Swiss Meringue Buttercream
Originally published Aug y, 2008, Updated on 10/3/20
This Swiss Meringue Buttercream recipe is the base for all of our delicious frostings... Light, yet rich and soo creamy! Ever since my Evil Cake Twin Jeanne Kalman - formerly of “The Well Dressed Cake” in New Hampshire - turned me on to Swiss Meringue Buttercream, there really has been no other frosting.
For the most part, anyway!
Swiss Meringue Buttercream is my frosting of choice when it comes to personal projects, and it was my default frosting when Celebration Generation was a custom cake business, rather than a food blog!
This frosting is more expensive to make than most other options, and definitely a little more labor intensive. It is SO worth it, however.
So very worth it.
SMBC is smooth, creamy, rich, and dense in a light way, not a heavy way - if that makes sense.. Picture eating the most perfect, creamy ice cream, if the ice cream wasn’t a cold food. That’s the best way to describe this frosting.
Egg whites are combined with sugar, and cooked over a hot water bath. The mixture is then whipped to a fluffy, marshmallowy consistency before butter is beaten in - Lots of butter. Yum!
A Few Notes
* Be VERY careful when separating your eggs. Even the slightest speck of egg yolk in the whites will prevent this frosting from properly whipping up!
* This frosting gets VERY hard if chilled. While this is good news when applying fondant, it’s also something to keep in mind when timing your service.
* Related: Always serve cakes at room temperature! Cold cake is dry cake.
Flavouring Your Frosting
No matter which way you're flavouring your Swiss Meringue Buttercream, follow the recipe through adding the butter and beating it into a frosting. THEN do one of the following:
You can swap out the vanilla for another flavour extract or flavour oil. Note that flavour oils tend to be more concentrated, so start with a smaller amount and adjust to taste.
Chai Swiss Meringue Buttercream
Mix 1-2 Tbsp of Unsweetened Instant Black Tea with 1 tsp Cinnamon, 1 tsp Ground Cardamom, ½ tsp Ground Cloves, and ½ tsp of Ground Nutmeg. Add a Tbsp or so of hot water, mix to form a thick paste.
Once you've added the butter and vanilla to the meringue - and have beaten it into an actual frosting - turn speed back down to low. Add the paste, beat to combine.