Swiss Meringue Buttercream

Coconut Cupcakes with Vanilla Swiss Buttercream

Yes, I know, recycled pictures, Sorry!  However this is not about pictures this post is about the awesomeness that is this frosting.  It is the best and I think easiest frosting I have ever made.  Most people say it is too complicated, however I don’t think it is.   I have added my technique of doing this recipe and some flavor options to make it match what you need it to.  Words just cannot describe the wonderfulness that this frosting is. It’s light, fluffy, smooth, sweet, and just melts in your mouth. It is hands down the best frosting I have ever had. A reason it is such a huge hit is because it not only keeps well at room temperature but it has that richness of a buttercream with out tasting like you are just eating a stick of butter dipped in sugar.

It does not have that almost chalk like texture that some buttercream frostings can have. It can be a bit frustrating if you have not made it before, as it does not seem like it is ever going to turn out right. You will just have to trust me, it will.  I have done this frosting plain vanilla, chocolate, liquor flavored, colored, uncolored, it’s amazing.   This is the most perfect frosting you will ever have.  I never liked frosting until I made this type, and I fell in love, and do not plan on looking back.

Bailey's Swiss Buttercream on Guinness Cake

This frosting is slightly different from the one with the cupcakes. Needed to have a firmer frosting to hold up the cake with out slipping or squishing out the sides. I went with a basic swiss meringue buttercream, and added more bailey’s and let it whip longer to thicken.

Irish Car-bomb Cupcakes with Bailey's Swiss Buttercream Frosting

This version of the bailey’s buttercream is the same recipe, but one change was 1/4 c of the sugar was substituted with vanilla sugar to give that awesome speckled vanilla color, and enhance the flavor.  I quite liked this little change.  I came up with the idea when making the frosting for the blue bird cupcakes I made for easter.

Vanilla Bean cupcakes with Vanilla Bean Swiss Meringue Buttercream

Red Velvet Cupcakes with a new Creamcheese Swiss Buttercream

Red velvet just needs to have a cream cheese frosting.   By substituting 1/2 of the butter in the recipe with cream cheese you get the best frosting to accompany these rich and silky cakes.   It produces the most silky result, anyone would be pleased with.

Vanilla Cupcakes with Coral tinted, Vanilla Swiss Buttercream

Swiss Buttercream frosting is fairly white in color, so it absorbs any colors quite well.  I suggest using gels or powders, I prefer gel colors for frostings, they spread and even out much better.

Basic Swiss Meringue Buttercream
Makes around 5 cups of frosting

  • 5 Egg Whites
  • pinch of salt
  • 1 1/2 c Granulated White Sugar
  • 2 c (4 sticks) Unsalted Butter, room temperature cut into 1 tbsp pieces
  • 2 tsp Vanilla Extract or Paste (optional if adding liquor)
  • For Liquors: 2-4 tbsp of liquors based on taste, start with 2 and add more as taste desires. Typically I use 4-6 tbsp bailey’s, 3 tbsp Kaluah, 2 tbsp Grand Marnier
  • For Chocolate: 1/2 c Chocolate, melted, cool room temperature before adding to frosting
  • For Creamcheese: Substitute 1 c of cream cheese for 1 c of butter

In a heat proof bowl add the egg whites and a pinch of salt. Whisk vigorously until all the whites are broken up. Add in the sugar and place over a pot of simmering water. Whisk the mixture consistently while heating. The mixture will become thick and frothy and take on a creamy color. At this stage if it appears as the sugar has dissolved, touch the egg mixture and rub between your fingers. If it feels smooth it is done. If you feel even a slight gritty texture keep whisking and every 30 seconds feel and check the mixture until smooth when rubbed between your fingers. When you rub it between your fingers it should feel smooth not gritty.

*FYI: Sugar melts at 186°F and in accordance to the USDA and FDA eggs should be cooked to 145°-155°F to be safe. You do not need a candy thermometer to make this frosting which some sites suggest. Just due the melting point of sugar your eggs are heated to the significant enough temperature to be safe. Just make sure that when you rub it between your fingers it should feel smooth no grittiness left at all from the sugar. *

Transfer the egg mixture to the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment. Beat on medium-high speed until stiff peaks form and the egg mixture has cooled to room temperature, about 10 minutes.

Reduce to medium and add the butter, 2 tablespoons at a time. Continue adding the butter once each addition has been incorporated. After the last piece of butter has been added around 30 seconds later the mixture will look separated or curdled. Continue to beat on medium-high speed until thick and smooth, it will come back together, promise. It takes around another 3 minutes for it to start to come back together at this point, add in the vanilla, flavoring, coloring, or liquor, and mix just until incorporated.   The mixture may look split again upon adding the liquor. Just whisk until it comes back together. Taste add more of the flavoring or color until desired result is achieved.  Continue mixing until desired thickness is achieved it takes a total of 3-5 mintues

Place into piping bag and pipe onto cooled cupcakes. I typically use a Wilton 1M tip. Enjoy!

Keep the frosting at room temperature until ready to use, or refrigerate in an air tight container for up to 3 days. The frosting maybe frozen for up to a month. When ready to use, bring to room temperature and whisk 3-5 minutes until smooth.

Adapted: Martha Stewart

11 thoughts on “Swiss Meringue Buttercream

  1. Oh I’m so excited to try this frosting! I am on a quest to find a “perfect” frosting recipe and this one sounds so good- I love that you can adapt it so easily to so many different recipes. Thanks for sharing- if I use it I will credit you and send people your way 🙂 Love your blog!

  2. Gonna try the chocolate this time, any recommendations for chocolate? A blend, maybe? Not usually crazy about semi-sweet chocolate frostings. Thanks!

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