There are probably thousands of recipes for buttercream. This recipe uses what is known as the Swiss method. The eggs are pasteurized by heating them, along with sugar, to 140°C (60°F). The eggs and sugar are then whipped until they have reached stiff peaks and have cooled off enough to add the butter without it melting. The end result is a very light and versatile icing that is easy to work with. The flavor of the frosting can be can be changed by replacing the vanilla extract with any other flavor.
The recipe and detailed instructions are at the end of this post. For this recipe, we need unsalted butter, soft vegetable margarine, egg whites, granulated sugar, and vanilla extract. Looks like we have it all. Ready, set, bake…
Thoroughly combine the butter with the margarine. If your butter or margarine is cold wait until they have reached room temperature before mixing them together. Reserve at room temperature.
Combine the egg whites and the sugar in a non-reactive heat-resistant mixing bowl. Place the bowl over simmering water and heat while constantly whipping, to 140° (60°C).
Remove from the heat and whip the mixture at high speed with the whisk attachment until it forms stiff peaks and is lukewarm, lower the speed to medium, add the vanilla, and gradually whip in the butter mixture.
Recipe: Vanilla Buttercream
Adapted from The Professional Pastry Chef: Fundamentals of Baking and Pastry, 4th EditionPrint Recipe
Yield: 8 ounces
- 4 ounces (114 g) unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 1 1/4 ounces (36 g) soft vegetable margarine, at room temperature
- 1/4 cups (60 ml) egg whites
- 3 1/2 ounces (99 g) granulated sugar
- 1/4 teaspoons (1 ml) vanilla extract (or other flavorings)
- In a small bowl mix the butter with the margarine until thoroughly combined. Reserve at room temperature.
- Place the egg whites and the sugar in a non-reactive heat-resistant mixing bowl. Place the bowl over simmering water and heat while constantly whipping, to 140° (60°C).
- Remove from the heat and whip the mixture at high speed with the whisk attachment until stiff peaks form and the mixture is lukewarm, lower the speed to medium, add the vanilla or other flavorings, and gradually whip in the butter mixture until the frosting comes together.