Easy Foolproof Swiss Meringue Buttercream

Have you ever wondered why Swiss Meringue Buttercream (SMBC) recipes have you scrupulously clean your mixing utensils and create a perfect fluffy meringue when you are just going to douse it with butter and kill it? Have you ever made SMBC and added all of the butter only to have it remain soupy or curdled looking? I have! At that point I begin to worry and start chilling bowls and adding more butter so it will come together.  But no more! After extensive research and experimentation I have come up with a recipe that comes together every time. And you may be quite surprised by how it is made.



Most meringue buttercream recipes begin with, well, meringue. But what confused me was why a meringue was made when it was just to be deflated with bubble popping butter? At first I thought that the denaturation of egg proteins might be essential for the emulsification process. Most of the hydrophobic (fat loving) amino acids exist tucked inside the inner folds of a protein. When eggs proteins are beaten they essentially unwind exposing the inner amino acids which could then interact with butter as an emulsifier.


This theory was easy enough to test.  I just didn’t beat the eggs and sugar to a meringue. I expected it would never reach a thick, beautiful, emulsified buttercream, but I was wrong. It made a lovely buttercream without the meringue and it made it more consistently. What I discovered is that the butter(amazing wonderful butter!) is doing the emulsification work. So my recipe starts with butter and then adds the egg-sugar syrup to achieve a reliably emulsified buttercream.

Here is the process step-by-step.


1. Combine egg whites and sugar in a heatproof bowl or top of a double boiler. I use pasteurized egg whites because it is easier than cracking eggs and they are free of bacteria.


2. Place over simmering water to dissolve sugar. You have such a high concentration of sugar that heat is needed to get it all dissolved. Stir until a spoon scraped along the bottom glides smoothly without the feeling of grit.


3. If using unpasteurized eggs heat the mixture to 160 F to ensure that the mixture is free of salmonella.


4. Once the sugar is dissolved and the desired temperature reached, cool the mixture to a cool room temperature. I place my mixture in a cake pan to maximize surface area and pop it in the freezer for 15-20 minutes.


5. Meanwhile soften your butter to a cool room temperature and beat it in your mixer bowl for about a minute until creamy and slightly lightened in color. (For lighter colored fluffier buttercream beat on high for 2 minutes).


6. When the syrup is cooled gradually add it to the butter with the mixer on med-low speed. When it is all added, scrape down the sides of the bowl and beat on med-high for 2 minutes. The buttercream will be firm at this point.


7. Reduce mixer speed to low and mix in the vanilla extract. Once added return the speed to med-high and beat for 1 minute. This will lighten the texture of the buttercream and make it creamier.


That is it! Use this lovely buttercream to frost your favorite cake or cupcakes.

A few quick notes on SMBC:

  • You can make up a quantity of the egg-sugar syrup and store it in the freezer to aliquot as needed. It will not freeze solid and is easy to measure out. Return to room temperature before adding to butter (can be warmed carefully in the microwave for a few seconds at a time).
  • Less butter gives a more firm buttercream at room temperature but softer when chilled and vice versa.
  • This recipe is formulated at 1:2:2 for eggs:sugar:butter by weight. More sugar gives a sweeter but less creamy final product. Less sugar results in a creamier and more buttery tasting buttercream.

Use this information to formulate your ideal buttercream proportions.

The cake in the photos is a white cake that I am working on for you all. It is not quite right just yet, but when it is perfect I will post the recipe for you!

Happy baking 🙂

Easy Foolproof Swiss Meringue Buttercream


  • 8 ounces (227 grams) egg whites from whole eggs or a carton
  • 16 ounces (454 grams) granulated sugar
  • 16 ounces (454 grams) unsalted butter softened but not warm
  • 2 tablespoons vanilla extract


  1. Combine the egg whites and sugar in a heatproof bowl or the top of a double boiler and set over simmering water, stirring periodically, until the sugar is dissolved and the temperature reaches 160 F (71 C) if using cracked eggs.
  2. Remove from heat and cool to a cool room temperature, 60-65 F (16-18 C). This can be done in the freezer, refrigerator, an ice bath, or at room temperature.
  3. Meanwhile, beat the butter in a mixer bowl with the flat paddle attachment on medium-high for about 1 minute until creamy and slightly lightened.
  4. Reduce speed to medium-low and gradually add the cooled sugar syrup to the butter. Scrape down the sides of the mixer bowl and beat on medium-high for 2 minutes.
  5. Reduce speed to low and slowly add vanilla extract. Increase speed to medium-high and beat for 1 minute until light and creamy.


359 thoughts on “Easy Foolproof Swiss Meringue Buttercream”

  1. That’s just genius! I’ve been wondering the exact same thing as you – why do we deflate this wonderful meringue? But I have a question. I try to keep as much volume when making SMBC by adding the softest butter possible, always in very small amounts at a time. It usually works. Have you compared your method to the traditional one, volume-wise? Does it yield a fluffy SMBC or is your denser? Thanks so much for sharing your insights! Love, Minh

    1. This is definitely a bit denser at the start but after a few hours if you restir both of them they are very similar. The trouble with the meringue-mediated volume is that it is not stable. Those little protein bubbles cannot bear up under the fat. That is why you get convergent large air pockets if SMBC sits for any length of time. In this recipe I keep things cool because the air volume comes from the fat itself and the liquids working themselves into the emulsion. Cool fat holds air much better than warm fat; like when you whip cream, it works best when cold. I hope that answers your questions 🙂

      1. Dear Summer, thank you so much for taking the time for replying. I love your “nerdy” scientist take on baking! It’s so incredibly helpful. I can’t wait to try making this buttercream.

        I’ve followed your blog from the beginning and am a huge fan – the layout, the photography and the contents are just first class. Your strawberry cake has become my go-to recipe, everyone raves about it! Very excited to see what you’ll be posting next (white cake? my nemesis… hope you’ll save me, lol!).

        Thanks again for everything. Love, Minh

  2. Hi Summer, love your work! Does this recipe crust the same as the conventional smbc recipe? thanks, nadia

  3. Hi Summer, you are awesome! Thanks for sharing all your work! Could you tell me how many cups of icing this recipe yields? Thanks!

      1. So, in order to fill and cover a large cake, 25cm in diameter, 3 – 4 tiers, I should probably double it or triple it? How many egg whites (numerically) are there in the 227gr of the original recipe above? It helps me grasp it better this way…

        1. I always like to err on the side of having too much buttercream. There is nothing worse than running out when you are trying to get a nice outer coating on your cake. I think double would be fine but I would probably make 2 1/2 just to be safe. The original recipe is about a cup of egg whites so maybe 6 egg whites depending on the size. I hope that helps 🙂

  4. Wow thank you so much! Just curious, were you a scientist previously? Because you definitely speak like one! =D ‘aliquots’ (it has been a long time since I heard this word =D lol)

    1. Italian usually uses a cooked sugar-water syrup that is added to whipped egg whites. Butter is then added to the meringue. This varies a bit but is sort of a hybrid mix up of Italian and Swiss 🙂

  5. confession time!! i’ve been terrified to try SMBC…. I can’t stand all the steps. you have made it simple and ill be trying this out as soon as i have a spare second!!! tHANK YOU!!!!!!!!!!

  6. Thanks for your series of interesting posts. 🙂
    I’m curious: Does this method change the amount of frosting you get at the end versus if you did the traditional method using the exact same recipe? With the traditional method, I get slightly more volume using fresh egg whites than I do with pasteurized. Would you expect to see any difference between fresh and pasteurized egg whites using this method?

    1. I have made it with both and haven’t noticed a marked difference with fresh vs. pasteurized. The volume is slightly less with this method than with the meringue method when it is fresh but equilibrates within hours as the meringue-produced buttercream’s air-mediated volume is unstable. Once they were both re-stirred, tasters could not tell the difference in blind tastings. I hope that helps!

      1. I have noticed that if I put my traditional SMBC in the fridge and re whip it the day after it has less volume. I have also noticed the air pockets that form in it if left at room temp it goes like mouse. I will give this a try next time I need Smbc!

  7. Hi, sorry to sound thick but can you use meri white, if so how much. I am just a hobby baker and have never made this before. thank you

    1. It should work fine as long as the taste isn’t obtrusive. I have never tried it. Some of the egg white products we have here taste off to me. Just reconstitute to consistency of egg whites and continue with the recipe 🙂

  8. I’m going to try this ASAP! You have just saved my life! I love SMBC but it is very tricky. You have just demystified this crazy question that’s been in my head since I started making SMBC. Is it ok if I cake crush on you?…just a little? 😉

    1. I’ve never made SMBC before. I followed the directions, made 3 different batches, and 3 where soupy. Not sure what I’m doing wrong. Could it be my scale isn’t measuring correctly? I’ normal measure ingredients and have never used a scale before. What kind of scale do you recommend.

      1. Hi Kay, Any digital scale should work well to weigh your ingredients. SMBC has quite a bit of wiggle room for quantities though so I don’t think that measurement would be a major issue. The biggest factor seems to be the temperature of ingredients. Make sure your butter is on the soft side, but not too soft. Your sugar syrup should be quite cool. Err on the side of cool to cold when making SMBC. It keeps everything firm and in shape. Let me know if you have other questions!

  9. I can’t wait to experiment myself this recipe! Thank you! Eventhough, as it made from syrup and not actual swiss meringue, it should be named syrup buttercream! XOXO.

  10. Could you explain a little about the eggs that you use. Thanks heaps for this recipe can’t wait to test it out.

    1. I used pasteurized egg whites in a carton. The brand that I use is Egg Beaters but I have used other brands as well with similar results. Egg whites out of the shell work perfectly well too. It just takes more time and I end up with lots of egg yolks to deal with (I hate throwing them away!). When I made SMBC in the past I had trouble with stability when I used out-of-the-shell egg whites but with this method I have had not issues. I also have a friend that had trouble with the traditional method using carton egg whites but was able to make it work with this method. It just seems less prone to error.

    1. It is similar. Maybe slightly less at the onset but when they are stirred after a period of sitting they end up the same.

  11. Hi I’m excited to try this one! Your cake looks amazing too! So white & fluffy! !Would you mind sharing the recipe for it?
    Thank you!

    1. I am in the process of testing for this cake. This one needs just a little more tweaking to be perfect but I will get it out very soon! 🙂

  12. I love your scientific approach and knowledge. This method looks so easy I’ll definitely give it a go. Can you tell me is the texture the same as traditional smbc?

  13. Summer, I KNEW IT!!! You’re a scientist!! I have been following your blog lately, ever since the wonderful Jessica Harris introduced you to us in her fb as well as her blog! I noticed you are very much into the science behind the baking which is so great! It helps that you would know how to tweak a certain recipe to suit you and helps us to solve certain mysteries or problems with baking! Thank God for your brilliant common sense too!

    Can’t wait to try this method as my arms are tired of whisking away to make the meringue before the bc (ya, I know there’s a thing called handmixer but the socket is too far from my stove ;-))

    1. Wow! I’m impressed if you can whisk up a meringue by hand! I am so glad you are finding helpful information here. My goal has always been to convey what I have found out so that others can achieve their own perfect. I know that my tastes will not always suit everyone but if I can explain why I came to do things a certain way others can modify my crazy methods for for themselves. Thanks for hanging around 🙂

  14. Thanks for the recipe! However, I tried it today and after adding the sugar syrup the frosting never grew stiff 🙁 I have been beating it for about 20 minutes now and it has remained the consistency of a loose whipped cream. Any ideas of what went wrong? I really really want this recipe to work! I love the idea of not having to cook and whip a fresh batch of egg whites each time I need frosting!

    Thank you!

    1. Could it be a temperature issue? Was your syrup cool and thick? Check your syrup temp when you add it to see that it is close to 60 F. I would try chilling it a touch and rebeating your current batch. If you still have trouble try adding an additional half cup of butter. I have heard that some types of butter can cause problems and if there is not enough fat in it there could be emulsion issues. If it is not stiffening it is a good indication that it is not forming a proper emulsion. Mine is usually super stiff after the syrup is added and the vanilla helps to smooth it out. If you are still having troubles please let me know and I will investigate other possibilities. Best of luck!

  15. Hi Summer. Thanks for your brilliant discovery. I made it tonight with ease and it feels more stable than my usual smb. I do have a question however. I wanted to make it white for a wedding cake. Would it be possible to beat the butter until it is really pale in the first step or is it necessary to beat for only the 1 minute you suggest? Many thanks

    1. You can beat the butter as long as you want in the first step as long as it doesn’t get too warm. You may try the balloon whisk to really get some volume. It may help to add a little syrup or the vanilla. I have found that when it is just the butter with the flat beater it doesn’t like to incorporate a ton of air. You can also add white food coloring at the end. 1-2 teaspoons per recipe will lighten the color and seems to aid in fluffing as well 🙂

  16. Hi Summer,
    I just tried this recipe and am having a little trouble. I beat the butter until it was lighter in color and fluffy, added the syrup (pulled from the freezer and left out until liquid again). At first I just ended up with a soupy curdly mess. I let the mixer continue. It started to come together so I added the vanilla. It still isn’t reall smooth and silky. So….. what is my next step? Could the problem be the syrup? TIA

    1. If it got to a curdled phase that is totally normal. That is when the butter is trying to work itself into an emulsion. Sometimes I just dump the syrup and the butter cubes together and let it beat for several minutes until the emulsion comes together. It will go through several frightening stages of curdled weirdness and finally become thick. Did the mixture finally get firm? Did you add the full volume of vanilla? That can really help it become creamy visually. Does it look much different from the pictures I have of my stages? If I could see a picture posted to facebook perhaps I could assist better. Sometimes it is difficult to troubleshoot when I can’t see the problem at hand. If the syrup was mixed in proper proportion I cannot imagine that was the issue. I am using an 8 ounce weight of eggs not volume so that is one thing to consider and I add the syrup when it is definitely on the cool side. Let me know if I can help more!

