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Swiss Meringue Buttercream

Swiss Meringue Buttercream is the BEST in the world of buttercream! This frosting is light and fluffy, silky smooth and creamy, super stable for decorating cakes and cupcakes.
Total Time 30 minutes
Servings 24 servings
Author Shinee

Ingredients

  • 6 egg whites (Note 1)
  • 1 ½ cups (300g) granulated sugar
  • ½ teaspoon coarse kosher salt
  • 1 ½ cups (340g) unsalted butter, softened and cubed (Note 2)
  • 1 vanilla bean split and scraped (or 1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste)

Instructions

  • In a small saucepan, bring a small amount of water to a boil. Reduce the heat to simmer.
  • In medium heat-proof bowl (I used my stand mixer bowl), whisk together egg whites and sugar and place it over the saucepan with simmering water. (This is a make-shift double boiler. Make sure the bottom of the top bowl doesn't touch the water.)
  • Cook the egg white mixture until sugar is completely melted and it reaches 160°F (70°C) stirring continuously, about 5 minutes. (This's my favorite thermometer!)
  • Now, remove the bowl with egg white mixture from 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.)
  • Once the meringue reached stiff peaks, scrape the side of the bowl with a spatula and add salt.
  • Turn on 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 buttercream starts to curlde half way. Keep adding the butter!)
  • Keep whisking the buttercream until smooth, light and fluffy, about 10 minutes.
  • Now, switch to a paddle attachment and add vanilla bean. Beat the buttercream until well combined, about a minute.

Notes

Yields: 3.5 cups frosting. It's enough frosting for 3-layer 9-inch cake, or 24 cupcakes.
Make-Ahead Tip:
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. Whip it before using.
Note 1: While I’ve had success with carton egg whites, not all brands work for meringue. But if you want to try, you’ll need 210g of liquid egg whites.
Note 2: Make sure the butter isn’t too soft. When you push a finger into it, the butter should dent with some resistance.