Faux Swiss Meringue Buttercream Recipe

The search for the perfect frosting has ended. For years, I have tried recipe after recipe for a buttercream that will hold up to the decorating rigors and taste yummy. Some are too oily. Others are so sugary, your teeth hurt. Alas, look no further! This is the perfect Faux Swiss Meringue buttercream. This buttercream is a delicious mix of sweet and creamy and is loved by my clients.It is simple to make and easy to work with as a frosting, therefore, I know it will become a frosting staple for you, too. Oh, and be sure you ONLY use pasteurized eggs for this recipe.

ingredients for faux swiss meringue buttercream frosting.  ingrédient flat lay for buttercream frosting.
Faux Swiss Meringue Buttercream Ingredients
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Easy Faux Swiss Meringue Buttercream Recipe





Add 5 tbsp of unsweetened cocoa to prepared frosting and mix until full incorporated. 

Not chocolatey enough?  Mix in 1 tbsp of unsweetened cocoa at a time to your liking. 



Add 1 oz of freeze dried strawberries to food processor and mix until powdered.

Add 1 oz of freeze-dried, strawberry  powder to the prepared frosting and mix until fully incorporated. 

Add 1/2 tsp of McCormicks Strawberry Extract and mix until fully incorporated.

Not berry enough?  To intensify the flavor profile, mix in 1 tbsp of strawberry powder at a time to your liking or add additional strawberry extract to taste.





Have ingredients at room temperature.

After adding butter, the mixture will break, or look soupy.  Walk away and let the mixer do its job.  

Store at room temp for 3 days, refrigerate for 2 weeks, freezer for 3 months.  Bring cold/frozen buttercream to room temperature and beat on low with paddle before using.

Don’t skimp on the flavoring!  This recipe will taste like whipped butter if you don’t add enough flavoring.  Liquors work great too! 

Pasteurized egg whites can be found in a carton in the egg department of most grocery stores.  Be sure to select a carton of egg whites only! 

Fresh egg whites are not suitable for this recipe because they have not been exposed to heat in order to destroy potential bacteria.

If the buttercream has a lot of air bubbles, microwave it in 10 second intervals until you see a small amount of melted butter around the top rim of the bowl.  Return to mixer and using the paddle attachment, beat on low. This will return the buttercream to a smooth and creamy state.

Keywords: buttercream, frosting, swiss meringue

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  1. […] decided to try my friend Minette Rushing’s faux swiss meringue buttercream recently, and thought it would be the perfect frosting for this […]

    • Bri says:

      Hello! Is this recipe good to hold up a cake with Oreo buttercream filling? Just curious-how does this work for tiered cakes too? Thank you.

  2. J.Glosson says:

    Hello!! So fresh egg whites will not work under an circumstance???

    • donnavb@gmail.com says:

      Fresh eggs would work, however they wouldn’t be pasteurized. In order to pasteurize the egg whites, you would need to combine them with the powdered sugar and warm over a Bain Marie until the mixture reaches 160°F.

  3. Amy Pournoury says:

    I love this buttercream! So easy and delicious !

  4. Mel says:

    Will need to give this a go! What cake size will this cover?

  5. Lucille says:

    Hi! Where I live we don’t have pasteurized egg whites, you mentioned making my own pasteurized egg whites by warming sugar and whites in bain marie over simmering water. So this is like how you do swiss meringue buttercream right? So in essence I’m making a swiss meringue buttercream instead of the faux swiss meringue..

    • Minette says:

      Hi! What makes this buttercream recipe a “faux” Swiss meringue buttercream is using powdered sugar and pasteurized egg whites. If you don’t have access to pasteurized egg whites then yes you have to heat the whites in order to kill the bacteria. A true Swiss meringue calls for granulated sugar, faux Swiss meringue calls for powdered sugar.

  6. Donna Zell says:

    Absolutely dreamy, creamy and delicious. I made the chocolate version and used 7 T. Cocoa powder instead of 5. Nice and chocolaty! Used it on my Buche de Noel as called for in your recipe. So far so good. Tomorrow I will decorate it.
    Thank you. Donna Zell

  7. Bonnie says:

    This is my go to! It is so silky and creamy!
    Works so well under fondant too!
    Thanks for sharing!

