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Brown Sugar Swiss Meringue Buttercream

Recipe photo courtesy of Maura McEvoy

This intensely rich, silken frosting works well on spice, carrot, or pound cakes. Try it on our Caramelized-Apple Spice Cake.

Source: Martha Stewart Living, November 2007



Cook's Notes

Buttercream can be refrigerated airtight for up to 3 days; bring to room temperature, and beat before using.

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How would you rate this recipe?
  • sharonsjones
    23 NOV, 2007
    The amount of butter has to be wrong. It tasted like I frosted the cake with pure butter. Horrible. Please respond.
    • ladybirdjewels
      26 MAR, 2019
      You HAVE to use UN-salted butter. I made the mistake just once. I picked up regular salted butter on accident annnnd it was indeed terrible. Using the un-salted version changes everything
  • KateCM
    26 JUN, 2013
    I've made a number of SMBCs and found this recipe too sweet for my taste. I made sure to lightly pack the dark brown sugar. But I always prefer a recipe that uses weight for measurement. I felt I should have used less dark b/s or possibly light b/s instead. The dark variety gave this a very robust flavor that does not compliment the delicateness of this buttercream. The dark b/s also failed to provide a rich dark color as pictured. I was pretty disappointed and wouldn't make as written again
  • Mayson
    14 OCT, 2010
    I did some research, just in case anyone was concerned about raw egg issues. According to the American Egg Board website, egg whites need to reach 160 degrees to be safe in recipes, such as frostings. So! This recipe should be safe. Can't wait to try it with the Caramelized-Apple Spice Cake!!
  • Mayson
    7 OCT, 2010
    Are there any raw egg issues with this recipe? Or, is whisking the mixture in a double boiler set up to 160 degrees sufficient to cook the eggs??
  • nytefalle
    11 DEC, 2007
    Everyone raved about the frosting at a dinner party where I brought the dessert. I'll definitely use this again. Using the freshest, best quality butter you have for this frosting is very important. Some grocery store brand butters add artificial flavoring and coloring. A cultured, European style butter would provide the best taste and isn't very hard to make since it costs so much in the stores.
  • hlg22
    4 DEC, 2007
    For the person with the question about the butter - the amount is right. Did you maybe use salted butter, or try to substitute margarine? I served this cake at a bridal shower and got tons of compliments - I even had a few guests tell me that they don't normally like frosting, but loved this. It is definitely a true buttercream though, not the shortening and white sugar concoction that passes for frosting at the grocery store.
  • adozeneggs
    2 DEC, 2007
    I accidently used light brown sugar, so I added some molasses. This is a true swiss meringue buttercream. It is always very buttery, I served this cake to company and everyone loved it. I don't know if you've made this type of buttercream, but, it is the proper amount of butter. European buttercreams are not the same texture as an old fashioned American buttercream.

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