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This is the Easiest Swiss Meringue Buttercream recipe you’ll ever make! Once you try it, you’ll want to use it to cover all of your cakes and cupcakes.
Traditional Swiss Meringue involves heating egg whites, then lots and lots of whipping. This recipe skips the heating step entirely, and still produces a rich, smooth, ultra-creamy buttercream with the characteristic texture and taste of Swiss Meringue. It’s as easy to make as American Buttercream, but it doesn’t crust over and it isn’t teeth-shatteringly sweet. You seriously NEED to try this recipe!
Swiss Meringue Buttercream is my FAVORITE type of frosting—it tastes delicious, is a dream to work with, doesn’t crust, and isn’t overly sweet or greasy. In short, it’s almost perfect!
The only problem? It can be a big pain to make. I won’t go into all the steps—for that, you’ll want to read my post on how to make traditional Swiss Meringue Buttercream. But the point is, the whole Swiss Meringue shebang has been a necessary evil…until now. Introducing your new favorite recipe, The EASIEST Swiss Meringue Buttercream!
First things first: this is based on a frosting recipe by the amazing cake decorator Lauren Kitchens. If you want to see some real talent, check out her site! The frosting is not technically a Swiss Meringue, because the technique is different, but the ingredients and final product are so close, I have no problem calling this a lazy version of SMBC! I did a lot of tweaking and ended up with some very different ingredient quantities than the original recipe, to find the right balance of sugar + butter for my personal taste buds.
Now let’s get down to the business of buttercream.
This frosting will seriously change your decorating life. I used it as a base for almost all of my cakes. It’s easy to work with, tastes great, and doesn’t crust over. That is gold, people.
FAQ About the Easiest Swiss Meringue Buttercream
What piping tip do you use for these cupcakes?
It’s a closed star tip, Ateco #849. You can get the closed star tip here.
Is it safe to eat raw egg whites? / Do I have to use egg whites in a carton?
I recommend using pasteurized egg whites for food safety reasons. Pasteurizing means the whites have been heated to kill the bad bacteria, so you can safely consume raw whites. If you cannot find pasteurized whites in a carton, look for pasteurized whole eggs, and separate out the whites yourself. If you cannot find either, and you personally feel comfortable eating raw egg whites, then you can use regular whites. OR just use this recipe for traditional Swiss Meringue! The whites are cooked in that recipe, so it is safe to use regular eggs.
🧁More Frosting Recipes
- Cinnamon Buttercream
- Red Velvet Fudge Frosting
- Swiss Meringue Buttercream
- Lime Cream Cheese Frosting
- Honey Buttercream
- Coconut Cream Cheese Frosting
- Lick-The-Knife-Clean Chocolate Spread
- Chocolate Sour Cream Frosting
- Butterscotch Frosting
Cookie Dough Frosting
The EASIEST Swiss Meringue Buttercream
- 6 fl oz pasteurized liquid egg whites, (3/4 cup)
- 24 oz powdered sugar, (6 cups)
- ½ tsp salt
- 24 oz unsalted butter, (3 cups), at room temperature
- 2 TBSP vanilla extract
- Combine the whites, powdered sugar, and salt in the bowl of a large stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment. Mix everything together on low speed, until the sugar is moistened and no dry patches remain. Turn off the mixer, scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl with a spatula, then turn the mixer to medium speed. Beat on medium for 5 minutes.
- After 5 minutes, turn the mixer to medium-low and start adding the softened room temperature butter, 1-2 tablespoons at a time. Once all of the butter is incorporated, add the vanilla extract and mix it in. Stop the mixer and scrape down the bottom and sides once more. Turn the speed to medium and beat the buttercream for 10 minutes. At the end, you’ll have a frosting with a wonderfully light and creamy texture. It can be used right away, or stored in the refrigerator for up to two weeks, or the freezer for up to two months. If you have chilled the frosting, let it come to room temperature and then beat it for several minutes to smooth it out and restore its texture before using it.
- To make chocolate buttercream, chop 12 oz unsweetened chocolate, and place it in a microwave-safe bowl. Microwave in 30-second increments, stirring after every 30 seconds to prevent overheating. Once the chocolate is melted, let it cool until it is completely room temperature. Make the frosting as described, and after it is finished, add the melted and cooled chocolate. Mix on low speed until the chocolate is completely incorporated.
Our recipes are developed using weight measurements, and we highly recommend using a kitchen scale for baking whenever possible. However, if you prefer to use cups, volume measurements are provided as well. PLEASE NOTE: the adage “8 oz = 1 cup” is NOT true when speaking about weight, so don’t be concerned if the measurements don’t fit this formula.Click here to learn more about baking measurements and conversion.
