Mock Swiss Meringue Buttercream

Home bakers, have I got a recipe for you! This mock swiss meringue buttercream is so easy to make. All it takes is 4 simple ingredients and involves no cooking. It’s heat stable, completely food safe, perfect for decorating cupcakes and tall layer cakes alike. It’s not overly sweet and tastes exactly like the real thing. You are going to love this faux swiss meringue buttercream recipe.

Cupcake decorated with white frosting and a strawberry sitting in front of a tall pink cake.

This is such an easy Swiss meringue buttercream recipe. Like I said, it involves no cooking – which means less difficulty, time and less dishes.

How do you make swiss meringue buttercream without cooking egg whites? The answer is, you don’t. Instead of using fresh egg whites, this recipe calls for powdered egg whites.

What is powdered egg white?

Egg white powder is essentially just normal egg whites which have been dried out, and pasteurized. Raw eggs can contain salmonella, so it is important to ensure they are cooked/pasteurized prior to consumption. This is to make sure as many bugs as possible are killed off, before you put the food in your mouth.

People with vulnerable immune systems need to be particularly careful. So if you or someone you are serving is elderly, pregnant, immunocompromised or very young, it is important to ensure eggs are sufficiently cooked or pasteurized before you eat them, or any food containing eggs.

Egg white powder is a natural product that has gone through the pasteurization process. This means the egg white powder does not need to be reheated again before eating, and allows you to safely make food that traditionally uses raw egg whites. This makes egg white powder a great option to add protein to a shake, or use in recipes that use meringues.

Action shot of frosting being piped onto a cupcake.

Ingredients

This faux meringue buttercream recipe requires just 6 ingredients:

  • Egg White Powder
  • Icing Sugar: Also known as powdered or confectioners sugar
  • Vanilla Extract: This is the main flavoring element in the buttercream, so be sure to use your preferred brand.
  • Cream of Tartar: This increases the acidity of the eggs, which makes it easier to whip up a nice stiff meringue
  • Salt: Balances out the sweetness of vanilla and sugar, adding depth of flavor to the buttercream.
  • Butter: For a nice white buttercream, choose a high quality pale colored butter. My personal favorite is Lurpak – it’s easily available in supermarkets where I live in Australia.

How to make mock swiss meringue buttercream

The basic ratio for swiss meringue buttercream is 1:2:3. That is to say, you need 1 part egg whites, two parts sugar and 3 parts butter.

In this recipe we are rehydrating the egg whites by adding water. So remember that the one part egg whites in this recipe is actually made up of both egg whites and water. My brand off egg white powder states that 4g of egg white plus 30g of water is the equivalent to the egg whites from one large egg. That’s 34 grams total.

This recipe calls for the equivalent of 4 egg whites.

Cupcake, piping bag and pink cake sitting on a white wooden table.

Steps to make this recipe

This recipe comes together in a few easy steps

  1. As I keep my butter in the fridge, first thing I do is weigh out the butter and chop it into 1″ sized cubes. This allows the butter to warm to room temperature while I’m preparing the other ingredients.
  2. Sift 250g of icing sugar into the bowl of your stand mixer, then add 110ml water, 16g of egg white power and 1/4 teaspoon of cream of tartar.
  3. Use a spatula to fold the contents together. This step is to ensure the icing sugar is damp prior to using an electric mixer (thereby reduces the likelihood of creating a puff of icing sugar when you begin to whisk the mixture).
  4. Fit the bowl to your stand mixer. Using the whisk attachment, whip the mixture on high (speed 8 on a kitchen aide) for 6 minutes – or until the meringue forms stiff peaks.
  5. Turn the speed down to medium/low (speed 4 on a kitchen aide) and begin to add your salt & butter. Add the butter one cube at a time and allow enough time for each piece of butter to be incorporated into the meringue before adding the next piece of butter.
  6. After adding all the butter, your buttercream will likely look grainy and curdled. Turn the mixer up to high (speed 8 on a kitchen aide) for 5 minutes or so until the buttercream comes together. There’s a secret to making swiss meringue buttercream. Whether this type, or a more traditional swiss meringue buttercream, if the mixture starts to look curdled, just turn your mixer up to high and let it mix. With time and mixing the buttercream will come together, If in doubt, whip it out!
  7. Once the buttercream has come together, switch the mixer head from a whisk to the paddle attachment, turn the mixer onto medium speed (speed 6 on a kitchen aide) and mix until it becomes soft and creamy. It took me 4-5 minutes for this final step.
  8. Add the vanilla extract and other flavorings, and then your buttercream is good to go.
Process images demonstrating how to make swiss meringue buttercream.

