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Swiss Meringue Buttercream

Top our Mini White Cakes with this meringue.

  • yield: Makes 6 cups


  • 1 1/4 cups sugar
  • 5 large egg whites
  • 1 pound (4 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract


  1. Step 1

    Combine sugar and egg whites in a heatproof mixer bowl set over a pan of simmering water. Whisk constantly until sugar is dissolved and mixture registers 160 degrees on an instant-read thermometer.

  2. Step 2

    Transfer bowl to mixer stand; whisk on medium-high until whites are fluffy and cooled, about 10 minutes. Continue to whisk until stiff, glossy peaks form. Reduce speed to medium-low; add butter by the tablespoon, whisking well after each. Whisk in vanilla. Use immediately, or refrigerate airtight up to 3 days, or freeze up to 1 month. Bring to room temperature before using; beat on low until smooth, about 3 minutes.

Martha Stewart Weddings, Winter 2010

Reviews (2)

  • 9 Oct, 2013

    I'm surprised this recipe has such a low rating. It is one of the best frosting recipes, especially for wedding or special occasion cakes. It it amazing for piping and for holding up in a cake that needs to be on display for several hours. I know several people who make wedding cakes who use this recipe and consider it one of their favorite. We had a cake tasting and used this frosting and some of the cake got left out overnight. The frosting still looked amazing the next day.

  • 15 Feb, 2011

    I made the lemon variation of this recipe. This frosting tastes great and it's so nice to be able to serve a version with cooked egg whites. I was working fast and didn't pay attention to the butter temperature, so I had to let the whipped whites sit for quite a while before I added the butter. I thought it might be ruined but wow this came together perfectly. Very impressed! Frosts especially well if you crumb coat first. The lemon variation is a beautiful pale yellow.