Today I am going to share with you my favorite buttercream recipe. There are four main styles of buttercream: American, Swiss, Italian, and French. American buttercream is the most common, as it is the easiest to make…the other three recipes involve heating your sugar and making a meringue base. This Swiss buttercream recipe is very creamy and rich…it is a bit more difficult to make than an American buttercream, but it is well worth it! Not only does it taste way better, it is also softer and easier to smooth onto your cake. But the best part about this recipe is that it can be easily flavored: you can whip in caramel sauce, melted chocolate, flavor extracts, fresh fruit, or even espresso. SWISS BUTTERCREAM
- 1 cup Egg Whites
- 1 lb Sugar
- 2 lbs Butter
- 1 tsp Salt
- 2 tsp Vanilla
I would not recommend attempting this style of buttercream unless you have a stand mixer. Make sure you use your bowl guard too…it can get a bit messy if you don’t! This amount of buttercream is plenty for a 9 inch cake with 3-4 layers. My pictures are showing a slightly larger recipe, because I am making a two tiered cake with this batch.
- The first step is to find a pot that will allow the bowl of your mixer to fit at least halfway inside of it. Fill that pot with water and place it on the stove on medium heat. While the water is warming, pour your egg whites and sugar into the bowl of your mixer and mix together with a heat proof spatula. Place the bowl into/on top of the pot of water on the stove, stirring occasionally. You want to heat the mixture to 120°F…if you don’t have a thermometer, use your finger to test the temperature. It will feel warm to the touch, but not hot, and the sugar will have dissolved.
- While the egg whites and sugar are heating, cut the butter into smaller chunks and set aside. You can also measure your vanilla and salt at this point.
- Once the egg white mixture is at the proper temperature, remove the mixing bowl from the heat. Very quickly attach it to your mixture fitted with the whisk attachment and bowl guard. Turn the mixer up slowly until you get to the top speed. Let the mixture whip until the bottom of the bowl feels cool to the touch. Whipping the egg whites and sugar creates a meringue. It will start to look thick and shiny white. This process will take a little while.
- Once the bottom of the bowl feels cool, slow down the mixer to about half speed. Add the butter chunks one at a time to the bowl, while it is still whipping. Try to drop the butter down the side edge of the bowl, so it doesn’t hit the whip and fly out into your kitchen!
- Once all of the butter has been added, the mixture might start to separate and look kind of chunky. This is totally normal! The butter and meringue need to come to the same temperature to combine properly. Continue whipping the buttercream, on medium-high speed, until it comes together and looked smooth. Heating the side of your bowl with a kitchen torch will speed up this process.
- Now that your buttercream is smooth and creamy looking, you can flavor it however you’d like. I will simply be adding vanilla and salt to this batch. You can also add any food coloring at this point. Stop the mixer to add your flavors and colors, start it back up slowly, and mix until everything is well combined. Be sure to taste test!!!
- Your buttercream is now ready to use! It can be stored at room temperature for up to 5 days. If you freeze or refrigerate the buttercream, let it come to room temperature and then whip it in your mixer before using it…it will separate again, but just continue mixing and use your torch to bring it back to its originally state.