Perfect Swiss Meringue Buttercream

Made from 5 ingredients, this is perfect Swiss meringue buttercream. Written in easy terms with in-depth instructions and troubleshooting tips, this post teaches you how to make the best meringue buttercream even if you’ve failed before or if it’s your first try. This frosting is creamy, silky smooth, holds its shape beautifully, and the best part– and why everyone loves it– is that it’s not extra sweet like traditional American vanilla buttercream.

swiss meringue buttercream

Do you want to master Swiss Meringue Buttercream (SMBC) but are too nervous to try it? I get it, the thought of making meringue as the base of a frosting sounds complicated, timely, and intimidating. Let me break down that barrier for you– this recipe is where you start.


What is Swiss Meringue Buttercream?

Swiss meringue buttercream joins other varieties– French and Italian– as a stable, not overly sweet frosting. The process for each is a little different, but the Swiss method is arguably the easiest. Swiss meringue buttercream is made from cooked egg whites and sugar, butter, and flavorings like vanilla and salt. Whip the cooked egg whites and sugar into stiff peaks, then slowly add the butter before adding flavors. It’s out-of-this-world creamy, extra smooth, and the perfect sweetness for any confection. The whipping process is long and where some trouble can start, including never reaching stiff peaks. The butter can also melt, leaving you with SMBC soup. Or you can over-whip everything into curdles.

Today I’m putting you on the right SMBC track, plus there’s usually a fix for everything– and I teach you how in this post!

This Swiss Meringue Buttercream Is:

  • Made from 5 basic ingredients
  • Silky smooth and buttery
  • Thick and ultra creamy
  • Perfect for piping or spreading
  • Flavored with vanilla and a touch of salt
  • Not cloyingly sweet like traditional frosting

vanilla swiss meringue buttercream

Ingredients

Let me explain why each ingredient is important. Feel free to keep scrolling to the full recipe written below.

  1. Egg Whites: Egg whites and sugar form the meringue. Just as I recommend when making French macarons, use fresh eggs instead of carton egg whites. Here are all my recipes using leftover egg yolks. Success tip: Eggs separate much easier when they’re cold.
  2. Granulated Sugar: Use regular granulated sugar, not confectioners’ sugar.
  3. Unsalted Butter: Butter turns meringue into meringue buttercream. I recommend unsalted butter because salted butter tastes overpowering. Keep in mind that the frosting will turn soupy and thin if the butter is too warm. Make sure you’re using butter that is slightly cooler than proper room temperature butter. Remove butter from the refrigerator and set it out for just 30-40 minutes before you need to use it. It should be cool to the touch, about 60°F (16°C). For accuracy, I recommend using an instant read thermometer. Cut butter into Tablespoon size pieces before using.
  4. Vanilla Extract: Adds flavor. See FAQs below for other flavor options.
  5. Salt: Some SMBC recipes don’t use salt, but I strongly recommend it for another layer of flavor. You may be wondering why you can’t just use salted butter and skip the added salt, so make sure you review Salted Vs Unsalted Butter in Baking.

Swiss meringue buttercream on cupcakes


Swiss Meringue Buttercream Video Tutorial

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How to Make Swiss Meringue Buttercream

Here’s an overview of the steps. Full instructions available in the recipe below. Feel free to keep scrolling to the full recipe if you’d like!

  1. Get rid of any grease residue. Wipe all tools that will touch the meringue with a little lemon juice or white vinegar. Grease or fat prevents your meringue from setting up.
  2. Separate the eggs. Save the yolks for another recipe.
  3. Cook the egg whites & sugar: Whisk sugar & egg whites together, then set the bowl over a saucepan filled with simmering water. Do not let the bottom of the mixing bowl touch the water. Whisk the whites and sugar constantly until sugar is dissolved and mixture has thinned out. The mixture will be thick and tacky at first, then thin out and appear frothy on top. To test that it’s ready, you can use your finger or an instant read thermometer. Lightly and quickly dip your finger (it’s very hot, be careful) and rub the mixture between your thumb and finger. You shouldn’t feel any sugar granules. If using a thermometer, the temperature should read 160°F (71°C).
  4. Whip it: Transfer warm mixture to the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment (if you aren’t already using the metal bowl that comes with it). Beat until stiff peaks form and the meringue is no longer warm to touch, at least 10-15 minutes. On particularly humid days, it will take longer. If it’s still not reaching stiff peaks, stop the mixer, place the bowl in the refrigerator for 10 minutes, then return to the mixer and continue beating until stiff peaks form.
  5. If the bowl and meringue still feel warm at this point, wait until both cool to room temperature (around 70°F (21°C)) before adding the butter.
  6. Add the butter and flavor: Switch the stand mixer to the paddle attachment and add the butter 1 Tablespoon at a time. Wait for the butter to fully mix in before adding the next. After all the butter has been added, beat in vanilla and salt. Done!

