Perfect Swiss Meringue Buttercream! Recipe & Video
Updated: Aug 23, 2020
There's nothing quite as decadent as icing your cakes with swiss meringue buttercream (SMBC). I absolutely love SMBC, and best of all, it isn't too sweet!
There's only one problem... it is a teeny bit harder than making American buttercream, and this seems to scare people away from trying it out! But trust me, the extra time and effort is totally worth it, so if you've considered making a SMBC before, then now is the time to try it out! Full recipe below, including how to make a chocolate swiss meringue buttercream too!
A key thing to keep in mind with SMBC is to make sure that your butter is at room temperature. If your butter is too soft, your SMBC can become runny, and if it's too hard, then it won't incorporate into the meringue well. The perfect texture is when the butter is soft enough to squeeze between your fingers :)
If you'd like to watch how to make SMBC, then you can check out my YouTube video here.
Prep time: 20 minutes │ Cook time: 5 minutes │ Total time: 25 minutes
- 400g unsalted butter (room temperature) - 4 large egg whites (or 5 small egg whites)
- 1.5 cups (320g) caster sugar
- 1 tsp vanilla extract (or your flavouring of choice)
For chocolate SMBC add:
- 8oz (225g) chocolate (I prefer 50% dark chocolate, but any is fine)
- 1 tsp (4.7g) unsalted butter
1) Whisk together the egg whites and caster sugar into a heat proof bowl, and gently heat the mixture over a double boiler. Keep gently mixing the mixture so it heats evenly. The goal is to get a smooth texture without over-cooking the egg whites. After a few minutes, check the mixture by rubbing it in between your fingers. If you can't feel any sugar granules then it is done.
2) Transfer the mixture into a bench mixer, and using the whisk attachment, whisk the egg whites and sugar on medium-high speed for 10-15 minutes until the mixture is cool and stiff peaks have formed.
3) Once stiff peaks have formed, then slowly add in the unsalted butter. It is important to ensure that the butter is at room temperature (soft, but not melted). If you've forgotten to take it out of the fridge beforehand, you can cut it into cubes and put in the microwave for 10 second bursts until the butter is soft.
4) Continue to gradually add the butter. Towards the end it may seem like the mixture is curdling, but not to worry! This is all part of the process and the buttercream will form eventually.
5) Once the buttercream is nice and smooth, mix in your flavouring (in this case - vanilla extract).
6) For chocolate swiss meringue buttercream, melt the chocolate and butter together in the microwave in 30 second bursts (mixing in between each burst). Once melted, fold into the vanilla swiss meringue buttercream. Once combined, leave it in the fridge for half an hour before using.
And your buttercream is finished and ready to use! Easy as that :)
If you do try this recipe out or have any questions, then please leave me a comment below! I'd be happy to answer any questions :)