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Italian Meringue Buttercream Tutorial

A step-by-step Italian Meringue Buttercream tutorial! NOW with a video!!! It is the smoothest and creamiest of all the buttercreams! You will love it on cakes, cupcakes and more! Plus it’s easier than you think!
An easy to follow Italian Meringue Buttercream Tutorial! My favorite frosting made super simple! In culinary school we made 5 different types of buttercream, but Italian Meringue Buttecream is my favorite! It has a lighter texture and taste than Swiss Meringue and German; it doesn’t taste like pure butter like French Buttercream; and it isn’t saccharine, tooth-achingly sweet like an American Buttercream.

An easy to follow Italian Meringue Buttercream Tutorial! My favorite frosting made super simple!Over the past 2 months, I’ve made this buttercream a lot.

A lot. I dream about cutting a cake in three perfect layers and then frosting it.

And not in a good way. It’s more of a nightmare really.

An easy to follow Italian Meringue Buttercream Tutorial! My favorite frosting made super simple!

Italian meringue buttercream (IMB) seems complicated at first; it’s definitely the most sophisticated of its peers. Simply put, it is made by whipping egg whites to stiff peaks while simultaneously cooking sugar to the soft ball stage; you then slowly pour the sugar into the whipping egg whites; and, finally, add butter.

A whole lotta butter.

They don’t call it buttercream for nothin’.

An easy to follow Italian Meringue Buttercream Tutorial! My favorite frosting made super simple!

I love this frosting because it is light and airy but simultaneously rich and creamy. It is also magically stable and will keep for months in the freezer! So stable, in fact, if you think you totally messed it up, take heart, it’s probably totally fixable!

I actually think IMB is easier than Swiss Meringue Buttercream.

One of these days I’ll shoot a video tutorial for you on IMB and also Swiss Meringue, because they are really not as complicated as they seem. For now, I shot a step-by-step photo tutorial, which is kind of a big deal. I’ve never done that before!

One small step for IMB; one giant leap for AHC!!

 An easy to follow Italian Meringue Buttercream Tutorial! My favorite frosting made super simple!

This is another batch of IMB that I made. Mmmm chocolate. If you follow me on Instagram, you probably saw the cake that it frosted. My very first cake order!

An easy to follow Italian Meringue Buttercream Tutorial! My favorite frosting made super simple!

So let’s not pretend like what I did with this fluffy frosting is a surprise. Mmmkay?

Y’all know me by now.

I made cupcakes. #obvi

Coming soon! 🙂

An easy to follow Italian Meringue Buttercream Tutorial! My favorite frosting made super simple!

Click Here to Skip to the Picture Tutorial!

Click Here to Skip to the Printable Recipe!

A Few General Tips for IMB Success:

  1. There is no rule that you have to whip the egg whites on high while you cook your sugar, so if they have reached stiff peaks and your sugar syrup is stubbornly stuck at 220˚F (been there), just turn down the mixer to low. Don’t stop that mixer! I didn’t say that! I said LOW.
  2. Pour your sugar syrup in with the mixer on HIGH. Do you want scrambled eggs on your cupcakes? I didn’t think so. Turn that mixer up!
  3. Pour the sugar down the side of the bowl. Don’t hit the whisk because I don’t need to tell you that 235˚ syrup in the face is unpleasant. Don’t be that person. You will know if you did it right because there will be one little lava trail of cooled sugar down one side of the bowl.
  4. This sounds obvious and it’s in the instructions, but I’m going to say it anyways: cook your sugar to 235˚F. Soft ball syrup is a range but if you shoot for 235˚F, then by the time you get from the stove to the mixer and the syrup has inched up a few degrees, no love has been lost. You will know if you overcook your sugar because there will be a pool of cooked sugar in the bottom of your mixer. No bueno.
  5. When you start adding your butter, you want it to be soft but still a little cool. If it’s not totally soft enough, add it a little bit at a time and squeeze each piece before tossing it in. That’s right, squeeze your butter! It’s kinda fun. And kinda gross at the same time.
  6. If your buttercream gets soupy, switch from the paddle back to the whisk and beat it on high. All is not lost. Trust me. Whip it; whip it good. {Is that song in your head now? #sorryimnotsorry}
  7. If your buttercream breaks (looks curdled) when you start adding the butter, take heart, it will come together. Add the butter in little pieces and squeeze each one to soften it. If you have a kitchen torch you can torch the outside of the bowl with the mixer on high, but keep the torch moving! You want to warm the bowl not melt the buttercream.
  8. To refresh refrigerated buttercream: Throw it in the mixer and beat with the paddle attachment until smooth; then switch to the whisk to whip it up until light and fluffy.
  9. To refresh frozen buttercream: Thaw in the refrigerator overnight, let warm slightly at room temperature and then proceed with the refreshing refrigerated buttercream instructions above.
  10. You can speed up the refreshing process by warming the bowl over a gas stovetop flame or with the kitchen torch. Just be careful to constantly move the bowl or torch because you don’t want to melt your buttercream.

An easy to follow Italian Meringue Buttercream Tutorial! My favorite frosting made super simple!

 Italian Meringue Buttercream Tutorial:

You want to make sure that you have everything measured out and ready to go. This recipe is simple but it does require seamless execution. You also want to make sure that your mixing bowl is clean and free of any residual fat, or your meringue will not whip up and there will be sadness abound.

Mix half of the sugar with the water in a medium saucepan over medium heat, stir just until the sugar dissolves. When the pan heats up, brush around the sides of the pot with a clean pastry brush dipped in water to dissolve any sugar crystals adhered to the sides of the pot. You can also use a paper towel that you roll up (I did because I forgot my brush at school.)

An easy to follow Italian Meringue Buttercream Tutorial! My favorite frosting made super simple!

When your sugar starts to bubble begin whipping your egg whites in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment. You can add a pinch of salt and/or cream of tartar for stability if you wish. When your eggs begin to look frothy, slowly begin adding the second half of your sugar, whipping constantly on medium-high (above picture).

An easy to follow Italian Meringue Buttercream Tutorial! My favorite frosting made super simple!

Continue whipping your egg whites until they form stiff peaks (photo 1 above). Ideally your meringue should reach stiff peaks at the same time that your sugar syrup reaches 235˚F. If your egg whites are whipping too fast, reduce the mixer speed to medium. You can also adjust the heat on the sugar syrup to make it cook faster or slower.

To test your syrup you can either use a candy thermometer or you can do it the old-fashioned way, which is what I did here. Take a tiny bit of the syrup on a spoon and dip it into ice water, reach in and grab the sugar. If it dissolves, it isn’t close to ready; if it forms a little malleable ball, it’s ready!! I don’t have a photo of this stage because if I had taken the time to snap a photo, my sugar would have over cooked.

Turn your mixer up to high and SLOWLY pour the sugar syrup down the side of the bowl as in photo 2 above. Be very careful not to hit the whisk. Ideally you pour it in one solid stream down the edge because it will solidify where it hits the bowl, so if you pour it in three different places, you will be losing sugar. Sadness.

An easy to follow Italian Meringue Buttercream Tutorial! My favorite frosting made super simple!

If you look closely at the above photo you can see where my sugar hit the side of the bowl. One little stream. No excess sugar lost. Go ahead, take a closer look…This is what perfection looks like. 😉

Keep whipping the Italian meringue on high until it forms stiff peaks like in the first photo below, but what is more important than the stiffness of the meringue is the temperature of the meringue. Before you begin adding the butter, the bottom of the bowl should feel barely warm (picture 2). There is so much sugar in this meringue that it will not over whip before it cools appropriately. Even though my meringue had reached stiff peaks in photo 1, I still needed to whip it another few minutes for it too cool.

An easy to follow Italian Meringue Buttercream Tutorial! My favorite frosting made super simple!

When the bowl feels just slightly warm, switch to the paddle attachment and begin adding your butter a piece at a time like in picture 3. I take my butter out of the fridge when I begin measuring my ingredients. Before adding each piece squeeze the butter. When I am making this (and not taking photos) I use disposable gloves.

An easy to follow Italian Meringue Buttercream Tutorial! My favorite frosting made super simple!

Continue to beat the butter in on medium-high until the buttercream is smooth and there are no remaining pieces of butter. The buttercream in photo 1 above is still a bit lumpy. Not there yet!!! Photo 2 is smooth and creamy. At this stage I switch back to the whisk, add any desired flavorings and beat it until it is light and fluffy. You are now ready to frost!

Italian Meringue Buttercream Tutorial

Total Time: 20 minutes

Yield: 700g or enough for 24 cupcakes or 1, double tier layer cake

Italian Meringue Buttercream Tutorial

A tutorial for Italian Meringue Buttercream. Once you try this smooth, creamy buttercream, nothing else will do!

Ingredients

  • 2 cups sugar (375g), divided
  • 2/3 cup water (150g)
  • 5 large egg whites (150g)
  • pinch salt, optional
  • pinch cream of tartar, optional
  • 2 cups butter, cubed (4 sticks or 1 pound), cool but not cold
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • For the Chocolate Variation:
  • 1 1/4 cup semi-sweet chocolate, melted but not hot

Instructions

  1. You want to make sure that you have everything measured out and ready to go. This recipe is simple but it does require seamless execution. You also want to make sure that your mixing bowl is clean and free of any residual fat, or your meringue will not whip up and there will be sadness abound.
  2. Mix half of the sugar with the water in a medium saucepan over medium heat, stir just until the sugar dissolves. When the pan heats up, brush around the sides of the pot with a clean pastry brush dipped in water to dissolve any sugar crystals adhered to the sides of the pot. You can also use a paper towel that you roll up (I did because I forgot my brush at school.)
  3. When your sugar starts to bubble begin whipping your egg whites in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment. You can add a pinch of salt and/or cream of tartar for stability if you wish. I only used salt in the photos you see. When your eggs begin to look frothy, slowly begin adding the second half of the sugar, whipping constantly on medium-high.
  4. Continue whipping your egg whites until they form stiff peaks. Ideally your meringue should reach stiff peaks at the same time that your sugar syrup reaches 235˚F. If your egg whites are whipping too fast, reduce the mixer speed to medium. You can also adjust the heat on the sugar syrup to make it cook faster or slower.
  5. To test your syrup you can either use a candy thermometer or you can do it the old-fashioned way, which is what I did here. Take a tiny bit of the syrup on a spoon and dip it into ice water, reach in and grab the sugar. If it dissolves, it isn’t close to ready; if it forms a little malleable ball, it’s ready!!
  6. Turn your mixer up to high and SLOWLY pour the sugar syrup down the side of the bowl. Be very careful not to hit the whisk. Ideally you should pour it in one solid stream down the edge because it will solidify where it hits the bowl, so if you pour it in three different places, you will be losing sugar. Sadness.
  7. Keep whipping the Italian meringue on high until it forms stiff, but what is more important than the stiffness of the meringue is the temperature of the meringue. Before you begin adding the butter, the bottom of the bowl should feel barely warm.
  8. When the bowl feels just slightly warm, switch to the paddle attachment and begin adding your butter a piece at a time. I take my butter out of the fridge when I begin measuring my ingredients. Before adding each piece squeeze the butter.
  9. Continue to beat the butter in on medium-high until the buttercream is smooth and there are no remaining pieces of butter. At this stage I switch back to the whisk, add my flavorings and beat it until it is light and fluffy. Pipe or spread as desired!!
  10. For the Chocolate Variation:
  11. When your butter has been completely incorporated, pour your chocolate in all at once and immediately fold it in with a spatula or beat it in with the paddle attachment. You want to make sure that your chocolate is melted but not hot and it is also still warm enough to flow freely in a continuous stream. If your chocolate is too hot, you will melt your butter cream; but if it is too cool, then you will have pieces of chocolate in your frosting.
https://cheflindseyfarr.com/2015/04/italian-meringue-buttercream-tutorial/

Did you make this recipe? I want to hear all about it! 🥳Tag me on Instagram @cheflindseyfarr and use the hashtag #americanheritagecooking

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244 Comments

  • Thao @ In Good Flavor
    April 25, 2015 at 1:48 pm

    Great tutorial on buttercream, Lindsey! I didn’t realize that there are different types. I am loving the sound of this Italian buttercream…airy, light, creamy, rich but not super sweet. Lovely photo as always!

