The Best Swiss Meringue Buttercream Recipe!

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This Swiss meringue buttercream frosting is absolutely delicious and has a light and airy texture. It’s silky smooth and not as sweet as traditional buttercream. We’re sharing all of the details and sharing everything you need to know about making it!

Swiss Meringue Buttercream

Did you know that cake is one of the most popular desserts in the US? Well, it’s true! There are a lot of reasons that this might be the case, including the delicious flavor, variety and how it symoblizes celebration.

Of course, in order to bake a perfect cake, you’ll need to have a perfect homemade frosting! We have a few frosting recipes on Sugar and Charm, but this one is by far a favorite. If you’re looking for a frosting that’s not as sweet, this is for you.

Swiss Buttercream Mer

What Is the Difference Between Swiss Meringue Buttercream and Buttercream?

In its simplest form, buttercream is a mixture of butter and sugar that’s been beaten together into a fluffy whipped frosting.

This is what people generally think of when they imagine iced cakes or filled pastries. It may also be referred to as American buttercream.

Swiss meringue buttercream is the type of frosting that’s most often found in professional kitchens. Sometimes simply known as Swiss buttercream, it involves a double boiler, eggs, and is a bit more difficult to make than its American counterpart. But still, something that you can make at home.

It’s all about heating egg whites and sugar in a double boiler to make a smooth meringue and then it’s beaten with butter.

Buttercream frosting on lemon cupcakes

What Is the Difference Between Italian and Swiss Meringue Buttercream?

Italian buttercream is yet another variety of this frosting. It’s very stable and the difference comes down to the method of making the frosting as well as the temperature of the sugar mixture.

For Swiss the egg whites and sugar are heated and whisked to about 160 degrees together, then whipped to perfection in an electric mixer. The butter is then added to the thicker egg whites.

Swiss Meringue Buttercream Recipe

Does Swiss Meringue Buttercream Harden?

While Swiss meringue buttercream will eventually harden, it can be left at room temperature for about 8 hours. When spread on a cake, it will take over two days to lose its texture.

However, if you want your frosting to harden, that’s totally alright! Simply place it in the fridge in an airtight container for a couple of days. This will make it a bit denser than it would be if you ate it straight from the mixer.

sugar, egg whites, butter and vanilla in glass bowls.

What Does Swiss Meringue Buttercream Taste Like?

American buttercream is by far the sweetest type of buttercream. Since this is what you’re likely most familiar with, think of Swiss buttercream as less sweet, creamier, and lighter in texture. The flavor and texture are still full and luxurious. It’s like a light whipped cream but with a buttercream frosting flavor.

Is Swiss Buttercream Good for Piping?

Like all buttercream varieties, Swiss buttercream is great for piping. You can create accents, patterns, designs, and words by naturally dyeing your frosting and piping it over another color.

Vanilla cake with swiss buttercream meringue frosting

We used this Swiss buttercream frosting recipe for our elderflower cake, but added lemon juice, lemon extract, and elderflower liqueur!

Can You Overbeat Swiss Meringue Buttercream?

Swiss meringue buttercream can be overbeaten. Once the frosting is silky and smooth, stop mixing so you can keep the soft, luxirous texture. If you’re going to use it for piping you can beat it until it’s a little more firm.

Swiss meringue buttercream in a gray bowl.

Start Baking!

Now that you know how to make a delicious Swiss meringue buttercream, it’s time to get started! Scroll to the end for the full recipe.

Supplies for Making Swiss Meringue Buttercream

  • Heat Proof Bowl
  • Medium Sauce Pan
  • Candy Thermonater
  • Electric Mixer


This frosting is made with only 4 very simple ingredients!

  • Butter – Use whole, organic butter for best results.
  • Eggs – Fresh organic eggs are always best.
  • Granulated Sugar
  • Vanilla Extract – Or really any flavor you like!
Whipped Swiss buttercream frosting in a black kitchen aid.
Swiss Meringue Buttercream Frosting in a mixing bowl.

More Frosting Recipes You’ll Love!

Silky and Smooth Chocolate Buttercream Frosting

The Best Buttercream Frosting Recipe

Whipped Chocolate Sour Cream Chocolate Frosting

The Best Royal Icing Recipe

Swiss Buttercream Meringue frosting on a lemon cupcake

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Swiss Meringue Buttercream Recipe

Whipped swiss meringue buttercream recipe that's perfect for cakes and cupcakes!
5 from 7 votes
Print Pin Rate
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 20 minutes
Servings: 4 cups
Calories: 2753kcal
Author: Eden


  • 1 cup grandulated sugar
  • 4 large egg whites
  • 1 1/2 cups unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract


  • Fit the bowl over a pan of simmering water.
  • Add the sugar and the egg whites into a heatproof mixing bowl.
  • Whisk constantly until the mixture is hot, sugar is dissolved and the egg whites are a little frothy. About 5 minutes. It should look like shiny marshmallow cream. This step is very important and you can use a thermometer to check the temperature. It should get to 160 degrees.
  • With the whisk attachment, transfer the egg mixture to a mixing bowl and beat on medium speed until cooled and thicker for about 5 minutes.
  • Add in one stick of room temperature butter at a time, beating until smooth.
  • On low speed, add in the extract.
  • If the buttercream curdles or separates, just keep beating on high until it comes back together. You should end up with a shiny, smooth, and absolutely delicious buttercream frosting!


To change the flavor add in different extracts! 
Use a candy thermometer to check the temperature of the egg and sugar mixture. 


Calories: 2753kcal | Carbohydrates: 6g | Protein: 28g | Fat: 295g | Saturated Fat: 181g | Cholesterol: 1476mg | Sodium: 322mg | Potassium: 421mg | Sugar: 3g | Vitamin A: 9589IU | Vitamin C: 24mg | Calcium: 194mg | Iron: 4mg
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3 thoughts on “The Best Swiss Meringue Buttercream Recipe!”

  1. 5 stars
    I’ve always been too intimidated to try anything with a double broiler but the way you broke down the process gave me the confidence to try. The frosting turned out amazing! Thank you.

5 from 7 votes (4 ratings without comment)

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