February Baking Challenge

swiss meringue buttercream on cupcakes

FEBRUARY BAKING CHALLENGE

February 2020 Sally’s Baking Challenge Recipe: Swiss Meringue Buttercream

We’re diving headfirst into arguably the BEST frosting out there. Creamy and silky smooth, Swiss Meringue Buttercream is an ideal topping for cakes, cupcakes, and other confections because it’s not overly sweet like most frostings are. However, it’s usually associated with being difficult, finicky, and intimidating. Swiss Meringue Buttercream has often scared beginner and advanced bakers alike, but I’m breaking down that barrier for you. Call it beginner’s luck, but I had success on my very first try a few years ago. But don’t get too excited because each time after that was a major fail. Luckily, I learned a lot from my mistakes and found that there’s ALWAYS a way to fix it.


How to Join Sally's Baking Challenge

  1. Recipe: I publish a new challenge recipe on the 1st of each month. Sign up for Sally’s Baking Challenge emails so you’re alerted as soon as a new challenge recipe is published.
  2. Bake: Bake the recipe during that month.
  3. Send: Share your recipe photo with us via email: [email protected]. By emailing your recipe photo, you are automatically entered in the baking challenge. For a bonus entry, leave a review on the challenge recipe. Instagram direct messages are hard to track, so please email your recipe photo instead. Feel free to share on social media using #sallysbakingchallenge and tagging me (@sallysbakeblog), but the only way to guarantee you are in the running is sending your entry via email.

PRIZE

By emailing your recipe photo to us, you are automatically entered in the baking challenge. 1 winner receives a $250 Amazon Gift Card. We keep track of your photos and randomly select 1 winner at the end of the month. The challenge is open to the whole world. Visit the Sally’s Baking Challenge FAQ page if you have any questions about my baking challenges!


Let’s Review the January Baking Challenge

January 2020 Sally’s Baking Challenge Recipe: Homemade Artisan Bread

I say this every month now– this past month showed the most participation we’ve ever had in a Sally’s Baking Challenge! The comments, emails, and posts poured in about how thrilled you were tackling homemade bread. I couldn’t be more proud of you all. Homemade bread is not something everyone is willing to try, but you took this challenge and ran with it. If you ever need a beginner’s bread recipe, I can’t stress this recipe enough. The hardest part is finding the courage to JUST DO IT!

One of my favorite recipe reviews came from reader Becky:

“SHAZAM!!!… I can bake a wonderful loaf of bread! Thanks Sally. My yeast confidence is on the rise (pun intended)!”

We gathered as many artisan bread photo entries as we could and included them below. (Email is the best way to help guarantee your photo will be included!)

collage of artisan bread images

collage of artisan bread images

collage of artisan bread images

collage of artisan bread images

collage of artisan bread images

collage of artisan bread images

collage of artisan bread images

collage of artisan bread images

collage of artisan bread images

collage of artisan bread images

collage of artisan bread images

collage of artisan bread images

collage of artisan bread images

collage of artisan bread images

collage of artisan bread images

collage of artisan bread images

collage of artisan bread images

collage of artisan bread images

collage of artisan bread images

collage of artisan bread images

collage of artisan bread images

collage of artisan bread images

collage of artisan bread images

collage of artisan bread images

collage of artisan bread images

collage of artisan bread images

collage of artisan bread images

collage of artisan bread images

collage of artisan bread images

collage of artisan bread images

collage of artisan bread images

collage of artisan bread images

collage of artisan bread images

collage of artisan bread images

collage of artisan bread images

collage of artisan bread images

collage of artisan bread images

collage of artisan bread images

collage of artisan bread images

collage of artisan bread images

collage of artisan bread images

collage of artisan bread images

collage of artisan bread images

collage of artisan bread images

collage of artisan bread images

collage of artisan bread images

collage of artisan bread images

collage of artisan bread images

collage of artisan bread images

collage of artisan bread images

collage of artisan bread images

collage of artisan bread images

collage of artisan bread images

collage of artisan bread images

collage of artisan bread images

collage of artisan bread images

collage of artisan bread images

Challenge winner for January is Donna and she has been notified. 🙂

artisan bread winner image

72 Comments

  1. Wow! So much bread…..so many carbs!!! 😀
    Awesome job to all who participated – and congratulations Donna!
    Can’t wait for the next challenge – I love anything meringue 😉

    1. So many carbs!! 🙂 Thrilled you’re excited about February’s baking challenge!

  2. I cannot wait
    I made Swiss Meringue Buttercream and failed really bad.
    Hope I master it!!!!

    1. You can and will master it in February!!

    2. I’m a little late to the game, but I’ve got my bread dough in the refrigerator and excited bake it in the morning. This buttercream recipe is just perfect for me as I’ve decided to strep up my cake game this year! Happy baking everyone!

