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Swiss Meringue Buttercream

The sophisticated cousin to American buttercream, Swiss meringue buttercream uses egg whites make the frosting silky smooth with a light touch of sweetness. This buttercream recipe is perfect for decorating cakes, cupcakes, or to fill macarons and other desserts! 

Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Keyword buttercream, dessert, frosting, Swiss Meringue Buttercream
Prep Time 10 minutes
Mixing Time 20 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Servings 24
Calories 171 kcal
Author Sophia


  • 1 cup sugar
  • 5 large egg whites
  • 1 pound butter softened and cut into 1 inch pieces
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract

Lemon Swiss Meringue Buttercream

Chocolate Swiss Meringue Buttercream

  • 6 oz chocolate melted and cooled



  1. Set up a standing mixer with a whisk attachment
  2. Mix 1 cup sugar and 5 egg whites in a metal bowl. Set on top of a pot with about an inch of simmering water.
  3. Cook the egg whites until they reach about 160 degrees, about 3-5 minutes.
  4. Transfer the sugar egg mixture to the standing mixer and whip on medium high until the mixture is completely cool. This should take about 10-15 minutes. If after 15 minutes it’s still warm, keep mixing until the egg whites are cool to the touch.
  5. Switch the mixer to a paddle attachment and mix on low. Add the butter one tablespoon at a time, making sure it is fully incorporated before adding the next piece.
  6. Once all the butter is added, return to medium high speed and whip until it is silky smooth. At some point after adding the butter the buttercream might separate. This is not a problem! Continue whipping the mixture and it will eventually come together to a silky smooth buttercream.
  7. Once it’s a silky and smooth buttercream add vanilla extract or other flavors and mix until combined.

Lemon Swiss Meringue Buttercream

  1. Make the Swiss Meringue Buttercream as instructed above, omitting the vanilla extract. 

  2. After the Swiss Meringue Buttercream is mixed add ½ cup of lemon curd and mix until fully combined.

Chocolate Swiss Meringue Buttercream

  1. Before making the Swiss meringue buttercream, melt 6 oz of milk, dark, or semi-sweet chocolate over a bain-marie double broiler. You want to let it cool to about 85-100 degree F while you make the buttercream.
  2. Make Swiss meringue buttercream as instructed above.

  3. Add the melted and cooled chocolate to the buttercream.
  4. Mix until incorporated.

Recipe Notes

You can also make with pasteurized eggs, in which case skip the step of heating the mixture until 160 degree and go right into mixing the egg whites until stiff peaks and adding the softened butter.

*Nutrition facts are for Vanilla Swiss Meringue Buttercream

Nutrition Facts
Swiss Meringue Buttercream
Amount Per Serving (2 Tbsp)
Calories 171 Calories from Fat 135
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 15g 23%
Saturated Fat 9g 45%
Cholesterol 40mg 13%
Sodium 145mg 6%
Potassium 14mg 0%
Total Carbohydrates 8g 3%
Sugars 8g
Vitamin A 9.4%
Calcium 0.5%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.