December 31, 2012 by

How to make Swiss Meringue Buttercream (Thermomix)

Swiss Meringue Buttercream Icing with Thermomix

Make a list of the ten most seductive foods you would want hold on your tongue forever… and Swiss Meringue Buttercream icing is near the top. It’s a sensuous delight to be enjoyed by the eyes, lips, tongue, and er… mind. It’s also something of a right of passage to both taste and make the elusive smooth topping found on special cakes, pastries and cupcakes from the world’s best establishments.  Who better to demystify this most elegant frosting for us than Mara? Mara lives in Madrid, has a lifelong connection with Thermomix, an insatiable culinary curiosity, and a mastery of English that makes it easy to share her recipes with readers of this blog.

in Mara’s words:
It’s great to have a “baking” recipe at which Thermomix clearly beats the KitchenAid® hands down!

Although the meringue itself is quite sweet, the buttercream is by far less sweet than manufactured treats which have a ratio of 2:1 sugar to butter/creamcheese. Swiss Meringue Buttercream should be made and served when the weather is not too hot because it’s best eaten at room temperature, not chilled. (If chilled, the butter will firm up and the texture isn’t half as nice. If hot enough to melt, it’s not optimal either.)

The texture is just divine in your mouth but also perfect for piping pretty things, people want to buy cakes from me all the time and I really am not a baking person… that’s how good it looks!

Thermomix recipe for Swiss Meringue Buttercream icing
Swiss meringue (left) and meringue with about half of the butter (right)

5.0 from 1 reviews

Swiss Meringue Buttercream
makes about 4 cups of basic buttercream, see notes below recipe for variations

by:
Cuisine: Thermomix
Recipe type: Dessert

Ingredients
  • 140 g egg whites (better if they’re room temp but not essential)
  • 230 g sugar
  • Pinch of salt or to taste
  • 450 g unsalted butter, cubed, cold but not rock-hard

Instructions
  1. This recipe is quite foolproof and very forgiving, so long as you get your meringue right. For this it is essential to have both the bowl and the butterfly perfectly clean and dry. Put the butterfly into place and add egg whites, sugar and salt to the Thermomix bowl. Whip 5 minutes/60ºC/ speed 3.
  2. Once finished, Beat again 6 minutes/speed 3½/no temperature. After this step you have swiss meringue. If not (time may vary slightly depending on freshness of the eggs and their temperature), beat for another minute.
  3. Keep the machine running on speed 3½ and start adding butter cubes little by little. This can take about 4-5 minutes. (When you start adding the butter it will deflate almost completely. Don’t be scared — just keep adding and beating, it will turn out ok. If at one point it ever looks curdled, it’s just that the butter wasn’t cold enough. Put the bowl in the refrigerator for a few minutes and then go on beating.)After all the butter has been added continue beating for another minute until it’s all well incorporated.At this point you can add any flavours and colours of your choice (see note below). Use as is for flat or piped icing. See notes below for inspiring video link.

Notes
Notes about storage: Use immediately or keep it in your refrigerator for up to 3 weeks or in the freezer for a couple of months. Before using just whip it up -straight from the refrigerator- with the butterfly at speed 3½. If frozen, allow to thaw in fridge for at least 24 hours.
flavours and colours: Add any flavours and colours you like. For instance, for chocolate SM-buttercream and for the amounts given add 100 grams melted and cooled chocolate. Or make it lemony by adding some lemon curd (mine is really tangy so I add a small amount — follow your tastebuds) or some fine lemon zest and lemon extract. Other possibilities include adding jam (will make it sweeter), fruit purée or, of course, vanilla. In photos above the Swiss Meringue Butter-cream was coloured with a tiny bit of pink colouring (gel) and it was rose-scented with a rosewater syrup made in the Thermomix, which I added for the last 30 seconds of beating or so. It smelled almost like a bouquet!
Good to know! This is actually two recipes in one because if you don’t add the butter you get swiss meringue, which is a favorite for making meringue cakes and meringue bites (baked at low temp for a long time) and for decorating.

Thermomix buttercream icing recipe

Want more?

