Tuesday, August 24

How to Make Italian Meringue Buttercream

When choosing between Swiss and Italian Meringue Buttercreams, the latter is definitely the one I prefer. Although it contains the same ingredients, Italian Meringue Buttercream is more airy and light than Swiss, which is the way I like a frosting to be.

Unfortunately, I think a lot of people are afraid of this recipe because it involves cooking sugar syrup. But you shouldn't be! It's not that hard, and as long as you have a candy thermometer and keep an eye on things, you shouldn't have any trouble!

So, on with the buttercream!

How to Make Italian Meringue Buttercream
A step-by-step guide penned by Kaitlin and photographed by P.

The first thing you should do when starting any recipe is to gather your ingredients and hardware. Measure out everything before you start to be sure that you have enough and also to expedite the process. This is called mise en place, which is just a fancy French way to say, roughly, "everything in its place," and it is very, very important.

This recipe uses the same ingredients as the Swiss Meringue Buttercream:


However, before I start to explain things, I will make note of two exceptions. One is that the water is an ingredient in this recipe, and not hardware. It isn’t necessary and does slow the whole process down a bit, but because it helps the sugar dissolve more easily and evenly, I would not suggest leaving it out! The other is that there is an additional 1/4 c sugar in this recipe, but if you would like to leave it out and simply whip the eggs with a portion of the 1 c you will turn into syrup, that's fine too!
5 egg whites at room temp
You must be sure that you are using LARGE eggs or the proportions will be off. Your frosting will not set correctly if you use larger or smaller eggs (unless you compensate for the difference, but most people, myself included, are too lazy to bother). Also, it is important that the egg whites are room temperature for this recipe because room temp eggs have a more relaxed protein structure than cold eggs, which allows them to whip to a higher volume.
1 1/4 c (250 g) sugar, divided
This is granulated sugar. Do not use powdered sugar! You will be cooking 1 c and whipping the eggs with 1/4 c.
2 sticks (226 g) butter
This butter is room temperature and should be chopped into tablespoon-sized slices before continuing. You must allow your butter to set on the counter for at least 30 minutes before using or it will not incorporate correctly. If, however, you would like a shortcut, simply slice your butter into tablespoon-sized pieces and arrange them in one layer on a plate. Microwave for 5 seconds, flip over each slice, and microwave for 5 seconds longer if needed.
1 tsp vanilla extract
Well, this is more than a teaspoon's worth, isn't it? No matter; just know that you can use almost any kind of flavoring you like for buttercream. I will touch on this point later in the post...
1/2 c water
The hardware here is quite similar as well:


A rubber spatula
A stand mixer (with the whip attachment) or handheld mixer
A pot to cook the syrup in
Heavy bottomed is ideal, but I've never had a problem with any pans I've used. You want it to be fairly small so the sugar syrup comes up high enough to register on the...
Candy Thermometer
I really don’t think you should make this frosting without a candy thermometer. Cooking the sugar syrup to 245F allows the frosting to set a specific way (the syrup will form a firm ball when a drop is introduced to an amount of chilled water) with a structure ideal for holding onto air bubbles. And air bubbles are good – they make the frosting light! You can find one these all over the internet (Amazon) and at craft stores (Joann’s, Michael’s, Hobby Lobby, etc.)
Just know that if you are using a handheld mixer, and extra bowl for whipping the egg whites will be required.

The first step is to place your candy thermometer on the edge of the small pan you’ve selected for this recipe. Pour in 1 cup of sugar first, then pour the water over the top to moisten. Resist the urge to stir; it isn’t necessary and might cause sugar crystals to get stuck on the sides of the pan. These crystals could set off a chain reaction which would cause the rest of your syrup to become grainy and… Well, not what you want. Your frosting will taste good, but it will feel like someone poured sand in it if your syrup is not cooked properly.


