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

Welcome to the February Baking Challenge! See right below the recipe for how to join us this month.

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. For best success, I recommend using 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

Give the video a few seconds to load right below this text. It’s a faded horizontal image of cupcakes. Click on the play button in the center. Make sure any ad blockers are temporarily paused on your browser.


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 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 the meringue frosting aka homemade marshmallow creme on my s’mores brownie cupcakes. 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.
  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: 20 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 (240g)
  • 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 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

How to Join Sally's Baking Challenge

Make this frosting and use it to decorate cakes, cupcakes, or other confections. Any flavor listed above and any way you use it to decorate works! If you’re not into this recipe, here is the alternate February Baking Challenge:

  1. any previous challenge recipe OR
  2. Chocolate Ganache

After you make the frosting and use it as decoration on a confection or after you make the alternate recipe, share your recipe photo with me any of the following ways:

  1. Use #sallysbakingchallenge and tag me (@sallysbakeblog) on your public Instagram or Twitter account. (Instagram messages are hard to track, so please email instead.)
  2. Upload your recipe photo to my Facebook page or Facebook group.
  3. Email me your recipe photo.

For a bonus entry, leave a review on the recipe below!

By sharing your photo, you are automatically entered in the baking challenge for the $250 Amazon gift card prize. My assistants and I keep track of your photos and randomly select 1 winner at the end of the month. The challenge is open to the whole world. Challenge ends on February 28th 2020 at 5pm ET. The winner will be selected at random and posted in the March Baking Challenge blog post on February 29th 2020.

245 Comments

  1. I made your moist chocolate cupcakes recipe with this Swiss meringue buttercream and flavored it with freeze dried strawberries . It was a surprise for my husband for Valentine’s Day! This was my first Swiss meringue buttercream and I was so pleased with how it came out. Everything went smoothly for the most part. It curdled for a few seconds after I added the butter but I followed your instructions to keep whipping it and it came back together. I had so much fun making and decorating the cupcakes. I’m not a very good piper yet though with the frosting. ‍♀️ I had more than enough frosting to pipe 15 cupcakes really high. Can’t wait for next month’s challenge because it is my birthday next month!

    1. Hi Rosie! I’m so happy you were able to try something new this month- way to go 🙂 Sounds like an absolutely delicious Valentine’s Day dessert!

  2. It turned out great! At first it was a bit too liquidy. But after I followed your instruction putting it for about 20 min. into the fridge and then mix it again, it turned out perfect! Thanks so much!

  3. This is the perfect frosting if you want something lighter than traditional buttercream! I was scared to attempt this recipe since there are so many steps that could go wrong, but Sally made it so easy to follow and my first attempt turned out great!

  4. This was my first time making Swiss meringue buttercream and it turned out delicious! I had some problems with it curdling but the directions worked perfectly on how to fix it.

  5. I made this recipe for a mini chocolate cake for my husband on Valentine’s Day. He loved it! I enjoy the difference in taste and texture with swiss meringue buttercream! It’s so silky and this recipe did not disappoint. I didn’t have any issues and it came together in minutes! Thank you Sally!

    1. I liked the recipe but had some problems getting the butter to incorporate the whole way. I’m thinking it may have been too cold?

  6. Made your moist chocolate cupcake with added espresso for my sister-in-law’s birthday and added cinnamon to your Swiss meringue buttercream. YUM! Someone else brought a bakery bought strawberry cake but no comparison to your recipes if I do say so myself!

  7. Thank you so much Sally for providing us with such a detailed and easy to follow recipe! I made this SMBC today and used it to cover the raspberry red velvet cake I made for my mum’s birthday. It was definitely a hit and the reactions I received made the effort all the more worthwhile! 🙂

  8. Whew! I really didn’t think I was going to pull that one off! It was pretty runny and I put it back in the fridge three times. Then I read someone’s comment that this mistook being curdled for being runny. So, into the water bath and voila! A baking miracle! Thanks for a great recipe and challenge!

  9. I have tried a few recipes for this before and everytime it didnt look right or taste right. This stuff is AMAZING! I finally conquered my fear of trying this again and feel confident that I will be able to do this in the future. Thank you!

  10. I’ve been avoiding making SMBC because well it seems daunting. Sally’s tutorial explained everything and had lots of “contingency plans.” I seemingly ran into every issue making this (slow temp rise, too runny, too thick/lumpy), but with Sally’s tips it turned out beautifully! I still prefer the taste of ABC, but I could see this pairing with sweeter cakes/cookies.

  11. Dear Sally,
    I’m following your wonderful website from Italy! I was looking for some frosting recipes to make a celebration cake as a surprise for a very close friend of mine who’s getting married in not too long, and is gonna celebrate with only few people and I found so many inspiring ideas on your website! I have one question for you: is it possibile, in this SMBC or in any other that you posted, to substitute bitter with cream cheese, at least partially? I’d like to make a ‘light frosting’ if possible…also, as my husband is allergic to cheese protein, do you have any diary-free alternative to make frosting?
    Thank you so much and congratulations for your wonderful work!!

