Easy Meringue Buttercream

One of the best-tasting buttercreams is also the easiest to prepare. See the end of the recipe for flavoring possibilities.

Easy Meringue Buttercream


  • 4 large egg whites (1/2 cup)
  • 1 cup sugar
  • pinch salt
  • 12 ounces (3 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
  • Flavoring


  1. Place egg whites, sugar and salt in medium-sized heatproof mixing bowl over a pan of simmering water and whisk gently and constantly until egg whites are hot (about 140 degrees) and sugar is dissolved, about 3-4 minutes.
  2. Remove from heat and whip by machine until thick and cooled, about 5 minutes. Beat in butter and continue beating until buttercream is smooth and spreadable.
  3. Use immediately or refrigerate, covered, for up to 5 days.
  4. Before using, bring buttercream to room temperature and beat smooth by machine.
  5. Beat in flavoring, a little at a time, and continue beating until buttercream is smooth, about 2 minutes longer (always flavor buttercream immediately before using it.)
  6. Flavorings:
  7. Liqueur: 2-3 Tbsp. liqueur, such as Grand Marnier or dark or light rum.
  8. Lemon: 2-3 Tbsp. lemon juice.
  9. Coffee: 3 Tbsp. instant coffee (espresso, if possible) dissolved in 2 Tbsp. water, coffee or rum.
  10. Raspberry: 3/4 cup thick raspberry puree made by cooking down and straining a 10-ounce package of frozen raspberries.
  11. Chocolate: 6 ounces chocolate melted with 4 Tbsp. water, coffee or milk and cooled.


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