Silky smooth, rich and creamy with a velvet-like texture is what this Swiss meringue buttercream (SMBC) is all about. Learn to make the best Swiss buttercream with my no-fail recipe. In this recipe post and video tutorial, I tell you everything you need to know about SMBC recipe, including a step-by-step tutorial, how to flavor it, store it, and troubleshoot any possible problems ahead of time.
Makes enough to cover 2 x 8-inch cakes or 24 cupcakes
¼teaspoonAny other flavoring almond, strawberry, peppermint, liquor (optional if needed only)
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Have all your ingredients at room temperature, especially the eggs and butter.
Separate the egg whites from egg yolks making sure no egg yolks gets into the whitesPro tip - break each egg in a separate bowl and use only the ones successfully separated.
Cut the butter into cubes and let come to room temperaturePro tip - butter must be room temperature otherwise it will give make a lumpy buttercream. Warmer than room temperature will cause the meringue to deflate.
Place egg whites, sugar, cream of tartar, and salt in the bowl of the stand mixer.Pro tip - make sure the bowl is grease-free otherwise the egg whites will not whip
Using a whisk, place the bowl over a double boiler and constantly whip until all the sugar has dissolved and the egg whites are fairly warm (about 160 F).Pro tip - you don't need a thermometer, as long as all the sugar has completely melted your eggs are ready to use
Take the bowl off the heat and whip the egg whites until you have a thick meringue with stiff peaks.Pro tip - it is best to start whipping eggs at medium speed then increase speed as you go for the best meringue
Let the mixer continue to whip on medium-low until the mixer bowl feels cool to touch. Then gradually add butter, one cube at a time, with the mixer at medium speed.Pro tip - it is VERY important that the meringue is cooled completely before you add the butter otherwise you will have a soupy mess.
Once all the butter is added, whip on medium-high for 2 minutes. Pro tip - if the buttercream becomes warm or looks soupy, place the buttercream bowl in the fridge for 10 minutes, then whip with the paddle attachment until light and fluffy.
Lastly, add the vanilla extract and other flavorings. Combinel until everything is well combined
Chocolate Swiss Meringue Buttercream
Add melted cooled chocolate to prepared buttercream until it is smooth with no visible white streaksPro tip- the chocolate must be cooled before you add it to the buttercream otherwise the warm chocolate will seize when added to the cold buttercream.
Preparing the equipment
Grease is the biggest enemy of meringue and the slightest speck on the bowl or whisk could render all your hard work useless. And, it's not just about oil or butter. I'm also talking about egg yolks. Egg yolks have fat and the tiniest amount in your egg whites will not whip into meringue no matter how long you whip.
So, before you start making any meringue buttercream. First, wash and clean the bowl and whisk well (especially if you last used it to make buttercream or similar). Then, separate each egg in a small bowl first and use only the eggs which have been separated carefully. Save the others for an omelet or other uses.
Basically, a double boiler is just two pans that fit perfectly together. One on top of the other. We often use this indirect heat method when we want to melt chocolate, or in this case, gently cook eggs with sugar. The steam caused by the water in the bottom pan is just enough to melt the chocolate or egg without burning or overcooking it. I wrote more about double boilers in a previous post - What is a Double Boiler Method?
Prevent deflating meringue
It is best to start whipping eggs at medium speed then increase speed as you go for the best meringue. This meringue will not lose volume and will hold much better.
Prevent soupy buttercream
The meringue must be cool completely before you add the butter otherwise you will have a soupy mess.
White Swiss meringue buttercream
Often, buttercream tends to get a yellow ting and because of the color of the butter. However, I do not usually have this problem because I do get white butter (see pictures). So, here's a little trick you can use to neutralize the yellow by adding a tiny bit of blue or violet to it. In fact, this is very commonly used when painting walls white. You add a tiny bit of blue or violet to neutralize the yellow. BUT A TINY DAB IS ALL YOU NEED or you will end up with a slight tinge of blue or violet in the buttercream. So, remember, a dap or smear is all you need.
Prevent separating buttercream
Do not beat buttercream while it is very chilled. Since the cold fat in the butter separates from the liquid and the emulsion you just created breaks. Ideally, you can just let the buttercream rest outside the fridge for a while until it's not hard. Or, you can use a hair-dryer to gently warm the outside of the bowl until you see the edges of the buttercream soften a bit. Then, whip it with a paddle attachment.
Meringue Buttercream will keep at room temperature for a few hours in any weather. I know those who enjoy good weather are able to keep Swiss or Italian meringue buttercream out for up to 2 days.
It should be treated just as butter; If left out in high temperature or humidity it will melt just like butter.
It can be kept refrigerated for up to one week or in the freezer for up to three months.
When frozen, it is best thawed in the fridge overnight. Whip with a paddle attachment for about 3 to 5 minutes to restore consistency.
Dark, Milk, or White Chocolate SMBC?
Add 200 grams melted and cooled chocolate to 4 cups of SMBC. Combine well.
Caramel Swiss Meringue Buttercream or Salted Caramel SMBC –
Add 1 cup caramel sauce to 4 (to 6) cups of SMBC. For salted add a tablespoon of rock salt. Combine well.
Butterscotch SMBC –
Add 1 cup butterscotch sauce to 4 (to 6) cups of SMBC. For salted add a tablespoon of rock salt. Combine well.
Lemon SMBC –
Add ¼ teaspoon lemon juice to 4 (or 6) cups buttercream. You can also add up to ½ if you want a very lemony buttercream. 1 teaspoon of zest can also be added if you don’t mind the zest in the buttercream. And, ¼ teaspoon lemon extract will enhance the flavor even more.
Orange Swiss Meringue Buttercream –
Add ¼ cup orange juice, and ¼ teaspoon orange extract to 4 (or 6) cups buttercream. 1 teaspoon orange zest can also be added.
Fruit Flavors – Blueberry, Raspberry, Blackberry, strawberry –
Add 1 cup fruit puree to 4 (or 6) cups buttercream. I love adding a fruit filling instead, which makes it slightly sweeter, and yet, more vibrant in color.
Dulce De Leche SMBC –
Add 1 cup dulce de leche to 4 (6 cups) buttercream.
Coffee or Espresso SMBC –
Dissolve 1 tablespoon coffee in ¼ cup hot water or use ¼ cup espresso. Cool completely, then add to 4 (or 6) cups buttercream.
Mocha SMBC Buttercream
Add 200 grams melted and cooled chocolate to 4 (or 6) cups coffee SMBC.
Peanut Butter SMBC
Add up to 2 cups of peanut butter to 4 (or 6) cups of buttercream.
The nutrition information and metric conversion are calculated automatically. I cannot guarantee its accuracy. If this data is important to you please verify with your trusted nutrition calculator. Thank you