SMBC ( short for Swiss Meringue Buttercream), is a buttercream frosting recipe that not only holds its shape but is used by a lot of cake designers to achieve perfect sharp cake edges. This recipe comes together very easily with 4 simple pantry staple ingredients- egg whites, sugar, salted butter, and vanilla extract. It is silky but firm enough to hold even the most complex piped designs without lacking in flavor or quality. It can also be made ahead of time and frozen for future use.
Unlike American buttercream, which is made with loads of powdered sugar and is notorious for being ”gritty” this recipe is not overly sweet- it will turn any buttercream opposer into a buttercream LOVER. If you are lemon flavor lover, try Lemon Curd Layer Cake with Swiss Meringue Buttercream.
- Saucepan & large heatproof mixing bowl: I just use the metal/glass mixing bowl that comes with a stand mixer.
- LARGE Whisk: Having a large whisk to use while whisking the egg mixture of the double boiler is so helpful.
- Electric Mixer: Beating the meringue into stiff peaks requires an electric mixer. I strongly recommend a Stand mixer. A handheld mixer will take longer to beat the meringue and be truly tiresome. Though not advised – it is not impossible to use a hand-held mixer for this recipe get a high-powered one HERE
- Laser Thermometer: Though also not required, it’s helpful to have a laser thermometer to easily determine the safe temperature of cooked egg whites and sugar.
- Softened Salted Butter- I prefer high-quality grass-fed cow butter for this recipe as the flavor truly is unmatched- however, you can use unsalted and add your own salt as you wish to taste.
- Sugar – white granulated sugar is recommended here, but if you are feeling adventurous- brown sugar is a lovely addition here as well
- Egg Whites- I highly recommend using extra large fresh eggs instead of carton egg whites for this buttercream recipe, I find the texture of fresh eggs to have a better end result.
- Vanilla extract- when choosing vanilla extract- choose wisely. The quality of vanilla really needs to carry the flavor in this recipe. I prefer LorAnn Oils Vanilla Extract, but there are so many delicious vanillas out on the market!
Tips for making this recipe
Before whipping the egg whites, wipe down ALL equipment and your mixer bowl with white vinegar or clean them with soap to avoid any leftover grease contaminating your egg whites. If there is any fat or grease residue it will prevent your meringue from whipping up.
- Separate your eggs while they are cold, BUT allow the egg whites to come closer to room temperature before whipping.
- It is entirely normal for the SMBC to look soupy or curdled after adding the butter. DONT STOP YOUR MIXER just let it whip, and it’ll come together in no time.
- If the mixture does not come together and stays curdled after 5 to 10 minutes, you can place the mixing bowl over a simmering pot to let the edges of the meringue warm up before continuing to mix it.
GET THE RECIPE:
Kala’s Perfect Pipeable Swiss Meringue Buttercream Recipe
- Wipe down the mixing bowl, whisk attachments, and all other equipment with white vinegar to ensure there is no fat residue on anything before starting.
- Add the egg whites and sugar to a stand mixer bowl set over a double boiler.
- Stir constantly until the egg whites reach 140°F-144°F. Remove from the heat and let sit for 10 minutes.
- Whip the egg white-sugar mixture on high speed using the whisk attachment until medium-stiff peaks form.
- Turn mixer down to the lowest speed and slowly add the softened butter in chunks.
- Next, add Vanilla, and whip on high speed for 8 minutes.
- Place the bowl back over your double boiler to soften the butter a bit more, about 30-60 seconds until small puddles form at the bottom of the bowl- this is called tempering.
- Then, transition to the paddle attachment and beat for 5 more minutes on low speed until it is shiny and completely smooth.
- DOUBLE THIS RECIPE IF YOU WANT MORE BUTTERCREAM FOR CAKE DECORATING
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