So, how does one cook the syrup properly? Well, for starters, keep a close eye on it. Never leave the kitchen when you are cooking sugar, and be stingy with your time spent away from the stovetop. It is very important that you watch it or it may burn.
Another thing to do is to swirl the syrup. Don’t stir it or whisk it, just gently swirl the pan by the handle to ensure that the sugar crystals are evenly distributed and dissolved.

Trust me, I know it sounds scary, but it’s not bad! Just give it a shot – you might surprise yourself!

So, with these tips in mind, turn the heat up to medium and start cooking – but don’t stir!


While the sugar is cooking, pour the egg whites into the bowl you plan to whip the icing in, then wait for the syrup to come to about 230F-235F.


When it is within this range, begin whipping your egg whites. Start on a slow speed until they get frothy, then increase the speed to medium-high. Add the remaining 1/4 cup of sugar in a slow, steady stream just after the eggs begin to stiffen and continue whipping until the meringue no longer slides in the bowl. To test, simply lift and tilt your bowl. If the meringue slips, keep whipping. If you can hold the bowl over your head and the meringue doesn’t get in your hair, it’s ready.


Be very careful not to overbeat the egg whites. The dry, grainy whites will not smooth out through any amount of additional whipping and will only serve to detract from the texture of the finished buttercream.


Ideally, whipping the egg whites won’t take very long and will be done just in time for the sugar syrup to come to 245F, or the firm ball stage. If you think you will need more time, simply start whipping your eggs a little earlier. But PLEASE don’t whip them just as you start cooking the sugar syrup – they will deflate by the time the sugar has come to temp and won’t whip correctly.

Now, this is the part that scares some people: pouring the hot syrup into the whipped whites. It sounds terrifying, I know, but if you’re very careful (and perhaps have some help!) you will be fine!

Prepare yourself by turning the mixer on high speed and immediately begin to pour the syrup - at a very SLOW and STEADY speed – into the whipping egg whites. Aim for the spot just between the wall of the bowl and the edge of the whip (if using a handheld mixer, pour the syrup into just one area of the bowl and come at it from the side with the beaters. Be VERY careful not to get the syrup on your hands!). It’s ok if you get some on the side of the bowl or the whip, but it is best not to. The pieces that harden on either piece may break off and find their way into your icing, but it won’t be a disaster by any means!


Now that the sugar is added, just beat the icing for 10-15 minutes until it is sufficiently cooled.


(During this time I like to fill the pot I cooked the syrup in with water and bring it to a boil to remove the hardened sugar from the sides. Toss in the candy thermometer too, while you’re at it)

After the meringue has whipped, it will have the consistency of marshmallow fluff.

You could, if you were so inclined, stop here and simply frost your cake with this Italian Meringue. You can also pipe this out into various shapes and bake it for a few hours at a low temperature to make meringue cookies, but… That’s another post.


So start adding the softened butter, just as before, piece by piece with the mixer on medium. I like to count to 12 or 15 before adding each new piece, but just watch to make sure that each is fully incorporated before adding the next. Oh, and make sure that you scrape down the sides with the rubber spatula from time to time!


After all of the butter is added, turn the speed up to high. The whole process will take about 10-15 minutes, but you will begin to see the buttercream go through stages after all of the butter is added. First it will deflate and become soupy, then thicken, then curdle, then thicken to the final stage. If, for some reason your buttercream does not progress from the “soupy” stage (typically due to adding the butter too quickly or the butter/meringue being too warm), simply place your work bowl in the fridge for 7-10 minutes before whipping again.


After the buttercream is thick and luxurious, pour in your flavoring of choice (1 tsp of vanilla here!) and whip to combine.


And for the final step: try not to eat it all before you frost your cake!



Now, for notes (that may or may not have been copied from the Swiss Meringue Buttercream post)!

