Swiss Meringue Buttercream

Anyone who knows me knows I rave about my family’s buttercream recipe. This is the recipe my Aunt Karen gave my mom and I’ve used for ages (it can be found in the sidebar on the homepage). However, I have found that the swiss buttercream holds up better and [gasp] I may even like more. It’s a bit of a process to make, but I don’t really mind it.


  • Candy Thermometer is needed
  • Make sure to use unsalted butter
  • This recipe makes a ton. Last time I made it I halved the recipe. It filled 20 macarons and frosted an 8 inch  2-layer round cake.


White Vinegar, enough to soak a paper towel

4 cups white sugar (super fine/fast dissolve)

2 cups egg whites (I used egg beaters)

5 cups unsalted butter cut into cubes

2 tbsp pure vanilla extract

1/4 tsp salt


1. Wipe the bowl of a stand mixer and whisk attachment with vinegar: If you’ve made my macarons, then you know why we do this. It is used instead of cream of tartar to set the egg whites.

2. Add sugar and egg whites to the bowl: Don’t attach bowl to stand mixer yet, we are going to put it over simmering water to get rid of any bacteria in the egg whites.

3. Whisk sugar and egg whites together in stand mixer bowl over simmering water: Whisk constantly but gently (so as not to scramble eggs. Remove when candy thermometer reads 140 degrees F (about 10 minutes). Put bowl in the stand mixer.

4. Whisk sugar-egg mixture in stand mixture until thick, glossy and bowl is room temperature.

5. Switch out whisk for paddle attachment and mix on a low speed, adding butter 1 cube at a time: Mixture will seem pretty runny until all butter has been added. That being said, once the mixture is the consistency you want, you may stop adding butter. The more butter you add the harder it will be when chilled, but the softer it will be at room temperature. Adding less butter will make for a more stable room temperature frosting. If the mixture gets bumpy, just keep mixing and it will return to smooth.

6. Pour in vanilla and sprinkle salt. Beat until fully incorporated.