    Reply
    • AmericanCooking22
      April 25, 2015 at 7:50 pm

      Thank you! So many types! Might as well start with the best, Thao! 🙂

      Reply
      • Christine
        May 5, 2018 at 11:03 am

        Thanks – I made 2 batches yesterday for a naked wedding cake. I had never made IMB before but read your blog and followed your directions and easy peasy!!!

        Reply
        • Lindsey
          May 7, 2018 at 10:52 am

          I’m so glad, Christine!!! I also just updated the recipe with a video! Best of luck on the wedding cake!

          Reply
    • sherri
      February 20, 2016 at 11:54 am

      Is it possible to use confection sugar for the sugar in this recipe?
      Thanks!

      Reply
      • Lindsey
        February 20, 2016 at 12:51 pm

        Hi Sherri. I wouldn’t substitute confectioners sugar here. I’ve never tried to make a meringue with confectioners sugar, but you can try it 🙂

        Reply
        • Joan
          March 7, 2016 at 10:16 am

          hi..may i know 2 cups butter means how many Gram? thanks for sharing…Have A nice day ^^

          Reply
          • Lindsey
            March 9, 2016 at 11:31 am

            Hi Joan, 2 cups of butter is 1 pound, which is 453g. Happy baking!

  • liz
    April 25, 2015 at 2:33 pm

    you’re, like… the coolest. you’re pretty much living the dream, and i thank you for that, because i can live vicariously through your blog without steeping myself into ever more debt.

    Reply
    • AmericanCooking22
      April 25, 2015 at 7:49 pm

      Haha! Thank you, Liz! I am living the dream and I absolutely love passing on everything I’m learning! Happy baking!

      Reply
  • Chichi
    April 25, 2015 at 3:06 pm

    I have tried swiss meringue but not italian meringue. Italian meringue sounds and looks delicious. Can’t wait to try it

    Reply
    • AmericanCooking22
      April 25, 2015 at 7:48 pm

      Oh, Chichi, you must! IMB is fantastic and it is so stable for all those magical cake you make!

      Reply
      • Pam
        December 9, 2017 at 4:16 pm

        Can you use IMB in a coconut roulade or does it have to be SMB? Thank you for you time.

        Reply
        • Lindsey
          December 26, 2017 at 10:57 pm

          Hi Pam, You could use either!

          Reply
  • Jess @ Sweet Menu
    April 25, 2015 at 5:16 pm

    Best post ever! I love learning when it comes to baking and you, my dear, are a fantastic teacher! So so talented. What sensational frosting! 🙂 Love the step by step photos xxx

    Reply
    • AmericanCooking22
      April 25, 2015 at 7:47 pm

      Haha! Thanks, Jess!! I hope it was helpful! You should try it soon…you’ll love, love love! xxxx

      Reply
  • marcie
    April 25, 2015 at 9:44 pm

    I made Italian Meringue Buttercream once in cooking school and haven’t made it since, and you’re right — it’s much lighter and less sweet than the others! I LOVE all those beautiful swirls, Lindsay, and this tutorial is wonderful! Pinning and trying again soon. 🙂

    Reply
  • Phillip
    April 26, 2015 at 10:12 am

    I have made Italian Meringue for pies and prefer it over the regular. I have not made the buttercream but will refer to this when I do.

    Reply
    • AmericanCooking22
      April 30, 2015 at 7:13 am

      Italian meringue is best for pies because then you don’t have to bake it or use pasteurized eggs. If you have made the meringue then you’ve made the hard part!!

      Reply
  • Dorothy @ Crazy for Crust
    April 26, 2015 at 7:17 pm

    Thank you for this!! Last weekend in Solvang I had the BEST italian buttercream filled pastries and OMG I must make them. Pinned!

    Reply
    • AmericanCooking22
      April 30, 2015 at 7:13 am

      Hooray!!! You must, you must!!! You’ll love it! Thanks for the pin!

      Reply
  • Kristi @ Inspiration Kitchen
    April 26, 2015 at 11:25 pm

    Wow oh wow oh wow. Girl, come over now, because I need this in my life. All i can dream of right now is licking that off those beaters – yum Linsey, yum!

    Reply
    • AmericanCooking22
      April 30, 2015 at 7:14 am

      Haha! I definitely did my fair share of licking off beaters…and spoons…and cupcakes 🙂 xoxoxox

      Reply
  • Kelly - Life Made Sweeter
    April 27, 2015 at 3:56 am

    Love this tutorial and that glorious buttercream! It looks so creamy and perfect! IMB and SMB are my two favorites and I am so wishing I could grab that spoon off the screen! <3 this!

    Reply
    • AmericanCooking22
      April 30, 2015 at 7:14 am

      There really is nothing else that compares! Thank you, Kelly!

      Reply
  • David @ Spiced
    April 27, 2015 at 8:52 am

    I love Italian meringue buttercream! But I haven’t made it in a looong time…I clearly need to fix that problem. This is an awesome tutorial. I love all of the tips you’ve got in here. I do seem to recall that Italian buttercream doesn’t “last” that long. Like maybe a day at best? Am I making this up? I saw your notes about refreshing it, but what if you’ve already frosted the cake? Share your culinary wisdom with me, Lindsey! I mean, I’m not saying I can’t eat an entire cake in a single day. But I am saying that it’s probably not the smartest of plans. 🙂

    Reply
    • AmericanCooking22
      April 30, 2015 at 7:27 am

      Get on it, David!!! Italian buttercream is one of the most stable buttercreams at room temp because of the softball sugar, so once you’ve frosted your cake you are good to go as long as your cake lasts. It does need to be refrigerated but the cake should be brought to room temp prior to serving because otherwise it just tastes like butter! It will also trap in moisture and extend the life of whatever you’ve frosted. I wouldn’t keep a frosted cake longer than 3 days in the fridge because after that I can just tell the cake is drier, but the buttercream is fine for 2 weeks in the fridge and 2 months in the freezer. Hope that helps 🙂

      Reply
      • martha
        January 3, 2016 at 8:14 pm

        i have a question (no baking background) so i make the cake frost it put it in the fridge take it out of the fridge and should be ready to eat in …. and will it sweat??? sorry these may sound so dumb just want to make sure i execute right

        Reply
        • Lindsey
          January 3, 2016 at 9:49 pm

          Hi Martha! Those aren’t dumb questions! I like to “temper” the cake and frosting after I take them out of the refrigerator, which just means I leave it at room temperature for an hour or so to bring the cake and frosting to room temperature. It won’t cut as cleanly but it will taste better. Frosting just tastes like butter when it is cold! It will sweat a little bit but just leave it uncovered in the refrigerator and when you are letting it sit out before serving.

          Reply
  • Veronica@ downcakerylane
    April 27, 2015 at 7:43 pm

    I’ve always wanted to try this- I mostly use Swiss. I love the step by step photos! I get it now and it definitely looks do-able-I was a bit intimidated by Italian Meringue. And yup…the songs in my head, lol. I love that song so it’s all good 🙂

    Reply
    • AmericanCooking22
      April 30, 2015 at 7:27 am

      You’ve totally got this, Veronica!!! I understand because I felt the same way!

      Reply
  • Ella-HomeCookingAdventure
    April 28, 2015 at 9:38 am

    Love how this buttercream looks. Much more than using only butter. I will have to give it a try then 🙂

    Reply
    • AmericanCooking22
      April 30, 2015 at 7:28 am

      You should, Ella! You and the girls with love it!

      Reply
  • Shashi at RunninSrilankan
    April 28, 2015 at 12:46 pm

    After I read your intro, I was thinking I’d ” love it on cakes, cupcakes and..” spoons – and then I saw your second picture! Really, with buttercream this good – who needs cakes -eh?
    Thanks for the detailed tutorial, Lindsey, I’ve never attempted to make my own Italian Buttercream – but, I know where to look when I do!

    Reply
    • AmericanCooking22
      April 30, 2015 at 7:28 am

      Lol! Definitely spoons! Cake is totally superfluous! You should make it soon!

      Reply
  • Sophie
    April 29, 2015 at 5:13 am

    This was a grand, cool & long tutorial, my friend! Amazing exciting photos too! xxx

    Reply
    • AmericanCooking22
      April 30, 2015 at 7:29 am

      lol definitely long! Thanks, Sophie! xx

      Reply
  • Elise
    April 29, 2015 at 10:45 am

    I love the tutorial but I have a question. In the directions, the recipe calls for 2 cups of sugar divided. It says to had half of the sugar to the water and stir until dissolved. Am I missing something? What do you do with the other cup of sugar. I realize I am getting old and senile, but I am just missing it. Thanks so much!

    Reply
    • AmericanCooking22
      April 29, 2015 at 6:34 pm

      Hi Elise, the other half of the sugar goes into the whipping egg whites to stabilize the meringue. It’s in step 3 but I can definitely make it more clear that this is the second half of the sugar! Thank you so much for calling this to my attention!! I will update the recipe and photo tutorial right now 🙂

      Reply
  • Kayle (The Cooking Actress)
    April 29, 2015 at 8:21 pm

    OMG GORGEOUS.

    yepp, now that I have my stand mixer this is gonna need to happen soon!

    Reply
    • AmericanCooking22
      May 1, 2015 at 7:27 am

      Oh girl!!! You are gunna LOVE that stand mixer and you definitely need to make this!! It will blow your mind!