A small egg separator is a helpful tool in this recipe.

egg whites for meringue

Cook and whisk egg whites and sugar over indirect heat. When it’s ready, the mixture will be frothy on top and thin. (Below, right.)

cooking egg whites and sugar on stove

What Are Stiff Peaks?

After several minutes of mixing, the meringue should form stiff glossy peaks. This means it forms stiff, smooth, and sharp points in the bowl or on the lifted whisk attachment.

Stiff peaks do not droop down.

stiff peaks for Swiss meringue

After reaching stiff peaks, let the meringue cool for a bit, then beat in the butter 1 Tablespoon at a time.

Success Tip: Because butter needs to be on the cooler side, I don’t remove it from the refrigerator and cut it into Tbsp pieces until I start whipping the meringue.

cool room temperature butter

Add vanilla and salt, then you’re done.

Buttercream is now deliciously creamy and smooth!

vanilla swiss meringue buttercream

5 Helpful Tools

  1. Saucepan & heatproof bowl: Cook egg whites and sugar on indirect heat in a heatproof bowl set over a pan of simmering water. (I just use the metal mixing bowl that comes with a stand mixer.) This cooking method is essentially how we cook the eggs in French silk pie and make homemade marshmallow creme. If you own a double boiler, just use that.
  2. Whisk: Constantly whisking the egg whites and sugar as they gently cook is key.
  3. Electric Mixer: Beating the meringue into stiff peaks requires an electric mixer. I strongly recommend a stand mixer, but a handheld mixer can work. Give your arm a break every few minutes because the beating steps are tiresome. A handheld mixer will take longer to beat the meringue, too.
  4. Egg Separator: Though not required, it’s vastly helpful to have an egg separator to ensure no yolks make it into the mixing bowl. I generally recommend stocking your kitchen with an egg separator because they’re an inexpensive tool you can use for so many recipes like French macarons and chocolate soufflé.
  5. Instant Read Thermometer: Though also not required, it’s helpful to have an instant read thermometer (or a candy/oil thermometer) to determine the safe temperature of cooked egg whites, as well as the ideal temperature for the butter. Less mistakes this way.

FAQS:

  • Is it safe to eat? Provided you aren’t allergic to any of these ingredients, yes. The eggs are cooked to 160°F (71°C), which is considered safe to eat for everyone including pregnant women and children. As always, use your best judgement and feel free to consult a Dr if you’re concerned.
  • Does SMBC crust? No, Swiss meringue buttercream does not crust or dry out like American buttercream can. That’s why SMBC is excellent for creating the smoothest frosting detail on cakes and perfectly piped (yet still fluffy tasting!) designs.
  • Is it stable? Yes, Swiss meringue buttercream is stable at room temperature. Though if eating on a particularly humid day, keep your frosted confections in the refrigerator as close to serving as you can. You can use SMBC under fondant-topped cakes and confections, too.
  • Can I add flavors? Replace some (about 1 teaspoon) of vanilla extract with 1 teaspoon of another flavor extract such as lemon, coconut, orange, maple, or even 1 teaspoon of espresso powder. Taste, then add a touch more if desired. For potent extracts, like peppermint or almond, replace 1 teaspoon of the vanilla with just 1/2 teaspoon. For chocolate Swiss meringue buttercream, beat 8 ounces of pure melted and slightly cooled chocolate into the buttercream when you add the vanilla and salt. Make sure you’re using pure baking chocolate (the 4 ounce bars) like Baker’s or Ghirardelli brands found in the baking aisle.
  • Can I add food coloring? Yes and it’s best to tint SMBC with gel food coloring so you aren’t adding a lot of extra liquid. Beat food coloring into the frosting on low speed after you add the vanilla extract and salt.
  • Can you freeze Swiss meringue buttercream or make it ahead? Yes. Swiss meringue buttercream is great left covered at room temperature for 1-2 days, but after that, refrigerate it for up to 5 days or freeze up to 3 months. If freezing, store in an airtight container, then thaw it at room temperature on the counter. Once completely at room temperature, about 72°F (22°C), place into the bowl of your stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment and beat for 2-3 minutes until creamy again. If it separates or curdles, see troubleshooting tips below.

