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the Italian Meringue Buttercream Frosting by sugar and cloth
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5 from 1 vote

Italian Meringue Buttercream Frosting Recipe

The classic Italian meringue buttercream frosting is a lightly sweetened, silky smooth icing that’s perfect for piping flowers or spreading on a cake or cookies.
Prep Time25 mins
Cook Time10 mins
Total Time35 mins
Course: Desserts
Cuisine: Icing
Keyword: italian meringue buttercream frosting recipe
Servings: 10
Calories: 431kcal


  • Small pan
  • Stand mixer with a whisk attachment
  • Rubber spatula
  • Candy thermometer


  • 4 large egg whites at room temperature (120 grams)
  • 1 1/4 cup white sugar (250 grams)
  • 1/2 cup water (4 oz)
  • 16 oz unsalted butter soft but not melted (32 tbsp or 4 sticks)
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract and/or other flavors and extracts of your choice
  • Gel food colors optional


  • Measure out all of your ingredients and set out all of the equipment needed.
  • Cut the butter into 1-2 tablespoon chunks. It should be very soft but not melted.
  • Place the egg whites in the mixing bowl of the stand mixer and let them come to room temperature.
  • Whip the egg whites and slowly add in 1/4 cup of white sugar. Continue beating until they are a meringue at a soft-peak stage.
  • Place the candy thermometer on the edge of the small pan, adjusting it so that the temperature reader isn’t touching the bottom or edge of the pan.
  • Combine the sugar and water in it and cook over medium-high heat, occasionally stirring to help the sugar dissolve.
  • Cook the sugar syrup until it reaches 235°-240°. This is also called the softball stage.
  • While the mixer is running on medium speed, slowly drizzle the hot sugar syrup into the meringue in a steady stream.
  • Continue whipping the egg whites until they reach a stiff peak stage.
  • While the mixer runs, add the vanilla extract and the butter one piece at a time. Allow it to beat for a few seconds between adding each piece. The buttercream will look soupy and “broken” right after some of the butter has been added. However, if you keep beating it while adding the rest of the butter, it will come together and become a light and fluffy frosting.


  • Clean your mixing bowl very well before making meringue in it. Any fat on it can cause your meringue to break down.
  • Make sure your egg whites are at room temperature. This will help them whip up more quickly than cold egg whites.
  • If you want your frosting to be a bit sweeter, you can add an extra 1⁄4 cup of sugar to the sugar syrup.
  • When pouring the sugar syrup into the bowl, avoid splatters as much as you can by not pouring it directly onto the whisk.
  • If you want to add any extra flavors to the frosting, add them at the very end after the butter is all incorporated.
  • If your buttercream is having a hard time getting fluffy after adding all of the butter, put it in the refrigerator for a few minutes, then whip it again.
  • Italian meringue buttercream will lose its consistency pretty quickly. To revive it, just beat it for a few minutes in the mixer.


Calories: 431kcal | Carbohydrates: 25g | Protein: 2g | Fat: 37g | Saturated Fat: 23g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 10g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 98mg | Sodium: 85mg | Potassium: 34mg | Sugar: 25g | Vitamin A: 1134IU | Calcium: 12mg | Iron: 1mg