This Swiss Meringue Buttercream Recipe only takes 4 ingredients to make the silkiest frosting you’ve ever tasted. I’m sharing all the tips and tricks and detailed instructions to get it perfect every single time.
Watch the video below for how to make Swiss Meringue Buttercream
Perfect Swiss Meringue Buttercream
Swiss Meringue Buttercream is less sweet than traditional American style buttercream which means you can use so much more of it to decorate!
It hold its shape perfectly meaning its a great option for piping designs on cupcakes or great for layering up a cake.
Types of Buttercream
Swiss Meringue Buttercream is just one of many different types of buttercream.
First we have American Buttercream, which is the most common simply because it’s so easy to make but that doesn’t make it the best, and another two which are similar to Swiss is Italian and French.
These also use a meringue as a base but aren’t as easy to make as Swiss which is why it gains my top spot of favorite!
Swiss Meringue Buttercream Recipe Ingredients
5 Egg Whites – Egg whites are cooked to dissolve the sugar and whipped into a meringue, this the base to Swiss Meringue Buttercream. Make sure your eggs are at room temperature before starting the recipe. Here are recipes to use the leftover egg yolks.
1½ Cups / 300g Sugar – White Granulated Sugar is used in this recipe instead of Powdered Sugar as it is dissolved into the egg whites.
2 Sticks / 225g Butter – The most important ingredient for this Buttercream which switches it from a white fluffy meringue into a luscious Swiss Meringue Buttercream. Room temperature butter is very important here, cold out of the fridge and it wont incorporate into the buttercream and melted it will turn the buttercream soupy.
1-2 tsp Vanilla Essence – This adds flavor to the buttercream. You can use vanilla essence, extract, paste or whole vanilla beans in this recipe. See the notes in the recipe for other flavor variations.
How to Make Swiss Meringue Buttercream
Start by dividing 5 eggs, placing the egg whites in a medium sized mixing bowl and placing the yolks in another bowl for using for another recipe later. Here are recipes that use egg yolks!
Measure out the white sugar and add it to the mixing bowl.
This recipe doesn’t use powdered sugar like most other buttercream recipes as we’ll be dissolving it in the egg whites.
Place the mixing bowl with the egg whites and sugar over a saucepan on medium high heat with a few inches of boiling water.
Using a whisk mix the ingredients together to dissolve the sugar.
This will take about 5 minutes but if you have a thermometer the egg whites need to get to 160F/72C.
To test the sugar has dissolved and the egg whites are at the correct temperature using a clean hand, feel a small amount of the mixture between your fingers, if it’s smooth the sugar has been dissolved and it can be removed from the heat.
You won’t be able to make this recipe by hand unfortunately because it takes over 15 minutes of continuous mixing.
Using a whisk attachment beat the egg white and sugar mixture on medium to high speed until the mixture has cooled and stiff peaks have formed, this should take about 10 minutes.
Use your hands on the outside of the bowl to make sure it doesn’t feel hot before carrying on to the next step.
Start to add your butter about 1 tablespoon amount at a time to the bowl with the machine running.
Wait until each piece of butter has been incorporated into the buttercream before adding the next.
Ideally your Swiss Meringue Buttercream should look something like this – smooth and fluffy but there is a good chance it might look soupy or completely curdled.
If yours looks something like this or soupy, don’t be afraid. This will usually mean your buttercream is too warm so the butter has melted or the butter was added too fast.
Both of these issues can be completely fixed by just continuing to beat the Swiss Meringue Buttercream for about 5 minutes.
Add the vanilla essence and give the Swiss Meringue Buttercream another mix to combine.
Common Questions about Swiss Meringue Buttercream
Are the egg whites safe to eat?
Yes they are. In this recipe the egg whites are cooked with the sugar before being whipped into a meringue which makes them 100% safe to eat. You can use an instant read thermometer to test the temperature of the egg whites.
Can I flavor or color the Swiss Meringue Buttercream?
Yes you can! Gel coloring is best to use as its so much stronger than liquid and will not alter the consistency of the buttercream. This recipe calls for vanilla essence for flavor but that can be substituted with equal amounts of other essence or zest from citrus.
Make sure to taste your buttercream as you go and add more if you would like a stronger flavor.
How long does this Swiss Meringue Buttercream keep for?
Swiss Meringue Buttercream can be kept at room temperature for three days, the fridge for one week or the freezer for 3 months. If you are freezing the SMB place it into an airtight container or bag and into the freezer.
When you are ready to use it, let the buttercream warm up to room temperature and place it back into your stand mixer. Mix on medium low speed for a few minutes until smooth and fluffy.
Recipes to use with Swiss Meringue Buttercream
Swiss Meringue Buttercream Recipe
- 5 Egg Whites
- 1 1/2 Cups Sugar
- 2 Sticks Butter
- 1 tsp Vanilla Essence
- Add the egg whites and sugar to a heat proof bowl over a pot of simmering water. Heat while stirring with a whisk for about 5 minutes or until the sugar has dissolved. Feel the mixture between your fingers and it should be smooth.
- Pour the egg whites and sugar mixture into the bowl or your stand mixer or a large bowl if you are using a hand mixer. Beat on low speed with the whisk attachment until the mixture becomes opaque. Turn the speed up to medium high and beat for about 10 minutes or until the meringue has reached the stiff peak stand and is at room temperature.
- With the mixer on low add the butter a tablespoon at a time, waiting until it is fully incorporated before adding the next. Add in the vanilla essence and scrape down the bowl to make sure everything is evenly combined.
If the buttercream is loose and soupy place it into the fridge for 15-20 minutes before mixing again.
Substitute the vanilla for any other flavour you would like to use.
The buttercream can be stored in the fridge for 1 week or the freezer for 2-3 months. Let it come back up to room temperature and whip it again before using.