Meringue Buttercream with Meringue Powder
The buttercream I used on these cupcakes is a meringue buttercream made with meringue powder. The reason is that there are some customers, especially pregnant women, who like meringue buttercream but don’t want to take the risk of eating raw eggs. This simple, easy and effortless recipe uses powdered egg whites instead of raw egg whites.
Few customers seem to raise an eyebrow when you use raw egg whites. The truth is that most of the salmonella concerns with regards to eggs are in the yolk. And if you get even a slight trace of yolk in your recipe, you won’t be able to beat the egg whites stiff. This will make it difficult to continue with the recipe.
Meringue buttercream with meringue powder is a great frosting recipe to use for those customers who are sensitive about using egg whites in their buttercream. And yet, they still want to have a meringue buttercream for their cake.
This post includes two recipes – With a candy thermometer & Without a candy thermometer
Important notes to make a successful meringue buttercream
- Choose the right method – If you do not have a candy thermometer don’t try to guess it. Trust me, I’ve been making meringue buttercream without a thermometer far too long. And yet it’s not something I recommend. I’ve had my share of success and failures.
- Always make sure your mixing bowl and whisk is cleaned and grease free. Any fat in the bowl will not beat your eggs stiff. My practice – I rewash the clean bowl and whisk with warm water and soap. Wipe it with a clean kitchen towel. Take a paper hand towel, add a drop of vinegar to it, and wipe the inside of your bowl and wipe with this vinegar towel.
- Also, make sure your butter is soft. Cold butter will make a lumpy IMBC. Too soft (almost melted) will make it soupy. Best practice – take the butter out 20 minutes before you need it. Then, cut the butter into 1-inch cubes and leave it on the warm kitchen counter.
- Always make sure your meringue bowl is cool to touch before you add your butter. If your meringue is warm the butter will melt, deflating the meringue and make it soupy. If that happens you can place the mixture in the fridge for a couple of minutes and re-whip it. And yet, you will still lose some volume.
Best practice – be patient.
Meringue Buttercream with Meringue Powder (with Candy thermometer)
Meringue Buttercream with Meringue Powder (but without a candy thermometer)
Useful Tips and Tools
- If you bake often, it would be a good idea to invest in a cake mixer. Because often we try to mix by hand and then we are too tired to give it enough creaming or mixing. So if you are making this buttercream go head and remove that K-Mix or KitchenAid from your kitchen cabinet. You don’t have to buy an expensive stand mixer, a simple hand mixer works great too.
- For buttercream mixing always use a paddle attachment so you do not incorporate too much air into the buttercream. Some recipes, however, such as meringue buttercreams, require the use of the whisk attachments.
- Having said that, a simple Bowl, whisk and Spatula with a little extra elbow grease will do too.
- Personally, I believe in measuring ingredients by weight, which makes my kitchen scale one of the most valuable items when baking. The same goes for mymeasuring cups and measuring spoons. It’s always a good idea to have these handy and use them when baking rather than trying to guess measurements.
- After the buttercream is prepared always keep it sealed well in the fridge. This will prevent any odor from the other foods to attach itself to the buttercream. Therefore, I place my buttercream in a stainless steel storage (we try to avoid using plastic in our home). And I also cover the top surface of the buttercream with cling wrap.
Meringue Buttercream with Meringue Powder but without Candy Thermometer
- 10 tsp. Meringue powder
- 1 1/4 cup Sugar divided
- 120 ml Water
- 450 grams Unsalted butter
- 1/2 tsp Salt
Homemade meringue powder
- 10 tsp Egg white powder
- 1/2 tsp. Cream of tartar
- 1/2 tsp Cornstarch
- Cut the butter into cubes and keep them ready.
- In a clean mixing bowl add the Meringue powder and half the water.
- After about 2 minutes, add 1/4 cup sugar
Once all the sugar added, turn the mixer up and whisk on high for about 3 minutes.
- Simultaneously, place the remaining water and sugar in a heavy bottom pan and bring to boil on medium heat. Continue to cook on med-low until the syrup reaches 240F. Take it off the heat.
- No Thermometer indication-
The water will boil with lots of large bubbles and then those large bubbles will become smaller and smaller. (Sorry, this is the best indication I can give you. That is why it is best to use a Candy Thermometer)
- With the mixer running on medium, start pouring the sugar syrup into the mixing bowl slowly but CAREFULLY. Tips - It is important to pour between the whisk and the bowl because if the syrup pours on the cold whisk or cold bowl it will crystallize. (Tricky but can be done if you are patient). Do not rush but don’t be too fast.
- Once all the syrup is in, turn the mixture on high and whisk unit you have a mixture of glossy stiff meringue. Touch the bowl if the bowl is still warm – just run the mixture on low but don’t add the butter.
- Once the bowl is cool to touch, start adding the butter. A few cubes at a time.
- Once all the butter has been added, continue to mix on medium until you see a uniform smooth mixture and all the butter has been well incorporated.
- Now go ahead and flavor it. The options for flavoring are unlimited.
Flavoring Options – some of my favorite
- Vanilla – 1 ½ tsp clear vanilla extract.
- Chocolate – Melt and cool about ½ cup bittersweet chocolate and mix in.
- Mocha – Make the above chocolate buttercream. Then dissolve 1 tbsp of coffee in 2 tbsp of hot water. Cool and add to the chocolate buttercream.
- Rum/ Amaretto – 2 tbsp of dark rum Amaretto.
- Lemon / Orange – 2 tsp lemon or orange extract.
- Strawberry/Raspberry – 2 tsp strawberry/raspberry.
- Espresso – add 2 tbsp of Kahlua.
How to use for decorating
If you’re wondering if there is a difference between the two. Yes, there are!
The buttercream made with the candy thermometer is exactly like the regular IMBC. Everything you do with the IMBC you can do with that one. If I do pipe flowers then I freeze them as soon as I make the flower. Once frozen they hold their shape better even when thawed.
The buttercream made without the candy thermometer is a bit on the softer side. It tastes awesome, is great between layers as well as to frost the cake. Also, it works well for cupcake swirls. And yet, it is a bit soft to make piped designs on the cake. If it is absolutely necessary to pipe with it, then adding a few tbsp of powdered sugar might help. But will also add to the sweetness.
On a personal note
Are you looking for the perfect buttercream recipe for your cake? You may want to check for my other buttercream recipes like:
- Velvet American Buttercream (ABC)
- Swiss Meringue Buttercream (SMBC)
- Italian Meringue Buttercream (SMBC)
- Meringue Buttercream with Meringue Powder
- The Best Stiff Buttercream Recipe for Piping Flowers – Crusting Buttercream Recipe
Or perhaps you looking for a different flavor? Check out how to flavor your existing buttercream recipe or make a new one here.
- Perfect Pink Champagne Buttercream Recipe
- Whipped Cream Buttercream Recipe
- Chocolate Buttercream
- Mocha Buttercream
- Caramel Buttercream
- Salted Caramel Buttercream and more..