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Italian Meringue Buttercream

Rated as 4.6 out of 5 Stars

"Everyone thinks that I got the cake from a professional bakery when I use this buttercream. It is fluffy and not too sweet, perfect for wedding cakes or layered with pound cake and fruit preserves. Tightly-wrapped, it can be frozen for a month or two. Makes enough to frost an 8-inch layer cake."
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30 m servings 360
Original recipe yields 12 servings (4 1/2 cups)


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  1. Pour egg whites into the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment; beat on low speed until foamy. Add cream of tartar, increase speed to medium-high, and beat until stiff peaks form.
  2. Combine sugar and water in a small saucepan over medium heat; bring to a boil. Cook until syrup reads 240 degrees F (115 degrees C) on a candy thermometer or until a small amount of syrup dropped into cold water forms a soft ball that flattens when placed on a flat surface.
  3. Increase mixer speed to high and pour syrup in a slow and steady stream down the side of the bowl, beating until meringue is no longer steaming, 2 to 3 minutes. Beat in butter one cube at a time until buttercream reaches a soft and spreadable consistency, 3 to 5 minutes. Beat in vanilla extract.


  • Cook's Note:
  • For a chocolate hazelnut buttercream, beat a whole container of chocolate hazelnut spread (such as Nutella®) into the finished buttercream. It is delicious on a rich chocolate layer cake.

Nutrition Facts

Per Serving: 360 calories; 30.7 21.1 1.8 81 28 Full nutrition

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Read all reviews 4
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I infused the water with a white tea before I mixed in the sugar. It made for a delicious, floral frosting.

Excellent recipe. A lovely light and fluffy buttercream, very buttery with a very nice sweet finish. The only changes I made were to temperatures. Egg whites were cold, butter was room temp. I f...

I added cocoa powder when I added vanilla and the frosting was light, stable, and delicious!

Very good. Made the recipe exactly and it came out silky smooth and not too sweet. Definitely will use often.