Swiss Meringue Buttercream – Irresistible Icing for Every Sweet Treat

This Swiss Meringue buttercream always makes my day a bit sweeter. I love the mouthfeel, the sweetness and the way it always complements a cake so wonderfully. (Oh how I love cake!) Decorating (and eating) cakes is a huge passion of mine and this buttercream, in particular, is seriously the best on the planet. How do I know? Because, I tend to like any and every buttercream I come in contact with, maybe except those made without butter, ick. It’s just a million times better than the rest! It’s always my go to recipe for every cake occasion.

It is, however, a tad bit different from a traditional Swiss Meringue Buttercream (whipped egg whites, granulated sugar and butter.) Same preparation, but with the addition of shortening and powdered sugar. With that said, it’s a perfect marriage of Swiss buttercream and American buttercream. It gets its fluffiness from the meringue and the sweetness from the powdered sugar. Not too fluffy, but not too dense at the same time.

Swiss Meringue Buttercream piped onto a spoon

My Passionate Love For This Recipe

Having posted about this icing once before, I wanted to come back to it and profess my passionate love for it once again. So here we go…I promise I won’t get too sappy! I love that it’s perfectly buttery, I love its delicate fluffiness, I love that it’s ultra silky smooth and velvety making it a dream to ice and work with. Achieve crisp piping and edges every time! I love its subtle shine, I love its delightful sweetness, and I love the mouthfeel-it’s melt in your mouth deliciousness every single bite. I love that it doesn’t crust extremely fast, so fondant sticks to it and sprinkles adhere nicely. Most of all, I love to eat it! It’s nothing short of amazing, and the perfect icing to complement any sweet confection or for any sweet tooth! 

More Great Icings

This is one icing recipe you must try! And here are other tried and true recipes I’m in love with.

Let’s Start Making Some Icing

Like I said earlier, Swiss Meringue is traditionally made with whipped egg whites and granulated sugar. Butter is then added and whipped until extremely smooth. 

Sure, you can stop after you’ve added the butter, but this results in a slightly sweet butter to me. Don’t get me wrong, it is fabulous in itself, and you may go ahead and use it just like this, but I like it a bit more dense and a lot more sweet, so I’ve added shortening and powdered sugar. I initially did this for wedding cakes. The shortening keeps the outdoor cakes from melting too fast and gives it a bit more stability. 

It’s a tad bit of work, but nothing too hard or intimidating. I can tell you though, it’s totally worth it. So don’t hesitate.

To begin, over a double boiler, heat the egg whites and sugar until 173 degrees Fahrenheit is reached and the sugar is completely melted.

Egg whites and sugar over a double boiler

Next, carefully pour into the bowl of your stand mixer. Whip on high speed until light and fluffy.

Swiss Meringue eggs whites and sugar

Continue to whip until cool. While cooling, prepare butter, and always, always use unsalted butter. A side note, the better quality butter, the better taste you’ll achieve-always. Room temperature butter is necessary. Cut into cubes and add into the cooled whipped egg whites and slow the speed to medium.

Adding butter to Swiss Meringue

Mix until fully incorporated. Continue to whip another 5 minutes. Next, add the shortening, powdered sugar, salt and vanilla. Mix for another 3 minutes. Use immediately or refrigerate, if not using right away, for up to two weeks.

Swiss Meringue Buttercream on cupcakes

Helpful Tips

Here are a few tips to keep in mind when making this icing.

  • Make sure every bowl, whisk, untensil you use is void of any fat. If any is present, even the littlest amount, this will result in the egg whites not whipping up properly. So crack your eggs carefully!
  • Make sure the butter is at room temperature.
  • If you do not have a double boiler, make your own by placing a metal bowl over a sauce pan filled with water. Just make sure the water doesn’t touch the bowl.
  • Make sure the meringue is completely cool before adding the butter.
Swiss Meringue Buttercream on a cupcake.

You Need Some Cake With Your Icing!

I promise you’ll love this icing! If you need some cake to go with your icing here are my favorite recipes


4.6 from 5 votes

Swiss Meringue Buttercream

A fluffy, silky smooth, perfectly sweet buttercream to complement any sweet confection. 

Course Dessert
Keyword swiss Meringue
Prep Time 30 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes


  • 1 Cup Egg Whites
  • 1 Pound Granulated Sugar
  • 2 Pounds Unsalted Butter, Cubed Room temperature
  • 1 Tbsp Vanilla Extract
  • 1/2 tsp Salt
  • 8 Oz. Shortening
  • 2 Pounds Powdered Sugar


  1. 1. In a double boiler, heat egg whites and granulated sugar until it reaches 173 degrees Fahrenheit. 

    2. Carefully pour into mixing bowl and whisk on high speed until fluffy and cool. (Room Temperature)

    3. Slow to medium speed and add the butter slowly. 

    4. Whip until the buttercream comes together and whip for another 3 minutes. 

    5. Add shortening, salt, vanilla extract and powdered sugar and whip until light and fluffy. Beat for another 3 minutes until shiny and smooth. 

    6. Immediately use or cover and refrigerate for up to two weeks. 



I sugar coat everything!  

Swiss Meringue Buttercream. Light and fluffy. Perfect for any dessert or cake.




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40 Replies to “Swiss Meringue Buttercream – Irresistible Icing for Every Sweet Treat”

    1. It is very fluffy – I love it because of how fluffy it is, but it also holds up very well for decorating purposes 🙂

  1. 4 stars
    I feel like Homer Simpson…drooling at the photos on my screen! I love this recipe – it’s gluten-free which means I’m not missing out!

  2. This icing sounds wonderful. I make butter cream icings but never a meringue icing. This will be my next. And you have a red velvet cake!😲 going to check that out too. Thank you!

  3. YUMM!! Thanks for sharing this! I also make my own frosting (my Gram’s recipe)! But this one looks yummy to try!!!

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