Bratko's Strawberry Italian Meringue Buttercream (IMBC)

Strawberry IMBC

Buttercream is wonderfully versatile, and many kinds of flavorings can be added. This recipe is for strawberry IMBC, but strawberries can be omitted or replaced.


6 ¼ ounces egg whites
7 ounces sugar
¼ cup water
Pinch of salt

1 pound of unsalted fine quality butter, room temperature
1 ½ cups fresh strawberries, pureed


In a medium saucepan, bring the water and sugar to a soft boil of 245° F. While your sugar is cooking, in a separate mixing bowl, lightly whisk egg whites and salt until soft peaks form (a stand mixer is ideal, but a hand mixer will work).

Once sugar syrup has reached temperature, crank mixer up on high and slowly pour the sugar syrup into eggs. Allow meringue to come to stiff peaks, and make sure bowl is cool to touch. This may take 10 minutes or more.

Meringue must be stiff enough to stay put when scooped to the side of the bowl. If it is at all runny, keep mixing. Change to a paddle attachment and add butter. (If your butter is firm enough to pick up between your fingers, it is too hard. Leave it out to soften overnight for best results.) Mix on the lowest setting. It will look curdled and soupy. Do not mix on high. This step can take up to 15 minutes.

When your buttercream is fluffy, light and smooth, it is done. Add pureed strawberries. Your frosting may appear curdled or lumpy at first, but keep mixing until smooth again, approximately 7 minutes.


Comments (26)


This frosting does not require refrigeration. You can leave at room temp for several days. The only thing you need to worry about is the frosting drying out, but will be safe to eat.


Jackie, you say this frosting can be left our of refrigerator for several days, but it contains butter. Doesn't it go bad if I is not refrigerated?


I've had the hardest time with meringue buttercreams and this recipe gives me hope! Several steps are done differently than the recipes I've used, so now I have to try it out and see if this works for me. Thanks!


I would like to know as well, can this be frozen and then re-whipped? Or can I freeze the cake with the IMBC? And how long will it keep in refrigirator? Thank you!


IMBC is all I use. You can freeze it for later use. It will keep in the fridge for a week. I usually let it sit out for 30min to an hour or so before I start to re-whip it. When you start to re-whip it when it's cold, it will look like it is curdling. Don't give up, just leave it in the mixer on high and it will come back together. Also, sometimes after you add the butter to the meringue it will look like you have ruined it. (this mainly happens if you add the butter to the meringue before it was properly cooled.) It might look like soup. Don't throw it out! Put the mixing bowl, attachment and all in the fridge for 30 min and then put it back on the mixer and see if it comes together. If not, put it back in the fridge for a little longer. IMBC is sometimes hard to get the hang of, but so worth it when you figure it out.


Hello! Thanks for being interested in my recipe!

- SMBC and IMBC taste exactly the same to me, and I also think they have the exact same texture. But others may disagree.

- The base recipe freezes wonderfully! Just wait to flavor it until after you defrost it - and by the way make sure it comes completely to room temperature, or at least 70 degrees F before trying to whip it. You can speed the process by cutting the cold buttercream into little pieces and leaving it on a sheet tray to soften quicker.

- This is considered a shelf-stable buttercream and is safe to leave unrefrigerated, however I think it starts to go stale-tasting after about 3 days. If you want to make this commercially or for sale please check with your local health department to see if they classify it as shelf stable.

- Adding fresh fruit to anything is tricky because the buttercream isn't going to go "bad" but your fruit can. You need to use your best judgment based on the condition of the fruit that you have and how long you need it to last. Pulp and seeds can create little pockets of a warm, moist environment for mold and bacteria to grow, but you can prevent that by using just the juice. So if you need to make sure this has longevity or are just concerned about it, strain your strawberry puree and use just the juice. Also, adding a pinch of cream of tartar or a dash of lemon juice to the puree will help preserve and retain the nice bright color of the juice.

- Egg sizes are all different, but a large egg white is considered about 1 ounce, so 6 egg whites should be about 6.25 oz.

- This buttercream is very temperature sensitive and does not do well in hot environments. Butter has a very low melting point so if you live somewhere with high temperatures, you will need to make sure you have proper refrigeration and air conditioning.

I think that was all the questions!


As an Islander I tell you that when I'm there..I make my IMBC and i use strawberry conserv or jam instead of fresh, that solves my problem.

I live in San Diego and I enjoy using fresh fruits pure in my butter cream.


Boa tarde, eu tenho uma dúvida, não costumam acrescentar frutas frescas aos meus recheios com medo de que pode azedar.

  Eu não corro esse risco com essa receita?


Desculpa meu Inglês