Caramel Swiss Meringue Buttercream Tutorial

  • Serves: Makes 5 cups
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Variations: Swiss Meringue Buttercream or SMBC and Variations; Caramel Mocha Swiss Meringue Buttercream or SMBC

Moist Chocolate Cream Cheese Pound Cake Recipe with Bittersweet Raspberry Chocolate Ganache filling with this Caramel Swiss Meringue Buttercream Recipe. Fondant Flower Toppers with sugar pearls.

Cake-apolooza! Our Ultimate Chocolate Snickers Butter Cake Recipe - three layers of the Ultimate Chocolate Butter Cake or UCBC Recipe, filled with this Caramel Swiss Meringue Buttercream, iced with Chocolate Fudge Buttercream Ganache, chopped salted peanuts on the side, Caramel Swiss Meringue Buttercream rosettes with triangles Snickers bar on top. In all, 7 1/2-inches tall!

Some bakers are not big fans of buttercream icings made with powdered sugar; they just don't like the super-sweet taste and the subtle gritty feeling they leave on their tongue. So this silky-smooth Swiss Meringue is not overly sweet, plus, the caramel flavor is divine!
The natural color of this frosting is off-white, but you can color, with food coloring, it to any shade you like after making the recipe.
Tastes great on any kind of cake...chocolate, vanilla and even carrot!
It pipes beautifully too.


Swiss Meringue Buttercream doesn't hold up as well in warm environments.

1/4 cup water
1 1/2 cups sugar; divided between 1 cup and 1/2 cup
1/2 cup heavy cream

7 large egg whites
Pinch of salt
1 pound (4 sticks) unsalted butter, softened and cut into cubes
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

1. Pour 1/4 cup water into a medium heavy-bottom saucepan. Add 1 cup sugar and stir.

Cook over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally, until sugar is dissolved and syrup is clear.

Continue to cook, without stirring, until syrup comes to a boil, washing down sides of pan with a wet pastry brush two or three times to prevent sugar crystals from forming.

2. Let the syrup boil, gently swirling pan occasionally, until the syrup is dark amber in color.

3. When the syrup is dark amber in color, IMMEDIATELY remove it from the heat.

Carefully pour in the 1/2 cup heavy cream.
BE CAREFUL, because the caramel will bubble up very vigorously.

4. Stir caramel until it is smooth and uniformly mixed.
Transfer it to a medium sized mixing bowl.

5. Fill a larger bowl with some ice water and put the bowl with the caramel into the ice water bath.
Let the caramel cool, stirring occasionally, until the caramel comes to room temperature.
When it reaches room temperature, remove the bowl from the ice water bath. Do not let it get too cold.

1. Add egg whites, the remaining 1/2 cup sugar, and the salt into the mixing bowl of your stand mixer. Do not attach the bowl to your mixer. Whisk to combine the ingredients.

2. Place the bowl over a pan of simmering water (water should not touch the bottom of your bowl) and whisk until sugar is dissolved.
Continue whisking until the mixture reaches 140 degrees F as measured with an instant-read thermometer.

3. Remove bowl from heat and place it on the mixer, fitted with the whisk attachment.
Beat on medium-high until the egg mixture forms stiff peaks.

4. Reduce the mixer speed to medium-low and begin adding the cubes of butter, about two tablespoons at a time, letting the butter incorporate, before adding the next portion.

When you are about 1/2 way through your butter additions, the mixture may curdle.
Do not be alarmed by this! Continue to add your butter, whisking, and the mixture will become creamy again.
Stop the mixer once, to scrape down the sides of the bowl, and continue to add the rest of your butter.

The mixture goes from this.... this:

Continue whisking until the mixture is smooth and creamy.

1. Switch to the paddle attachment and add the cooled caramel and the vanilla.
Beat on low until combined and creamy, 3-5 minutes.

Keep refrigerated. This buttercream can be made several days ahead, and stored in the refrigerator.

When you are ready to ice your cake, or cupcakes, remove frosting from the refrigerator, bring it to room temperature, then return it to the mixer and beat, ON LOW, with the paddle attachment, until smooth and creamy.
You may also freeze this buttercream. When you want to use it, thaw it in the refrigerator. Then, bring it to room temperature, return it to the mixer and beat, ON LOW, with the paddle attachment, until smooth and creamy.

Swiss Meringue Buttercream or SMBC and Variations

Caramel Mocha
Add 1 tablespoon of instant espresso to the cream in the recipe! 

Classic Two-Layer Marble Cake, Redux with caramel mocha Swiss meringue buttercream, chocolate covered espresso beans and chocolate curls.

4-inch three layer Gluten-Free Yellow Butter Cake with Caramel Swiss meringue buttercream, toasted almonds on sides. Inspired by the flowering trees in my yard.

Cream cheese pound cake, filled with salted caramel filling (from the French macaron tutorial). Iced with caramel SMBC. Caramel swirl from the Chocolate Caramel Mille Crepes Cake.

Snickers cupcake, with salted caramel filling, caramel SMBC, drizzled with chocolate and a chunk of Snickers bar.

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