How do I love thee, Swiss Merengue Buttercream? Swiss Merengue Buttercream (SMBC) is one of my absolute favorite coverings for a cake. I’ve never been a frosting girl, it’s too sweet to me, and I’m more into salty snacks (hence my undying love and desire for salted caramel, but I digress).
Ana and I whip up some Swiss Merengue Buttercream in the video below, and hopefully show how easy and un-intimidating it is to get this light, silky, not-too-sweet confection to your home kitchens! Honestly, once most people experience it, they don’t want anything else! (Which is unfortunate, because American Buttercream has it’s uses, and we’ll explore those later!)
I have some very specific tools and ingredients that I use when making SMBC, and for your convenience, I’m going to link them here:
- A great flavoring, like Nielsen-Massey Pure Vanilla Bean Paste. Granted, in this video, I used Pure Almond Extract, but those gorgeous vanilla beans are just amazing to behold!
- A good whisk (This one by Oxo is my favorite, and I have a LOT of whisks)
- A high-quality instant-read thermometer (an old-school candy thermometer is also useful, of course I have both!)
Take a look at the video below and give SMBC a try! If it’s your first time, it’s life-changing! Be sure to post your questions either here or on Facebook – Share your creations with us, we want to see what you’re doing!
- 1 Cup Granulated Sugar
- 8 ea. Egg Whites Room Temp!
- 3 Cup Unsalted Butter Room Temp, cut into chunks
- 1 Cup Powdered Sugar Sifted
- 2 TBSP Vanilla Any flavoring works - I used Pure Almond in the video
- Start the water for the double boiler - you want it simmering when you've combined the eggs and sugar.
- Separate 8 eggs - Make sure that there are absolutely no yolks in the whites or they won't whip properly.
- Add the eggs and the 1 cup of granulated sugar to a heat-proof bowl. Typically, I just use the bowl from my stand mixer. Whisk to combine.
- Place over the simmering water, creating a double boiler, and whisk constantly until the temperature of the mixture reaches 160 degrees.
- Remove from heat. Put the bowl back on the stand mixer, or pour the mixture into the bowl of the stand mixer, and whip (using the whisk attachment) on high for 7 to 10 minutes. The mixture should be cooled completely and should be at stiff peak consistency. Feel the bowl, if it has any heat at all, it's not done.
- Switch out the whisk for a paddle attachment and begin to add the butter, one chunk at a time. Keep the mixer on medium speed for this (about #4 on KitchenAid). Remember, this will start looking really ugly. Be patient! it will all come together and start looking more like you would expect after about 2/3 of the butter is added. Scrape down the sides occasionally, but especially at the end!
- After all the butter has been added, slowly drizzle in the flavoring. If you get spatter, turn the mixer down to stir. Once the flavoring appears to be incorporated scrape down the sides of the bowl.
- Add the powdered sugar and stir until it is mostly incorporated. Scrape down the sides of the bowl, and slowly begin increasing the speed of the mixer until you're back at medium-high to high (8-10 on a KitchenAid)
- I typically beat the frosting on high for about 5 minutes after it's all put together.
- You can save your egg yolks for other things like custards and curds. I don't make those things enough to make it worth it, but you may!
- Make sure your butter is truly room temperature - Not too soft! if it squishes easily then it's probably too warm. Take a look at the image below. It should be soft enough to easily leave an impression but not "melty".
- This is just enough for a 4 layer, 8" cake if you are covering only in Buttercream and if you use a different filling, such as fruit. I prefer to make a 1.5 or a double batch. If I have extra, I freeze it for cake pops or cupcakes later. Nothing panics me more than the thought of running out of buttercream while frosting a cake!