  8. Taylor says:

    I have used this recipe so many times, it reminds me of something my grandpa use to make. It’s amazing. I was just wondering if I wanted to give it a cream cheese flavor how would I go about making it? Thank you so much!

    • Minette says:

      Hi Taylor! I make the recipe as written and then add about 4 ounces of cream cheese. Combine throughly. While the cream cheese taste isn’t as evident as a regular cream cheese buttercream, I find it gives enough cream cheese tang for my liking. Hth

  9. Angel says:

    Hi! I love this recipe. Thanks so much. The only question I have is when I add colour to the cream like red ,one day before and then microwave and beat it the next day it kinds of give sugary taste. I can feel the sugar crystals.

    • Minette says:

      Thank you! It probably is the brand of powered sugar rather than the gel color. Use a national brand like Dixie Crystals or Dominos. Store brands tend to sell a more course powdered sugar that can taste grainy.

  10. Annie says:

    Can this be used for French macaron filling?

  11. H says:

    I had the egg whites (from a carton) at room temp and could not get it to form stiff peaks with the powdered sugar. The only thing I can think of is that I don’t have a whisk attachment for my stand mixer, but shouldn’t beaters still be able to get the job done?

    • Minette says:

      Hi! It is best to use the whisk attachment. I don’t know that you will get enough volume using beaters. Another thing to think about, was the bowl and beaters grease free? That is very important.

  12. Sam says:

    Hi is it safe to eat raw egg whites your recipes look amazing can’t wait to try

    • Minette says:

      Hi Sam! The recipe calls for pasteurized egg whites (comes in a carton) and the pasteurization process makes it safe to eat as the whites have already been heated.
      I would use a traditional Swiss Meringue Buttercream if using fresh egg whites.
      Let me know how you like the FSMB!!

  13. I’ve been using my SMBC recipe for years and came across Minette’s faux SMBC recipe. Not only is it delicious, but it also whipped up quicker than my traditional SMBC. When next I’m in a time crunch, I’ll be using her faux SMBC recipe. Thank you for sharing, Minette! Five stars!

  14. Renee Mikulin says:

    Can you substitute part of butter with high ratio shortening?
    Thank you.

    • Minette says:

      You sure can

    • Terese Fantasia says:

      Hi I’ve been trying to find high ratio shortening to no avail. Any idea where I can find some? Thank you! Also my smbc came out a bit too runny to pipe. Can I add more sugar to firm it up a bit?

      • Minette says:

        Hi Terese! Try Webstaurantstore.com. They should carry high ratio shortening.
        I’m afraid adding more powdered sugar to the smbc won’t help much to firm it up. When you make the next batch, be sure the butter is around 65°-68°F. Cool to the touch. I’ve found if the butter is too soft going into the meringue, the icing never gets firm enough. Hth

  15. Samantha says:

    I love this buttercream but I have the hardest time getting stiff peaks to form. I have to beat wayy longer than it says. Am I doing something wrong?

    • Minette says:

      Hi Samantha! Sorry you are having trouble getting stiff peaks. Let me ask a few questions.
      1) are the egg whites at room temperature? They stiffen up better at room temperature.
      2) are you using the whisk attachment? The whisk will give the egg whites more volume.
      Try adding a 1/2 tsp of cream of tartar while beating the egg whites. This will help to stabilize the mixture.
      Also, if you live in a humid area, it may be harder to get a stiff peak. Let me know if the suggestions help.

  16. Samantha says:

    I have the hardest time getting stiff peaks to form and I wisk it forever….room temp everything too. What could I be doing wrong here?

    • Ana says:

      Same here

    • Minette says:

      Hi Samantha. Sorry to hear you are having trouble. Try adding 1/2 tsp of cream of tartar to the egg whites before whisking. This will help stabilize the mixture. With room temperature egg whites, whisking on high for 5-7 minutes should be enough. If you get a “curl” of meringue when checking with the whisk, go ahead and begin adding the butter. As long as the meringue is glossy and well combined you should be fine. Hth. Keep me posted

    • Tina Thompson says:

      I have made this recipe alot. It will work even if you can’t get stiff peaks. I have mixed for 1 minute once I combine the sugar and egg whites and then start throwing in the butter. Once the butter is in, whip on high for 8-10 minutes and it will come out beautifully also. So don’t stress on getting stiff peaks.

