Possibly one of the most perfect frostings imaginable.
This isn’t a confectioners’ sugar icing, it starts with a Swiss meringue (a cooked meringue made by heating the sugar and egg whites before whipping). Pure, sweet, unsalted butter is mixed into the fluffy white meringue creating a melt-in-your-mouth texture with a taste that isn’t overly sweet.
It pipes and spreads like a dream and colors like a charm. Keep this basic recipe handy. Very handy.
- 5 large egg whites
- 1¼ cups sugar
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 4 sticks (2 cups) unsalted butter softened
Makes about 5 cups
1. Whisk together 5 large egg whites and 1 ¼ cups sugar in the heatproof bowl of an electric mixer over a pan of simmering water until sugar has dissolved, about 5 min. Test by rubbing the mixture between your fingers--you shouldn't feel any sugar crystals.
2. Transfer bowl to the mixer stand with the whisk attachment and beat on high until mixture cools and stiff peaks form, 10 to 12 min.
3. Reduce speed to medium-high and add 1 tsp vanilla extract and 4 sticks unsalted, softened butter a little at a time. (Buttercream may curdle but will become smooth as you continue to beat it.)
4. Use within a few hours or refrigerate up to a week. Before using, bring to room temperature and beat on low until smooth.
Recipe adapted by Tara Bench