  17. Hi, have never made swiss meringue buttercream and would love to try it. How long can you store it and do you keep it in the fridge?

    1. Hi Ranecia! (I updated your autocorrect ;)) You can keep your buttercream for 2 days at room temperature, 10 days in the fridge sealed well to keep out off-tasting odors, or a couple of months in the freezer. If you rewhip when it is cold it will tend to separate so I like to bring it to room temperature first. If it does separate just keep whipping and it will eventually come back together. You can also warm a portion in the microwave to a slightly melted state and mix it with the cool buttercream until smooth. Best of luck!

      1. Hi! I just went through my third failed batch of SMBC from another traditional recioe, with the same proportions of sugar to egg whites, heated to about 170 degrees Fahrenheit. BUT only two sticks of butter. The meringue never reached stiff peaks before I started adding my butter. It NEVER reaches stiff peaks. I’m using a hand mixer because my stand mixer stopped working. Is there some way I can still salvage this batch and use it to frost a birthday cake? I can’t tell what I’m doing wrong. Everything I used was spotless, and free of grease. I used egg whites out of the shell, and planning to make crème brulée later this week with all the yolks. PLEASE help me!

        1. Hi Sarah! I know how frustrating failed buttercream can be. It shouldn’t matter if your egg whites didn’t make it to stiff peaks. It always cracks me up that people insist on a perfectly grease-free bowl and perfectly whipped peaks when you are just going to throw butter in it and kill your peaks anyway. Your problem is that your mixture hasn’t properly emulsified. All of your emulsifying power is in the butter. Butter is incredibly good at “absorbing” and emulsifying liquid, but it only likes to do it under certain conditions- its kind of picky; it likes it not too cold and not too warm. The fact that you are low on butter (I’m assuming from what you stated) is probably your main issue. You need enough butter to take in the egg and sugar liquid (in foam form). I would make sure your current buttercream soup is cool and use cool but pliable butter and mix some more butter into the buttercream. Them beat the heck out of it with your mixer. Its a little more tricky with a hand mixer, but totally doable. I hope that helps! If you are still having trouble, message me again and I will try to troubleshoot with you some more.

  18. Thank you thank you! Just love how easy it is to make smbc now 🙂 I turned the recipe and LOVED it. Just a question does this need to be re whipped like tradional smbc after sitting for a day or 2 in the fridge? If yes can you explain why smbc should be rewhipped? What happens if I just get it to room temprature and fill the cake?

    1. With traditional SMBC the air/volume comes from the meringue, tiny bubbles stabilized by egg white proteins. The problem is that egg-protein bubbles do not like the presence of fat and as the SMBC sits the bubbles destabilize and coalesce leaving you with a chunky, porous, froth that needs to be rewhipped to regain its creamy smooth character. This recipe doesn’t get nearly as porous as traditional SMBC because the air that is worked into it is more stable since it is supported by solid fat and not weakened protein bubbles. I usually give it a stir by hand before using it if it has sat a while but other than that it should be good to go!

      1. Thanks a million! Your knowledge is priceless 🙂 this was my first try at smbc cause I like easy quick but yummy recipes and this is just that! Love it and so thankful for the brilliant minds like yours 🙂
        By the way I added some melted and cooled semisweet chocolate at the end and it was delicious 🙂

  19. Does the end result taste like sweet butter? In the past when I have made it, that is what SMBC tastes like to me, and none of my family was a fan. But everyone raves about the taste, so I keep thinking I am doing something wrong

    1. It does taste a bit like sweet butter. The level of sweetness depends on the ratio of sugar to butter that you use. This recipe is sweeter than some. If you and your family have not cared for it in the past I would opt for another icing choice. My kids think it tastes like “nothing” and prefer powdered sugar based frostings. I will get the Simple Silky Buttercream up tomorrow which can be adjusted to taste a little more easily than SMBC but is still a bit more refined than your average frosting.

  20. I’m so sad, I eagerly tried this because I hate whipping meringue for 20 minutes to make regular SMB but it didn’t work for me! I brought my whites to 160 degrees in a metal bowl, and sugar was all dissolved, but as it cooled it recrystallised into a mess that had to be thrown out. I’ve made SMB several times so I thought I knew what I was doing…it was definitely steaming and free of grit when I took it off heat…any ideas what could have gone wrong?

    1. Oh no! Sugar crystals are a terrible, sneaky beast! I have had this happen once before but it is rare. Don’t throw your syrup out if it happens again! The crystals can be remelted. Here are some tips for keeping crystals at bay. Try adding a tablespoon of corn syrup to the egg-sugar mixture if you have access to corn syrup. The corn syrup shifts the glucose-fructose ratio and makes crystal formation more difficult. If you cannot get your hands on corn syrup try adding a few drops of lemon juice which dissociates the glucose and fructose or add a couple of tablespoons of butter to the warm syrup which coats the sugar and hinders crystallization. If for some reason you get sugar crystals in your syrup just place the mixture over the simmering water again and heat until the crystals melt out. Add a teaspoon or two of water if they are particularly stubborn. I hope you give this another go and have great success!

      1. Thank you so much, I definitely will. We don’t have corn syrup in Aust as such, but I can buy glucose produced from Maize, which I figure is pretty close (maybe I’ve added 2 and 2 and got 5 though?!).

        1. I think that you are right. When I looked corn syrup up before I found it was a form of a glucose syrup with a corn source. I am sure that glucose syrup from other sources will work just as well. Good luck!

          1. Thanks again for replying to my question, it was so helpful. I tried again with the corn syrup (found some!) and it worked beautifully. Normally I would have written off my relationship with a recipe after a disaster like that!

          2. So glad it worked! Yay for trying again! It really is a time saver once you get the method down. I have been making it in the microwave lately and skipping the double boiler all together. It is really fast that way. If you want to give it a try follow the directions on the Easy (Almost) French Buttercream but use all egg whites.

        1. Hi Rachel! This recipe doesn’t call for corn syrup (although I do have other buttercreams that do). You could add some if you wanted to lighten up the consistency of the buttercream to make it fluffier. If that were the case, I would add it at the end after everything has come together and is well emulsified.

          1. Thank you so much! The reason I was wondering is that I had read your recipe on The Cake Blog for buttercream that follows this procedure, and it called for corn syrup to keep the sugar from recrystallizing. Was that a different recipe? Thanks.

    1. It is a little more firm than traditional SMBC when chilled but if you have issues with SMBC this will not be a miracle fix. I think the same issues generally apply. Sorry 🙁

  21. Hi! I have always made SMBC the traditional way so this is exciting to me! I do have a (probably dumb) question…can I use the recipe I have always used for SMBC and would this new method work just fine? Or is this method highly sensitive to the ratio/formulation you note above? I have a big batch of SMBC to make tonight and would love to give this a whirl but afraid at the same time :/ Thanks in advance for your response!

  22. I just finished making a batch. I used the ratio of my recipe which is double of what you posted. For a second I almost panic when my butter took a while to get fluffy. However, I follow your steps to the T and guess what??…it…came… out…BEAUTIFUL!!!!!!!!!! Omg, I was ecstatic!!! I even added some white color and it came out lighter and I totally love it. Summer, you’re genius…thank you so much for sharing you awesomeness!!!!!
    I have a new way to prepare my SMBC and I just love it 🙂

  23. *UPDATE* I went ahead and used my tried-and-true SMBC recipe (I prefer less butter and a tad more sweetness) but used this method and whaddayaknow… IT TOTALLY WORKED!!! (*doing a happy dance right now*)

    However, it did take more than 2 mins of med-hi (8 on my KitchenAid mixer) beating for my batch to come together. My heart dropped when, after 2 mins of beating on med-hi as per the directions, I peeked in the mixer bowl and it was a soupy and curdly mess in there; BUT after years of making SMBC, the sight was all too familiar. So I just took a deep breath, walked away from the mixer, and went back to check every few minutes (in the meantime, I read this entire post and all the comments at least 2x because I was still unsure if I had missed a step or did something wrong!) After maybe close to 10 mins, I started to hear that glorious sound that only those who have worked with SMBC long enough can appreciate – that wonderful, sound of the now-developed buttercream slapping against the mixing bowl, indicating it has come together and more importantly, that you have not royally messed it up 🙂

    All that to say… THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR SHARING. This has changed my baking life significantly! And to all readers, try it- Summer is a genius and knows what she’s talking about 😉

  24. great to read your technique for smbc as i have often worried whether my meringue was adequate and therefore affecting end volume. My challenge and hope is to make a frosting that copes better with queenslands high temps; any suggestion?

    1. If you make a SMBC that is more sugar-egg syrup than butter it will be more stable in warm conditions. I think any time you are working with something that has butter as the main ingredient you are going to have heat issues. Some options for making it more heat stable include using shortening for some of the butter (I don’t recommend this because of flavor, mouthfeel and health issues), or adding some white chocolate (although this will still melt in very high temps). You could also try adding an emulsifier such as xanthan gum which would keep it from breaking. If conditions were going to be around 100 F (38 C) I would probably use ganache.

      1. Thank you for the suggestions . I have a quantity of hi ratio shortening ( called so lite) I will try substituting a small amount although quite often it’s no firmer than butter at summer temps . Generally use ganache under fondant with smbc to fill layers .

  25. Hey Summer,
    thank you so much for sharing your wisdom 🙂 I will definitly try your recipe. I have one question though. I’m from Germany, and German tast budds like it less sweet and less buttery (is that a word?). You wrote, that when using less butter the cream would be more stiff when roomtemprature and less stiff when cooled. Why is that? Doesn’t cooling always stiffen any kind of cream?
    Thank you again for all you hard work on this blog. I really love it!

    xo laura

    1. Hi Laura! Buttery is definitely a word in my vocabulary 😉 This buttercream will be firm when refrigerated either way, but when the butter is present in greater volume the buttercream takes on more of the properties of the butter. This means that it will soften more at room temperature and become more solid at cold temperatures (like butter). The protein from the eggs and the sugar seem to stabilize the buttercream at room temperature (likely from sugars ability to thicken liquids and the proteins cross linking ability) but since the eggs and sugar are not affected by the cold temperatures these stabilizing effects do not translate to the refrigerator. Also, the greater aeration likely provided by the eggs and sugar will lead to less cooled stability. More air equals less firm when chilled. You may like the ermine frosting found on the Fresh Strawberry Cake recipe. It is not too sweet and less buttery than an SMBC. I hope this helps 🙂

  26. Hi Summer,

    I tried this last weekend and I loved how easy the method was. One question though. I followed the directions throughly but I ended up with “gelatinous” bits in my SMBC. What did I do wrong?

    1. It could be bits of over-heated/cooked egg white. If you notice lumps after your syrup is cooked you can strain it through a medium to fine mesh strainer and continue from there. I can’t think of what else it would be but will let you know if I think of something.

      1. Thanks! I did think of straining the sugar syrup the next time I make it, which means, tomorrow. lol I love your recipe and method and just had to troubleshoot. Thanks again for sharing this with us! 🙂

  27. Hi, Summer! Thank you so much for this post, now making a SMBC has never been so easy. I have a question and/or problem. So since I’ve started decorating, I’ve only used SMBC. BUT every time I try to make a cream cheese version of it, it’s as though the mixture breaks and I have a semi runny and curdled looking mess. No matter how much or how little of it I add, I still can’t get a proper cream cheese buttercream. Do you have any suggestions or ideas as to why it would be doing this? Thanks in advance. 🙂

    1. Yes, I know what you mean, cream cheese can be problematic in SMBC. The trouble is that it contains a fair amount of liquid and fat which can throw off the emulsion you have created. I have not played with it in this recipe, but here are some suggestions: Try beating the cream cheese in with the butter before the egg syrup is added. The should aid in getting it emulsified before the egg syrup can cause issues. I would also remove a small amount of the butter (around 2 ounes/57grams) and add as little cream cheese as you feel is possible (maybe 4 ounces/114 grams) per recipe to minimize structural disruption. You could also replace one egg white with a yolk in your buttercream so the lecithin can aid in emulsification. Adding a binder such as xanthan gum or guar gum may help maintain an emulsion as well. One thing I have done is add cream cheese to the SMBC in the form of cheesecake. I used the recipe for Cheesecake Filling and added a portion of this to the SMBC. The process of cooking the cream cheese with the flour and eggs eliminates some of the excess moisture and solidifies it. This has a slightly different taste than straight cream cheese but is delicious. The downside to this is that it softens the buttercream so add it with a light hand and beat it in rapidly to allow it to emulsify properly. I hope this helps! If anyone has other experience or suggestions please share.

      1. I was kind of wondering because of the fat in cream cheese if I should just reduce the amount of butter and sub it with the cc in an even swap. But it’s sounding like that wouldn’t have been the best of ideas. I’m definitely going to take your advice and make these changes to see what butter to cream cheese combination works best. And also, mixing in cheesecake filling sounds great. That’s definitely going to be an experiment in the near future. Thank you so much, Summer! I really appreciate it.

    2. I have a solution to this!!!!! I have been making the cream cheese version consistently for over a year!!!

      Look up Cream Cheese icing by Gretchensbakery. I add half as much sugar. Make recipe and set in fridge while you make your smbc. Once buttercream is done, add spoonfuls of the cream cheese mixture until it is all added and mix co 0letely.

      Cream cheese and butter at room temp and for some reason generic cream cheese works better than Philadelphia brand.

