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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!
Hi I need to make a sheet cake with 3 layers with fruit filling. Can I use this frosting also does it stay good in the heat? Appreciate your reply:)
Hi there! Depending on the size of the cake, I’d recommend making one and a half batches just in case 🙂 I hope this helps!
This is my go to recipe. I love it and so do my friends.
Thanks Crystal! I love to hear that this is others go-to frosting recipe too! 🙂
The recipe is super easy! The only thing was that it should say 2 teaspoons of vanilla, not tablespoons. It was way sweet! But I will make the adjustment and try again. I’m sure it will be great!
Thanks Rose, glad to hear that you enjoyed it!
This is fantastic, thank you. I absolutely love Swiss meringue icing but it is a crashing bore standing over a bain-marie bringing egg whites up to temp and then waiting again while the meringue cools sufficiently to add the butter. More than once I’ve broken the frosting by adding the butter too soon. This is such a great hack and the consistency is perfect for layer cake without the teeth-shattering sweetness of American buttercream.
I’m so glad you like it Eliza! I am all for hacks to make our lives easier 🙂 Thank you for your comment!
This recipe sounds so easy, but I am concerned about not cooking the egg whites. Is that okay not to cook them? Thank you
Hello Janette! Thanks for your question. It’s totally fine not to cook PASTEURIZED egg whites. The purpose of pasteurization is to inactivate bacteria and micro-organisms, thus making it safe not to cook the egg whites. However, if you still feel worried, you can try my recipe for regular Swiss Meringue Buttercream: https://www.sugarhero.com/swiss-meringue-buttercream-recipe/ All the best and happy baking!
Hi I am Beverly love new recipes.
Hi Beverly! So glad you are here! I hope you enjoy SugarHero recipes:)
Do the carton pasteurized egg whites have to be room temperature or can they be used cold right out of the fridge?
The carton egg whites can be used right from the fridge! You want the eggs to be closer to room temperature when you add the butter, so if after the 5 minute mixing with powdered sugar you think they are still too cold, let them sit for a minute before adding the butter (you just want to avoid the butter seizing up). I hope this helps!
Oh hi!! This is a PERFECT Swiss merengue buttercream but I want to try make it with some white chocolate, is it possible?? And how much white chocolate I have to incorporate to the original recipe… Less powder sugar maybe? Thanks a lot!! Your recipes are awesome!!!!
Hello Ivette, white chocolate can make the buttercream softer so I would first add 3-4 oz of white chocolate and go from there. 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!
Hi i need to use this buttercream to top 18 cupcakes what quanties do i use ? Thank you
Hi Katherine! Great question. If you want to make a swirl of frosting like the pictures in the blog post, I’d recommend making a 2/3 batch of the buttercream. If you’ll be using slightly less of a swirl per cupcake, a half batch would suffice. Or, make a full batch and store the unused portion. It will keep for 2-3 weeks in the fridge or 6mo in the freezer. If you freeze it, wrap it in plastic wrap or put it in a plastic tub. Defrost overnight when you need it again. Once it’s room temp, mix well to return the smooth texture and it’s good as new!
Hi! I am a novice. I made two batches so far. I have three tier cke with 3two inch lyers for ech tier. The base is 8 inches middle is s 6 inches and top is 4 inches. How much icing do i Need?
Hi Chris, while we haven’t made a cake with those exact dimensions, I would suggest tripling the recipe, to make 24 cups of frosting which should be plenty. You can store the extra frosting in the fridge for one month or the freezer for up to four months. I hope this helps!
Is the one month in the fridge guidance with all pasteurized eggs? The carton says 5 days after opening, I worry about the eggs going bad.
Hi Fran. Thanks for your question. I’m not a food scientist so please take this comment as purely my opinion and do what you feel is best for you. In my own experiences cooking, pasteurized eggs have shown a much longer shelf-life than 5 days. I feel comfortable using pasteurized and refrigerated eggs for up to a month after opening. Hope that helps. All the best!
This is the best buttercream recipe I have ever made and tasted!!! AND it’s the quickest and EASIEST to make!!! I am in love!
Yay! I love to hear this, this really is a go-to recipe for me! Thank you for your comment Kenda 🙂
I love this recipe and have used each time but how do I get my buttercream to come out as white as yours? Mine always is light cream colored.
It sounds strange, but take a little dab of purple gel food coloring on the very top of a toothpick and add it to your mixer. It whitens an all butter frosting.
