Are you a home baker? Do you like cake decorating but need a go to buttercream that is a crowd pleaser?
Here is the silky smooth Swiss Meringue Buttercream that you will want to eat out of the bowl.
Many of my clients swear they hate buttercream (and prefer whipped cream) because they think it’s so sickly sweet and everyone just scrapes it off their cake… until they try this buttercream. It has definitely changed their minds.
This is nothing like the “buttercream” you usually have, made out of powdered sugar and Crisco. You’ll typically find this at any grocery store cake. It is a European meringue buttercream (oh fancy!) that actually uses real butter and egg whites.
It can only be described as satiny smooth, fluffy, and not super sweet. This is a crowd favorite and can be used on almost everything not just cakes. Allow me to introduce to you Swiss Meringue Buttercream.
What is Swiss Meringue Buttercream?
This is made by whipping a mixture of egg whites and granulated sugar that has been gently heated in a double boiler until the sugar dissolves and the eggs are cooked (not scrambled). The egg white mixture is then whipped up into a beautiful glossy meringue.
Cubes of room temperature butter are then gradually added to the meringue, then optional flavor ingredients. It’s more complicated than American buttercream (butter and powdered sugar), but is far better in both taste and texture in my opinion!
My favorite time I used this buttercream…
I have used this buttercream on literally everything sweet. My favorite time was when I was asked just recently to re-created the whipped cream pies from the movie “Hook.” The executive producer of the project, approached me about the pies for the 25th anniversary photo shoot, to show a where are they now and a remembrance of the great Robin Williams.
I was pumped to be a part of such a cool project!
The pies I am talking about are from the famous food fight scene where the character remembers he is Peter Pan. The pies are all sorts of fun neon colors!
Now if you don’t know or remember what I’m referring to here is some images from the movie.
Images from the movie, “Hook”
Also, here is a clip of the reunion photo shoot, it gives you a view of the project! I feel so grateful for being apart of this project. You find my pies being featured at time 4:19 on the video. And you’ll see my name on the credits under Pastry Chef 🙂 lol!
Also it got picked up by some major sites and news outlets.
So how I achieved these iconic pies is with this buttercream recipe and electric food coloring. For the pie crust I used these pie crust recipe from my Red, White & Blue Mini Pie post.
I just simply baked the crusts by themselves. I made sure to use a fork to poke small holes on the bottom of the pie pan. This helps prevent the crust from puffing up too much that it gets a wacky shape. You have to really watch them and rotate them in the oven, since its only crust it bakes really fast and don’t burn a batch like I did. (whoops!)
While the crusts were baking. I made the swiss meringue buttercream. Once it was finished, I put equal amounts of the buttercream in 6 different bowls. In each bowl I mixed a different color in it.
When I was happy with the color, I filled the cooled crust with the colored buttercream and used a small off set spatula to smooth the top. Then I used a filled pipping bag and round tip to get the swirls on top. They were so simple and so cute!
For the photo shoot I needed something edible and can hold up under hot lights for hours so it was a no brainier to pick the swiss meringue buttercream. The client asked specifically if they could be used to eat and throw just in case lol! This was my modern take on the classic food fight pies!
Let me know how you are using this recipe in the comments below! The possibilities are endless!
Swiss Meringue Buttercream
- 10 egg whites
- 15 ounces granulated sugar
- 2 pounds butter, unsalted room temperature, cut into small cubes
- 1 tablespoons vanilla bean paste optional
1. Place the egg whites and sugar in the bowl of stand mixer and set over a pot of gently simmering water. Stir with a spatula until the sugar has dissolved and is warmed to the touch, about 160°F. When you touch it with your fingers, it should feel completely smooth and not gritty.
2. Immediately transfer bowl to a stand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment. On high speed, whip until glossy and stiff, about 15 minutes.
3. Lower the speed to medium. Add the cut butter, piece by piece, incorporating each before adding more. Lower the speed and mix until silky and smooth. (It will look runny while adding butter and then it will come back together, nice & fluffy.)
4. It will look like fresh whipped butter when completed, add flavoring or color at this point. Place the mixing bowl into the refrigerator to set up.
5. After 30 mins, put the chilled buttercream into a pipping bag and use to decorate cupcakes, cookies and cakes.
To make ahead: Keep in airtight container in refrigerator for up to one week or in the freezer for up to 2 months. Let come to room temperature and re-whip in the mixer with the paddle attachment before using. To use under fondant: Frost the cake as smooth as possible. Place in refrigerator until the buttercream has hardened before covering in fondant. Cover with fondant straight from the refrigerator.
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