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Strawberry Meringue Buttercream

This recipe for strawberry meringue buttercream from "Martha Stewart's Baking Handbook" is the perfect frosting for White Cupcakes.

  • Yield: Makes 5 cups
Strawberry Meringue Buttercream

Source: The Martha Stewart Show, January Winter 2007


  • 4 large egg whites
  • 1 1/4 cups sugar
  • 1 1/2 cups (3 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature, cut into tablespoons
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 cups (12 ounces) strawberry jam, pureed in a food processor


  1. In the heatproof bowl of an electric mixer set over a saucepan of simmering water, combine egg whites and sugar. Cook, whisking constantly, until sugar has dissolved and mixture is warm to the touch (about 160 degrees).

  2. Attach the bowl to the mixer fitted with the whisk attachment. Beat the egg-white mixture on high speed until it holds stiff (but not dry) peaks. Continue beating until the mixture is fluffy and cooled, about 6 minutes.

  3. Switch to the paddle attachment. With mixer on medium-low speed, add butter several tablespoons at a time, beating well after each addition. (If frosting appears to separate after all the butter has been added, beat on medium-high speed until smooth again, 3 to 5 minutes more.) Beat in vanilla. Beat on lowest speed to eliminate any air bubbles, about 2 minutes. Stir in strawberry jam with a rubber spatula until frosting is smooth.


On "Martha Bakes," Martha doubled this recipe and used 2 cups strawberries, hulled and diced, plus 1/2 cup strawberry preserves, in place of the pureed strawberry jam.

Reviews (34)

  • Lynne Albechara 13 Jul, 2014

    Love, love, love this frosting recipe! Easy to make, smooth and flavorful. Together with Martha Stewart's strawberry cupcakes, and you'll think you've died and gone to heaven.

  • BBWitching 20 Apr, 2014

    WARNING! If you saw Strawberry Cupcakes on "Martha Bakes" show on PBS like I did, please note the recipe above IS NOT THE SAME as the video. Comments below describe strawberry soup, and no wonder! The recipe above has 1/2 as many eggs, less sugar, 3x more "preserves", not to mention the absence of fresh strawberries that tickled our curiosity & taste buds. Please watch the video: and write down the recipe as she makes it. Good Luck!

  • elysee 7 Feb, 2014

    Thank you so much, Oliviamay for the link to the youtube video! After trying this buttercream, which turned into soup, I watched Dyannbakes,then tried the icing,using her measurements,and it came out perfectly. And, LisaNYC is correct in saying that the icing recipe in Martha's cupcake book is different. The strawberry jam works much better than fresh strawberries; the strawberry cupcake recipe in her book work perfectly.I'm so glad that you both wrote a review! It's what I love about this site.

  • Suzipyun 9 Sep, 2013

    unbelievably good!

  • oliviamay 26 Mar, 2013

    This is a wonderful recipe. You just have to follow the directions -- really. Here is a good primer for meringue buttercream.

  • KaraHeartsCupcakes 29 Jul, 2012

    I have made this icing several times and it used to turn out soupy like many others. I now know why. After you beat your egg whites, if they are not cold when you add the butter, the butter will melt and thus you get soupy icing that can't be saved. I now refrigerate the beatten egg whites for 5-10 min and then add the butter and strawberries and it turns out great EVERY time!

  • AliceHEARTSfood 22 Jun, 2012

    I made this recipe as is and it turned out perfect! As another review said, you can't rush things. It took me 15 mins of whisking the egg whites and sugar until they seemed ready. And then I beat them for another while (once it was stiff I set a timer for 6 minutes). I did put the strawberry jam through my mini-prep and strained it. I added in gradually as other people said it caused their buttercream to go liquid, but mine held. I cooled the icing in an ice water bath before using it. Yummy!

  • LisaNYC 2 Jun, 2012

    The strawberry cupcakes are delicious. But this is NOT the strawberry meringue buttercream frosting recipe in Stewart's Cupcakes book. The book uses fresh, pureed strawberries, which when added to the egg whites & sugar turn it into a pink soup that can not be saved. Putting it into the fridge just makes the butter curdle. I haven't tried it yet, but the web recipe has got to be better because it uses jam instead. It's 8:30 pm, my son's school picnic is 2moro, & I've gotta find a new frosting.

