Vanilla-Bean Buttercream

Use this to make our Coconut Chick Cupcakes.

  • Yield: Makes about 5 cups

Source: Martha Stewart Living, April 2005


  • 1 vanilla bean, halved lengthwise, seeds scraped and reserved
  • 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 5 large egg whites
  • Pinch of salt
  • 4 sticks (1 pound) unsalted butter, softened, cut into pieces
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract


  1. Pulse vanilla seeds and sugar in a food processor. Pour through a sieve into a bowl; discard large pieces of bean.

  2. Put vanilla-sugar mixture, egg whites, and salt in a heatproof mixing bowl set over a pan of simmering water. Heat, whisking constantly, until sugar is dissolved and mixture registers 160 degrees on an instant-read thermometer.

  3. Transfer bowl to an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment. Beat on medium speed 5 minutes. Raise speed to medium-high; beat until stiff peaks form and mixture is glossy and cooled.

  4. Reduce speed to medium; beat in the butter, 1 piece at a time. Beat in extract.


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