How To Make Swiss Meringue Buttercream

Prep Time:
10 minutes
Cooking Time:
20 minutes
Makes: 5 cups of buttercream
Swiss meringue buttercream has a light and silky texture – it’s not too sweet, and it’s a perfect blank canvas for any flavour combination. It may seem slightly more intimidating than standard buttercream but it’s very forgiving, and below I give suggestions for ways to revive a broken buttercream.
This recipe will make enough to ice 24 cupcakes, or two 9″ cake layers / three 7″ cake layers.


  • 5 large egg whites (150g)
  • 250g granulated sugar
  • 340g unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon of fine salt


  1. Wipe the bowl of an electric standing mixer with paper towel and lemon juice/vinegar – this will remove any trace of grease
  2. Make a bain marie (that is, a double boiler) by placing the bowl over a saucepan of simmering water. Ensure the bowl doesn’t touch the water.
  3. Add the egg whites and sugar to the bowl, and using a hand held whisk, whisk constantly but gently, until temperature reaches 60C. If you don’t have a sugar thermometer, whisk until the sugar is completely dissolved and the egg whites feel hot to touch.
  4. Wipe any water from the bottom of the mixing bowl and attach the bowl to the mixer fitted with the whisk attachment and begin to whip until the meringue is thick, glossy, and the bottom of the bowl no longer feels warm, about 7 to 10 minutes. Beware, if the meringue is too warm it will melt the butter.
  5. Switch to the paddle attachment and, on a low speed, add the butter cubes, one at a time, until incorporated. Continue beating until it has reached a silky smooth texture.
  6. If the buttercream curdles simply keep mixing and it will come back to smooth. If the buttercream is too thin and runny, refrigerate for about 20 minutes before continuing mixing with paddle attachment until it comes together.
  7. Add the vanilla and salt, continuing to beat on low speed until well combined.
  8. Add additional flavours as desired (I added a few tablespoons of salted caramel)

Swiss meringue buttercream will keep in an airtight container in a fridge for up to one week or in a freezer for up to 2 months. Let it come to room temperature and rewhip in the mixer with the paddle attachment before using.

Lily Vanilli