  • Mara’s cake in the photo at top of this page is inspired by Amanda’s (I am baker) already legendary “rose cake”. See Rose Cake tutorial here.
  • Why is it called “Swiss Meringue Buttercream?” How is this different from other buttercream frostings? See middle of this wikipedia page  for the answers.
  • See a quick and inspiring demo for how to pipe piping buttercream (rose cake) frosting in the video below from iambaker.com.

See 50 comments from people who cook with Thermomix:

  1. avatar
    A Canadian foodie 1 January 2013 at 8:51 am (PERMALINK)

    Happy 2013 Helene!

    Author
  2. avatar
    Nora 1 January 2013 at 8:59 am (PERMALINK)

    Well, aren’t those roses absolutely gorgeous? And I can only imagine the delicious rose smell coming out of those beauties, just heaven on earth! And it’s not miles away from the Italian meringue buttercream I used for my Rudolph Christmas log a week ago…

    Author
  3. avatar
    Trudy 2 January 2013 at 4:03 pm (PERMALINK)

    Thanks for sharing this great recipe Mara & Helene!!!

    Author
  4. avatar
    Tracey Hill 4 January 2013 at 9:24 pm (PERMALINK)

    I just had a go at making this icing as a practice run for my daughter’s 8th birthday on 20 January. FAIL! It’s very runny and the TM jug feels very warm still so I’ve put the whole TM jug in the fridge to see whether it will thicken up once cooler. Any thoughts on where I’ve gone wrong?
    Tracey

    Author
  5. avatar
    Lavinia 5 January 2013 at 12:12 am (PERMALINK)

    I’ve been following I am Baker’s blog for a while now and I LOVE the look of her Rose Cake – what a coincidence that the world of thermomix and I am baker has collided and so beautifully too! I’ve been messing about with meringue powder in the thermomix just for icing cookies but I’m delighted to have a recipe for fresh egg whites. We have chooks in the garden so have eggs in abundance. Thanks for sharing!

    Author
  6. avatar
    ThermomixBlogger Helene 5 January 2013 at 11:49 pm (PERMALINK)

    oh no Tracey! I was so sorry to read about your failure that I have stayed up late to make this buttercream and see if I can help. It’s almost midnight here now and I’ve just had a very tough time trying to stop myself from licking the bowl clean ;-)

    Okay, so I followed the recipe exactly and paid EXTREME attention to cleaning and drying the jug before starting. As Mara says that is the critical element… if we don’t get the meringue at first, then all else is lost. Okay, Meringue worked great! Next I did the addition of butter cubes and as predicted it took exactly 5 minutes for that step. I peeked inside at that point and yes, it was still a bit liquid, but then I read the last part of that step and it says that once the butter is all added, to beat for an additional minute. During that last minute I heard the sound of the machine shift in tone and could tell that things were thickening up inside. After a minute it was done.

    At that point it was thicker yes, but still a bit too sloppy for putting in a pipping bag so I put it back on for one more minute while adding some vanilla paste. Oh dear… so incredible. I put it in the fridge while searching for my pipping tips cuz I wanted to pipe a few roses on a plate to show you but could not find my decorating tips at this late hour. So for the time being, my LURVLY Swiss Meringue buttercream is in the fridge, nice and solid and as perfect as it could ever be. I’m glad Mara advised that it keeps well because I am going to have to bake some sort of light cake or something tomorrow to place underneath or between layers of this fabulous icing. I am truly impressed and pleased because I am by no means a baker and this turned out so well. I would advise you to maybe keep betting for an extra minute or two after butter has been added as this worked for me. I’ll be curious to see what Mara says when she gets a minute to comment.

    Sorry for your disappointment Tracey, but thanks for the opportunity for me to test this recipe of Mara’s for myself. Swiss Meringue Buttercream frosting is so decadent, but totally empowering to make!

    Keep on mixing ;-)

    Author
  7. avatar
    Mara 8 January 2013 at 4:24 am (PERMALINK)

    Hello, Tracey, sorry for the delay! I see Helene stepped in (thank you!) but I’ll try and give some additional advice.

    To see if your meringue is there you just use the classic “tip the bowl” trick. You turn the Tmx bowl upside down and if your meringue holds, it’s done. If it starts to fall, keep on beating.

    Also, the temperature lights should all be off by the time you start adding the butter. If the weather is too hot the buttercream might be too runny to pipe, just store in the fridge inside your bag for 5-10 minutes before piping.