      Reply
  • Ariana
    April 30, 2015 at 3:46 pm

    beautiful tutorial, Lindsey! Italian meringue is my favorite buttercream by far, as well 🙂

    Reply
    • AmericanCooking22
      May 1, 2015 at 7:30 am

      Thanks, love! And thanks for stopping by! Isn’t IMB the BESTEST!

      Reply
  • Chris @ Shared Appetite
    May 7, 2015 at 2:03 pm

    Wow… I had no idea there was more than one type of buttercream! Good thing I have friends like you to teach me your sweet genius ways! Love the step by step tutorial too!

    Reply
    • AmericanCooking22
      May 10, 2015 at 9:48 am

      Oh man, Chris! Buttercream! I’m so glad I could open your eyes to the wild world of butter creams! But really you should just start with this one because it’s AMAZING.

      Reply
  • […] Italian Buttercream Meringue via American Heritage Cooking […]

    Reply
  • Nancy Carlson
    June 8, 2015 at 6:33 pm

    What tip do you use in the second pic with the pretty
    ruffles on the spoon? Perfect

    Reply
    • AmericanCooking22
      June 9, 2015 at 10:37 pm

      Thank you, Nancy! I used an Ateco 888!

      Reply
  • Jennifer
    July 21, 2015 at 11:54 am

    Can you double this recipe or would you need to make two separate batches?

    Reply
    • AmericanCooking22
      July 21, 2015 at 2:08 pm

      Hi Jennifer! You can absolutely double the recipe but it does depend on how large your mixer is. I wouldn’t make a double batch in anything smaller than a 6qt stand mixer. Hope that helps!

      Reply
  • Jennifer
    July 21, 2015 at 4:03 pm

    I have a 6 qt. kitchenaid! Last question…can you color this buttercream? I use gel colors.

    Reply
    • AmericanCooking22
      July 22, 2015 at 9:39 am

      Gel colors are perfect for frosting! Just add it at the very end. What are you making with it?!

      Reply
  • Italian Meringue Buttercream - Yum Goggle
    September 9, 2015 at 3:36 pm

    […] GET THE RECIPE […]

    Reply
  • Tessa
    January 6, 2016 at 3:54 pm

    Hi, I’ve tried to make Italian Buttercream with so many different recipes and every time it turns to soup once I start adding the butter. What am I doing wrong and how can I fix this? Can I save it once it turns to soup or do I have to toss it and start over? Should I be adding the butter on low speed?

    Reply
    • Lindsey
      January 8, 2016 at 1:49 pm

      Hi Tessa! It’s all about the temperature of your butter and your meringue. The bowl should not be warm. If it’s warm, it will just melt the butter and then you’ll get soup. If the butter is too warm, soup. Just follow my tip #6 to fix it. You don’t need to throw it out. You can add the butter on low speed or medium speed. It’s not really the main factor. Good luck!

      Reply
  • Sofia
    January 21, 2016 at 3:08 pm

    I have one question, can you add color to the Italian Merengue buttercream?? and thank you for sharing I cant wait to make it 🙂

    Reply
    • Lindsey
      January 22, 2016 at 11:42 pm

      Hi Sofia! You can add color. I would add it at the end and only use a gel coloring. The alcohol based ones can deflate the meringue or make it weep. Happy baking!

      Reply
      • Clarice Reardon
        January 12, 2018 at 8:32 pm

        Would you say the Wilton colours are gel? as that is what i use.

        Reply
        • Lindsey
          January 24, 2018 at 10:59 am

          Hi Clarice, I just took a quick look on Wilton’s site and it appears that all of their “Icing Colors” are gels. So color away!

          Reply
  • Joan
    March 7, 2016 at 10:20 am

    hi teacher…may i know 2 cups butter in Gram? thanks for sharing recipe..u r the best. hv a nice day^^

    Reply
    • Lindsey
      March 9, 2016 at 11:30 am

      Hi Joan, 2 cups of butter is 1 pound, which is 453g. Happy baking!

      Reply
  • Tanya
    March 8, 2016 at 1:44 pm

    Hi! do i use unsalted butter in this recipe? i am assuming so!

    Reply
    • Lindsey
      March 9, 2016 at 11:25 am

      Hi Tanya, Yes! I use unsalted butter in everything because that way you can control the salt.

      Reply
  • Daffodileifa
    March 19, 2016 at 2:50 am

    Hi, just wondering is it safe to eat? I used to hear that people said it is okay to eat this buttercream since the sugar syrup practically kill all the bacteria in the egg but some people said that the temperature didn’t reach the require temperature for the egg to be fully cooked. So now I was confused:(
    People said swiss meringue buttercream is safer but i know that swiss meringue is not as stable as italian and i need the most stable buttercream because the weather here is extremely hot sometimes! Really glad if you can clear this! Anyway your tutorial is amazing!

    Reply
    • Lindsey
      March 20, 2016 at 9:44 pm

      Please see my above comment about the safety of this buttercream. You should also know that every traditionally trained baker in the world uses Italian or Swiss buttercream. If you have concerns, use pasteurized egg whites. But just know they behave differently than fresh ones.

      Reply
  • Mallory
    April 5, 2016 at 8:07 am

    This is my go to Italian Buttercream! I wanted to try this because I can’t stand regular buttercream because it’s so sweet and french buttercream was too heavy for my liking. Makes me feel like a serious baker showing up to parties with cakes and cupcakes slathered in this stuff. My husband swears he could eat it for dinner or any meal for that matter and my mom who is not a huge sweets fan goes nuts over it. The directions are spot on, and I can now say I can make this without the directions (minus measurements). I’ve made this recipe now at least 3 times and people go CRAZY for it. Thank you so much for sharing and I can’t wait to try some more of your recipes.

    Reply
    • Lindsey
      April 6, 2016 at 11:47 am

      Thank you so much, Mallory! Your comment made my day! I feel exactly the same way about Italian Meringue Buttercream – makes me feel extra fancy! I am super impressed that you can make it without the directions! Happy baking!

      Reply
  • Joann
    April 14, 2016 at 2:09 pm

    A million thanks to you for the recipe and tutorial. First time ever making it, followed all of your instructions to a tee and have perfect buttercream with the best consistency and flavor I have ever experienced!! I am so glad that I crumb coat the cakes because it means I get to eat the bit with the crumbs in it!!

    Reply
    • Lindsey
      April 16, 2016 at 1:21 pm

      Yay!!! I’m so glad you liked it Joann! And aren’t the crumbcoat leftovers the best?! I also level my layer cakes so I have a little bit of extra cake to eat with the crumb-coat frosting too 🙂

      Reply
  • Andrea
    April 15, 2016 at 2:43 pm

    I made this but I think I killed the meringue 🙁
    Is there anyway to fix it?

    Reply
    • Lindsey
      April 16, 2016 at 1:18 pm

      Hahah. Sadness. I’ve been there. Can you be more specific? Did it break? Is it soupy? Is the butter not incorporating?

      Reply
      • Andrea
        April 18, 2016 at 9:18 am

        I was adding the sugar syrup and it turned into liquid! I want to do it again but i’m afraid the same thing will happen 🙁

        Reply
        • Lindsey
          April 18, 2016 at 11:20 am

          Hi Andrea, The hot syrup deflates the meringue almost completely which is normal. Make sure you pour in the sugar slowly with the whisk attachment on high speed then continue to beat with the whisk attachment on high until it is just warm to the touch. What did you do after you added the sugar?

          Reply
      • Leonardo
        March 28, 2018 at 8:27 am

        Hello Lindsay, it happened to me that adding the butter at the beginning everything was perfect but when I added the las 100 grams piece by piece the butter cream changed its color to butter yellow and it looked very buttery, should I change the quantity of the butter? Or is it ok?

        Reply
        • Lindsey
          March 28, 2018 at 3:29 pm

          Hi leonardo, everything is fine. If you whip it up properly, then it will return to white.

          Reply
  • An Epic Cake Adventure – More Than
    April 15, 2016 at 5:15 pm

    […] I found what I hoped to be the perfect recipe and man is it ever!!  Follow this link to American Heritage Cooking for the absolute best recipe.  Berry mentioned last night that the frosting had a little too much […]

    Reply
  • Vanessa
    April 18, 2016 at 10:00 pm

    Hello great recipe! I was wondering instead of using the Semi-Sweet Chocolate could i use a Peanut Butter Chip instead? Thanks!

    Reply
    • Lindsey
      April 19, 2016 at 11:52 am

      Hi Vanessa! You could certainly try or you could try melting peanut butter that way you can use less and get a more intense pb flavor.

      Reply
      • Vanessa
        April 19, 2016 at 2:42 pm

        oh great idea on the Melted Peanut butter!! More Flavor i bet. Thanks again! 😀

        Reply
        • Lindsey
          April 19, 2016 at 3:34 pm

          No problem! Just make sure it isn’t too hot or it will melt the butter and break your buttercream! (same goes for the chocolate or pb chips)

          Reply
          • Vanessa
            April 27, 2016 at 2:11 pm

            yup worked better then i thought!! i used Melted Peanut Butter!

          • Lindsey
            May 3, 2016 at 8:29 pm

            Woohoo!!! Thanks for reporting back! I just filmed a video tutorial for this and made a chocolate one…but I feel like my next creation needs to have a chocolate AND a peanut butter buttercream. Back to the kitchen!

          • Vanessa
            May 5, 2016 at 2:16 pm

            Yes i Agree Everyone Loved the Peanut Butter Buttercream! 😛 Thanks for the Video`s! i use This Buttercream a Few Times a Month! in love!

  • Zunun
    April 19, 2016 at 7:34 am

    Hi Lindsey, I recently bought a kenwood major stand mixer but the bowl is not glass bowl or stainless steel bowl. It’s a plastic bowl! And i think hot sugar syrup will surely melt my bowl, don’t you think? And is it okay if i make it using hand mixer instead?

    Reply
    • Lindsey
      April 19, 2016 at 12:04 pm

      Hi Zunun! I would not make this in a plastic bowl for several reasons. The first is that unless you are absolutely positive the plastic is heat resistant over 400 degrees, it might melt as you can imagine. The second is that, even if the plastic is rated over 400 degrees, it is very hard to clean all the oil out of a plastic bowl over time, which means your meringue may be flat. I just looked on kenwood’s site and I didn’t see a stand mixer with a plastic bowl. Are you sure? You can certainly try to make this with a hand blender, but I would make sure you have a deep glass or metal bowl and you have someone pour it while another person uses the hand mixer. You want to be especially careful that the hot syrup doesn’t hit the whisk and splatter sugar all over you and your friend. Maybe you are incredibly strong but I would get too tired making this recipe with a hand blender. You have to make the meringue, then operate the blender on high speed while pouring the hot syrup then you have to beat it until it cools and then you have to continue to beat it to add the butter. All in all it sounds like a bad idea but the French used to make this by hand before there were hand and stand mixers, so if the French can do it… 😉

      Reply
  • Zunun
    April 24, 2016 at 12:29 am

    Yes I’m sure! I hope I can post a pic of my mixer here. It is a Kenwood Classic Major KM630. Thank you for your reply. I think I need to buy the stainless steel bowl for this model of kenwood mixer.

