birthday cake & swiss meringue buttercream

i made this cake for my grandfather's 90th birthday party: three layers with 2 fillings: vanilla buttercream&raspberry and dulce de leche, decorated with buttercream and fresh raspberries.

and a simple order bday cake, vanilla buttercream and peaches

sponge cake & soaking syrup recipes

swiss meringue buttercream recipe 

5 egg whites
250 g sugar
splash of vanilla essence (or rose water, orange blossom water or simply 1 tbsp water for no added flavour)
300 g soft butter, room temperature!

in a bowl mix egg whites, vanilla and sugar
place the bowl over a pan with boiling water (bain marie) and beat the eggs until stiff with mixer, starting with low speed and gradually changing it to high speed (it should take about 5 minutes, the eggs will look watery and runny, but they will stiffen and thicken with time)
the meringue is done when thick and glossy, little warm to touch if you stick finger
put the bowl into cold water to prevent the eggs from getting hot from hot metal/glass and cool down, mixing for a few moments every few minutes for the best texture
beat the butter until it is pale, fluffy and soft
add meringue in 4-5 portions, mix until well incorporated each time

flavouring ideas:
substitute some sugar for vanilla sugar
vanilla beans, cinnamon, ginger, anise, cardamom, cocoa, instant coffee, (maybe custard powder? i never tried that one)
100 g melted and cooled to warm chocolate (milk, white, dark…)
100 g pureed fruit
25 ml any liquor (i like maraschino)

i do always dd some liquid to egg whites (like the water if i don’t want any other flavours): it makes it take a little bit more time to beat the runny eggs into nice meringue, but the meringue itself has much better consistency (less airy but stiffer and keeps nicer structure when mixed into the butter) and it is more difficult to overcook the egg whites.

do not store the buttercream in fridge before using it as the consistency will not be good for piping and spreading evenly (you can keep it for a few minutes only if it melts from the heat of your hands as you are squeezing piping bag)

fixing if it is not smooth (looks somehow ‘crumbly’, uneven): put the bowl with buttercream for a few moments into warm (not hot!) water and mix on high speed, it should start to come together and when it does, take the bowl out of the water and continue beating until the consistency feels right


  1. What a gorgeous bunch of cakes! I especially love that the top one has so many hidden layers of yummyness lurking inside. :D

  2. Haha! So elegant..and the thought that it is meringue! I just love it! :)

  3. Wow! So clean and pure...I just adore akes like that.

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