      1. I hope you loved the bread, Hannah! And I’m so glad you’re going to participating in this month’s challenge, too 🙂 Happy baking!

  3. I can’t wait to try this challenge. Not only the swiss meringue buttercream, but making the finished product look so nice!

    1. I’m so glad you’ll be participating in February’s challenge, Tracy!

  4. I’ve always wanted to try this buttercream! I can’t wait!!

    1. YAY! So glad you’ll be joining next month’s challenge!

    2. So excited for the February challenge!! Loved making the bread. Hope to make it again soon with some of the add-ins

      1. So glad you’re looking forward to this challenge, Emily!

  5. Yay! I’ve been hoping you’d show us your take on SMBC; I’ve never made it before, but want to, and will feel a lot more confident about it using a recipe from your blog 🙂

    1. I’m so excited to share my recipe! I hope you’ll give it a try, Erin 🙂

  6. Kimberly Bailey says:

    I’ve always wanted to try SMBC. Looking forward to it. Everyone’s bread looks delicious!!

    1. So glad you’re looking forward to February’s challenge, Kimberly!

  7. I have never made this before either, might have to try it out.

    1. I hope you’ll join the challenge, Tina! 🙂

  8. Wow!! That’s an amazing amount of bread! It also goes to show how Sally is helping a lot of people gain confidence and conquer their fears in the kitchen, myself included. Thank you so much, Sally, for everything you do. And congrats to Donna!!

    1. So sweet! Thank you for your kind words, Deb 🙂 It was incredible to see so many bakers conquering their fears of baking with yeast in January!!

  9. I have done a lot of baking this past year and even made a wedding cake that I was pretty proud of. I have never made Swiss Meringue Buttercream, however, so I am really excited for this since it is my first challenge.

    1. I’m so excited February’s challenge will be your first one!

  10. Wow look at all that bread for the January challenge!!! Congrats Donna on winning the challenge and congrats sally on always providing us with tried and true recipes that we can trust! I only follow your blog and recipes for no fail results!

    1. So many loaves!! Thank you so much for your positive feedback, Karen 🙂 I truly appreciate your readership!

  11. Thank you Sally for such a fun way to participate and learn how to make yeast bread at the same time. Thanks to the January 2020 Baking Challenge, my office workplace saw 4 different loaves of bread to sample this month.

    Congrats Donna on winning the challenge!!

    1. WOW! What fortunate coworkers you have 🙂 Thank you for participating in January’s challenge!

  12. I am just starting to bake, I have had many failures. That being said, I’m home alone all day and suffer from major depression so no matter the turn out, I’m happy that I’ve at least tried. The other day I thought I want to make a Mexican Hot Cocoa cake with cinnamon frosting. But this is the type of frosting I’ve been eyeballing. I need to get my hands on a candy thermometer I’m thinking. But I’m going to try this challenge. I may do it quietly on the sidelines with you all.

    1. Your Mexican hot cocoa cake sounds delicious 🙂 I hope you’ll join next month’s challenge, Stacey!

  13. YESSSS – I remember like a year and a half ago I asked you if you would be into doing this for a monthly challenge. I’m so excited to see your take on it! I, too, had beginner’s luck with this and it is usually the only frosting I make now- you just really can’t compare it at ALL to American buttercream. So yummy, I cant’ wait!!!!

    1. It’s so delicious! Thrilled you’ll be joining February’s challenge, Angela 🙂

  14. I love looking at all the photos from the monthly challenges! Sally, you help so many of us to be better bakers, thank you!

    1. Thank you so much for your kind words, Anne!

  15. I LOVE Swiss merengue buttercream. I also LOVE French buttercream. I too had beginner’s luck and have had a few (corrected) fails on it but it is so worth it! I can’t wait for this challenge!

    1. YAY! So glad you’ll be joining next month’s challenge, Sarah 🙂

  16. Oh I’m excited! Just a few days ago I was looking up all the different types of buttercream because my family finds regular butter cream way too sweet.