Want to learn to make traditional Swiss Meringue buttercream? I have a Swiss Meringue Buttercream photo tutorial and recipe right here!
So much easier than traditional Swiss buttercream (I bat just slightly over 50% on my success rate with that). Plus, no need to come up with a use for egg yolks. This is definitely going to become a go-to recipe. I made it to top some vanilla cupcakes filled with a mango/passion fruit curd and everyone went nuts for the frosting.
Hi Pam, I’m so thrilled to hear you love the recipe! Thanks for leaving a review — and those cupcakes sound AMAZING!
Is it possible to cover this into cream cheese Swiss meringue buttercream? If what would be the measurements? Thank you!
Hi Brenda. Great question. I would suggest making the full recipe as written. Then, in a separate bowl, beat 4oz of cream cheese until soft. Next, add the buttercream to the softened cream cheese and continue to beat until combined. I wouldn’t recommend adding more than 4oz for stability purposes. However, if you want more cream cheese flavoring I would suggest adding a cream cheese emulsion so that the buttercream will keep its stability. I would recommend LorAnn Cream Cheese Emulsion: https://amzn.to/3qgbcLG. Start with a teaspoon and more until you achieve your desired depth of flavor. I hope that helps! I would love to hear how it goes!
Can u please add gram into your recipes…so it can be easy for newbie here 🙂
Hi Mandy! All of my recipes have the ability to convert from US Standard to Metric. If you look just above the ingredient list, there is an option to switch between the two measuring systems. I hope that will help. All the best.
I have used this recipe so many times and i love it because I personally am not a fan of traditional ABC. I am actually hoping to use this again but for the sake of prep would you have any insight regarding IF/Does this freeze well?
If so do you have any tips for freezing
Hi Kelsey! So glad you are getting mileage out of this recipe. Here are my best storage tips: This buttercream can be stored for 2-3 weeks in the fridge or 6 months in the freezer. If you decide to freeze the buttercream, I recommend wrapping it tightly in plastic wrap (or putting it in a plastic tub). When you are ready to use it again, defrost it overnight. Once it’s room temperature, mix well to return the smooth texture and it’s good as new!
Can you color this frosting? I’m making a forest scene, so I need to make dark brown and dark green.
Hello. It can definitely be colored. I’d recommend using gel food coloring because it’s highly concentrated. You won’t need to use as much as a liquid color to get a deep, deep shade. I absolutely love Americolor brand. Here’s a couple links if you’d like to check out the product: forest green gel food coloring and chocolate brown gel food coloring
Hi, wondering how I could adjust the sugar so that, instead of unsweetened chocolate, I could turn this into WHITE chocolate buttercream. I love the recipe and have used it several times, would just like to fiddle around with the flavor.
Hi Lindsay. Great question! You won’t need to adjust the sugar. I’d recommend adding white chocolate to the recipe as written. First, make the frosting as described. Then prep 3-4 oz real white chocolate (check for cocoa butter in the ingredient section . . . Lindt and Ghirardelli are good options). White chocolate can make the buttercream softer, so I would start slow. Chop the white chocolate and place it in a microwave-safe bowl. Microwave in 30-second increments, stirring after every 30 seconds to prevent overheating. Once the chocolate is melted, let it cool until it is completely room temperature. Then add the melted and cooled chocolate to the buttercream. Mix on low speed until the chocolate is completely incorporated. If you are in a hot environment, you may also consider replacing 1/4-1/3 of the butter with shortening to stabilize. I hope this helps!
My buttercream is lumpy!! What should I do to fix it? I followed all the steps.
Hi Linda. Sorry you had some trouble with the buttercream. It’s hard to diagnose without seeing the buttercream but here are my best guesses: 1. If it’s not perfectly smooth I would say it needs to be beaten longer. I like to finish mixing for about 10 minutes on low to get out air bubbles and make it really creamy. 2. Or, your butter might have been too cold. It needs to be soft (room temperature) when you start mixing. If this was the problem, you can take about a cup of the buttercream and microwave it for about 10 seconds (just until melted, NOT long). Then mix it into the rest of the buttercream for a few minutes. Keep repeating this process until the consistency is right and the lumps are gone. I hope that helps.
It tastes just perfect! The right amount of stability and not overbearingly sweet
Hello! Thank you for the great review. So glad you enjoyed the recipe!