    I hope that helps and that you get nice results! Happy new year!

    Author
  8. avatar
    Mara 8 January 2013 at 5:14 am (PERMALINK)

    Forgot one last thing, which might help although it’s not for everybody. You can do the swiss meringue using only 50º, which will make it cool down faster afterwards. Just make sure that the sugar has disolved into the eggwhites and also bear in mind that in this case the eggwhites won’t be cooked so it won’t be as safe (I know in Spain you wouldn’t be allowed to sell cupcakes made with this buttercream, for instance, if the whites hadn’t reached 60º for one minute)

    Author
  9. avatar
    Jan 13 January 2013 at 12:47 pm (PERMALINK)

    Sorry also had complete and utter FAIL
    Clean bowl and whisk
    It actually turned out like fondant which is couldn’t use
    Afraid to try again

    Am I right to think that the sugar and egg whites go in TOGETHER

    Author
  10. avatar
    Mara 14 January 2013 at 7:10 am (PERMALINK)

    Yes, Jan, the sugar and the egg whites go in together and you beat them low until they reach 60º. After that, you whip them up until you get firm peaks and only then you start adding the butter. I’m really confused at the failures because this recipe has never failed me, after all, the recipe is a classic one but just addapted to the Thermomix.

    Author
  11. avatar
    Cath 17 January 2013 at 6:23 am (PERMALINK)

    Hoping to try this recipe soon, and am interested in the “fails”. I live in Perth, Australia, and we are having heat waves right across Aust at the moment. Does the temperature of your kitchen affect this recipe?

    Author
  12. avatar
    ThermomixBlogger Helene 17 January 2013 at 11:34 pm (PERMALINK)

    Hi Cath — I’ve been wondering about this myself and thinking of all our Thermomix friends in Australia as I listen to the news. I would emphasize Mara’s suggestion of cooling the bowl/contents during the last step if needed. I made this last week (plain vanilla version) in a kitchen that was not too hot and even so I needed to put it in the fridge to stiffen it slightly and make it more workable. I am NOT good at piping, so for me a trial run was necessary (and super tasty!).

    Author
  13. avatar
    Joana Félix 29 January 2013 at 7:12 am (PERMALINK)

    Hi there!
    I’m just writing to thank you so much for this wonderful recipe! I never managed to make buttercream on my thermomix, this was the first time it came out well (not just well, fantastic!!!)! And OMG it taste soooo good, i could eat it all with a spoon :-D I followed tge recipe exactly and it all worked perfectly!
    I used it on a cinamon cake with praline, to frost and pipe some roses! Is it possible to make a bigger batch of it? Would the times still the same?
    Thanks once again!
    Regards from Portugal :)
    Joana

    Author
  14. avatar
    Mara 31 January 2013 at 12:29 am (PERMALINK)

    Thanks for the feedback, Joana. The amounts given are for the biggest batch I make but I have made them smaller and you just have to adapt the amount of your ingredients proportionally. I guess the Thermomix could easily hold about one third more, perhaps even a 50% increase without having to work too hard. You’d also have to increase your times, just follow these rules:
    1.- eggwhites and sugar have to reach 60º for about one minute;
    2.- then you have to beat your meringue until all temperature lights are off and the meringue holds stiff peaks; if you get the peaks but the lights won’t turn off, let the bowl rest off the base for a little while (but not too long, 5 minutes max).
    3.- make sure to incorporate the butter little by little and don’t be afraid to whip it for a long time, texture only improves.

    Author
  15. avatar
    ThermomixBlogger Helene 31 January 2013 at 8:56 pm (PERMALINK)

    Thanks Mara AND Joana! I love your message Joana — and I love your sound knowledge of the machine Mara. So glad to hear of Joana’s success. If you are like me Joana, you will have trouble to stop eating any cake which has this icing on it ;-) I had great results when I tried it too, and I learned on my own that you can whip that butter for a long time, no problem. I think those of us who are new to baking etc, are maybe ‘shy’ to let it whip for a long time, but really, it’s just great!

