Baking Basics: How to make Swiss Meringue Buttercream Frosting

There are many ways and minor variations to making Swiss meringue frosting. At its core Swiss meringue buttercream frosting is made by heating egg whites and sugar to create a syrup that is then whipped into a meringue state. From there the meringue takes on the addition of having butter creamed into it. It is my favorite out of all the buttercream frosting types. I love the light and fluffy texture along with the shiny satin-like appearance when it is finished. As for how it compares against other buttercreams like Italian, French and American buttercream, I’ll cover each one separately in some upcoming Baking Basics posts. Today it’s all Swiss meringue buttercream.

Swiss Meringue Buttercream

By minor variation, I mean the ratio of egg whites to sugar and the amount of butter. Along with that, there is also some variation on the temperature of when the egg white and sugar syrup is ready for whipping. That said, I’ve outlined the ingredients and tools used to make Swiss meringue buttercream and what works for me and provided some links to support it.

Temperature: I bring my egg whites to 160 degrees. I have never gone as low as 140 degrees F as Epicurious suggests. I did at one time use 150 degrees F as Martha Stewart does, but nowadays, I heat my egg whites to 160 degrees F.
At one time I thought I discovered something by accidentally taking my eggs whites all the way to 160 degrees F without compromise to the end result. By accident I mean, I was making meringue and Tweeting – don’t be like me. Multi-tasking and heating eggs usually results in scrambled eggs. In any case, a few weeks ago I was reading The Baker’s Dozen and there was a recipe from my favorite baker, Alice Medrich, instructing meringue to be taken to that exact temperature. My accident was only a new discovery to me.

The 160 degrees F is Alice’s Safe Meringue featured in her book “Chocolate and the Art of Low-Fat Desserts” of course this is the one of two books I do not own hers. (If it isn’t already obvious, the word low-fat in the title nixed it for me.) Her Safe Meringue recipe is also featured in another one of my favorites, Shirley Corriher’s, “BakeWise: The Hows and Whys of Successful Baking“. If you haven’t read this-you need to! Go checkout it out at the library or better yet – buy it, read it, dog ear it and mark it up with notes. I think you can feel good about the safety of egg whites at that temperature if a biochemist like Shirley features Alice’s recipe in her book.

*Thermometer: Is it necessary? That depends on where you fall on the safeness of eating egg whites. To be on the safe side, if you don’t have a thermometer use pasteurized egg whites and use the finger method to test for readiness.
The finger method is simply rubbing the egg and sugar mixture between your fingers to feel for sugar grit. If it’s smooth, then the egg white mixture is ready for beating. If it feels sandy or gritty, keep whisking the mixture until it is smooth.

Egg whites and what type: I have used pasteurized egg whites, but I couldn’t achieve the same fluffy light texture as when freshly separated egg whites are used. Full disclosure: I tried it twice and didn’t like the results, so I never went back to it. But that means nothing. It’s better if you test the two for yourself to see what your preference is. You should check out what Rosie of Sweetapolita has to say about her experience with it. She also has an excellent post on the same subject, titled “Swiss Meringue Buttercream Demystified“.

Sugar: Don’t bother using expensive baking sugar. Regular granulated sugar will work fine since it will quickly be heated to a liquid state.

Beating the egg white and sugar syrup to a meringue state: The time it takes to beat the egg white and sugar syrup into meringue may vary slightly from what is in the recipe based on different types of mixers used. For a more tactile indication of readiness the meringue should be warm to the touch. If not, the butter will melt. The visual indication will be stiff peaks that form when the whisk is pulled up out of the meringue.

Butter: The butter needs to be at room temperature, softened. The best visual description I’ve read is from Alice of Savory Sweet Life’s excellent post on “Classic Buttercream Frosting” – “The texture should be similar to ice cream, soft enough to scoop but firm enough to hold it’s shape.” When cutting the butter into pieces, I just roughly cut it to the tablespoon marking on the wrapper.

Ratio: In terms of ratio, I prefer mine at 1 egg white for 2.1 oz of sugar and 3.2 oz of butter. If you don’t have a scale it works out to about a 1/3 cup of sugar to every egg white. If do measure by cups your ratio will be slightly over by 1/2  an ounce, but it won’t matter for this recipe. For the butter it will be about 61/2 tablespoonfor every egg white.

