Browned Butter Swiss Meringue Buttercream
A delicious toasty note is added to a typical swiss meringue buttercream. Lovely and subtle on its own, but a great platform for adding other flavors as well.
Servings Prep Time
1batch 20minutes
Cook Time
Servings Prep Time
1batch 20minutes
Cook Time
  • 1.5lb good quality butterdivided – 1lb for melting, .5lb (or 2 sticks) for holding at room temperature
  • 1lb granulated sugar
  • 8Egg whites From 8 eggsyou can use pasteurized egg whites, but the meringue doesn’t tend to get as voluminous
  • 1tsp saltpopcorn salt works good here
  • 1TB vanillavanilla paste also works well here
Make Browned Butter
  1. Melt 1lb (4 sticks) of butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Swirl occasionally and cook until the butter liquid is amber colored and the milk solids have started to stick to the bottom of the pan and get dark brown. Don’t let it get black. Pour butter into a heatproof bowl and put in the refrigerator to cool.
Make Meringue Buttercream
  1. Heat an inch of water in a medium saucepan over medium heat. In a heat safe bowl (glass or metal), place the sugar and egg whites, and cook over the water bath, whisking constantly, until the sugar has completely melted into the egg whites. If you are concerned about food safety, use an instant read thermometer and cook the egg white mixture until it reaches 160 degrees before removing it from the heat.
  2. Once the eggwhites and sugar have come together, pour the mixture into the bowl of a stand mixer with the whisk attachment. Beat at high speed until the meringue becomes thick, white and glossy and the bowl feels cool (room temperature) to the touch. Depending on the weather and heat of your kitchen, this can take 10-30 minutes. TIP: Put your mixing bowl in the freezer while you’re cooking your egg whites, that way the cool bowl will help the temperature come down a bit quicker.
  3. With the mixer now on low speed, once the meringue is cool, start adding the browned butter a little at a time. Once the browned butter is all incorporated, add the two sticks of room temperature whole butter, a chunk at a time.
  4. Once all the butter is added, turn up the mixer to medium high and beat until somewhat fluffy. Add the salt and the vanilla. Frost your cakes, and enjoy!
  5. Depending again on the heat of your kitchen, the frosting may seem very soft, even after 10 minutes or so of beating. If it is still soft, set the bowl aside, covered with plastic wrap and check on it in a few hours. Do not put in the fridge if you are planning to use it within a day. TIP: If you refrigerate the mixture, take it out of the fridge and allow it to come to room temperature before re-beating. If you beat it while it is cold, the result will be lumpy.
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