If you read the last post, all about the unbirthday party I threw, you would have seen the cake that I posted. I’ve put up the recipe for the the cake before (here), but I haven’t posted the Swiss meringue buttercream recipe for some reason. This buttercream is gorgeously silky in texture and makes your cake look super professional.
This recipe makes enough to generously cover a sandwich cake – it will fill the gap in between the two layers and then cover the cake entirely.
Also featured in this post is my gorgeous cake board from Communicake It. The cake board was given to
me by the lovely Bianca, who recently started the company. Bianca etches the decorations onto the boards by hand and is able to customise them too.
It is also worth noting that Bianca is a gem to work with – she’s really positive and enthusiastic, traits which are outrageously infective!
Communicake It have a range of other delicious cake decorating products, check them out here.
Enough gushing on my part, it’s probably time that I got to the recipe!
Swiss meringue butter cream is pretty forgiving. It’s a little bit time consuming to make, but it is worth the investment! SMB is a fantastic addition to your repertoire of recipes because it even the simplest of cakes look impressive. It’s also great for hiding flaws; if you’ve ever made a cake and had the top sink, or the sides crumble, SMB is your friend!
- 5 egg whites
- 1 cup sugar
- 350g butter
- 2 tsp vanilla essence
SMB is easier to make if you’ve got an electric mixer. I wouldn’t try to make it without a hand or stand mixer, because it would tire you out! First of all, clean out the bowl and whisk of your mixer by wiping it down with half a lemon. This rids them of residual fats or yuckiness and ensures that your meringue will whip up without a problem. Wipe the excess lemon away with a dry paper towel.
Separate the egg whites and yolks from one another. You only want the whites in your super clean bowl. Set up a pan of water on the stove and bring it to a boil. Pop your bowl over the top of it (making sure that he bowl doesn’t touch the water) and gently stir the sugar into the egg whites. Keep stirring until all the sugar has dissolved (should take about 5 minutes) and you start to smell the egg white cooking. DON’T allow it to cook, you don’t want a weird egg whitey omelette!
Take it off the boiling water and start whisking with your mixer. Mix on a medium-high speed for about ten minutes – the bowl and mixture should be cool to touch by this point and the egg white should be luscious and glossy and have doubled in size. Right now you’ll be like “yeah, this is looking delicious!” And it will be. But you have to ruin this glorious glossy mixture to finish the process.
If you’ve got a stand mixer, switch to the flat beater. This part of the process requires you to mix slowly, so be patient. Cube your butter and add it to the mixture a few cubes at a time, mixing after each addition. By the time you’ve added all of the butter cubes you’ll probably be stressing out. The mixture will have deflated, it will look like lumpy milk and you’ll think that I’ve misguided you – but I’ve not, I promise!
Keep mixing for at least another ten minutes on a low speed and you will see the butter lumps disappear. The mixture will smooth out and it will inflate again. It will become glossy once more and it will be deliciously rich. If you think it’s too liquid-like, pop it in the fridge for ten minutes, make a cuppa to de-stress, and try mixing again.
It will work, trust me.
Add in your vanilla in the last minute or so of mixing.
I also added 1/4 cup of pureed raspberries to this batch to colour and flavour it slightly. You can add any flavouring you want, or you can leave it vanilla – it’s up to you!
Once it’s thick, glossy and spreadable, start spreading! Pile a generous amount in between the layers of your cakes and smooth it out for the sandwich filling. Sandwich your cakes together and start to smooth the buttercream over the cake.
If you’re having trouble getting the icing to smooth down completely, fill a tall glass with hot water and dip a pallet knife in it, then use the hot knife to smooth it out completely.
And you’ll end up with a gorgeous cake like this!
Swiss meringue buttercream is also great for piping with, you don’t have to smooth it out like I do, that’s just a personal preference.
I learned how to make Swiss Meringue Buttercream from Martha Stewart’s recipe and Sweetapolita’s detailed instructions. I have adapted my recipe from both of theirs and a whole lot of trial and error.