Flavoring: This buttercream is highly adaptable to flavoring by extract or by sauces, eg. melted chocolate, melted white chocolate, caramel, dulce de leche, fruit curds and more. I generally add a 1/3 cup or more of sauce for every batch and extracts vary from 1/2 teaspoon to more. Taste as you go, just remember it’s always easier to add more flavoring than to reduce the flavoring.

Coloring: Start slow—it’s always easier to add more color than to correct the color. How much to add depends on the brand and the color. I generally start with one to two drops (one drop if I’m unfamiliar with the color), then mix it well and add from there as needed. Make sure as you add the color you are squeezing the drops out onto a spoon not over the bowl to have better control.

Trouble shooting: This portion addresses some of the questions and issues I have received regarding the Swiss meringue buttercream.

My Swiss meringue buttercream is soupy.

  • Most of the time you just need to keep mixing. On the occasion when that does not work, to correct the “soupy” texture just add a few tablespoons of chilled butter and it will help to stiffen up the buttercream.

My Swiss meringue buttercream is curdled.

  • This is normal. Continue to beat for about another 3 minutes and a smooth creamy texture will result.

Can I use this frosting for a wedding taking place outdoor in the summer?

  • I don’t recommend it for hot summer days or any place in which the Swiss meringue buttercream will be exposed to direct sunlight for longer than an 1-2 hours. My experience has been that the Swiss meringue buttercream starts to lose its fluffy light texture and begins to feel more like softened butter when consumed. Along with that, the nice satin-like finish moves towards an oily appearance that resembles very softened butter.

Basic Swiss Meringue Buttercream Elements:

  • Basic tools: Whisk, bowl, thermometer* (see note above), bain marie – you can create your own by placing a your mixer bowl containing the egg whites and sugar over a saucepan with simmering water. Do not let the water touch the bottom of the bowl or it will overheat the eggs into a scrambled state.
  • How to store Swiss meringue buttercream: Place it in a tightly sealed containter and refrigerate it up to one week or place it in the freezer for up to a month.
  • How to re-heat Swiss meringue buttercream: Place Swiss meringue buttercream on the counter and let it come to room temperature-do not microwave it. Once it comes to room temperature place it in a mixing bowl and whip it for a few minutes or until it becomes light and fluffy once more.

Swiss Meringue Buttercream Bakers Royale 210x260

this recipe

Swiss Meringue Buttercream

Yield: Approximately 4 1/2 cups


  • 5 large egg whites
  • 11/2 cup sugar
  • 4 sticks unsalted butter, sliced and softened
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt


  1. Combine egg whites and sugar in a stand mixer bowl and place it over (not on) simmering water. Heat mixture to 160 degrees F while whisking constantly.
  2. Transfer mixer bowl to stand mixer, fitted with a whisk attachment and beat on medium high speed (speed 8 on a KitchenAid stand mixer) until mixture cools, doubles in volume and forms stiff peaks; about 10-12 minutes.
  3. Add butter in one piece at a time, mixing to incorporate after each addition. The mixture may appear clumpy and almost curdled looking at first—this is normal. Keep mixing and it will become even and smooth again.
  4. Add salt and flavoring, mix to combine.

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  1. Avatar for Naomi Robinson says

    I love Swiss Meringue Buttercream, I tried it for the first time about a year ago and it instantly became my favorite frosting. I always heat mine to 160 degrees too!

    Just out of curiosity, have you noticed the weather to make a difference when you’re making the frosting? The one and only time I had an unsuccessful batch was last summer when it was ridiculously hot and humid.

    • Avatar for Naomi Robinson

      Naomi replied: — April 26th, 2012 @ 4:30 am

      Hi Annie,

      I have not noticed that the weather makes a big difference in meringue frosting. I have noticed it when I’ve made meringe cookies-hot humid weather equals stickiness. What made your batch unsuccessful?

  2. Avatar for Naomi Robinson says

    It never made it past the curdled stage, I kept it beating to the point that my mixer was hot to the touch and I was worried about it over-heating before I turned it off (my Kitchen-Aid was my grandmother’s- it’s decades old!!). Maybe I should have tried chilling the mixture in the fridge for a bit and then giving the mixing another go. Oh well, not a big deal at all, I was just curious!