    Reply
    • Lindsey
      April 24, 2016 at 1:07 pm

      Hi Zunun! I just googled the model and I see the plastic bowl. If there is a metal option that would definitely be worth the investment so that you can make meringues, this buttercream, marshmallows (!), egg foam based cakes like this one for example, etc. Egg whites also whip up better in metal and the metal will last forever! Anyways. Happy baking!

      Reply
  • […]  The layer cake recipe is the same as the one above, just doubled to make a layer cake. I used the Italian Meringue Buttercream recipe from American Heritage Kitchen.  There is also a great tutorial on the website if you would like […]

    Reply
  • Tracy mitchell
    May 2, 2016 at 10:01 pm

    I love the delicate flavor of Italian buttercream but it does not hold up well in the heat I learned the hard way I used it for a wedding cake for a summer wedding and it started to melt and I had to make emergency repairs during the reception

    Reply
    • Lindsey
      May 3, 2016 at 7:01 pm

      Hi Tracy! Unfortunately no buttercream holds up well in the heat; it is butter after all! 🙂 Freeze it before you transport it, then refrigerate it and take it out at the latest time possible.

      Reply
      • Candi
        April 2, 2017 at 7:25 pm

        So I saw the comment about Buttercream not holding up in warm weather, which does make sense, so what frosting does? I am making cupcakes for my nieces tea party bridal shower, and I want to frost them with something that will be fluffy, light, not too sweet and hold up to warm (maybe even hot) New Mexico weather. We want to create a beautiful display that everyone can enjoy looking at and drooling over until the luncheon part of the party is over. 🙂 going for the classic elegant tea party style, hats and all. Anyway, I have been scouring the web and pinterest, and am just not finding what I want. I have found some incredible frostings, like this one, that I can’t wait to try, but nothing that is going to survive a July outdoor bridal shower. Please help me!

        Reply
        • Lindsey
          May 9, 2017 at 11:55 am

          Oooo Girl! Unfortunately the main ingredient in buttercream is BUTTER! And butter and July don’t mix. Of all the types of buttercream, this one is the best for withstanding heat. The Italian meringue make it more stable. If you are hell-bent on an outdoor display, I would freeze the cupcakes and set them up immediately prior to guest’s arrival. This will help maximize the time you have before they start to melt. They will also be nicely tempered before guests eat them, which is always good. This buttercream is best consumed at room temperature. Happy baking!

          Reply
  • Amanda
    June 1, 2016 at 2:02 pm

    Hey girl! How many cupcakes were you able to frost with a single batch of this?

    Reply
    • Lindsey
      June 4, 2016 at 11:44 am

      Hi Amanda! It depends on how much you are putting on each one. 24 is a good, safe bet if you are using a nice amount but not, say, as much as I use in photos!

      Reply
  • Simran
    June 5, 2016 at 7:42 am

    Hey Lindsey! Thanks for the demonstration! Is it possible to halve this recipe?

    Reply
    • Lindsey
      June 5, 2016 at 4:21 pm

      Absolutely!!!

      Reply
  • […] Get the Recipe […]

    Reply
  • Bakers NEST Cochin
    July 6, 2016 at 10:44 am

    hi..
    should we sandwich the cake with this same cream? or is it only for the frosting outside the cake?

    Reply
    • Lindsey
      July 6, 2016 at 11:30 am

      Of course you can absolutely use this between the layers!

      Reply
  • Ann marie
    July 14, 2016 at 10:35 pm

    Omg.I was wasting my time with regular buttercream frostings.I was embarrassed to give them away because they tasted greasy.now I will be sooo proud of my cupcakes. It wasnt difficult.this tutorial was amazing and frosting is luxurious darling ! Thank you.

    Reply
    • Lindsey
      July 15, 2016 at 4:07 pm

      Aww thank you, Ann Marie!!! I think luxurious is the perfect description! Happy baking!

      Reply
  • gigi
    August 22, 2016 at 7:35 pm

    Hi, this looks delicious. Would like to know if is resistant to the heat? I live in a very hot area, the temperature can be from 34 ° C, will resist the IMB? Greetings from Venezuela

    Reply
    • Lindsey
      August 28, 2016 at 1:12 pm

      Hi Gigi! That is awfully hot for any buttercream. You must remember it is butter and butter melts in that high of temperatures. If you freeze the cake with the icing it will stand up to that heat longer than other buttercreams but it will eventually melt. Happy baking!

      Reply
  • Briana
    September 7, 2016 at 8:48 pm

    Thank you for this awesome tutorial! It tastes amazing and looks gorgeous! All the finicky steps made it seem like it would be time consuming but it really didn’t take long either 🙂 you rock!

    Reply
    • Lindsey
      September 10, 2016 at 2:23 pm

      Hooray, Briana!!! The extra detailed descriptions do make it seem like it will take longer than it does! I am so glad you liked it! What did you make with it!? Happy baking!

      Reply
  • Michele
    September 18, 2016 at 7:16 pm

    I just made this recipe tonight. The tutorial was great and very easy to follow. It tastes amazing! I’m just concerned about piping with it tomorrow…..it seems to not be stiff enough. Did I do something wrong?

    Reply
    • Lindsey
      September 27, 2016 at 12:37 pm

      Hi Michele,

      I’m so sorry I am just now seeing your comment now – I have been very busy at work. I am sure you found that after you refrigerated it overnight and then rewhipped it the next morning that consistency was perfect. IMB can always be fixed by putting it in the fridge. Please let me know how it went! Happy Baking!

      Reply
  • […] Get the Recipe […]

    Reply
  • Mik Afable
    October 15, 2016 at 1:45 am

    Hi, great tutorial. I live in the Philippines where the temperature is just really a killer to buttercream. I was so happy when i put in the butter because for the first time in all the recipes i’ve tried, it didn’t just automatically turn to soup. But after a while it just did, and i couldn’t pipe it anymore. I’ve always just had to make american buttercream, which is not as good.

    Do you have any tips on how to make this sturdier in hot/humid climates? Thank you very much!

    Reply
    • Lindsey
      October 18, 2016 at 12:38 pm

      Hi Mik! Hot and humid is the nemesis of buttercreams! At the end of the day it is still predominantly butter and there isn’t as much sugar as American buttercream to stabilize it, which is why it tastes waaaaaay better.
      In the future I suggest you work with smaller quantities. Put only half in your piping bag and keep the rest in the refrigerator, then temper the one in the fridge and rewhip it. If the buttercream gets too soft as you pipe (which can happen just from the heat of your hands) then chill it and rewhip. This buttercream is incredibly stable and you can freeze it or refrigerate it and still whip it back up. You aren’t going to find a more stable (non-American) buttercream, so you just need to work with it and it’s faults! Happy baking!

      Reply
  • Lori
    October 21, 2016 at 5:43 pm

    When I make buttercream, I always make Swiss. These beautiful photos of your Italian Buttercream are pushing me to give it a try. My question for you is, why do you squeeze the butter?

    Reply
  • Daisy
    November 6, 2016 at 2:56 pm

    I do not have a stand mixer do you think this could be achieved with an electric hand whisk?

    Reply
    • Lindsey
      November 7, 2016 at 1:14 pm

      Hi Daisy – it is possible but it is very dangerous. The sugar syrup is 235 degrees F when you pour it in and if you hit the whisk, then it will spray all over you and sugar burns are some of the most painful. As a professional cook, trust me, I know from experience. 🙂 Perhaps try the Swiss Meringue Buttercream which is safer to try with a hand blender but still silkier and tastier than traditional American Buttercream..

      Reply
  • Ron
    November 15, 2016 at 11:05 am

    Hi Lindsey,

    After looking at many IMB recipes, I see that this is the only one that has a second addition of granulated sugar in to the egg whites before adding the syrup. Have you tried the traditional way of only using a syrup? Is this really better? This is not a full Italian meringue, rather a hybrid French and Italian, right?

    Reply
    • Lindsey
      November 15, 2016 at 12:16 pm

      Hi Ron, It is a true Italian meringue because the whites are “cooked” by the sugar syrup and in a French meringue the whites are not cooked at all until they are baked. I add a portion of the sugar to the egg whites to stabilize them, so that when you do add the softball syrup, it decreases the odds of deflating the meringue or giving your meringue that “egg taste”, which happens when the syrup is too hot or poured in too fast. The sugar stabilized meringue also decreases the odds that you will overwhip the whites while waiting for the sugar to reach soft ball stage. I have made it without adding sugar to the whites and it was the same, but this recipe is trying to make a tricky pastry technique closer to foolproof for people who aren’t professional bakers. Hope that answers your question!

      Reply
  • Mary
    November 16, 2016 at 4:45 pm

    Can you use champagne in your Italian Meringue Buttercream

    Reply
  • Erica
    December 15, 2016 at 8:35 pm

    So last night I made the candied orange peel from elsewhere on your page (also candied grapefruit pee, I want to give them as christmas gifts but they might not last that long), and it was late at night so I just put them in the syrup in the fridge and thought I’ll reheat, drain, and add the crystallized sugar later.
    But I’m also making orange french macarons and looking for something that would be as orangy as lemon curd is lemony for the center… And now I’ve this syrup that the was cooked down in the oranges (so tastes amazing) how do you feel about reheating it to softball stage and using that?

    Reply
    • Lindsey
      December 20, 2016 at 7:59 pm

      Hi Erica! Definitely store the candied fruit in the syrup before you toss it in sugar – but next time you can store it at room temperature. It will be easier to drain!

      As for your macarons, those sound delicious! You could always make orange curd by just replacing the most of the lemon juice with orange juice. As for your idea – I feel like that will work (and is a fantastic idea!), but there is a different ratio of sugar to water. Maybe add a bit more sugar to get to the total weight needed in the recipe. Then heat it to softball stage. Good luck! Please let me know how it goes! Or I just might try it myself because I’ve been candying a lot of orange for stollen at work. Happy baking!!!

      Reply
  • Alkioni
    February 9, 2017 at 9:57 am

    Thanks so much!The comments are so many so I couldn’t read them all to find what I am looking for.I hope I won’t make you repeat the same things.Here is my question:How long can you leave a cake with IBM out?I want to leave it overnight in a temperature of 15-18C.Is it going to be ok to eat?Is it going to stay the same stable?Thank you in advance!

    Reply
    • Lindsey
      February 22, 2017 at 10:43 am

      Hi Alkioni, Don’t forget the main component of buttercream is butter! That temperature range isn’t going to cause it to melt but it is definitely warm enough that bacteria can grow. Is there no way you can leave it in the refrigerator and then take it out several hours before the event? IMB definitely tastes best at room temperature, so I always leave it out prior to serving. Happy baking!

