Strawberry Swiss Buttercream
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This strawberry swiss buttercream is light, ultra-creamy, and not too sweet! Freeze-dried strawberries add just the right amount of strawberry flavor.
Table of Contents
Why you’ll love this recipe:
This strawberry Swiss buttercream is an absolute dream! It has a silky smooth, buttery texture, and unlike American buttercream, it’s not overly sweet.
Swiss meringue buttercream might seem intimidating, but it’s actually quite simple.
We’ve tested this recipe with both freeze-dried strawberries and strawberry sauce. And we preferred one with freeze-dried strawberries as it had a brighter and more vibrant strawberry flavor.
It’s ideal for cupcakes because it pipes like a dream, but it’s stable enough for layer and fondant cakes too!
Key Ingredient Notes:
- Egg whites – You can use fresh egg whites or ones from a carton. Not all brands of carton egg whites work for meringue though. So check the labels carefully. If you want to try, you need 210 grams of egg whites.
- Sugar – Use granulated sugar, NOT powdered sugar!
- Unsalted butter – Make sure the butter isn’t too soft. When you push a finger into it, the butter should dent with some resistance. If it’s not cold enough, the frosting is liable to turn into soup!
- Freeze dried strawberries – Freeze-dried strawberries gives you a punch of strawberry flavor, without messing with the stability and texture of the frosting!
- Pink food coloring – Without fool coloring, the strawberry frosting has a slight orange undertone. A small amount of pink gel food coloring gives a beautiful pink shade to it!
How to make this frosting recipe:
1. Make Swiss meringue
You’ll need a double boiler for this step. You can use a make-shift one as I have done here by using a heat-proof bowl that fits over a medium saucepan.
- Whisk the egg whites, sugar and salt in a double-boiler.
- Cook the mixture, whisking continuously, until the sugar is melted and the mixture reaches 160 degrees Fahrenheit, about 5 minutes. You can test the mixture with your fingers to see if the sugar granules have dissolved.
- Transfer the egg whites to the bowl of a stand mixer with the whisk attachment and whisk on medium speed for one minute.
- Increase the speed to medium-high and beat until stiff peaks form and the frosting is cool to the touch, about 10 minutes.
2. Add the butter
- Add the butter, one piece at a time, while the mixer is running at medium speed. Make sure the butter is fully incorporated before you add the next piece.
- Whisk the buttercream until light, smooth, and fluffy!
It’s normal if the buttercream looks curdled halfway through the butter-adding process. Just keep beating in the butter!
3. Add the strawberries
- Place the freeze-dried strawberries in a sealed bag and crush them with a rolling pin into a fine powder.
- Switch from the whisk to the paddle attachment and sift in the freeze-dried strawberries.
- Beat the buttercream until well combined, about one more minute.
Tips for Success:
- It’s far easier to separate cold eggs! There’s no need to let them come to room temperature first for swiss meringue buttercream.
- Don’t let any yolk get in your whites. Fat prevents the egg whites from whipping properly. If you do get some yolk in your egg whites, it’s best to start over.
- The meringue and the bowl should be room temperature before you add the butter. Otherwise the butter is liable to melt. Melted butter results in soupy frosting!
- I highly recommend a stand mixer for swiss meringue buttercream. A lot of whipping is involved and using a hand mixer is tiresome!
- The butter should be softened, but on the colder side. If the butter is melty or too soft, pop it in the fridge for a few minutes.
- Swiss meringue buttercream can be made in advance and frozen for up to 3 months, or refrigerated for up to 2 weeks.
- Thaw the frozen buttercream on the counter overnight, then whip it until smooth and creamy.
- Store the strawberry buttercream in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks.
- Let the frosting come to room temperature, then whip until smooth before piping onto cupcakes.
Stiff peaks is a term to describe whipped egg whites that are glossy, smooth, and stand straight up without drooping to the side. This can take anywhere from 5 to 10 minutes of whipping.
Yes, you can add puree to swiss meringue buttercream, but you don’t want to add too much. If you do, you can ruin the consistency of the buttercream. I prefer to add freeze-dried fruit that’s pulsed into a powder. It provides a bright and vibrant flavor!
Swiss buttercream is a meringue-style frosting. Egg whites and sugar are heated and whipped, before emulsifying with butter to create a silky smooth buttercream. It’s lighter than American buttercream and typically less sweet too!
Strawberry Swiss Buttercream
- 6 (210 g) egg whites Note 1
- 1½ cups (300 g) granulated sugar
- ½ teaspoon coarse kosher salt
- 1½ cups (340 g) unsalted butter softened and cubed, Note 2
- 1 cup (15 g) freeze-dried strawberries Note 3
- ¼ teaspoon pink food coloring
- small saucepan
- medium heat-proof bowl
- Candy thermometer
- Stand mixer with the whisk attachment
- In a small saucepan, bring a small amount of water to a boil. Reduce the heat to a simmer.
- In a medium heat-proof bowl, whisk together egg whites, sugar, and salt and place it over the saucepan with simmering water. (This is a makeshift double boiler. Make sure the bottom of the bowl doesn’t touch the water.)
- Cook the egg white mixture until the sugar is completely melted and the mixture reaches 160°F (70°C), stirring continuously, about 5 minutes. (This is my favorite thermometer!).
- Now, remove the bowl with the egg white mixture from the heat. Then whisk it on medium speed for a minute, then slowly increase the speed to medium high and beat until stiff peaks form and the mixture is cool to touch, about 10 minutes. (It may take longer with a hand-mixer.)
- Turn the mixer on medium speed and start adding butter, one tablespoon at a time. Make sure the butter is fully incorporated before adding the next piece. (NOTE: It’s normal if the buttercream starts to curdle halfway. Keep adding the butter!)
- Keep whisking the buttercream until smooth, light and fluffy, about 10 minutes.
- Meanwhile, place the freeze-dried strawberries in a plastic bag and crush them with a rolling pin into a fine powder. (Alternatively, you may use a small food processor.)
- Now, switch to a paddle attachment and sift in the crushed freeze-dried strawberries. Beat the buttercream until well combined, about a minute.
Tips & Notes
– Swiss meringue buttercream can be made in advance and frozen for up to 3 months, or refrigerated for up to 2 weeks.
– Thaw the frozen buttercream on the counter overnight, then whip it until smooth and creamy.