As much as I love a good ol’ buttercream, sometimes it’s just too much to smother onto a small piece of cake. This is where swiss meringue buttercream comes to the rescue – it’s light texture and mild flavour wont make your cake taste sickly sweet, it is super fluffy and decadently delicious. Perfect for layer cakes, heavy piping on cupcakes and specialty cakes like in the photo above. Try it with my super easy, moist chocolate cake! Depending on the type of cake you are icing, play around with the ratio of buttercream to swiss meringue and adjust, tasting as you go, until you get that perfect balance!
Swiss meringue buttercream
- 70 g egg whites
- 100 g castor sugar
- Pinch cream of tartar
- 100 g icing sugar sifted
- 300 g salted butter cubed and at room temp
- 1-2 tsp vanilla extract
In a small pot, bring 1 inch of water to a simmer (for bain marie).
Add the egg whites, castor sugar and tartar into a medium bowl and place over the pot, do not allow the bowl to touch the water. Whisk until the sugar dissolves and the temperature of the egg whites reaches 71C.
Remove bowl from the heat and using an electric beater on medium speed, whip to stiff peaks. Set aside and make the buttercream.
Place the butter into an electric mixer and whip on medium-high speed until light and fluffy (about 8mins), scraping down the sides occasionally.
Add the sifted icing sugar along with the vanilla and beat for another minute.
Add a quarter of the swiss meringue and beat to incorporate. Repeat until all the meringue is mixed in and the icing is smooth.
Transfer to a piping bag and use get piping!
Use the leftover egg yolks in a parfait, anglais or hollandaise!