    • Avatar for Naomi Robinson

      Naomi replied: — May 25th, 2012 @ 9:16 pm

      Sorry for the delay, Annie @Annie’s Cooking Lab, I’m just seeing this now. I’m not sure why you are not passing that stage. Let me look into it and get back to you.

  3. Avatar for Naomi RobinsonTori says

    Naomi, the buttercream looks fairly white from the pictures. Is it actually a bit yellow from the butter? I was wondering about adding a bit of food coloring gel for a kid’s cake, but I wonder if the original color will have an impact on the final result.

    • Avatar for Naomi Robinson

      Naomi replied: — April 27th, 2012 @ 3:35 am

      Hi Tori-I use big white boards to bounce light for this type of photography styling, so it is a little more white than it would be in person. Keep in mind it is not going to be a cream colored frosting like you see in the Savory Sweet Life link from the post. That is an American buttercream where the yellow from the butter is more prominent. With a Swiss meringue buttercream it is white because of the egg whites. There should only be the slightest hint of a cream color to the end result.

      That said, adding food gel will be fine to color this frosting. Start with just a few drops and add more as needed.

  4. Avatar for Naomi RobinsonRiccel says

    When to add the food coloring? Thanks.

    • Avatar for Naomi Robinson

      Naomi replied: — April 27th, 2012 @ 3:37 am

      Hi Riccel – Add the coloring at the end, then mix it well so the color blends without streaks.

  5. Avatar for Naomi RobinsonMel says

    I’m most likely doing it wrong, but every time I’ve made Swiss buttercream, it tastes like I’m eating raw butter! Every one who tastes it will say the same thing. Maybe not enough flavoring?

    • Avatar for Naomi Robinson

      Naomi Robinson replied: — November 22nd, 2013 @ 9:21 pm

      Mel – Add any flavoring as you like– if it’s vanilla you can start with 1 tablespoon. If it’s anything else, be cautious, and start with 1 teaspoon at a time. Flavors like peppermint need very little.

  6. Avatar for Naomi RobinsonEla says

    You didn’t talk about coloring the SMB, how much do we put or when do we do it? What if we need at least 3 different colors?
    -Can we use this icing for decorations like to make roses, flowers, etc.
    -Do we use wire whip attachment for the mixer all the way? Or do we use the flat beater?
    Thank you, you’re helping a lot of people who loves to bake but just novice bakers.

    • Avatar for Naomi Robinson

      Naomi replied: — April 28th, 2012 @ 2:48 pm

      Hi Ela-The coloring will vary by brand and by color. Always start slow, it’s easier to add color than to correct an over-coloring. I usually start with one-two drops (one if it’s a new color I’m working with) and then mix it well and go from there. As for your second question, thank you for pointing out the mistake – typo. It’s about 1/3 cup for every egg white, not 1/2 cup. Keep in mind if you use the cup measurement vs weighing the sugar, it will be over by 1/2 oz, but for this recipe it will not matter. To be precise, the sugar will measure to 2.1 oz for every egg white. I’ve added this all in the post.

      Hope this is helpful!

  7. Avatar for Naomi RobinsonEla says

    Another question, I was reading your post and you said that for every egg, you use 1/2 cup sugar and 6-1/2 tbsp. butter but when I checked your recipe, it doesn’t reconcile. Which is the right one to use? I just want to clarify, thank you.

  8. Avatar for Naomi Robinson says

    I love meringue buttercream, I once took a culinary class at New York Institute of Culinary Arts and they showed us how to make meringue buttercream, after that I use it on almost every cake!

  9. Avatar for Naomi Robinson says

    I always hesitate to make things that require only egg whites, because I hate waste! What are you favorite recipes that use just egg yolks? (Or what do you do with all the egg yolks you have left over?)

    • Avatar for Naomi Robinson

      Naomi replied: — April 27th, 2012 @ 6:17 pm

      Hi Susan-I use my egg yolks for ice cream, creme brûlée, curds, pastry cream or any other type of custard based dessert. To bypass having left over egg yolks, you can also just buy pasteurized egg whites.

    • Avatar for Naomi Robinson

      tracey replied: — March 16th, 2013 @ 3:17 am

      Your looking for a french buttercream. You use both yolks and whites. It is very decadent, but volital. You have a short window you can let it sit out without it going bad, due to the yolks. Also if the eggs contain salmonella it’s in the yolk.