      Reply
  • D.
    February 9, 2017 at 1:40 pm

    Can you substitute meringue powder for the egg whites or do you have to use the egg whites? BTW this does look so fantastically “AWESOME”!!! I always buy CK buttercream icing. I love the flavor of it. A bit sweet but, love it. The problem is that it’s way too expensive. If I could copy the taste, I’d make it myself. It’s time I experience something different & yours looks so good. That pic on the spoon, oh my gaud!! ++SOLD++ I have to try it. One more question, does it work well with fondant? I hope you get this & respond. It looks like it’s been a while since any comments.

    Reply
  • Dawn
    February 9, 2017 at 2:09 pm

    Can you substitute meringue powder for the egg whites or do you have to use the egg whites? BTW this does look so fantastically “AWESOME”!!! I always buy CK buttercream icing. I love the flavor of it. A bit sweet but, love it. The problem is that it’s way too expensive. If I could copy the taste, I’d make it myself. It’s time I experience something different & yours looks so good. That pic on the spoon, oh my gaud!! ++SOLD++ I have to try it. One more question, does it work well with fondant? I hope you get this & respond. It looks like it’s been a while since any comments.

    Reply
    • Lindsey
      February 22, 2017 at 10:37 am

      Hi Dawn! Thank you so much for your sweet comments! I ALWAYS use this buttercream under fondant. I think it provides the smoothest coating. Swiss meringue is also a good option for under fondant. I have never substituted meringue powder for the egg whites. You could certainly try! If you do, let me know how it goes. Happy baking!

      Reply
  • Hollie Sinclair
    March 2, 2017 at 8:52 am

    Hi,

    I have made IMBC quite a few times no troubles. But when I made a batch last week in preparation for a cake it went funny. I took it from fridge to come to room temperature but it just felt really slippery, oily/greasy. It wasn’t curdled or split it just didn’t seem right. I did beat to made smooth but when crumb coating a cake it would slide and just felt so buttery when rubbing between fingers. The taste was normal but the texture also felt slippery. Any ideas why or is this normal?

    Reply
    • Lindsey
      March 2, 2017 at 1:54 pm

      Hi Hollie! It could have been too tempered. I have left my IMB out at room temperature for too long and it does what you are describing. You should be able to refrigerate it and then rewhip. This can also happen if your room is hot or humid (mine was both that day when this happened to me.) IF that is the case, just keep going in and out of the refrigerator. It’s a pain but necessary. Happy baking!

      Reply
  • Sarah
    March 26, 2017 at 6:58 pm

    Does this buttercream have to be refrigerated? I am asking because competitive baking often requires that the finished product does not require refrigeration or have any uncooked dairy or eggs.

    Reply
    • Lindsey
      May 9, 2017 at 2:52 pm

      Hi Sarah, I’m not sure what you mean by “competitive baking”. It does need to be refrigerated because it contains butter.

      Reply
  • Linda
    March 29, 2017 at 9:21 pm

    I love this you make this look so easy. I can’t wait to try it. Can you use the carton egg whites for this recipe.

    Reply
    • Lindsey
      May 9, 2017 at 12:07 pm

      Hi Linda, You most certainly can, but just know that they whip up faster and are less stable than ones you separate from the eggs. All that means is that you need to be a bit more careful with your timing. Happy baking!

      Reply
  • Kate
    April 1, 2017 at 6:22 pm

    I am SOOOOOO doing it! Thankyou😍😍😍😍

    Reply
    • Lindsey
      May 9, 2017 at 11:57 am

      Hahah! Get it girl! Happy baking!

      Reply
  • Key Lime Pie Macarons
    April 7, 2017 at 5:18 pm

    […] Italian meringue recipe that I used can be found here. I feel that they gave very good and simple instructions which were beneficial to me as this was my […]

    Reply
  • Carlena
    April 18, 2017 at 11:02 am

    Do you think this recipe would be good if I added crushed oreos to the recipe and put it on a oreo cake? I’m looking for a less sweet buttercream recipe to do this with. Thanks 🙂

    Reply
    • Lindsey
      May 9, 2017 at 11:40 am

      Hi Carlena, I think that would be FANTASTIC! In fact, I think I might have to try that myself!

      Reply
  • Marvin Barnette
    April 27, 2017 at 3:00 pm

    Hi Lindsey,
    I am not a trained pastry chef however I have done a LOT of baking over the years and I always love trying new recipes. I want to thank you for this recipe. I’ve been looking for alternatives to the American Buttercream and with this recipe, I’ve found it! I made this last week and injected cupcakes with it. It was a HUGE hit. Everyone wanted to know how I made the filling. So, in true chef-like spirit, I told them that it was a proprietary secret. Hehehe… again, THANK YOU!!!

    Reply
    • Lindsey
      May 9, 2017 at 11:36 am

      Hahha! Gotta keep those pastry secrets close to the chest! I’m so glad everyone enjoyed it! You’ve gotta try the chocolate variation. It’s TO DIE FOR! When I make double chocolate cakes at work, people will just eat the buttercream even if there are no more cake scraps! Happy baking!

      Reply
  • Cate
    April 27, 2017 at 7:36 pm

    Another excellent recipe! Your sweet potato pie was a hit at my family Thanksgiving dinner:). I was a history major, so during dessert I talked about Mary Randolph, her connection to Washington, Jefferson, and Arlington Cemetery. That led to a wonderful conversation about American history and how food gives us our cultural identity.

    I’ve tested three Italian meringue buttercreams and like yours the best. It has the right.balance of butter, sugar, and egg whites.

    This batch just covered my 3-layer, 6″ test cake. I’m going to use this recipe for a two tiered cake: 10″ & 6″ rounds, so I’ll definitely need to scale the recipe.

    Since the cake will be for my niece’s 5th birthday, I’d like to color the buttercream in pastels. What is the best type of food dye to use in this application? I don’t use food dye in baking too often, but when I do, it’s Americolor gel.

    Many thanks again for another great recipe.

    Regards

    Cate

    Reply
    • Lindsey
      May 9, 2017 at 11:33 am

      Hi Cate! I am so glad you and your family get as much of a thrill out of American history and food culture as I do! For the cake you are going to do I would double this recipe. Unless you have a commercial mixer, you will need to make it twice. I also use Americolor gel coloring. In this application I would only use a gel coloring for this application. Sorry for the delay in getting back to you. I hope it is still helpful. Happy baking!

      Reply
      • Cate
        May 25, 2017 at 10:10 pm

        Just wanted to follow up on using this recipe from my niece’s birthday cake. It was a big party 65 guest. Everyone raved about the cake. One guest said her oldest son hates all icing–scrapes it off before eating cake or cupcakes. But he loved this icing! My SIL said guests were still taking about the cake days after the party.

        I made 5 batches to cover and fill a two tier cake. The tiers were 10″ and 8″ rounds, 3 layers each. I piped big purple rosettes on the side of the 8″ tier. The buttercream took the Ameticolor dye beautifully. I used the entire 5 batches on the cake, but it wasn’t overkill in the least. I made butterflies from a mix of 50/50 fondant and gumpaste. With a bit of water they stuck to the side of the buttercream no problem.

        The buttercream was a beautiful white that contrasted beautifully with the purple and pink cake layers. When the cake was sliced, everyone ahhh over the beautiful colors. I chilled the iced cake overnight; cake traveled nearly 2 hrs. In the car, but held up beautifully!

        Can’t say enough thanks for a really great buttercream. My go to recipe now.

        Couple things I learned in making so much of this buttercream.

        1. Don’t use a soft butter like Kerrygold. The batches with Kerrygold were every soft and difficult to work with. I found Pulgra worked best.

        2. If refrigerated over night, let it warm up on the counter for about 1 hour before re-whipping. The buttercream whipped back up looking fluffier when it was warmer.

        3. Definitely change to the paddle attachment before adding the butter. I forgot to change from the whisk to paddle attachment on one batch. That batch had a lot more air bubbles in it.

        Reply
        • Lindsey
          May 26, 2017 at 11:40 am

          Hi Cate! Thank you so much for taking the time to reply back! Your cake sounds beautiful! It’s funny, after your comment, a diner requested an “indigo” cake at the restaurant so I died this buttercream for the first time last week! It really does color beautifully with the gel coloring. Next time if you are going to travel further, I would freeze the cake first just to be safe!

          Great tips! I never thought about using softer butters, but that is a good lesson learned. You definitely need to let the buttercream sit or
          “temper” on at room temperature before rewhipping. Same if you freeze it. Sometimes when you do that it has a greater chance of curdling but it will always come back together beautifully in the end. Good point on the whisk. That makes complete sense!
          I am so glad you and your friends and family enjoyed it!

          Reply
  • Lenka
    May 3, 2017 at 11:08 am

    I have to say that thats my favorite icing to make under the fondant. It hardens nicely so you can get those sharp edges. I dont like american sugary icings with exception of cream cheese icing which has small amounts of sugar. This one can be sweet but I am using the Morena pure cane raw sugar which cuts some of the sweetness and it just taste yummy. Many of my friends from Europe said the same thing, not fan of icings but they can eat this one. Its light and fluffy. The only suggestion I will make is make sure that you have candy thermometer! I used just general thermometer and first time I was lucky but second time I had little crystals of overcooked sugar in my icing. It was crunchy but tasted like toffee so it was not too bad, but make sure you do not overcook it.

    But I do have question. I have the icing in the fridge for 2 months now. Do you think I can still use it?

    Reply
    • Lindsey
      May 9, 2017 at 11:22 am

      Hi Lenka! This is my favorite icing as well to use as the exterior of cakes or under fondant. The crystals don’t come from overcooking your sugar so much as your sugar crystalizing while it is heating up. When sugar melts its physical state changes and if a sugar crystal is introduced to this melted sugar it could cause the entire batch to recrystalize. I like to think of it as if sugar “wants” to be in crystal form and we are coaxing it into a different state. The slightest interruption or contamination will cause it to revert back to its natural state. This is why you never stir a wet caramel after the initial wetting of the crystals and you take great care to use a clean pot and wash all the sugar crystals from the sides of your pot.

      You can still use it, but in the future if you want to store it that long, freeze it! Happy baking!

      Reply
  • Alba
    May 16, 2017 at 11:31 pm

    Please Help! Second time I tried this and it’s giving a hard time. My meringue came out perfect after is not longer hot I added the first piece of butter and the meringue went down it is no longer stiffed… I’m following all your instructions but I don’t know. Wants going on. Maybe is my mixer which is just a regular stand mixer and not kitchen aid. There’s is any way I can fix this to frost my cake. HELP please! thank you

    Reply
    • Lindsey
      May 18, 2017 at 9:37 pm

      Hi Alba, It is normal for the meringue to deflate as you add the butter. Just keep going! Once all the butter is added you can switch back to the whisk attachment to whip it up. If it is soup and too soft, put the entire bowl in the fridge for a little bit and beat it with the paddle, then switch to the whisk. The chill time will harden the butter and your buttercream will be perfect! Happy baking!

