swiss meringue buttercream
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How To Make Swiss Meringue Buttercream

A smooth and velvety swiss meringue buttercream!
Prep Time15 mins
Cook Time20 mins
Total Time35 mins
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: cupcakes
Keyword: buttercream, frosting, swiss meringue
Servings: 5 cups
Author: Heather Perine


  • 5 egg whites room temperature
  • 3/4 cup granulated white sugar
  • 3 sticks butter room temperature, cut into tablespoons
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt


  • Place the egg whites and sugar in a large metal mixer bowl set over simmering water. Whisk constantly until the sugar melts and the mixture is very thin and warm. Be sure the bottom of the bowl does not come in contact with the water.
  • Remove the bowl from the heat and whisk on high speed until stiff peaks form, about 5 minutes. Continue beating on low speed until cool.
  • Beat in small pieces of cool but soft butter on medium speed. The mixture may curdle before coming together. Add the vanilla extract and salt.


  • Be sure to clean your bowls, ¬†mixers, attachments- all of it.¬†Any grease will prevent the egg whites from whipping up to their full glory.
  • Be sure your egg white mixture has been heated enough before removing the from the stovetop. One trick is to make sure the mixture is thin and warm. You can rub the mixture between your fingers to see if you feel any sugar crystals. If you do, it needs to be heated a little bit more. You can also use a candy thermometer to ensure it has reached 160F.
  • Before you add your butter, be sure your bowl has cooled down. Feel the bottom of the bowl with your hand. If it's still warm, then give it a few minutes. If you add the butter when the mixture is too warm, you will melt your butter and deflate your egg whites.
  • If when you do add the butter, the buttercream begins to separate and curdle. Give it some time. It will come together. If you do find the mixture is still not coming together and you think it was too warm when you first started adding the butter, place the bowl in your refrigerator for a few minutes to chill the bowl. Then try mixing it again, it should come together. I once left the bowl mixing for over 10 minutes, but it did finally come together! So don't give up on that buttercream!
  • If using right away, keep at room temperature covered with plastic wrap. It can be kept in the refrigerator covered for up to 3 days, just re-whip before using. If not using within 3 days, then freeze in an airtight container with a lid. Just bring to room temperature and re-whip for 5 minutes before using.