  10. Avatar for Naomi Robinson says

    Tis a very helpful post! And I loved how you included the questions of things that could possibly go wrong along with answers. Will refer my readers to this post often!

  11. Avatar for Naomi RobinsonBrianna says

    Hello! I have a question…i have tried this swiss meringue buttercream on 2 separate occasions & got the same result both times. My problem is that i once i heated up the egg whites & sugar to 160deg, it ended up stinking my kitchen up with the smell of eggs. Are you supposed to be able to smell eggs? I ended up throwing away both batches in fear that it caused the frosting to taste like eggs. I used a candy thermometer and did not it get over 160 so i am just curious if this has happened to you or anyone.

    • Avatar for Naomi Robinson

      Naomi replied: — April 29th, 2012 @ 7:45 pm

      Hi Brianna – That has not happened to me. I’m really curious about that. I assume you are constantly whisking the eggs and the mixture once at 160 degrees F is opaque and not solid white. I’m sorry I couldn’t be more help. Anyone else have this happen to them?

  12. Avatar for Naomi RobinsonAlex says

    Could you use Meringue Powder instead of egg whites? What would be the proportions?

    • Avatar for Naomi Robinson

      Naomi replied: — April 30th, 2012 @ 6:16 am

      Hi Alex-I don’t know if Meringue powder is a suitable substitute. But of you try it, please come back and let us know!

  13. Avatar for Naomi Robinson says

    thanks for the tutorial, it’s perfect timing! the last time i attempted SMB i never got stiff peaks from my meringue mixture so i’m thinking that must have been my problem.

    have you ever made one batch of frosting into two flavors? i am making macarons for my daughter’s birthday party this weekend and wanted to have two different flavored fillings but don’t think i’ll need 3 1/2 cups of each.

    • Avatar for Naomi Robinson

      Naomi Robinson replied: — November 22nd, 2013 @ 9:23 pm

      Jillian- Yes, just halve the frosting and mix the frosting in afterwards.

  14. Avatar for Naomi Robinson says

    i split the batch into two flavors almond and dulce de leche. you have no idea how happy successful frosting makes me! thanks for the tutorial!! :)

    • Avatar for Naomi Robinson

      Naomi replied: — May 3rd, 2012 @ 4:24 am

      Hi Jilliann-sorry for the delay in responding. My suggestion would have been for exactly what you did. I’m glad the tutorial was helpful!

  15. Avatar for Naomi RobinsonBrianna says

    Hey Naomi…yea i find it strange too. I put my bowl over the simmering water and keep whisking until the thermometer says its at 160deg. It seems to me like i must be overheating it somehow & that i am actually cooking the eggs… I have never tried the technique of feeling the mixture to see if its grainy or not to see if its cooked, but maybe i should?

  16. Avatar for Naomi Robinson says

    I’ve tried to make SMBC once before, and it didn’t turn out quiiiite right. I was so frustrated! This is such a helpful guide, I think I may have the guts to try it again!

  17. Avatar for Naomi Robinson says

    Great post! Definitely very informative. Thanks. Look forward to reading about the other types of buttercream. (I didn’t know that there is a difference between swiss and italian buttercream!)

  18. Avatar for Naomi Robinson says

    I have just started to master buttercream frostings but still have a long way to go. Any time I work with egg whites I get nervous. The step by step pictures are beautiful.

  19. Avatar for Naomi Robinson says

    I failed miserably the first time I tried to make SMB following Martha Stewart’s recipe. But I was determined to get it right and thats how I came across your wonderful site. Your instructions are fantastic! look how it turned out

    • Avatar for Naomi Robinson

      Naomi replied: — May 16th, 2012 @ 5:53 pm

      Gina-I’m so glad to hear that it was helpful. Your cake looked lovely(I tried to tried to leave a comment on your blog, but wasn’t able to).

  20. Avatar for Naomi Robinson says

    Hello Naomi, thanks for sharing, ’tis a very helpful 101 on SMB. i love it myself though like Annie of Annie’s Cooking Lab was saying, i have faced the same issue: i have a tough time getting it to the smooth and creamy stage final stage, thanks to the ultra humid climate of the place i live in. I try popping it in the freezer for intervals of 10 minutes and also try adding less butter, but it is very very difficult to get it to the desired consistency!! :( Any help here is much appreciated! (Don’t tell me to move to a drier area though! :P)

  21. Avatar for Naomi Robinsondianita says

    Thank u for your recipe!!! I just made it with Dulce de leche and It’s fantastic, ESPECTACULAR!!!!!!

