Like a brown-eyed baby born with blue eyes, all my Swiss meringue buttercreams are born vanilla. The only exception to that is my brown sugar buttercream because it doesn’t follow the recipe below. Make up a batch of vanilla buttercream and imagine the possibilities. You can add some melted white or dark or milk chocolate, any kind of homemade fruit puree (which I prefer over jam), crushed candies or nuts, zest of orange or lime or lemon, freshly made caramel…really, anything! Just avoid anything with too much liquid in it, or cream cheese (I’ll tell you how to make that further down in this post) as this can break your buttercream.
This recipe makes a lot of frosting…enough to frost 24 cupcakes with big swirls, or to fill and frost a cake. Recipe can be halved or doubled with no problems, I have even made 1.5 batches of this recipe many times. If you have left over frosting, you can freeze it in an airtight container for up to 2 months or store it in the fridge for a week. To reconstitute it, take roughly 1/3 of the cold buttercream and microwave it until it’s warm and soupy (not hot). Add the warmed buttercream to the cold buttercream and rewhip with the paddle attachment until silky and smooth.
Okay, this is gonna get super easy. Are you ready? Just remember… 10, 15, and 20 (in that order) and you can make this buttercream anytime without even looking at the recipe. To halve of course, would be 5, 7.5, and 10. I’m talking ounces here, so get out your trusty kitchen scale. If you don’t have one…go buy one. With weight, you will NEVER go wrong with this recipe….
TLB Tip: Before you begin, wipe your mixing bowl and attachments (paddle and whisk if using a stand mixer) with lemon juice soaked paper towel. Just squeeze some lemon juice into the bowl and wipe with a paper towel, use that same paper towel to wipe down your mixing attachments. This will remove any residual oils or grease left on the bowl that would prevent your meringue from whipping up into silky oblivion.
Vanilla Swiss Meringue Buttercream
The following link will provide access to downloadable and printable recipe files
How to make Cream Cheese Swiss Meringue Buttercream:
You would think that you could just add some softened cream cheese to a batch of SMB, but sadly, you can’t. Believe me, I’ve tried it…many, many times. The best method for me is to follow a recipe for plain old cream cheese frosting and sub in the SMB. Like this one, which can also be doubled.
Cream Cheese Frosting
Makes about 3 cups
- 1/2 cup plus 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature
- 1 cup sifted, powdered sugar
- 2 cups (1 pound) cream cheese, room temperature
Now, instead of using the unsalted butter and the powdered sugar, you will substitute your prepared Vanilla Swiss Meringue Buttercream instead.
Start by beating the room temp cream cheese until completely smooth, then add in the 1/2 cup plus 3 tablespoons Vanilla SMB and mix on low speed just until combined. Done!