Failsafe Smooth Swiss Meringue Buttercream - Lily Vanilli

Failsafe Smooth Swiss Meringue Buttercream

Prep Time: 20
Cooking Time:
Serves: 450g

Swiss meringue buttercream is scary, I mean it used to scare me because it gives the impression something has gone horribly wrong even when it hasn’t. But the trick is to relax and chill, because it’s honestly not actually as scary as it looks, you have to breathe and get through the worrying bits and then it’s actually easy. This is my go-to recipe for super silky, smooth failsafe Swiss meringue buttercream that’s perfect for piping.


150g egg whites
200g caster sugar
400g unsalted butter (this must be soft but not melted – no need to chop or cube this, I just soften the whole block a bit in the microwave)


In the bowl of your stand mixer, whisk together your caster sugar and egg whites evenly.

Place this over a pan of simmering water to dissolve the sugar (the water shouldn’t be touching the base of the pan). You don’t need to mix this constantly, but keep an eye on it – it will take around 5 mins and you want to give it a mix from time to time. One thing that can go wrong in the making of this buttercream is overcooking your egg whites – avoid this by not letting the bowl get too hot, and by giving it the occasional stir.

It’s ready when the mixture is no longer grainy to the touch (rub some of the mixture between two fingers – if you can’t feel any crystals – it’s done! If you can feel even one little grain, it’s not ready – give it a bit longer)

Now transfer the bowl directly to your mixer, and with the whisk attachment whip it up on the highest speed, until you have stiff peaks.

(You have stiff peaks when you can lift up your beater and get a nice peak that stays put, holding its shape)

Now add all of your softened butter (you can add this at once, no need to add gradually), and beat again on high, until it all comes together evenly, and the butter is all mixed in

It might look split, but it isn’t I promise, just stay calm and keep beating.

Now turn your mixer down to low, and let it whisk slowly until you have a smooth buttercream. This step helps knock out the air bubbles, so it’s smooth when you’re ready to ice. Always take this step just before using your buttercream, for a smooth finish on your cake. The ideal texture is slightly firm but silky smooth – LIKE THIS – if you leave it mixing too long it may get overly soft and runny, especially in summer, so keep an eye on it. <3

Video so you can see what I mean – HERE

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