Italian Meringue Buttercream


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.

Prep Time:
23 mins
Cook Time:
7 mins
Total Time:
30 mins
4 1/2 cups


  • 5 egg whites

  • 1 pinch cream of tartar

  • 1 ¼ cups white sugar

  • cup water

  • 2 cups unsalted butter, chilled and cubed

  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract


  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(R)) into the finished buttercream. It is delicious on a rich chocolate layer cake.

Nutrition Facts (per serving)

360 Calories
31g Fat
21g Carbs
2g Protein
Nutrition Facts
Servings Per Recipe 12
Calories 360
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 31g 39%
Saturated Fat 19g 97%
Cholesterol 81mg 27%
Sodium 28mg 1%
Total Carbohydrate 21g 8%
Total Sugars 21g
Protein 2g
Calcium 11mg 1%
Potassium 47mg 1%

* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.

** Nutrient information is not available for all ingredients. Amount is based on available nutrient data.

(-) Information is not currently available for this nutrient. If you are following a medically restrictive diet, please consult your doctor or registered dietitian before preparing this recipe for personal consumption.

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