  • Joit 25 May, 2012

    Delicious! I will use the icing all the time (minus strawberry). It is so silky and not too sweet.

  • Ollie_R 16 Apr, 2012

    What type of sugar is used in the recipe? Some say Caster sugar some say Granulated? Cheers Ollie

  • p0runam0r 14 Mar, 2012

    i just made this with following adjustments: five egg whites, 3/4 cup sugar, 2 sticks butter, 3/4 cup pureed strawberry preserves and it turned out heavenly! I did have to beat it back into submission for about three minutes on high after adding the butter. It is light and airy and just the right hint of strawberry. It is warm at my house today so I stuck in the fridge while cupcakes cool. Thank you Martha!

  • Pursuing31 20 Feb, 2012

    I found that if you make the frosting the night before, and store it in an air-tight container in the fridge overnight, the frosting gets stiffer and is perfect. I believe it has to do with the fact that the first thing you make is a very HEAVY marshmallow (egg whites and sugar).

  • Aquamarie 19 Feb, 2012

    Absolute disappointment. This icing was so soupy and totally unusable despite starting with a good meringue consistency. Should have listened to the other bad reviews and saved my time and groceries. It would be nice if Martha or her staff could post a resolution to avoid such a mess!

  • Sandykinss 14 Feb, 2012

    I made this icing for the Strawberry cupcakes and followed the recipe as stated. i was very particular, especially when i read the reviews that the icing was too "soupy". i whisked the egg whites and sugar in a double broiler, basically steaming my bowl with no direct heat on it. also, in the mixer i made it stay quite a while till i achieved a certain stiffness in the mix, adding the butter slowly and blending as it goes. Good luck! this was such a delicious icing!

  • TaraW81911 22 Jan, 2012

    Made the cupcakes, they were really good I substituted whole wheat flour and brown sugar for a healthier take.. however, the icing was so soupy, it took me such a long time to make and no matter what i added to it to thicken it, it still was left too soupy to ice the cupcakes.. needless to say all this work was left after hours of work with a non iced cupcake...I'm not sure i would try this icing ever again... loved the idea with the fresh strawberry puree in the icing...

  • ecstreet 6 Dec, 2011

    I make merengue buttercream with pureed whole raspberries, and it is DELISH! I've not yet tried making the merengue icing with fruit jam or preserves--although if I had to choose between the two, I'd go with the preserves. From the way this recipes reads, I can see how it may be problematic--especially if the jam/preserves is cold when added to the freshly-made merengue icing. For this recipe, I would recommend the jam/preserves first be warmed-up in a saucepan. Otherwise, pureed fruit is best.

  • kcooks 27 Jul, 2011

    The taste of this frosting is great, but I had trouble at the end with the consistency (after I added the strawberry jam). It separated and did not have a very appetizing appearance. Not sure what I should have done differently!

  • tamiddavis 7 Jul, 2011

    I made this frosting along with the meringue cupcakes, and it was pretty good. It could have been amazing, but the strawberry jam made it taste like just that, strawberry jam.. I am not a big fan of the strawberry jam taste in a frosting, so if you do make it, I would recommend doing the puree it gives the option for. Otherwise, it was very good, especially with that meringue cupcake, which was very light, along like a strawberry shortcake cupcake.

  • rntomas 9 Apr, 2011

    I've now made this buttercream 3 times and it still has not come right. I finally got the "color" right, but today it did not get thick enough to spread so I put it in the fridge, we'll see. Other times it is not a great spreading consistency. I bake a lot and have made a lot of different icings, but have never had so much trouble getting it right as with this one.

  • plank19079 8 Aug, 2010

    I beat my cooked egg/sugar mix for 12 minutes to make sure it's not too warm for the butter. I've also added 1-2 sticks right out of the fridge to cool the meringue down before adding the remaining softened butter. For a slightly lighter BC, I use 12 egg whites, but this amount should be made in a 6 qt mixer, as a 5 qt KitchenAid is a little too small.

