vegan butter for people with a lactose intolerance?
Hi Tiana, without testing that through, I have no idea if that would work. You might see if there is a version of that online by google searching the idea. Sorry I can’t be more helpful with that.
Can you use this to crumb coat a cake prior to fondant icing it?
Hi Sharon, I haven’t tried this to crumb coat, but it does work well with a crumb coat!
Natasha, I was wondering if you can freeze a recipe of the icing rather than an iced cake.
Hi Misty, I haven’t tried freezing SMBC on its own to advise on the outcome.
Aloha Miss Misty… not to interrupt but I have and do freeze SMBC for my cakes. I seal it in a zip lock bag and try take out as much air as wen time to use, I take out day before and let it defrost icebox, then i rewhip it in mixer and whoooo.. SMBC jus as made fresh. Hope this helps 🙂
Thanks for the tips!
It does! Thanks!
Could this frosting be made a week ahead and frozen?
Hi Misty, SMBC freezes well generally, so I think that should work if it is already frosted on a cake, although I haven’t tested that myself. If you try it out, please let us know how it goes.
I want add pistachio paste to this does it get addanksed after the butter or before?Th
Hi Rose I haven’t tried that myself to advise truly. If you happen to test that, I’d love to know how you like it!
Can i double this recipe? Or would it not whip up as it should?
Hi Dana, I think it would overwhelm a normal mixer to double it.
This is my go-to SMBC recipe and I absolutely adore it! I do sometimes find myself running out of frosting to top the cake with. Provided you have a big enough mixer (I have an 8qt kitchenaid and a single recipe fills about 1/3) can this recipe be doubled successfully or would adjustments be needed?
Hi Kayley, it would take significantly longer to adequately cool the mixture. You might try wrapping a cold towel around the bottom to help that along. That would be my only reservation is each step would take significantly longer.
Thanks, Natasha, for this amazing recipe. I have tried many other swiss meringue buttercream recipes and this is by far the best. It is soft and light and pipes like a dream. I flavoured the buttercream with lemon oil and used it to decorate a blackberry cake for my husband’s 60th birthday, using your sponge cake recipe. It was such a hit. Thank you so much for always having the perfect recipe when I need it.
I’m so happy this was a hit, Marg! Thank you for sharing that with us, Marg!
Just needs the yield. How much does it make?
Hi Danielle, This recipe makes maybe about 5 or 6 cups. It is enough to frost a 9″ two-layer cake, OR it will ice 24 cupcakes.
Hi Natasha! I’m making a wedding cake for my friend’s wedding and am using a recipe that is similar to the royal wedding cake. The swimm merengue buttercream was good but required 6 egg whites, 1 cup of sugar, and 3 cups of butter which I thought was just too much butter. No salt or vanilla added. I am going to try this one!!
Sounds like a good plan, Erica. Please update us on how it turns out!
Hello! I’d like to ask how would you scale this for a 10 inch 3 layer cake?
Hi Ana, this frosting makes about 5 or 6 cups. It is enough to frost a 9″ two-layer cake, so I would assume you will need to make just a little extra to have enough for a 10” three-layer cake.
Hello again Natasha,
I need some help. I’m following your recipe for the SMBC and it looks good when I first make it. But once I leave it in the fridge overnight…and then whip it again to use it…after about 5 it starts to go soupy again. I live in Florida so the inside air temp is about 75 F.
I will say this. The first time I did your recipe I whipped egg whites until it became a meringue while it was over heat the whole time (because I read the directions wrong). After that I transferred it to the stand mixer and continue to beat it until it was cool. After I did that I added the butter and that Swiss meringue stayed solid in our house. It’s the other two times (in the first paragraph above) that I followed the directions to a “T“ and the Swiss meringue is turning soupy.
What can I do to strengthen the Swiss meringue buttercream. Should I add less butter? We live in a pretty hot and humid climate and this cake will be sitting outside for at least sometime (maybe 15-30 minutes). I’m just concerned that the SMBC is turning soupy after five minutes (inside the house) what’s gonna happen in the hot sun.
