Learn to create the smoothest and fluffiest vanilla Swiss meringue buttercream frosting recipe. This silky-smooth frosting is the key to mastering the art of outstanding cakes and cupcakes.
- What is a Swiss buttercream aka smbc recipe?
- Why you'll love this recipe
- More Buttercream Recipes
- Ingredients Notes
- How to make Easy Swiss Meringue Buttercream
- Storage and freezing instructions
- Tips for this recipe
- Recipe Variations
- FAQ - Frequently Asked Questions
- You will also love
- Easy Swiss buttercream Frosting
What is a Swiss buttercream aka smbc recipe?
The Swiss meringue buttercream recipe is one of those popular meringue-based buttercream recipes loved for its smooth, voluptuous texture like the Italian meringue buttercream recipe.
Mainly made of butter and Swiss meringue, the kind we usually use to make baked meringues or to fill lemon tarts and lemon pies. this meringue buttercream type is more technical than a simple buttercream and requires more time and materials.
But the result is incredible, this Swiss meringue frosting is fluffy and sweet in the mouth, with a silky-smooth texture perfect for both smoothing cakes and decorating with piping.
Why you'll love this recipe
Why is the Swiss frosting recipe so popular around the world? It's simple, it's easy to make, it's the favorite choice of every cake decorator, and here's why:
- Lighter and smoother! Unlike American buttercream, it's a less sweet frosting with an airy and fluffy consistency.
- Perfect consistency for cakes! A perfectly smooth texture for smoothing the outside of a layer cake and for perfect assembly. But also to decorate with a piping bag, make borders, writings, flowers, piping cupcakes …
- Easily flavored! With almost anything, fruit purée, melted chocolate, jam, caramel, spices etc... You can easily flavor it while keeping its firm and smooth texture.
- Stable at room temperature! The best choice for cakes that stay at room temperature for a long time such as wedding cake and birthday cake.
More Buttercream Recipes
Here are the ingredients you will need to make the best meringue Buttercream recipe at home, scroll down to see the quantities in the recipe card.
- Egg whites: Choose carton egg whites that are a few days old rather than aged eggs and medium-sized whites.
- Butter: Unsalted butter preferably rather than salted butter with a high percentage of fat at least 80%.
- Sugar: Use fairly fine sugar, such as granulated but no powdered sugar like icing sugar or confectioners sugar.
- Vanilla extract: Pure liquid vanilla extract is perfect to flavor this frosting or use the seeds of a vanilla bean.
How to make Easy Swiss Meringue Buttercream
Cook Egg Whites
- Place egg whites and granulated sugar in a mixing heatproof bowl over a saucepan containing simmering water.
- Cook in a double boiler over medium heat while stirring occasionally.
- Check cooked egg whites and sugar with a candy thermometer which should reach at least 131°F / 55°C.
Tip: The sugar must be completely dissolved, rub the preparation between your fingers, and you should no longer feel the sugar granules in the eggs and sugar mixture.
- Pour the egg mixture into the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment and pulse on high speed for at least 15 - 30 minutes (depending on the quantities you make).
- Whip the meringue until it is firm and forms stiff peaks, glossy and completely cooled.
Tip: Check that the meringue has cooled sufficiently by touching it to the bottom of the bowl or with your fingertip.
- Reduce speed to medium, then gradually add all the butter cut into pieces, vanilla extract, and a pinch of salt.
- Continue on high speed for about 5 minutes until you have a thick frosting (the consistency will be liquid at first, then more grainy before it thickens)
- Replace the whisk with the paddle attachment and mix on low speed for 2 more minutes to smooth out the Swiss meringue buttercream and remove air bubbles.
- Use the buttercream immediately, or leave it at room temperature if you use it during the day, otherwise, place it in the refrigerator.
Tip: Continue whisking until the texture looks like a thick, smooth buttercream, this may take up to 10 minutes after the butter is added.
Storage and freezing instructions
In the fridge: You can keep Swiss meringue buttercream it in the fridge for up to a week, covered with plastic wrap.
Room temperature: As the whites are pasteurized, it is stable and can be kept for up to 2 days outside the refrigerator in a cool place.
In the freezer: You can freeze Swiss meringue buttercream for up to 3 months in the freezer, in an airtight container. To defrost, you can put it in the microwave for a while. Or leave it out of the fridge.
Tips for this recipe
- Use a powerful stand mixer: It takes a lot of time and a lot of power to make a meringue.
- Whip the meringue for at least 25 minutes: Until stiff glossy peaks form peaks.
- Use softened butter: neither too hard nor too soft the texture of the butter will define the consistency of the buttercream.
- Whip for 5 min. after adding the fat: Let the mixer run for at least 5 minutes so that the butter is completely incorporated into the other ingredients.
- Smooth with the paddle attachment at a slow speed for at least 2 minutes: This is the crucial step to extract the air bubbles and have a smooth frosting.
- What to do with leftover egg yolks? You can use egg yolk to make a pastry cream or a diplomat cream to fill your cakes.
Food flavors, like almond extract, lemon juice, lemon zest, orange juice etc.
Fruit flavored: Use fruit purees like strawberry purée, raspberry compote, strawberry compote, blueberry compote, lemon curd filling, jam fruits, freeze-dried strawberry powder, freeze-dried raspberry, and more…
Chocolate version: Add melted chocolate, semi-sweet chocolate, bittersweet chocolate, chocolate milk, or white chocolate like in my White chocolate Swiss buttercream. It also works with unsweetened cocoa powder to make a chocolate Swiss meringue buttercream.
Brown butter/brown sugar: Use light or dark brown sugar for flavor, or follow my recipe for how to make brown butter for a nutty taste.
Cookie crumbs: Biscoff cookies, Oreo crumbs like in this Oreo chocolate cake, chocolate chip cookies…
Colored buttercream: Add gel food coloring at the end of the preparation to make a colored frosting, or add a tiny touch of purple food coloring to neutralize the yellow and give it a whiter color.
- How to fix a curdled buttercream?
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.
- Why is my buttercream 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.
- Why my buttercream is full of air bubbles?
Why: By whipping it, the air is added to the Swiss buttercream.
- 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.
FAQ - Frequently Asked Questions
The main difference in traditional buttercream en meringue buttercream is the addition of the meringue to the buttercream.
Like all buttercreams, Swiss buttercream becomes very hard when chilled.
As the egg whites are cooked (pasteurized) this buttercream is considered stable at room temperature for up to 48 hours.
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