curdled thick swiss meringue buttercream disaster

Pictured above: Curdled buttercream! Let’s fix it.

Troubleshooting Swiss Meringue Buttercream

  1. Meringue Won’t Reach Stiff Peaks: Step 4 in the recipe below requires a long period of mixing the cooked egg whites and sugar together into stiff peaks. This mixture (the meringue) will never reach stiff peaks if there was a drop of egg yolk (fat) or grease in the mixture, mixing bowl, or on any tools you are using. Wipe down all of your tools with lemon juice or white vinegar, use an egg separator, and separate and add the egg whites one at a time to the mixing bowl. These are all instructions listed out in the recipe below. It’s also helpful to avoid making this on particularly humid days where there’s extra moisture in the air. If you did all of this and it’s still not reaching stiff peaks, the meringue could be too warm or it needs a break. See next.
  2. My Mixer Needs a Break: By all means, give it a break! Mixers can tire out while beating the cooked egg whites and sugar because this step requires a long period of mixing. If your mixer and its motor needs a break, it’s likely your meringue needs a break too. Stop what you’re doing, remove the whisk attachment (or beaters if you’re using a hand mixer), place the attachment/beaters in the bowl with the meringue, and refrigerate it all (covered or uncovered, doesn’t matter) for 20-30 minutes. This gives your mixer, as well as the meringue and mixing bowl, a chance to cool down. (Important: though it’s best to begin whipping the cooked egg/sugar while it’s still warm, it could simply need a cool break halfway through reaching stiff peaks.)
  3. Buttercream is Curdled/Too Thick: If your meringue has separated, curdled, or is too thick at any point after you mix in all of the butter, just keep beating because it will eventually come together. If it’s only getting thicker and chunkier, there’s a quick fix– and it’s my favorite. Place the mixture in your heat-proof bowl back over a pot of 2 inches of simmering water. Without stirring, let the edges of the meringue warm up and become liquid (the center of the meringue will still be solid), about 1-2 minutes. Remove from heat and return to the mixer. Beat meringue on low speed for 30 seconds, then switch to medium-high speed and beat until smooth, about 2 minutes. I have to do this 75% of the time, but I LOVE it because partially melting the SMBC then re-whipping actually creates a creamier frosting.
  4. Buttercream is Soupy/Too Thin: If your mixture has become too thin and soupy after you add the butter, your butter was likely too warm or the meringue was still too warm. Have no fear– this is fixable by bringing down its temperature. Place the entire bowl in the refrigerator (covered or uncovered, doesn’t matter) for 20 minutes to cool down, then return it to the mixer and beat on medium-high speed until thickened. Any longer than this will solidify the butter, so only refrigerate in 20 minute spurts. If it’s still soupy, place back in the refrigerator for longer before re-whipping again.
  5. Buttercream Only Tastes like Butter: The main ingredient, besides egg whites, is butter. Make sure you’re using unsalted butter because salted butter leaves your frosting with an overwhelmingly salty/buttery flavor. Use pure vanilla extract to flavor it and add a pinch of regular table salt. Other flavored extracts work too– see the Ingredients section above.
  6. Buttercream Solidified in the Refrigerator: There’s a lot of butter in this frosting, so if it’s stored in a bowl in the refrigerator, it will solidify into one large mass just like a bowl of cookie dough. Two ways to fix this: sit it on the counter and bring it to room temperature. Once completely at room temperature, about 72°F (22°C), place into the bowl of your stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment and beat for 2-3 minutes until creamy again. If you don’t have time to wait for it to come to room temperature or if your home isn’t warm enough, follow the same instructions as #3 in this list (Buttercream is Curdled/Too Thick). Placing over gentle heat will melt the edges and when whipped, the melty edges and solid center will come together into 1 smooth frosting.