Any help or advice you can give me would be great. I’ve tried everything on your blog thus far. I’m making a large cake for my daughter’s 10th birthday for this Saturday.
Thank you once again for your time.
Hi Chris, usually the reason for it turning soupy is adding butter while the meringue is still too warm and the remedy is usually to refrigerate the mixing bowl for 10 minutes at a time and continue mixing until it forms. It may be the humidity that is also affecting it. Since it contains butter, it will soften at 80 degrees and will melt at around 90 degrees so it’s best to keep it out of the hot sun.
This is the frosting recipe I’ve been waiting for!! The meringue was far too warm after 20 minutes; it needs to be down to 90*F before adding the butter, and it took some time in the fridge to get there. I used organic ingredients, and it worked so beautifully! Thank you!
I’m glad you enjoyed it and had the patience for the cool-down process! That step is crucial!
as a beginner baker, Swiss meringue buttercream was a scary topic. I’ve found that other icings like American buttercream are very overly sweet and didn’t pair well with my cakes. They also used lots of ingredients, which bothered me because wasting food is a big no for me. This buttercream is silky smooth and so easy to work with, although it takes some effort it is definitely worth the while and leaves you with a smooth, not too sweet or buttery cream that taste absolutely delicious! Only downside I could have is the egg yolks that I am left with, still attempting to find a recipe I like that uses these!
Thank you so much for sharing!
Hi Amy, thank you for your good comment and feedback. I totally agree, the recipe is worth it.
Hi Amy. I use the carton egg whites with this recipe every time and it works. I’m in Australia, our cartons (like the milk ones) have pure egg white, it tell you on the container how much is equivalent to an egg white.
I use 210g, equivalent to 7 egg whites. This works every time. Hope this helps you. Cheers
I am also in Australia and use the carton egg white and they work beautifully.
You can make egg nog or custard or hollandaise sauce with the yolks.
Yes to all of these!
Creme brûlée will use up the egg yolks, my recipe uses 6 yolks!
I followed Steps 1-2, but had trouble at Step 3. My stand mixer does not have a whisk attachment (only v-groove beaters) and I could not get stiff peaks even after beating for 25 minutes. I opted to keep moving through the steps but ended with a mixture on the watery side. I’m going to chill the mixture in the fridge before trying to mix again, but was it the attachment that prevented the peaks from forming? And can the frosting be salvaged?
Hi Mel, it is very likely due to the type of beaters used. Chilling for 10-15 minutes may help or wrapping a cold towel around the bottom of the bowl as it is mixing may help it cool faster. Usually, a grainy or soupy mixture is salvageable by further mixing.
Absolutely delicious. Love this frosting so much and I’ve made it over and over. I live where it’s really hot and sometimes it can get a little runny after adding the butter. But I just pop it in the fridge for 10-20 mins, then pull it out and start whipping it again and it comes together like nothing happened 🙂 Thanks for a wonderful recipe.
That’s great, Audrey! Thanks for your review, we appreciate your good comments and feedback.
Would this frosting work on an angel food cake?
Hi Elaine, I haven’t tested this with angel food cake, but that may work. If you experiment, I’d love to know how you like this recipe!
hi I just made this and the meringue was stiff and wonderful but when I added the butter it got really runny, the mixture didn’t feel warm and butter was just soft not melted. is there some way for me to salvage? tastes wonderful just too runny 🙁
Hi Sara, if the temperatures were correct, the best thing to do is to keep mixing and it should come together. It will look that way before it comes together.
Hi Jodie, I haven’t tried this recipe yet but was wondering if you can use a Keto type granular sugar such as Swerve or Lakanto Monkfruit sweetener?
Hi Eva, I haven’t tried a keto substitution, but here’s what one of our readers wrote: “Great recipe! I am living a Keto lifestyle, and the first time I made this recipe I substituted the sugar for the same amount using Swerve instead. I also added a 1/4 of a cup of Dutch Cocoa powder. It worked like a charm. Since we used Swerve, it did have an after taste.
