Cake Central › Recipes › Jennifer Bratko's Cream Cheese Swiss Meringue Buttercream

Jennifer Bratko's Cream Cheese Swiss Meringue Buttercream

This is an original recipe for SMBC, and as far as I can tell, this is also an original method for making a cream cheese version. I have never seen this posted anywhere or in any cook book so I'm excited to share with the CC community! So many have taught me so much since I've been a member! I make this all the time with great success.


  • My ratios for SMBC 6.25 oz egg whites 7 oz sugar pinch of salt 1 lb of unsalted fine quality butter ( suggest 83% butterfat), 72 degrees or warmer Cream cheese ratios listed after SMBC recipe/instructions.


Whisk egg whites, salt and sugar in a mixing bowl over a pot of boiling water until internal temperature reaches 160 degrees and sugar is dissolved. Remove from heat, pop onto KA mixer with whisk attachment, and beat on high until stiff peaks form and bowl is cool to the touch. This may take 10 minutes or more. TIP: You have to get STIFF PEAKS, sometimes I'll even let my meringue (gasp!) deflate a bit. It IS possible to have a cool bowl and medium peaks. DON'T STOP! Keep mixing until those peaks are stiff! Swap out to a paddle attachment and add your room temperature butter. Mix on LOW. Yes, LOW. Not medium low, not #2, but the lowest setting your mixer has. "But wait!", you might say, "I've been mixing for 3 whole minutes and it looks weird!" Yes my friend, that is exactly what it's supposed to look like. Soupy and curdled. This is science happening, so this step can take up to 15 minutes or more before the emulsion between the butter/sugar/eggs/water takes place. Don't rush it! If you crank your mixer up on high because you are impatient, it will come together but all you did was break your meringue and end up with sweetened butter (the primary complaint from people that claim to not like SMBC). When made in this method, you should get about 5 cups of SMBC. BUT, I have measured SMBC that I made as fast as possible vs. SMBC that I allowed to come together on it's own time. Not only did they taste different, but the hurried SMBC has a full cup less in volume. (A hand mixer will work if you don't have a stand mixer, but that's a lot of standing around. But it's your feet :D). TIP: If you can pick your pieces of butter up with your fingers and it's still firm-ish, it's still too cold and will take much longer to emulsify. So for perfect results make sure that butter was pulled out the night before and is nice and soft. "But wait!", you say, "I forgot to pull it out the night before!" Try grating your cold butter with a cheese grater to maximize surface area to warm it up. Then let it sit for as long as possible before use. I DO NOT refrigerate my SMBC. Science is at work here, called osmosis. The science that works for crusting icings made with shortening, butter, cream and milk that people don't hesitate to leave out for days on end is the same science that makes European buttercreams perfectly safe. I included my above SMBC recipe because I don't know if my cream cheese to SMBC ratios will work with other recipes, although you are welcome to try and post your results here. (EDIT - a few people have tried with their own recipes for both SM and IM and had great results). Now, for the moment you have ALL been waiting for............. Cream Cheese SMBC (heretofor CCSMBC) 10 oz. finished SMBC 8 oz. (1 package) Cream Cheese (can be cold) Put your cream cheese in a bowl and whip it on HIGH to make it smooth and creamy. Pass thru it with a spatula just to make sure there are no pesky lumps. Keep whipping. Once it's nice and smooth, add your finished SMBC in batches, mixing on high (1/2 or you can do 1/3 if you are doubling the above ratios). This is where people have gone wrong in the past. Notice I said add the SMBC to the cream cheese, NOT the other way around. Very important. Until you have made this a few times, you will need to watch it because if you add too much SMBC it will start looking glossy and curdled. If this happens, add more cream cheese (but make sure you follow the "whip it until it's smooth" step, if you toss in a lump of unwhipped cream cheese it will forever stay a lump of cream cheese. Finished CCSMBC is softer then regular but is great for topping cupcakes or using as a filling (damed with regular SMBC) I do not put it on the outside of cakes or under fondant (except as a filling) because of the softness, I worry about my layers shifting. It also has a very strong cream cheese flavor (which is hard to get using any other icing) so personally I think covering a whole cake is overkill. Refrigeration: I have had iced cupcakes and cake out for 12 hours with no problems, flavor or texture changes. More then that though and it gets a strange... skin? Almost like the film you get on custard or curds that do not have direct contact with plastic wrap when it's left out with direct air contact. So in this rare instance I do refrigerate if I use it in advance or if it's in a cake just to protect the flavor and prevent a skin from forming. 1 batch should make enough to fill/decorate 1x 6" round 4 layer cake. 8" = 1.5 9" = 2 10" = 2.5 So on. Additional variations: Chocolate SMBC = melt then allow to cool 8 oz 72% bittersweet chocolate, then fold into 1 batch SMBC. White chocolate = melt then allow to cool 8 oz 30% butterfat white chocolate, then fold into 1 batch SMBC

Comments (6)

Thanks Jennifer! This is the first SMBC recipe that I have used that was 100% successful. I TOTALLY agree with is all about mixing SLOW.
Okay, I must say you have me over the top excited so I must try this. I will follow your direction step-by-step and let you know how it goes. Thank you so much for sharing this as I am an overly excited student.
Thank you for posting this....I will definitely try SMBC recipe is completely different, and I have to say a lot easier...faster. But I am interested to see if the consistency or taste is any different. It sounds like it is more like a IMBC. I love all three MBC's.
Thanks for sharing!
Are you supposed to add the butter all at once or a bit at a time? Also, how long have you left your swiss meringue buttercream out for?
Depends on the recipe you use....some, like mine, you add everything all at one time. The recipe above, I would add it large chunks at a time...not quite all at once, but I hope FromScratchSF will answer that for you with her recipe.
I have left my SMBC out overnight covered in a cool room....65 degrees or less. If it is warmer than that I either use it right away or warm to room temp and use it. I have never had a problem.
Thank you for this recipe! One question, can you freeze this variation like regular SMBC? I like to make my frosting in advance :)
Cake Central › Recipes › Jennifer Bratko's Cream Cheese Swiss Meringue Buttercream