cupcakes with Swiss meringue buttercream

I know it seems complicated, but as long as you remain patient, read through this post, watch the video, prepare yourself by reviewing the recipe before beginning, you will be rewarded with the most luscious, not-overly-sweet frosting ever.


How to Use It:

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swiss meringue buttercream

Swiss Meringue Buttercream

  • Author: Sally
  • Prep Time: 25 minutes
  • Cook Time: 5 minutes
  • Total Time: 30 minutes
  • Yield: 5 cups
  • Category: Frosting
  • Method: Whipping
  • Cuisine: European

Description

This is vanilla Swiss Meringue Buttercream perfection. It’s the ideal balance of sweet and creamy, without being as cloyingly sugary as American buttercream. (This is a far cry from how sweet that is!) Thick, sturdy, and perfectly pipe-able. This in-depth recipe sets you up for success on your 1st try.


Ingredients

  • 6 large egg whites (approximately 230g)
  • 2 cups (400g) granulated sugar
  • 1 and 1/2 cups (3 sticks; 350g) unsalted butter, softened but still cool and cut into Tbsp size pieces (*see note*)
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt

Instructions

  1. Watch the video tutorial above, review the troubleshooting tips, and read the recipe in full before beginning. Make sure all the tools you are using are completely cleaned, dried, and grease-free. A quick wipe with a little lemon juice or white vinegar is very helpful.
  2. Separate the eggs: If you haven’t done so yet, separate the eggs first. Separate 1 egg white in a small bowl, then place the egg white in your heatproof mixing bowl. Repeat with the remaining egg whites. This way, if a yolk breaks in one of them, you don’t waste the whole batch.
  3. Whisk sugar into the egg whites, then set the bowl over a saucepan filled with just two inches of simmering water over medium heat. Do not let the bottom of the egg whites bowl touch the water. Whisk the whites and sugar constantly until sugar is dissolved and mixture has thinned out, about 4 minutes. The mixture will be thick and tacky at first, then thin out and be frothy white on top. To test that it’s ready, you can use your finger or an instant read thermometer. Lightly and quickly dip your finger (it’s very hot, be careful) and rub the mixture between your thumb and finger. You shouldn’t feel any sugar granules. If using a thermometer, the temperature should read 160°F (71°C).
  4. No need to let it cool down to start this next step– it’s important to begin mixing while it is still warm. Transfer mixture to the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment (if you aren’t already using the metal bowl that comes with it). You can use a hand mixer instead, but this step takes awhile and your arm tires quickly. On medium-high speed, beat the mixture until stiff glossy peaks form and the meringue is no longer warm to the touch, at least 10-15 minutes. On particularly humid days, this has taken me up to 17-18 minutes. If it’s still not reaching stiff peaks, stop the mixer, place the bowl–uncovered–in the refrigerator for 10 minutes, then return to the mixer and continue beating until stiff peaks form. (This has always worked for me when it’s taking forever to reach stiff peaks.)
  5. If the bowl and meringue still feel warm, wait until both cool to room temperature (around 70°F (21°C)) before adding the butter in the next step. Feel free to place it in the refrigerator. A warm bowl and meringue will melt the butter.
  6. Switch the stand mixer to the paddle attachment. On medium-high speed, add the butter 1 Tablespoon at a time. Wait for the butter to fully mix in before adding the next Tablespoon. After all the butter has been added, turn the mixer down to medium speed and fully beat in the vanilla and salt, about 30 seconds.
  7. Your Swiss meringue buttercream should be thick, creamy, and silky smooth and is ready to use on any cake, cupcake, or other confection.
  8. Too Thick or Too Thin: If your meringue has separated, curdled, or is too thick at any point after you mix in all of the butter, place the mixture in your heat-proof bowl back over a pot of 2 inches of simmering water. Without stirring, let the edges of the meringue warm up and become liquid (the center of the meringue will still be solid), about 1-2 minutes. Remove from heat and return to the mixer. Beat meringue on low speed for 30 seconds, then switch to medium-high speed and beat until smooth, about 2 minutes. Works every time. If your mixture has become too thin and soupy after you add the butter, place the entire bowl in the refrigerator (covered or uncovered, doesn’t matter) for 20 minutes to cool down, then return it to the mixer and beat on medium-high speed until thickened. Any longer than this will solidify the butter, so only refrigerate in 20 minute spurts. If it’s still soupy, place back in the refrigerator for longer before re-whipping again. More troubleshooting tips in the post above.