  • charatee 25 Jul, 2010

    There are a couple of key elements. You have to follow the stated whipping times. Especially the first one. It cools down the mixture. Take your time adding the butter as well. Also, you have to strain the pureed strawberries. The one thing I did differently is that after adding the strawberries I beat it on high for a few minutes. That stiffened it up. I think it's a great recipe. All buttercreams can be a bit fussy...just take your time.

  • HW78 17 Mar, 2010

    I just tried this, and the frosting is too soup-y. My only thought is that the egg white/sugar mixture was still too warm even after I beat it. (It beat up perfectly to the peaks described and it was a good texture for frosting the cake -- spreadable, but not too stiff.) The frosting doesn't seem to need this much butter. It seems to get in the way of the strawberry flavor. I'm currently letting the frosting chill in the fridge in hopes that it will harden enough to hold up on the cake.

  • WinterKat 18 Oct, 2009

    I have no idea what kind of Jam to use

  • azapata22 25 Jul, 2009

    Me and my tia are having our own cooking class and we are making this in it

  • cdlewis2 23 Feb, 2009

    I also used pureed strawberries - yuck! It was so goopy! Hopefully strawberry jam would work much better.

  • DISAPPOINTED 12 Feb, 2009

    Yeah, I followed the recipe from the magazine too. It was a total disaster! A lot of work to be utterly unusable. Wish I would have known to follow the one posted here on the website instead of the one published in the magazine. My copy of the mag went out in the trash along with the huge glop of strawberry-butter slop. Thanks a lot, Martha!

  • ilovemybabies08901 17 Jan, 2009

    Unfortunately, I followed this recipe from the magazine which calls for pureed strawberries. Big mistake. The water content of the fresh berries made the buttercream separate and was completely unusable. Very disappointing. I agree with the others about the overpowering butter taste. The strawberry cupcakes I made were good though.

  • Carmenid 9 Oct, 2008

    This frosting is delicious. I used it in as a filling for a wedding worked out beaufifully. I would agree with the comments about the butter, it didn't taste like butter to me but when you keep it in the refrigerator you can see the butter chunks in the frosting the next day...that was not cool.

  • hellfirestew 24 Sep, 2008

    I made this icing to top the "Old Fashioned Vanilla Icebox Cake" to celebrate a 60th birthday. The birthday girl loves strawberry shortcake, so I cut the layers in 1/2 and iced each layer and added sliced strawberries. It was a hit! I was even asked in the restaurant where I had purchased it! The icing really does have a nice sheen to it, once it settles a bit.

  • acantu 17 May, 2008

    In n n n ve just made the icing without adding the strawberry jam and the consistency was ok, but I had to change the paddle attachment again for the whisk because it was becoming really runny. Also I agree with cleewatts, it is ok with less butter.

  • marisal 3 Apr, 2008

    Made this hours ago for a cupcake frosting party and it was fantastic. Very sweet and strawberry-ish. Could it be the type of jam you were using that perhaps didn't flavor the frosting enough?

  • DessertFanatic 19 Mar, 2008

    I made this recipe with seedless raspberry jam instead, and I thought it had a delicious raspberry flavor. Just remember, before serving, to let the cake sit out for at least half an hour to let the frosting soften a little. I thought this frosting was good.

  • cleewatts 8 Mar, 2008

    I tried this recipe and I would agree with Anca7 that it has an overpowering butter flavor. I reduced the butter to 1 cup, but you could probably reduce it to 3/4 and still have great results. It also makes A LOT of icing, It's more than enough for 24 cupcakes. My daughter and her classroom, loved the strawberry icing on their cupcakes.

  • Anca7 9 Feb, 2008

    I tried this as a Valentine's treat for my nephews since it was pink and they were not crazy about it. I thought the butter was overpowering the overall taste but thought I would let them try it for themselves. They didn't finish their cupcakes.

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