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Under 30 Minutes

Meringue Buttercream Frosting

One hallmark of meringue buttercream is that it spreads like a dream. This versatile version is flavored very simply with vanilla. The owl, fish, and dog cakes each require one recipe of the frosting, although you'll have some left over after frosting the owl and fish. Buttercream freezes well, so save it for another day.

  • Prep:
  • Total Time:
  • Yield: Makes 10 1/2 cups
Meringue Buttercream Frosting

Photography: Johnny Miller

Source: Martha Stewart Living, May 2012


  • 3 cups sugar
  • 12 large egg whites, room temperature
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 10 sticks unsalted butter, softened, cut into pieces
  • 1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract


  1. Place sugar, egg whites, and salt in a bowl set over a pot of simmering water. Whisk until sugar dissolves and mixture reaches 160 degrees.

  2. Transfer egg-white mixture to the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, and beat on medium speed 5 minutes. Increase speed to medium-high, and beat until stiff, glossy peaks form and meringue has cooled, about 6 minutes. Reduce speed to medium, and add butter, 1 piece at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in vanilla. Use immediately. Or refrigerate, covered, up to 3 days; bring to room temperature, and beat with a mixer on low speed until smooth before using.

Reviews (3)

  • LikesCakes13 6 Jul, 2012

    I've used this recipe on several occasions and always have had phenomenal results, its so creamy, spreadable, and always a crowd pleaser! I would recommend this frosting to anyone that wants to wow a crowd.

  • tupelohoney156 12 Jun, 2012

    To Mom23: You can't change the recipe that much and expect the results Martha had.

  • Mom23 9 Jun, 2012

    This truly does spread like a dream. It also tastes mostly like butter. I did make a mistake and use salted butter, so I added some (about 1 cup) of confectioners sugar to help with the saltiness. It still wasn't very sweet and has a very greasy (buttery) mouth feel. It looked great... but most of my guests scraped major portions off and left it on their plates. Will definitely try a different recipe next time.

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