1 cup sugar

¼ water

5 large egg whites

¼ cup sugar

1 pound (4 sticks) of unsalted butter, softened

3 teaspoons vanilla (clear or dark)


  1. On a double boiler, heat the 1 cup of sugar with the water and heat to 245 F.
  2. Meanwhile, whip 5 large egg whites to a soft peak, then slowly incorporate the ¼ cup of sugar. Once incorporated, continue to whip on high speed to a stiff peak and meringue is glossy.
  3. When sugar syrup reaches temperature, drizzle hot syrup down the side of the mixing bowl, in to the meringue with the mixer on high speed.
  4. Continue to whip the meringue until the mixing bowl is cool to the touch. Gradually add the butter in chunks with the mixer on medium high speed (the meringue will deflate when you first add your butter).
  5. Once the butter is incorporated, add your vanilla.
  6. Once the vanilla is incorporated, turn the mixer to high speed and whip until your buttercream in light and fluffy, about 3-5 minutes.


  • Use right away, refrigerate for 1 week, or freeze for up to 3 months.
  • To thaw, place frozen buttercream in the refrigerator for 24 hours, then bring to room temperature on your counter.

TUTORIAL:  Italian Meringue Buttercream