You may use any kind of extract you like in place of the vanilla. Almond, lemon, peppermint - you name it. It's all to taste, so add more or less to your preferences. Oils are an option as well, but they are much stronger in flavor so only add a drop or two at a time. Melted chocolate can be used to make chocolate buttercream, but be sure that is has cooled sufficiently before adding it or it will make your frosting melt.

I like to use jams to flavor buttercream, but be sure that they are quite thick as too much liquid will cause the buttercream to break (meaning the fats and liquids to separate). I don't know of any way to fix it when this happens, so be careful when adding jams and drop in about a tablespoon at a time.

Using jam as a flavoring will lend color to the buttercream, but that can also be done by using food coloring. Gel and liquid colors work well (I imagine that powdered food coloring would too, but I've never used it) and are best added just a bit at a time until the desired color is achieved.

Leftover buttercream may be kept in the refrigerator for a week or two or frozen, well wrapped, until needed. Just be sure to bring it to room temperature and whip well with a beater before using.

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If you have any questions, comments, or criticisms, please let me know! I will do my best to make this guide as comprehensive as possible!

I would like for my next how-to post to be about frosting cakes, but that might take some time. I’ve moved recently and… Well, let’s just say that there isn’t much counter space here…

105 comments:

  1. Love these how-tos! I think Italian Buttercream is my favorite, too, for the texture, as you said!

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  2. Nice post - Italian Meringue Buttercream is my favorite to make and eat!! You should mention that it's more stable than Swiss. Incidentally, you can heat the syrup as high as 250F - the higher the sugar syrup temp, the more stable the buttercream.

    Happy baking!

    :)
    ButterYum

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  3. Thanks a ton for these tutorials, I especially love how you include troubleshooting in case something goes wrong.

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  4. god... just when I got the hand of Swiss... now you tell me Italian is better...!!! fabulous nails by the way!

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  5. Thank you for another how-to!! I'm definitely going to try this version out next!

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  6. Oh my... this looks nothing short of fantastic!

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  7. I totally want to try this!!! It does seem like a lot of work but, as with most things, I'm sure it gets easier with practice. Thanks for another great tutorial! Keep them coming!

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  8. What a great tutorial! I haven't actually tried doing this yet, so I appreciate the step-by-step guide. Thanks.

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  9. I make mine same as yours with the sugar streaming into the whites the whole time while whipping but I've noticed many tutorials for it suggest starting by pouring a small amount of the syrup on the whipped whites and beating and stopping and repeating the process till the syrup is used up. Never tried that way (scared it will deflate the whites too much pouring hot syrup over them in a big chunk like that) but it supposedly solves the random strings of syrup on the edges of the bowl.

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  10. Oh, Lord. I'm trying to not eat as much sugar these days, and then you go and post something as devilishly delicious as this. :) It looks awesome.

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  11. Nice post on 'how to's. My blog also includes photo tutorials. Lot more work to do this, but I find that others are encouraged to bake when they see steps in pictures.

    I'll be bookmarking this one! Thanks.
    Carmen of Baking is my Zen

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  12. Holy YUM! I need a Kitchen Aid soon ... this looks utterly delicious!

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  13. I prefer IMBC too over swiss meringue. For some reason I find it easier/faster to make it. Just cook the sugar and pour in to the eggwhites. Luv the taste too!

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  14. I have am mixer with a plastic bowl. Isn't the sugar syrup too hot for this material?

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  15. Glad you guys like the post!

    @Anonymous: Unfortunately, I think you might be right about the plastic bowl :(

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  16. the meringue looks perfect. I really need to get myself a candy themometer, i accidentally bought a meat one instead...ive got some home made marshmallow mix waiting to be made :)

    Rose

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  17. Thank you so much for this...I have been wanting to try meringue frosting, and this is such a great recipe and directions.

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  18. Love this comprehensive guide to making Italian Meringue! Very helpful.

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  19. @ Rose I have digital meat thermometer I use for my Italian meringue...doesn't make a difference I think as long as it gets to 240 degrees. I LOVE LOVE LOVE this icing and I thought it was hard to make before I tried it, such a misconception! I love it and make it every time I make a cake! Its heaven in a bowl!