This time, I used the same amount of Keto-friendly sweetner (Monkfruit sugar). No aftertaste, but with just a wee bit graininess. This time I was making a vanilla icing for my nephew. I used President Choice’s Black label Tahitian Vanilla. My nephew loved it. By far the best and easiest Swiss Meringue Buttercream icing. Thank you for the recipe.” I hope this is helpful to you!
I have never made this before and would like to try it. If I use eggbeaters egg white will this work?(it is the real egg white kind I am thinking of using).
Hi, I haven’t tried that although a couple of readers have reported bad results using egg whites with any additives. I’m not sure what is in the eggbeaters whites carton besides just the egg whites.
Hi…the reason egg whites from a carton won’t work is that they’re pasteurized. You can’t use them in anything that requires egg whites to be beaten to a fairly stiff peak like this or angel food cake.
You can’t whip carton egg whites to a peak. But Sugar Geek has a recipe that’s like a faux SMBC that you can use carton egg whites and powdered sugar. https://sugargeekshow.com/recipe/easy-buttercream-frosting/
I have just made this frosting, for the first time ever,and it has come out fantastic. Will be using it tomorrow for a.birthday cake,I’m also going to.try my hand at making buttercream flowers .
Hi Paula, I’m so glad you enjoyed it! I hope the flowers work out great for you!
If I needed red buttercream, is this possible with this reciepe or because it is so soft would the colour not work?
Hi Rebecca, adding food coloring should work. Add a little color at a time until you reach your desired color while maintaining consistency. I would recommend using gel food coloring over a liquid one. I would add that at the very end.
I was wondering how many cupcakes these would pipe on. Thanks! Ps love your recipe!
Hello Caitlin. This recipe makes maybe about 5 or 6 cups. It is enough to frost a 9″ two-layer cake, OR it will ice 24 cupcakes.
If I mix the swiss meringue buttercream with caramel, is the color will change? do you have a tips?
Hi Namia, I haven’t tried it with caramel, but it will likely slightly alter the color.
Hi Natasha, great recipe, thank you! Does overheating and/ or over beating the sugar and egg white mixture can make the meringue grainy? I’ve had a lot of success with the recipe but sometimes it comes out grainy even though I make sure it reaches at least 160 degrees F and Im thinking i might have heat up the egg whites and sugar mixture for too long? It does reach over 165 degrees sometimes and Im thinking it causes the sugar to get grainy. Or maybe if i over beat the mixture the egg whites get grainy? I’d appreciate your response :))
Hi Candice, overbeating would not make it grainy. During the stage where the egg whites and sugar are over the heat, you want to make sure that the mixture is warmed enough so it is no longer grainy. Using a course grain sugar will make that more difficult.
What a lovely recipe that mixes perfectly and tastes like treasure. Topped a Birthday Carrot Cake with it and it was smooth and buttery. Thank you.
You’re welcome, Diane! I’m so glad you enjoyed this buttercream! I imagine it looks so pretty and delicious as a carrot cake!
Has anyone had success with a thermomix?
Hi Jodie, I haven’t tried that yet to advise. Let’s see of others have and could share their experience with us here.
Hi Jodie, yes, I have actually converted this recipe for the Thermomix as well as using the KA stand mixer. Natasha’s is the best recipe ever, thank you for it.
To be truthful Jodie, I love my Thermi, but the KA stand mixer does beat the swiss meringue better than Thermi. BUT, I use it to heat the egg white and sugar. It is so precise that I have a lot of success with this recipe. Lately, I put the heated egg white and sugar straight into the KA mixer bowl, then in the fridge for about 20 minutes. Then start your whipping, follow the recipe from there.
Here is the link to my version of Natasha’s recipe
Hi Natasha! I’ve made this recipe a dozen times, it always turns out great. It’s my go-to frosting recipe.
Today I tried it with brown sugar instead of granulated white sugar. The merengue portion looked great. But after adding the butter, it ended up curdled and soupy.
Would that be because of the brown sugar or did something else go wrong?
