If this frosting looks a tad green, you would be correct! I added a bit of food safe dye to get a ‘seafoam’ green color for this batch if Italian Buttercream frosting. I love this frosting so much that I can’t keep from staring at this picture! I want to eeeeat this nooooow. I know how amazing it is. Absolutely the most delicious frosting I’ve had. Ever. Italian Buttercream Frosting is a light, creamy, and silky frosting that has just the right amount of sweetness that’s not overpowering. It does require a bit more time to make than other frostings, and a stand mixer and food thermometer is a must to whip up a batch of this frosting ambrosia. But I promise you will find it will be worth it. :0)
Italian Buttercream Frosting will be your new favorite frosting.
If you follow these simple steps listed below, you can’t go wrong with this recipe. We’ll start out by creating our own sugar syrup and whipping up some egg whites to soft peaks. But wait! Before starting anything, assemble and measure out all your ingredients. Cut your butter into 1/2 inch cubes now to soften and warm to room temp faster. (If you’re pulling a butter cube from the fridge.) Combine the sugar and water to boil in a small saucepan, and get out your thermometer. The goal is to reach 245 degrees F. When 230 F is reached, start whipping your egg whites, and they’ll be ready right about the time the syrup reaches the desired temp of 245 F. Slowly pour in 1/3 cup granulated sugar into the egg whites while they’re whipping.
Your egg whites should whip up to soft peaks. I’ll stop my machine and remove the whisk to study the shape of the ‘peak’ that is made when the whisk is pulled out. If it will hold a ‘peak like’ shape but still be jiggly like Jell-O, it’ ready. you can also check the whipped egg whites in the bowl, and see if you have a soft peak there too. A little ‘curl’ at the top is perfect!
Once your egg whites (meringue) are whipped and your boiling syrup has reached 245 F, turn the stand mixer on high and carefully and slowly pour the hot syrup into the meringue. It will deflate some, this is normal. Leave the stand mixer on high for about 10 to 15 minutes, or until the mixing bowl feels cool to the touch.
Now you’re ready to add butter. Adding the butter cubes slowly, one at a time, allows for full incorporation. Once you finish adding all the butter, whip this stuff again on high ’til the cows come home. It’s going to look a teensy bit chunky at first, this is normal. In fact, it’s going to go through all kinds of stages before the final smooth and light as air texture. Just keep whipping…just keep whipping…just keep whipping….
That’s it! Now try and keep your fingers out of the bowl, I dare you :0) It’s sooooo good, you just may wish you had made a double batch so you’d have some extra to eat. This recipe makes enough frosting to cover a 9″ two layer round cake, or about 18 cupcakes. I originally found this recipe on the Cake Style website, and this instructional video is super helpful too. If you love cakes, check out her Youtube channel!
*If you are making cupcakes from a box cake mix, and plan on piping the frosting on as shown above with a large round tip, you will need to make a double batch of this frosting.* Also, this frosting will stiffen up to the same consistency as cold butter if chilled in the fridge, so apply this frosting at room temp. As always I love comments! Please feel free to share below.Print
Italian buttercream frosting
- Total Time: 50 minutes
- 5 large egg whites at room temperature
- 1 and 1/4 cups sugar, divided
- 2 sticks butter cut into 1/2 inch cubes
- 1/2 cup room temperature water
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- Assemble and measure out all ingredients. Make a simple syrup by pouring the water and 1 cup of sugar into a small saucepan. Heat on low until the sugar begins to dissolve, then turn up the heat to medium high. You will need a thermometer to measure the temperature of the syrup. The final temperature should reach 245 F, this should take about 10 to 15 minutes.
- When the syrup reaches a temperature of about 230 F, begin to whip the egg whites in your stand mixer. Whip on medium low for 30 seconds, then high speed. Slowly pour in 1/4 cup sugar and continue to whip until the whites have reached soft peak stage. Test by removing the whisk from the bowl. If the whites have made a jiggly ‘peak’ on the tip of the whisk, they’re just right.
- When the sugar syrup has reached 245 F remove from heat. With your stand mixer running on high speed, slowly pour the syrup into your egg whites, and continue to whip for 15 minutes or until the bowl comes back to room temperature.
- Turn the speed to medium and slowly add cubes of butter one at a time, ensuring each is fully incorporated before adding another, about 10 seconds. Once all the butter is added, whip on high speed for an additional 12-15 minutes.
- Turn the stand mixer off. Pour in the vanilla or other flavoring extract and food coloring if using. Mix on medium for 2 or 3 minutes more. Turn the machine off and taste the best frosting you have ever made :0) Makes enough frosting for one cake box mix.
- Prep Time: 5 minutes
- Cook Time: 45 minutes
- Category: dessert
- Cuisine: Italian
Love the shells on cupcakes. Did you make or buy them?
Love the sea shells on cupcakes. Did you make or buy them?
Paul Woodley says
I made this today, followed to the letter, and it simply is far too runny. I have tried refrigerating it and it separates into liquid at the bottom and nearly pipe able consistency on top.
Can you think what I’m doing wrong?!
I am so sorry this frosting didn’t come together right. My best guess is that the emulsion of the meringue and the butter went wrong. This frosting recipe is a delicate dance of temperatures. If the meringue is to cold or to hot- the butter won’t emulsify (mix) properly into the frosting, either creating a soup (if it’s too hot) or a lumpy mess (if the butter is too cold). Could your meringue have possibly been to warm? The sweet spot is to mix both these ingredients when they are at room temperature. There is a fix for ‘broken’ meringue buttercream- if you have soup, wet a towel in ice cold water, wring the excess water out and wrap the very cold towel around the bottom of the stand mixer and turn it on high. Continue to refresh the cold towel around the bowl until the mixture starts to thicken up. It won’t be as fluffy as it originally would have been, but will still be usable and tasty :0) Sorry for the late reply, I was catering a large wedding over the weekend and I wasn’t able to check blog comments! I hope you try again and are able to sucessfuly create this recipe. It really is one of the very best frostings!
Will this be enough for a full 6inch 3 layer cake?
Yes definitely this will be enough to fully cover a cake like that with a good layer of frosting (around 1/2 inch thick), not counting piping any designs. If you intend to pipe your cake with decorations, you can 1 and 1/2 or double this recipe. The consistency is alright for basic decorations, but it will not harden up over time like stiffer buttercream recipes. I would recomend somehting like 1 stick softened butter, 2 cups confectioner’s sugar, and a tablespoon or two of milk + food coloring beaten and whipped to pipe things like roses, leaves, etc.