      Hope this helps!

      1. Hi Tina! I will have to give this a try. Sounds wonderful! Generic cream cheese often has stabilizers or gums added and often less fat content. This probably helps to maintain consistency. The high fat content in cream cheese contributes to the instability of the emulsion in buttercream. The stabilizers also likely help maintain the emulsion. Thanks for the great advice!

  28. I just tried yr recipe. At first, it’s so soupy and i almost threw it away. I kept on beating on a higher speed and woila…..it turn out BEAUTIFUL! After many attempts trying out recipes, i finally got it right. THANK YOU SUMMER!!

  29. Hi Summer, thank you for sharing this. You are a genius. It is easy to make and taste really good. I used to follow the traditional way of making Swiss Meringue Buttercream but not anymore your recipe is wonderful.

  30. Hi Summer, wow, thank you for sharing. This is easy to make thanks to your great instructions & step-by-step photos & tastes amazing. Many thanks Jodie

  31. Thank you Summer for this great finding! I love your scientific approach in baking (though I don’t always understanding every term you use…)
    It is so great that you know how to fix or troubleshoot a recipe.

    I just made a batch of SMBC using your method but with my 1 to 1.1 to 2 ratio and added a heaping tablespoonful of espresso powder dissolved in a bit of water along with the vanilla extract. It was wonderful…same great taste as if I used the traditional method. What I noticed that was difffereent though was the texture BEFORE adding the vanilla coffee mixture. With the new method the buttercream didn’t look firm and would not pull away from the mixing bowl. But I could hear the slapping sound after the egg syrup was added and the color looked very buttery. With traditional method I never hear slapping sound (I had a flat beater with a scraper on the outside… not sure if this is what inhibits the slapping sound) but the buttercream was very firm and would pull away from the bowl. I had to add vanillla extract to soften it out.
    After adding the vanilla coffee mixture they pretty much looked the same except the new method one got some air bubbles. So I beat it on very low speed for an extra five minutes to get rid of them like I always did. After longer beating the buttercream looked more silky. Compared to tradtitional method it feels less firm but just tasted the same.
    I am going to stick with your method now!

    1. I am glad you are happy with this method. You can alleviate some of that buttery look in the step after adding the syrup if you beat the butter alone on high for 2 minutes before adding the egg syrup. I think the slapping sound is pretty common in most SMBC recipes. I have heard of and experienced it before with traditional methods too. You may have had a method that just avoided it somehow. The firmness you experienced with the traditional method is an air factor. That is really the only difference in these recipes. Like whipping cream, as you beat air into the emulsion it will become more firm. The 2 min high beating will help this as well and like you said adding the liquids helps too. One benefit is that if your Easy SMBC is slightly softer at room temperature it will be firmer when chilled since it contains less air. This is helpful when you are covering cakes in fondant. Please ask anytime you have questions about sciency vocabulary! I would be happy to clarify. 🙂

  32. Hi Summer,
    I need to make a cake with a Lemon filling and was wondering if I can turn this SMBC into Lemon SMBC? If so, what can I add to flavor it and in what quantity?

    Thanks! 🙂

    1. Yes, this would be lovely as a lemon filling! I would reduce the vanilla extract to 1/2 tablespoon and add 2 tablespoons of lemon juice and 1 tablespoon of lemon zest. If you do not want the zest particles in your buttercream you could skip it and add 1 teaspoon of lemon oil or extract. Yum!

  33. Hi Summer, I’m hoping you can help me. SMBC has been my go to frosting, but every now and then it tastes greasy. Even had a few remark that it tasted like Crisco. I make it the same way, always and it looks great but just has that shortening mouthfeel ( even at room temperature) any idea how I can avoid this? Oh and I use Tilimook, Challenge or similar quality butter. Thank you!

    1. Hi Georganne, There are a couple of things that I can think of that might help. First, check your sugar syrup to butter ratio. Sometimes if your butter ratio is too high it can make SMBC seem flat and greasy (in taste and mouthfeel) especially when tasted in conjunction with a sweet cake. I usually use 1 part egg to 2 parts butter and sugar. If you have less sugar than butter by weight, you may want to increase it. Second, air and liquid play an important role in the texture and feel of SMBC. Rebeating your buttercream if it has sat long and lost volume can help lighten the mouthfeel of the buttercream. Vanilla plays a role not only in flavor but texture as well. Flavoring liquids become part of the SMBC emulsion and help spread out the fat making the buttercream seem silkier and lighter. I use at least 2 tablespoons of flavoring liquid per pound of butter. I hope this helps. If you would like further suggestions let me know 🙂

  34. Hi again Summer! This is Maria, the same on from the silly comment about making a lemon SMBC version. I clearly had a lapse in judgment and didn’t think I could replace the Vanilla extract with Lemon extract. For some reason I thought I could do some other fancy trick to make it taste lemony. Sorry for bugging!

      1. Thanks 🙂

        BTW, I just made your White Cake and I’m in heaven!!! It is delicious and ever so delicate! I can’t wait to try the rest of your cakes. Thanks sooooo much for sharing with us 🙂

  35. Thank you Summer. I believe I always use the same ratio…but I will increase the sugar and vanilla, as mine are less than what you recommend.You are a treasure and really full of helpful information.

  36. Hi Summer!

    I finally tried this recipe using my own SMBC recipe (less buttery, less sweet) and would like to share my experience with it. After adding the cold sugar-egg syrup into my butter, it turned into soupy consistency as expected with normal SMBC. However, after beating on high speed (no.8 on my Kitchen Aid) for 30 mins, it was still a soupy mess. I was afraid that my KA would explode or breakdown anytime from overheating if i continue to beat it…lol! Finally, my instincts tell me to pop the entire mixing bowl into the fridge. After 30 mins, i took out the cold bowl and beat the now thickened frosting on medium high speed and within 5 mins, MAGIC HAPPENED! Phew!!! I noticed this new method produced a different texture (less firm and has less bubbles) at room temp but taste the same of course. For me, although it was easier in the beginning (not having to make a meringue before adding the butter), it was more time consuming and probably uses more electricity compared to the usual method. But could it be that i did something wrong? 😉
    Therefore, word of encouragement for anyone who wants to try this recipe, it really does work! If you dont see it come together after more than 20 mins, pop the bowl in the fridge and beat again afterwards.

    Thanks Summer! 🙂

    1. Hi Michelle, Sorry it was so time consuming! I am not sure what happened. Mine comes together in literally one minute after I add the syrup. And actually mine never gets to the soupy phase. It directly emulsifies, but it should come together relatively quickly even if it does go to soup. I think your instincts were correct with the chilling. When I add my syrup it is usually cold, quite cold actually. Temperature makes a huge difference with SMBC. Give it one more try. If you didn’t last time, try the 2 min high beating of the butter before you add the syrup. This seems to lighten the buttercream substantially. Then add the syrup gradually when it is very cool/cold to the touch (I have been known to add it straight from freezer temp but the butter is not a huge fan of this ;)). I hope this helps! This recipe loses its appeal if it takes an hour to make and sky rockets your electric bill! It should be quick and easy. Let me know if this works or if I can help in any other way 🙂

    1. Yes, double up on all of your ingredients. It should be able to increase as large as your mixer bowl can handle 🙂

  37. i did it today, doubled and it came out perfect , i mean it came out stiffer than the first time i did it, consistency is perfect , but one thing i wanted to ask u as well, can i reduce the amount of sugar , like the total for 2 recipes will be 908 gms of sugar can i reduce it to 700 , will it affect the consistency of the butter cream

    1. Hi Tala! Glad it worked. If you reduce the sugar it will be creamier and a bit softer at room temperature but it should come out fine 🙂

  38. I was wondering if this would work at all with margarine instead of butter. Lots of times I can’t use butter so it gets tricky, but I don’t know if anyone has tried to make this without butter and whether or not it worked well. A new experiment maybe?

    1. Hi Kathleen, I have not tried this with margarine. Butter has some very unique emulsification properties that I am not sure will translate to margarine. It is worth a try and you could try adding an extra emulsifier if it doesn’t seem to want to come together; maybe even an egg yolk in the mix would help. If I have a chance I will give it a go. Are you working with vegan margarine or is any type fine?

        1. I would start with an egg yolk or two since you are most likely to have that on hand. Xanthan or guar gum will help maintain emulsifications once they are in place but may not be as effective in helping you get there. Lecithin will help if you can access some; I would recommend liquid. Surfax is a commercial emulsifier that contains sorbitan monostearate and polysorbate 60 but I think you have to buy a gallon of it. You can find polysorbate 60 or sorbitan stearate on Amazon. Both are derived from vegetable oil. First try the margarine alone. It may already contain added emulsifiers that will be sufficient. Good luck!

  39. Hi Summer,
    I would love to make this, however I am dairy free and I use Earth Balance for my butter. I understand margarine would be difficult to use. Is Earth Balance ok to use for dairy free or do you have an alternative in mind. I can use coconut products and nut milks. I want a fabulous buttercream that’s not too sweet.

    1. Hi Olinda, I understand how tricky being dairy free can be sometimes. I cook once a week for my neighbor who has a son that is egg and dairy free. I am not sure if this recipe will work with a dairy free product such as Earth Balance. I just haven’t had a chance to try it yet. I think it is worth attempting though. An alternative though may be the Whipped Buttercream found with the Fresh Strawberry Cake. You would need to use a non-dairy milk but I have seen this kind of recipe made with shortening so either shortening or margarine should work well. It is not too sweet and silky smooth. If I try the margarine with this recipe I will let you know 🙂

  40. I LOVE how you explain the bio-chemistry of it all. Cooking and baking is a science after all and when you understand what you are doing and why, it’s much easier up get it right!(I studied biochemistry and microbiology:))

  41. Hi Summer. I have a question about refrigerating the buttercream and then using it. I notice that when I make the traditional SMBC and store in the fridge, once I take it out from the fridge and leave it till it comes to room temperature and stir it, it is not as firm as when I actually made it – it becomes soft after I stir it. Do you know why this happens and how I can avoid it (I am working in an air conditioned room -about 23 C). Would this still happen with this foolproof SMBC?


    1. It is caused by the deflation of air. Like whipped cream it will lose firmness as the air pockets destabilize. The foolproof seems a little less susceptible to this because the air pockets are butter fat mediated and not the less stable egg white mediated but it will still occur to some degree. If you rebeat the mixture while it is slightly cool but not cold at a nice high speed you should be able to get air back into either SMBC and firm it up again. Best of luck!

  42. I learned a version of this in culinary school only we used powdered sugar and threw in a little high ratio shortening at the end. It’s beautiful and delicious. Thanks for sharing!

    1. Nice! Using granulated sugar eliminates the starch that can seems a bit coarse on the tongue but I bet it would be delicious too 🙂

  43. Dear Summer,

    I’ve been successfully making your recipe all the time, it’s such a lifesaver! Thanks again!

    Here’s a question the internet seems to be very divided about: How long is the shelf life of this buttercream, both at room temperature and in the fridge? How long can a cake that is filled with this buttercream and covered in fondant be kept outside for decorating? Of all the information I’ve found on the internet, I’ve seen people say “a few hours” to “up to one week”. This might be more of a question for a food engineer or microbiologist (or health inspector!), but I’m curious to know what your experiences have been! I’m selling my cakes, and the weather has been hot over here… the cake has been outside many hours while I was piping on it, and I got a bit worried… thanks a lot for your reply!

    Cakey love, Minh

    1. Hi Minh! I am so glad you are having success with the recipe. I cannot say anything exact about bacteria counts, but I will say that not much is likely to grow at these sugar levels. I generally go with the two day protocol listed by professional cake decorators in their books such as Elisa Strauss. I have found that after two days the flavor quality seems to decline overall at room temperature. A week is fine in the fridge if it is well sealed and will not absorb other flavors. More than that I go into the freezer. A day at room temperature in warm weather would not be a problem. I have had cakes out all day in 90 plus weather and it was fine. I hope this helps!

      1. Hi Summer, thanks a lot for the info, it definitely helped! Thanks again and keep up the fantastic work on your blog – it’s becoming a go-to resource! Thank you! Have a great week, Minh

  44. Hi Summer. I made a batch of the sugar syrup and froze it…and noticed that a thin white layer has formed at the top (it is still there even when I moved it into the fridge area) – it seems like some crystallization ? Should I just reheat it and add some corn syrup? And if so, how much corn syrup should I add?

    Also when I refrigerate the SMBC, do I need to rebeat it after it comes to room temperature ( I live in a tropical country- humid and hot with temperatures over 90 F) – it always tends to get liquid on me. Thank you!

    1. The white layer is normal. I would try a little to see if it actually has crystallization. You would be able to feel it on your tongue. If it does I would add corn syrup and then reheat it, 1-2 tablespoons. I would likely rebeat it out of the fridge. It seems to refresh the texture and lighten the color nicely too. 🙂

      1. It worked! I reheated with corn syrup, stuck it in the freezer and added it to the butter and within a few minutes, I had a lovely buttercream…and it tastes the same as the traditional SMBC. Am so happy…thanks so much Summer. I have got some in the fridge and will be using it over the weekend- will rebeat as you suggest but what temperature should I bring it to before rebeating it… Room temperature here is HOT : )

  45. Hey Summer its a genius of a recipe!!! you recommended 1:2:2::Eggs:Sugar:Butter and I tried the same ratio , while halving the recipe you shared. I found that it could use more Sugar , after all what’s the point of having butter cream if it is not sweet enough….how would you vary the sugar ratios? Also @114 Degrees F to 120 degrees average temperatures …would you recommend substituting some of the butter for Shortening to make it heat stable ?

