I’ve been dreaming about that Swiss meringue buttercream since I made the Andes Mint Cupcakes! The texture was so silky and light, like a cloud. I knew I had to do another cupcake with it, so I did.
In my CSA produce delivery box I received both strawberries and lemons this week. So, that became the theme for today. I usually use all of my CSA delivery to inspire my dinners, and I rarely use it in baking. But this just made sense. I mean, spring is starting, today was Easter Sunday, and a strawberry and lemon cupcake will be absolutely perfect.
Also, my parents recently purchased a stand mixer. Having never even played with one before, and as I was making cupcakes at their house today, I thought this would be the perfect opportunity to try out a Swiss meringue buttercream the “easy” way.
makes 1 dozen, or 3 dozen minis
- 8 oz. fresh strawberries
- 1 tsp. sugar
- 1/4 c. plus 2 tbsp strawberry puree (from ingredients above)
- 2 tbsp. milk
- 2 eggs
- 1 tsp. vanilla extract
- 1 c. cake flour
- 1 c. white sugar
- 2 tsp. baking powder
- 1/2 tsp. salt
- 6 tbsp. unsalted butter
Let them sit and stew for a few hours, stirring occasionally. Finally, puree them in a food processor or blender. Set aside the 1/4 c. + 2 tbsp. needed for the cake recipe, and save any extra puree to use as you please.
In a mixing bowl, combine the first four ingredients (puree through vanilla) and mix until combined.
In a separate bowl, combine the flour, sugar, baking powder and salt, blending together. With a mixer on low, add the butter tbsp by tbsp until you have a coarse mixture.
Add the wet ingredients and mix until just combined.
Fill prepared cupcake tins 2/3 full. Bake in a 350 degree oven for 16-20 minutes (regular sized cupcakes) or 8-12 minutes (minis). Test the cake with a toothpick to ensure doneness.
Let cool on wire rack.
Swiss Meringue Buttercream
(for pictures of the process, see Andes Mint Cupcakes)
- 3 egg whites (about 6 tbsp.)
- 3/4 c. white sugar
- 18 tbsp. butter (2 sticks + 2 tbsp), soft and room temperature
- 1 tbsp. fresh lemon juice
- lemon zest as desired
Combine the egg whites and sugar in the mixing bowl and whisk to combine. Set over a double boiler and simmer, whisking all the time, until it loosens and warms. As soon as the sugar is dissolved and you cannot feel it against your fingers, remove the pan from the heat. DO NOT overheat or else the egg whites will scramble.
Use a hand mixer or stand mixer to beat the egg white/sugar on high until the bowl or pan you heated them in is cool and the mixture forms stiff peaks like a regular meringue.
Cut the butter into squares. With your mixer on medium, add the butter square by square. Make sure each square is mixed in before adding another. Do not set the mixer to high…please keep it at medium. Be patient!!! Keep beating until all of the butter is absorbed and you have reached a more smooth consistency.
Now is the labor intensive part. Switch to a hand-held instrument – spatula or wooden spoon – and beat for another 2 to 3 minutes. This will remove any air pockets and smooth out the frosting. If using a stand mixer (which I did for the first time today with thanks to my parents’ recent purchase!), switch to the paddle attachment and set the mixer on low until the frosting is smooth.
Once the consistency is smooth, add the lemon juice and zest. Taste and add more if necessary.
Pipe onto cooled strawberry cupcakes. Enjoy :)