I do not know how to make a regular degular American buttercream, even though it’s supposed to be the easiest kind to make. Every time I’ve tried it’s always extremely gritty so this is always my go to recipe for buttercream!
Disclaimer, this is the one recipe I would say you can only make with an electric mixer. The amount of time you need to whip it for, you won’t be able to do it by hand and I know my arms are built like noodles so you might think it’s a personal problem but please just listen to me on this one, it’s almost impossible to make this by hand!
Swiss Meringue Buttercream
6 egg whites
330g granulated sugar
450g unsalted butter
2 tsp vanilla extract
- start by putting a few inches of water into a pot and put this over medium heat
- in a bowl whisk the egg whites and sugar together
- once the water starts simmering, place the bowl on top of the pot. make sure that the water isn't touching the bottom of the bowl
- whiles constantly mixing, keep heating the mixture until the sugar has completely dissolved. to test this, dip your finger into it then rub the mixture between your finger and thumb. if you don't feel any grains of sugar, it's ready
- pour this into the bowl of your mixer then whip on high speed until the mixture cools down. i whip mine for 10-20 minutes, when you feel the bowl and it doesn't feel hot anymore, that's when it's done
- whiles the mixer is still running, but on low speed, add the butter in bit by bit
- once all the butter has been added, keep whipping till it's smooth
- add in the vanilla and that's it!
- the main thing that can go wrong with this type of buttercream is that it can turn into a liquid. This usually happens when the mixture is still too warm when you add the butter. You can easily fix this though, just put the bowl into your fridge for 30 minutes, then come back and whip it for a while and it should come together.
- once all the butter has been added, it goes through stages before it comes together. so if it looks curdled or too soft, just keep whipping and it will eventually come together.
- because of the amount of butter, it is a little yellow. if you want too you can add a small drop of purple food colouring and it will make it whiter.
- ok i'm sorry this is the last thing, this buttercream is smooth but it's airy so it will have some bubbles. if you're going to decorate a cake and want it to be smoother, i usually mix it on the lowest speed, with a paddle attachment, for about 20 minutes. this get rid of all the air bubbles.