Quick Swiss Meringue Buttercream

Prep Time:
30 mins
Total Time:
30 mins
About 10 cups (enough for 7 dozen Number-Themed Mini Birthday Cupcakes, 1 "Who's Counting?" Birthday Cake, or 1 Pastel Layer Cake)

Use this Swiss Meringue Buttercream recipe for our Number-Themed Mini Birthday Cupcakes, "Who's Counting?" Birthday Cake, or Pastel Layer Cake.


  • 2 ¼ cups sugar

  • 10 large egg whites, room temperature

  • Pinch of salt

  • 8 sticks unsalted butter, room temperature, cut into small pieces

  • 1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract

  • Gel-paste food coloring (optional)


  1. Heat sugar, egg whites, and salt in a heatproof mixer bowl set over a pan of simmering water, whisking, until sugar dissolves, about 2 minutes.

  2. Return bowl to mixer, and whisk, gradually increasing speed from low to medium-high, until stiff, glossy peaks form, about 10 minutes. Reduce speed to medium. Add butter, a few pieces at a time, whisking well after each addition. Whisk in vanilla. Switch to a paddle attachment. Beat until air bubbles are gone, 2 to 3 minutes more.

  3. Beat in food coloring, 1 drop at a time, until desired color is achieved. (If making more than 1 color, divide buttercream and work in batches.)

Cook's Notes

Buttercream can be refrigerated for up to 3 days. Bring to room temperature before using, and beat on low speed until smooth.

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