Swiss Meringue Buttercream Icing

December 2, 2010

swiss meringue buttercream

As I promised in my Confetti Cake post, I’m going to share with you the best frosting recipe I have ever tasted.  Yes, it takes a little extra time and effort but believe me it is well worth it!

I’ve never been a fan of sugary icings.  I can’t enjoy a good piece of cake when the icing is so sweet.  This buttercream recipe produces a creamy vanilla frosting that does not make your teeth hurt from sugar overload.  It’s just smooth, buttery goodness.  I can’t wait to make it again and try the chocolate version!

Swiss Meringue Buttercream

from How to Eat a Cupcake


4 large egg whites
1 1/4 cups sugar
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temp
2 teaspoons vanilla extract


1.  Put egg whites and sugar into the top of a double boiler over a pan of simmering water. Whisking constantly, cook until sugar has dissolved and mixture is warm (about 160 degrees).  *Every few minutes, dip your finger in the mixture and rub between your fingers.  When you can’t feel the gritty sugar anymore, it’s done.

2.  Pour heated egg whites into the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment. Beat egg white mixture on high speed until it forms stiff peaks. Continue beating until fluffy and cooled, about 7 minutes.  It will be creamy and glossy.

swiss meringue buttercream3.  Switch to the paddle attachment. With mixer on medium-low, add butter two tablespoons at a time, beating well after each addition. Increase speed to medium-high; continue beating until frosting appears thick, about 3 minutes. *At one point the icing will begin to look curdled, don’t panic!  This is normal, just keep beating.

4.  Reduce speed to low; add vanilla extract and continue beating 2 minutes to eliminate air bubbles.

{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

Joanne December 2, 2010 at 8:32 pm

I love meringue frosting. It’s by far, so much better than standard buttercream. Your so right! With standard BC your teeth kind of SQUEAL when it hits them. But kids like it :)
Great recipe and it really doesn’t look difficult. Good one to try over the upcoming holiday.
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Carissa January 12, 2012 at 9:32 am

I found this recipe through pinterest. This buttercream is sensational! It is so light and airy and doesn’t have a super sweet taste. It also piped wonderfully!! I did not have a double broiler, so instead, I boiled one large pot of water then sat a smaller pot with the butter & sugar inside the larger one until the consistency was correct. Highly reccommended!


Amanda January 12, 2012 at 4:59 pm

I’m glad you liked it Carissa! It’s my favorite icing now because it’s not sugary sweet. It’s just smooth and creamy. Thanks for commenting!


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