  22. Avatar for Naomi RobinsonJoe Andy says

    Hi! I have a couple questions, I’ve tried this using RealEggs Egg whites and the meringue never set up, it was just a foamy soupy mess. It happened twice. I heated the egg and sugar mixture in a glass bowl then transferred it to my mixing bowl. Am I doing something wrong? Thanks in advance!

  23. Avatar for Naomi RobinsonErica says

    Hi. This is the first time I’ve tried to make Swiss Meringe and the text came out wonderfully. The only problem that I had is that even after I put flavoring in the icing, it tasted like I just bit into a stick of butter. It was disgusting. How do you fix that?

    • Avatar for Naomi Robinson

      Kristina replied: — April 15th, 2013 @ 8:22 am

      This happened to me. I added some powdered sugar and a bit more vanilla and it was perfect!!!

  24. Avatar for Naomi RobinsonDani says

    I tried making this last night and it was kind of runny but still workable and quite delicious! I do have a question on where I could have possibly gone wrong with the texture….
    I only heated it upto 140 Degrees F since it was not grainy and was getting quite sticky. Was this ok? I whisked it in a glass bowl over simmering water and then transferred into my mixing bowl. By 140 Degrees F it was a soft yet sticky pearl white cream….
    i really love your work and do want to get this right so any advice would be much appreciated.
    Thank You in advance!

    • Avatar for Naomi Robinson

      naomi replied: — November 22nd, 2013 @ 9:26 pm

      Dani – Try whipping the meringue portion a bit longer–until it becomes stiffer and that will help

  25. Avatar for Naomi RobinsonCrystal says

    What do you think is a good frsoting for stacking cakes? Or do you have any recipes in mind? I’m from WI, it’s it’s super cold right now and I wanted to make a castle birthday cakes, two tiers.

  26. Avatar for Naomi RobinsonPurplicious says

    I have never tried butter cream icing and this recipe yeilds simply beautiful results!
    It’s great indoors but I’m not sure about the afternoons here!
    I live in india and wanted to know if I add more icing sugar will it become slightly stiffer?

    • Avatar for Naomi Robinson

      Naomi replied: — April 15th, 2013 @ 10:08 am

      Purplicious – Yes, you can add some powdered sugar to stiffen it.

  27. Avatar for Naomi RobinsonJessica says

    Is it okay to frost a cake with the SMB two days before an event and just keep it refrigerated? Thanks to whoever can help!

    • Avatar for Naomi Robinson

      Naomi Robinson replied: — November 22nd, 2013 @ 9:18 pm

      Hi Jessica- Yes, you can frost the cake with SMB two days in advance and keep it refrigerated. Just make sure it comes to room temperature prior to serving.

  28. Avatar for Naomi RobinsonMarieke says

    I want to thank you so much for this post. I’ve attempted to make SMB two weeks ago and it was a disaster, it was soupy and after mixing for a lóng time it wouldn’t come together. Now that I’ve used your method (with the difference in the temperature of the butter) it turned out fantastic. Smooth and delicious. So many thanks :), I will never go back to ‘normal’ buttercream again.

  29. Avatar for Naomi RobinsonMeagan says

    I do not like butter cream where all you taste is butter. The taste will also depend on the brand of butter you use. I like unsalted butter, and I prefer Italian Swiss Meringue Butter Cream, as it is more stable. You make a hot syrup} heat sugar and little bit of water to make a hot syrup. I only use a candy thermometer that has a metal backing,lay it face side into the syrup to get an good reading. Boil to 240 degrees, remove pan and by the time you pour it into the whipped egg whites it has reached the 245 mark. Then pour over your beaten egg white. MUST let the bowl cool down before you add any butter. Just keep whipping the whites, keep feeling the bottom of the bowl can take 5 min. or more. Butter sticks, just give a little on the outside but firm in the middle. I like to cut into Tbl. then in halves again. Put in chunks back in the fridge and when making the syrup, pull of ridges and put next to my mixer ready to drop in after the bowl has cooled down. You can fine good recipes on the net. Also has a youtube video. Enjoy reading everyones comments, hints, tips, and problems as we all seem to have the same ones.

