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Swiss Meringue Buttercream

You will need 4 batches of plain buttercream to coat the cake. To make coconut buttercream for the filling, beat in 1 cup shredded unsweetened coconut with the vanilla in step 3; you will need 4 batches of coconut buttercream to fill the layers. If your mixer bowl is large enough, you can double this recipe.

  • yield: Makes 9 1/2 cups
Photography: Gentl & Hyers

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Ingredients

  • 2 1/2 cups sugar
  • 10 large egg whites
  • 2 pounds (8 sticks) unsalted butter cut into tablespoons, softened
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 1 cup shredded unsweetened coconut optional, for coconut buttercream

Directions

  1. Step 1

    Put sugar and egg whites in the heatproof bowl of an electric mixer, and set over a pan of simmering water. Whisk constantly until sugar is dissolved, and mixture registers 140 degrees on an instant-read thermometer.

  2. Step 2

    Transfer bowl to an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment. Beat on medium-high speed until fluffy and cooled, about 10 minutes. Continue beating until stiff, glossy peaks form.

  3. Step 3

    Reduce speed to medium-low; add butter by the tablespoon, beating well after each addition. Beat in vanilla, and coconut, if making buttercream for filling. Buttercream can be refrigerated in an airtight container up to 3 days or frozen up to 1 month. Bring to room temperature before using; beat on lowest speed until smooth, about 3 minutes.

Source
Martha Stewart Weddings, Spring 2004

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Reviews (9)

  • 18 Feb, 2014

    Any idea if this is salvageable if it turned into a curdled consistency? I think it's from using butter that still had cold chunks in it. I'd like to save it if possible. But can try again if I have to. TIA

  • 24 Dec, 2010

    i agree...wwwwaaaaayyyyyy too much butter...i would reduce to at the most 4-5 sticks...i made this minus the coconut and was blown away at how much butter taste there was...i added some almond extract and some powdered sugar and it helped alot but still alot of butter flavor...

  • 24 Dec, 2010

    i agree...wwwwaaaaayyyyyy too much butter...i would reduce to at the most 4-5 sticks...i made this minus the coconut and was blown away at how much butter taste there was...i added some almond extract and some powdered sugar and it helped alot but still alot of butter flavor...

  • 13 Sep, 2009

    I agree with pattymedic, I could taste to much butter. I haven't tried cutting back the butter, but I'm going to try to mix confection sugar to the final product...

  • 23 Jan, 2009

    I made this frosting minus the coconut. It seemed too much like eating a stick of butter. Think it will work out to reduce the amount of butter?

  • 19 Oct, 2008

    I have made this cake a few times.It has always been the parties' favorite.
    Billy-Waldorf, use regular sugar, unless the recipe calls for confectioners or powdered sugar.

  • 1 Oct, 2008

    I've a question....

    Do I use regular sugar or confectioners sugar?

    'Cause it just says sugar... so I don't know...

    Thank you for your answer in advance (:

  • 15 Mar, 2008

    coconut wedding cake

  • 15 Mar, 2008

    coconut wedding cake