Hi Amy, I haven’t tried it with brown sugar to advise on the outcome but with any substitutions that could be the case. if it looks curdled, you need to continue beating it and it will correct itself. It is pretty normal for Swiss Meringue buttercream to look that way while beating and then it corrects after a few more minutes of mixing.
Best tasting Swiss meringue buttercream I’ve ever had! I made two other SMBC recipes before trying this one and they were too buttery and not sweet enough, but this one was perfect, tasted like vanilla ice cream 😍 this will be my go to SMBC recipe from now one, thanks Natasha!
Thank you so much for sharing that with me. I’m so glad you enjoyed it!
Hi there. I have an old stand mixer that doesn’t have whisk and paddle attachments. It only has two beaters exactly like an electric hand mixer. They stay in place while the bowl spins. Will that work? I would need to use the beaters for the whole process, both the meringue stand, and when adding the butter.
Hi Kathleen, the mixer’s power will matter here, but it would be challenging without a whisk attachment. You could use the egg beaters, but that would take considerably longer.
Thank you for sharing the recipe! I’m planning to make this and was wondering how does this hold up at room temperature if left out overnight after piping cupcakes? I usually use a recipe which calls for 8 egg whites and almost double the amount of butter however yours is only 340g. Is this stable enough to pipe rosettes and other things on cupcakes and hold it’s shape for at least 2 days at room temperature?
Can I also put a little less sugar? Let’s say 350g off sugar? Will this affect the consistency and stability?
Thanks for your help!
Hi Lillian, the foresting is already lightly sweet so I would not recommend using less sugar because it can affect the consistency and it will start tasting buttery. Here is a photo of how it pipes onto a cake. I have kept this overnight at room temperature with great results.
Hi Natasha. How can I make this into a lemon flavored Swiss meringue?
Hi Priscela, That may work! Normally flavorings are added at the very end. If you try something new, I would suggest trying to add it to a small batch in a ramekin to be sure it doesn’t hurt the consistency and to see if you enjoy the overall flavor. There are so many ideas! Almond extract, lemon/ lime, liqueurs, fruit puree or preserves, the list goes on. You might google to get ideas for add-ins, depending on the type of cake you’re making.
SMBC is my favorite frosting now and possibly won’t go back to any other frosting. Thank you for the amazing recipe and tips! I will give the other flavorings a try. Have a great day 😊
You’re welcome! I’m so glad our tips were helpful!
I needed to make frosting today and I realized I didn’t have powdered sugar. I came across this recipe and I have to say, it intimidated me at first. I’ve never used a double boiler. 🙂 BUT it was so easy to do. I read through all of the reviews and advice, so I wasn’t surprised when my frosting wasn’t getting thick. But I mixed that sucker for a LONG time, refrigerated in between, put an ice pack around it, etc. Since I knew that if the mixture was cold, I’d have a better chance of it working, I put it in the fridge while I went to Sunday dinner at my mother in law’s house. When I got home, I took it out, let it rest on the counter until I could easily move a spatula through it (about 20 minutes or so) and within 5 minutes, I had beautiful, fluffy, delicious white frosting! I was so excited! I just had to come on and share with everyone…don’t give up on it! If you can’t get it to work, put it in the fridge for a few hours and try again. It’s so worth it! I can’t wait to taste it with the cake. I normally hate frosting (I know…don’t kill me! My husband loves that about me because he always gets mine) but this is really, really good. No shortening greasiness. Very, very light butter taste and I didn’t find it to be too sweet, but I will be pairing it with a dark chocolate cake, so it would be good to have some sweetness there. Thank you so much for this recipe, but especially for the pictures of each stage in the process. If it hadn’t been for that, I don’t know that I would have known what consistency I was looking for as I’ve never had SMBC before (because, to be honest, it looked mighty yummy in its ooey gooey stage. I may just put that in the middle of the next cake I make LOL). This will be my go-to frosting recipe. I love that I have the ingredients right in my pantry!