Notes

  1. Make-Ahead, Storing, & Freezing Instructions: Swiss meringue buttercream is great left covered at room temperature for 1-2 days, but after that, refrigerate it for up to 5 days or freeze up to 3 months. If freezing, store in an airtight container, then thaw it at room temperature on the counter. Once completely at room temperature, about 72°F (22°C), place into the bowl of your stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment and beat for 2-3 minutes until creamy again. If it separates or curdles, see step 8.
  2. Yield: This recipe yields about 5 cups of frosting, which is enough to fill and frost a two layer 9-inch cake with a generous amount, to fill and frost a three layer 9-inch cake with just enough frosting, to lightly frost 2 dozen cupcakes, to heavily frost 1 dozen cupcakes (I had just enough for the huge swirls on 12 of the pictured cupcakes), or a 9×13 inch sheet cake (with some frosting leftover).
  3. Egg Whites: For best success, I recommend using fresh eggs instead of carton egg whites. Here are all my recipes using leftover egg yolks. Eggs separate much easier when they’re cold. Separate the egg whites one at a time and place the egg white into a large heat-proof mixing bowl (or a double boiler or the metal mixing bowl from your stand mixer) before separating the next. This way, if a yolk breaks in one of them, you don’t waste the whole batch.
  4. There’s almost always a way to fix “ruined” Swiss Meringue Buttercream and it usually has to do with temperature. See step 8 as well as my troubleshooting tips in the post above.
  5. Butter: This buttercream will thin out and become liquid-y if the butter is too warm. Make sure you’re using butter that is slightly cooler than proper room temperature butter. Remove butter from the refrigerator and set it out for just 30-40 minutes before you need to add it to the meringue. Sometimes meringue takes longer than usual or it needs a break (see Troubleshooting above) and in that case, you should place the butter back into the refrigerator for a few minutes so it doesn’t get too warm sitting out. The butter should be cool to the touch. For accuracy, I recommend using an instant read thermometer. Butter should be 60°F (16°C).
  6. Flavors & Colors: For flavor ideas including chocolate, see my Can I add flavors? FAQ above. For coloring, it’s best to tint this frosting with gel food coloring so you aren’t adding a lot of extra liquid. Beat food coloring into the frosting on low speed after you add the vanilla extract and salt.
  7. Half or Larger Batch: You can halve this recipe. The egg white/sugar mixture won’t take as long to cook and the meringue won’t take as long to reach stiff peaks. I do not recommend making larger batches at a time because it will quickly overcrowd and wear out your mixer. If you need more batches, make them all separately.

Adapted from Martha Stewart. I found it needed less butter, 1 more egg white, and more sugar in order to stabilize properly.

Keywords: Swiss meringue buttercream, meringue, frosting

724 Comments

  1. Thanks so much! I had never made Swiss meringue buttercream before and this worked first time. I had to put it back over the heat as it was too thick initially (thanks for the troubleshooting tips) and I agree, this made it creamier.
    I’ve made it twice since, it’s fail proof and absolutely delicious.

  2. Would it be possible to turn this into a strawberry or raspberry Swiss meringue buttercream by adding jam? If so, how would you suggest adjusting the recipe?

    If that’s not possible or would make the texture really off, how would you suggest turning this into a fruity frosting? I want to make my husband a chocolate cake with raspberry buttercream (his favorite) for his birthday!