    1. Perfect timing! I hope your family loves this recipe 🙂

  17. Congrats to Donna! It’s fun to see the artistry and skills showcased in all the photos that are included.
    I’m excited and I’ll say a bit nervous for the next challenge. I’ve never made Swiss Meringue Buttercream before. Will be fun for my second challenge!

    I love this website Sally- today I’m making your soft dinner rolls and triple chocolate cake for our weekend company.

    1. So fun to look through the photos!! Glad you’ll be participating this month, Karla 🙂 Hope the rolls and chocolate cake were a hit!

  18. Congratulations, Donna! That’s a beautiful loaf.

  19. Sally, you should be so proud of yourself that you have inspired so many of us to tackle this recipe! You’re the best! 🙂

    1. So sweet, thank you Stefanie! It’s incredible to see how many bakers conquered their fears of baking with yeast in January!!

  20. Sally – it’s leap year! That’s a whole extra day to participate!

  21. January was my first time doing one of your baking challenges. I have decided my belated new year’s resolution is to participate in every SBA baking challenge for 2020. Thank goodness my other resolution for 2020 was to get outside and walk more!! I may need to up it to jogging . Looking forward to a year of soul satisfying deliciousness! Thanks Sally!

    1. I love your resolutions, Laura! 🙂 So glad you enjoyed participating in your first baking challenge!

  22. Perfect timing! I have to make a chocolate cake Sunday with a blood orange frosting. Is that something I can do with SMB?

    1. I’m sure you can!

  23. Very excited for try SMBC, I’ve never made it before! And I am suddenly craving a piece of bread, bread flour stock must have gone up this month!

    1. I’m so glad you’re looking forward to this challenge, Diana!

  24. It’s my first challenge here and I’m wondering what exactly are we supposed to bake. I’ve made swiss meringue before but I am never sure of the proportions if I want to make a bigger batch of it.
    Looking forward to February 🙂

    1. Hi Joanna! This post titled “February Baking Challenge” shares a preview of the next month’s challenge (Feb) and a review of the previous month’s challenge (January). The next month’s challenge is listed above and currently says “recipe coming tomorrow.” The recipe is always published the day after. When it’s published, I go ahead and change what it says above to be a link instead of saying “recipe coming tomorrow.” Sign up for my Sally’s Baking Challenge emails for a welcome email explaining the entire process (it’s so easy!) and reminders of when the challenge recipe is live.

      See step 1 in the pink box above to sign up for the emails.

  25. Ahhh, I have been waiting for this recipe from you! This is something I have been nervous about trying (no real logical reason why, just baker hesitation I suppose), and I am going to go for it. I definitely want the SMBC in my baking arsenal. Thanks so much for all you do! It truly brings joy to this home baker! <3

    1. Woo hoo! So glad you’ll be conquering SMBC this month 🙂

  26. How would swiss meringue be in gobs/whoopie pies?

    1. Swiss meringue buttercream would be delicious in gobs/whoopie pies. Yum!

  27. I opened a home Bake Shoppe in 2019 and one of the first new recipes that I tried was Swiss Meringue Buttercream Frosting. I LOVE it! I rarely use any other kind now.

    1. It’s so good!

  28. WOAH! There is enough bread there to last me a year (or two)!
    I’ve actually been wanting to prettily decorate a layer cake, so now I have the motivation to try making both the cake and this icing for the first time!
    xxx

    1. I’m so glad you’ll be trying something new this month, Aimee!

  29. Thank you for your focus on bread in January. I made some wonderful french bread that I’m really proud of. Lots more to try. Even bought a Lame for the top. Your encouragement is a great incentive to try something different. Happy day!

    1. I’m so glad you had great success in January! Thanks for participating, Sarah 🙂

  30. For a dinner party next week, I’m planning to make that fabulous sounding lemon berry yogurt cake you posted recently. Would you consider this frosting appropriate either for complete coverage or for decorative effect like the drizzle icing you show on that cake? Or is it too much?

    I’ve never made anything you post without falling in love! Two weeks ago I invited a Mom and Daughter who said they simply couldn’t take on baking to come spend a day at my house. We made cinnamon raisin bagels, blueberry muffin bread and an apple pie with your easy-as-pie always perfect crust. All turned out beautifully and I hope they’ve signed on!

    1. Thank you so much, Alice! All 3 of those recipes are actually my favorites, especially the homemade cinnamon raisin bagels!

      You can definitely try spreading the Swiss meringue buttercream all over the lemon berry yogurt cake. It’s not an overly sweet frosting, but the cake really doesn’t need a frosting– just a little drizzle of icing is perfect.

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