This is the last post of our Buttercream Series! Swiss Meringue Buttercream is the least sweet of the other two we have looked at (American Buttercream Recipe and Italian Meringue Buttercream Recipe) but it also tastes very similar to the Italian Meringue Buttercream. It is easier to make because you don’t have to mess with boiling sugar. When using buttercream to frost a cake I have found that Swiss Meringue Buttercream usually comes off with more of a shine. Swiss Meringue Buttercream is very popular among bakers.

Buttercream (7 of 7)

If you missed my other posts about Buttercream click here and here! I am letting you in on all of my buttercream recipes with step-by-step instructions, storage recommendations, troubleshooting, and my best tips and tricks. Buttercream is so versatile and relevant in the dessert world, so we are diving deep into how to make the perfect buttercream, no matter which variety. These are recipes that you will want to have in your back pocket!

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For in-depth “whys” and “howtos”, skip to the end of this post!

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Swiss Meringue Buttercream

An in-depth recipe for Swiss Meringue Buttercream
Prep Time30 mins
Total Time30 mins
Course: Dessert
Keyword: Buttercream, Swiss Meringue Buttercream

Ingredients

  • 5 large (165 grams) egg whites
  • 1 1/2 cups (285 grams) granulated sugar
  • 4 sticks (450 grams) butter softened and cubed
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla

Instructions

  • In the bowl of a stand mixer combine egg whites and sugar. Place the bowl over a pot of simmering water and whisk constantly until the mixture reaches 160 degrees (F).
  • Place the bowl on the stand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment and whip on medium-high speed until it has doubled in volume and reaches still peaks.
  • Begin adding the butter slowly, about 1 every 10 seconds, until all of the butter is fully combined. Add the vanilla.
  • Turn mixer to high and beat until the buttercream is light and fluffy.
  • At this point, you can food coloring or other flavorings
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Swiss Meringue Buttercream

  1. In the bowl of a stand mixer combine the egg whites and sugar. We are just using the bowl right now, so no need to attach it to the mixer. Place the bowl over a pot of simmering water and whisk the mixture constantly until it reaches a temperature of 160 degrees (F) (I use this thermometer).
  2. Wipe the condensation off of the bottom of the bowl and place it on the stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment. Whip on medium-high speed until the meringue has doubled in size and reaches stiff peaks.
  3. Begin slowly adding the butter, about 1 cube every 10 seconds, until all of the butter is fully combined. Add the vanilla
  4. Turn the mixer to high and beat until the buttercream is light and fluffy.
  5. At this point, you can add food coloring or other flavorings. Be sure not to add too much liquid.

Storage

  1. You can store Swiss Meringue Buttercream in an airtight container in the fridge for about a week or in the fridge for up to 2 months. It holds really well and will not change the texture or taste at all.
  2. If you store it in the fridge, set it out at room temperature for about an hour. Then place it back into your stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment and beat on medium speed until it comes back to the original consistency.
  3. If you store it in the freezer, let it sit out at room temperature for a few hours. Then place it back into your stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment and beat on medium speed until it comes back to the original consistency.

Troubleshooting

  1. If your buttercream is runny:
    1. This means that too much liquid was added at some point in the process. The best way to fix this is to try to drain as much of the liquid off as you can and then add powdered sugar until it thickens up. This is going to change the flavor, but it will salvage the buttercream.
    2. It could also mean that the meringue was too hot when you added the butter, so it melted. If this is the case, refrigerate your buttercream for 10-15 minutes and then continue whipping it until it reaches the desired consistency.
  2. If your buttercream has chunks of butter:
    1. This means that your butter was too cold when you added it to the meringue. Let the buttercream sit for 15-20 minutes to allow the butter to soften and then continue whipping.
  3. If your buttercream is broken or looks grainy:
    1. This means that the butter wasn’t soft enough when you added it to the meringue and it caused the meringue to seize up. This can also happen if you take the buttercream out of the fridge or freezer and don’t let it soften enough before mixing. I know the buttercream looks unsalvageable, but I promise this is an easy fix. You can continue to beat the buttercream until it comes together, but this can take a while. I prefer to heat up the side of the bowl over the stove burner, just for about 10 seconds, to warm the buttercream up. Then continue whipping until it reaches the desired consistency. You may have to do this a couple of times, just be sure not to melt too much of the buttercream.

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