I love buttercream frosting, and I especially love Italian Meringue Buttercream. How can something Italian not be good? I added more sugar to the recipe, because I prefer my frosting sweet. This recipe reminds me of sweetened whip cream, and I love it! You will need a stand mixer to make this recipe.
Italian Buttercream adapted from Little Cakes from the Whimsical Bakehouse by Kaye Hansen & Liv Hansen
1 ½ cups sugar
1/3 cup water
In a medium saucepan whisk the sugar and water until it’s combined, then bring the mixture to a boil. When the mixture starts to boil, set a timer for 7 minutes. Place the egg whites in the bowl of the stand mixer.
6 large egg whites (between ½ to 1 cup) – make sure there are no bits of chalazae (the white membrane-type stuff) in your egg whites or you’ll end up with chewy bits in your frosting.
After 5 minutes, begin to beat the egg whites on high speed (with the paddle attachment). When your timer goes off (in another 2 minutes) pour the hot syrup into the fluffy egg whites while the paddle is still paddling away.
Pour the syrup close to the inside of the mixing bowl slowly, avoiding the paddle, and beat for about 10 minutes. While it’s beating, get your butter ready for the next step.
3 sticks of unsalted butter, cold
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Cut three sticks of unsalted butter into Tablespoons and slowly add the pieces of cold butter to the frosting – one at a time, mixing on medium-high speed until combined.
It may look curdled at one point – or like liquid, but don’t worry it’ll emulsify in a few minutes. Add 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract, and then increase the speed to high and walk away for 5 minutes.
You should have beautiful buttercream! Use immediately for decorating, or store in the refrigerator until ready to use (you’ll have to beat it again before you can decorate with it).
If it gets too warm to decorate with, store it in the refrigerator for a half an hour then beat again before using.*
*I tend to have this problem in the summer!