Swiss Meringue · GF (enough for mile high meringue on one banana pudding or pie)

From Bananas!

Swiss meringue purists may get a little stressed to see me using a little less sugar in this recipe, but I’ve done it like this for the last five years and so far, so good.

10 oz egg whites
10 oz sugar
1/2 tsp kosher salt
the scrapings from 1 vanilla bean, yeah, you heard me

In an extra clean bowl set over a pan of simmering water, combine the sugar and egg whites. Whisk frequently to prevent an egg white omelet forming on the sides, but continual mixing isn’t necessary. Aim to get the mixture to at least a 140° for food safety reasons, but reaching 150° would make for a nice margin of error.

When the mixture is sufficiently hot, remove from heat, add the salt and whip on medium high speed until super foamy and quite cool. At this point add in the vanilla and splash in some vanilla extract too if you like to go overboard.

The meringue is now ready to get piled atop banana pudding, cream pie, or what have you. Once it’s in place, use a blowtorch to toast the whole thing up, or keep a very careful eye on it under a broiler.


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Any questions?

Feb 13, 2012 ·  5:02 PM

I made chocolate SMB yesterday and made peanut butter sandwich cookies with the SMB as filling and am wondering is it safe to leave the cookies out of the fridge? Just know the frosting tastes so much better room temperature. Thank you for your beautiful website and awesome guidance and inspiration. You are a masterful pastry chef would love to know more about your experience at CIA. I am very intimidated but obsessed and passionate about baking. I dream in recipes. Hope to eat your lovely desserts at 310 Soon. Happy Valentines Day! m

 · martha bakes · 

Feb 13, 2012 ·  7:31 PM

@martha, You’re right, room temperature buttercream is way better than cold. Since the egg whites have been cooked, the filled cookies should be safe to leave at room temperature for a couple of days. Thanks so much for the kind words, I’m glad you’ve enjoyed visiting the blog and maybe I’ll have a chance to write more about my time at the CIA soon. Please let me know if you ever make a trip to 310, I’d love to see you there.


Nov 24, 2012 · 10:57 PM

Being an amateur experimenter and a dedicated follower of your blog, I just made a 1/4 batch of your life-changing german buttercream. I used milk with 1,5 % milkfat for the custard base and threw Philadelphia Light in the cream cheese variation. I am hesitating to add lemon juice to the final result as I find it to be tangy enough ( maybe because the Philadelphia Light version is more tangy than the whole fat version ? ).

I hope there is just enough german buttercream to fill 3 8 inch layers of a red velvet cake ( not the top and the sides ).

In this british version of the red velvet cake, a very sweet and dense swiss “snow” meringue is used to cover the top and sides of the cake:

I have tried this cake once before and found the beetroot taste – earthy…..

But the swiss meringue icing recipe turned out great when I added 2 tbsp fresh passionfruit juice and a vanilla pod to the icing!

Do you think that I can use your swiss meringue recipe as icing on my cake and add some freeze dried passion fruit powder to the recipe, just without toasting the meringue so it can “stand for itself”? I like the thought of making a less sugary swiss meringue.

I know that my question is quite abstract but I couldn´t resist the temptation of asking you!

Regarding your german buttercream: Will the flavor variations listed at the end of your Swiss meringue buttercream recipe all work with the cream cheese variation, or will it turn out too loose ( for macaron filling, e.g.)?

Have you ever tried a whipped white chocolate ganache for macarons? I guess it can´t be stored for very long when you add fresh cream to the ganache?

Have a great weekend!

The MacaronThief

 · MacaronThief · 

Nov 25, 2012 · 10:09 AM

Hi MacaronThief! The lemon is definitely just to tart things up, so if you’re happy with the taste as-is, leave it be. I think you’ll have enough buttercream for the filling; fingers crossed!

I don’t like using straight Swiss meringue as a buttercream, simply because it has such a short shelf life. If you’re taking the cake to a party or something where it will be gobbled up quickly, then you’ve got nothing to worry about. Just be careful adjusting the sugar levels, the sugar is there largely for structure and without it the eggs are more likely to overcook and less likely to whip up to the same sort of volume.

And you’ve got it, all the Swiss buttercream variations will totally work with the German (and my French buttercream to).

Ganache isn’t my favorite macaron filling because its high moisture content can dissolve the macarons, and they’re too firm straight from the fridge. But again, for short term, you’d be fine with a whipped ganache filling.

Hope I’ve answered all your questions, happy baking!


Jan 01, 2013 ·  5:50 PM

I clicked on this link from your macaron myth page and I am still cracking up about it. Yep, you are so badass to dump the sugar from the very beginning.

 · Bookworm-At-Starbucks · 

Jan 02, 2013 ·  5:59 PM

Hey Bookworm! Haha, thanks. When it finally dawned on me to stop sprinkling it in, it felt like a revelation. Makes life so much easier!


Oct 17, 2013 ·  6:51 PM

Will this retain enough body to spoon/spread onto cupcakes even without the torching? Im trying to make Lemon Meringue cupcakes and so far not satisfied with the recipes Ive tried so Im building my own with individual recipes for the curd, cake, and meringue.

Thanks and have a great day!

 · Barb · 

Oct 17, 2013 · 10:56 PM

Hi Barb! The meringue has a great body, but not so wonderful a shelf life. You can count on about 12 hours of stability. If you’d like to make the meringue more stable, try using equal parts sugar and egg whites. Cheers!


Oct 23, 2013 ·  2:32 PM

Turned out great! Im making another batch today. Thanks again!

 · Barb · 

Apr 01, 2016 ·  9:16 PM

Your website is amazing. I love it.

Have you ever done this with frozen egg whites? I tried it tonight and my meringue had a tinge of sulfur smell – is that because the egg whites were frozen?

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