Tuesday, November 26, 2013

swiss meringue buttercream

The first time I made Swiss Meringue Buttercream, I did a ton of research and finally went to the kitchen with a recipe that I felt was pretty good.

It was not a disaster, but I was so worried about the entire process because the way the steps were described sounded so complicated that I did not enjoy making the buttercream at all.

What I did like, though, was how the buttercream tasted. It was not overly sweet, and it was so so smooth! In addition to that, it was a dream to pipe. But I have to say, the best part of it all was that the buttercream is stable and holds its shape well in the weather in Singapore, so that means it can sit outside the fridge for quite a while and not melt into a mess. Having said that, I do not recommend that you leave it in direct sunlight or in the heat for too long!

I like to make a big batch of buttercream because it freezes really well. I mean, if you are going to go through the effort of making the buttercream, you might as well make more so you do not have to make it too often!

I made some quick and easy (but very tasty) chocolate cupcakes recently and piped swiss meringue buttercream on them. I didn't post the recipe for the buttercream with it because (1) I didn't think many people would be interested; and (2) the post would have been very, very long.

But people did ask, and since there is interest, I am more than happy to share how to make this super yummy buttercream!

I am going to teach you how to make this buttercream. It is actually very simple, but it definitely involves more steps than making an American buttercream.

To start, cut the butter into cubes and set them aside. The butter has to be soft and cool, but not cold.

Place the egg whites and sugar in a metal bowl. I prefer metal because it conducts heat well, but any heatproof bowl would also work.

The bowl was placed over a pot that contained a little water that was simmering - the water must NEVER touch the base of the bowl!!

Using an electrical hand whisk, start whisking the mixture. I do not recommend that you do this by hand. I think your arm would probably fall off. But then again, you may have super strong arms and want to whip this by hand. If so, by all means please do! :)
And kept on whisking. The volume of the egg whites will increase, and the colour will lighten.

Once all the sugar has completely dissolved, the mixture is ready for the next step. You can rub some of the mixture between your thumb and finger to check if there is any unmelted sugar.

Very carefully, transfer the egg whites into a mixing bowl.

Then using the WHISK attachment, whisk the egg whites on HIGH speed.
Keep whisking until the meringue is thick and glossy and the bottom of the bowl is no longer warm. This is very important and you must not start adding the butter until this happens.
Then using the PADDLE attachment of my mixer, start mixing and adding the butter 4 cubes at a time, also on HIGH speed
Just keep mixing and adding the butter.

Until all the butter has been used up.

Potential problem #1: Sometimes the mixture would look like it had curdled. Worry not!! Just keep mixing and it will come together and become smooth.

Potential problem #2: If the mixture is too runny, place the mixture in the fridge for about 10-15 minutes, then continue mixing.
Finally, add the vanilla extract and salt, and beat on slow until they are well-incorporated.
And you will have buttercream which you can use immediately, or freeze until it is needed!

a Rafflecopter giveaway
Giveaway ends on Monday, December 10, 2013 at 12:00 a.m. Singapore time. The winner will be selected by random.org and contacted by email. Prizes must be collected before 31 January 2014 at Tanah Merah Kechil Ave. If there is no response after 48 hours, another winner will be selected. Open to Singapore residents only.
Swiss Meringue Buttercream (Makes approximately 3 1/2 cups)
Adapted from bakersroyale

5 large egg whites
1 1/2 cup (300g) sugar
454g unsalted butter, sliced and softened
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon (2.5ml) vanilla extract

Combine egg whites and sugar in a stand mixer bowl and place it over (not on) simmering water. Heat mixture to 160F while whisking constantly.
Transfer mixer bowl to stand mixer, fitted with a whisk attachment and beat on medium high speed  until mixture cools, doubles in volume and forms stiff peaks; about 10-12 minutes.
Add butter in one piece at a time, mixing to incorporate after each addition. The mixture may appear clumpy and almost curdled looking at first—this is normal. Keep mixing and it will become even and smooth again.
Add salt and flavoring, mix to combine.

NOTE: I keep the buttercream frozen in smaller air-tight containers to be used as and when needed. The buttercream would be thawed overnight in the fridge, then brought to room temperature before being whisked for a short while, then used as required.


  1. I love SMB but it's not the easiest frosting to make. If I get to win a cake from you, I'll love it to be festive Christmas Colours - Green, Red and Gold? Thanks for this fun giveaway! :)

  2. A top down ombre blend of orange, cream and aqua will be rather nice. Kind of like sunset by the sea :P Also, very gender neutral colours, perfect for my family where both kids think it's always their birthday! Haha.

    Although, when it comes to the kids, I think red, yellow and blue (primary colours!) might make the cream more interesting! Imagine all the extra colours that might come along with it!


  3. I'd like the one in your pic! :D

  4. I would love the cake to be in any colour really. Ombre in any colour is always pretty!

  5. A xmas colored cake will be nice! This is one giveaway I so kancheong wanna enter leh!!

  6. Pink, white and blue as seen in your lovely picture! It looks perfect as it is!

  7. I think the ombre one you made is nice! If not one in shades of blue or pink would be pretty too :)

  8. I love cake! I would think white with some tint of chocolate like white log cake would be lovely :)

  9. Ooooh... I think pink cream and aqua would be pretty! Thank you for the giveaway!

  10. I would love to win the cake, and I believe you will pick nice colours;)! woohoo~!

  11. love the tones of colors u used.
    yellow green and white.

  12. I would love to cake for my3 yearend kids,22/11, 29/11 and 17/12.

  13. Such a gorgeous cake! Would be wonderful as my wedding present this dec2013. :)

  14. I love your cake colors as it is.

  15. Your cake colours are perfect!

  16. Blue, green and yellow! your blog really inspires me to bake more!

  17. ombre of blue, green and peach. hope to win for my #3's 1st birthday party!

  18. I'd like an ombre of pink, peach, yellow from top to bottom, for kiddo turning one in Dec!

    Robert, Robert_sim@yahoo.com

  19. Fave colors, pink, purple and blue

  20. Pink .. pink ... pink. Would be ideal for my daughters birthday celebration soon :)

  21. pink, red and white Kaye (kayetky@gmail.com)

  22. Hi Diana,

    I hav just successfully make it. FYI this is the first time for me to make the smb and I'm a beginner in baking. Therefore I'm so happy and thanks a lot for your sharing.

    Btw may I know how to keep the additional smb and how long it can be kept?


    1. Hi Melinda that is fantastic! I keep the buttercream frozen in smaller air-tight containers to be used as and when needed. The buttercream would be thawed overnight in the fridge, then brought to room temperature before being whisked for a short while, then used as required.

    2. Ok. Tq

      Btw, how long it can be kept in the freezer after being made?

  23. Hi, is it possible to turn this buttercream into strawberry flavored cream? how to do it?
    Thank you for sharing!

    1. Hi I will be sharing a post on Strawberry SMBC next week, so do look out for it!

  24. Thank you for your reply, planning to bake a birthday cake for my SIL this weekend, can share?
    Have nice day!

    1. Hi soh, can you email me at diana.ann.gale@gmail.com? I have no way of sending you the link.