Hello Alyson, great to hear from you, and thank you for sharing your experience making this recipe. Please share with us again how it turns out and I hope you and your family will love every recipe that you will try!
I love this reciepe and used it MULTIPLE time! I just have a hard time with how much each batch should yield? I made a swimming pool cupcake cake a few weeks ago for my team and used 1 batch, but it seemed like I needed 1.5? My question is how much does each batch yield for 24 cup cakes?
Hi Patricia, This recipe makes maybe about 5 or 6 cups. It is enough to frost a 9″ two-layer cake, OR it will ice 24 cupcakes.
I made this today for the first time and it came out perfectly. You just have to believe it will work and keep whipping. Then all of the sudden it was buttercream and it tastes amazing. Thanks!
You’re welcome, Krysta! I’m happy to know that the result was great!
Is there a way to turn this into chocolate frosting?
Hi Krysta, I haven’t tested this with chocolate to advise but here is what one of our readers wrote “I ended up adding 3oz of melted semisweet chocolate and 3 oz of bitter 100%cocoa chocolate after adding the vanilla. I didn’t want the sweetness to go up because of the chocolate. And I also sifted about 1/4 cup of cocoa powder at the end and hand mix that in. Tastes amazing! I’ll re-whip on Friday for the cupcakes I’m making” I hope that helps.
hola puedo poner color al merengue suizo?
Hi Merlis, adding food coloring should work. Add a little color at a time until you reach your desired color while maintaining consistency. I would recommend using gel food coloring over a liquid one. I would add that at the very end.
Can I use meringue powder instead of egg whites? If yes what’s the quantity?
Hi Silva, I haven’t tested that but I imagine it is a different process.
I followed the recipe exactly. The taste was perfect but the texture wasn’t right. After adding the butter, I whipped it for a long time still it was runny. Then put it back in the fridge for 20 min and whipped it again. Nothing worked.
Hi Gamze, please see the section above titled: “Cook’s Tip for Swiss Meringue Buttercream:” which may help.
I made this a few weeks ago. When I added the butter, it turned soupy. No whipping fixed it. Finally, I stuck it in the fridge for an hour and tried again, and it was perfect. I didn’t cool my meringue enough. Anither recipe says you can put a bag of ice around the bowl while you mix in the butter to cool it down. I may try that today. I plan to add melted and cooled chocolate to the buttercream. We shall see how it works. I’ve tried another smbc before but it was way too buttery. This one was really good. Everyone liked it
Sounds like a good plan, Christine. We would love to know how it goes, please share it with us.
Hi Natasha. I tried this buttercream- it was sooo beautiful. I’ve tried several other buttercreams, but they were so thick and not smooth enough. Your recipe was just great, as the consistency was just so perfect- thank you so much! I was just wondering if I can flavour this buttercream. Let’s say that I was making a chocolate swiss meringue buttercream. How much melted chocolate should I be adding. It would also be great to know if I can double this recipe, or if there is any other way to make a larger batch. Again, thank you so much for this recipe!
What a great compliment and feedback, Keneesha. Thank you so much for sharing that with us and for giving this recipe an awesome review!
No problem! I was just wondering if I can flavour this buttercream. Let’s say that I was making a chocolate swiss meringue buttercream. How much melted chocolate should I be adding? Also, can I double this recipe, or is there any other way to make a larger batch?
Hi Keneesha, I haven’t tested this with chocolate to advise but here is what one of our readers wrote “I ended up adding 3oz of melted semisweet chocolate and 3 oz of bitter 100%cocoa chocolate after adding the vanilla. I didn’t want the sweetness to go up because of the chocolate. And I also sifted about 1/4 cup of cocoa powder at the end and hand mix that in. Tastes amazing! I’ll re-whip on Friday for the cupcakes I’m making” I hope that helps.
Thanks, that helps so much! How about doubling this recipe?
I haven’t tried that but it may overwhelm the mixer unless you have an industrial size.
