Swiss Meringue Buttercream

Don't worry if the buttercream appears curdled after you've added butter; it will come together after you beat it with the paddle attachment.

  • Yield: Makes 9 cups

Photography: Lisa Hubbard

Source: Martha Stewart Weddings, Winter 2002


  • 2 pounds (8 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 2 1/2 cups sugar
  • 10 large egg whites
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract


  1. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat butter until fluffy and pale. Transfer to a bowl.

  2. Fill a medium saucepan one-quarter full with water; bring to a boil. Simmer.

  3. Combine sugar and egg whites in heat-proof bowl or clean bowl of electric mixer; place over saucepan. Whisk constantly until sugar dissolves and whites are warm to the touch, 3 to 4 minutes. Test by rubbing between your fingers.

  4. Beat egg-white mixture on medium speed until fluffy and cooled, about 10 minutes. On high speed, whisk until stiff peaks form. Reduce speed to medium-low; add butter a few tablespoons at a time, beating well. Stir in vanilla.

  5. Switch to paddle attachment; beat mixture on lowest speed, 3 to 5 minutes. Leave at room temperature if using the same day.

Cook's Notes

Store in an airtight container in refrigerator for up to 3 days. Bring to room temperature; beat until smooth.


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