Storage

This buttercream can be used straight away, or stored in the fridge or freezer for later use. It will keep for up to 1 week in the fridge, or up to 3 months in the freezer.

As it contains a high amount of butter, his buttercream will harden in the fridge. To use it after it has been stored in the fridge, first let the frosting warm slightly by leaving it on the bench for 15 minutes. Then transfer it into a bowl and use an electric mixer to whip it up again.

Frosted cakes should be stored in the fridge until serving.

Cake with strawberry frosting sitting on table with other desserts.

Flavoring Ideas

As with other buttercreams, the key to adding flavoring to this easy swiss meringue buttercream is to ensure you do not add too much liquid in the process. My favorite way to flavor this buttercream is:

  • Chocolate Buttercream: While the mixer is running, add room temperature chocolate ganache to taste. Personally I like chocolate buttercream made of 50% swiss meringue buttercream and 50% dark chocolate ganache.
  • Strawberry Buttercream: My favorite method of making strawberry frosting is to add freeze dried strawberries to this swiss meringue buttercream. Add 60g of freeze dried strawberry powder to this recipe (or slightly more/less as per your taste). Images in this post show a layer cake decorated with strawberry swiss meringue buttercream, made with freeze dried strawberries.
  • Lemon Buttercream: Add lemon flavor by adding either lemon ganache or lemon curd to this frosting. 1-2 table spoons of lemon curd added to this recipe should be sufficient to add flavor and won’t risk destabilizing the frosting. For a more intense flavor, use lemon ganache instead of lemon curd, as you can make your frosting up to 50% ganache and 50% buttercream.
  • Matcha Buttercream: Matcha powder has a strong flavor (about twice as strong as cocoa powder). Add matcha powder gradually to the frosting, about 1 teaspoon at a time until you reach your preferred level of intensity.

Hope you love my recipe for easy, no cook meringue buttercream. Are you still looking for more buttercream flavor ideas? Check out my post 50+ cake flavor ideas, for more cake and buttercream flavor combinations.

Happy baking!

Related Posts

If you’re still not sure if this is the buttercream for you, I have a whole post dedicated to breaking down the different types of buttercream.

You may also be interested in these cake and cupcake recipes and ideas:

Pink strawberry cake with vintage decorations, made with vanilla cake and easy buttercream.

Swiss Meringue Buttercream with Powdered Egg Whites

Mock Swiss Meringue Buttercream – no cook recipe! This easy meringue buttercream, made with powdered egg whites is a must for home bakers and professional bakers alike. It's dreamily smooth, made with just 6 ingredients and doesn't involve any cooking.
5 from 4 votes
Prep Time 15 minutes
Course Dessert
Cuisine swiss
Servings 6 inch cake

Equipment

  • Stand Mixer (e.g. Kitchen Aid)

Ingredients
  

  • 680 grams unsalted butter (6 sticks)
  • 250 grams sifted powdered sugar (also known as icing sugar)
  • 15 grams powdered egg white
  • 110 milliliters water
  • 1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Instructions
 

  • Chop butter into 1 inch size pieces and set aside.
  • Place the egg white powder, water, powdered sugar & cream of tartar into the bowl of your stand mixer, and give it a gentle stir with your spatula to make the sugar damp.
  • Fit the whisk attachment to your stand mixer and lock the bowl with ingredients in place. Whisk on a high speed (speed 8 on a kitchen aid) until the mixture becomes light and fluffy. This took me about 6 minutes. Stop whisking when the mixture forms a meringue with stiff peaks (see the image in the post above for reference).
  • Turn the speed of your stand mixer to medium/low (speed 4 on a kitchen aid) and slowly add the butter. Add one piece every 30 seconds or so, allowing each piece of butter to be incorporated into the mixture before adding the next. Then add the salt.
  • Once all the butter has been incorporated, the mixture may look grainy and curdled. This is OK. Turn the speed of you mixer up to high (speed 8) and whip until the buttercream comes together. This stage took me about 5 minutes.
  • Once the buttercream has come together, remove the whisk attachment, being careful to scrape as much of the buttercream back into the bowl of your stand mixer. Next fit the paddle attachment to your mixer, add the vanilla extract and beat the buttercream on medium speed (speed 4) until it becomes creamy and smooth (about 4-5 minutes).
Tried this recipe?Mention @Kylies_cakes_ or tag #theniftybaker!