Yes, u can flavor the frosting. Just add a bit at a time until u achieve the flavor u are looking for. i.e. I made a mocha frosting… by adding powdered cocoa and coffee concentrate. turned out amaaaaazing… and yes, u can also double the recipe. It does take a little longer, but still worked fine.
Oh, that’s great. Though I did once see a tip on another website that doubling the batch wouldn’t be so safe. Do you think that this is true, or is it still safe to double the batch? Thanks for letting me know!
How many cups of frosting does this recipe make? Thank you!
Hi Carol, This recipe makes maybe about 5 or 6 cups. It is enough to frost a 9″ two-layer cake, OR it will ice 24 cupcakes.
I was about to ask the same question. 🙂 I’m making a cookies & cream anniversary cake this weekend as a surprise for a young couple I’m friends with and I was trying figure out how much I’ll need to make. Knowing how much this recipe makes is a huge help. I think this is a better choice of frosting as opposed to American buttercream (which I love) since I’ll be using ganache, oreos and dark chocolate cake. I didn’t want the cake to be overly sweet , putting the couple into a coma (LOL), and this frosting looks perfect! Thank you, Natasha!
I can’t imagine a decorator using this frosting for cakes, cupcakes, or any other treat that needs to be beautifully decorated.
The frosting was more like marshmallow fluff…dashing my dreams for a beautiful 40th birthday cake.
Hi Christina, I am happy to help troubleshoot where I can. This is normally a pretty stable frosting and great for piping on cakes and cupcakes. Consider if you changed anything in the recipe (timings, temperatures, proportions), also if the frosting takes longer to come together, it may be due to adding butter before the mixture cooled sufficiently so you need to mix longer and it will come together even when it looks like it won’t. I hope that helps.
I forgot to mention that I used carton egg whites. They worked just fine for me. However this time I am going to try real eggs.
I didn’t let the mixture cool enough even though it was well over an hour after I took it off the heat. Can I place it in the refrigerator after my peaks are stiff and glossy to cool before I add the butter? AND is it possible to overbeat this once the butter is added?
Hi Cheri, typically, the issue is with under-beating and not over-beating unless you are changing the method (using a balloon whisk at very high speed for example) I haven’t tried refrigerating at that point and probably would not recommend it. I don’t think it would incorporate the butter properly without breaking down.
hi this recipe was turning out really great until I added the butter, it then went very runny and even after about 25mins of whipping it still did not turn out nice and fluffy but I made it again and didn’t add the butter and it was just fine! xo
Hi Ruby, It can look soupy before it comes together and that is normal. If it stays soupy after a few extra minutes of mixing, it is likely due to adding butter before the meringue fully reached room temperature, or due to adding oversoftened or partially melted butter. I would suggest refrigerating 10-15 minutes at a time and continuing to mix and it should come together.
I’ve never made Swiss meringue butter cream before. It turned out great. I haven’t used it on a cake yet as this was a test run. The taste is amazing and it’s so smooth and fluffy. I will definitely use this recipe again.
Glad it was a success! Thanks for sharing that with us, Jennifer.
Hello! This is my first time making Swiss meringue buttercream, is there anyway to fix my butter cream to make it taste less buttery after making it? And also for next time could I just use the meringue without butter for frosting or would it not withhold? Thank you
Hi, make sure not to cut the sugar and to use vanilla and everything in proportion with how it’s written. Using less sugar will make it seem more buttery.
I used the exact measurements but o guess it could just be to buttery for my preference, but again could I just use the meringue itself or would in not work for cake decorating?
Hi Galatia, make sure not to reduce the sugar in the recipe or it can seem buttery. Swiss meringue buttercream frosting is stable enough to pipe onto cakes for decorating.
I didn’t have the great response with this recipe that others had I am sad to say. My sugar and egg whites never dissolved even after 25 minutes over simmering water. I used farm fresh eggs, that may have been the problem. I went ahead and finished off the recipe as directed hoping that beating the butter in would help but of course it did not. The recipe just ended up tasting like a beautiful fluff, with sugar grit and too much butter. But thank you for the recipe at any rate.