  17. Patty Pierce says:

    Minette, how much frosting does this make? Is it enough to frost an 8″ three layer cake?


  18. Cheryl C. says:

    “Fresh carton eggs” in the US are pasteurized, so could I use “US fresh carton eggs”? Just curious. Do I like the idea of eating raw eggs, no. Hah! But if I could get those results, I’m in! Thank you in advance for answering my question. And I love the written recipe measures, I’m switching to metric measures myself. I love the exactness of it. Thank you!

  19. Chrissy says:

    How long can this frosting be left at room temperature once I’ve frosted my cake? Is it safe for 4-6 hours?

  20. Patty Pierce says:

    Minette, I’ve been asked to do a small oreo cake for a groom’s cake. I am thinking of using your chocolate cake with the faux swiss meringue vanilla buttercream with crushed (almost to a powder) oreos mixed in for that “cookies and cream” look with a chocolate ganache top/drip. Do you think this will work with the FWBC recipe?

  21. Lois says:

    Hi Minette
    I have often made this easy SMBC using the same ingredients as your recipe, but instructions from another recipe (Sugar Geeks) in which it says the egg whites and powdered sugar do not need to be whipped to stiff peaks, but merely well combined. Would your method in which it is whipped to stiff peaks be better?

    • Minette says:

      Hi Lois! I have never used Sugar Geeks method so can’t speak to it.
      I whip the powdered sugar and whites to stiff peaks because I find that the finished buttercream is a bit more stiff. Thank you for the comment.

      • Lois says:

        Thank you. I would like to make one and a half times the recipe. Will the bowl of a Kitchen Aid Artisan mixer hold that quantity?

  22. Ally Koptis says:

    Hi Minette, can I substitute some of the butter for shortening to make it more stable in the heat? Also, I use fresh farm eggs so can I heat the eggs ind powdered sugar in a Bain Marie first and then let cool before whipping? Thank you.

    • Minette says:

      Hi Ally! Yes, you will need to get the fresh egg whites and powdered sugar over a Bain Marie until it reaches 160°F. You can either let the mixture cool or mix on high speed with the whisk attachment until the meringue reaches room temperature.
      You can substitute some of the butter for shortening.

  23. Patty Pierce says:

    Hi Minette! Do you know much of this FSMB do I need for a 9×13 sheet cake, with a border on the top and bottom? Will 1 recipe do it, or do I need to 1.5 or 2x?
    Thank you, as always for your wonderful recipes and tips! Patty

  24. Ananta Persad says:

    Does this buttercream crust since it has powdered sugar?

  25. Juliann Ankrum says:

    Hi! I absolutely LOVE this recipe! Thank you! If I want to make caramel faux Swiss meringue buttercream, would you recommend adding caramel sauce? Or would caramel extract work better?

  26. Juliann Ankrum says:

    I LOVE this recipe! Thank you! For Caramel Faux Swiss Meringue Buttercream, do you recommend adding caramel sauce or caramel extract?

    • Minette says:

      Hi Juliann. So glad to hear you like the recipe! When making caramel buttercream, I add dolce de leche to the buttercream. You can find it in the grocery by the sweetened condensed milk. It’s has a peanut butter consistency so doesn’t thin down the butter cream. Hope you like it, too.

  27. Valerie Ogden says:

    This buttercream is beyond awesome.
    Can you tell me if a single batch will cover 24 cupcakes with a basic swirl?

  28. Ester says:

    Sweet! No need to cook egg whites, then cool it then…can Meringue powder be used?

  29. Ester says:

    I am thankful for your sharing. I to have found Swiss Meringue to be very sweet and so many steps. I’ll be sure to try this one.

  30. Breanna Anderson says:

    Hi! I love this recipe and am wanting to do a peanut butter version! Any recommendations on measurements to make this a peanut butter frosting? Thank you!!

