How to Make Swiss Meringue Buttercream

by Zena-Marie on 13 April 2012

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The first time I made and tasted Swiss meringue butter cream I knew it would be the only buttercream I would ever use again. It is smooth and light and not to sweet which means you can eat loads of it. It can be a bit tricky the first time you make it but once you get used to it, it isn’t really that hard.

You will need:

5 large egg whites
200g caster sugar
Pinch of salt
450g unsalted butter (room temp)
1 ½ teasp pure vanilla extract

First we need to make the meringue. For this you have to ensure that everything is clean and grease free otherwise the meringue will flop.
Place the egg whites and caster sugar in a heat proof bowl and place the bowl on top of a pan of simmering water. Don’t let the bottom of your heat proof bowl containing the egg and sugar mixture dip into the simmering water below. You don’t want to cook the egg white.
Warm the mixture until all of the sugar has dissolved. The mixture should be warm and smooth when rubbed between your fingers.

As soon as the mixture is dissolved remove from the heat and whisk on high for about 10mins (if you have a stand mixture.) I have a hand whisk which tends to take a bit longer. Keep whisking until the mixture is firm and stands on the end of the whisk in stiff peaks.

Slice the butter into small pieces.

Add butter a little bit at a time into the meringue mixture and continue to whisk. Keep going until all the butter has been added.

At first it will look as if the mixture has curdled. It will have a sort of sloppy scrambled egg appearance but keep whisking and it will eventually firm up.

It is ready when the mixture is firm enough that it will not fall off an upturned spoon. You can add colours and flavouring at this point.

That’s it. You now have beautifully light and fluffy buttercream to wow the guests at your next party.

NB: With this recipe you should yield enough SMBC to decorate about 20 cupcakes give or take.

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{ 11 comments… read them below or add one }

Mummy Big Bum April 13, 2012 at 20:44

VERY much like this post!


Zena-Marie April 13, 2012 at 23:18

Thank you so much. I Absolutly love SMBC. They use it a lot for weddings. Once you get the hang of it, it’s really easy to do and it tastes great. Let me know if you have any questions. I’ll be happy to help.


suzanne August 19, 2012 at 22:24

Hi there, just made this and I AM IN LOVE!!! the vital question is: how long can this last out of the refrigerator? and how long can it last in the fridge? thanks


Zena-Marie September 4, 2012 at 12:37

I know its amazing isn’t it. I absolutely love it. Well done for getting it right first time, it can be a bit tricky to make. In terms of storage Keep buttercream at room temperature if using the same day, or transfer to an airtight container and refrigerate up to 3 days or freeze up to 1 month. Before using, bring to room temperature and beat with paddle attachment on low speed until smooth again, about 5 minutes.


elisabeth April 15, 2012 at 17:54

That does look like rather special buttercream! So light and fluffy . . I wonder if I’m brave enough to try . . have a few birthdays coming up that I need to get creative for. . . xx


Zena-Marie April 15, 2012 at 20:25

I would definitely give it a go. Honestly it is delicious. I tend to use variations on the basic buttercream recipe for kids parties but for adult gatherings I wouldn’t serve anything else.


Mammasaurus April 18, 2012 at 20:05

OH MY WORD! Yum! Yum! YUM!


Zena-Marie April 20, 2012 at 20:01

Oh it is delicious. You’ll love it


Louise August 4, 2012 at 09:24

Hi I’ve been looking at this recipe and dont have any pure vanilla extract could I use vanilla essence? Xx


Zena-Marie August 9, 2012 at 11:20

Yes it works just fine with vanilla essence. I think extract has a slightly better flavour but overall they will be just as good with essence.


ghel September 11, 2012 at 05:21

will it last longer than the usual buttercream when it comes to humid areas?


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