    1. You could try adding more sugar to your egg whites but at some point you are going to saturate and not be able to get any more dissolved. You could also add some fructose which is sweeter than sucrose ounce for ounce. Another option is to add more egg syrup but your texture is going to be affected somewhat. You could add confectioners sugar but you will lose some of your silky texture. Lastly you could incorporate marshmallow crème which is sweet and may be less likely to disrupt the texture of the buttercream. You can definitely add shortening for some of the butter. I would not do more than 25% or the mouthfeel will become off. I have used this method and it is common to employ this tactic to keep the melting temp in the higher range. Best of luck!

      1. Hi Summer,
        Thanks for such a great blog! I came straight to this page but look forward to perusing the rest of it 🙂
        I have a question – you said you would substitute shortening to counter high temps, but not more than 25% to keep mouthfeel… Does this mean, therefore, that you can sub in up to 25% with no or negligible change to mouthfeel? I made a three tier naked cake filled generously with SMBC (four layers per tier) for a wedding last week and while it did hold up impressively given the warm temps (and with the help of substantial internal structural support), the buttercream got very soft to touch and made me very nervous. I’d like to sub in some shortening for times like these but hate the mouthfeel – it would be great to know that there’s no difference at 25% or less 🙂


  46. Hi Summer, I totally love this recipe and that is my ‘all-the-time’ buttercream since I discovered your blog. Thanks a million!!! However, what would you use in extreme hot and humid weather? —I live in the Pacific NW and we get hot weather about 5 to 10 days a year…yeah, no kidding. Well, I happened to make a cake for my daughter this past weekend. When I started making the cake the weather was an awesome(70 or so degress)—although, by the time Saturday came we had a scorching 98 degress with 98% humidity level. Yeah, you can imagine what happened to my daughter’s cake….snif, snif.
    The cake started bulging around the filling, fondant became soft and got elephant-skin effect at the bottom, straight edges got round…the cake was practically melting and I thought it was going to collapse!!! this have never happened to me although, I don’t think I’ve made a cake in such hot weather. Fortunately we got to cut it before it completely melted and, of course, it was delicious since I followed your awesome white cake recipe. Thank you!!!
    Anyway, back to my question. What works in such weather condition, ganache? american BC? I have another babyshower cake for next weekend and we are having our 10 days of summer until next weekend aggghhh!!! — h.e.l.p!!!!!!!!!!!

    1. Hi Rosie! I totally feel your pain as I live in that Pacific NW too! Yes our two weeks of sunshine is shocking and disorienting (interspersed with clouds and rain like yesterday :{ ). I would go with ganache for the most stability. It is really going to have the highest melting temperature and give you the best results. It has the added bonus of sort of “crusting” if you leave it out for several hours which will improve stability too in a way that you can’t get with smbc. I never recommend American buttercream under fondant. I just don’t think it is ever quite as stable unless it is loaded with butter (and some are), but you will be in the same boat as you are with smbc.

      A few years ago I did a three-tiered wedding cake in a 100 degree heat wave that was filled with lemon curd and covered with whipped cream. I had to drive it from Newberg to Portland (an hour drive). I almost had a nervous breakdown around every corner. I had the air condition so high that my kids were bundled in coats and blankets in the back of the car. Never again, Lol!! Good luck with your baby shower cake! 🙂

      1. Summer, thank youuuu, you’re an angel !! what??!! you live in the Pacific NW tooooo?? where??!!!!! I live in Seattle, WA and don’t tell me you’re my neighbor cuz I’m gonna jump up and down like a little girl lol 😀 😀 😀 –Omg, a three tiered wedding cake in 100degrees weather, yikesss!! I remember the 100 degrees weekend a few year ago, you know why? cuz we also had my grandson’s baptismal that weekend, and we’ve made beautiful edible chocolate ceterpieces for the guest tables. White chocolate crosses with mini chocolate roses on a beautiful base. Yeah, yeah…they ALL melted before the guests arrived!!! I laughed, but my daughter cried 😀 😀 so, I runned to Party City and bought generic centerpices made out of un-melting, plain, crepe paper LOL!!! —
        Honestly, we Washingtonians can not handle hot-humid weather, we are just not prepared for it lol!! —
        I will definitelly use ganache for my babyshower cake this weekend.

        Thanks a million again Summer and have a great summer —pun intended, ha, ha,ha!!! 😀 😀 😀 —
        Rosie 🙂

        1. Oh Summer, one last question. To make white chocolate ganache would you use the Wilton candy melts?? I’ve read somewhere that you can…if not, what kind of chocolate do you recommend??
          Ok, thank youuu!!!

          1. Hi Rosie, Candy melts act a little funny in ganache. You can use them but because the fats don’t crystalize the same as cocoa butter it takes a long time to solidify and it is kind of unpredictable. Here is a recipe and tutorial that has been recommended. It makes sense to me scientifically. White chocolate ganache is finicky because it is less starchy than regular chocolate. Therefore the fat molecules like to collide more readily causing the mixture to “break” or curdle. This recipe uses condensed milk which is less fatty than cream and dilutes the fat globules making them less likely to congregate. I would use any decent quality white chocolate you can locate. The chocolates from Pastry Portal are awesome but you have to order them online and buy large quantities. If what you have access to is Ghiridelli from the grocery store, that will work. I can usually find Lindt too at Fred Meyer but often can only get the coconut white chocolate one. Fred Meyer makes a chip that is real white chocolate too which will work and costs less but definitely is lower in quality. I actually like the Wilton white chocolate that comes in a large bag at Walmart for chocolate fountains too. Cake shops usually have a nice selection of quality white chocolates. I hope that helps and is not TMI!!

  47. I will give it a try, as I usually make the classic SMB, which I love by the way! Question: I can add some orange juice and zest to make it orange, can’t I? How about adding a little cream cheese, as well, for a fresher taste? Would I need to make any kind of adjustments?

    1. You can add pretty much anything to this. I have been able to work as much as a half a cup of liquid into this with no problems. If you add too much cream cheese the mixture likes to break but 8 ounces or so should be fine. If it becomes grainy, increase your mixer speed and let it mix until it reemulsifies.

  48. Why did I not see this post yesterday?!? After three failed attempts at making SMBC for a bridal shower, I gave up. It drives me insane as I am an avid baker, but cannot properly make SMBCs – I never have been able to and don’t know why I thought I’d be able to finally pull it off last night before the bridal shower! Perhaps this method will ease some of my frustrations with trying to create volume with the egg and sugar first (my desperate silent prayers I say before I beat them are never answered – ha ha!) – and yes, I have always wondered why we have to clean all utensils of grease before we whipped, only to add butter to it afterwards! I appreciated the scientific explanation behind SMBC – I will have to try this recipe soon – thanks for sharing!! 🙂

  49. Darling Summer, you are a genius and followed your recipe as instructed….oh my goodness it turned out perfect. Added some nice cocoa powder, and i had perfect chocolate buttercream frosting. Thank you so much…love the detailed attention you give to baking. Nice to know that there is someone who shares and understands the passion for making basic simple and easy. You are the best. Oh…i live in a tropic area (sunny 365days) but i found that chilling it in the freezer kept it stable before i moved it to the venue.

  50. This is the best! 😀 I’m always having issues with this type of frosting. It always turns lumpy once I add the butter.. It makes me cry! 🙁 really appreciate this article a lot! I do have one question though. Can I use a hand mixer for this buttercream? Thanks soooo much!

  51. Summer, I’m excited to try your method. I’ve been successfully making traditional SMBC for two years – never had one batch break or curdle. Then a few days ago I made traditional SMBC, and it turned to soup and I was never able to rescue it. So I made another batch and the same thing happened! It’s enough to make a grown woman cry. So, this week I will try your method. Thank you for posting it!

  52. I LOVE this method for SMBC! I have made batches and batches of it and it comes out perfect and fluffy every time. I usually make a double batch of the egg white & sugar and it’s perfect.

  53. Hi!! I’ve noticed that all of the ingredients are listed in ounces. Could you please convert those items for me, as I have been online trying to look it up? ….

    1. Hi, It’s about 1 cup egg whites, 2 1/4 cups sugar, 4 sticks or 2 cups butter and 2 tbs vanilla. Sorry about that! Good luck!

  54. Hi Summer. This sounds like a marvelous alternative to making SMBC, and I’m excited to try it! Quick question on quantities…do you weigh your ingredients, or measure them? When making traditional SMBC, I use a *1 cup egg whites-2 cups sugar-2.5 cups butter* ratio, measured (not weighed). So I’m wondering what you do. Thanks!

    1. I usually weigh them. You can still use those proportions if you like or you can switch to mine which is 1 cup egg white, 2 1/4 cups sugar, 2 cups butter. Good luck! 🙂

      1. Thanks! I made a batch tonight, and I’m pleased with the results. The only issue I had was that I cooked the egg white/sugar mixture last evening, then let it sit overnight in the bowl in a cool area of the house. This afternoon when I went to make the rest of the icing, a portion of the sugar had separated and coated the bottom of the bowl. So I just reheated it over hot water, and all was well. It mixed nicely with the butter, and is very tasty. All in all, it’s much easier than the traditional method, and yields a very similar product. I think next time I’ll weigh my ingredients and see if there’s any difference. Thanks again for posting this. I’m glad I found it. 🙂

    1. The egg proteins play a role in the structure of the buttercream even when they are not whipped. I have tried just a sugar syrup but the consistency is never quite right. 🙂

  55. I’m needing a good recipe to make a ruffled cake for a baby shower that will be outside at a park-it should be 70-75 degrees but sunny and the cake will be outside for probably an hour. I will be making the cake and frosting ahead of time (I live 5 hours away), then decorating the cake the night before the baby shower. I want a yummy but stable recipe that isn’t too tricky-would this one fit the bill? Would I need to remix it before decorating the cake? Will it hold up well if refrigerated overnight before the shower?

    1. This recipe is very stable and should hold up very well in 70’s temps for a few hours and yes it will refrigerate well for up to 2 weeks. But it is a good idea to beat it before applying. Good luck! 🙂

  56. Hi Summer,
    I was wondering what your suggestion would be if I wanted to make a lemon SMBC. I want to use zest and juice, but the acidity worries me on interfering with the egg protein structure. What would you recommend? Thank you!

    1. Hi Kinsey, You can use zest and juice. The acidity will not cause problems to the buttercream and will give it a nice bright, fresh flavor. Good luck! 🙂

  57. I am perplexed. I’ve made SMBC dozens of times. Both with the traditional method and with the method discribed here. I’ve always had success (even with adding caramel, fruit purée, or chocolate). However I made a batch yesterday that never whipped up. It remained a soupy mixture no matter what I did. I tried adding more butter, I tried leaving it in the fridge overnight, I tried beating it on med-high for 15 minutes. But no luck. It never even made it to the curdled stage. Any thoughts on what may be the cause? The only change I can think of is the ambient temperature of the kitchen. The Fall weather has been lovely, so I opened the windows and turned off the AC. Do you think the temp or moisture of the air would make a difference?

    1. It’s a miracle! Apparently the solution was 20 minutes of beating at med-high. My buttercream has been resurrected. Thank you so much for sharing your love and knowledge of baking. This recipe is fool-proof!

      1. Yay! I am so glad you got it to come together! It usually will if you beat it long and fast enough. The butter really wants to make an emulsion but sometimes you have to beat it into submission! 🙂

  58. Hi Summer, thank you very much for sharing this recipe. I am going to try it now but would like to ask you some questions in relation to the temperature I live in. I live in a tropical country with temperature around 35deg C (90-100Deg F) all year round. It’s hot and humid, and definitely not a friend of fondant.

    I like making 3D cake for my kids’ birthday because I enjoy seeing their ‘wow’.. on their face. The weather has become extremely humid and my experience with fondant recently does not have much success. A nicely fondant covered cake will melted and the look is highly compromised. Sign..back to SMBC..

    I like frosting like fresh whipped cream that is very light and fluffy without the buttery taste and not sweet but with this weather, no fresh cream frosting is able to withstand the weather, leaving cakes or cupcakes outside for 3 hrs in any birthday party. Therefore, I have been trying out different buttercream recipes, in hope of getting the lightness that resembles fresh cream taste and able to withstand our weather.

    Here are my questions:
    1. you recommended 1 part egg to 2 parts butter and sugar. I like to ask, if I reduce the proportion to 1:1:1. Will this work? Will it be more stable in our weather, leaving iced cupcakes outside overnight for next day party? If not, what would you advise?

    2. How long in advance would you recommend that I can bake the cake and frost it ready for party? I always have an issue with time, leaving everything – to bake and frost the cake, the day before the party (trying to retain the freshness and best taste of the cake) and couldn’t really manage other preparation of the kid’s party.

    3. What are the methods I can use to store the cake without compromising the moisture & taste of the cake.

    Thank you very much in advance!

    1. Hello, You may need more butter to bring the syrup into emulsion but you could probably get it to work at 1:1.5:1 and yes, it is more stable the less butter you add but it also starts to get kind of clunky in texture or less smooth but not terribly so.

      You can bake the cake 3 days ahead and leave it at room temperature or bake and freeze well wrapped for a couple of weeks. I have also frozen frosted cakes. Once frozen wrap well in plastic wrap for a week or so. A cake with a good starting moisture level should not dry out when stored this way.

      Let me know if that answers all of your questions or if I can help in any other way! 🙂

      1. Hi Summer,
        Thank you very much for your reply. I tried out the foolproof Swiss Merringue Buttercream and my kids love them very much. I’ll try baking a trial cake, wrapped and freeze it for a week to see if I have handled it well. If I manage to retain the moisture of the cake, this tips is going to help me manage my time tremendously! Thank you.