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  20. Just found your blog and love the tutorial! I attempted this probably 18-20 years ago in high school and had a stringy candy mess so never tried it again. I think I will give it another go, as I just bought a candy thermometer. Question, is IMBC very soft, or is it pretty sturdy to use underneath fondant?

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  21. I like that you've shown pictures of each of the steps and stages. I'm a very visual person. The first time I made imbc, I ended up throwing it out because I didn't know it was supposed to get soupy. Could you please put the number of servings your recipes make?

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  22. D: I stuck it in the fridge, and it's still not past the soupyness. It will get a little thicker; then it just gets soupy again. T____T

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  23. is there a difference in the taste between swiss and italian meringue buttercream?

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  24. Hey guys. It seems like the recipe is still giving some of you trouble, and I am sorry to admit that I don't know why. I think it's likely that humidity is an issue or that the meringue is not allowed to cool sufficiently before the butter is added. In any case, I apologize for any difficulty that you are having.

    @Crystal: As long as you refrigerate it before fondanting, I think you'll be fine.

    @Fiona: They taste the same (provided that the flavorings are the same), I just think this is lighter than Swiss.

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  25. I refrigerated some of the icing, and when i took it out and tried to whip it again, it went into this horrible watery mess. What method do you use for refrigeration and re-fluffing?

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  26. I'm sorry you had trouble with it. I let it come completely up to room temperature, then whip it.

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  27. Why Wont my egg whites stiffen? I tried it a million times :(

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  28. Hey, Jasmine! There are a couple reasons that might be happening to you. Eggs will not stiffen in a plastic bowl, or if there are any traces of fat in the bowl you are using (including yolk - be sure there's none in the whites!). Room temperature egg whites also whip better than cold ones, so be sure you allow them to come to temp before using. I hope these tips help!

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  29. YOu have renewed my faith in IMBC! I have made is successfully before plenty of times, but took a break from caking, and the last couple of times I tried IMBC, it failed horribly (actually now that I think about it, I just needed to continue to whip and I am sure it would have came together)...and tonight, tada! A lovely bowl full of yummy, light vanilla meringue awaits me...I mean awaits a cake, lol! It literally took me reading your tips about the stages of the meringue buttercream to remember to be patience and whip until it comes together! So my advice to anyone else trying to make sense out of a soupy mess...as my friend Dory from Nemo would say - just keep whippin', just keep whippin', just keep whippin', whippin', whippin'! That's all you do, just whip, whip, whip! Lol, ok, I am going to bed now! ;)

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  30. Dani, I am SOOO Happy to hear you're back on the IMBC wagon! I love your advice :)

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  31. I just attempted Italian meringue buttercream using your tutorial and it came out PERFECT! It was really soupy as you said might happen, but 10 minutes in the fridge and it whipped up perfectly. The most delicious icing I've ever had! Thanks for such a clear, well-written tutorial!

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  32. It finally, finally worked :) i had tried this recipe sometime around christmas and it was a mess but I figured I should give it another try. However, the egg/butter ratio never works for me. Maybe eggs in switzerland have a different size. I get them from a farm so they might be bigger. I had to add some more butter to the cream for it to curdle. But thank you so much for the recipe, the cream is delicious :)

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  33. Thanks for the great tutorial! Mine turned out a bit too sturdy and buttery and it didn't get fluffy despite all the whipping. Having made chocolate chantilly a few times, and having learned that the key to success is to get the fat content right, I presumed that maybe the mixture contained too much fat. After all, if you whip pure butter, it doesn't get very fluffy. So, to make the icing fluffy, I added some cold water a spoonful at a time, and it worked - the icing turned out just perfect.

    I mixed in some chocolate, and used the icing on this cake.

