Fluffy, professional meringue type buttercream that's not too sweet and withstands high temperatures. Perfect for stack cakes such as wedding cakes. Easily adaptable to various flavoring extracts and colors.

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Ingredients

32
Original recipe yields 32 servings
The ingredient list now reflects the servings specified
Ingredient Checklist

Directions

Instructions Checklist
  • In a saucepan, combine the sugar, corn syrup and water. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, stirring just enough to dissolve the sugar. Heat to between 223 and 234 degrees F (106 to 112 degrees C), or until a small amount of syrup dripped from a spoon forms a soft thread. It should take 1 or 2 minutes.

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  • When the sugar mixture has reached the thread stage, remove it from the heat and set aside. Whip the egg whites in a large bowl with an electric mixer. When the whites can hold a stiff peak, pour in the sugar syrup in a thin stream while continuing to whip at medium speed. Be careful not to pour too quickly, or it will all end up at the bottom of the bowl. When the syrup is incorporated, continue to mix for 10 more minutes to allow it to cool. The egg whites will be fluffy and glossy.

  • Add pieces of cold butter one at a time to the egg whites and continue to whip at medium or low speed. Then do the same with the shortening. The buttercream will break down and look curdled, but keep mixing and it will come back together in about 10 minutes. When it comes back around, mix in the vanilla. Store at room temperature for up to 2 days, or in the refrigerator for up to 1 week.

  • To use after it has been refrigerated, allow it to come to room temperature, then beat with a mixer before using. If cold, heat over a double boiler until you have liquid visible just around the edges. Beat with a mixer until smooth and fluffy before using.

Nutrition Facts

271.7 calories; 0.6 g protein; 13.1 g carbohydrates; 20.3 mg cholesterol; 14.1 mg sodium. Full Nutrition

Reviews (17)

Read More Reviews

Most helpful positive review

Rating: 5 stars
04/20/2009
Although I made some changes, this is my new favorite frosting. Instead of egg whites, I substituted Meringue Powder and Water, and it worked beautifully. I used 10 tsp of meringue powder and 2/3 cups water. Also, as other suggested. I only used 1 cup of shortening. At the end, because I wanted a bit more sweetness, I added 1 cup of powdered sugar. Although it does take a lot of work for this recipe in my opinion, it is well worth it!! **UPDATE** I made this again today and it seemed softer than usual. I think it was because I put the meringue powder in the bowl before I added the water, so the mixer didn't get all of it when whipping it up. Poor the water first, then add the powder slowly to incorporate then whip on high. Also, I wanted chocolate frosting, and added 1 1/4 cup of cocoa WAY TOO MUCH, unless you like a very RICH chocolate frosting. I will take it to 3/4 cup or 2/3 cup next time. To try to compensate for the "softness" I added another 1/2 cup of shortening, but I could taste some of it. I am hoping the chocolate will hide it a bit. Read More
(62)