        Next, Your vanilla & chocolate cupcake recipes are moist, fluffy and quick to bake. Love it. Thanks for sharing. I like to ask (1) if I can use the same recipes for layer cake and (2) if I can replace the sour cream with plain yoghurt or buttermilk and maintain the moisture the cake? Yoghurt is more readily available in my fridge then sour cream. Thank you!

  59. I will be trying out this recipe next week but have a question on the quantity of egg whites to use as I don’t have a scale?

    1. You can use a portion of shortening but if you use all shortening the taste and mouthfeel will be off. I would not use hi-ratio but standard.

    1. I believe it would work fine. It would work best just after it is whipped. That is when it is the most firm and air bubble free. 🙂

  60. Hi Summer! The flavour is great so far, but like others have commented, it’s very liquid-y for me. I’m currently chilling it and will try beating again after letting it sit in the fridge for 30 minutes.

    I was wondering if the fact that I used egg whites from a carton would affect the outcome of the buttercream. I know that sometimes carton egg whites don’t whip up like fresh egg whites. Do you use fresh eggs?

    1. If it is remaining liquidy it is likely because a proper emulsion hasn’t formed. Chill a touch and beat well on high for a time until it firms up. I have used both carton and fresh with success so either should work just fine. 🙂

  61. Hi Summer, Can the icing be frozen? I bought a couple of cartons of the egg whites. Now the cake has been rescheduled.

    I want to use this under my Course 3 cake, so it will go under fondant. Will that be ok, also?

    Thank you. judy

      1. Hi Summer, do you mean rebeat with paddle before use? I did this before with SMBC, but it decomposed into butter and milk. Does that mean my SMBC has too much butter? Thanks

  62. Hi Summer,

    I have a little question. I want to make a white chocolate version of this buttercream and was wondering how much melted chocolate I should add to it. Also, should I add it at the end?

    Thanks for your time.


    1. Hi Maria, I would add 4 ounces of white chocolate. Melt the chocolate and let it cool to room temperature. I then like to add about a half a cup of the finished buttercream to the chocolate and blend it well before adding the chocolate mixture to the bulk of the buttercream. This helps prevent small blobs of white chocolate from solidifying and disrupting the texture of the final buttercream. Good luck!

  63. Hi Summer, I hope you are well! I’m always trying reduce steps and health risks. I’ve been making your buttercream very successfully using pasteurized egg whites. Since the egg is already pasteurized the heating only serves to melt the sugar crystals. Do you think it might work with glucose syrup too, which I could just mix with the egg white? How much glucose would you use – same weight? Thanks for any insight and Happy Holidays! Minh

    1. Hi Minh! I have been meaning to thank you for the most incredible of chocolate! My kids and I have been in indulgent chocolate heaven! Thank you 🙂

      Yes, I believe glucose syrup should work alright. I tried this recipe with corn syrup before and the results were not the same, but I think glucose should work better. You may want to try a small batch to start and see if you get the right texture. Let me know how this works for you so I can pass the word on! 🙂

      1. Dear Summer, so good to hear from you! I’m really glad you’re enjoying it! 🙂

        Great about the glucose syrup, I will definitely keep you updated as soon as I do the experiment! Love, Minh

        1. Hi Summer, I finally got to try it with glucose syrup. It worked very well for consistency, but the glucose didn’t taste sweet at all – I ended having to add quite a lot of powdered sugar to have some sweetness to the buttercream. So, tastewise glucose unfortunately doesn’t work. I’m trying simple syrup next! Thanks and keep caking! Love Minh

  64. Hi Summer, your blog is my go to place when i need a successful and yummy recipe, I have one yet to fail!. I was wondering about using this recipe to make chocolate buttercream, I saw you gave tips on how to make white one, but I was wondering if to make the dark one would be better use powder cocoa as it seems to add more flavor. If so, should I remove anything from it?.
    Thanks for starting such a fun journey for all of us.


    1. Hi Rosa! Yes, you can make a chocolate variation using cocoa powder. The French Buttercream shows a variation of this and how to assemble it with step-by-step instructions. Basically add 1 cup of cocoa powder per pound of butter and mix it in after you beat your butter to fluffy. Then add your syrup and vanilla as you would for the SMBC. Let me know how it comes out!

    2. I agree! I’ve tried many of Summer’s recipes and they are always perfect. I make this version of SMBC frequently and have flavored it vanilla, lemon, and white chocolate. Recently I wanted to try a dark chocolate version so after making the buttercream I added 8 oz of melted (but cooled to room temp) semi-sweet chips. It made an amazing icing. My husband who usually prefers an American buttercream devoured the chocolate version of the SMBC. It had a lighter consistency (more like a whipped frosting). It just melted in your mouth. I’ll have to give the cocoa powder method a try next time.

  65. Hi Summer, will it be possible to use meringue powder in place of egg white? If so, what quantity of water and meringue powder should if using the 1:2:2 ratio? Thank you.

  66. I looked up this recipe – ready to try SMBC for the first time ever, but I only have salted butter. Other than the obvious addition of salt in the flavor, will it affect the turnout?

    1. It should emulsify fine but it will taste markedly salty so if you can cut it at least with some unsalted or shortening that would help 🙂

  67. Hi Summer. What percentage of fat is in the butter you use? At the store I shop in Canada, there are more, much more expensive varieties at 82-84% fat. But standard is 80%, which is what I use. I made the cream cheese SMBC twice and it curdled. I ended up adding 3/4 cup more butter and added about 7T of meringue powder and it’s mild but gooooooood! That ended up solving my ccSMBC problem.I plan on piling it onto the vanilla cake! Yayayay!

    1. Hi Dina, Cream cheese buttercream is always so finicky! My butter is standard, right around 80%. You have to really whip the heck out it to get it into emulsion. You can always cut the volume of cream cheese down to avoid issues, but adding butter will help too. Keep your mixture cool but not cold. There is a window that buttercream likes where the butter is plastic in nature. Too warm or cold often leads to curdling. Let me know if I can help more 🙂

  68. I wonder if you tried making a non dairy SMB with half margarine and half shortening? Since margarine has less butterfat and shortening has more than butter, would this average out? Would it work?

  69. Hi Summer,
    So I made this method of yours before, during my sister’s 7th birthday. I must say, I’ve tried the traditional way and it’s usually a trial-and-error for me: some days good, some days bad. When I first tried yours, it was so wonderful! I didn’t have to experience soupy or curdled mixture; it just whipped up beautifully, and I am using a handheld mixer.

    However, I decided to do this again tonight but didn’t get it right at all. My mixture was soupy, and while whipping the mixture there were air bubbles everywhere! I tried chilling the mixture for 30 minutes, even tried beating for longer than 30 minutes, but it’s just not coming together. I wonder what could be the problem? Could it be I have had trouble (like bit of grease/yolk) in my syrup mixture? Or my butter was too cold?

    I want to retry again tomorrow but I don’t know if I should take the risk, because the cupcakes have to be delivered tomorrow. Yikes 🙁 Would love to hear from you.

    Thank you!

    1. Oh before I forget, I did some changes with the ingredients. I think that might have something to do with what happened. Instead of 8 egg whites I used 10, and 2 1/2 cups butter. :/

  70. dear summer love your recipe and use it all the time. was wondering if you could beat the egg yolks that you have left slightly then beat in the cooled egg white syrup and then your butter would this make a nice stable french buttercream?i am wondering if the emulsifying ability of the yolks would make a difference and also i wont have to wate theyolks (cant keepmaking creme brulee or giving them to the dog!)

  71. Could you add a raspberry puree to this to flavor it? Would you add that to the sugar/egg white mixture or after the buttercream has already come together?

  72. Ok, wow. Where do I begin? You have no idea how much this has helped me! I have a Cottage Food Operation in the state of California — I am a cake artist that works out of my home kitchen. As such, I have to abide by the health code, which means no fresh eggs and no dairy. I have made Swiss Buttercream from fresh egg whites, so I know what it’s supposed to taste like. My holy grail was to figure out how to make it taste — and behave — the same (or close) using meringue powder, and when you said the strength of the icing depends on how close to a boil you can get your simple syrup, it was a breakthrough for me. Since I’m not using fresh egg whites, I can actually get my syrup to a legitimate boil. After it’s cool, I can combine it with meringue powder and add it to the whipped butter. Wow, amazing! But wait, it gets better. Now, I’ve just gotten word that while I was OK’d to use meringue powder last year, that was a mistake. Oh yes, the State of California believes that even powdered, processed egg white will compromise icing and endanger the public with the risk of salmonella. After I finished tearing my hair out and rolling my eyes, I remembered your revelation that it’s butter — not the egg whites — that is the emulsifier that pulls this recipe together, and I began to wonder — maybe I don’t even need to use egg whites at all? So I began experimenting with egg replacers. On my first try, I had success! The icing was the right texture, taste was very close — I will experiment with different brands and amounts to perfect the recipe, but definitely starting with whipping the butter and adding a sugar syrup with some type of egg or egg replacer powder mixed in REALLY WORKS! I am thrilled! I have even tried this technique using non-dairy shortening instead of butter for someone with a dairy allergy, and got the perfect consistency! (I had to add flavorings to fix the taste, but consistency was still good, and it whipped up great — foolproof, as you say!)

  73. you are awesome! i have been trying to make the traditional SMBC and have failed thrice, they all went down the drain, lol. i just bumped into your page today, and tried it at once, and voila, i’ve made a successful SMBC with your technique. i can’t thank you enough. keep sharing your talent and skills. God bless.

  74. Dear Summer, Thank you so much for your posting. I have tried many times the SMBC. Sometime good, sometime failed. I used your method last Easter to celebrate Easter and my son’s birthday. It turned out good and I managed to get the consistency I like by modifying the composition. Thank you very much for sharing this.

  75. Hi Summer, can’t wait to try this recipe I like the simplicity compared to the conventional SMBC recipe. Just one question if I want to flavour this with raspberries how would you suggest I go about this? I will be using buttercream between layers then ganache and cover cake with fondant. Many thanks.

  76. Perfection! I tried your method and am delighted with the results. I have a wedding cake that I’m using SMBC on Saturday and your recipe will be featured. I was a bit nervous to use the traditional method because meringue can be rather fickle. Thank you so much and glad I found your post.

  77. Just read your post, really interesting. I love Swiss meringue buttercream but sometimes it is a pain to make. I’ve just made a batch and used part of your theory – I heated the sugar & egg whites over hot water until thick & glossy then continued whisking until cool. Then instead of adding the butter a bit at a time I whisked the butter until light and airy. I then mixed the two together – result is AMAZING. Light, creamy, smooth & thick. It was sooooo much quicker to make and no soupy issues = result!! (Oh and I saw someone’s post on cream cheese Swiss buttercream, my perfect recipe is to make a batch of Swiss buttercream as normal and then add cream cheese to that. Keeps it thick & stable.)

  78. Thank you for sharing this wonderful recipe. I even jumped and danced with glee because for the first time after trying a dozen of smbc recipes I got a glossy, rich and very beautiful smbc. you made it emiven more easier than the traditional method. from now on this is my go to recipe. Thank you for your kindness in sharing this recipe and God bless you more!

  79. Hi Summer, cannot wait to try this!
    Have you tried piping buttercream roses with this mixture? I’m looking to decorate a wedding cake with buttercream roses and am in search of a buttercream recipe that isn’t too sweet, this looks spot on.


  80. Hi Summer, I just tried making smbc with your method instead of how how I normally do it. It worked so beautifully and it was the fasted smbc I have ever made! Thank you so much for sharing your knowledge with us. I’m so grateful for having discovered this 🙂

  81. Hi! I tried doing a swiss meringue buttercream but it won’t hold its shape. It just turns into a liquid mess. When I do refrigerate it, it does hold some shape, but later on it will pool a little bit (no water expulsion but just melts). I also couldn’t get my warmed egg whites + sugar to whip to stiff peaks. It’s whipping, but 20 minutes (and a sore arm) still wouldn’t get me to hold up the mixer without the whipped egg whites flopping over. Could this have been the culprit? Thank you.

  82. Dear Summer I really want to try this method. I understand correctly, I dnt need to wipe the bowl squeeky clean before heating d egg whites with sugar right? It doesn’t matter if there are traces of oil in it?

  83. Hey Summer, I made smbc again today using your method. I heated the egg whites and sugar until the sugar was dissolved and there was no grittiness, put it in a plastic container and stuck it in the fridge. The next day, as I poured out the syrup into my beaten butter, I realised that the syrup had recrystallised 🙁 But because I had already poured it in, there was no turning back. I went ahead and completed the process, and while the buttercream still tasted delicious, the texture was not as firm; it kept sliding off the spatula.
    So I wanted to ask you: what causes the syrup to recrystallise even if it feels like the sugar crystals have completely dissolved? Does checking the temperature with a thermometer guarantee that this doesn’t happen? I know you said that adding corn syrup will help in avoiding this but is there a sure-fire way to avoid it with that extra addition?