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  34. Still waiting for the right time to try this.
    quick question though.... can I use powdered egg white for this recipe/the swiss buttercream?

    Made a white cake recentlyand the wasted egg yolks kinda made me sad :( .

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  35. I;m glad you guys are getting the recipe to work!

    Afiba, I don't know much about powdered egg whites, sorry :( Maybe use the yolks for ice cream or pudding?

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  36. Ice cream! Yes! I just found my grandma's ice cream maker I think I shall give it a go! Thanks! :)

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  37. I just made this for my daughter's 3rd birthday cake, and your instructions were SPOT ON!!! Thank you so much...it piped beautifully and tastes delicious. I loathe conventional crisco-buttercream, and this was phenomenal. Lets hope everyone at her party agrees tomorrow. Thanks again!!!

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  38. I spent the better part of 30 minutes with my friend trying to make this... it ended up looking like crumbly tofu in the end LOL. I'm presuming it's because the liquid content was much too high -- after all, the frosting sloshed around whenever we shook the bowl. However, when we drained away most of the liquid and re-whipped the frosting, it turned out okay again. Though given all that trouble, I think it would be way easier to just use less water in the first place... *laugh*

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  39. Thanks for posting this, I've tried making swiss & italian buttercreams that tasted good but never worked out too well on the cake. I'm going to follow your steps exactly next time!

    Since this contains raw egg whites, would you avoid serving it to Pregnant people?

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  40. @anonymous, I'm glad you got it to work eventually, but I'm not really sure what happened. The amount of water shouldn't matter because the temperature that the sugar syrup is heated to indicates a specific concentration of sugar in relation to the water. As long as it is heated to the correct temp, there shouldn't be any variation from batch to batch in the amount of liquid regardless of how much you started with.

    Grace, I hope you like the recipe and wish you lots of luck with it! Some people might advise not serving this to pregnant/eldery/very young people, but it's not something I've ever had to deal with, to be completely honest. I think it's just up to the eater!

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  41. Thanks for the tutorial! It's incredibly clear, I have made Swiss Meringue Buttercream before and I had no troubles with it, I hope this one goes smoothly!

    I have a question though: Does this kind of frosting freeze well? I have heard that SMB freezes well, just wanted to know if that's the case with the italian version too :)

    Thanks a lot!

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  42. Sadly this one didn't turn out well for me, I was determined to not giving up and I think I ended up beating it for more than a half an hour, crazy!
    I have made Italian meringue before and I've never had an issue with it, it was the butter that gave me problems.

    It was a VERY cold day. So my butter was definitely room temperature, it spent a loooong time outside the frigde. But maybe it was still too cold...

    I'm so sad this didn't work :( I think SMB is a little bit too heavy and I was looking forward to a lighter version... Oh well...

    </3

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  43. As my 2 year old son would say, "I did it I saved the day!" Whew, I conquered the meringue buttercream on my first try, thanks to your detailed tutorial! Unfortunately the cake stuck to the pan and is thus rather ugly (that's the last time I don't use parchment), but the frosting will make up for it. Delish!

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  44. Your instructions are so clear. Thank you! I have one question though...

    This is a photograph of the cupcakes I made:
    http://thegray-candle.deviantart.com/gallery/#/d3al71s

    Notice how all of the leaves look like the tips got broken off? Is there any way to fix that? Or did I do something wrong when making the frosting? :<

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  45. Lovely tutorial... thank you for taking the time to explain it so clearly. I think I could actually attempt this (but I need a candy thermometer first.)

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  46. This was amazing! I loved every fluffy bite that I treated myself to before giving it away on a delicious cake to a friend. Thank you for the recipe :) And thank you for being so clear with your directions. Had I not first read about how it goes soupy to curdled to thick and delicious I probably would have thrown it out thinking I screwed up. So many thanks!! It's terrific :)

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  47. hi can we use salted butter for imbc

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  48. @vale, sorry you had trouble :(

    I'm glad it's working so well for everyone else, though!

