HELP!!! Swiss Meringue Buttercream

Decorating By oohrahwifey04 Updated 18 Oct 2014 , 5:19am by winniemog

oohrahwifey04 Posted 16 Jan 2012 , 7:03pm
post #1 of 18

I, for the life of me, cannot get my SMBC to set up. I can get it perfect to the meringue part but once I add in my butter it just becomes a loose lumpy mess that won't become a shiny smooth buttercream. I tossed out one batch because of it, plus it had separated. Now I'm on my second batch, where the same thing is happening, but I put it in the refrigerator to chill for 20 minutes, came back to whiping it and it's still lumpy and loose. What do I do?

17 replies
babycakes06 Posted 16 Jan 2012 , 7:46pm
post #2 of 18

Separation is part of the process. You have to just keep mixing it. It will set up.

Sassy74 Posted 16 Jan 2012 , 7:56pm
post #3 of 18

What's your recipe? Sounds like your proportions may not be quite right. Just a thought.

I made two batches of SMBC yesterday, and it's always somewhat touchy for me...butter can't be too soft, can't use egg whites from a carton, etc. I know others who don't have these issues, but I know *I* do lol.

writersblock15 Posted 16 Jan 2012 , 7:58pm
post #4 of 18

Was your butter softened to room temperature? It sounds like it may have been too cold.

HappyCake10609 Posted 16 Jan 2012 , 8:12pm
post #5 of 18
Originally Posted by babycakes06

Separation is part of the process. You have to just keep mixing it. It will set up.

I agree... when you look at it and think "it's not right" and are tempted to throw it out.... just let it keep beating and walk away, check back in 5 minutes it will probably have come together! Sometimes, if my butter is still too cold it takes a little longer, but eventually it always comes together icon_smile.gif

Jody130 Posted 16 Jan 2012 , 8:19pm
post #6 of 18

From Scratch has a tutorial on this, and I made my very first batch last week, perfect, Just follow the instructions to the T~~

metria Posted 16 Jan 2012 , 8:29pm
post #7 of 18

I have had success (2 out of 2 tries) using AllWhites ( pasteurized egg whites in a carton with this recipe:

Not sure if I'll always be successful (or if the meringue gods were just smiling on me that day), but I'm hoping to continue using this recipe.

soygurl Posted 16 Jan 2012 , 9:18pm
post #8 of 18

I'm 99% sure that your problems has to do with temperature. Separating and looking lumpy are CLASIC signs of butter that's too cold. You also mentioned putting it "in the refrigerator to chill for 20 minutes" but honestly, that's probably the worst thing you could have done.

I hope you already got it fixed, or at least haven't tossed your second batch as well! But in case you're still struggling, the quickest way to fix separated SMBC is to scoop out a bit (depends on how big your batch is, but anywhere from 1/4-1 cup, and microwave it until it's liquid then pour that back in with the rest, set it to mixing on med-low, and let it mix for at least a couple minutes. If it's looking a little better, but still not quite right, just melt a little more and add it.

I know it seems contradictory to make it warm when your problem is that it's all soft and goopy (especially if you're used to american style BC), but trust me. Temperature is almost ALWAYS the cause of problems when making meringue BC.

soygurl Posted 16 Jan 2012 , 9:20pm
post #9 of 18

Sorry for the quadruple post! I have no idea how that happened... I swear I only clicked "submit" once! icon_redface.gif

soygurl Posted 16 Jan 2012 , 9:22pm
post #10 of 18


soygurl Posted 16 Jan 2012 , 9:24pm
post #11 of 18


KoryAK Posted 17 Jan 2012 , 3:06am
post #12 of 18

soygurl is right. Just warm the mass up (taking a torch to the outside of the bowl works well too if you have one) and keep whipping. SMBC is VERY rarely ruined.

taimeaka16 Posted 18 Jan 2012 , 12:55am
post #13 of 18

Yes usually if u keep mixing it will come together, just make sure the butter is at room temperature. I also use shortening in my SMBC and instead of putting the butter (and shortening in my case) in a few chunks at a time I just dump it all in (using the whisk attachment) and mix unitl incorporated. It has not failed me yet! thumbs_up.gif

avrotier Posted 30 Jul 2014 , 11:24pm
post #14 of 18

Thank you to everyone who posted here.  It was so helpful.  I struggled with SMBC on and off all day and could not get it to stiffen up or even firm up in the fridge.  It finally broke and separated after I tortured it several times.  I tried melting a little and whipping again and it finally came together.  You guys rock!

MBalaska Posted 30 Jul 2014 , 11:35pm
post #15 of 18

avrotier, your posting your happy results is good News!  People can find lot's of great information by searching though the website and taking some time to read.

yortma Posted 18 Oct 2014 , 3:39am
post #17 of 18

I agree, when it separates into sugar syrup and little lumps of butter, it is still too cold.    I have had great success mixing on low and  gently warming the mixing bowl with a blow dryer until it starts to come together.   

winniemog Posted 18 Oct 2014 , 5:19am
post #18 of 18

AI use a blow torch on the bowl of my kitchenaid if I need, the hair dryer will do the same thing!

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