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+ servings
Swiss Meringue Buttercream
Prep Time
15 mins
Cook Time
5 mins

If you want a decadent all purpose frosting recipe, this Swiss Meringue Buttercream is it! It’s sweet, creamy, and fluffy like a cloud, with just a touch of vanilla and saltiness. Great for cakes, cupcakes, cookies, you name it! 

Servings: 7 cups of frosting
Author: Jackie
  • 8 large egg whites at room temperature
  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • 1 ½ cups unsalted butter softened (3 sticks), cut into 1⁄2” cubes
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • Pinch of salt optional
  1. In a large HEAT-PROOF mixing bowl (preferably the metal bowl of a standing mixer), add the egg whites and 2 cups of sugar.
  2. Select a saucepan that the heat proof mixing bowl can set on top of, but not fall into. Fill this saucepan with several inches of water and bring to a low boil.
  3. Place the mixing bowl with egg whites and sugar over the boiling water (similar to a double boiler set-up). Whisk the egg whites while heating until the sugar is completely dissolved - the egg whites will be warm to the touch and if you rub a bit of the egg whites between your fingers, it will be smooth. You should not feel any sugar granules. Remove from heat.
  4. Attach mixing bowl to the standing mixer. With the WHISK attachment, beat egg white mixture on HIGH speed for 10-12 minutes. The egg whites will cool and beat into a glossy meringue with stiff peaks. Feel the bottom of the mixing bowl to ensure it is cool to the touch before proceeding on.
  5. When the meringue has formed stiff peaks and is cooled, add the butter - 1-2 cubes at a time. Mix each addition in to the meringue completely (still using the WHISK attachment) until incorporated.
  6. Continue adding 1-2 cubes of butter at a time until it is all combined.
  7. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and switch out the whisk for the PADDLE attachment. Add vanilla extract
  8. and a pinch of salt.
  9. Beat on the LOWEST speed using the PADDLE attachment for 4-5 minutes or until the airy mixture
  10. becomes smooth and thick like a gorgeous frosting. (see notes below for troubleshooting consistency
  11. issues).
  12. To frost cupcakes with a swirl, fit a large piping bag with cake decorating tip #1M.. Fill the piping bag with
  13. buttercream. Pipe buttercream onto cupcakes in a counter-clockwise direction, swirling up and toward the center.
Recipe Notes

Will Frost: 24 cupcakes (piped high) or 40+ cupcakes with a thin smooth layer or a 2-layer 12” round cake.

Store in the refrigerator for up to 5 days or freeze for up to 3 months - use an airtight container or gallon size freezer bag for storing. Bring to room temperature when you are ready to use - place in mixing bowl and beat on low speed using the paddle attachment for several minutes before frosting your cupcakes/cake.

This buttercream is so light and airy and silky smooth with a gorgeous sheen from the meringue component. The flavor is a bit like whipped marshmallow creme with a buttery richness. It works well for piping swirls and borders. Typically not used for intricate piping details.

The frosting is not shelf stable. Once decorated, cupcakes or cakes can sit indoors at room temperature for several hours (even up to 1-2 days), but should be kept out of the sun and fairly cool. If frosting becomes too soft, refrigerate and it will firm right back up. Frosting freezes well.