Hi Rita, I haven’t had that happen before – did you possibly use coarse or organic sugar? That could be the culprit.
Amazing! Have made it 3 times already and it’s only been 1 1/2 months! We are hooked – can’t even think of having a different frosting!
That’s so great! It sounds like you have a new favorite!
HI Natasha, this is a great tasting recipe! my issues with SMBC is that as soon as I add the vanilla extract the mixture immediately starts to curdle and doesn’t go back to the nice creamy look it had after the butter had been incorporated. Does that have anything to do with the type of vanilla I use?
I use the artificial vanilla by the way.
Hi Nat, I’m not sure if there is some kind of ingredient in it that would cause that. I’m using our natural homemade vanilla but I haven’t heard of that happening in my research. Usually it separates if the butter is added while the mixture is too warm.
Hi Nat, I’m not sure if there is some kind of ingredient in it that would cause that. I’m using our natural homemade vanilla but I haven’t heard of that happening in my research. Usually, it separates if the butter is added while the mixture is too warm.
I will use this recipe again and again! It is smooth, easy to make, and taste beautiful!!!
I’m glad to hear that, Kathi! Thanks for sharing.
Tastes awesome, but I couldn’t get it to whip up after adding the butter! Where did I go wrong?
Hi Nic, It can look soupy before it comes together, and that is normal. If it stays soupy after a few extra minutes of mixing, it is likely due to adding butter before the meringue fully reached room temperature or due to adding oversoftened or partially melted butter. I would suggest refrigerating 10-15 minutes at a time and continuing to mix, and it should come together. I hope this is helpful.
Hi Natasha. Thank you for this recipe, Trying to make it at the moment, the first part was amazing, after I put in the butter, it became liquid and deflated, I was mixing for a while after n it still the same, how can I rescue the frosting.
Hi Stephanie, It can look soupy before it comes together, and that is normal. If it stays soupy after a few extra minutes of mixing, it is likely due to adding butter before the meringue fully reached room temperature or due to adding oversoftened or partially melted butter. I would suggest refrigerating 10-15 minutes at a time and continuing to mix, and it should come together.
Would love to see video of Swiss butter cream frosting, I’ve never made it, don’t think I’ve ever tasted it, very nervous over the amount of egg white, and heating it up!Love all your recipes, especially the chicken pie, do you do beef in a pie?
Hi Jean! Thank you so much for that suggestion! I do not have a beef pie, but I bet with substitutions, that could be possible! If you experiment, I would love to know how you like this recipe.
Is it okay to use salted butter and then half of the amount of salt?
Yes, that would work! I hope you love it.
Is it possible to incorporate a bit of cream cheese into this recipe?
Hi Rachel, I honestly haven’t tried that yet to advise. If you do an experiment, please share with us how it goes!
Hi Natasha, I found this recipe several years ago when I first wanted to give SMBC a go and I nailed it first time with your wonderful instructions. It now gets used for about 200 cupcakes a week, thank you so much! My only query is that my piping is never as neat with SMBC as it is with ordinary buttercream, I think because it is so airy. Is there a way I can improve this?
Hi Hollie, it could be the type of frosting tip. I like a large open star tip for SMBC versus a closed star tip.
Really amazing buttercream :)!!! I unfortunately only had my whisk attachment and I made it all with the whisk buuuuut it does taste like I whipped the butter LOL is that normal?
Hi Monti, it is a buttercream but should be sweet like a frosting.
I can’t figure out how to fit my kitchenaid mixing bowl into a pan of hot water when my bowl has a handle. There is no way to make sure the bottom of the bowl seals to the top of the pan of water. I have to find another recipe, as I need the cake TOMORROW :=)
Hi! I’m not sure you need this after Feb, but! You could pasteurize the eggs/melt the sugar in a glass bowl over double boiler and cook that way. Then just pour the mixture into your stand mixing bowl, easy! 😉
I used to have the same issue with the Kitchenaid mixing bowl, I now simply put another heat-safe bowl in the pot to “shield” the mixing bowl from direct contact with the water and it has been working really fine.