    1. Trina @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      Hi Rachel! For a raspberry flavored Swiss meringue buttercream we recommend adding 1/2 cup of freeze-dried raspberry powder along with the vanilla extract and salt. No other changes to the recipe necessary. Enjoy!

  3. Perfect recipe and great troubleshooting tips! I wasn’t worried when it came out too runny because I knew you had me covered. Worked like a charm!

    Perfect topping for my root beer float cupcakes. Thank you!

  4. I was about to post a comment about how this didn’t work for me. My egg whites didn’t get stiff after 30 minutes, the butter made it soupy like cake batter and I was sure it was a bust. Then I refrigerated it for 20 minutes and it still looked a little thin. But as soon as the beater hit it, it magically thickened up and turned into this amazing silky smooth frosting. Woohoo!! Thanks Sally, your recipes are some of my favorites.

  5. Hello! May I know if it’s possible to add pureed strawberries for the flavor? I love your recipes btw! Thank you so mucha

    1. Trina @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      Hi LJ! Adding pureed strawberries would change the consistency too much. We recommend adding 1/2 cup of freeze-dried strawberry powder along with the vanilla extract and salt for a strawberry Swiss meringue buttercream. No other changes to the recipe necessary. Enjoy!

  6. It’s interesting how little butter there is in this recipe in comparison to others out there, including the pastry school I went to. Usually it’s around 800-900g of butter for the amount of sugar and egg whites in this recipe. I’ll have to give it a try! I always feel like it’s too much with others, and was wondering how well it goes if you put in a lot less — this seems to be proof it can definitely work out. Thanks!

  7. Hi Sally,
    Is it possible to make this a dulce de leche flavored frosting? If so, how much dulce de leche should I add? Planning to use this for my son’s birthday this coming weekend. Hope to hear from you soon. Thanks in advance!

    1. Lexi @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      Hi Cath, we haven’t tried a dulce de leche version of this frosting, but you could certainly try adding a couple Tbsp at a time (make sure the dulce de leche has cooled and is not warm anymore) until you reach a balance of ideal flavor/texture. Would love to know how it goes for you!

  8. Kirsty Allen says:

    Ok what am I doing wrong??? I followed it to the letter. I got my stiff peaks. I cooled it to 21 degrees. I added my butter (16 degrees) and now I have soup. I’ve put it in the fridge and tried beating again. It’s now had a total of an hour in the fridge and all I have is cold soup. Am I still supposed to be beating? Or am I supposed to go back to the whisk? Or do I just give up and throw it away and use regular buttercream??

    1. Hi Kirsty, I would continue to beat it until it begins to whip up. This could take several minutes. Do not whisk it.

  9. Hello! Would this work for the chai latte cupcake recipe on your site, just adding the spices to the completed frosting? Thanks!

    1. Hilari @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      Hi Errign, add 1 and 3/4 teaspoons chai spice mix from our chai latte cupcakes recipe to this frosting recipe at the same point you would add other flavors/colors. Enjoy!

  10. Luke Davies says:

    Once I have applied this to a cake can it be refrigerated to solidify it so I can add some effects?

    1. Stephanie @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      Hi Luke, After frosting a cake with this Swiss Meringue Buttercream you can store it in the refrigerator. It won’t crust over like a regular buttercream, but when cold it will be more solid.

  11. Hello Sally!

    Thank you for your step by step instructions I nailed my first ever swiss meringue buttercream!

  12. I don’t have a stand mixer I need to use only the hand mixer that have just the regular batters to mix. I don’t know how to make the frosting to become smooth. It only brakes

    1. Stephanie @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      Hi Joanna, If yours has separated, see the troubleshooting guide in the above post and look at “Buttercream is curdled” for tips. Keep in mind if using a hand mixer it may take much longer to beat together. I hope this helps!

  13. Hi sally! I hope u see my comment. The current recipe i use is using 5 eggs with 250g sugar & 450g butter. That already tastes too sweet for me. Then i saw your recipes calls for more sugar. Just wondering is it possible if i cut the sugar down to 200g & reduce the butter by some amount but still with 5 eggs. Will it still be stable? Coz everytime i make the buttercr3am, i never get that thick, creamy & fluffy like those i see on the internet. Im well aware about taking care of the temperature and stuff, but still i think it’s not as exactly what i see from the professionals.

