Simply perfect chocolate Swiss meringue buttercream: So light and silky-smooth, with a deep chocolate flavor and a hint of sweetness. This will be your new favorite frosting!

Simply Perfect Chocolate Buttercream

Swiss meringue buttercream takes a little more effort than the powdered sugar + butter American variety, but it’s doable, even for a beginner, and the flavor payoff makes it all worthwhile!  

If you’ve never tasted it before, you won’t believe it!  Every time one of my friends or family tastes it for the first time, they’re always like, “What is this???”

Once you give it a try, you’ll never want to go back to American buttercream!

Table of Contents

Why this is the best chocolate Swiss meringue buttercream recipe

  • Texture: It has the most incredible silky-smooth mouthfeel.
  • Not overly sweet: The meringue helps balance the chocolate’s sweetness.
  • Versatile: Use it for various desserts, including layer cakes, and cupcakes, and even as a filling for macarons.
  • Firm: It holds its shape well, making it an excellent choice for decorating cakes with intricate designs or smooth finishes.
  • Stable: It pipes beautifully and is stable enough to withstand warm temperatures.

Ingredients and notes

Egg whites: Use the whites only from large eggs. It’s best if they’re at room temperature, but I don’t find this to be too critical. Be careful not to pierce the yolk when separating the eggs. If you do, the meringue won’t whip up properly.

Sugar: Granulated white sugar combines with the egg whites to create an airy meringue.

Butter: I use unsalted butter because it lets me control the amount of salt in the dish.  Different brands of butter can contain different amounts of salt, so this way you get a more consistent result.  This recipe works best if you allow the butter to come to room temperature first.  You can set it out on the counter a few hours ahead of making your recipe, or you can microwave it for 10 seconds, turn it over, and microwave it again for another 8 seconds. Make sure that the butter is at room temperature, but not warm or melted.

Chocolate: Use high-quality chocolate that has been melted and cooled. Baking bars that have been chopped or broken into small pieces will melt the smoothest. You can use semi-sweet, bittersweet, white chocolate, or milk chocolate depending on your preference.

Vanilla: Vanilla extract adds a subtly sweet flavor without being at all sugary.

Salt: Carries the flavors and intensifies them.  The end result won’t taste salty, but it will make everything so much more flavorful!  I like kosher salt best because it doesn’t have any additives (table salt usually contains iodine which can leave a bitter taste), so the flavor is pure.  It’s also inexpensive and easy to find in a regular grocery store.


White chocolate Swiss meringue buttercream: Use melted white chocolate to create a white chocolate Swiss buttercream.

Mocha Swiss meringue buttercream: Add a tablespoon or two of instant espresso or coffee powder to the melted chocolate before incorporating it into the buttercream.

Raspberry or strawberry chocolate Swiss meringue buttercream: Mix in one to two tablespoons of seedless raspberry or strawberry jam to the finished buttercream to add a fruity twist that complements the chocolate.

Peppermint chocolate Swiss meringue buttercream: Add peppermint extract to the buttercream for a festive and refreshing flavor, perfect for holiday treats.

Tools and equipment

How to make chocolate Swiss meringue buttercream

This recipe comes together in just 4 simple steps.

Step 1: Cook the eggs and sugar

Place the egg whites and sugar in a large metal or glass mixing bowl and set the bowl over a pot of simmering water.

Simply Perfect Chocolate Swiss Meringue Buttercream

Allow the mixture to cook, whisking, until the sugar has completely dissolved and the mixture looks opaque.

Step 2: Whip

Remove the sugar mixture from the heat and whip it on high speed using the whisk attachment (not the paddle attachment) until completely cooled and stiff peaks form.

Simply Perfect Chocolate Swiss Meringue Buttercream

Step 3: Add butter

With the mixer going at medium speed, whip in a tablespoon of butter at a time, allowing each addition to become fully incorporated before adding the next.

Simply Perfect Chocolate Swiss Meringue Buttercream

If it looks curdled, continue to whip until it comes back together before adding the remaining butter.

Step 4: Add flavorings

Scrape the bottom and sides of the bowl with a silicone spatula, then fold in the melted dark chocolate, vanilla, and salt.