    @TPLA, left you a comment ;)

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  49. Hi, I noticed your recipe has half the amount of butter than another recipe I'm looking at, but all the other ingredients are the same quantity? Will the extra butter make it more heavy and dense? What can you tell me about this?
    Also, could I use meringue powder instead of egg whites? (I need to make a huge number of cupcakes for my 21st, and eggs are just too expensive to buy just for the egg whites).
    Thanks! :)

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  50. Breezs, I put in just enough butter to make the buttercream come together. I find that 1/2 of what is usually required does the trick. That way the buttercream isn't quite as bad for you AND it's cheaper to make.

    In regards to the egg whites, I don't know a thing about using powdered egg whites, but you can buy frozen egg whites and, if memory serves, they work just as well as fresh.

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  51. I really want to make this, but I've been trying to find a recipe with weight measurements, particularly for the eggs. Egg sizes are pretty inconsistent, and what we call large in NZ is probably totally different to what you call large in America.
    Do you have any idea of what weight the perfect amount of egg whites is?

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  52. Hi Zoe! Each egg white weighs approximately 33 grams.

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  53. Not sure why, but both times I tried the frosting---the cake turned out beautifully---it never came out of the "soupy" stage. I've followed the directions down to the minute, but it doesn't seem to be working.

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  54. Hey Carson,

    My best guesses for the reason why the meringue may not recover from the soupy stage are the ones listed above: adding the butter too quickly or the meringue being to warm. I am sorry it didn't work for you :( I wish I could help more.

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  55. Does the cake or cupcakes have to be refrigerated after using this, or can it sit out? I plan to make it a day before the birthday party.

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  56. Hey Anonymous,

    I sometimes leave the cake/cupcakes out (and covered) overnight, but I also keep them in the fridge on occasion. Some people have concerns over the egg whites and the butter being out too long, but I've never had trouble with it. Just make sure that the frosting is at room temp when you serve !

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  57. After reading the comments I was kind of afraid to try this recipe, but it turned out perfectly and exactly like the pictures for me. Thank you so much for posting :)

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  58. Woohoo! I'm so happy it worked well for you :)

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  59. I might have missed it...is this salted or unsalted butter?

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    1. Hey! For desserts, always use unsalted :)

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  60. Oh my goodness...I did it!! I can't believe it! I've never tasted it before and it's wonderful! Thank you so so much!

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  61. can i use this recipe for fondant ....
    after applying frosting then i place the fondant is it ok ?
    after frosting the cake with this icing you want me to leave the cake overnite outside or can i place it in the fridge ...pls let me know i want to give a try at the earliest...

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    1. You can use this under fondant, yes. THe best way to do it is to refrigerate the cake after frosting, then cover with fondant. Fondant-covered cakes should not be refrigerated (because they can "sweat") but iced cakes can be refrigerated with no trouble.

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  62. Awesome recipe! I plan on making this on Saturday :) But I had one question ; In place of the extract can I use real vanilla bean? Or it is best to use the extract?

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    1. Hi Miranda,

      Sorry for the delay in my response! For future reference, you can certainly use vanilla bean. I like to because it makes me feel fancy :)

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  63. This is fantastic! I used your recipe tonight and it worked! Thank you :-)

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  64. I've made this recipe so many times I've lost count. Thank you thank you thank you!!!!

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  65. I made this recipe twice but after i added the butter the mixture was very soupy..should I of kept whipping it?

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    1. I would have tried putting it in the fridge for awhile and then whipping it again. If that doesn't work, try adding more butter.

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    2. Meringue was too warm, it will deflate if you add the butter too soon. Just keep whipping. You should never have to add more butter if you've mised everything correctly.

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  66. does it matter if you don't have a stand up mixer and use a handheld mixer instead?

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    1. No, a handheld mixer works just as well!