Hi Mia! Thanks for sharing such an awesome tip. Happy baking!
I’ve been intimidated to make Swiss Meringue Buttercream before but after this, it is now my “go to” recipe. I love it and so do the people who have tasted it. No more American buttercream, it’s just to sweet and heavy. Thank you for sharing this recipe!
Thank you so much for sharing your success! I am so happy you found a new favorite.
Hello! is this esentially “vanilla” flavoured, like it will taste like vanilla or do you need to add something more? thanks!
Hello! Yes, this has a very neutral/mild vanilla flavor. If you want to boost the vanilla flavor you could add some vanilla bean or you could add another flavor. Extracts/Flavoring vary in intensity. I would recommend starting with a teaspoon and then add more to taste if necessary. Hope this helps!
I love This recipe, but even after 10 minutes my buttercream doesn’t come out silky.
I use a Farberware mixer and medium speed (level 4). Any tips?
Hi. Thanks for reaching out! One of the reasons buttercream might not get silky is that air is being incorporated into the mix. 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 the recipe by 1.5 or 2 times. 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!
Absolutely love love love this recipe!!!! I added a little extra salt and vanilla. I have struggled with Swiss meringue buttercream for years and this taste just as good and came out perfect on the first try. Definitely my new go to buttercream! Thank you!
This makes my day! I’m so glad you’ve got a new go-to recipe and that it turned out so well for you. I love success stories. Good luck in all your baking adventures!
How can I make this coffee flavored? Or mocha flavored?
Hi Theresa! I like using instant espresso for coffee flavor. I would start with 1 TBSP of instant espresso and mix it with 2 tsp of water to dissolve the powder. If you want a stronger flavor, continue to make espresso shots until you reach your desired depth of flavor. For mocha flavor, mix in 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa to the espresso flavored buttercream. Sounds delicious! I’d love to know how it turns out. All the best!
Can I incorporate cream cheese? If so, how much to add?
Hello Janet. In regards to adding cream cheese, 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!
Hello, have you added peanut butter to this recipe? If yes, how much do you recommend?
Hi Evie. That’s a great question! I don’t recommend adding peanut butter to this recipe. The PB oils really mess with the texture of the buttercream in an unpleasant way. You could try using powdered peanut butter like PB2 (found at most grocery stores next to the peanut butter). You could start with a TBSP and add more until you reach the right flavor. If you decide to try it, I’d love to know how you think it turns out. Good luck!
Thank you so much for responding!! I will try it with PB2 and let you know. Thank you!!
Could you add vanilla pudding to this icing to make a filling like for a Boston cream cupcake?
Hi Alicia! I haven’t ever tried that but I don’t see why it wouldn’t work. Let me know how it turns out if you decide to try it. All the best!
Love Love Love this buttercream. Do you have a peanut butter version ? Or can I just add peanut butter ? Thanks so much
Hi Connie! Great questions! I don’t recommend adding peanut butter to this recipe. The PB oils really mess with the texture of the buttercream in an unpleasant way. You could try using powdered peanut butter like PB2 (found at most grocery stores next to the peanut butter). You could start with a TBSP and add more until you reach the right flavor. If you decide to try it, I’d love to know how you think it turns out. Good luck!
Hi! I am struggling to find pasteurised egg whites in carton however frozen pasteurised egg whites are available. Can i use it instead? Will i get the same results?
Hi Niti! Great question … I’ve never tried using the frozen pasteurized egg whites, but I don’t see why they wouldn’t work. Definitely thaw before using and then follow the recipe. If you still feel worried, you could try making a half-batch of the recipe to see how it turns out. Let me know what you think if you try it!
Our go to for every holiday/birthday! The best frosting for people that don’t like the overly sweet chalky frosting. This recipe is amazing and hands down so smooth and delicious!
Thank you so much Jeremy! I really appreciate the compliment and am so happy you’ve found something to help you celebrate the best parts of life!
I love this recipe it is a great balance. I have used it so many times and it really is foolproof so easy to make and people always wow over it.
Thanks Mark! I love hearing about your success stories. Thanks for sharing and Happy Baking!
This is my go-to recipe for all my caking. Love this recipe.
Hi Sandra! Thanks for the awesome review. So glad you love the recipe. It’s one of my faves, too!