    1. Stephanie @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      Hi Kay, We don’t recommend reducing the granulated sugar in this recipe because while it will certainly reduce the sweetness, it will throw off the consistency of the meringue. Feel free to play around with it though– if you do, you may also want to reduce the amount of butter. While we haven’t tested the recipe with reduced butter, we expect that the frosting won’t be as thick and sturdy. Let us know if you try anything!

      1. Hi, I’ve made this icing three times now. Unfortunately the last two times my icing split. It wasn’t until my last time I realized it split right after I added my vanilla extract. I used a different brand for the last two attempts. Could it be the vanilla? Or is it more likely I’m doing something else wrong?

    2. Hi Kay, I always find American recipes too sweet and regularly reduce the amount of sugar. The Swiss meringue recipe I like is with 6 egg whites, 200 grams of sugar and 500 grams of butter and it is super stable and not overly sweet. Don’t be scared to play around until you like it .

      1. Hi jenny! Thanks a lot! Im curious but afraid to try. But this time, definitely i will. So with 6 eggs, i will get slightly larger batch of that buttercream,right?
        Have u tried putting fondant deco on the sides of the buttercream cake? Will it sink down if the cake sits at room temperature? Fyi, im from Asian country, weather is quite hot.
        Thanks again!

      2. Hi Kay, actually, the batch will not be that much bigger, the amount of butter is more important for how much it yields. Swiss meringue holds up for fondant (Sally also states that in her FAQs here), but I would have it chilled with the buttercream before applying the decoration, especially in hot weather. I would recommend doing it shortly before serving and not leaving out at room temperature for too long given the circumstances (see also Sally’s notes).

  14. Hi Sally, hope you’re well. I’m about two hours into making this buttercream and can’t for the life of me figure out where I’m going wrong. The meringue section of the process went smoothly but when I added the butter it all started to fall apart.

    In retrospect, I think the meringue was still too warm when I added the butter. The icing started to clump and curdle so I melted it around the sides and mixed it back together (as advised in the troubleshooting) but then the mixture became thin. Again, following the advice above, I put the mixture into the fridge for no longer than 20 minutes and then mixed again but it was still far too thin so I put in back in the fridge for another 20 minutes. I’m now on my third time doing this and have just put the mixture in the fridge again because when I tried to mix it, it started to clump and curdle like the first time.

    I’m using a stand mixer and following all the instructions to the letter, and it’s not very humid where I am, so I’m not sure where I’m going wrong. Please could you help? Thank you x

  15. Hello, I was wondering if it is possible to substitute the butter for dairy-free butter?

    1. Lexi @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      Hi Batoul, we haven’t tested this recipe with dairy-free butter so we’re unsure of the results, but let us know if you give anything a try.

  16. Claudia Espinoza says:

    It is super hard to find unsalted butter where I live. Can I mix my butter with a part of shortening to soften the salt? Thanks form Venezuela

  17. Hi. I’m making this buttercream for the second time, and was wondering about two things:

    1) if i want to add vanilla bean caviar instead of extract, when would i do it, and how much should i use?

    2) have you tested this recipe with a sugar alternative? Specifically allulose …

    1. Trina @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      Hi Kerri! We don’t have much experience with vanilla bean caviar, so let us know if you try that! We’d love to help with sugar alternatives, but we are not trained in baking with sugar substitutes. For best taste and texture (and so you don’t waste your time trying to adapt this recipe since it may not work properly), it may be more useful to find a recipe that is specifically formulated for one like allulose. Thank you!

      1. So I did swap the bean caviar for the extract. I used the scrapings of 2 nice plump Madagascar beans and OMG the flavor is off the hook! The downside is that the creamy white frosting is speckled with tiny black dots that come from whole vanilla beans, but the upside is that the creamy white frosting is speckled with the tiny black dots that *only* come from real whole vanilla beans

        Additionally, the first time I made this recipe, my merengue never got past medium-stiff peaks, even after almost 45 minutes and following all the troubleshooting tips (it still worked and tasted great). Today is was even more humid, so I decided to take out a little egg white insurance: i added a scant 1/4 tsp of cream of tartar to the egg whites and sugar before cooking. I had beautiful, snowy, and stiff peaks in less than 10 minutes!