  31. Kathleen Lowe says:

    I was wondering if the texture holds up for piping and making roses. Thank you.

    • Minette says:

      It sure does! This recipe is very easy to pipe with.

    • Sarah says:

      I have used your recipe several times and love it! I made a batch and stored it in the fridge to take with me and assemble my cake at another location. Brought it to room temp and mixed it on low for a good 20 minutes. It never got creamy again. I heated a small bit and mixed it back in but it seemed to separate again. Help!

      • Minette says:

        Hi Sarah, sorry you had trouble. After adding the melted buttercream back into the mixing bowl, make sure it’s not too warm. Also, continuing beating as it comes back together.

  32. Paula says:

    The salt? I have watched the video twice and read through the recipe twice. The salt is in your recipe but I do not see it in the video or the recipe instructions. I am wondering when I add it in. It looks wonderful!

  33. Colette says:

    Any way to make this thicker if the finished product isn’t quite thick enough? Probably something I did wrong ! Lol

    • Minette says:

      I don’t think you can make it thicker. If the buttercream is to soft, put it in the refrigerator for a bit then rebeat. Hopefully this will help.

  34. Melissa says:

    Will I need to use an oil based food coloring with this frosting?

  35. Tammy says:

    Can I substitute becel margarine for the butter? It has a higher fat content than most other margarines.

  36. Temi says:

    Hi. Please can I substitute the butter for Margarine. Or do half margarine, half shortening

    • Minette says:

      Yes, you can substitute either margarine or shortening for the butter. It won’t be exactly the same but should work.

  37. Cindy says:

    YES!!! I love this!!! So easy. Not as much butter as other recipes. Just what I needed!

  38. Bobbie says:

    This is the best sfsmb I’ve tried. I’ve tried it on several wedding cake trial cakes. Everyone loves the taste no matter what cake flavor it’s on. The only issue I’ve had is it starts to melt after the frozen cake has sat out for a couple of hours even in air conditioned room. Held up great same day made. Is there a way to make it more stable?

    • Minette says:

      Hi Bobbie! I’m glad like the buttercream. Let me make sure I understand…are you frosting frozen cake layers or are you frosting the cake and then freezing it?

  39. Bobbie says:

    Hi Minette,
    Thank you for the quick reply. I was working with the buttercream that I had froze. The cake layers were also frozen. I think the problem might be that I didn’t beat it long enough after it defrosted. Once frosted, I refroze the cakes to see how they would travel. My final attempt has to travel for about 8 hours to the wedding. I thought packing in dry ice may help and then refrigerate once at venue.

  40. Despina says:

    Hi, I wanted to add colour to this recipe but I only have liquid, will this work or only powdered colour must be used ?

  41. Debora Spengler says:

    Can this recipe be doubled easily. Sometimes if you double recipes it can make a difference. Making wedding cakes

  42. Henry says:

    This is simply the BEST and easiest of all the buttercreams I’ve made. It is not super sweet and is so smooth. I’ve made it with different flavorings and with dark chocolate powder. Today I’m going to add some cream cheese. Thank you so much.

  43. Katherine Evans says:

    Hi . How much melted white chocolate would i use to make this White chocolate Buttercream ?


    • Minette says:

      Hi Katherine! To make the FSMBC white chocolate, I melt and let cool 4 oz of Ghirardelli white chocolate baking bar. Make sure the chocolate is cool going into the buttercream.

  44. Tammy says:

    How does this recipe hold up in the heat? I am making a large 3 tier cake that will be outside for about 6 hours. Any suggestions to make it more stable?

  45. Emily Atwater says:

    Your recipe seems to have the wrong measurements, can you clarify? It’s says 1lb or 8 oz, but 1 lb=16oz. For grams it says 680g, but 680g=24oz. Which is correct?

    • Minette says:

      Hi Emily, the recipe reads 1 pound 8 ounces…which is another way to say 24 ounces. Sorry for the confusion.

  46. Tina Thompson says:

    How does the sweetness of this compare to traditional Italian or Swiss meringue buttercream?

  47. Robin says:

    I’m wondering if a single recipe will cover 24 cupcakes with a rosette swirl??

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