OMGosh, this recipes is awesome. I’ve always loved Swiss buttercream. I also went out of the way to make it. I never really had any problem with it, but there are a lot of steps and it is kind of a pain in the but. This is a no brainer!!! Where has it been my whole life.It was perfect, perfect, perfect. Can’t wait to try other flavors!
Yeah!! So glad you found this time saver!
Is there a ratio of butter to cream cheese I can add to make this cream cheese Swiss meringue? Trying to make banana cupcakes with this recipe modified.
Hello Jordan! Here are my suggestions for making a cream cheese flavored batch: 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 add more until you achieve your desired depth of flavor. I hope that helps! I would love to hear how it goes!
The recipe currently has a mistake, 24 oz powdered sugar, (6 cups). No need to post this, just wanted to let you know. Looking forward to making this! Thanks for creating a Swiss meringue buttercream hack!
Hi Jenny, Thanks for the comment – I’m posting it because others might have the same question. 🙂 The answer is that one cup of powdered sugar weighs 4 oz, so 6 cups is indeed 24 oz. Many people are taught that 1 cup = 8 oz, but this is only true of fluid ounces (a volume measurement). With regular ounces, a weight measurement, there is no standard. Different ingredients can have drastically different weights — for instance, 1 cup of finely chopped chocolate is much heavier than 1 cup of powdered sugar. It’s confusing that they are both called ounces, but on this site, anything marked “fl oz” is fluid ounces and can be measured with a liquid measuring cup, and anything marked “oz” is regular ounces and can be measured with a kitchen scale. Hope this helps!
This recipe looks great! I can’t wait to try it! I’m a novice and am trying to learn how to pipe buttercream flowers. To frost 24 cupcakes with lots of buttercream flowers on top, will one batch be enough? Also someone mentioned that the amount of vanilla in the recipe should be in teaspoons. Is it 2 tablespoons or 2 teaspoons? Thanks so much for sharing your recipe!
Hi Hope! This is kind of a difficult question to answer because so much depends on how much buttercream you will use on each cupcake. If you think you will use the amount of buttercream in the swirl pictured 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. If you have any leftover buttercream, you can store the unused portion for 2-3 weeks in the fridge or 6 months in the freezer (I usually wrap mine in plastic wrap, but you can also freeze it in a plastic tub or similar). When you are ready to use the frozen buttercream, defrost it overnight, bring it to room temperature, mix well until it has a smooth texture again, and it’s as good as new!
It’s delicious and soooo much easier than regular Swiss meringue! I found it was a bit clumpy at first so I warmed up my butter a smidge and it worked out. Will definitely be sticking to this recipe!!
Congrats Emma! I’m so glad you enjoyed the recipe and figured out how to make it work for you!
Could white chocolate be added to make this a white chocolate buttercream? If so, how much should be added? Thanks.
Hello! You can definitely add some white chocolate. It can make the buttercream softer so I would first add 3-4 oz of white chocolate and go from there. 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!
Hi . How much milk dark and white chocolate do i add to this recipe to make milk choc dark choc & white choc buttercream . Will be doing seperate batches . Thank you
To make chocolate buttercream, chop 12 oz unsweetened chocolate (dark or milk), 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.
White chocolate can make the buttercream softer, so I would start slow. Chop 3-4 oz of real white chocolate and go from there. 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. 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!
I have a question… if I want to use flavor extract other than vanilla, do I omit the vanilla in its entirety and use the flavor I desire, such as lemon, almond, etc…? Or do I need do need to use some vanilla?
Hello! This recipe has a very neutral/mild vanilla flavor. You can omit the vanilla entirely or keep it depending on your taste preference. Extracts/Flavoring vary in intensity. When trying a new flavor like lemon or almond, I would recommend starting with a teaspoon and then adding more to taste until you like the outcome. Hope this helps!
Hi! How long can leftovers be refrigerated? Love this recipe!
Hi Stephanie! 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 this be piped sturdy on cupcakes
Hi Barb. This buttercream is fairly sturdy unless it will be in high heat, humidity or direct sunlight. Let me know if I misunderstood your question. All the best!
This is the best frosting I have ever made! Both versions – the vanilla and the chocolate are delicious. It is wonderful to decorate with a piping bag. The vanilla takes food coloring very well. Do not hesitate! Make this for your next dessert frosting!
Hi Jayne!! Thanks for the review and comment! I’m so glad this has been a hit for you. Keep baking!
