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Swiss Meringue Buttercream

Prep Time:

30 mins.


5 cups

This bright white, silky buttercream pipes perfectly when used for detailed designs and is very stable. Customize the flavor by switching out almond or other extracts for the vanilla extract.


  • 6 large egg whites (7 ounces)
  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • 2 cups (4 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt


  1. Place egg whites and sugar in an electric mixer bowl and place the bowl over a pot of simmering water. (Keep the bowl from touching the water.) Whisk the egg whites over the simmering water until sugar is completely dissolved and egg whites reach a temperature of 120℉.
  2. Remove the bowl from the simmering water and place in a stand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment. Whisk on medium-high speed until stiff, glossy peaks form and bowl is room temperature (about 10 to 15 minutes).
  3. Remove whisk attachment and replace it with a paddle attachment. Add butter 1 tablespoon at a time, waiting until each addition is incorporated before adding the next. Scrape the bottom of the bowl and increase the speed to medium-high for 3 to 4 minutes, until the mixture is thick and smooth. Add vanilla extract and salt and mix on high for 30 to 60 seconds.


  • It is very important that the sugar is completely dissolved before it’s taken off the stove. If not, the buttercream will be grainy. Before removing it from the simmering water, rub a little between your finger and thumb; there should be no granules.
  • For best results, make sure butter is at room temperature.
  • Wait for the mixture to cool completely before adding butter. If mixture is even slightly warm, it will melt the butter.
  • If the frosting is too thin, place the bowl in the refrigerator for 5 to 10 minutes and then continue to mix on high for 30 to 60 seconds.