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Best-Ever Swiss Meringue Buttercream Frosting - No more buttercream mishaps, this recipe is fool proof!

Best-Ever Swiss Meringue Buttercream Frosting (Bold Baking Basics)

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Hi Bold Bakers!

A good Swiss Meringue Buttercream recipe is essential for all Bold Bakers! However buttercream and frostings are recipes that many bakers find tricky. Whether the recipe was off or the method wasn’t clear enough, it’s sometimes difficult to get good results.

I say you will struggle no more! Not while I’m around anyways. I’m sharing this recipe along with a step-by-step video that will give you great and consistent results every time you make it.

The difference between Swiss Meringue Buttercream and regular Buttercream Frosting is that Swiss Meringue Buttercream tends to be much airier and lighter which people tend to prefer. It comes from all of that lovely meringue in there that yields you a lighter than air frosting

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Storing the Swiss Meringue Buttercream:

Keep in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to one week. Leave it out at room temperature when needed and rewhip in a mixer for 5 minutes.

Also, it can freeze for up to 8 weeks. To thaw, place on the counter until defrosted, and rewhip for 5 minutes with a whisk attachment in an electric mixer.

This Swiss Meringue Buttercream recipe is plenty enough to generously coat one large cake.

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3.7 from 6 reviews
Swiss Meringue Buttercream
Prep time
Total time
Serves: 10 cups
  • 5 large, fresh egg whites (150 g)
  • 1¼ cups (10oz/282) sugar
  • 1½ cups (12oz/340g) unsalted butter, a room temperature
  • 1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
  • pinch of salt
  1. Over a pot of simmering water place your mixer bowl (or a heatproof bowl) over the pot.
  2. Add in the egg whites and sugar and stir until the sugar has dissolved. Continue to stir, this will take around 5 minutes. Putting the eggs over heat will technically cook them so you don't have to fear eating raw eggs.
  3. Once the sugar has totally dissolved remove from the heat.
  4. With whisk attachment begin to whip until the meringue on medium/high speed. Whip until the meringue is thick, glossy, and the bottom of the bowl feels neutral to the touch (this can take up to 5 minutes or so).
  5. Wiith mixer on medium speed, add vanilla, salt and soft butter cubes. Add the butter one piece at a time, until incorporated, and mix until it has reached a silky smooth texture (if curdles, keep mixing and it will come back to smooth). *If mixture is too runny, refrigerate for about 1 hour until it comes together. continuing to beat until well combined.
  6. Add additional flavours, purees, as desired.
*Keep in airtight container in refrigerator for up to one week, leaving out at room temperature when needed, rewhipping in mixer for 5 minutes.
**Can freeze for up to 6-8 weeks. To thaw, place on counter overnight, and rewhip for 5 minutes with paddle attachment in an electric mixer.
***If buttercream still doesn't have its satiny finish after rewhipping, microwave ⅓ of the buttercream for approximately 10 seconds and add to remaining buttercream in mixer bowl, beating for a few moments to incorporate.

If you like this recipe, then make sure to check out my original How to Make the Best-Ever Buttercream Frosting recipe.


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Meet Gemma

Hi Bold Bakers! I’m Gemma Stafford, a professional chef originally from Ireland, and I’m passionate about sharing my years of experience to show you how to make game-changing baking recipes with over-the-top results! Join more than 1 Million other Bold Bakers in the community for new video recipes every week!

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  1. Farhana on April 16, 2018 at 1:52 pm

    Hi Gemma
    Should the eggs and sugar be cooked while the water is still on the heat?high medium or low heat?also my eggs did not form soft peaks at all I beat it for almost double the time but it just won’t hold.please advise

    • Gemma Stafford on April 17, 2018 at 7:56 am

      Hi there,
      Go back to the video and take another look, it is all there. I cannot explain it as well here, but it is right, you need to refrigerate it, then when it is really cold, whip it up again, that is how it works,
      Gemma 🙂

  2. Holly on April 15, 2018 at 9:06 pm

    Can I use margarine instead of butter? Like the ones in the blocks not the tubs…

    • Gemma Stafford on April 16, 2018 at 4:03 am

      Hi Holly,
      Yes! This was used a lot for buttercream back in trhe day, and commercially it is also used today, so yes, go for it, it will be good,
      Gemma 🙂

      • Holly on April 16, 2018 at 4:36 am

        Thanks Gemma! I really appreciate it!

  3. Morgan on April 11, 2018 at 9:11 pm

    Hi Gemma!

    I was hoping you could tell me if the amount in this recipe would fill & cover an 8inch, 4 layer cake? Or would I have to make a double batch of this recipe?

    Thanks so much & happy baking!! 🙂

    • Gemma Stafford on April 12, 2018 at 4:53 am

      hi Morgan,
      You will need about 12oz of buttercream to fill and cover an 8 inch cake, two layers.
      24oz should do for a 4 layer cake, but err on the side of caution. It does depend on how you fill it.
      Do a crumb layer too, this allows you to frost the cake more finely. My full recipe here ( will yield about 36ozs of buttercream, and will do what you need for this cake, it is a big recipe.
      Gemma 😉

  4. Prathi Shraya Das on March 13, 2018 at 9:14 pm

    Hi Gemma,

    I made this swiss meringue. It’s a brcome a runny mixture.
    Pls advise what needs to be done.
    I have used a hand mixer. Then too it’s runny.
    If I can use this is it advisable as it is cooked.
    Pls advise.