    • Avatar for Naomi Robinson

      Meagan replied: — April 24th, 2013 @ 3:46 pm

      Sorry, that should read, butter cubes/sticks will give a little when squeezed but be firm in the middle.
      Pull the chunks out of fridge and put next to mixer, etc.

    • Avatar for Naomi Robinson

      D replied: — June 14th, 2013 @ 9:45 am


      I just tried a half dozen various butter-cream recipes last night to experiment and I definitely prefer the process you’re describing.
      The recipe I found utilized an identical process and I have to say it is a lot less scary to heat the egg whites using a hot syrup than to utilize a double boiler. This too will be my preference for now on when making Swiss Butter-Cream frosting.


  30. Avatar for Naomi Robinsonsarah says

    Hi – my mom always did a variation of this called 7 minute frosting that was my favorite icing – but she never used it for decorating as it was so soft. Excited to try this recipe and see what I can do with decorating.
    By the way – do you have the tutorial up yet comparing the differnt frostings? I haven’t found it.

  31. Avatar for Naomi Robinson says

    I am curious to find out what blog system you
    happen to be working with? I’m having some minor security problems with my latest blog and I would like to find something more risk-free. Do you have any solutions?

  32. Avatar for Naomi RobinsonNicolas says

    Do you mind if I quote a couple of your posts as long as
    I provide credit and sources back to your webpage? My blog is in the exact same niche as
    yours and my users would certainly benefit from some of the information you present here.
    Please let me know if this alright with you. Thank you!

  33. Avatar for Naomi Robinson says

    The buttercream is looking soupy so now I have put it back in the fridge for 20 minutes and will also try adding butter to it. I hope this works. I have a cake waiting to be decorated. This is my first time making buttercream and I am so tense.
    How long should I keep mixing it? Half hour?

  34. Avatar for Naomi RobinsonJeanne says

    The first time I made it, the frosting was perfect. The second time, after whipping the whites to perfection, I added the butter and the more I mixed, the soupier it became. I ended up not using it…any suggestions?

    • Avatar for Naomi Robinson

      SurlyJude replied: — July 31st, 2013 @ 4:26 pm

      I added another stick of chilled butter butter and continued whipping , then put it in the refrigerator to firm up.

  35. Avatar for Naomi RobinsonSurlyJude says

    Great recipe! Do you have a suggestion for a buttercream that will stand up to a wedding cake?

  36. Avatar for Naomi RobinsonMary says

    First I’d like to say how wonderful all the work is that you put into this blog, Thank you. I’m making SMB for the first time. My question is, I made gumpaste roses, if I put them on the SMB, will it melt the roses, or harm them in anyway? Should I cover the SMB in fondant to be safe? Thanks again :)

    • Avatar for Naomi Robinson

      naomi replied: — November 22nd, 2013 @ 9:29 pm

      No, you the gum paste roses will hold up just fine on the SMB.

  37. Avatar for Naomi RobinsonTeddi says

    This recipe was perfect! It fluffed exactly how I wanted it to. Follow these instructions to the letter and you will have a wonderful, fluffy buttercream frosting.

    One note – I made 1 1/2 of this recipe. It covered and filled three thin layers, but we don’t like a tone of frosting. Had I wanted to decorate, I would probably make it 2x.

    Many thanks for such a great technique!

  38. Avatar for Naomi RobinsonGregory says

    Thank you so much! First time making SMB but it turned out perfectly. I didn’t use this recipe’s ingredients ratio’s, however I followed the instructions on here. Thanks again!

  39. Avatar for Naomi RobinsonJess says

    I was just wondering I am in Australia and I was wondering how may metric grams is one stick of butter ? ? ? thanks :)

    • Avatar for Naomi Robinson

      Hala replied: — December 17th, 2013 @ 4:44 am

      1 stick of butter is 113 grams

  40. Avatar for Naomi RobinsonMarion says

    Hi !

    I’m french but I find your cooking blog and I just love it !! Your pictures are so beautiful ! I’d really like to do the same to you ! (Very sorry for my language…)

    I’ve just one question of your recipe, i’m not familiar with term “11/2” ?? What is it ? It’s 1 & 1/2 cup ? Or 11/2=5,5 cups (it seems to me much).