      Reply
  • Lisa
    May 19, 2017 at 9:45 am

    Would this buttercream work well for a tiered cake?

    Reply
    • Lindsey
      May 26, 2017 at 11:30 am

      Absolutely! It is what I use for all my professional cakes. Happy baking!

      Reply
  • Simple Blog
    May 23, 2017 at 1:01 pm

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    […] on I will make is make sure that you have candy thermometer! I used just general […]

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  • Katrina
    June 2, 2017 at 10:42 am

    Thank you, thank you, thank you, all the way from Australia! It worked perfectly on my first try using your recipe and methodology. I truly appreciated how you took the time to spell out every step in detail, with photos. This will definitely be my buttercream of choice going forward! Thanks! x

    Reply
    • Lindsey
      June 8, 2017 at 1:02 pm

      I am so glad you liked it, Katrina!! What did you make with it?

      Reply
  • Ramya
    June 26, 2017 at 1:53 am

    Hi Lindsey, it turned out great! Thanks much for the recipe.

    If I cover my cake with the Italian buttercream, can I store it in room temperature or refrigerator for few days before finishing it with my fondant decorations on the day I need it?

    Thanks..

    Reply
    • Lindsey
      July 6, 2017 at 8:23 am

      Hi Ramya, I would store it the in refrigerator and then add your decorations. The frosting is way too soft to apply fondant when it is warm. Bakers often freeze their cakes before covering in fondant to get the crisp edges and smooth sides. Happy baking!

      Reply
  • Heather
    July 1, 2017 at 12:14 am

    Do you think this frosting will break if I add lemon juice and lemon zest? Should I use lemon curd instead?

    Reply
    • Lindsey
      July 6, 2017 at 8:22 am

      I do think it will break if you add lemon juice but zest should be fine. I use lemon extract. I have made french meringues where I add the zest to the sugar first and then allow the oils to flavor the sugar. That might also work for the part of the sugar you add to the meringue. A lemon oil (food grade) might also work. Happy baking! Be sure to report back!

      Reply
  • Mel
    July 15, 2017 at 5:34 pm

    Hi i just made your IMB but it’s my first time making a merengue and it seems thick and buttery 🙁 and not at all white it’s more yellowish, did I mess it up ?

    Reply
    • Lindsey
      July 20, 2017 at 12:11 pm

      Hi Mel, I’m sure you didn’t unless you changed the quantity of ingredients. Switch to the whisk and whip it until it is light and fluffy! Happy baking!

      Reply
  • Cc
    July 20, 2017 at 10:52 pm

    Hi! Help. I forgot the other half of the sugar! I’m on the last stage now and I just realised. Haha. What should I Do? It’s sweet enough…i think. What’s my options? Thanks so much.

    Reply
  • Cc
    July 20, 2017 at 11:27 pm

    Hi. Help. I forgot to add thge other half of sugar! Will it be stable enough if I don’t add it. I mean it’s sweet enough I think…

    Reply
    • Lindsey
      July 26, 2017 at 5:15 pm

      No worries! If you already forgot to add it, then presumably you’ve already combined the sugar syrup into the meringue. The stabilizing properties are to keep your egg whites from over-whipping while you are waiting for your sugar syrup and also to keep the eggs from scrambling while you add the syrup. It isn’t necessary, just cheap insurance. Happy baking!

      Reply
  • Diane
    July 25, 2017 at 5:48 am

    great b/c recipe love it , my question is how if used as a crumb covering how long will the cake keep once covered with fondant .

    Reply
    • Lindsey
      July 26, 2017 at 5:13 pm

      Hi Diane, The cake will keep 1 week in the refrigerator and 1 month in the freezer. Just know that it will lose moisture over time and it could start to take on the flavor of the fridge. Happy baking!

      Reply
  • […] Get the Recipe […]

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  • Angela
    December 10, 2017 at 6:37 pm

    What if you never get stiff peak? It’s the first time this has happened to me.

    Reply
    • Lindsey
      December 26, 2017 at 10:52 pm

      Hi Angela, It is probably because some fat got into your meringue which keeps it from whipping up. It could be a little bit of yolk in your whites or perhaps not a perfectly clean bowl or whisk. You can try adding a bunch of cream of tartar to see if it will stabilize it enough to whip up, if not, the only thing to do is start again.Happy baking!

      Reply
  • Neha
    December 22, 2017 at 10:05 am

    This recipe sounds awesome. I tried. Making it but my egg whites didnt form the peaks after adding the second half of the sugar. I am not sure where did I go wrong 😊. Can you please advice 😀
    Thanks!

    Reply
    • Lindsey
      December 26, 2017 at 1:01 pm

      Hi Neha, You mean that when you poured in the sugar syrup the resulting meringue wouldn’t whip up to stiff peaks? That could be because your egg whites weren’t either under or over whipped when you poured in your sugar OR your sugar syrup wasn’t at 138-140 degrees F. I suggest you try again and focus on making sure your egg whites are whipped to stiff peaks when you pour in the 140 F syrup. It takes a little timing and practice but after it clicks, you will find it super easy!

      Reply
  • Steffani
    January 1, 2018 at 5:00 pm

    Have you had any luck doubling this recipe? The last imb i made was a huge fail and I’m wondering if it was because i doubled it and maybe this is just one of those few things that just dont like to be doubled?

    Reply
    • Lindsey
      January 2, 2018 at 12:12 pm

      Hi Steffani, I have doubled this recipe but you need a very large mixer (think 8-9 quarts) for that. The original recipe yields about 3.5 quarts of buttercream. If you need more than that, then you’ll need to make two batches. Happy baking!

      Reply
  • Vanity Blog
    January 17, 2018 at 1:42 pm

    Made Of Formed Steel Frosted

    […] ugary icings with exception of cream cheese icing which has small amounts of sug […]

    Reply
  • EG
    January 31, 2018 at 5:40 pm

    It looks beautiful! I have a question and I apologise if you already answered it before. Can I substitute store bought pasteurized egg whites in this recipe? Thank you!

    Reply
    • Lindsey
      February 7, 2018 at 12:23 pm

      Hi EG, you absolutely may substitute pasteurized egg whites, just be aware that they behave differently than fresh. They will whip up faster and be less stable, so just be extra vigilant about making sure not to overwhip! Happy baking!

      Reply
  • Nins Belleza
    February 7, 2018 at 6:13 pm

    Hi…can i put this recipe under fondant?can i also put color on it?

    Reply
    • Lindsey
      February 15, 2018 at 10:55 am

      Absolutely to both of those questions! I use gel coloring for the buttercream. It is perfect for putting under fondant because it will keep those crisp edges. Make sure it is very cold or frozen before covering. Happy baking!

      Reply
  • Anyachi Amaka
    February 16, 2018 at 6:35 am

    Thanks for sharing, my questions are, can i use hand mixer to get the same result? Secondly can i use margarine to substitute butter,

    Reply
    • Lindsey
      February 21, 2018 at 10:41 am

      I think a hand mixer might be more dangerous but you could try. I don’t know if margarine will work, you can certainly give it a go!

      Reply
  • Denise
    March 1, 2018 at 6:18 pm

    Tastes great but it’s soupy. I put it in refrigerator to try to fix my mistake. How long should it take in the refrigerator before it thickens up to rewhip it.

    Reply
    • Lindsey
      March 20, 2018 at 2:17 pm

      It really depends on how soupy it is. I’ve had it take close to an hour before when my kitchen was super hot. Don’t forget to rewhip it!

      Reply
  • Kayla
    March 8, 2018 at 2:21 pm

    Tried this recipe, and loved it! Was rather soupy when i added all the butter, but was able to fix it by putting it in the fridge and then re-whipping it! Would I be able to frost cupcakes and freeze them ahead (by about 2 weeks)? Or should I freeze them separately and then put them together the day of the party?

    Reply
    • Lindsey
      March 20, 2018 at 2:04 pm

      Hi Kayla, you may absolutely assemble them and freeze ahead of time! I do this with little mini cupcakes at the restaurant all the time! Just make sure to allow enough time to defrost them because nobody likes the taste of hard IMB! [Well, some people do, but that is neither here nor there!] Happy baking!

      Reply
  • Dana Bobana
    March 14, 2018 at 3:53 pm

    Worked the first time I tried it. It is very silky. Mine was a little soft so refrigerated it a bit but it didn’t like getting piped. Any suggestions?

    Reply
    • Lindsey
      March 20, 2018 at 1:54 pm

      Hi Dana! You did the right thing by refrigerating it. However, when you refrigerate it, the butter will cool inconsistently, so you need to refresh it in the mixer with the paddle. Mix on low until it is smooth and then increase speed, switch to the whisk and beat until nice and fluffy! Whenever I frost cakes in the summer, it is a constant battle: in and out of the fridge, refresh. I chill it in the bowl with the paddle attachment, which keeps my dishes to a minimum! Happy baking!

      Reply
  • Susan J
    March 24, 2018 at 12:46 am

    This recipe was recommended to me and I’m very excited to try it for cupcakes that I’m making in advance for a party. Can I ice the cupcakes with this Italian buttercream, freeze them and thaw them at room temperature on the day I’m planning to serve them?

    Reply
    • Lindsey
      March 28, 2018 at 3:37 pm

      Absolutely, Susan! I do that at the restaurant all the time!

      Reply
  • Samantha
    April 8, 2018 at 5:57 pm

    I tried this recipe today, i am doing a practice run before making my first wedding cake! It turned out very well, loved the texture and taste… My only issue is that my sugar in the whites didn’t dissolve well so there are granules in the frosting. I added the sugar slowly as soon as the whites started to froth. Do you need to use a fine bakers sugar? Also I am doing a “semi-naked” style cake, if I ice it the day before can it stay uncovered in the fridge without drying?
    Thank you!

    Reply
    • Lindsey
      April 12, 2018 at 3:11 pm

      Hi Samantha, The standard sugar used in bakeries and restaurants is marketed as “extra fine sugar” but I have also made IMB at home with regular granulated sugar. It seems more likely to me that your soft ball sugar syrup actually crystalized and those are the sugar crystals you are experiencing. This can happen from a dirty pot (not dirty to the naked eye), from sugar crystals forming on the sides of the pot and either falling into your syrup and crystalizing more of it while it cooks or during the act of pouring, or over agitation of the syrup as it cooks. Make sure you pot is completely clean, only stir once to dissolve the sugar in the cold water, wipe down the sides of the pot with cold water to dissolve any crystals and try not to disturb it, not using enough water to dissolve the sugar, or using too big of a pot for the quantity of sugar! Even when you do all the things right, sugar can still crystalize resulting in a gritty meringue. If it’s really bad, start over. If it’s just a few pieces here and there, you can power on especially since you aren’t doing a thick layer of frosting.

