Chocolate Cupcakes with Strawberry Swiss Meringue Buttercream

Chocolate.  Strawberry.  Swiss Meringue Buttercream.


Have you ever had Swiss Meringue Buttercream?  It’s amazeballs.  It’s silky, buttery and not too sweet.  This particular frosting tastes like strawberry ice cream.  I’m telling you, it’s fabulous.

Swiss Meringue Buttercream (SMBC) starts with eggwhites and sugar heated on the stovetop, and then whipped into a stiff meringue before adding butter and flavoring.  It has a reputation for being difficult and finicky, but really I’ve never had any trouble with it.  Once you add the butter to the egg whites, it tends to curdle and liquify for a few minutes and you’ll be just sure that you’ve ruined it, but walking away and letting your stand mixer do its thing will work every time.  I promise.

I just used my favorite chocolate cupcake recipe (click here) because I wanted a moist, dark cake to pair with the subtle strawberry flavors in the frosting.  I did consider filling this with a strawberry filling, but I wanted to keep the flavors simple.
If you’re tired of the same old buttercream frosting, give SMBC a try.  I promise you’ll love it.

Strawberry Swiss Meringue Buttercream
Yield:  Approximately 5 cups (enough to generously frost 24 cupcakes)
5 large egg whites
1 and 1/4 cup superfine granulated sugar
3 sticks unsalted butter at room temperature (but not warm or melty)
2 teaspoons vanilla
1 and 1/4 cups chopped, hulled strawberries
Chop and hull strawberries, and blend into a puree.  Set aside.  Slice butter into chunks (approximately 1 Tablespoon-sized pieces) and set aside.
In a double boiler (or a bowl that can be set over a boiling pan of water) whisk together eggs and sugar.  Continue to whisk until mixture reaches 160 degrees and the sugar is completely dissolved.  (If you don’t have a candy thermometer, just whisk until sugar is dissolved and no longer gritty.)  Transfer mixture to the bowl of a stand mixer, and using whisk attachment, whisk until it becomes smooth, glossy and cools to room temperature.  (This could take as long as 8-10 minutes.) Switch to the paddle attachement.
Once cool, add butter 2 Tablespoons at a time until it’s all added.  Your mixture MIGHT curdle.  If this happens, just continue to beat at a medium high speed and it will come back together.  This could take several minutes, don’t give up on it.  I’ve heard it take as long as 20 minutes – but mine always comes back together in 2-3 minutes.
Add vanilla and strawberry puree and beat until well combined, scraping the bowl as necessary.
Source:  Adapted from Sweetapolita

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  • Ashley@Bakerbynature

    Wow, these look gorgeous! And sound delicious too; what a wonderful combination of flavors.

  • Jennifer

    Erin, those are a work of art!!

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