Recipe: Doni’s Best Swiss Buttercream

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Doni’s Best Swiss Buttercream

8 egg whites (or 240 grams)
3 cups granulated sugar
3 cups salted butter – room temperature
2 teaspoons vanilla

Combine the egg whites and granulated sugar in the bowl taken from your standing mixture. Beat the egg whites and sugar with a whisk until well combined.

Set the bowl over a pot of gently boiling water, but don’t allow the bowl’s bottom to touch the water. Stir the mixture constantly as the sugar dissolves, checking the temperature periodically until the mixture reaches at least 160 degrees. (Rub the mixture between your thumb and finger. You should feel no grains of sugar.)

Using pot holders or a thick towel, carefully transfer the HOT metal mixing bowl to the stand mixture. Using the whisk attachment, whip the egg white and sugar mixture until glossy, thick, stiff peaks appear, and the bowl is no longer hot.

Swap out the whisk attachment for the paddle attachment, and turn the stand mixer on low. Using a table knife, methodically add tablespoons of the room-temp butter to the mixture, allowing the machine to incorporate each new addition of butter before the next butter is introduced.

Increase the mixer speed when about half of the butter has been added. Now is the time to add coloring, if you want, but make sure it’s a gel or paste, because liquid food coloring could break the frosting.

Keep adding butter until you’ve used it all. Keep the machine running until the frosting looks as it should be: smooth, thick and silky. If, after adding all the butter, your frosting looks soupy or curdled, don’t give up. Slightly increase the mixer speed, and keep mixing until your  frosting is beautiful.

Makes enough to frost and decorate a four-layer, 8-inch cake. Recipe can be halved for a smaller cake.

Note: Buttercream can be refrigerated up to one week, and it can also be frozen. In both cases, you’ll need to bring the frosting to room temperature and whip it before using so it returns to its original form.  

Doni Chamberlain
Independent online journalist Doni Chamberlain founded what’s now known as in 2007 with her son, Joe Domke. Chamberlain is an award-winning newspaper opinion columnist, feature and food writer recognized by the Associated Press, the California Newspaper Publishers Association and E.W. Scripps. She lives in Redding, California.
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