    • Gemma Stafford on March 18, 2018 at 6:16 pm


      Sorry for my late reply. So this frosting can become runny and if it does put it into the fridge to go cold and then try and whip it again. I talk about that in the video because this recipe is prone to that.

      Hope you were able to salvage it.

      • Prathi Shraya Das on March 21, 2018 at 10:06 pm

        Thank you.
        Was able to salvage the situation.

  5. Adadina on March 10, 2018 at 12:03 am

    Hi Gemma
    I just made your Oreo cake recipe, but replaced the cream cheese frosting with this smbc recipe and it turned out just right!! I was out of cream cheese but didn’t want to resort to buttercream (I think it’s too sweet and heavy :(() so I tried smbc for the first time. I was very nervous but in the end it turned out great. I adjusted the recipe according to 4 eggs and the amount was just right for a 2 layer 9inch cake.
    After reading the comments, I learnt that the traditional way doesn’t rlly involve refrigerating the buttercream before whipping it again…? So I didn’t and just let it whip on and it just turned out. I think the reason for this is
    1) I live in a very hot environment (room temp abt 29-31c) and
    2) my butter was not totally at room temp yet (it came out from the freezer)
    3) even after my meringue reached stiff peaks, it was still hot (due to hot environment I think)
    4) so when I added the slightly cold butter, the heat from the meringue melted it until it was just right and not overly melted.

    So if you live in a hot place like Singapore (that’s where I’m from!!), There’s no need to soften the butter too much. It should be soft on the outside but still cold on the inside.

    (Btw I’m just a 13 yo girl making a bday cake for my Fren, so this is def not a daunting or hard recipe!!!)
    Tqsm Gemma :))

    • Gemma Stafford on March 10, 2018 at 2:15 am

      Well done you! This a great understanding of this process, and very well thought through, and explained. Well done you. You will be quite the chef, you really do think like a professional. Thank you for sharing your experience with other Bold Bakers, we appreciate it,
      Gemma 🙂

  6. Anoudq on February 28, 2018 at 2:10 pm

    Hi Gemma

    Would i be able to use this on the double rainbow cake. If so would i need to do the frosting on the day or could i do it the night before

    Thank you

    • Gemma Stafford on March 1, 2018 at 7:28 am

      Hi there,
      You can do this the day before, and finish the cake. Then wrap it lightly, or box it, and refrigerate.
      I hope this works out well for you, follow the steps and ingredients carefully,
      Gemma 🙂

  7. Keren on February 10, 2018 at 10:56 am

    Hi Gemma,

    I’m your new fan! 🙂 Love that recipe, it’s so light and yummy. Just finished preparing it and it’s now cooling in the fridge.
    I’m going to make a baby shower cake for my friend next week and was wondering how this will hold as a frosting for my cake, also planning to pipe it on the top tier. The weather is cold where I am so heat is not an issue. Will it keep well in the fridge when the cake is already frosted without separating, and will piped rosettes hold their form?

    Thanks so much,

    • Gemma Stafford on February 11, 2018 at 4:40 pm

      Hi Keren,

      Welcome to BBB. Glad you like my recipes. Yes this will pipe well. Watch the video so you see exactly what to do. This frosting can be temperamental, more so then buttercream so it’s good to know all the tricks.


      • Keren on February 11, 2018 at 10:36 pm

        Thanks Gemma. I have one more question. The frosting held well after I made it and cooled half an hour. But then after refrigerated overnight, I tried to whisk it again in the mixer; it curdled and separated with liquid in the bottom of the bowl. What did I do wrong?

        • Gemma Stafford on February 12, 2018 at 3:43 pm

          Hi Keren,

          I’m not sure why it would do that. i do know that this frosting is best used straight away.


  8. Julie on February 7, 2018 at 6:45 pm

    Just made your Swiss meringue buttercream and i love it. This will be my frosting from now on.
    Love the fact that is not sickly sweet and so easy to make.
    I havent got a pic yet as i am still making the cake.

    Thank you

    • Gemma Stafford on February 8, 2018 at 2:12 am

      Hi Julie,
      Yes, when you get this right it really is great. Lovely and stable too, in all sorts of temperatures.
      I hope your cake goes well for you,
      Gemma 🙂

  9. Shaiyawin on February 5, 2018 at 6:31 pm

    Hi Gemma,

    First of all, I would like to thank you for your recipe. I’m a big fan of you 🙂

    Last week I try to make birthday cake for my mother using your yellow cake recipe from the celery stamp painted cake, combined with your swiss meringue buttercream. I just upload the photo, my family love the cake.

    It was fantastic, the taste of the buttercream is very soft, not to sweet and perfect 🙂


    • Gemma Stafford on February 5, 2018 at 8:56 pm

      Hi Rika,

      I’m thrilled to hear that. I’m going to check out your photo now.

      Thanks for uploading it,

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