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Italian meringue buttercream served in a glass bowl on a white marble surface with a floral linen

Italian Meringue Buttercream

Learn how to make Italian buttercream! This Italian meringue buttercream tutorial will teach you how to make the silkiest buttercream for cakes and cupcakes.

  • Total Time: 40 minutes
  • Yield: Enough to frost a 2 Layer 8-inch Cake or frost 12-16 Cupcakes


Units Scale
  • 1/3 cup Water
  • 350 grams (1 Cup 3/4 cups) Granulated Sugar, divided into 1 cup and 3/4 cup
  • 6 Large Egg Whites, at room temperature
  • 14oz (1 3/4 Cups) Unsalted Butter cubed, room temperature
  • 1 Tablespoon Vanilla Bean Paste, adjust to your preference


  1. Get all of your ingredients laid out and prepped and read the recipe once over, timing is important so you want to be ready to go. In a medium to large pot add the water and one cup of granulated sugar. Cook over medium heat stirring constantly to help prevent sugar crystals. After the sugar has almost all dissolved let it cook as you start mixing the egg whites, still stirring the water/ sugar frequently. In the bowl of an electric stand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment or a large bowl with a handheld electric whisk beat the egg whites until foamy then slowly stream in the remaining 3/4 cup of sugar. Then increase the speed and whisk until stiff peaks form, ideally, the meringue will reach stiff peaks as the sugar reaches 238-240F.  
  2. Once the meringue has reached stiff peaks and the sugar has cooked slowly stream it into the meringue with the mixer on LOW you don't want the syrup to splash back at you. Once the sugar syrup has been combined increase the speed to medium-high and mix for 5-8 minutes until the mixture has cooled, it will look glossy. If the mixture is still warm to the touch let the mixture sit and cool for 5 minutes or take a bag of frozen peas to place around the bowl to help it cool faster.
  3. Next, add the butter chunks one at a time, I kind of smoosh them in my hand as I am adding them all, the mixture may look curdled and you’ll think you’ve ruined it, keep mixing and it will become a lush smooth texture. If the butter looks like is separating and looks greasy- it could be because it's too warm so place the bowl in the fridge for 10-15 minutes then start mixing again.
  4. Once you have a smooth buttercream add the vanilla bean paste and mix again until fully incorporated.
  5. Store frosting at room temperature for up to a day. You can store the frosting in the fridge for up to a week or in the freezer for up to a month. If frozen, thaw in the fridge overnight then place on the counter for 1-3 hours to come to room temperature and remix until you have a beautiful smooth frosting again.
  • Author: Elizabeth Waterson I Confessions of a Baking Queen
  • Prep Time: 20
  • Cool Time: 10
  • Cook Time: 10
  • Category: Dessert
  • Method: Cook
  • Cuisine: Italian

Keywords: how to make Italian meringue buttercream, vanilla Italian meringue

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