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  67. I have a mixer but only a paddle attachment. Do you need the whisk? I guess I'll have to use my handheld :(. It looks so much easier with the stand mixer. Maybe I'll go buy the whisk attachment n

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  68. Thanks for this tutorial Wisk Kid.
    Mine curdled in the soupy phase but I didn't want to throw it away. So I put it in the microwave for 15 seconds and surprisingly we were back on track: soupy, then thicken, then curdle, then thicken to the final stage. It turned out perfect!

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  69. Just made this, turned out amazing. I made the salted caramel from your chocolate and salted caramel cake, then put that in the buttercream and drizzled the rest over the cupcakes. Fantastic :)

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  70. this was the first item I tried making for frosting at the age of 8 anticipating my 75 year grandmum and out of powdered sugar. Cooked the sugar too quickly: burned and my little sis poured it into a tupperware bowl held by moi. I had a caramel hand. Stuck my hand into the freezer, chipped it off, and, once healed (no doc, lol) I'd learned my lesson. Will give it another try: 50 years later. Goodness, has it been that long/traumatic? Glad I found your blog today through Pinterest. Thank you :)

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  71. I've made it two times already, and it's really beautiful! The recipe is really easy to follow, and to know the strange intermediate steps are normal keeps you calm lol! Thanks!

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  72. Successfully made my first IMBC! Your directions were perfect and so easy to follow. Thank You!

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  73. Please help. Before my sugar syrup gets to the right temp it starts to go brown and burn. What am I doing wrong? Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

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  74. Sarah, I am no expert. My suggestions (a little late?) would be to turn down the heat under the pan from the start...if you can, use a thicker-bottomed pan, and since the volume is only one and a half cups total, use a smaller pan than the one that burns too quickly.

    Thanks to Wisk Kid's amazingly thorough directions, I just finished making this for the first time. Wonderful stuff!

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  75. I can't wait to make this frosting. You mentioned that you can keep this in the fridge for up to 2 weeks, can you please tell me how do I actually store it in the fridge (don't want to spoil it at this late stage).

    Also, you said you can add melted chocolate, can you please tell me how much you would recommend adding. One more question (sorry), how long once on a cake will this frosting be safe to eat. Thank you so much.

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  76. I started making this about 30mins ago, nearly cried when it got all soupy.. husband searched for posts on "Italian meringue turned soupy" and found your website. We love you!!! =) it's now on the "curdled stage" and I guess a few minutes more it'll turn out fine.. thank you so much!!!! =)

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  77. Hello!

    Thank you SO much for the tips. My IMBC turns out nicely, but I think with what your tips are it will soar!

    I'd like to know what you would do to stiffen it up some once it's done whipping up. I'm a cake decorator (still learning of course) and I like to frost my cakes with medium consistency American ButterCream. I tried my hand practicing frosting a small cake and it was really easy to get the frosting too thin and I had a hard time getting the corners crisp.

    Any ideas?

    I'd like to try putting in some powdered sugar, but if your experience says otherwise, I'd like to benefit from your knowledge and not scramble to fix my mistake.

    Thanks!

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  78. I'd like to try a chocolate version of this but how much melted chocolate should I use?

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    1. For this amount of eggs, I'd probably suggest somewhere along the lines of 6 oz or so. Melted and allowed to cool (don't want to add warm chocolate to your wonderful cream you just made).

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  79. Morning all!! Just a comment on the water, although the other recipe for swiss cream leaves the water out, as the author said it aids in dissolving the sugar. But the process of getting the sugar to the 240+ degrees will evaporate that water anyway. As an avid maker of marshmallows and torrone I am very familiar with this process. So if you are comfortable in making this...for goodness sake, make some TORRONE.

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  81. Amazing butter cream! I've always wanted to make Italian Meringue Buttercream for quite a while but always thought it's hard. Thanks to your step by step recipe, I did it! It was not hard at all! I cannot go back to the boring frosting anymore. This is it! Thanks again :)

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  82. Just have to say this recipe is fantastic. Love how you have step by step with pics. Great! :) Worked out really well and it's delicious! Thanks!!

