Meringue Buttercream Frosting

meringue buttercream
Photo: Johnny Miller
Prep Time:
20 mins
Total Time:
30 mins
Makes 10 1/2 cups

One hallmark of meringue buttercream is that it spreads like a dream. This versatile version is flavored very simply with vanilla. The Dog Cake, Owl Cake, and Fish Cake 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.


  • 3 cups sugar

  • 12 large egg whites, room temperature

  • ¼ teaspoon kosher salt

  • 10 sticks unsalted butter, room temperature, 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.

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