Swiss Meringue Buttercream - Heating Egg Whites To 160 Degrees?

Baking By Julie_S Updated 3 Apr 2015 , 9:16pm by MBalaska

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Julie_S Posted 2 Apr 2015 , 7:43pm
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What do you think would happen if I heated the egg whites to 160 degrees, in order to ward off any bad bacteria. Do you think the icing would still come out nice?

I've read that trying to whip pasteurized whites works sometimes and sometimes doesn't and it could take a long time of beating and I use a hand mixer. I don't have a kitchen aid or anything like it.

Thanks for any ideas!


10 replies
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julia1812 Posted 2 Apr 2015 , 7:49pm
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I'm always heating the egg whites with the sugar to 160F/71C. Can't get pasteurized egg whites here, but I know people use them.

 I also use a hand mixer only and it takes me up to 10 mins of beating to get stiff peaks.

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Pastrybaglady Posted 2 Apr 2015 , 11:25pm
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I do this every time!  The eggs are not pasteurized unless you bring the to 160°F.  I've only had trouble getting stiff peaks with carton egg whites. Fresh whip up beautifully.

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MBalaska Posted 2 Apr 2015 , 11:32pm
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Pasteurized eggs from the carton will whip up just fine.

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brenda549 Posted 3 Apr 2015 , 3:24pm
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I sometimes take mine all the way to 170 that way I know I have held it at 160 and above for 3 minutes.  I get perfect Swiss Meringue every time.  

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craftybanana2 Posted 3 Apr 2015 , 4:07pm
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Quote by @MBalaska on 16 hours ago

Pasteurized eggs from the carton will whip up just fine.

Yup this ^_^ they just take a little longer to whip though. Also if you use pasteurized, check the carton ingredients, some are not just egg whites. I just made some SMBC yesterday with meringue powder, was a nice experiment since it worked out well. I just heated the water with the sugar, then added the powder and whipped for 10+minutes.

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Pastrybaglady Posted 3 Apr 2015 , 4:41pm
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Oh yeah, they will whip up eventually!  My problem was that they were taking twice the time as fresh.  Once I let it go a whole hour and they still weren't stiff.  I decided to go with fresh so I could save my mixer.  I did love skipping the egg separating though and not having to deal with the yolks.   Maybe I'll give it another try, if MB says... :)

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MBalaska Posted 3 Apr 2015 , 7:42pm
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@Pastrybaglady   Yes I normally crack my own eggs, but I've made a couple of baby shower cakes and bought the pasteurized carton of whites just to be absolutely sure of it's egg safety.   I noticed a slightly lesser volume in the meringue, but no difference at all in the taste or texture of the finished product. It also took a few minutes longer to whip to full volume, and beating to Stiff Peaks is the real secret for good SMBC, but not that much longer.

It makes sense for a business to go with the carton eggs for ease, to save time, and it makes sense for their legal egg safety concerns. Not having a business I can crack eggs at home for SMBC.

Next time you have egg yolks make these cookies.  If you put the spices in them, instead of the lemon/orange flavoring  I call them "EggNog" cookies.




1  cup butter (or shortening )  2 STICKS BUTTER

1 1⁄2 cups sugar                         10 ½ oz. SUGAR

6  egg yolks (or 3 whole eggs)

2 1⁄2 cups all-purpose flour       13 oz. FLOUER

1  teaspoon baking soda

1  teaspoon cream of tartar

1  teaspoon vanilla extract

1⁄2 teaspoon lemon extract   (or CINNAMON, MACE, & NUTMEG)

1⁄2 teaspoon orange extract




Cream butter and sugar until fluffy.

Separately, beat egg yolks and add extracts.

Add beaten egg yolk mixture to creamed butter and sugar.

Blend well.

In a separate bowl, whisk together dry ingredients (flour, baking soda and cream of tartar).

Add dry ingredients to creamed butter, sugar and egg mixture, mixing until well blended.

Form into balls about the size of a walnut.

Roll balls in sugar, place on greased cookie sheet or parchment lined cookie sheet, and slightly flatten.


Bake at 350 degrees F for 8 to 10 minutes, depending on desired softness/crispness.

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Pastrybaglady Posted 3 Apr 2015 , 7:48pm
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Maybe a different brand would be better, but it took so long - I don't know if I ended up saving any of the cracking time.  Thanks for the recipe, wow 6 yolks!  

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-K8memphis Posted 3 Apr 2015 , 9:14pm
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mb-- you are beautiful for that recipe -- last time i scrambled & cooked the yolks then froze them -- i add some to my dog's food...when i remember -- i hate to toss them out -- i do make curd but i also have one cookie recipe that takes two yolks -- you gotta eat a lotta cookies hahahaha

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MBalaska Posted 3 Apr 2015 , 9:16pm
post #11 of 11

Yes six!  it's a perfect matching recipe for a batch of SMBC.  They are an old fashioned type of cookie, freeze perfectly, they're not very sweet, and will not be everyones favorite, but who cares.  someone will like them and eat them all up for you. Variety is the spice of life.  Make some, pass them around & see who loves them.

Oh yes, if you want to make them 'eggnog' flavored, put in a tsp. of cinnamon & big dashes of mace &/or nutmeg.  

One thing that I'm absolutely convinced of, from reading everyone's posts here on cc, is that the ingredients, weather, climate, and unicorn tears in all of the different parts of the globe really result in huge differences in the outcomes of our creations.   The store bought brand of 'egg whites only' in your town may be way different from the ones sold in mine.

@-K8memphis  is absolutely positively correct when she says "One persons always is another persons never." 

That's why there is no substitute for your own hands on experience.

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