    1. Hi Ele! What an honor to make a a celebration cake for a friend getting married. Unfortunately, I don’t have any dairy-free frosting recipes and I haven’t tested this Swiss meringue buttercream with some cream cheese, either. You can certainly try replacing some of the butter with it. If you do, let me know how it turns out!

  12. I love how confident I now feel in making a SMBC after reading this entire post and making Sally’s recipe! My meringue did curdle after adding all the butter. But I did as she advised and kept mixing until it reincorporated and it worked! So creamy and delicious!!!!

  13. Used your strawberry shortcake cupcake recipe and this frosting for a Valentines Party ❤️ ‬Your instructions were easy to follow and I LOVE that you include so many troubleshooting tips!

  14. This recipe was very time consuming but was successful with the help of Sally’s comprehensive tips, tutorials and videos.
    I also used her Cookies & Cream Cupcakes recipe. However, I was a little sad that for the amount of work with the icing, it tasted very much like butter and I got absolutely No gods comments about it from family and friends. I won’t be making it again but it was a great experience! Thank you Sally!

  15. I used your Swiss meringue buttercream twice this month for two different birthdays. One was caramel with chocolate cake and the other was strawberry Swiss meringue buttercream with a vanilla cake. Both were wonderful. Got lots of compliments on the flavour of the buttercream. I love the smooth consistency.

  16. Ok, so I’ve always been one to make a simple Buttercream whenever I make cupcakes. Frostings with egg whites in them seemed intimidating and outside of my skill set, until THIS recipe. My Swiss meringue buttercream came out great on the first try and is now my new favorite frosting! It’s super creamy texture and not overly sweet taste makes it perfect for any cake! My family LOVED it and I’ll definitely be making it again.

  17. This recipe was very well explained which I feel is part of my success with completing it. It was so smooth, tasty, not overly sweet and piped really well!

    1. Though I’ve made a few other flavors, I actually haven’t tested it with peanut butter. I would research some peanut butter SMBC to get some inspiration! Do you have peanut butter powder? That should work nicely too.

  18. The buttercream was delicious – silky smooth just as Sally said. Everything was looking great until I added the vanilla. It curdled and I had a little bit of a hard time telling how it was supposed to look. I decided to follow all Sally’s suggestions and after two times heating then re-whipping it came together. It was so obvious once it did and it piped beautifully. It is a time consuming and fussy recipe, but that is the nature of this type of buttercream. Sally’s pictures and troubleshooting tips are what made this a success!

  19. I failed and ran out of troubleshooting time. My frosting seemed thin and seemed to melt down rather than hold shape. But gosh do I appreciate this post!!! So thorough and gives me the confidence to try again!

  20. I made the buttercream and added ground up freeze-dried strawberries. The frosting turned out great! I used it to frost a vanilla cake. I love the flavor and the directions were so thorough and easy to follow!

  21. After a few failed attempts at this in the past, and giving up hope of ever conquering this frosting; I want to THANK YOU for making this recipe very easy to follow. Success on the first try!

  22. Delicious and not as hard as Italian meringue buttercream to make. I absolutely love it and now I’m thinking about all the yummy flavor options I can try! Thanks for another hit!

  23. You can’t go wrong with this buttercream. As someone who has made SMBC before, these ratios are perfect – not too buttery, not too soft and marshmallow-y. This couldn’t be easier to make (and more delicious to eat!) but it’s nice to have the troubleshooting tips there just in case!

  24. Thank you for this recipe..Your SMBC recipe is my favorite though i had failed attempt to reach the right consistency, maybe my butter is too warm and it turns out soupy. I just pop it in the freezer for 10 mins and start mixing again until it all comes together..it piped beautifully and really holds it shape.. i used almond extract and its surprisingly amazing..

  25. I needed frosting for an oversized Valentine’s cookie I was baking for my kids, and I figured I’d try something new. Admittedly, it is more work than American style buttercream frosting, but it was certainly quite lovely. It has a silky smooth texture and a more delicate sweetness compared to American buttercream. It was a bit more technical than American buttercream, but really not that terribly difficult when following the detailed steps provided by Sally. Sally does such an exceptional job of providing detailed, easy to understand steps and has so many helpful recipe notes that I have never found any of her recipes or techniques difficult to follow or achieve incredible results with. That’s why her blog is my go to whenever I’m looking to make something new!

    The only thing I wasn’t completely happy with was that after I added my butter and vanilla, the consistency of the buttercream didn’t seem quite as smooth or silky. It almost seemed to “break down” slightly (despite using the correct temperature of butter as per my instant read thermometer). I’m not sure if that’s normal for Swiss Meringue Buttercream, and it might have even been because I let the buttercream sit for a bit at room temperature without re-beating it before I applied it to my cookie. Perhaps, if I had given it a couple more minutes in my stand mixer just before applying the frosting, it would have been a bit silkier and not had that slightly “broken down” look.

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With kitchen-tested quality recipes and step-by-step tutorials, my goal is to give you the confidence to bake and cook from scratch.

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I’m Sally, a cookbook author, photographer, and blogger. My goal is to give you the confidence and knowledge to cook and bake from scratch while providing quality recipes and plenty of pictures. Grab a cookie, take a seat, and have fun exploring! more about Sally

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