The easy Swiss meringue buttercream recipe! This is every baker's fave frosting for its perfect silky smooth and creamy texture. This recipe is great because it keeps its beautiful shape for a long time. This makes it a very popular frosting recipe for topping, smoothing or decorating a cake.
You want to unlock all the secrets of meringue buttercream, but the preparation steps seem too technical for your level of pastry making?
I'll help you get past this stage by revealing in this article everything you need to know about this fluffy cream and it will no longer hold any secrets for you!
What is a meringue buttercream?
Meringue buttercream is a stable pastry frosting, frequently used to cover, fill and decorate birthday cake.
There are several preparation methods for this recipe, French meringue and Italian meringue. But the SMBC recipe (Swiss meringue) version is probably the most widely used because it is easier to prepare. It consists of a mixture of egg whites and sugar heated in a bain-marie, then whisked into a firm, glossy meringue, to which softened sweet butter is then added.
This recipe can take quite a long time to make and the risks of missing it are also high, especially if you do not follow the preparation steps precisely.
The perfect frosting recipe
This icing is very popular in the pastry world and very used for tiered cakes, wedding cakes and cupcakes.
- Quick and easy recipe to make
- It is delicious with a soft texture.
- It is not disgusting like American buttercream.
- For a perfect external smoothing. (like the covering ganache for a perfect smoothing)
- It is easily perfumed (aromas, fruit purée, chocolate, Nutella, praline paste, salted butter caramel, etc...).
Helpful tools for this recipe
- Stand mixer, I strongly advise you to use a stand mixer to make this recipe especially for large quantities, even if it is quite possible to make it with an electric hand mixer.
- Egg separator, more practical to separate the whites from the yolks, to make a successful meringue it is important that there are no traces of egg yolks in the whites.
- Kitchen thermometer, essential to control the temperature of the whites and sugar.
This is one of the main ingredients, so choose fresh egg whites that are a few days old rather than aged eggs and medium size. They must be at room temperature and without any trace of egg yolk to achieve the meringue.
Tip: Take them out of the fridge 1 hour beforehand and if you don't have time then put them under hot water for a few moments.
The butter used must contain a high percentage of fat at least 80%. The butter should be unsalted and cut into pieces, it should be at room temperature but not too soft.
Use a fairly fine sugar, such as granulated or powdered sugar. It should melt completely in the recipe. Do not use confectioner's sugar or other flavored sugar such as brown sugar or cane sugar.
Pure liquid vanilla extract is perfect for making a classic vanilla Swiss meringue buttercream recipe.
How to make the easy Swiss meringue butter cream
Start by setting up all your ingredients, take out the eggs and butter first and use an electronic scale to measure your ingredients.
Tip: Use an egg separator to remove the yolks from the whites.
Clean your equipment with warm water and soap, especially the mixing bowl and whisk. Any traces of grease can prevent your meringue from rising properly.
Tip: You can clean your bowl and whisk with a cloth soaked in vinegar.
Place the powdered sugar and egg whites in the bowl of your stand mixer and then place it over a saucepan containing a little water.
Heat in a double boiler over medium heat, checking the temperature with a cooking thermometer which should read 131°F / 55°C.
Stir occasionally with a whisk, the sugar must be completely dissolved in the whites which must not cook. You can touch with your fingertips if you still feel the grains of sugar.
Once you have reached the temperature, remove the bowl with the heated egg white and sugar mixture from the double boiler and place it on the base of your stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment.
Process on high speed for about 10 to 15 minutes until you have a white, fluffy meringue. The meringue should be cool, you can check the temperature by touching the bottom of the bowl.
Turn down to medium speed and add the butter, cut into pieces, one by one. Until it is completely incorporated into the meringue then return to high speed and mix for another 5 minutes.
The buttercream will go from a liquid texture to a grainy texture and eventually firm up to the right creamy texture.
Change the whisk to a paddle attachment and add the vanilla extract and your food color if you wish and mix again for 2 minutes on medium speed to smooth out the cream.
How to Store Butter Cream
At room temperature
It is stable at room temperature for about 2 to 4 hours in a fresh place.
In the fridge
Keep your buttercream in the fridge for 1 week. It will firm up, so take it out 30 minutes before using it, whip it a little to make it smoother and creamier.
In the freezer
Place your cream in a storage box with a lid and you can keep it in the freezer for 3 months.
To defrost, let it come back to room temperature or in the fridge, you can also warm it up a bit in the microwave to go faster.
Swiss meringue butter cream video
How to make a successful buttercream
- Use a stand mixer to make this meringue buttercream.
- The sugar must be completely melted into the egg whites.
- The Swiss meringue is ready when it shiny, soft peak but especially cooled.
- Mix the meringue well for at least 10 minutes before adding the butter.
- After adding the butter let the stand miwer run for at least another 5 minutes.
FAQS about meringue buttercream
How to flavour buttercream :
- Adding food flavorings
- Or fruit purees (in small quantities so as not to change its texture too much).
- Melted chocolate for a swiss chocolate buttercream
- Nutella or another chocolate spread
- Peanut butter
- Mixed cookies for a butter cream with oreo, speculoos
How to color your buttercream frosting
Use food coloring gels to color your buttercream frosting.
Trouble shooting with meringue buttercream
- My buttercream is curdling :
Why: The butter is too cold, it doesn't want to homogenize with the meringue!
- Heat the cream in the microwave or in a bain marie to warm it up and bring all the ingredients to the same temperature.
- Then whisk the mixture again to recover a smooth and creamy cream.
- My buttercream is yellow :
Why: It is completely normal, it is its natural color (the color of butter).
- Add a few drops of white food coloring to lighten it.
- Or a few drops of lemon juice.
- My buttercream is full of bubbles :
Why: By whipping it, air is added to the SMBC.
- Just before using it to smooth my cake, work the cream with a soft spatula by spreading it on the sides of the bowl to evacuate the air and obtain an even smoother cream.
More buttercream frostings recipes
- Chocolate naked cake
- Peanut butter chocolate chip cookies
- Vanilla buttercream frosting
- Meringue cookies recipe
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