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Swiss Meringue Buttercream

  • Yield: Makes about 6 cups

Source: Martha Stewart Baby, Winter


  • 1 pound (4 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 6 egg whites
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract


  1. Beat butter with electric mixer until fluffy and pale. Transfer to small bowl.

  2. In double boiler over simmering water, whisk sugar and egg whites until warm and sugar is dissolved, 2 to 3 minutes. Transfer to clean bowl of electric mixer; beat on high with whisk attachment until fluffy and cooled, about 10 minutes.

  3. Reduce mixer to medium-low; add butter a scant 1/4 cup at a time, beating well after each addition. Mix in vanilla.

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

Cook's Notes

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

Reviews Add a comment

  • KWinchell22
    18 AUG, 2014
    AMAZING! A tip, however: Directions say: store 3 days, warm to room temp, then mix. ROOM TEMP is key. IF you mix too soon, it will curdle and liquify (imagine my horror after making 2 batches, carefully packing them and cake out of town to decorate on site for a bridal shower!) Worry not, just take a small amount(3/4c?), put in micro for no more 8-10 seconds, then mix that in.. the warmed batter will raise temp enough to remix.. OR just REALLY wait until it's room temp to begin mixing. Whew!
  • Dedun69
    8 JUN, 2014
    Awesome recipe. Made this for a friend's daughter's graduation. I must have eaten half the frosting. It was amazing. Making it again later on today for my son's graduation. And to think I'm on a sugar detox diet! Thank you Martha.
  • travelgurl
    31 AUG, 2011
    This is my go to frosting. In no way does it ever taste like grocery store frosting. If I ever go back to the crisco butter Wilton recipe people get mad at me! In fact, I am making a baby shower cake tonight with it.
  • AbbieJean
    20 MAR, 2011
    If you want to spend a good amount of time, effort and money making something that tastes EXACTLY like the grocery store cake frosting, make this. I was horrified at the way it tasted, and super disappointed. Maybe with salted butter, it would taste better. I'm never going to try it.
  • christiwaldron
    11 MAR, 2011
    Amazing texture and flavor. I made it with salted butter because I prefer salty undertones. Very yummy!
  • Madhi
    21 MAY, 2010
    Best frosting recipe ever..really smooth and buttery. Easy to make and great to pipe on cakes and cup cakes!
  • MS12186400
    3 APR, 2010
    WOW! This frosting is so good, I'm giggling. Just buy bigger pants before you even make it!!! : )