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Italian Buttercream

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Adjust Servings:
1/2 cup water
1 1/4 cups sugar
1/2 cup meringue powder
1 cup water
1/4 tsp salt
1/3 cup sugar
3 cups unsalted butter
1/2-3/4 cup vegetable shortening
2 tbsp flavoring

Italian Buttercream

  • Sweet
  • 40 mins
  • Serves 10
  • Easy






Italian Buttercream is the frosting that is found on many wedding cakes. It has an unparalleled silky texture that pipes like a dream, and can be altered to taste like any flavor, and colored in any way you can imagine. It does take some to prepare but, it freezes very well. It’s great to have on hand for special occasions or when you’re in a super baking mood. Be careful storing it however, people have been known to eat it as a midnight snack. 


Per Serving:

272 calories

24.8 g fat

13.1 g carbohydrates

0.6 g protein

20 mg cholesterol

14 mg sodium

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How to Make Italian Buttercream

For the Syrup:

  1. Combine the sugar and water in a small, nonstick saucepan.
  2. Bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring occasionally until the sugar dissolves.
  3. Cook without stirring; until the syrup reaches at least 240°F.

Note: You can raise the temperature as high as 250°F. 

For the Meringue:

  1. Combine the meringue powder, water, and salt in the bowl of your mixer while the syrup is cooking.
  2. Beat at high speed with the whisk attachment until the mixture first turns foamy, then turns white, and you finallystart to see tracks in the bowl.
  3. Slowly sprinkle in the sugar with the mixer running.
  4. Increase the speed to high and beat until the mixture becomes stiff.
  5. Remove the syrup from the heat when the temperature ranges between 110°C- 121°C.
  6. Pour the mixture down the side of the mixing bowl while the mixer is running at low speed.
  7. Leave the mixer running until the mixture cools to 26° C.

Note: wrapping an ice pack around the mixing bowl can speed up this process.

  1. Add the butter a few pieces at a time with the mixer running at medium to medium-high speed.
  2. The meringue will deflate a bit, and may begin to appear curdled.
  3. Keep the mixer running and adding the butter.
  4. Add vanilla or your choice of flavorings.
  5. If you're using the frosting for decorations, add the vegetable shortening in chunks at this point.
  6. Use the buttercream within 4 hours, or refrigerate until needed.


Buttercream can be meringue based or cream based.

Paulo Ricci

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