    Author
  16. avatar
    Trina 1 February 2013 at 3:03 pm (PERMALINK)

    Can I use half butter & half marg as I have run out of butter & dont have a car :(

    Author
  17. avatar
    Mara 2 February 2013 at 1:53 pm (PERMALINK)

    I truly have no idea, Trina, I never tried. For sure the flavour won’t be the same but the texture is bound to hold, I’d bet.

    Author
  18. avatar
    Joana Félix 3 February 2013 at 3:32 am (PERMALINK)

    Hi once again :)
    Mara thank you so much for your tips! Yesterday i made another cake (http://osbolinhosdajoaninha.blogspot.pt/2013/02/blog-post.html) and followed your advices and it all worked perfectly :)
    Helene i found your blog recentley and i’m in love with it :) Today i’llbe making the iced puff pastry, so fingers crossed! Keep up with the excellent job, thermomix lovers thank you!

    Author
  19. avatar
    ThermomixBlogger Helene 4 February 2013 at 12:43 am (PERMALINK)

    Aww, thanks for your kind words Joana — I’m so glad you were inspired to try something new and that you had fun with some of the Thermomix ideas you found on this site ;-)

    Author
  20. avatar
    Kylie 27 February 2013 at 6:04 pm (PERMALINK)

    Hi!
    Thanks for the recipe. Can u make a smaller batch?

    If so measurements and times would be great! I’ve never done buttercream before.

    Cheers
    Kylie

    Author
  21. avatar
    Mara 28 February 2013 at 12:30 am (PERMALINK)

    Yes, Kylie, of course you can, I normally do it with just 180gr eggwhite. I imagine the smallest batch you could do would be with 2 eggwhites, which should be around 65-75 grams. Just scale everthing down and take a look at the comments above for some general rules/tips.

    Author
  22. avatar
    Mara 28 February 2013 at 12:34 am (PERMALINK)

    LOL, Helene, I just spotted my Valentine’s cake!

    Author
  23. avatar
    Kylie 2 March 2013 at 10:41 pm (PERMALINK)

    Aaahhhh I also failed at this recipe. Not sure what happened cause I got the meringue right! Tipped it upside down and it didn’t fall out. Added the butter and its like liquid! I whipped for 2 more mins – still liquid. Another two mins – same. It’s in the fridge so hopefully will thicken up. :(

    Author
  24. avatar
    Mara 4 March 2013 at 9:09 am (PERMALINK)

    Did it work all right after the fridge? I really can’t think of anything else other than it was too hot!

    Author
  25. avatar
    Rowan 11 March 2013 at 1:36 pm (PERMALINK)

    So delicious ! My meringue didn’t form peaks but it still worked, was pipable and so yummy!

    Author
  26. avatar
    Mara 11 March 2013 at 3:19 pm (PERMALINK)

    I’m glad you liked it, Rowan, and that you took the time to let us know!
    Next time, just give your meringue an extra minute or two, to gt those firm peaks and the buttercream will be even fluffier!

    Author
  27. avatar
    Kylie 12 March 2013 at 3:06 am (PERMALINK)

    Yes Mara. I let it harden in the fridge overnight then whipped it up again in the morning and it was perfect! I think the bowl was too hot when I added the extra ingredients. I’m trying it again this weekend for DD bday so hopefully I get it right this time! :)

    Author
  28. avatar
    jeanne 16 March 2013 at 12:10 pm (PERMALINK)

    How many days can you keep a cake frosted with swiss meringue at room temp?
    Do you have to eat it the same day. What happens if you refrigerate a frosted cake?

    Author
  29. avatar
    ThermomixBlogger Helene 17 March 2013 at 10:00 pm (PERMALINK)

    I don’t have a lot of experience with this Jeanne, but I’ll try to answer… I don’t think you want to keep it too long at room temp. To refrigerate it is fine, but the frosting will get really solid, (like cold butter) so it becomes harder to cut and serve. I think if you want to keep it in the fridge just bring it up to room temp before serving you should be fine. (You don’t want to eat that cake at a cold temp anyway.) Hope this helps ;-)

    Author
  30. avatar
    Mara 18 March 2013 at 3:05 pm (PERMALINK)

    Hello Jeanne, I’m sorry I missed this! This buttercream does not hold long out of the fridge, because of the eggs and butter I think that the longest I’ve had it out is for 6-7 hours… But it does keep for a long time in the fridge. Just cover your cake with a dome because butter tends to get weird odours and tastes if you don’t and allow for it to get to room temp before eating it because otherwise it’s a bit like eating butter.

