This is absolutely the best icing I have ever made.

Recipe Summary

prep:
20 mins
cook:
10 mins
total:
30 mins
Servings:
80
Yield:
80 servings
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Ingredients

80
Original recipe yields 80 servings
The ingredient list now reflects the servings specified
Ingredient Checklist

Directions

Instructions Checklist
  • Wipe the bowl of an electric stand mixer and the whisk attachment with lemon juice to remove any trace of grease. Add sugar and egg whites to the bowl.

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  • Whisk sugar and egg whites together in the bowl of the stand mixer over simmering water, whisking constantly but gently, until temperature reaches 140 degrees F (60 degrees C), about 10 minutes. Return bowl to the stand mixer.

  • Whisk sugar-egg white mixture in the stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment until mixture is thick, glossy, and temperature of outside of bowl is room temperature. Change attachment to the paddle attachment and continue mixing on low speed. Add butter, 1 cube at a time; mix until silky-smooth. If mixture curdles, continue mixing and it will return to smooth.

  • Pour vanilla extract and sprinkle salt into butter-sugar mixture; beat until fully incorporated.

Cook's Notes:

Vinegar can replace the lemon juice if desired.

If you don't have a candy thermometer, simmer the egg whites and white sugar until the sugar has completely dissolved and the egg whites are hot. You can feel a drop between your fingers to ensure no granules are left.

You can use a bowl and whisk of you don't have a stand mixer. Wipe both with lemon juice.

If buttercream is too runny, the butter was possibly too soft. Place into the refrigerator for about 15 minutes, then beat again. If still too runny, add a few more cubes of butter and keep beating until it reaches desired consistency.

For chocolate buttercream, melt 1 1/2 cups bittersweet chocolate. Add to every 5 cups buttercream and beat until incorporated.

For strawberry buttercream, add about 1/2 cup strawberry puree to 5 cups buttercream and beat until incorporated.

For vanilla bean buttercream, add 1 tablespoon vanilla bean paste or 1 vanilla bean for every 5 cups buttercream and beat until incorporated.

Nutrition Facts

144 calories; protein 0.8g; carbohydrates 10.1g; fat 11.5g; cholesterol 30.5mg; sodium 18.9mg. Full Nutrition
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Reviews (35)

Read More Reviews

Most helpful positive review

Rating: 5 stars
02/12/2015
My friend use to be a pastry chef from a very popular dessert restaurant in our area. She gave me this recipe for my daughters first birthday cake. It's fabulous! It does look like it's not going to work until the last cube or 2 of butter but it does. Only thing is you need to use non-water based food coloring to color it because of the high fat content. Tastes the best everyone raves about it! Read More
(15)

Most helpful critical review

Rating: 3 stars
01/30/2019
It was very runny and I was not able to spread it. Read More
38 Ratings
  • 5 star values: 35
  • 4 star values: 1
  • 3 star values: 1
  • 2 star values: 0
  • 1 star values: 1
Rating: 5 stars
02/12/2015
My friend use to be a pastry chef from a very popular dessert restaurant in our area. She gave me this recipe for my daughters first birthday cake. It's fabulous! It does look like it's not going to work until the last cube or 2 of butter but it does. Only thing is you need to use non-water based food coloring to color it because of the high fat content. Tastes the best everyone raves about it! Read More
(15)
Rating: 5 stars
09/27/2015
This was absolutely delicious and very easy. I followed the recipe exactly and didn't have any problems. I halved the recipe and added 1 13 oz. can of dulce de leche at the very end for a delicious caramel flavor. I had just enough to frost and fill a 3-layer cake made with 9 inch rounds. I made the frosting a couple days before I assembled the cake so I covered it in saran wrap and refrigerated it-- I had to mix on medium speed for about 5 minutes to get the right consistency again. If you have any problems with the frosting being soupy or looking curdled just keep mixing and maybe add a couple more tbsp of colder butter. Read More
(9)
Rating: 5 stars
01/29/2016
I own a small baking business and have used this recipe for years. It is fabulous. Some of my clients prefer a bit sweeter buttercream so I add 1/2c powder sugar to the icing when it is completely mixed. I prefer it as written! Smooth lightly sweet and pipes like a dream!! Read More
(7)
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Rating: 5 stars
11/09/2015
This was my 1st time making buttercream icing and so glad I decided to go with this recipe - it was incredible. It is somewhat time consuming but so simple to make... once the egg white/sugar mixture is dissolved the rest of the hard work is done by your mixer. For each step in the mixer just turn it on and walk away.... the longer it mixed the better. I halved the recipe and still had a large amount leftover after icing 24 cupcakes. I did make it the day before and put it in the refrigerator overnight. One note- if you make it ahead you might want to let it sit out to come back to room temp before mixing again. I was in a rush to frost the cupcakes and sat the mixer bowl in a bowl of warm water for a few mins and that worked fine too. Can't wait to try again!! Read More
(7)
Rating: 5 stars
04/22/2014
Don't worry if it's looking flat just keep going and finish the resepie. Read More
(6)
Rating: 5 stars
04/19/2016
Let me start by saying that this is my first time making a swiss buttercream but I m quite familiar with american buttercreams. I used this recipe as well as a few tips from around the internet and I couldn t be happier. I agree with the previous reviewers that it takes a lot of time but not a lot of active time. Set your stand mixer and walk away (I wouldn t have attempted this without AT LEAST an electric mixer) read a book watch a movie overall quite relaxing. My egg/sugar mixture came up to temperature in about 5 minutes rather than 10 that the recipe indicated and was about 160 degrees when I checked it (I also did checked it with my fingers since I doubted my thermometer after only 5 minutes). I followed other instructions and took my butter out of the fridge and cut it up right when I put the sugar/egg mixture on to mix. By the time I was ready to add the butter it was soft enough to stab with a fork but nowhere near as soft as I would want for a cake batter or cookies regardless my meringue didn t break as I added the butter. I added butter very slowly (didn t add another cube until the first cube was no longer visible). I wouldn t want to make this buttercream the same day I m making a cake but I like to make my cakes the day before add a crumb coat and refrigerate overnight. (I made an american buttercream for the crumb coat since I didn t feel like making this recipe last night). This buttercream was exactly what I needed for the textured cake the Read More
(3)
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Rating: 5 stars
12/10/2016
Very good.......not too sweet. Followed the recipe exactly except I cut it in half. Made more than enough to frost a 9 inch layer cake. I found 6 large egg whites equaled one cup. It was good with the 2 and half cups of butter but am going to make it next time with 2 cups instead and think it will be fine. Read More
(2)
Rating: 5 stars
02/07/2015
I make this a lot for cakes and cupcakes. I get so many compliments. It's easy but time consuming. Read More
(1)
Rating: 5 stars
06/08/2015
Only 3 words BEST. FROSTING. EVER!!! Read More
(1)
Rating: 3 stars
01/30/2019
It was very runny and I was not able to spread it. Read More
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