Italian Meringue Buttercream

from ButterYum
makes 4-5 cups


  • 5 large egg whites
  • 1 1/4 cups granulated sugar (divided 1 cup, and 1/4 cup)
  • 4 tablespoons water
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 1 pound unsalted butter, room temperature (must be unsalted)  


  1. In a small, heavy bottomed sauce pan, make the sugar syrup by heating the water and 1 cup of sugar to 248-250F (this will take 5-10 minutes).  
  2. In the meantime, whip the egg whites in the bowl of a stand mixer until soft peaks form.  Be sure the bowl has no traces of fat (oil, butter, egg yolks, etc). 
  3. Slowly add the remaining 1/4 cup sugar; continue beating until egg whites reach stiff peaks. 
  4. Turn off mixer if the sugar syrup hasn't reached 248-250F yet.  
  5. When the sugar syrup is ready, and the mixer on low speed, carefully pour the hot syrup into the whipped egg whites, just between the wall of the bowl and the whisk, being careful not to allow the syrup to hit the whisk. 
  6. Increase the mixer speed to medium and whip until the meringue has cooled completely (check by feeling the bottom of the bowl).   
  7. Once the meringue has cooled completely, slowly add the butter, 1 tablespoon or so at a time, until all the butter is incorporated. 
  8. If the mixture looks curdled or "broken" at any time, increase the mixer speed and beat until it smooths out before adding more butter (if the mixture or your kitchen is too warm, a short rest in the fridge may be necessary). 
  9. Beat in the vanilla and prepare to indulge!!