  84. Hi there, thank you so much for this life saver. I love SMBC and now being able to make the egg/sugar mixture in advance and freeze means that i can now just take out the exact amount i need each time which is brill. One question though, can i still freeze any left over buttercream (if i have any from now on) since the egg/sugar mixture has been in the freezer before? Also how much melted choc can i add to this without it loosing its stability?
    Thank you in advance

  85. Hi I was wondering if I have made a batch of the egg sugar syrup and frozen it and then used it can any left over buttercream made from this then be frozen?
    Thank you

      1. Thank you summer. If i have extra buttercream left can i then freeze it if i have use the frozen syrup? ie freezing twice? Also you say that Flavoring LIQUIDS become part of the SMBC emulsion and help spread out the fat making the buttercream seem silkier and lighter. but what if im making a flavour that i not require a liquid like vanilla to be added eg nutella or peanutbutter. will it still work ok? Thank you so Much Summer, this really has been a game changer for me and lifed my cakes to the next level. Im so grateful and love all the sciencey stuff 🙂

        1. Yes, you can freeze the final product even if the syrup has been previously frozen. If you are using flavoring that are far based you might run into trouble with destabilization. Try cutting out some of the butter if you are adding peanut butter or nutella or the like. You can boost the nutella flavor by adding some cocoa powder when you first best the butter. This will give chocolate flavor without the weakening properties. 🙂

          1. brilliant thank you, im trying the nutella version tomorrow. Last thing to annoy you with i promise….how much grams of nutella could i safely add do you think so that it would still be stable enough for a cake filling. Thank you so much for your time 🙂

          2. I am not sure what it would be in grams but I think you could add about 1/2 cup if you remove 1/4 cup of butter. Let me know how it goes!

  86. Thanks for this recipe Summer. It has now become my “go to”. I always laboured over Italian meringue and thought that there had to be a better way. I have made Swiss meringue buttercream before but it did not turn out as well as yours. I too use the microwave to bring the sugar and egg whites to temperature and then leave the mixture overnight. I just made a double batch and it was so easy, consistent and tastes deliciously smooth. I did make the double batch in two goes as I find that, even with a 6 quart mixer, the buttercream does spatter when you get it up to medium high speed. To be honest, it is so quick to make that it only took 5 extra minutes to make two batches. I am also impressed as to how well this freezes as I have made some buttercreams that did not freeze well.

    1. Thanks Lesley! I tape a piece of paper towel to my mixer when I beat my butter on high to avoid later clean up issues. I am glad this recipe is working well and making your life easier. That’s my goal! 🙂

  87. I have just about abandoned making Italian meringue buttercream in favour of this. What a time saver. I do have a couple of questions. To raise the melting point of my Italian buttercream my recipe called for a small amount of high ratio shortening – (250 g to 900 g of butter) – it did not seem to affect the taste and made the end product a little whiter. Have you tried any shortening in yours and if so what are the proportions you would use. The second item in my old recipe was to add 1/2 and 1/2 pure vanilla to clear vanilla – again to make a slightly lighter end product. I think I can taste the difference but no one else seems to once on the cupcakes- have you tried? Btw I added a couple of squeezes of white corn syrup to the latest batch as per your suggestion. I had been doing this with my old Italian meringue buttercream. Definitely felt that there were absolutely no sugar crystals left this time.

    1. Hi Lesley, You should have no problem adding a portion of shortening. I would just stick to 20% of the butter content or less so that you do not compromise mouthfeel or taste. And feel free to use what flavoring ratios you like. I have found that clear vanilla can work well if you find one with a nice taste profile. I am so glad this recipe is working for you!

      1. So I tried it. I doubled the recipe and creamed 125g of hi ratio shortening with the 900 g of butter. It came together beautifully and still had a nice mouth feel. I also read your notes re refrigerating the sugar syrup. I have not done so before but I added the sugar syrup this time after it had been in the fridge for the afternoon. The buttercream stiffened up immediately. I realized, when I looked at your recipe, that the only difference between the weight of your buttercream ingredients and my old Italian meringue buttercream is the egg whites. The sugar butter and vanilla are all identical but you use twice the egg white. Interestingly the volume of icing is greater with yours than with my recipe and I spent all that time previously beating egg whites and getting sugar water to the right temperature!!!

  88. Thank yo summer for the nutella info. I remembered that i had chocolate hazelnut oil so i used that instead just to be safe. But if anyone else tries adding nutella to this buttercream then i would love to know how the half cup amount works out. Thanks again

  89. Hello Summer. I truly love this recipe and has been my go to buttercream recipe since I found it in your blog. I want to make a strawberry version and was wondering how can I achieve that without compromising the structure of the buttercream. I usually coat my cakes with ganache before covering them in fondant (I’m a sucker for straight edges 🙂 ). Thanks so much for your time!

    1. Thanks Maria! The easiest way to add strawberry flavor with the least side effects is to use a strawberry paste like the kind from Pastry Portal but the are spendy and come in large volumes. Other options include adding fresh strawerry puree, jam, or extract. If adding puree, cut the vanilla volume way back to avoid excess liquid. I like to include a touch of a good quality strawberry extract to boost the flavor as well. Start with 1/4 cup puree and check stability before adding up to an additional 1/4 cup. Jam is an easy option but the flavor is not as fresh as with a fresh fruit puree. You should be able to still get nice edges if you work with it cold. I hope this helps.

    2. I have found that freeze dried fruit adds beautiful color and flavor to frostings without adding unwanted liquids or artificial ingredients. I buy freeze dried fruit at Target or order online. Just one ounce ground to a powder with my blender can be added to a batch of frosting for an amazing flavor boost.

  90. Hi Summer, I have made this a few times now but i reduced the sugar a little (375g) (as my family dont like buttercream that is too sweet) and used a little more butter(550g). However i do find it is a bit too soft for my liking and would be afraid to add flavouring as it could make it even softer. What is the main cause of it being too soft? is it more the fact of reducing the sugar or increasing the butter? Am i right in saying that more sugar makes a stronger thicker meringue and if so is that also true here for this buttercream since a meringue is never actually made but all the ingredients are the same? I have read else where that add butter helps stabilise the buttercream but from what i read here that is not so or is that because it was from the traditional method of SMBC. Also some recipies add icing sugar and reduce the castor sugar, does it serve a purpose other than making it sweeter? to thicken it perhaps?
    Sorry for all the questions but i like to understand recipies and why to do certain things so i can work out how to add flavours or correct things that might go wrong. Many thanks Ann

    1. Hi Ann, yes the sugar will help stabilize the buttercream by thickening the liquid. Also, while butter has great emulsifying properties and helps create a stable buttercream it also makes it softer at room temperature. You can add powdered sugar but by the time it adds firming properties your buttercream will be very sweet and you will lose the silly texture. Try reducing the butter next time. Start with a small amount and add more incrementally. Periodically check it and stop adding when you are pleased with the taste and texture. 🙂

  91. Hi Summer,
    this recipe is as perfect as your other recipes! thanks you!
    I just finished making SMBC for the first time and your tips work awesome!
    I decided to make this buttercream because I was looking for an icing whiter than regular ABC and I had seen in videos that SMBC looked quite white, but this was even more yellow! disappointing :(, any idea?

    1. Hi Ziba, SMBC color is directly linked to the color of your fat and the amount of air incorporated. Butter color will play a role in the look of the final buttercream. Chosing the palest butter available can help prevent yellowing. There are some ways to boost the brightness of SMBC but it never comes out truly white. You can add a portion of shotening in place of some butter to reduce the yellowing effects. I generally don’t recommend this because of taste, mouthfeel and health reasons. Other options include adding some white food coloring to mask some of the yellow or adding a touch of violet food coloring to neutralize some of the yellow. Whipping right before use will also give you the lightest color. As when egg whites are whipped to a meringue and become white, the added air on the buttercream will obscure light transmittence and give a whiter appearance. I hope this helps!

  92. I love this SMBC but im wondering what is the best way to make it a malteeser flavour? (malted balls I think they are called in the US)
    Thank you very much

      1. Great thank you, I forgot to say that it was a chocolate malt buttercream i was after. Do I still just the malt and hot water after i add the chocolate to the buttercream or would this add too much liquid? also How much chocolate can i add? I read the comments and can see that you said 4oz white choc but what about milk or dark? One last question if the finished buttercream (just normal vanilla) is not stiff enough then can i add more frozen syrup to finished buttercream instead of icing sugar as a way of stiffening it or does it not work like that? Thank you so much for your time

        1. Yes, I would stick with about 4 ounces. Much more than that can make it too soft. You can also add a couple of ounces of cocoa powder when you beat your butter for a more potent chocolate flavor. Adding the malt powder shouldn’t be a problem if you keep it to a paste consistency and it isn’t too soupy. And yes, you can add more syrup to form up the buttercream. Good luck! Sounds delicious!

  93. Hi Summer. Does this method work well under fondant. I usually smooth my SMBC and let it chill for awhile so that it firms up and then apply fondant. And the second question is will this hold up in extreme humidity or does it need another stabilizer. I’ve hear adding cream of tartar, meringue powder ,or cutting down the butter and replacing it with high-ratio shortening will help the SMBC to not melt but I’ve yet to try. Thanks, Dari

    1. This buttercream acts just like SMBC under fondant and in heat and humidity. Reducing the fat makes it more firm at room temperature and also replacing some of the fat with shortening will raise the melting temperature. I have not had good luck with any stabilizers I have tried. I hope that answers your questions!

  94. I use powdered egg whites to make Swiss Meringue buttercream. They work beautifully. I reconstitute them with very warm water, then organize the ingredients while the powder soaks up the water. Then I briefly whisk them by hand to make sure all of the powder is smoothly mixed with the water. I don’t have to worry about bacteria, plus I can make anything that uses uncooked or barely-cooked egg whites on the spur of the moment because they last 2 years in a cool, dry place. No running to the grocery store and waiting for pasteurized egg whites to warm up to room temperature!

  95. Hi, Thanks so much for all of your articles. I follow your recipe here from Paris, I discovered your article from THECAKEBLOG, I remember making this buttercream. In addition, I need your help, I have been having a problem with my SMBC, before use, I bring my SMBC to room temperature and re-stirred then it becomes liquid cream plus some kind of milk. Do you think I stir it too much? But I don’t have this problem with my itanlien meringue buttercream. Thanks for your help.

  96. Hi Summer, because this method of making smbc doesn’t need a meringue whipped, does that mean that technically, it is ok if a bit of yolk gets into to egg white-sugar mixture?

  97. Hi, im wondering what is the best way to make this into a coconut buttercream? Add coconut milk or cream maybe? How much?
    Thank you

  98. Summer first off let me thank you for sharing yet another one of your recipes! and let me add this is DELISHCIOUS (sp intentional) next – my SMBC came our extremely soft even though it was holding the paddle and the spoon it was too soft to pipe on my cupcakes. Where did I go wrong and could I add a stabilizer? I asked this because I had doubled the recipe to cover 100 cupcakes last night. Went to bed @4am frustrated that I could not get it to firm up. please help! i would hate to waste all of this.

  99. Hello Summer, I just started following your blog and have seen amazing recipes. And the stories behind them are quite educative. I want to ask if it has to be the paddle attachment to mix the meringue because I have the small hand mixer. What do you advise please.

  100. Hi. I have had an extremely horrible time trying to make cream cheese SMBC or IMBC and it’s usually always a curdled mess. Sadly it happened here too! I tried to just keep mixing but it never came together. I then tried melting down a bit of the icing and mixing on med-low streaming the melted SMBC back in and still no hope! My butter and cream cheese were at a cool room temp. So was the sugar/egg mixture. Maybe I should have left out the corn syrup? This has been a mind boggling experience with cream cheese! Any help would be so greatly appreciated! But I must say this method of making the icing did smell wonderful!! And it tasted great even though it never came together too bad I couldn’t use it to frost and fill!

    1. Ah, cream cheese! It is deicious but pure evil in frosting. Its combination of fat and liquid make it terribly tricky to add. I suggest adding it in small quantities (no more than 8 oz per batch) and perhaps reducing the amount of butter in your SMBC. I wish there was a magic solution but you just have to volume to prevent “breakage.” Good luck!

  101. Hi Summer,

    This is the icing recipe I’ve been searching for years! This is the type of icing used in the biggest abd most pipular cakeshops in Philippines! (Goldilocks and Red ribbon) You are a genious thanks for sharing. I hate making SMBC because it always curdled. The last time I made, I ended up throwing in the bin. In Singapore’s humid weather there’s no way SMBC can hold its shape. I tried your recipe last night for a friend’s cake and I could’nt believe it! It’s like magic! My problem for years is solved!

    I want you to know that you have a new Finipina fan here in Singapore!

  102. Well, this is embarrassing. It’s supposed to be fool-proof, but I’m confused as to why it came out soupy for me. Lol. I followed the directions and used a scale to make I’m being precise. I’ve used this recipe once before and it was perfect. What could have gone wrong this time? There’s no saving this batch, I’m almost certain.

      1. Start with refrigerator-cold syrup and you should not have any problems. Sometimes when your butter and syrup are at a temperature where they don’t combine for the proper butter plasticity, they don’t emulsify as well. Best of luck buttercreaming!

  103. Hi Summer, Im wondering is it necessary to rewhip this after it is madeand sat in the fridge over night? When i make it, it is lovely and stiff and a great consistency. I put in the fridge over night and then take out and bring to room temp and then rewhip but it turns into almost liquid. sometimes it never comes back together and other times it can take a minimum of 20mins whipping. Am i doing something wrong or what can i do to help stop this? Could i just use with out re whipping? Can it be used straight after making or is it always best to let it sit overnight? Thanks a million 🙂 (I only ever use it to fill cakes or top cupcakes if that makes any difference)

    1. Hi, Sorry for the delay in response! I think you might have more success rewhipping if you don’t let it come all the way to room temp. The butter likes to hold air better when it is slightly firm. You can definitely use this right after it is made. I think it is at its best then, but after sitting it should be fine. You don’t have to rewhip but you may lose some volume as it sits, especially if it is warm. I hope that helps!

  104. i tried your recipe..and didn’t work, as soon as i started mixing the syrup and the butter it all crumbled apart… :(:(…put it back in to the fridge and got better but still not the consistency i was looking for my fondant cake.. :(. please help!