    Author
  31. avatar
    Emma-Jo 23 March 2013 at 1:23 am (PERMALINK)

    Can someone please help me!!!??? I have just made this and couldn’t even get the meringue bit right. I’m using thawed 100% egg whites, which are pasturised. So did the first step ok, 5 mins, 60 degrees, speed 3. But when that is finished and I go to beat for 6 mins, speed 3.5 no temp, do I need to wait for the temp light to go off? I waited and waited and got impatient and mixed it on 37 degrees. It wasn’t thick enough, so I stuck it in the fridge for a bit to cool the bowl down, then mixed for another 2 minutes, still it’s runny as. Can someone tell me if I’m doing anything wrong. I’ll start again, but don’t want to keep wasting sugar and egg whites!! Thanks.

    Author
  32. avatar
    Mara 24 March 2013 at 1:44 am (PERMALINK)

    Hello, Emma-Jo, I myself have never been capable of making swiss meringue with pasteurised eggs from a box/bottle nor with thawed eggs. But this might be because of the quality of the pasteurised egg-whites we get in Spain. The other thing, maybe there was a trace of grease in your bowl or maybe the butterfly. The slightest bit can ruin a meringue. Clean your machine by chopping up a whole lemon, then put on your butterfly and add wáter and a Little bit of soap. Give it some time at 50º then rinse and dry well. This will make it squeaky clean. You can also use vinegar or alcohol if yu don’t want to waste a whole lemon.
    If after that it still doesn’t work, then it’s the eggs.

    Author
  33. avatar
    ThermomixBlogger Helene 24 March 2013 at 2:58 am (PERMALINK)

    Oh Mara — I just love your tips and insights. Thanks again so much for sharing and for spending precious moments with us over here. xo H.

    Author
  34. avatar
    Maureen | Orgasmic Chef 24 March 2013 at 3:57 am (PERMALINK)

    I can do this!!

    Author
  35. avatar
    ThermomixBlogger Helene 24 March 2013 at 2:57 pm (PERMALINK)

    Yay Maureen! Was good to see you here and over on Twitter too :) I think if I had the KitchenAid readily available I might be using that instead… not sure though, as I’ve never had (nor used) a KA. Also never made Swiss Buttercream before this recipe! I am just such a savory lover, it’s heard to pull me away from the garlic and over to the sweet side of things ;-)

    Author
  36. avatar
    Paige 18 April 2013 at 7:47 pm (PERMALINK)

    Hi there, I just attempted this one and sadly it was a fail for me as well – I am new to tmx but I wonder whether the original recipe should state to let the bowl cool completely before adding the butter? I think thats where I went wrong :( anyways I am popping it into my fridge to try and recover it somehow!!! I didnt let the bowl cool first as I was being a nerd and following each and every step – bummer!!! thanks I can see it has potential but for gumbies like me I need to be told to let the bowl cool!

    Author
  37. avatar
    Mara 20 April 2013 at 9:59 am (PERMALINK)

    Hello, Paige, you’re right, it’s best if the bowl is completely cooled down and I didn’t say so in the recipe, only in the comments above this one. But it’s only added as a “tip” because it’s really not essential. If the weather isn’t too hot I’m ok if it’s just dropped to 37º because the minute the cold butter starts getting incorporated it the meringue really cools down and then the more butter you add and the more it gets whipped, the better the texture. But yes, it can be easier if the bowl is cold.

    Author
  38. avatar
    Fiona 21 June 2013 at 4:49 am (PERMALINK)

    Now I really want to have a go at this! I made SMB last yr (pre TM). It was divine. Made a massive batch & froze it, comes out of the freezer, with a quick whip it is as good as gold. Have to try the TM version now! Thanks ladies!