    Many thanks !

    Have a nice day 😉

    • Avatar for Naomi Robinson

      Linda L. replied: — December 14th, 2013 @ 8:30 pm

      Ca veut dire une tasse et demi.

  41. Avatar for Naomi RobinsonChristine says

    Have you tried using powdered egg whites when you make Swiss Meringue Buttercream?

    Those chilled pasteurized egg whites don’t whip very well (I read that on the carton and on the website), so I researched powdered egg whites because I wanted to make Swiss meringue buttercream and other recipes with egg whites without having all of those egg yolks left over.

    I found out that dried egg whites whip up just as well as fresh egg whites.

    Now when I make Swiss meringue buttercream, I use tap-hot water to dissolve the egg white powder (warm egg whites make a fluffier foam) and add some cream of tartar or lemon juice when the liquid egg whites become foamy (something acidic to make a more stable foam), and whisk over simmering water, adding the sugar gradually, until the mixture is completely smooth when I rub a little between my fingers.

    Then I transfer the hot meringue to my Kitchenaid mixer and whisk it at high speed until the meringue is completely cooled and the bottom of the mixer bowl is at room temperature (otherwise the butter will melt when it’s added to the meringue), which takes 8 to 10 minutes. The mixer does get a little warm, but I let it rest while I replace the whisk with the paddle attachment, and cut the butter into chunks.

    I’ve found that the results after adding the butter are a crapshoot (as they are with fresh egg whites): sometimes I have a smooth buttercream right away; and sometimes it is still a little soupy or curdled. I haven’t noticed any connection with the weather, although on hot summer days, I turn the air-conditioning temperature down about 2 degrees before I start this buttercream.

    Just beat, beat, beat and eventually the buttercream does come together.

    I live in Denver, CO (the mile-high city!) and using powdered egg whites gives me an extra margin of safety. Water boils at a much lower temperature at 5000 feet above sea level, so simmering water wouldn’t get the meringue even close to 170 degrees.

    I bought a 2 lb can of Deb-El powdered egg whites for about $8 on, and that’s a lot cheaper than fresh egg whites! It takes 1 teaspoon of powdered egg whites plus 1 tablespoon of warm water to make 1 large egg white.

    I’ve had excellent results using dried egg whites in other recipes that require egg whites: white cake, macarons, pavlova, lemon meringue pie … anything. They work just as well as fresh egg whites, whether the recipe requires them whipped or liquid.

  42. Avatar for Naomi RobinsonKacey says

    Being the crazy person I am, I decided to adjust ingredient ratios the first time ever making a Swiss meringue buttercream… And it worked! Thanks for the step-by-step photos. My buttercream turned out perfect (with my adjustments.) Weird part is, I don’t recall ever seeing a curdling stage. Does it always curdle? I was reading while I added the butter so I may not have noticed.

  43. Avatar for Naomi RobinsonTracy says

    Hi, I have tried the swiss buttercream several times. Each time, my buttercream was not thick enough to do those nice frostings that I was see on websites like yours. My buttercream tasted wonderful; its smooth but just not thick like yours. May I know whats wrong with my buttercream? I stay in a hot humid country and room temp is normally around 29 degrees. Does this make a difference? Thanks

    • Avatar for Naomi Robinson

      jennee replied: — April 26th, 2014 @ 3:57 am


      It takes a really long time to reach 160. I could never get it there. I finally quit around 152, because it was getting so thick. I beat it for the 10 min when I put it into the mixer. After incorporating all the butter, it was not stiff, and I thought I had done something wrong, but I continued to beat it on high setting for a while more, and it finally started to pull together and become the creaming fluffy stiff you want. I think you have to wait for the meringue to really cool down before you incorporate the soft butter. If I had to do it over again, I would wait much longer before I beat in the butter. I hope that helps.

      • Avatar for Naomi Robinson

        Paul replied: — May 15th, 2014 @ 7:27 am

        Hi, I set a glass bowl of the meringue mixture on a twice-folded dishcloth in a large shallow frying pan of boiling water. This keeps the direct heat off the bottom of the bowl and allows quicker heating. Reached 70 degrees C in less than 10 minutes without a problem. Cheers, thanks for the recipe!