Frostings 101: Swiss Buttercream

Frostings 101: Swiss Buttercream

Swiss buttercream is one of our all-time favourite frostings. Because it’s made with both egg whites and butter, it’s much lighter than the average buttercream, but still tastes rich and silky thanks to the butter. This glossy icing is great for all kinds of cakes and cupcakes, as it pipes smoothly and holds its shape well.


Makes 4 cups of frosting.


10 minutes


20 - 30 minutes


What you'll need:

  • 1 3/4 cup (350 g) Redpath Granulated Sugar
  • 6 egg whites
  • 1 1/2 cups (340 g) butter
  • 2 tbsp (30 mL) vanilla extract

Flavour Variations:

  • Chocolate Swiss Buttercream: Fold in 8 oz (1 1/2 cups) melted semisweet chocolate into the buttercream after step 3.
  • Peanut Butter Swiss Buttercream: Beat in 3/4 cup (194 g) smooth peanut butter and a pinch of salt into the buttercream after step 3.
  • Strawberry Swiss Buttercream: Beat in 2 tbsp - 1/4 cup (30 - 50 ml) fresh strawberry puree into the buttercream after step 3.


How to prepare:

1. Combine egg whites and sugar in a stainless steel bowl or the bowl of an electric mixer and place over a pot of simmering water. Whisk until the sugar has dissolved. You can test to see if the sugar has dissolved by rubbing a little of the mixture between your fingers.

Make Swiss buttercream by combining sugar and egg whites

whisk over a double boiler

Test with fingers to see if sugar has dissolved

2. Once the sugar has dissolved, remove the mixture from the heat and, using a stand mixer or electric beaters, beat the sugar and egg whites mixture on high until stiff peaks form and the bowl is cool to touch. This can take up to 10 minutes.

Whisk on high speed

Whisk on high speed

3. Lower the speed from high to medium and start adding the butter, a little at a time. Once all the butter has been added, add the vanilla and increase the speed to high and whip mixture until it thickens and starts to hold its shape. If it still doesn't seem to be coming together, place it in the fridge for 20 minutes, then whip it again at a lower speed until it thickens. Use immediately or keep stored at room temperature, covered, until ready to use.

Add butter little by little

Add butter little by little

swiss buttercream is done


For more great frosting recipes, be sure to check out the rest of our Frostings 101 recipes:

Quick Buttercream

French Buttercream

Cream Cheese Frosting

7 Minute Frosting

Vegan Frosting