Swiss Meringue buttercream is my go-to frosting for majority of my cakes and cupcakes. It’s light and fluffy and not overly sweet and is a great base for tons of flavors. People are pleasantly surprised when they eat my frosting, even those that normally don’t like frosting. You can take this recipe and add in any flavor you want where you would normally add in the Oreos, see other options at the bottom of the page.
If you have never made Swiss Meringue buttercream before, while adding in the butter, it will get to a point where it curdles, looking like a soupy mess. Do not worry! There’s nothing you did wrong, it just happens. I recommend the continue beating it, but if after 5 it’s not coming together, try one of the following:
- Soupy and not coming together: butter was too soft and warm, I put bowl in the fridge for 5-10 minutes and then continue to beat and it will start coming together.
- Butter is lumped together, but looks wet and curdled: butter is too cold. I take a torch or a lighter to the sides of my metal bowl to warm up the mixture (I have read a hair dryer also works well for this) while beating, and it will come together and become fluffy. I have also read that taking a bit of the frosting in a separate bowl, microwaving untill melted, adding back in and beating, also brings temperature of the butter up and will start to look fluffy.
- 250 g granulated sugar
- 200 g egg whites
- 16 oz (4 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature, not overly softened
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- Pinch of salt
- 100 g Oreo cookie crumbs, but definitely can add more if you like (see end of recipe for other flavor options)
- Have a small sauce pan with about an inch of water boiling, then turn heat to low-medium.
- Using white vinegar or lemon juice and a paper towel, clean out the mixing bowl and whisk to make sure there is no fat or grease, as it will keep the Meringue from setting up.
- combine sugar and egg whites in stand mixer bowl and whisk with metal whisk. Put mixing bowl over hot water in small sauce pan, making sure the bottom of the bowl doesn’t touch the water.
- Continue to whisk until the mixture hits 160°f. If you do not have a thermometer, it should look white and frothy, about 5 minutes. Dip your finger into the mixture and rub between your fingers, you should not feel any granules of sugar. If you do, continue to whisk over the simmering water.
- Once it hits 160°F or there are no longer sugar granules, transfer bowl to stand mixer and start mixing with the whisk attachment. Whisk on high for 10-15 minutes until the Meringue has come to stiff peaks and is cool to the touch.
- Stop the mixer and switch to the paddle attachment and turn mixer on to medium-high and start adding the butter one tablespoon at a time. Let it beat until the piece is incorporated before adding another tablespoon.
- Once all butter is added, slow down mixer and add in the vanilla and pinch of salt. Continue to beat with paddle until butter is incorporated and frosting is fluffy. Add in Oreo crumbs and mix until combined.
Here are some of the flavors I have done before:
- Vanilla; omit Oreos and make recipe as written
- Strawberry; add about 1/4 -1/2 cup fresh strawberry puree
- Peanut butter; add about 1/2 cup of peanut butter
- Espresso; mix a tablespoon of espresso granules with about a tablespoon of milk until dissolved and add
- Dulce de Leche; add about 1/2 cup dulce de Leche
- Salted caramel; add about 1/2 cup homemade salted caramel