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  83. i did it! i was scared but i did it! and i succeeded! not so difficult ( i was afraid of failing the syrup ) and quite fast. great tutorial,obviuosly. i followed it step by step and there were no problems. thanks a lot. i'll try it on my son's birthday cake next sunday. only one thing: personally i found it too sweet- i prefer using less sugar next time. anyway thanks a lot

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  84. I made this and it was fantastic!!! Everyone absolutely loved the frosting and I will use it again and again now! Thank you for the step by step instructions!

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  85. Hi! Great site! A question on the IMBC, can you make it into a cream cheese frosting as well?

    thanks!!

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  86. I made a batch twice and it turned out perfect! the one I made today came out wrong as though it didn't get past the curdling stage.I think I might have added either too much egg white or the syrup was not ready to be poured into the egg whites which was not very stiff- just a bad day...
    I think :)

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  87. I made this using another recipe and failed horribly (twice). I was really struggling with the syrup. Your very specific directions were a great help as was your advice on swirling the syrup. I thought I had been using the best pan I had for the job, but I remembered I had a little guy hiding in the back of my fridge. It made all the difference. I have never had this kind of frosting before, but I am hooked! I am trying to get together some recipes for my wedding cupcakes and this will be my main frosting. I am so excited about it! Today's recipe was buttermilk cupcakes with this frosting with local peach puree stirred in.

    I see some folks asking about using a paddle vs. a whip and I used the paddle successfully for all steps.

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  88. This is fab. I looked up some many different methods for making italian meringue and this was the most comprehensive and clear. Very grateful. Thank you

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  89. After I make the sugar syrup and start to add to the meringue, I find the syrup hardens on the bottom of the bowl and i end up with big chunks of hardened sugar balls in the mix. I am clearly not adding it correctly. Have you ever run into this?

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  90. I'm excited to try this! I do have a question, is it possible to substitute the butter for cream cheese? or add cream cheese after the butter?

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  91. Seriously......l followed the directions to the tee and l had NO problems at all. My buttercream didnt even split this time as is normally does. I think one of the main differences is adding the butter SLOWLY, l counted to 20 with each addition. As a result l have the most luscious IMB that lve ever made. Thank you so much for this tutorial, it's. Been a great help :-)

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  92. Hi, thanks for the recipe!

    I'm just wondering if I want to make Chocolate IMB, should I add the melted chocolate after the IMB is done and completely cooled? And if so, how many grams of melted chocolate should I add?

    And you've mentioned that we can add jams into the IMB, provided if they are thick and not too much liquid in it. May I know what is the consistency of the jam we're looking for? And I notice my jam would turn into liquid like if i put it out for too long, but if it is just out from the fridge, it's thick. So I should just add the chilled jam into the IMB? Oh, and how many grams should I add in? Is there any limit?

    Thanks!! :)

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  93. I didn't give myself enough time before having to bring my cake to a party. I ran out of frosting before I finished icing the sides. It was an ugly cake but tasted great. I used lavender extract instead of vanilla.

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  94. I'm going to try doubling the recipe….let's see how it goes! :[ (nervous)

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  95. The recipe turned out beautiful.
    A little too sweet for me. Will it work if I reduce the sugar amount in syrup.(keeping the water qty same)
    Thanks

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  96. This was awesome!! Thank you so much for the easy to understand tutorial! The work it takes to make this heavenly decadence is SO WORTH IT!! It's perfectly airy, not as sweet as most buttercreams and the TEXTURE do die for! I got this right on the first try and this recipe will be a part of my soul (and any cakes) for all eternity.

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Thanks so much for reading! I would love to hear your thoughts!

If you have any questions, please feel free to email them to me at kaitlin@whisk-kid.com.

Have a great day!