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Italian Meringue Buttercream- HELP!

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evieskitchen's picture
User offline. Last seen 3 years 17 weeks ago. Offline
Joined: 04/11/2009

Hi Everyone!

So, I've been having serious curdling problems with my attempts at Italian Meringue buttercream. I've tried butter at room temp and slightly cool.
I am using a Kitchenaid Mixer, one that has the bowl that screws into the bottom base. (not the kind that has the crank handle that lifts up).

At what point should I really add the butter? How cool does the meringue mixture actually need to be?

Sometimes when my butter starts to melt and get soupy I have tried putting my mixer bowl in an ice bath briefly. This doesn't help either.

Any tips you have would be greatly appreciated, thanks!!!

User offline. Last seen 19 weeks 18 hours ago. Offline
Joined: 03/21/2009

I am not sure how many egg whites you are whipping, but if its more than say 5 your whipped whites will come over the top of the bowl in a 4 1/2 quart mixer.

After adding the soft ball sugar syrup the eggs whites really do have to be whipped until room temperature ~ 70-75*F. That can take up to 20 minutes. Yes that is a long time to run the mixer. A Kitchen Aid can handle it, that's what they are made to do. The bowl should not feel warm at all.

Then start adding the softened butter. The butter should not be close to melting either. It should be pokeable and leave a dent, but not so hard that it feels cold.


evieskitchen's picture
User offline. Last seen 3 years 17 weeks ago. Offline
Joined: 04/11/2009

Thanks for the response! I just found this link that has a good recipe and detailed photos of making the Italian Meringue Buttercream:

I tried the recipe this morning and it worked perfectly. My mixing bowl on my kitchenaid was still warm, the butter began to melt just as it does in the photos on the web page I referenced. But it all came together in the end magically! I was sooooo happy.

mollyt55's picture
User offline. Last seen 2 years 35 weeks ago. Offline
Joined: 03/26/2009

So this is probably too late, sorry! I only make Italian Buttercream and the curdling problem you are talking about is normal, believe it or not!

You should add the butter when the bottom of your mixer bowl is no longer hot to the touch. The butter should be soft, about the consistency of cream cheese. Don't add the butter all at once, but one tablespoon at a time.

Once most of the butter is added, the frosting will look curdled or grainy...keep on beating! You will have to beat for a while but it will eventually come together.

Another fun fact I have learned about Italian Buttercream (this works for Swiss Buttercream as well) is that you can actually place the frosting in your mixer, right from the fridge, and whip it until it is ready to use. You don't have to wait for it to come to room temp before you can start icing with the buttercream. Keep in mind that while you are whipping, the frosting will break apart and look curdled and soupy before it comes together. Be patient and just keep whipping!!


User offline. Last seen 2 years 11 weeks ago. Offline
Joined: 03/08/2009

the best way to re whip Italian butter-cream is to heat it over a ban-marie or double boiler, just til you get a bit of "soup" at the bottom, not too much, better if you do it a bit at a time and whip until you get the consistency you are looking for. It is a lot faster then just whipping and easier on your machine.