Italian Meringue Buttercream

As we prepare for a little party this weekend, we thought we would share with you one of our all time favorite buttercream recipes. There are 5 different kinds of buttercream; simple buttercream (which is what most people are used to its made by creaming butter and powdered sugar), decorators buttercream or rose paste (usually used to make flowers), meringue buttercreams, French buttercream (made with egg yolks), pastry cream buttercream and fondant buttercream.
This recipe is an Italian meringue buttercream and is a little bit more difficult to make than the simple buttercream, but believe us it is so worth it! It has a really smooth texture and is not too sweet. You can also flavor it very simply. Every time we use this buttercream people ask for the recipe so here it is!

(You will need a candy thermometer to make this)
Italian Meringue Buttercream:
sugar 16oz (1 pound)
water 4oz (about 1/2 cup)
egg whites 8oz (about 8 egg whites)
butter 16oz(1 pound)

Add the sugar and water to a heavy duty pot. Put your candy thermometer in the pot.
Add the egg whites to your kitchen mixer. Take the butter out of the refrigerator and let it sit on the counter while you are doing everything else. At this point you are going to boil your water and sugar until the candy thermometer reaches soft ball stage which is 240 degrees.

While the sugar and water are coming to a boil start your mixer so that the eggs are whipped enough to form a medium peek. They should look like this. (You can stop the mixer when they reach this point even if you sugar hasn't reached 240 degrees yet.)
When you sugar has reached 240 degrees start your mixer again and slowly pour the hot sugar down the inside of the mixer. This process will cook your egg whites. Make sure that you do not pour the sugar onto the whisk of the mixer, but down the side of the bowl onto the egg whites.
Be very careful as the sugar is super hot!! If you feel the outside of the bowl you will see how hot it feels. Keep mixing until the bowl has cooled down considerably, until you can keep your hand on it with no problem. All of the mixing will add a lot of volume/air into your egg whites, so it should look like this.
If you add the butter when the bowl is to hot it will just melt, so let it mix for a good 10 minutes. At this point you can add the butter, little pieces at a time. After all the butter is in, let it mix a little bit longer and you will see that the frosting will come together. If it is still a little bit thin you can add another half stick of butter. This is what it should look like when it is done.
If you do not use it right away you can store it in the refrigerator for a few days. When you are ready to use it, take it out and let it come to room temperature and then mix it again for a few minutes to get it fluffy.
Here are a few pictures of some cupcakes we did using the Italian buttercream!


gail said...

yum! i've never tried this...but think i'm going to in the very near future! i know you make it all the time....can't wait to try it! xoxo

Megan said...

you are the third person who has mentioned this icing in 4 days! I never heard of it before... clearly I need to try it.

Ceilidh said...

Wow those cupcakes look delicious! I love the flowers on top too! Now I need to find an occasion to make cupcakes (not that any day that ends in "y" isn't a good time to make cupcakes!!!)

Tina Miller said...

Aren't these the cupcakes you made for my wedding?!?!?! LOVE THEM!

Amy @ Blowout Party! said...

those cupcakes look incredible!

Anonymous said...

Would you be kind to tell me what tip you used for the flowers? I've never seen them done like that. They look so yummy!

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