    Author
  39. avatar
    Maria 3 July 2013 at 3:52 am (PERMALINK)

    Hi .
    Sorry but I do not have a Thermomix, I just would like to say thanks for the recipe
    Making your butter cream was a dream I just love the the butter cream made with
    The egg white,
    I always make with just butter and icing (powder sugar) sugar
    Thanks again every loves the new cream on there cup cake’s
    I mix my cream in a mixer.
    Will always make your cream xxxx

    Author
  40. avatar
    Lhot 13 August 2013 at 4:01 pm (PERMALINK)

    Hi,

    I’ve been searching for a buttercream recipe for cupcakes and on cakes under fondant as I’ve never had good results before. And then I came up with this recipe. It does look good and I’ve like to give it a go but I wonder if this is ok to use under fondant as well? How does it hold up on humidity. I live in Galicia, Spain and it’s awfull lot humid here. I’m tasked to make the cake for my friend’s daughter’s birthday. help!

    Thanks!
    Lhot

    Author
  41. avatar
    ThermomixBlogger Helene 14 August 2013 at 11:17 pm (PERMALINK)

    Hello Lhot — From what Mara has written in her recipe and comment replies, I would hesitate to put this under fondant. It’s not great in high humidity. I’ve just checked the weather for your area and WOW, it’s hot there!!!

    Author
  42. avatar
    Mara 18 August 2013 at 1:23 am (PERMALINK)

    Hello Lhot, I’m sorry I missed this, I’m currently away and don’t have a lot of internet access. As Helene pointed out, it won’t work very well under fondant because it may “leak” and spoil it, even if your weather isn’t all that humid. Besides that, I think it’s a waste to use this buttercream just to hold fondant in place. It’s more work and really another world taste and texture wise and that would be lost underneath the fondant.

    Author
  43. avatar
    Lhot 20 August 2013 at 4:27 am (PERMALINK)

    Thank you Helene and Mara! I really appreciate your replies.

    I have never had any success on making any kind of buttercream for that matter uffff! It’s just frustrating. I am still a newbie when it comes to baking but I never had such difficulty than making a good frosting. Even if it is not a good idea to use SMB under fondant, I still would very much like to be able to do it for frosting cupcakes. I’ve just tried it and it has just been a complete failure :(. the meringue didn’t come up at all and the end-result is watery! I don’t know if I can ever save this at all. Right now, it’s sitting in my fridge. Maybe eventually I’d just have to throw it away.. gasp!

    I did use a pasteurized egg whites though.. I’ve read from some thermomix blogs that many used this with success… but obviously mine turned out into a butter-soup and not buttercream. Maybe I’ve made mistake with something else but I’ll start from this. I’ll use fresh white eggs and not pasteurized… and then, God help me!

    Thank you once again! I’d definitely come back whatever the result of my next try. You guys are awesome!

    Author
  44. avatar
    Maria 18 October 2013 at 2:19 pm (PERMALINK)

    Hi guys
    Just a quick question which sugar do u use
    When I make this buttercream without a tmx I use
    Caster sugar
    Thanks

    Author
  45. avatar
    Magda 21 March 2014 at 5:51 am (PERMALINK)

    Absolute perfection!can I freeze the leftovers and use it again at some point?

    Author
  46. avatar
    Kate 23 March 2014 at 3:55 am (PERMALINK)

    My thermomix is just one week old & although I was a little nervous about making this ‘icing’ for my daughter’s birthday cake today, it worked perfectly. I first read all comments here & took care with temps. Luckily here in Melbourne, Australia, the cooler Autumn weather has arrived. Today I added a dash of rose water but would love to try it with some chocolate. Mmm. . .My husband is still raving about it!

    Author
  47. avatar
    Ec 25 March 2014 at 9:50 am (PERMALINK)

    I have an issue with the temperature. I have followed the instruction from the manual but temp does not stop heating my bowl. How do i get to stop it from heating after it has cooked ghe egg white and ghe sugar?

    Author
  48. avatar
    ThermomixBlogger Helene 30 March 2014 at 1:13 pm (PERMALINK)

    Hi Ec — if you are having a malfunction, I recommend you get in touch with your local Thermomix consultant who will be able to assist or get your machine to the right place for servicing. I’ve used my machine heavily for 5 years with no problems whatsoever, so this kind of thing is rare. Not quite sure from your note though.. if you are a new Thermomix owner maybe you are simply asking how to continue stirring without heat? In that case you push the “power” button to reset the machine, then you can set it to begin stirring again without heat. Hope this helps!

    Author

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