      Since you don’t have a full layer of buttercream, you do run the risk that the cake dries out a bit and takes on some flavors of the fridge. You can also freeze the cake, then wrap it and store it in the freezer so it doesn’t mar the exterior or dry out. Take extra care to keep your cake moist before assembly: don’t over bake it, cool it properly, wrap it properly, only cut it right before assembly, and take the extra step to soak the layers lightly while assembling. This should minimize the drying out. Best of luck and happy baking!

      Reply
  • VirginiaS
    April 19, 2018 at 9:12 am

    Ooh! This sounds so good and you make it look doable! Really hoping I can pull it off for my daughter’s birthday cake this weekend!

    Reply
    • Lindsey
      April 22, 2018 at 1:55 pm

      I know you can, Virginia!!!!

      Reply
      • VirginiaS
        April 23, 2018 at 9:24 am

        Omg, Lindsey! Thank you so much for this tutorial! I made my daughter’s cake Sat and it turned out perfectly. Your instructions are fabulous and I absolute love all the hints and tricks you include. They helped so much! No boiling hot sugar to the face for this gal! Even my mom was impressed….which is saying something. I overheard her telling her sister that she wasn’t sure since it was a lot of work (she was watching me) but it was worth it! And my cake looked amazing, too. IMB was a dream to work with. I’m in love with it, now. I think you’ve created a monster! : D

        Reply
        • Lindsey
          April 23, 2018 at 9:36 am

          Yay Virginia!!! You did it! But it’s a sweet monster if ever there was one! I’m so happy for your success and the (much deserved) maternal praise! Don’t forget you can refrigerate or freeze it and then refresh it in the mixer (with the paddle attachment) – IMB on the ready! Happy baking!

          Reply
  • Keri
    April 21, 2018 at 11:14 pm

    Hi! Excellent directions and the frosting came out perfectly. The crowd loved it but it was a little buttery for my taste. (Yes, I know it is buttercream!) Do you think I can decrease the butter, and if so, do you think I can go so far as half as much? Thank you for the excellent tutorial!

    Reply
    • Lindsey
      April 22, 2018 at 1:54 pm

      Hi Keri, You are welcome! You can absolutely decrease the butter by half. Your buttercream won’t be as stable for as long as a full butter version. Think of it like the less butter, the closer to plain meringue. And plain meringues are beautiful and stable for about 1-3 days (max depending on the amount of sugar). The butter deflates the meringue but preserves it in a way. Happy baking!

      Reply
  • Anita
    May 22, 2018 at 4:07 am

    I am dying to try this for a wedding cake I am making next week. I usually make an American buttercream but really wanted to try something a lot nicer 🙂 so my cake is a 3 tier wedding cake, and my question is…

    you said this is quite a soft buttercream, will it be strong enough like an American buttercream to go between the layers in the cake? will it withstand the weight? (All 3 cakes will be doweled ofcourse 😉) But I don’t want it to collapse out the sides of each layer.

    Also Would it work with white chocolate??

    Love your tutorial xo

    Reply
    • Lindsey
      May 31, 2018 at 3:43 pm

      Hi Anita! I hope that this comment reaches you in time (or you just powered through and tried it!). You can (and should) absolutely use this buttercream for a tiered cake. It is perfect for that application because it chills harder than American buttercream. When I am making layered cakes, I assemble one layer at a time and then chill in between. So if you’re making a three tiered cake, start with the bottom most layer and create your dam, add your filling, place second layer on top. CHill while doing the same with the remaining 2 tiers. I work in this rotation until I’ve added all the layers of each and then chill before doing my crumb coat. If you do this then it will be structurally sound even with a softer filling.

      It will absolutely work with white chocolate but your buttercream will have a yellow tint to it and it will be sweeter than usual.
      I’m so glad you enjoyed my tutorial! Let me know how it goes!

      Reply
  • Cathy
    June 9, 2018 at 10:56 am

    I just happened on to your site and love this tutorial! I’m making a wedding cake for a friend using IMB, filled with lemon curd cream. The bride wants the royal cake…Lemon Elderflower! I added lemon zest and St Germain elderflower liqueur to the yellow cake batter instead of vanilla, added St Germain to IMB, and brushed elderflower syrup (Belvoir Fruit Farms) on the test cake before frosting. She and her fiancé loved it! I have 2 questions:

    1. In the test cake I made the lemon curd, chilled overnight, then folded in whipped cream. But it was too soft in the layers and squished out. Should I add unflavored gelatin to the whipped cream? If so, how and how much gelatin and water? Would folding in IMB be better?

    2. Can the separate cakes be filled and crumb coated, wrapped in saran and frozen? Then the day before can I frost with IMB while frozen, assemble and decorate? Then back into fridge overnight. The morning of the wedding I’ll put fresh flowers on it. I have a 2nd fridge that won’t have any other food in it to affect the taste.

    Thank you! I bookmarked your site!

    Reply
    • Lindsey
      June 25, 2018 at 8:52 pm

      Hi Cathy! Great questions!
      1) Why are you lightening the lemon curd? Lemon curd is beautiful and holds up beautifully as a cake filling as long as you dam the frosting (that is the ring of frosting around the edge of the cake – the frosting firms up and holds the filling in while supporting the weight of the remaining cake layers). If you want to use whipped cream in your filling then you will have to stabilize it, which is the fancy word for add gelatin. I usually use sheet gelatin. 600g heavy cream to 3 sheets of silver gelatin, which would be about 1 tablespoon of powdered gelatin. Bloom the gelatin (use the package instructions) and then melt gently in about 2 teaspoons of elderflower liquor. Then fold into your whipped cream (soft peaks) then fold that into your cooled lemon curd. Then fill your cakes. A piping bag is going to very helpful here. YOu should still dam the cake with IMB before filling with the lightened curd so it has time to set and doesn’t squish out.

      2) By separate cakes, I assume you mean layers of a tiered cake? And if that is what you mean then yes. Make sure you allow ample time for them to defrost in the fridge because if you are going to stack layers, you need to dowel the lower layers so they don’t collapse especially with a soft filling. YOU’VE GOT THIS!!! It sounds like you are already kicking butt! Let me know if you have any more questions 🙂

      Thanks for the bookmark!

      Reply
      • Cathy
        June 26, 2018 at 2:28 pm

        Thanks for the reply Lindsey!
        I forgot to explain why I was lightening the lemon curd…the recipe I used was terrific, but very lemony! I wanted to keep that wonderful flavor but reduce the intensity so that the elderflower wouldn’t be overpowered. After trying small amounts of gelatin at a time, I ended up putting in the whole envelope which was about the size of the tablespoon you recommended!
        And the icing dam was perfect! I made several batches of your IMBC and it was so amazing! I loved how it was able to hold larger amounts of flavor (liqueur or oil/extract) which was so important in this cake. Previously I used a well known cake baker’s recipe which had half the sugar of yours and could only hold a limited amount of flavor before it would start to get too soft.
        I ended up freezing the cake layers individually but after assembling the individual tiers and crumb coating I kept it in the fridge. That made tier stacking and decorating so much easier!
        And everyone raved about the cake and the frosting…on FB one said it was like silk and another said it was divine having a piece with coffee the next morning!
        Thank you sooo much for your advice!!!

        Reply
        • Lindsey
          June 28, 2018 at 11:14 am

          You are most welcome Cathy! It sounds like you made a fabulous cake!! Cheers to the stabilizing powers of sugar in meringue! Happy baking!

          Reply
  • Lin
    June 18, 2018 at 12:58 pm

    Thank you thank you thank you!,!! I made 3 batches of this reciipe for a 2-tiered birthday cake (3 layers each) and an additioanal single layer cake this past weekend. It was my first attempt at Italian meringue buttercream, and I chose it bc I read that Italian buttercream holds up to summer heat better than other buttercream. Your tutorial was perfect. I appreciated your note about when you take the butter out of the fridge. One helpful tip I gleaned from another website on ensuring no residual oil on mixing bowl or beaters: squeeze a bit of lemon juice on a paper towel and wipe beaters and bowl to remove any possible traces of oil.

    This will be my go-to recipe for all future butter cream needs! It was silky, glossy, perfectly pipeable and spreadable. And it beautifully withstood 2+ hours on a warm June evening , temps about 85 F and humid. Love it!!!

    Reply
    • Lindsey
      June 25, 2018 at 8:36 pm

      Wonderful, Lin!!! I’m so glad you found me! Great tip! You can also use vinegar 🙂

      Reply
  • […] 1/3 recipe Italian Meringue Buttercream […]

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  • Kate
    June 26, 2018 at 4:51 pm

    After searching for an Italian Buttercream I decided to give yours a try as yours was explained so well. First batch was vanilla and the second was chocolate, both were amazing! Thank you for detailing your instructions, especially smushing the butter 🙂

    Reply
    • Lindsey
      June 28, 2018 at 11:11 am

      I’m so glad you found me Kate! Happy baking!

      Reply
  • Annika
    July 7, 2018 at 8:57 am

    Hi there. I’m baking mini cupcakes for a wedding and it’s gonna be hot and I heard IBC stands up best in heat. I have a question – I only have a hand mixer and no paddle attachment. Suggestions? I feel like you need more than one hand to do all the steps involved. Thanks.

    Reply
    • Lindsey
      July 7, 2018 at 7:01 pm

      Hi Annika, I would say that is risky. Why don’t you make Swiss Meringue Buttercream instead. It will hold up just as well and won’t be as dangerous to make with a hand mixer. Happy baking!

      Reply
  • Amy W
    July 7, 2018 at 3:09 pm

    Hey there! Your original posting was on my 40th birthday! But that’s not why I’m commenting. I don’t know if the comments before mine drew your attention to this, but there’s an error in step number 7: so that the meringue is the same temperature as the meringue

    Reply
    • Lindsey
      July 7, 2018 at 7:00 pm

      Hi Amy, That’s not a mistake. It says “but what is more important than the stiffness of the meringue is the temperature of the meringue. Before you begin adding the butter, the bottom of the bowl should feel barely warm” I’m saying you want it at stiff peak but don’t add the butter until the meringue is warm to the touch. Sorry you misunderstood 🙂 Happy baking

      Reply
  • Gia Gordon
    July 21, 2018 at 3:26 pm

    This my fav of all the icing I gain wt. every time i make it. I have a born day cake to make and I eat at least 1/16 of it after its made taste so much like a nice ice cream. regular butter cream leaves a nasty taste on my tongue, So if i’m making a cake for me I would sure like to try the other kind I have done the swiss it was good as well. thanks for the tips. Can you color this icing oh yes i did make some yellow just dont remember what i used to color it must have used some type of gel.