Most helpful critical review

Rating: 2 stars
10/23/2008
After reading the reviews it looked like all I had to do was leave out the shortening and all would be well. Except that it wasn't stiff enough so I added a cup of shortening. That firmed it to the correct consistency. I then had my husband do a taste test (his birthday cake after all) and the strangest look crossed his face as he asked if there was any sugar in it. I tasted it myself and sure enough it was bland as anything. To try and save it I added two more cups of sugar another teaspoon of vanilla and a half teaspoon of salt. This helped dramatically especially the salt. I might want to experiment using salted butter if I ever make this again. Read More
(28)
21 Ratings
  • 5 star values: 7
  • 4 star values: 4
  • 3 star values: 1
  • 2 star values: 5
  • 1 star values: 4
Rating: 5 stars
04/20/2009
Although I made some changes, this is my new favorite frosting. Instead of egg whites, I substituted Meringue Powder and Water, and it worked beautifully. I used 10 tsp of meringue powder and 2/3 cups water. Also, as other suggested. I only used 1 cup of shortening. At the end, because I wanted a bit more sweetness, I added 1 cup of powdered sugar. Although it does take a lot of work for this recipe in my opinion, it is well worth it!! **UPDATE** I made this again today and it seemed softer than usual. I think it was because I put the meringue powder in the bowl before I added the water, so the mixer didn't get all of it when whipping it up. Poor the water first, then add the powder slowly to incorporate then whip on high. Also, I wanted chocolate frosting, and added 1 1/4 cup of cocoa WAY TOO MUCH, unless you like a very RICH chocolate frosting. I will take it to 3/4 cup or 2/3 cup next time. To try to compensate for the "softness" I added another 1/2 cup of shortening, but I could taste some of it. I am hoping the chocolate will hide it a bit. Read More
(62)
Rating: 5 stars
04/20/2009
Although I made some changes, this is my new favorite frosting. Instead of egg whites, I substituted Meringue Powder and Water, and it worked beautifully. I used 10 tsp of meringue powder and 2/3 cups water. Also, as other suggested. I only used 1 cup of shortening. At the end, because I wanted a bit more sweetness, I added 1 cup of powdered sugar. Although it does take a lot of work for this recipe in my opinion, it is well worth it!! **UPDATE** I made this again today and it seemed softer than usual. I think it was because I put the meringue powder in the bowl before I added the water, so the mixer didn't get all of it when whipping it up. Poor the water first, then add the powder slowly to incorporate then whip on high. Also, I wanted chocolate frosting, and added 1 1/4 cup of cocoa WAY TOO MUCH, unless you like a very RICH chocolate frosting. I will take it to 3/4 cup or 2/3 cup next time. To try to compensate for the "softness" I added another 1/2 cup of shortening, but I could taste some of it. I am hoping the chocolate will hide it a bit. Read More
(62)
Rating: 2 stars
10/23/2008
After reading the reviews it looked like all I had to do was leave out the shortening and all would be well. Except that it wasn't stiff enough so I added a cup of shortening. That firmed it to the correct consistency. I then had my husband do a taste test (his birthday cake after all) and the strangest look crossed his face as he asked if there was any sugar in it. I tasted it myself and sure enough it was bland as anything. To try and save it I added two more cups of sugar another teaspoon of vanilla and a half teaspoon of salt. This helped dramatically especially the salt. I might want to experiment using salted butter if I ever make this again. Read More
(28)
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Rating: 5 stars
03/02/2008
Left out the shortening and it was just amazing. Couldn't stop eating it. It is really best on the first day and while it can be chilled it wasn't as good in my opinion. Just delicious and good for decorating too - it held up very nicely in my piping bag even without the shortening. Read More
(23)
Rating: 2 stars
12/12/2007
While the buttercream looks great the shortening is overbaring. Skip the shortening and you have a nice proper Italian buttercream. Read More
(13)
Rating: 5 stars
12/13/2007
Oh wow amazing. Couldn't stop licking the spoon. I left out the shortening and it set so nice in my first-ever layer cake. YUM! Read More
(12)
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Rating: 4 stars
01/22/2012
Straight forward....I LOVE this idea...It is PERFECT for piping! But before you actually use this recipe There are a LOT of tweaks that you might want to consider: (1) This frosting has NO taste (besides a strong aftertaste of butter); I recommend using both Almond AND vanilla extract. (2) 2 2/3 Cup of shortening was waaaay too much in the original recipe (I could tell just by looking at the darn thing) so I cut it down to 1/3 cup and it worked great. (3) Do NOT substitute margarine for butter. TIPS: (1)If you can use a stand mixer with a whisk attachment. I started off with a hand mixer but ended up switching to my stand mixer to get the final fluffy finish. (2) Put frosting in a piping bag FIRST then place in the fridge to cool. It started to separate when it got too warm from holding it (like all frostings do). Read More
(11)
Rating: 5 stars
08/29/2007
This was wonderful I'm 16 and I want to grow up to be a cake/pastry/chocolatier and I tried making real butter cream with a different recipe and it came out horrible but this came out perfect but I only used 1 cup of shortening I don't know if it would have made a difference but it came out perfectly anyway:) Great Recipe! Every time I make butter cream this is the recipe I'm going to go back to. Read More
(10)
Rating: 2 stars
07/16/2010
This recipe is not much better then the shortening & confectioner's sugar recipes. I was very disappointed and ended up making another frosting. Too much shortening it ended up leaving a very unpalatable greasy coating in the mouth. This recipe is not worth the effort! Read More
(9)
Rating: 5 stars
03/02/2011
I'Mm Italain and I have this recipe and it's great! Read More
(8)