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Swiss Meringue Buttercream

You will need 15 cups of buttercream to complete Martha's Meyer Lemon Anniversary Cake (14 cups for frosting the cake; one cup for piping around the layers and assembling the toppers).

  • Yield: Makes 7 1/2 cups
Swiss Meringue Buttercream

Source: Martha Stewart Living, January 2006


  • 8 large egg whites
  • 2 1/2 cups sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 3 cups (6 sticks) unsalted butter, cut into pieces, softened
  • Yellow gel-paste food coloring


  1. Whisk egg whites, sugar, and salt in the heatproof bowl of an electric mixer set over a pan of simmering water until sugar has dissolved and mixture registers 160 degrees, about 4 minutes. Attach bowl to mixer fitted with the whisk attachment. Beat on high speed until cool and stiff (but not dry) peaks form, about 6 minutes.

  2. Fit mixer with the paddle attachment. With mixer on medium-low speed, add butter, several pieces at a time, mixing well after each addition (meringue will deflate slightly as butter is added). Mix until frosting comes together but is still smooth and glossy, 3 to 5 minutes. Tint with food coloring; stir until smooth.

Reviews (2)

  • pastrypixie 1 Feb, 2009

    I've made this recipe twice and I love it. Not too sweet. It is more of an adult frosting. I agree it is buttery and more for people who don't like overly sweet frosting,like me. I made this entire cake for my grandfather's 90th birthday and it was fantastic and everyone at it and asked to take some home.

  • jrsahmad 20 Jun, 2008

    This recipe was simply gross. I followed the directions absolutely, even using a thermometer in step 1. After taste-testing it and adding another cup of sugar on my own it is still far too buttery... like movie-theatre popcorn atop my otherwise delicious lemon cupcake. I brought the cupcakes to my school to pawn off on my students (14 year-old boys) and even they scraped the frosting off. In other words, don't bother.

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