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Italian Meringue Buttercream

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  • Author: Cindy Gibbs @ My Country Table
  • Prep Time: 15
  • Cook Time: 10
  • Total Time: 25
  • Yield: 2 cups 1x
  • Category: Frosting


This smooth and silky frosting is perfect for decorating cakes, cupcakes, and wedding cakes. It pipes beautifully!


Units Scale
  • 2/3 cups water
  • 1 1/4 cups granulated sugar
  • 5 large egg whites
  • Pinch Cream of Tartar
  • 4 sticks (2 cups) chilled unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract


  1. Add the water and sugar to a small saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring during the first minute until sugar has dissolved. Using a candy thermometer or the cold water test, cook syrup until a soft ball stage, 238 – 240 degrees and remove from heat.
  2. While syrup is cooking, add the egg whites to the bowl of a stand mixer, using the whisk attachment, or use a hand mixer. Whisk on medium speed just until egg whites become foamy. Add the cream of tartar and whisk on high speed until whites become stiff. Do not over beat or egg whites will become dry. See notes below. Turn mixer off until syrup is ready.
  3. When syrup is ready, turn mixer on high and begin pouring the hot syrup into the whipped egg whites in a small but steady stream, trying not to let syrup run down the inside of the mixer bowl. Beat on high speed for about 5 minutes, until the mixture has completely cooled.
  4. Add the butter a few pieces at a time and continue whisking on high speed until all the butter has been incorporated, about 3-4 minutes. Add the vanilla and whisk for about 30 seconds on medium speed. If mixture begins to look curdled don’t fret. Keep mixing until it becomes smooth and creamy again.
  5. Buttercream will keep for up to 3 days at room temperature and up to 2 weeks refrigerated. Do not freeze.
  6. Yields: 6 cups


  • When egg whites become stiff, they will form peaks that stand alone when the mixer is stopped.
  • If egg whites are soft, the peaks will fall over when the mixer is stopped.