Love, love, love this recipe! I made 1.5 batch to make a 4 layer 8” rose cake and didn’t worry about whether I would have enough. I agree that the vanilla as indicated is a little overpowering so I now add to taste, little bits at a time. I am using on a wedding cake for my son’s wedding next month. Thank you, thank you for the hack!
Hi Laura! Thank you so much for the review and rating. I’m so glad it’s been a hit for you and really appreciate your tips on the flavoring. Congrats to your son on his upcoming wedding. I’m sure your cake will be amazing!
Thank you so much for sharing this recipe…Such a life saver
Hi Bibiana! So glad you enjoyed the recipe! Cheers!
Love this super simple alternative to traditional smbc. When I made it though mine actually turned out almost too thick! What would you suggest I add to loosen this? Did I add too much butter or was it simply just because of a colder kitchen?
Hi. I don’t think you added to much butte. The temp of your butter/kitchen could influence the thickness if they were colder than usual. You can add a little milk or cream if you’d like, but I’d recommend beating it for an additional 5-6 minutes on medium high to loosen it and then an additional 10 minutes on low to help release air that was incorporated at the higher speed. Let me know if this helps or if you have any other questions!
Im not joking when I say this….YOU SAVED MY LIFE!! I was all over TikTok and on Google trying to find the best buttercream and could not find one that was simple & easy to follow. I followed yours and it came out AMAZINGGG!! I added melted white chocolate after the Vanilla and it gave it an even more flavor and creamy texture. I bookmarked your recipe to make it again. A million thanks!!!
Hi Sandra!! I’m so glad you found my recipe. I love hearing success stories! The melted white chocolate sounds delish!! Cheers!
This is amazing. I followed the recipe, doubled and WOW!!! I think I have a new buttercream, if it is stable, that’s all she wrote. Thank you so much. I love, love, love, the texture for sure and the consistency, still a tad on the sweet side, but much, much better then the traditional American buttercream.
Hi Verlinda! So glad you found my recipe. I love hearing success stories. One of my favorite things about this recipe is it’s stability. I hope it will work well for you, too. Happy baking!!
I LOVE the taste of this and how easy it is to make. The last two times I’ve made it, though, as I worked with it on cakes and it warmed up, it turned very yellow. This never used to happen. Any idea what causes this?
Hi Melanie! I have a couple thoughts about what might be going on. Are you using the same butter you’ve always used? Some brands perform differently and some tend to be much more yellow. I’ve also heard discussion that many companies have changed formulas over the last year as ingredient costs rise, and have started using more water vs butterfat, meaning both the texture and color might be different. If you find that your buttercream is looser, or cookies spread more, or things just behave differently, I’d consider trying other butter brands to see if that solves things.
The other thought is that it might be temperature related. If you are working with room temp buttercream, and spreading it on a very cold cake, then scraping, adding more layers, using a hot spatula, working it for awhile, etc, your buttercream is going through a lot of extreme temperature fluctuations in a short amount of time. I’ve noticed buttercream with darker/lighter patches when I do a lot of this. If you are noticing the yellow coming through primarily when working with it on cakes, try experimenting with some of those factors, like… don’t use a hot spatula (if you were), have the cake be a little less cold, don’t work it as long, etc.
I followed this recipe step by step. My ingredients were room and I used the correct speed and timing as indicated. With the cost of ingredients today, especially butter and pasteurized egg whites, I was terribly disappointed that the frosting turned out grainy. Any suggestions on how to fix this?
I’m sorry to hear the frosting gave you trouble. Can you be more specific about how it was “grainy”? If it is an issue of the frosting feeling a touch grainy in the mouth, I suspect it might be the powdered sugar. Some powdered sugar can have a gritty or grainy texture that comes through in the final frosting. I always use and recommend C&H / Domino Sugar – it is made from cane sugar and I never have problems with their powdered sugar giving my recipes a gritty texture. Other brands (especially store brands!) are often beet sugar or a mix of beet and cane sugar, and they can be less refined, leading to noticeable texture issues.
The other thought is if the grainy-ness is more the appearance (ie, the frosting looks rough and not smooth) it might need more mixing. All mixers are different, and some are not as powerful as others, meaning the suggested mixing times might not be adequate. So if the texture in the mouth is fine but the frosting is just rough, continue mixing it on low speed for additional time (5-10 minutes?) and it should come together more.
If the issue is neither of these, please feel free to shoot me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org and I’ll try me best to help troubleshoot further!