Easy Swiss meringue buttercream gives you the silky buttery texture of the real deal but with some shortcuts to make it quicker and less fussy to make. It is perfect for wedding cakes, birthday cakes, cupcakes and more!
If you love the buttery flavor and smooth texture of swiss meringue buttercream, but don’t like the hassle it takes to make it, you are in the right place! This recipes uses pasteurized eggs and powdered sugar so you don’t have to fuss with a double boiler or candy thermometer like the traditional method, but you still get all of the taste and texture.
You know I love trying different kinds of frosting. Whether it’s a stab at a new flavor, or trying a new technique I am almost always excited to give it a go.
But swiss meringue buttercream can be hit or miss. You have to warm the eggs and sugar in a bowl over simmering water.
Then you whip the eggs whites into a meringue and slowly add butter. It tastes amazing, but it feels a bit fussy.
So I usually go the route of making Italian meringue buttercream instead. For some reason, making a sugar syrup and adding it to the egg whites feels a little more straightforward.
But now that I have this recipe, it is going to be the one I reach for. It is by far the easiest way to get everything I love about meringue based frostings.
Tips and Tricks
While this recipe is very easy to follow, there are a few places you can go wrong. Use these tips to help you get your buttercream just right.
This first step is super simple. Just beat together the egg whites and powdered sugar until it is smooth and airy.
Making sure the butter is softened will help it to incorporate easily. If it is too cold, it will be hard to get a smooth frosting.
If it is too soft, your resulting frosting will be loose and wimpy. Don’t worry though, both issues can be easily fixed.
To get it right the first time though, the butter should give if you squeeze it with your fingers. It shouldn’t look greasy or melted though.
Add the butter in Tablespoon sized chunks to help it incorporate. It’s ok if it looks a little curdled and lumpy at first, it should smooth out as you continue to beat it.
If it continues to be lumpy after several minutes of whipping, but about a half cup of the frosting into the microwave for about fifteen seconds to warm it up a bit. Then return the warmed frosting back to the mixer and whip it some more.
If your frosting is too loose, you can add a little bit more powdered sugar if you like a sweeter frosting. Or put the mixer bowl in the refrigerator for about a half an hour, then beat it a little bit more before using it.
Because of the high butter content, this frosting can have a slight yellow tint to it. If you would like a brighter white frosting, add just a drop of purple food coloring to help balance it out. The tiniest bit will do.
How does this frosting hold up?
This buttercream will not crust like an American buttercream does. However, it does hold its shape well and can be used to pipe flowers and other decorations.
It can hold in warm temperatures. As high as 80 degrees Fahrenheit, especially if it is set in the refrigerator first.
Keep it out of direct sunlight to help it stay as long as possible and substitute shortening for part of the butter if you really need for it to hold up in warmer temperatures.
It is ok at room temperature for two days, can be stored in the refrigerator for two weeks or frozen for up to six months.
What are pasteurized egg whites?
You can find egg whites in the refrigerator section next to the egg beaters. They are normally in a carton.
They are heat treated to kill any germs, so they can be used straight from the carton without heating them further. You can use the leftovers to make bakery style white cakes or egg white omelets.
What does Swiss meringue buttercream taste like?
It has a butter forward flavor with a silky smooth texture. It is less sweet than an American buttercream but is stable enough to be used to decorate cakes.
How much frosting does this make?
It makes about 4 cups of buttercream. That is enough to generously frost 24 cupcakes. It can frost and fill an 8-9″ layer cake as well. You can always size the recipe up if you like extra frosting or want more for decorations.
- 1/2 cup pasteurized egg whites
- 2 1/2 cups powdered sugar
- 16 oz. salted butter, softened
- 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- In mixer bowl, beat together egg whites and powdered sugar until the mixture is smooth and slightly airy.
- Cut the sticks of softened butter into Tablespoon sized chunks. Add the butter to the mixer bowl while the mixer is on medium.
- Turn the mixer to high and whip for about 7 minutes. The mixture may look curdled for a minute but it should become smooth. (If it doesn't, warm a little bit of the frosting in the microwave for a few seconds and return the warmed frosting to the bowl. Beating the warm frosting into the rest of the batch should help it smooth out.)
- If you want to avoid air bubbles in your frosting, switch to the paddle attachment and mix on low for about 10 minutes.
- For a brighter white frosting, add just a tiny drop of purple food coloring to balance out the yellow from the butter. Feel free to add white food coloring gel as well if you have it.
- Smooth over cake or load into piping bag and enjoy!
As an Amazon Associate and member of other affiliate programs, I earn from qualifying purchases. Please view my disclosure page for more information.
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 183Total Fat: 15gSaturated Fat: 10gTrans Fat: 1gUnsaturated Fat: 5gCholesterol: 41mgSodium: 130mgCarbohydrates: 12gFiber: 0gSugar: 11gProtein: 1g
All nutritional information is estimated and will depend on the exact ingredients you use.