Basic meringue buttercream

(58 ratings)
Butterfly buns
Butterfly buns
  • Makes: 12

  • Prep time:

  • Cooking time:

  • Total time:

  • Skill level: Easy peasy

  • Costs: Cheap as chips

Woman's Weekly recipe This light and smooth Swiss-meringue buttercream gives a creamier cupcake frosting than traditional icing. Use it to make these butterfly cupcakes


  • 3 large egg whites
  • 250g caster sugar
  • Pinch of salt
  • Few drops of vanilla extract
  • 300g unsalted butter, softened

When dissolving the sugar in the egg white, put your clean fingers into the mixture to feel whether all the sugar crystals have dissolved.


  1. Tip the egg whites into a bowl and add the sugar and salt. Place the bowl over a pan of simmering water and stir until the sugar dissolves completely.
  2. Remove the bowl from the heat and whisk the mixture, preferably using a table-top mixer, until it becomes a thick meringue and whisk in the vanilla extract.
  3. Cut the butter into chunks and whisk it in - the mixture may collapse and go runny, but keep whisking it at full speed and it will combine together to give a fluffy buttercream.
  4. Use this buttercream to frost Woman's Weekly's butterfly buns.
To freeze: The buttercream can be frozen, in a sealed container, for up to 1 month. Allow it to defrost and come to room temperature, then re-beat it before using.

Nutritional information per portion

  • Low
  • Med
  • High
  • Calories 271(kcal)
  • Fat 21.0g
  • Saturates 13.0g

This nutritional information is only a guide and is based on 2,000 calories per day. For more information on eating a healthy diet, please visit the Food Standards Agency website.

Guideline Daily Amount for 2,000 calories per day are: 70g fat, 20g saturated fat, 90g sugar, 6g salt.

Your rating

Average rating

  • 4
(58 ratings)

Your comments


Best Swiss meringue butter icing ever. I've used this recipe for a few years now and it's delicious.

Sussex Lass

I don't like the meringue icing either, I also find it too sweet. I used normal buttercream icing.

Sophii King

Well,I thought it was a perfect recipe,you must have done some thing wrong?!

Jane Reeve

Too sweet, makes the cakes sickly.

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