Italian Meringue Buttercream Frosting on chocolate Devil’s food cupcakes. It’s a match made in cupcake heaven.
Italian Meringue Buttercream Frosting makes the most light airy and smooth frosting. It’s less sweet than regular buttercream frosting and so good(!!!). When was the last time you had really good frosting on a cake or a cupcake? The last time I did was in Waco, Texas at the Magnolia Bakery at the Silos. The frosting was not too sweet, light airy and smooth all at the same time. It was so delicious! This Italian Meringue Buttercream Frosting just like it! It’s different than regular buttercream, because you make a meringue with egg whites and then you drizzle a simple syrup of hot sugar water into the meringue and it becomes even more white as the stiff peaks form. You then add the butter, one small chunk at a time and mix until the texture is pure buttercream heaven. It’s really good.
“Go Shorty…it’s my birthday.” It really is my birthday today (Happy Feb First!), plus we survived all 72 days of January (jk) and Valentine’s Day is just a couple of weeks away…so many reasons to celebrate!
Troubleshooting Italian Meringue Buttercream Frosting
Okay…back to this amazing frosting. There is a little trouble shooting with this frosting, and it’s all due to the temperature of the butter in the frosting. If your frosting feels a little soup-y, it is because the butter is too soft. You can place the mixing bowl in the fridge for 10 minutes giving the butter time to firm up. If your frosting mixture is lumpy like cottage cheese, it is because the butter is too cold. Simple place your mixing bowl over a pot of boiling water (aka a double boiler). Whisk the frosting over the double boiler until the butter becomes softened and starts to smooth out. Once smooth move the bowl back to your stand mixture and continue to whisk until the frosting thickens up again.
Italian Meringue Buttercream Frosting
Italian Meringue Buttercream Frosting is the ultimate light and airy and oh so smooth frosting. It's also less sweet than regular buttercream frosting, and that is why we love it.
- 4 large egg whites
- 1 1/3 cups sugar
- 1 pinch kosher salt
- 4 sticks unsalted butter (2 cups) room temperature cut into 1-inch pieces
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
- 1/3 cup water
- food coloring *optional
In a clean stand stand mixer (free from any oils or butter) set with the whisk attachment, whip the egg whites, pinch of salt and cream of tartar.
Slowly add in 1/3 cup of the sugar and continue beating until soft peaks form.
In a medium saucepan set to medium low heat add the remaining sugar and 1/3 cup water. Stir until the sugar dissolves and disappears into the water. This simple syrup should read: 235-240F. on a candy thermometer. Carefully and slowly pour this syrup into the stand mixer immediately as it continues to mix. Run the mixer until the meringue has time to cool down.
Add room temperature butter one tablespoon piece at a time into the mixer while it continues to whip the mixture.
Add the vanilla and optional food coloring (if you are changing the color of the frosting) and continue mixing. Beat until the butter is combined and the frosting is smooth.
*Cream of Tartar is used as a meringue stabilizer and this recipe works without it if you don't have it.
-If your frosting is runny or soup-y. Move the mixing bowl to your fridge for 10 minutes to allow the butter to firm up.
-If your frosting is lumpy like cottage cheese. Place your mixing bowl over a double boiler and whisk it until the butter softens, then move the bowl back to your stand mixer.
-Any issues are most likely related to the temperature of the butter in the frosting.
Making This Recipe? Tag us on Instagram: @NoBiggie using the hashtag #NoBiggieRecipes, so we can see what you are making in the kitchen!
For the cake, we used a Devil’s Food Cake Mix (don’t judge). We wanted to spend more time making the frosting! We did however glam up the regular cake mix by substituting buttermilk for the water in the recipe, and it was fantastic!
How to Frost Valentine’s Day Cupcakes
This is a fun (and easy) way to frost cupcakes:
-Add some frosting to a piping bag fitted with a star tip.
-Place a big scoop of frosting onto the top of a cupcake and with a butter knife smooth out the sides and make the mound of frosting flat-ish on top.
-Over a bowl of sprinkles, gently sprinkle the sprinkles around the bottom edge of the frosting. Letting the excess sprinkles fall into the bowl. We are using micro heart sprinkles for Valentine’s Day, but you can use any kind of sprinkles with this same method.
-Finish off with the star tip and piping bag of frosting and make a circle design of frosting around the edge of the flat top of the cupcake. – Voila. Messy and polished all at the same time.
How to Store Italian Buttercream Frosting:
-You can store this frosting in the fridge for a few days. If the consistency changes you can mix it in the stand mixer to bring it back to the right texture.
-You can also freeze Italian Buttercream Frosting. Just allow it to completely thaw and come to room temperature to mix it again.