Easy Swiss Meringue Buttercream

Ingredient quantities are listed in the recipe card below.

Step 1: Whisk together the egg whites and sugar in  the bowl of a stand mixer. Place over a pot of simmering water and bring  to 160 degrees F.

Step 2: Transfer the bowl to a stand mixer and whisk  until soft peaks form. Add the salt & vanilla and continue whisking  until stiff peaks form. Turn the mixer down to low speed and wait until  it drops down to at least 85 degrees F.

Step 3: Once the meringue has reached at least 85  degrees F, add the room temperature (but on the cooler side) butter a  few cubes at a time.

Step 4: Once all of the butter has been added, it may look curdled, but continue mixing and it will come together.

Step 5: Lastly, switch to a paddle attachment and mix on low speed until silky smooth.

Step 6: If desired, divide the buttercream into  three parts, and add cocoa powder to one, espresso powder to one, and  leave the last vanilla.