Learn how to make Swiss meringue buttercream with step by step instructions! The softest, fluffiest and creamiest buttercream, for all your cakes and cupcakes! INTERMEDIATE - Once you've conquered American buttercream, this would be the next level of buttercream to try. Simpler than you realize, and a much smoother, more stable and lighter buttercream.Serving informationThis is enough to frost and decorate 1 x 8 inch or 9 inch two layer cake. This recipe will also be just enough to frost a 8 inch 3 layer cake, but may not be enough for elaborate decorations.This recipe will frost 40 - 45 cupcakes. Ounces and grams are weight measurements. US based cup, teaspoon, tablespoon measurements. See Common Measurement Conversions.
24ozunsalted butter6 sticks; softened to 65 - 68°F (cool but not cold)
1tbspvanilla extractsee notes for other options
Prep the equipment
Make sure all the whisks, spatulas, bowls and temperature probe are clean and dry with no fat residue. You can rub the bowls and other equipment with a lemon wedge or a paper towel with a little vinegar just to be sure. Then wipe clean with a clean paper towel. This will help get rid of any fat residue.
Separate the egg whites
Separate the egg whites from the yolk while the eggs are still cold, which makes it easier to do.
Make sure the egg whites are separated into a clean, dry bowl. Separate the yolks into a different bowl. Repeat with all the eggs until you have 250 g of egg whites.
Cook the egg whites and sugar
Transfer the egg whites into a large metal bowl (or metal mixer bowl). Again, make sure the bowl is clean and dry with no fat residue.
Add the sugar to the egg whites and whisk gently to just mix through.
Position the bowl over a pot of simmering water, and whisk continuously (does not need to be vigorous), while heating the mix. It’s important to keep the egg white mix moving in the bowl to prevent the eggs from scrambling.
Whisk the egg whites and sugar until the sugar has completely dissolved. You can check this by rubbing a little of the mix between your fingers. If there’s no grainy texture, then the sugar is completely dissolved.
Cook the egg white-sugar mixture for a further 3 - 5 minutes, or until the temperature of the egg syrup registers between 165 - 175°F (74°C - 79°C).
Remove the bowl from the heat, and manually whisk for a few minutes to cool down the egg whites slightly.
Make the meringue
Place the mixer bowl with the egg white syrup in your stand mixer, and attach the balloon whisk. Whisk on high speed (speed 8 - 10) until it has at least doubled in volume. The egg whites should form into a thick, glossy marshmallow-like meringue with stiff peaks. Add the salt and keep whisking. The heat should dissolve the salt.
Keep whisking the meringue until it has cooled down to about 80°F (26.6°C). The bowl should feel cool to the touch at this point.
Add the butter
Cube the unsalted butter, and have it ready to go while the egg whites are whisking.
With the whisk attachment still in place, add the butter - 1 to 2 tbsp at a time, and whisk the butter in at medium speed (5 - 7 speed). Don’t add all of the butter at once, only add it as the previous addition is getting mixed in well.
Once you start adding the butter, the meringue will deflate considerably and be very “soupy”. Also, the buttercream may appear curdled or look like cottage cheese. This is OK. Continue to add and whisk in the butter, and the mix will thicken up and become fluffy as the buttercream cools down and the butter mixes in thoroughly.
Add the vanilla and any other flavoring extracts halfway through the addition of butter.
Once all the butter is added and mixed in thoroughly, the buttercream should be creamy and fluffy. It may look a little lumpy (but without any butter lumps).
Switch from the balloon whisk to the paddle attachment, and mix the buttercream for a few minutes to get a smooth, creamy buttercream.
The buttercream is now ready to be used.
Alternatives for vanilla extract Substitute with 1 tbsp vanilla paste, ORUse the caviar of 1 vanilla bean (split the bean length-wise and scrape out the caviar/seeds), and add it to the buttercream when you are STARTING to add the butter. This is to let the caviar spread uniformly throughout the buttercream.Troubleshooting If the buttercream is still not fluffy and is too runny after adding all of the butter, then the buttercream is still too warm. Refrigerate the bowl to cool down the buttercream, and then re-whip the buttercream.If the egg whites don’t whip up into a glossy marshmallow-like meringue, that means there was fat in the egg white syrup and you would need to start again. For more troubleshooting tips, please read the post.Storing for later Cover the buttercream bowl with plastic wrap. It can be kept at room temperature for about 24 hours. Re-whip with the paddle attachment before using.The buttercream can be stored in the fridge for 7 - 10 days, and up to 3 months in the freezer. Let it thaw at room temperature until the buttercream reaches 70 - 73°F (21 - 23°C) and re-whip before using to make it fluffy and creamy again.