Welcome to the world of Swiss meringue buttercream. This is my recipe that I use all the time for my cakes as it is extremely delicious, versatile, and as you will see, not that difficult to make. In addition, it is considered a 'safe' meringue, in that I cook it up to 165 degrees F, which is the ideal temperature for reducing bacterial contamination.
Swiss meringue buttercream is an airy and stable frosting that can be decorate cakes, cupcakes and other desserts. It is made by cooking egg whites and sugar, which is then beaten until it forms a stable meringue. Softened butter is then added to the cooled meringue and it is often finished with flavorings, such as vanilla, chocolate ganaches, or jams.
As easy as it is to make, there are some extra things to know when working with Swiss meringue. I also give you tips on how I store my frostings, how to fix common issues when working with it, such as curdling and soupiness, and exactly how much I make for every size of cake.
I keep a table of how much frosting I'll need for each cake, because I hate decorating cakes and not having enough frosting. My amounts may differ from other sources because I take into consideration for cakes:
For cupcakes, my amounts are based on piping a standard swirl using a 1M wilton tip. Something you would see in a cupcake shop.
|Cake Type/Size||Buttercream Amount Required (cups)|
|cupcakes, 1 dozen||3|
|cupcakes, 2 dozen||6|
|cake, 6 inch, 2 layer||3|
|cake, 6 inch, 3 layer||4.5|
|cake, 8 inch, 2 layer||6|
|cake, 8 inch, 3 layer||7.5|
|cake, 8 inch, 4 layer||9|
Now the recipe below makes 3 cups, or enough for a dozen or so cupcakes. If you'd like to use this recipe for your other cakes, check out my cakeculator, which will calculate this all for you.
I use 32 oz deli containers that are made for freezer use. They hold about 4 cups of frosting per container.
The timeline that I usually follow for keeping buttercream:
When you're ready to make your buttercream, here is the complete video tutorial:
|egg whites, fresh||1/2 cup||121g||4.29 oz|
|granulated sugar||1 cup||200g||7 oz|
|cream of tartar||1/8 tsp||-||-|
|salt||1/4 tsp||1g||0.05 oz|
|unsalted butter, softened to cool room temp||1 1/4 cups||283g||10 oz|
|vanilla extract||1/2 tsp||2g||0.08 oz|