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I use meringue powder instead of powdered egg whites?

Yes! To make meringue powder buttercream, measure out the water and meringue powder as per the instructions on the packet, and use this in lieu of the powdered egg whites and cream of tartar. The rest of the recipe & ratio remains the same. The buttercream should be 1 part meringue powder & water, 2 parts icing sugar and 3 parts butter.

How to make heat stable buttercream frosting

All buttercream will melt eventually if subject to warm temperatures, however you can improve the resilience of your buttercream by substituting some of the butter for vegetable shortening. Vegetable shortening has a higher melting point than butter, so adding it to the buttercream will improve the frosting’s overall heat tolerance. Although it has better heat performance. vegetable shortening doesn’t taste nearly as nice as good quality butter, so at most I recommend substituting only half the butter with equal amount of shortening.

Can I swap the icing sugar for another type of sugar

Yes! Traditional swiss meringue buttercream calls for caster sugar instead of icing sugar. To use caster sugar in this recipe, you will need to dissolve the sugar into the egg whites before using your electric mixer. Place the egg white powder, water and sugar in the bowl of your stand mixer. Place this over a pot of simmering water (as a makeshift double boiler) and whisk until the sugar dissolves. As the egg whites are already pasteurized, you do not need to heat the mixture above a certain temperature to pasteurize the eggs again. Then continue from step 2 of this recipe. If your feeling particularly lazy, I have heard of bakers heating the egg whites/water/sugar in the microwave instead of using a double boiler – although I haven’t tested this method myself.

How do I make this buttercream dairy free?

I haven’t tried this personally, but I have heard of people using a combination of plant based margarine and vegetable shortening in lieu of the butter in this recipe. Use 50% margarine and 50% shortening.

Is Egg White powder expensive?

We all know the prices of eggs sky rocketed in 2022. Egg white powder is made from eggs, so it is subject to the same price pressures of regular eggs. That said, 4 grams of egg white powder is the equivalent of one egg. So this bag of egg white powder (which is 200g) is equivalent to 50 eggs. At a cost $12.90, that works out to be 25 cents per egg. Egg white powder is shelf stable and lasts a long time in the pantry, reducing waste.

How to fix runny buttercream?

Runny buttercream is usually caused by the butter being too warm. This often occurs either due to it softening too much before adding it to the meringue, or if using a traditional swiss meringue method, perhaps the meringue was not yet entirely cook before the butter was added. To fix runny buttercream, place the whole bowl (whisk attachment and all) in your fridge for 15-20 minutes. Then fit it back to your stand mixer and using the whisk attachment, beat it on high until it comes together.

How do I fix curdled buttercream?

The likely reason your buttercream has curdled is because the butter was too cold before adding it to the meringue. To fix curdled buttercream, continue to whisk it on high until it comes together. If in doubt, just whisk it out!

7 thoughts on “Mock Swiss Meringue Buttercream”

    1. Kylie @theniftybaker.com

      Hi Lori, this buttercream is great for piping rosettes. All the cupcakes and cakes in these photos were all decorated with this mock swiss meringue buttercream.

  1. 5 stars
    Thank you, thank you, thank you! I’ve tried for ages to find a recipe for Swiss Meringue Buttercream using egg white powder. Most recipes that come up are for meringue powder. The ones I have tried, failed. Until today. Found your recipe and I have just decorated some cupcakes. Not only did it work, but it worked with a vegan butter and a sugar substitute. This is going to save me so much time going forward. I am one happy baker! Thank you so much!

    1. Kylie @theniftybaker.com

      Hi Wendy, this buttercream makes a wonderful filling for layered cakes. It’s delicious on it’s own, but due to it’s sturdy nature also works well creating a buttercream dam for other softer fillings (like curds or coulis). This Swiss meringue buttercream will last in the fridge for at least a week. If storing in the fridge, make sure to re-whip it before using. Once it’s been applied to your cake, you should store the cake in the fridge.

    1. Kylie @theniftybaker.com

      Hi Karen, great question! This recipe makes enough buttercream to fill and cover a 5″ cake like the one pictured in this blog post. A double batch will fill and cover a 6″ x 6″ cake, and a triple batch is sufficient for a tall 8″ cake. If you’re making cupcakes, a half batch of this mock swiss meringue buttercream is sufficient for 12 cupcakes.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recipe Rating