Two Essential Frostings: Buttercream and Meringue

The crisp, billowy peaks of meringue are made from whipped egg whites and sugar, and are often associated with French, Swiss, and Italian desserts.

Italian Meringue Frosting
 
Makes about 5 cups
Ingredients
  • 2½ cups (463 grams) sugar
  • ½ cup water
  • 1 cup egg whites (from about 8 large eggs)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 cups (460 grams) unsalted butter,
  • softened and divided
  • ½ teaspoon (1.5 grams) kosher salt
Instructions
  1. In a small saucepan, bring sugar and ½ cup water to a boil over medium-high heat. Cook until mixture registers 235° on a candy thermometer.
  2. Meanwhile, in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, beat egg whites and vanilla at medium-high speed until soft peaks form.
  3. Reduce mixer speed to medium. Pour hot sugar mixture into egg white mixture in a slow, steady stream, being careful not to let sugar mixture hit sides of bowl or whisk attachment. Increase mixer speed to high, and beat until bottom of bowl feels cool to the touch, 6 to 8 minutes. Add 1 cup (230 grams) butter, 1 tablespoon at a time, letting each piece incorporate before adding the next. Add salt. Add remaining 1 cup (230 grams) butter, 1 tablespoon at a time, beating well after each addition. (If mixture looks like it is beginning to separate, keep beating and it will eventually come together.) Italian Meringue Frosting will keep refrigerated in an airtight container for up to 2 weeks and can be frozen for up to 2 months.

Swiss Meringue Buttercream
 
Makes about 5 cups
Ingredients
  • 1 cup egg whites (from about 8 large eggs)
  • 2½ cups (463 grams) sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 cups (460 grams) unsalted butter, softened
Instructions
  1. In the bowl of a stand mixer, whisk together egg whites and sugar until frothy. Place bowl over a small saucepan of simmering water. Whisk mixture constantly until sugar dissolves and a candy thermometer registers 160°, about 2 minutes. Return bowl to mixer, and beat at high speed until stiff peaks form. Beat in vanilla. Add butter, 1 tablespoon at a time, beating well after each addition.

7-Minute Frosting
 
Makes about 8 cups
Ingredients
  • 7 large egg whites
  • 1½ cups (278 grams) sugar
  • ¼ cup water
  • 2 tablespoons light corn syrup
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
Instructions
  1. In the bowl of a stand mixer, whisk together egg whites, sugar, ¼ cup water, and corn syrup until frothy. Place bowl over a small saucepan of simmering water. Whisk mixture constantly until sugar dissolves and a candy thermometer registers 160°, about 2 minutes. Return bowl to mixer, and beat at high speed until stiff, glossy peaks form, about 5 minutes. Beat in vanilla, and use immediately.

 

4 COMMENTS

    • Hi Pavi, thank you for reaching out! Two pounds of confectioners’ sugar (how we buy the sugar in the United States) equals about 8 cups unsifted to 9 cups sifted powdered sugar. Hope this helps. Happy Baking!

  1. Swiss Meringue Buttercream: Your directions have 2 different instructions for what to do with egg whites.

    Also, you do not include 1/2 cup water in ingredient list, but call for it in recipe directions.

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