  105. Thank you so much for this recipe! I felt like I was dreaming as I prepared this and iced my cakes. I’ve had some issues w/ SMBC recently, enough to give me anxiety while decorating a wedding cake. This is genius! I did a chocolate version (adding cocoa after whipping the butter) and that for some reason came out a little fluffier and smoother than the original recipe, but both were delicious and held up so well under fondant. I will NEVER go back to traditional SMBC! You are a lifesaver!

  106. Hello Summer! I love your recipe and the detail you give… You’re awesome! I was hoping to use this recipe in lieu of American buttercream which can be overly sweet and gritty. I do not refrigerate my stacked fondant cakes. I usually fill with buttercream and crumb coat with ganache and then cover with fondant. Do you think this recipe would work well, without any negative effects, for a filling that isn’t refrigerated?

  107. Hello! I’ve been wanting to try your recipe for meringue buttercream, but sadly, in Venezuela, is very difficult to find butter. I have margarine, so I wanted to know if you have ever tried the recipe with margarine. Please let me know and thanks in advance.

    1. Hi Nathalie, I’m sorry to say I have never made this with margarine. I have It on my list of things to do. It should work but I’m not sure how well the margarine will emulsify the egg. It may require another emulsifier. If I get to experimenting I will let you know!

  108. Hi Summer,
    Thank you for sharing your recipe. I am eager to try it. I need to make a caramel buttercream. How can I turn your into a caramel buttercream. I have read that you can make a toffee with sugar and water and add it to the buttercream? Pleae help. Thanks again.

    1. Hi! Here is a recipe that will give you a guideline, but you can really add any caramel you have on hand. You can add about 1/2 cup to a recipe. You can cut back on the sugar in the syrup slightly as well if you wish.

  109. hi.i want to make decorations and flowers etc…should I add less butter to be firm but I didn’t understand the part where u said it melts in fridge while firms in room temperature…

    1. Hi, yes, less butter will be more form at room temperature. That may help when piping. It doesn’t melt in the fridge, it just doesn’t get quite as hard as it will with more butter in the fridge.

  110. Summer, this is my go-to SMBC recipe and I just love the easy method. I was wondering if I could substitute browned butter in this recipe. Do you know if it would work? I would appreciate your thoughts.

    1. Hi Susan!
      I’m glad this recipe has been working well for you! I think you could substitute a portion of browned butter but this recipe does rely on the emulsifying properties of butter proteins. When your butter browns these dairy solids drop out and you lose their lovely characteristics. I would try 1/3 browned butter and see how well it comes together. To can always add more butter if it’s not happy with the change. I would love to hear how it goes! 🙂

      1. Thank you for the prompt reply. I will do as you suggest and hopefully the flavor will come through, but I won’t mess up the chemistry too much. I’ll be sure to let you know how it turns out.

  111. I’ve never tried making Swiss Meringue Buttercream before, wasn’t even sure if I’d eaten it before, but I tried this today and it is awesome, & the first go…phew! So creamy & lovely to pipe & spread. Hope my fussy (when it comes to icing) eaters like the taste as much as I do. Thank you Summer!

    1. Yay! I’m so glad that it worked on the first go! My hope with this recipe was that people could avoid common SMBC disasters. If any picky eaters find this isn’t sweet enough or enough like traditional frosting you can add a bit of powdered sugar. You will lose some of the lovely texture but sometimes you have to make sacrifices. 😉

  112. Just made this recipe and it worked a treat! So silky, smooth and fluffy. Only problem is that being in Australia our butter is quite yellow, so I didn’t get the white icing I was hoping for, even though I used almost a full bottle of white food colouring gel! Do you think this recipe would work with coconut oil instead of butter?

    1. Hi Nadia, coconut oil does not have the same emulsifying properties that butter does. So you could probably get away with using a portion of coconut oil but you need a majority of butter in order for the buttercream to come together. Sorry!

  113. With your swiss meringue butter cream how long can you keep it at room temp before having to refrigerate it? When the butter cream has been refrigerated how long does it take to come to room temp before having to remixing it? When a cake is iced in your swiss meringue buttercream how long do you sit it out of the fridge for before eating? Due to the different method of making the butter cream is it more stable and more thick(dense) then the normal swiss meringue buttercream? sorry for the million question…

    1. Hi Mikayla,
      You can keep this buttercream at room temperature for two days before refrigerating. The time to room temp depends on room temperature and the volume of buttercream but probably three hours or so. You can always speed it up by microwaving it. I would leave a chilled cake out a couple of hours before serving but it again depends on the chill temperature, size of the cake and room temperature. This is ever so slightly more dense when first made but after sitting for even an hour or two and rebeating the buttercreams become indistinguishable from one another. The glucose syrup should work fine. Let me know if you have any more questions! It’s my pleasure to answer what I can. 🙂

      1. Thank you so much for getting back to me! It was all very useful information. I made it this avo but only a 1/3 of a batch testing it out for I cake I am making on Thursday. All I can say was OMG why did I not find this resipy sooner!!!! It was so much easier then traditional SMBC and I beater the butter for a lot longer to produce a whiter colour which worked great!! I did find it very buttery though, would adding more sugar to the resipy change the consistency at all?? Also I added melted white chocolate at the end but after a hour I noticed that there was white choclate hard bits all through the mixture do u no how I could prevent this from happening? Oh and lastly I found the butter cream got no where near a hard in the fridge as my other resipy; would this be normal or have I done something wrong?? Thanks again for all your help

  114. Hi Summer, I will be making approximately 80 funfetti cupcakes and a small naked smash cake for my grandniece’s first birthday in January. How many batches of the SMBC do you think I’ll need to make? Will this SMBC hold up in between the cake layers? Also, I’m sorry if this is a repeat question, but if I pipe the cupcakes on Friday night for a Saturday afternoon party, can I box them and leave them on my counter or should I put them in my laundry room since it’s pretty chilly in there during the winter months?

    1. Hi Robin! Each batch makes about 4 cups. It really depends on how much frosting you put on each cupcake. I would average about 3 tablespoons per cupcake or 20 cupcakes per batch of frosting. I would make 4 1/2 batches to be safe. This buttercream does very well between cake layers. It’s sturdy. And you can definitely frost ahead and keep the cupcakes at cool room temperature. Good luck!

  115. Hi! What a heavenly tasting frosting this is. Thanks so much for sharing. I do have a question though. Mine seemed to be fluffier before I added the vanilla at the end. I kept beating and it improved some but not as fluffy as before. What would cause this? I did add it slowly, but it visibly changed to much more of a butter consistency. Maybe I beat a little too long before adding flavoring? Can this be overbeaten?

  116. Hi Summer! I’m sorry if I’m repeating a question that’s already been asked (I didn’t read through all the comments) but I was wondering, if I was to make your smbc and I wanted to add melted chocolate to it for a different flavour, how much would you suggest I add?
    Thank you,

  117. Hi summer
    We have tried to make this twice but each time the mixture splits / looks curdled and oily etc. what are we doing wrong?!
    Many thanks

  118. Hi Summer! Its Nathalie from Venezuela, again…I was just reading a question from Australia that said that their butter is more yellow, and I was wondering if maybe shortening would work…remember I told you that it is difficult for me to find butter? Could this recipe work with vegetable shortening? Thanks again!

  119. Hi Summer! I hope I get an answer before my project in a couple of days …I make SMB call the time with no problem, however I bought Russian floral tips and the frosting was too soft to make a pretty flower. Will this version be firm enough?

  120. Summer, you have changed my view on SMBC!. I had given up on this as I always ended up with a soupy mess! You are a genius. I love your scientific explanation of it all and can’t wait to try it. I’m not scared anymore lol! Thank you x

  121. I’m really excited to try this! Have you (or anyone you know of) used this buttercream with Russian piping tips?

  122. Hi Summer,
    I just wanted to ask, I made the SM and it has worked perfectly, I even tripled the recipe. I have a texture that is perfect for covering and filling – fondant ready. I want to make my Sm more lighter and Fluffy, not as flat and glossy. So you have said I can just add some water or some kind of liquid. If I add water, would you suggest to have it at a temperature around that of the egg and sugar mixture when we added them into the butter? Will water alter the taste or it will just give me that ‘fluffiness’ I am looking for?

    Thanks again for a brilliant recipe, if this water works out a treat I am in serious heaven! It is fantastic and so many variations that it can be used for!

  123. Hi Summer!

    This was my 4th attempt and I finally made it! My first two attempts were a total disaster, a soupy mess that not even refrigerating the mess or beating for literally an hour would bring it together. In the third attempt I overheated the egg whites and got some cooked chunks, but in my fourth attempt made sure of not overhearing it And noticed the consistency got super foamy which was hard to tell if there were still any unmelted crystals and/or chunks of egg, but I kept mixing and pressing down with a spoon to try to break all the sugar crystals, then microwaved it again until it was sugar crystals free. Added some corn syrup like you suggested and put it in the freezer for exactly 20 minutes. The result looked like a cold semi liquid honey. And violà!! Magic happened within literally a minute Thank you so much!! I can also tell how adding liquid (vanilla and amaretto flavoring in my case) would change the consistency Brilliant!. But I was wondering if it’s possible to use less butter next time? I used a 1:1.5:1 ratio but still think it’s a little buttery. I was thinking something like 1:1.2:1/2 and add that part of cream cheese?, is that even possible? , or should I leave it alone and use a different non butter based frosting instead? I’m trying to find a perfect icing to use under fondant/ganache?

    Thanks again to share your amazing knowledge with all of us!

  124. Hi Summer
    I have made this recipe before and it worked perfectly and I got lots of great comments on how smooth, creamy and tasty it was.

    On my second attempt however it was an epic fail. It was soupy and curdled and no amount of beating (up to 40 minutes) would bring it together. I read many of your comments and tried a couple of times to put it in the fridge for a while. While this worked the second time I tried and it looked like it was coming together (but not very thick), the moment I stopped beating it curdled again.

    I used a thermometer to ensure the eggwhites reached the right temperature both on the stove and before incorporating the butter.

    There is a small chance my eggwhites were contaminated by a teeny tiny bit of yolk – would this cause this to happen? However I don’t think I did get any yolk in there.

    I still have it in the fridge as I did’t want to throw away in case there is some way I can bring it back.

    Any recommendations?

    1. Hi Nadia,
      A little yolk will not affect whether or not the buttercream breaks. In fact, you can make the buttercream with whole eggs. It’s often a temperature issue if the buttercream “curdles”. I usually add my egg white syrup when it is quite cold and it helps prevent separation. The flip side of this that rebeating cold buttercream can cause it to separate too. There’s a happy medium. I would take it from the fridge and allow it to warm somewhat but not all the way to room temp. Then beat it at as high a speed as you can. If that stil doesn’t work try beating in a little more butter until it comes together. Let me know how it goes!

  125. Hello, I will be making a cake with this frosting for filling and flower decor and then I have to drive with it for 6 hours. How should I go about it? Can I freeze the completed cake before transporting? Should I crumb and freeze just the cakes, then decorate and take with me?

    1. Hi Sylvia! Yes, you can freeze the completed cake and travel with it. I would recommend adding flowers or piped decorations on site if you can, just to avoid travel mishaps along the way. The biggest issue with freezing and then removing a cake is condensation. It may help to transfer from freezer to refrigerator for a couple of hours to avoid major surface temperature changes while retaining the inner chill. As long as your outside temperature is not to warm or humid, you should not have problems with dripping and the condensation will evaporate by the time you arrive. If you are nervous about the surface conditions, travelling with the cake crumb coated and frozen is a safe bet! I hope all goes well on your cake adventure!

  126. I love the idea of premaking the sugar syrup ahead and freezing it. How much do you measure out of the freezer? By volume or by weight. Thank you!

    1. Hi Susan, Somehow your message slipped through the cracks and I just ran across it. Sorry!

      You will need 24 ounces (or 1 pound plus 8 ounces) of syrup for one recipe. I’m not sure what the volume would be. I hope that helps!

    1. I have not tried to make a swiss meringue with this syrup out of the freezer, but it should work fine. Just be sure to bring the syrup to room temperature. Meringues get picky if they are too cold or too warm.

  127. Hi Summer! This recipe is indeed foolproof and delicious. Only change I made was whipping the butter on high for 10 minutes before adding the egg syrup. I don’t know why but I think the final buttercream tastes less buttery? Anyhow, my question is trying to make this into a blueberry version. What would you recommend and in which amount? Thank you!

    1. Hi Lynne! I recently made a blueberry syrup/sauce that should flavor the buttercream wonderfully. Combine 2 cups of blueberries (fresh or frozen) in a saucepan with 1 tablespoon water and 1/2 cup sugar. Bring to a boil and simmer for10 minutes until the berries break down. Puree with blender, processor or immersion blender and stain with fine mesh strainer. Let cool before adding to buttercream. I would start by adding 1/2 cup syrup and then taste for flavor and consistency. If you can access it you could add a little blueberry flavoring (I use Silver Cloud Estates) or freeze dried blueberry powder to emphasize the flavor. Good luck!

      1. Thanks Summer! Can the scientist in you figure out why whipping the butter like crazy before adding the syrup alters the taste? I’ve done it both ways (10 minutes vs. 1 minute) and I swear it makes a less intensely buttery tasting SMB!

        I’ll try your suggestion for a syrup. Unfortunately I don’t have time to order any supplies in since these (made with your Essential Vanilla Cupcakes & a lemon curd filling) are due Friday of next week. The syrup idea sounds great! Thanks again.

        Oh one other question about this SMB recipe. Sometimes you add 2 oz of corn syrup. Why is that? Does it make the buttercream more stable?