    Reply
  • Kelsey
    October 22, 2018 at 5:16 pm

    I live in San Antonio and it’s been raining for days, and it’s raining now. This recipe still worked beautifully and wasn’t much more involved than my go to boiled frosting. The video helped a ton and so did all of your tips and instructions. About the time I was thinking, what do firm peaks look like, there you were showing me.

    Reply
    • Lindsey
      November 11, 2018 at 6:26 pm

      Oh I’m so glad to hear that Kelsey! Thank you so much for stopping back by!

      Reply
  • Savannah
    October 29, 2018 at 6:21 pm

    Hey there! I’ve made this a few times and I love it. I do combine it with another icing (which is the filling) and all of it together is a little sweeter than I care for. Are there other amounts you would suggest for the sugars? Which to cut back on? just slightly less would be perfect for the combination. I just didn’t know how the different sugar forms (syrup vs regular) would fair being cut. I would assume it’s better to cut the ‘regular’ you pour in, but suggestions on how much?

    Thank you so much!
    V

    Reply
    • Lindsey
      November 11, 2018 at 6:23 pm

      Yes you can cut all the sugar that you add to the whites but do know that that sugar has a function beyond adding sweetness. The sugar stabilizes the meringue so that it is less likely to overwhip waiting for the syrup and less likely to cook the whites when adding the syrup. YOu’ll have to be very careful not to overwhip and to add the syrup at the right speed.

      Reply
  • Rebekah
    October 30, 2018 at 3:58 pm

    I am making my daughter’s wedding cake for an outdoor Dec 8 wedding in Northwest Florida. I have always made american buttercream, but my daughter doesn’t like how sweet it is. I am thinking of making the Meringue buttercream, but can’t decide which one I should make. Can you help advise me on whether to make the Italian or Swiss Meringue buttercreams? Thanks!!!!

    Reply
    • Lindsey
      November 11, 2018 at 6:21 pm

      Hi Rebekah, I think that depends on your comfort with making italian meringue (i.e. pouring soft ball syrup into whipping whites). I think either would be wonderful for your cake. I do slightly prefer the taste of Italian meringue. I would watch my YouTube tutorial and then give it a go! You’ll never know until you try!

      Reply
      • Rebekah Hedstrom
        November 11, 2018 at 6:44 pm

        Thank you. I very much appreciate the advice! I love your website and your sense of humor! :0)

        Reply
        • Lindsey
          November 15, 2018 at 4:00 pm

          Thanks Rebekah!

          Reply
  • […] Get the Recipe […]

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  • Leslie
    January 1, 2019 at 11:01 pm

    I want to try this for my son’s Birthday cake next weekend under fondant. Sounds like it should work. But I need to make it dairy free. Earth balance has dairy and soy free “butter” sticks. do you think that would work? Or coconut oil? I usually sub a mix of those 2 in everything else I use but wasn’t sure about this.

    Reply
    • Lindsey
      January 2, 2019 at 10:58 am

      Hi Leslie, This is the perfect frosting for under fondant. I have never attempted to make it dairy free. From the options you give, I would think “butter” sticks would be your best substitute. I worry coconut oil would break the meringue or it wouldn’t be as stable and it wouldn’t give you the base you need for fondant. Happy Baking!

      Reply
      • Savannah
        May 13, 2019 at 5:33 pm

        You could always do a basic American buttercream under the fondant. You can use Earth Balance in place of butter – equal parts butter (“butter”) to Crisco, and then powdered sugar to equal that total. Example: 1 lb butter, 1 lb Crisco, 2 pounds powdered sugar.

        Reply
  • Leslie
    January 1, 2019 at 11:02 pm

    I want to try this for my son’s Birthday cake next weekend under fondant. Sounds But I need to make it dairy free. Earth balance has dairy and soy free “butter” sticks. do you think that would work? Or coconut oil? I usually sub a mix of those 2 in everything else I use but wasn’t sure about this.

    Reply
  • Leslie
    January 1, 2019 at 11:03 pm

    I want to try this for my son’s Birthday cake next weekend under fondant. But I need to make it dairy free. Earth balance has dairy and soy free “butter” sticks. do you think that would work? Or coconut oil? I usually sub a mix of those 2 in everything else I use but wasn’t sure about this.

    Reply
  • Mariela
    March 28, 2019 at 9:09 pm

    Hi !
    I love the meringue came out perfect! But once I added the butter it just all went down and I cannot bring it back. I did everything step by step. What did you think went wrong?

    Reply
    • Lindsey
      March 30, 2019 at 10:02 am

      Hi Mariela, That’s what happens when you add the butter, it deflates the meringue because of the fat. Just follow the rest of my instructions and keep mixing with the paddle until it comes together, then switch to the whisk and whip it up. It will never be as fluffy as the meringue because of the butter. Thats totally normal.

      Reply
  • […] and whip either by hand or in your mixer and it should come back together beautifully. This tutorial from American Heritage Cooking gives a ton of tips for making the perfect Italian Meringue […]

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  • Leslie
    May 13, 2019 at 3:37 pm

    I’ve made this before and it’s awesome. I need to make 4 batches, what is the best method to do that? 4 separate batches or 2 double? I don’t think my mixer could handle 4 batches.

    Reply
  • Evie
    May 25, 2019 at 12:06 am

    I made this Italian merangue buttercream exactly how you said to but mine is runny and sloppy, and I followed the recipe exactly, I’m not sure what I have done wrong?

    Reply
    • Lindsey
      June 14, 2019 at 12:35 pm

      Hi Evie, it got too warm. Just pop the whole bowl in the fridge and then beat it with the paddle until it comes together. I address this in more detail in the post and in my youtube video

      Reply
  • Veronica
    September 13, 2019 at 4:19 pm

    Came out soupy. I tried what you recommended on beating it on high with whisk….no luck. Anything else I can do? Also, if it’s soupy now will it be good to use on a cake? Just disappointed.

    Reply
    • Lindsey
      September 14, 2019 at 10:27 am

      If you read the whole thing you will see I also suggest chilling it and then mixing it on medium with the paddle. If it is soupy, it is because the butter is too soft or the meringue was too warm when you added it. Not the end of the world, but it does take patience. Just chill it. It will appear to break and will look curdled but then it will warm up and come together.

      Reply
  • […] 5. Source: American Heritage Cooking […]

    Reply
  • Lisa
    November 12, 2019 at 10:40 am

    Hi, this is my first visit to your site. Thank you so much for the detailed, descriptive instructions and beautiful step-by-step photos, plus the video! I am excited to try this French meringue buttercream very soon.
    My question is this: Would it be possible to make a large quantity of this butter cream as a sort of ‘base’, freeze it in portions and then add flavoring to each individual portion when it is defrosted and re-whipped for use? I’m a home baker doing fairly small projects for small family gatherings and with my granddaughter, and it would be handy to have this ready to go, although I would like to be able to make decisions about flavorings for each individual bake as needed.
    Thanks!

    Reply
    • Lindsey
      November 21, 2019 at 10:53 am

      Hi Lisa! Welcome! You can absolutely make large quantities of this buttercream and freeze it unflavored. I do this at the restaurant where I am the pastry chef. I usually store it in the refrigerator for up to a month but you can absolutely freeze it. This frosting is perfect for what you are talking about. Just make sure your mixer can handle the batch! You don’t want to end up with a hot sugar syrup situation! Happy baking!

      Reply
  • Marlene
    February 5, 2020 at 5:19 am

    Is there anyway to make a cream cheese Italian meringue buttercream with this recipe?

    Reply
    • Lindsey
      February 10, 2020 at 5:36 pm

      Hi Marlene, you can add the cream cheese in at the very end when the butter cream comes together. I wouldn’t add much more than 200g but start with 50g and then increase until you get the flavor you want! Enjoy!

      Reply
  • Happycakesbyeytel
    March 28, 2020 at 11:09 pm

    Hello! I have a question, I live in Puerto Rico and the weather is very warm. Does it work for hot climates? does it melt?

    Reply
    • Lindsey
      April 2, 2020 at 5:11 pm

      Hi! All buttercream will eventually melt especially if it is hot and humid. This and the swiss meringue are the most stable of the less sweet buttercreams, but if you don’t have access to a good refrigerator and temperature controlled workspace, you might need to use an American Buttercream. The sugar makes that more stable. I do use IMB in the summer in a hot and humid prep kitchen but it is a pain and you have to work fast and go in and out of a commercial refrigerator. Happy baking!

      Reply
  • Brock
    April 3, 2020 at 12:31 pm

    A recipe that I’ve used in the past for IMBC has called for 8 egg whites, and 1.75 cups of sugar (dissolved in 1/2 cup of water, no sugar added to the egg whites). It calls for 4 sticks of butter, the same as your recipe does. This has been a bit too thin for my liking, and tasted mostly like butter, very small taste of sweet at all. I know it’s not supposed to be nearly as sweet as AMC, but would like something somewhere in between, which is why I chose IMBC over SMBC. I’m not sure if this recipe would be thicker/thinner and/or sweeter/less sweet than my recipe I’ve been using is. I don’t know if it would be possible to add a bit more sugar to either the syrup or the whites. Also curious if adding more or less butter makes it thicker/thinner and/or sweeter/less sweet. Curious to hear your input!

    Reply
    • Lindsey
      April 5, 2020 at 12:13 pm

      Hi Brock! Great question! The easiest way to look at the difference between the recipes would be comparing the weights of the different ingredients. So your recipe has more eggs and a little less sugar. Mine will, therefore, be a bit sweeter and it could be the eggs that are making the buttercream runnier. It could also be the water mixed with the sugar. Be sure to use just enough to wet the sugar. The only way to find out is to give it a go! I know this one isn’t runny but it is also only moderately sweet. There is no reason you couldn’t add a bit more sugar to the recipe. I would add it to the sugar syrup. Happy baking!

      Reply
  • […] always my Italian Meringue Buttercream recipe is based on this recipe by American Heritage Cooking, check out her post as it has loads of tips for making the […]

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  • Jak
    May 18, 2020 at 1:50 pm

    WOW. This recipe is incredible. Not a sweet person here, but needed to frost a birthday cake and decided to be ambitious. (I have made american buttercream before but not this). THIS STUFF IS SOOO GOOD. And it was EASY. Your descriptions and explanations were perfect. Totally my new go-to for any and all decorating. Thank you so much for this!

    Reply
    • Lindsey
      May 20, 2020 at 10:45 am

      Thank you, Jak!!You are so welcome! I’m so glad you liked my recipe and found my instructions useful! This is the perfect buttercream recipe for those who don’t like super sweet desserts

      Reply
  • […] stay tuned for updates on assembling professional, layered cakes! I used the chocolate version of Italian Meringue Buttercream for this cake and a simple […]

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