Brown Sugar Swiss Meringue Buttercream

The Aussie blogger, Not Quite Nigella once commented that most people have a celebrity cook or chef who’s recipes never work for them. She remarked that Karen Martini’s recipe always flopped for her. For me, that cook was always Martha Stewart. Living in Australia I thought her recipes would be foolproof, her shows were staged in a test kitchen after all. However I experienced flop after flop. Having moved here I suspect it was the conversions I had to do, or couldn’t do as the case may be. Now that Martha and I live in the same country the results of her recipes are infinitely more promising. This is a recipe based on a recipe of hers. I use it when normal butter cream won’t do, or I’ve made creme brulee and I have lots of egg whites left over. I find this icing not too sweet but rich and delicious all the same.

  • 3 large egg whites
  • 1  cup packed dark-brown sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup unsalted butter, room temperature, cut into cubes.     



Put egg whites, sugar, and salt into a heatproof bowl set over a pan of simmering water. My kitchen aid has a metal bowl so I just use that. Remember you don’t want the water touching the bottom of the bowl. Whisk the mixture for about four minutes or until warmed through.


Beat on high speed until stiff, glossy peaks form, about 6 minutes. At this point reduce the speed. 
Add butter, 2 tablespoons at a time, beating after each addition, the meringue will deflate slightly as butter is added. Sometimes it can look curdled, like the mixture has separated. This is normal too, just keep going.  You want a smooth glossy finish to the buttercream, so beat for about 5 minutes. 
Buttercream can be refrigerated airtight for up to 3 days; bring to room temperature, and beat before using.
Spread onto a cake or cupcakes and enjoy! 

3 Comments Add yours

  1. Nataliya says:

    Was this the one you put on my birthday cake? If it is, I can vouch for its deliciousness. 🙂

    1. chathginige says:

      Yes, I recently remembered I promised to put the recipe up, but didn’t. Whoops!

      1. Nataliya says:

        You’re forgiven!

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