I love baking and I recently finished a course on cake decorating which has made me a cake making machine! My go to frosting is a Swiss Meringue Buttercream Frosting and an Italian Meringue Frosting. They’re light and fluffy and perfectly sweet. It differs from American Buttercream, which is great for decorating but not the best tasting. When I first started making Swiss Meringue Buttercream I failed miserably and I gave up so many times until I finally wrapped my head around. Alas, this sinfully delicious buttercream was demystified.
Swiss Meringue Buttercream is a huge exercise in emulsification. We’re combining two things that don’t normally want to be together and making them become one. The key to making The Perfect Swiss Meringue Buttercream is to control temperature. You have to be aware of temperature at all times! If you’re double boiler is too hot then you risk cooking your egg whites. If your meringue is too warm then you risk melting the butter. If the butter is too cold, then you risk curdling the buttercream. Luckily, all of these things have their fixes and they’re also pretty easy to fix as well.
If you’d like to see a step-by-step tutorial on How to Make The Perfect Swiss Meringue Buttercream, visit my YouTube Channel: Made to Order
- 12 oz egg whites
- 2-3 cups of sugar (16 - 24oz)
- 2lbs cold unsalted butter (32oz)
- 2tbs Vanilla Extract
- Dice butter into ½ -1 inch cubes. Place back into fridge and remove once meringue is on stand mixer
- Warm up water in a pot over medium flame. Never let water start to boil
- In a clean bowl, separate egg yolks and egg whites. Make sure there isn’t any egg yolks in the egg whites
- Add sugar to egg whites and beat together for about two until well combined
- Place mixing bowl with eggs over pot to create a double boiler. Whisk eggs and sugar until sugar begins to dissolve. Must whisk continuously
- After 15-20mins, check to make sure that all of the sugar has dissolved by using a candy thermometer. The temperature should read 140 degrees or test with your fingers. You can dip your fingers in and rub to feel for any sugar granules. Mixtures should be smooth
- Once ready, place heated egg whites and sugar mixture into a stand mixer and whisk on medium-high speed until stiff peaks form. You also want to make sure that mixtures comes down to room temperature
- After meringue has reached room temperature and formed stiff peaks, switch out whisk attachment and replace with paddle attachment
- On low-medium speed, add cold butter one cube at a time. Crush cubes with fingers at first right before you add to the stand mixer. Butter should be cold yet malleable
- Increase speed as you add the last of the butter since frosting may become thicker and require more power to mix
- After add all of the butter, continue mixing frosting until become light and fluffy. Make all butter has been incorporated into frosting
- In the end, flavor frosting however you like. My favorite combination is vanilla and almond extract. Once you add extract, mix for additional 2 minutes
The key to making Swiss Meringue Buttercream is temperature. You’re meringue must reach room temperature before add the butter, otherwise the butter will start to melt. Do not panic if your meringue deflates when you begin to add in butter. This is all part of the process. Keep adding your cold butter and your frosting will come together. It’s all an exercise of emulsification. Whenever meringue frosting breaks it’s usually because of temperature-- it’s either too warm or too cold. If it’s too warm simply place in fridge for a few minutes and then mix again. If it too cold, keep mixing and it will eventually come together. Do NOT panic or give up. Be careful when adding liquid to your frosting for flavors. Max amount you should add is about ¼ cup. Feel free to store frosting in the refrigerator for up to two weeks in airtight container or freeze for up to 3 months.