Simply Perfect Chocolate Swiss Meringue Buttercream

Expert tips For making Swiss meringue buttercream

  • The hardest part is warming the eggs and sugar together to create the meringue base.  I do it right in the bowl of a stand mixer over a pot of simmering water.  Be sure the egg yolks are separated from the whites. You don’t want to use a heatproof bowl; you need the bowl to warm up enough to melt the sugar.
  • Continue to whisk over the simmering water if the egg whites and sugar still feel gritty.
  • Once you place the egg whites and sugar on your stand mixer, whip it on medium-high speed until it’s completely cool and air bubbles form.  It will look (and taste!) a lot like marshmallow. If you don’t have a stand mixer an electric mixer will also work.
  • When there is no hint of warmth, start whipping in the softened butter a tablespoon at a time.
  • If it starts to look curdled, don’t panic. Just whip, whip, whip, and it’ll come back together.
  • Melt the chocolate in the microwave, stirring after each 20-second interval, until it’s completely smooth and velvety. Allow it to cool a bit before folding it into the meringue.


What are common mistakes that people make when making Swiss meringue buttercream?

Mistake #1: Not entirely dissolving the sugar in the egg whites over the double boiler. If this happens, the buttercream can have a grainy texture.

Mistake #2: Not cooling the meringue completely before adding butter. Adding butter to warm meringue can lead to a runny buttercream.

Mistake #3: The butter is too cold or too soft. Adding butter that is too cold or too soft can affect the texture of the buttercream.

Mistake #4: Underwhipping. Underwhipping can result in a loose and unstable buttercream.

Mistake #5: Adding warm chocolate. Adding warm chocolate to the buttercream can cause it to melt, resulting in a runny texture.

Does Swiss meringue buttercream firm up?

Yes, Swiss meringue buttercream does firm up, but its texture is influenced by temperature.

At room temperature, Swiss meringue buttercream has a smooth and creamy consistency.

If you refrigerate the buttercream, it becomes more solid, similar to butter, due to the high butter content. The firmness can make it easier to handle when working on intricate cake decorations.

Serving suggestions

This buttercream is great on just about any cake or cupcake.  

Frosting for layer cakes: Provides a smooth and luxurious coating that complements a variety of cake flavors.

Cupcake frosting: I especially love it on a vanilla cupcake, but chocolate cupcakes are perfect, too. It works great as a filling for cupcake centers.

Macaron filling: Sandwich macarons with Swiss meringue buttercream for a delicious and sophisticated twist.

Filling for pastries: Use as a filling for your favorite pastries, such as cream puffs, éclairs, or turnovers. It adds a luscious and sweet element to the pastry.


Room temperature: If you have frosted a cake or cupcakes with chocolate Swiss meringue buttercream, they can be kept at room temperature for about 1 to 2 days, depending on the ambient temperature. However, Swiss meringue buttercream is sensitive to heat, so avoid leaving it in a warm environment for too long.

Refrigerated: Store it in an airtight container in the refrigerator. It should last for 1 to 2 weeks. Before using it again, allow the buttercream to come to room temperature, and then re-whip it to restore its smooth texture.

Freeze: Place it in an airtight container or a zip-top bag, ensuring that it is well-sealed to prevent freezer burn. It can be stored in the freezer for 2 to 3 months. When ready to use, thaw it in the refrigerator overnight and then allow it to come to room temperature before re-whipping.

Simply Perfect Chocolate Swiss Meringue Buttercream

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Simply Perfect Chocolate Buttercream
4.23 stars (86 ratings)

Simply Perfect Chocolate Swiss Meringue Buttercream

Servings: 24 servings
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 20 minutes
Chocolate Swiss Meringue Buttercream: so light & silky-smooth, with a deep chocolate flavor & a hint of sweetness. This will be your new favorite frosting!



  • Place the egg whites and sugar in a large metal or glass bowl.
  • Set the bowl over a pot of simmering water, and whisk continuously until the sugar has completely dissolved and the mixture looks opaque.
  • Remove the bowl from the heat, and whip on high speed until completely cooled.
  • Whip in the butter, a tablespoon at a time, until thick and fluffy. (If it begins to look curdled, continue to whip until it comes back together before adding in remaining butter.)
  • Fold in the melted chocolate, vanilla, and salt.


If the egg whites and/or the butter are slightly too warm, the buttercream may be runny. This can be easily remedied by placing it in the refrigerator for 20-30 minutes, then whipping again.

*Enough to ice (2) 9-inch diameter cakes, (1) 9 x 13-inch sheet cake, or 2 dozen cupcakes

Calories: 129kcal, Carbohydrates: 10g, Fat: 9g, Saturated Fat: 5g, Cholesterol: 20mg, Sodium: 19mg, Potassium: 35mg, Sugar: 10g, Vitamin A: 240IU, Calcium: 5mg, Iron: 0.3mg
Cuisine: American
Course: Dessert
Tried this recipe?Mention @bakingamoment on Instagram or tag #bakingamoment.


  • Allie

    Allie is the creator and owner of Baking a Moment. She has been developing, photographing, videographing, and writing and sharing recipes here since 2012.

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