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Swiss Meringue Buttercream for Mini White Cakes


Top our Mini White Cakes with this meringue.

  • Yield: Makes 6 cups

Source: Martha Stewart Weddings, Winter 2010


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


  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. 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.

Reviews Add a comment

  • MissPatisserieSF
    3 MAY, 2015
    I am wondering about the cake images in the photo shown with this recipe. Are the cakes shown here truly frosted with buttercream? These cakes have very white frosting that looks more like royal icing than buttercream. Is it possible to get buttercream that white? Normally the butter turns the frosting a slightly yellowish hue.
    • tamlinxo
      2 JUN, 2015
      you got the point. I even worked in a hotel and we made buttercream icing and it turned out yellowish. Or maybe under beat? I asked the other chefs about the so-called very white buttercream icing which really looks like royal icing, and if there really is white buttercream icing, should i add white food coloring or lard? XD
  • jenbx
    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.
    • MSModerator601
      20 APR, 2015
      Ingredient amounts & technique are correct as posted. This recipe calls for the sugar & egg whites to be heated to 160 degrees F.
    • atinabazin
      17 APR, 2015
      Maybe it's because this should say that the thermometer should read 140°F (60°C) - not 160!!
      • honeynoodle
        28 JUL, 2015
        160 Fahrenheit is correct ... 71.1 Celsius. 140 is way too low for killing bacteria . I use this recipe because it is safer to serve large amounts of people than the other meringue frostings where you add the sugar into the egg white. I use Lurpak because it isn't as yellow as all the other butters. This is a beautiful and simple recipe.