Have you ever had this recipe tested by a lab for tcs? I am applying for a cottage license for a home bakery and can only use non-tcs buttercream. I loooove this recipe and it is my go-to for all my cakes & cupcakes!
Hi Katie. Congrats on setting up your home bakery. I love this recipe, too, but I’ve never had it tested in a lab. Sorry about that.
Can you use cocoa powder instead of melted unsweetened chocolate to give it a chocolate flavour?
Hi. Great question. You can definitely use powdered cocoa. Here’s what I’d recommend: Make the recipe as directed. Use a high quality cocoa powder & start by adding 3/4 cup. You can add little more if needed but beware that it can dry out the buttercream and/or make the flavor bitter if you use too much. If the buttercream texture seems too thick, you could add a little milk to thin it out. Mix on low speed until the chocolate is completely incorporated. I hope this helps! Good luck!
I want to use this for a buttercream board. How long should it sit out on the counter after being refrigerated to be totally soft again?
Hi Mariah! I’m so sorry for the delayed response. Hopefully, it’s not too late . . . thaw time is dependent on the quantity of buttercream, the temperature of the room it will be thawing in and the type of container you used to store it (long & shallow vs short & deep). I’d say 1-2 hours is a safe window for most scenarios. If you want it to thaw faster, make sure the buttercream is in a more shallow container and that the room is warm. Good luck!
This was the easiest, creamiest frosting I’ve ever made and at 74 y/o I’ve made a lot. It’s also is less sweet than American buttercream which is a big plus. I’m trying the strawberry version next.
Hello Sherrill! Thank you for the great review. I’m so glad you enjoyed this buttercream recipe. I love the texture and mild sweetness of this recipe, too. I think you’ll love the strawberry version. Let me know what you think of it. All the best!
I love this frosting and use it often, it tastes great and works fab on my layer cakes.
One issue I have though is it’s always got air bubbles and therefore is hard to get a smooth finish on the cake with a scraper.
Google tells me I’m over mixing, but I tried today with mixing for 10 mins on high and immediately piping and it still had bubbles. I need to be able to mix the colour and tweak it, I’m not sure if that’s what’s ruining it? I need to find a fix as it ruins the look of my cakes a bit. Any ideas?
Hi Ceri. I’ve had problems with air bubbles being incorporated into the mix in the past. After mixing for 10 minutes using a paddle attachment, my number one recommendation would be to turn the speed down to low and mix for an additional 5-10 minutes to release some of the air. And, here’s another general tip… When making buttercream, you want to use the smallest bowl that will accommodate your mixture. Air bubbles generally start forming when the bowl is too big and the paddle isn’t fully submerged. Sometimes it’s not possible to use a smaller bowl but you could adjust/increase the recipe by 1.5 or 2 times so that the mixture comes to the top of the bowl and fully covers the paddle. Then freeze any excess for up to 6 months or keep it in the fridge for up to a month to use with another dessert. Let me know if this helps. If not, send me another message and we can keep troubleshooting. Best of luck!
Am I supposed to use the paddle or the whisk? Your instructions say paddle but it shows the whisk attachment
Hello Adriana. Sorry about that. I’ve gone back and forth over the years about what attachment is best to use. I feel like the whisk is best for the first stage because it helps make the meringue mixture a little stiffer. Then I like to switch to the paddle attachment when the butter is added. This helps prevent forming bubbles in the buttercream. I’ll make note of that on the recipe. Thanks for your question. I really appreciate it. All the best.
Hi, I usually have no problems with recipes, however mine is very liquidy. I am past the 10 minutes of mixing it and have now put it in the fridge to see if that helps and then will try remixing it. Any idea what went wrong?
Hi Colleen. So sorry that you had problems with the recipe. It’s really hard to say for sure without seeing the process. My first guess would be an accidental mis-measurement of one of the ingredients. My second guess would be the butter you used. Sometimes butter can vary in its water content. I’ve had a few times that it has been much softer than usual. Other than that there are a few things you can do to save the batch. If it still seems liquidy, you could try adding additional powdered sugar or some shortening. If you use shortening, I’d start with a 1/4 cup to see if that helps. A little extra room temperature butter could help as well. Best of luck.
Hi I was just wondering from ur experience how may cups of this frosting for 24 cupcakes? Love your site btw!
Hi Layla! If you want to make a swirl of frosting like the pictures in the blog post, I’d recommend making a full batch of the buttercream. If you’ll be using slightly less of a swirl per cupcake, a 3/4 batch would suffice. Or, make a full batch and store the unused portion. Good luck!