        1. It’s my best guess that whipping the butter affects both the way ingredients interplay and the way the ingredients act in your mouth. Cream and butter are pretty amazing in the sense that they can shift between liquid in fat and fat in liquid emulsions. In the same way whipping cream can shift cream to whipped cream then butter, vigorously whipping butter not only incorporates air but muddles the arrangement of molecules. Both of these activities alter the way butter melts in your mouth and how it is transmitted through your olfactory system. I hope that kind of makes sense.

          You can also add liquid, even water, to the SMBC to lighten it and help it seem less intensely buttery. It’s kind of like making whipping cream from butter, rather than the reverse!

          In relation to the corn syrup, I add it to the syrup at times as insurance against sugar crystalization. This is particularly helpful if you plan store the syrup for any time before making buttercream. It’s necessary, but better to safe than sorry. Sometimes I add it later the process if I want little more sweetness without grittiness from powdered sugar.

          Let know I can help anything else!

          1. Thank you again! I love that you are so quick with your responses too 🙂 I’ll stick to beating the butter initially for 10 minutes on high. First time was accidental (I walked away) but everyone who has tried it oohs and aahs over how light and fluffy my SMB is! And I’ll just add the extra 2 oz of corn syrup. Although I MUCH prefer SMB to American Buttercream, I think it is better with a bit more sweetness added.

            When you freeze the egg white syrup, how do you dethaw it when ready to use? If it’s too cold it will make the butter seize up so I wonder if you do fridge then counter top to hit the correct temperature?

          2. I just heat the syrup in the microwave until it’s cool but not frigid. You can set it out at room temp for a while too!

  128. I just ran across Lorann blueberry emulsion. Would that work to add more blueberry flavor or are the emulsions better in baked items?

      1. Actually perfect timing since I’m making it tonight! How much vanilla extract and blueberry emulsion would you use? Also doing your blueberry syrup

        1. I would start with a half a teaspoon of blueberry and a tablespoon vanilla and see how that goes. My blueberry extract is very potent and you don’t want to overdo it with that flavoring.

  129. Hi Summer! I tried your recipe today It was easy to do, however I felt the icing to be quite soft. I did a half recipe to test it out but added about 1-2 tbsp of icing sugar to stiffen it up a little without compromising too much on the sweetness. I am wondering how cold the egg/sugar recipe must be before adding it to the butter? Mine was baby bottle temperature. Does it need to be colder? My butter was still cool to the touch but not very soft. I beat it for 2-3 minutes to get it more creamy (and it DID!). Any guidance you can provide will be great.
    thanks so much for what you go and share with us!

    1. Hi Teresa! I often add my syrup quite cold, like refrigerator cold. Anything cooler than room temperature will work, but above room temperature you are going to warm your butter to a blobby over-pliable temperature. And when you butter loses all of its resistance it starts to get squishy and greasy as the butter fat merges out of emulsion. I would cool your syrup a bit more before adding and you should be in good shape! 🙂

  130. Hi there, I’m making a tall layered vanilla sponge for my sisters wedding. I’m planning on using this recipe for the filling and to cover the cake, but I was wondering if it would be ok if I covered the buttercream with white chocolate? I was planning on pouring slightly cooled melted w chocolate over it and letting it drip down the sides all the way to the bottom, to ‘hopefully’ create a smooth finish. Do you think it will work?
    I also have to be careful as it’s very hot at the moment in the UK. And I won’t be able to keep it refrigerated on the day. I’ll just keep it boxed in the shade untill ready to show. What you you think? Thank you Em x

    1. Hi Emma, This recipe will work well for a pour-covered cake, but you may want to use a pouring consistency ganache instead of straight chocolate. It will be easier to work with at a temperature that won’t melt the buttercream and it will be easier to eat since you can cut through it and it won’t crumble. On the day of the wedding, keep the cake cool and out of the sun as long as you can and you should be fine. If you have any other questions let me know!

  131. Hi Summer, I really like your scientific approach to your recipes. It’s gives me confidence that you are able to explain how each of the ingredients work 🙂
    I gave the recipe a try today, and whilst I love how foolproof and easy it is, I found it very sweet (it could just be my Asian taste buds – most Asians don’t like their desserts too sweet!). Without substituting out any of the egg whites, I added about half of the egg yolks into the syrup mixture before heating it, and then only used half of the final egg-sugar syrup mixture with the butter. This was already more sweet than I’d normally prefer (and presumably not very stable given I’ve only used about half the syrup mixture). Is there anything I can do to adjust the sweetness level without compromising on the stability? I’m desperately trying to find a buttercream recipe that isn’t too sweet yet stable and delicious!
    Thank you so much for generously sharing your recipes and knowledge! 🙂

    1. Hi Donna! I would start by adding less sugar to the egg syrup, perhaps 1/3 less. You should still have enough sugar to keep your egg whites from calculating when heated. Then I would also add another 1/2 to 1 cup of butter to further dilute the sweetness of the original buttercream. This should be more stable than when you added egg yolks- which notoriously softens a buttercream. If it’s still too sweet you can incrementally reduce sugar and/or add butter until you find your perfect balance of sweet but still stable. Be sure to try the buttercream on a cake sample too. Sometimes, it’s seems very sweet on its own to me, but less so on a cake. I guess it depends on how sweet your cake is too! Best of luck to you!

  132. Omg. It’s like soup and won’t stiffen up at all. I have made Swiss meringue many times and thought I would try your way.. I have a cake to deliver and not enough bitter to make another batch. I’m losing it!!!

    1. Oh my goodness! I’m sorry I didn’t get back to you right away! If you start with cold egg syrup, like close to refrigerator cold, you should never have problems. Or, if you chill a soupy buttercream until it gets to the plastic state (moldable but not too soft) that seems to be the happy place for having buttercream come together well. Initially, it depends on your syrup (or egg white) and butter temperature. The cooler end of things seems to work better.

      I’m so sorry for your troubles! I know how frustrating and frightening that is. I hope you found a timely solution.

      Try this recipe again sometime-maybe under less pressured circumstances 😉 – with a well-cooled syrup and butter that’s soft but not too warm. I promise it really is easy! Hugs

  133. Thank you! I cannot wait to try this!
    I’ve been trying to get up the motivation to make a European meringue buttercream…but either option sounds like a huge pain…Swiss is like making seven-minute frosting and then whipping in butter, and I hate making seven-minute frosting, which always takes 13 minutes of holding that stupid hand mixer over a stupid double-boiler…and I also am wary of pouring hot sugar syrup into a running mixer for Italian…
    So your version sounds PERFECT! Thanks for putting in the work, and posting it.
    I think it should be named after you, it’s going to take the world by storm.

  134. This recipe sure made a lot of sense and I had very high hopes. It looked like it was going to work but suddenly everything curdled and would not come back together. My syrup was maybe too cold (I froze it according to the directions, it was 45 degrees when I used it) and the butter at room temp, about upper 60’s — could that have been the problem? I can’t ever seem to get a Swiss buttercream to work, I’ve wasted so much butter it’s pathetic, which is why I wanted to try your version. What am I missing?

    1. Hi Becky! Most problems with Swiss meringue buttercream come out of temperature problems. Sometimes, your butter or syrup is too cold and sometimes your butter is too warm. I would guess your ingredients were both too cold to form a proper emulsion. Maybe let the buttercream get a little bit warmer so that the butter can open up and except the liquid of the syrup. You can almost always fix a curdled buttercream with temperature adjustment and aggressive whipping. If your butter is too warm and the syrup is too warm you’ll have a similar problem and things liquify too much and break down. In that case, you have to chill your buttercream for a little while until it is able to form a properly blended semisolid. Basically, you want your butter to be pliable but not so soft that it breaks down. It has to stay in a sort of moldable clay like phase. I know these qualifications are a little bit vague, but I think if you adjust your temperatures a little bit you will have success. Please let me know if I can answer any more questions! I know with a little bit of wiggling you can make a really great buttercream!

    1. Yes, this recipe works well for piping. It is similar to other SMBC’s. If you want it slightly more firm at room temperature you can reduce the amount of butter a bit. Periodically chilling or switching piping bags can help keep your buttercream and flowers from getting soft too.

  135. Ok….I have made this. It came together fast and just as described. It tastes ok but the texture is like eating butter. My normal SMBC is light and fluffy and airy, like cool whip almost. This is like someone added sugar to butter and whipped it. Is that normal? I am going to use it for a smash cake for a one year old so it isn’t getting wasted. I am going to add my cream cheese frosting to it. Just wanted to see if that is what everyone else experienced. I whipped the butter for an additional minute to lighten it. I added the sugar mixture slowly and it immediately stiffened up. Just wanted to be sure that was normal for that to be the mouth feel and frankly the look of it. I will probably use this again just not sure it will be for when i need just vanilla. Thanks in advance and you are brilliant!

    1. Hi Tina! I too have had that happen on occasion. It can be even more prominent if you use a butter with a very low liquid content. This SMBC is butter heavy and liquid low. Adding liquid gets you back to a proportion that is more like whipped cream and less like butter. Here are a couple of ways that you can make it lighter. First, if you are working from scratch, you can add more egg whites–as much as double the amount called for in this recipe–from the get go. Second, you can add a good amount of liquid at the end of mixing, after the buttercream has come together. I have experimented and added up to a cup of water to the buttercream and the butter was still able to emulsify it beautifully. I am sure I could have added more, butter is amazing at forming water-in-oil emulsions! This gives you great opportunity to add any kind of juice, puree, etc. to the mix. I usually add a lot of vanilla to the buttercream and that seems to lighten it quite a bit, but anything will work. Just be sure to stick with lower-fat liquids. High-fat liquids will turn the mix into soup and break the emulsion that butter has going on with the egg whites. Let me know if you need additional suggestions, or if I can answer more questions. 🙂

  136. I am excited to try this. I have one question: Is this SMBC made with this method as glossy in appearance as the SMBC made the usual way? Also, will using the cartoned egg whites caused it to be less glossy that using fresh egg whites? Thank you.

    1. Hi! I have not noticed any difference in the glossiness of this SMBC vs traditionally made. I cannot tell a difference between the glossiness of fresh vs carton egg whites either. Much of the glossiness comes from the butter combined with the melted sugar syrup. I don’t think the eggs play much of a role in the gloss factor. 🙂

      1. I just made this frosting and it is BEAUTIFUL and glossy. I LOVE it! I have one question, though. I got some of it on my hands and they feel greasy. Is this frosting supposed to be greasy or oily feeling? I mixed everything according to the recipe, except I did beat the butter about 5 minutes at the beginning instead of 2 minutes. Thanks.

        1. Hi Rachel! Because SMBC’s are butter heavy, they can definitely feel fatty. You can lighten them by adding liquid and it will become more whipped cream like, but since there is a high fat proportion, they will feel greasier than an American buttercream which is dominated by sugar. About the corn syrup, if you are going to store the sugar-egg syrup for a period of time, you can add a tablespoon or so of corn syrup to prevent crystals from forming, as in The Cake Blog Recipe. You should add it before you heat the egg-sugar mixture to dissolve to best keep the crystals at bay. Let me know if you have any more questions!

  137. I made this recipe and it was perfect! I do have one question: When it took it out of the freezer it had this white film in certain places on the top. Is that normal? It did not affect the frosting, but I just want to be sure. Thanks.

    1. Hi Rachel! I cannot recall having a white film on buttercreams that I have frozen. Other than a bit of frost or freezer burn, I’m not sure what it could be. It has the same texture as normal buttercream? If any of the butter came out of emulsion, it could form a film on top. If I think of anything else, I will get back to you. I’m glad it didn’t affect the buttercream overall. Sorry I don’t have a definite answer for you!

  138. Is it okay to make this buttercream using a 1:2:4 ratio (egg whites/sugar/butter) instead of the 1:2:2 ratio that you have in your recipe? If so, how will it affect the outcome of the recipe? Thank you.

    1. Hi Melanie! You can definitely use this method to make different ratio versions of SMBC. Adding a higher ratio of butter will make for a creamier, less sweet buttercream. This SMBC will also be more solid when chilled but softer at room temperature. You can play around with proportions to see which texture and flavor you favor most. You can start with the lesser amount using this method and always add more at the end. Here is a post I wrote for another blog that has additional details related to this method. https://thecakeblog.com/2014/06/no-meringue-swiss-buttercream-recipe.html I hope that helps!

  139. I have tried 6 ti.es in a row to make this recipe and it always comes out greasy and dense. It is not at all like regular smbc. I wanted this so bad to work! So I had to go to the store for more supplies and make traditional smbc. I have no idea what the issue was but I made the egg mixture the day before and then had it come to room temp before adding to whipped butter. I tried mixing for at least 15 minutes and the texture didn’t change. I have made imbc and smbc for years and was hopeful for a quick solution to the painstaking time it takes for the regular.

    1. Hi Tina! The issue you are having is likely a condition of proportions. This recipe is butter heavy, which works well under fondant or for piping etc., but sometimes can feel heavy or buttery. There are a couple of solutions. First, you can use the same method but swap the proportions of egg whites, butter, sugar to that of other recipes that you prefer. The other option is to add liquid the mix to lighten up the buttercream. Almost any lower-fat liquid will work (water, milk, juice, coffee, pasteurized egg whites, etc.). I have added 1 cup of liquid to a single recipe without any disruption of integrity to be seen. Butter is amazing at absorbing liquid into itself as an emulsification. This will lighten the buttercream and give it a more whipped cream-like consistency. With the balloon whisk and the mixer running, stream in a little liquid at a time to give the butter a chance to do its thing. You can also just add more egg whites to the syrup from the get-go. I hope one of these options works well for you. Let me know if I can help with more troubleshooting!

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