  18. The Swiss buttercream is sweet, light and fluffy. I used it with the Funfetti cake recipe as oppose to the French buttercream and it turned out wonderful.

  19. Hi, for the mixers, i dont have the paddle, is it just fine to make this recipe?

    1. How can i fix my SBC? I left it 20 mins in the fridge and it is still runny I followed your recipe and also looked at the troubleshooting and followed each step but still I cannot stabilize it.

  20. Awful….and a tone of sugar! Tasted like sugar and really hard to get the right consistency!
    Waste if time and resources!

  21. Is it possible to make SMBC with fresh lemon juice instead of extract? If so, how much?

  22. Hi Sally, I was wondering if I could dye a small part of the buttercream after it’s made. I need a different color for the border than the rest of the cake could do that?

    Ray

    1. Trina @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      Definitely!

      1. Thank you so much

  23. Would it be okay to add Nutella to this recipe? I’ve made this recipe as is before and I love it so I wanted to incorporate Nutella this time.

    1. Lexi @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      Hi Shelby, We’ve made a few other flavors, but actually haven’t tested it with Nutella. We would research some Nutella SMBC to get some inspiration — if you find a method or recipe you love, we’d be interested to know how it goes!

  24. Hi Sally!
    I loved this recipe! I plan on making some cinnamon flavored cake soon. How would you recommend flavoring the SMB with cinnamon (preferably with powder)? Thank you!

    1. Lexi @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      Hi Linnea, You can start with anywhere between 1/2 and 1 teaspoon and then taste it and adjust if needed. Enjoy!

  25. I need help!! I’ve been making this buttercream for almost a year now with no issues. But the past few days I’ve had 4 failed batches. I haven’t changed anything, everything is fine until I add the butter. It then turns soupy and can’t be fixed, even after refrigerating it for an hour and letting it mix in my stand mixer for 20+ minutes. Please let me know what I could be doing wrong.

    1. Stephanie @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      Hi Hiba, If your mixture has become too thin and soupy after you add the butter, your butter was likely too warm or the meringue was still too warm. If you try it again, be sure that your bowl and meringue do not still feel warm before adding the butter, wait until both cool to room temperature (around 70°F (21°C)) before adding the butter.

  26. I tried this with dairy free butter and it worked and tasted the same!! Whenever I make this weather dairy free or not I always use 200g of sugar and it is the perfect sweetness. Love this recipe always my go-to.

  27. Hi I would like to half this recipe..would I be able to do so?

    1. Lexi @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      You can halve this recipe. The egg white/sugar mixture won’t take as long to cook and the meringue won’t take as long to reach stiff peaks.

  28. Delightful! I paired this frosting with your yellow birthday cupcake recipe and it was excellent! The cupcakes were light, and perfectly sweet! The directions were thorough, which was much appreciated because this is a relatively complex recipe to follow. My frosting was initially too runny once I reached the final step, and just like you recommended, I refrigerated and then re-whipped, and that did the trick! They were perfectly fluffy. Two days after, after storing them covered at room temperature, the cupcakes are still perfectly delicious! Thanks so much! I’ll definitely be using this recipe again!

    1. Lexi @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      Thank you for reporting back, Ashley — we’re glad this Swiss meringue buttercream was a success for you!

  29. Hi sally i need your help! My buttercream looks fine until i added chocolate (the consistancy is like nutella) it splits immediately…. what should i do? Should i add more butter? I put it in the fridge and stir it again but it didnt work 🙁

    1. Stephanie @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      Hi Natasia, What type of chocolate are you using? Make sure you’re using pure baking chocolate (the 4 ounce bars) like Baker’s or Ghirardelli brands found in the baking aisle.

  30. I’ve made this icing a number of times. Perfect every time. I’ve had to do the trouble shooting nearly ent time but it is always salvageable every time and turns out great. Only attempt with a strand mixer. Takes a lotttttttt of mixing but worth it!

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