How to fix Swiss Meringue Buttercream Frosting

by Shawnda on September 14, 2011

in Cakes, Cupcakes & Brownies,Tips

How to fix Swiss Meringue Buttercream Frosting

Before today, I’d copy & paste an FAQ at the bottom of each recipe on this site that called for Swiss Meringue Buttercream. Because as amazingly fluffy and decadent as Swiss Meringue Buttercream is, it’s also the problem child of frostings.

That FAQ had a couple of tips to “rescue” a broken swiss meringue buttercream, which is really helpful for people baking Margarita Cupcakes at 11pm on Quatro de Mayo. I thought I’d give those tips their own home and add a couple of pictures of the common problems that I encounter when making the frosting.

So a few months ago, I had my camera ready, just waiting on a batch of frosting to implode. I was going to take pictures of my bowl of “What the heck is this?! I can’t put that on a cake!” and then show you how I fixed it. And wouldn’t you know, it turned out perfectly. First try. And then it happened again and again. And again.

Typical. This stuff has given me some serious fits over the years but I’ve always been able to fix it. Except one time… but my math was wrong. And I can’t blame the frosting for that.

The Recipe
I use a slightly adapted version of Martha Stewart’s Swiss Meringue Buttercream. It’s smooth, fluffy, not overly sweet, and reliable – and scaled down, it’s basically the exact same recipe we used at my parents’ bakery ages ago. And the two issues that I randomly experience are totally fixable. One batch will frost a 2-layer 8- or 9-inch cake and, for a normal person, should cover 24 cupcakes. But I’m an out-of-control liberal cupcake froster so I sometimes need an extra half-batch to get all my cupcakes frosted. I’m currently seeking help for my problem.

The first step
Beat, beat, beat. I’d let the mixer run for 30 minutes or more when I had problems with the frosting. It always came back together eventually but that was life BT – Before Toddler. I now have a 5 minute rule. If it doesn’t come back together after 5 minutes of beating, I just move on to Plan B. Nap time or those 12 hours of preschool a week are now far too valuable for me to stand there and watch the mixer go ’round.

Help! My frosting is too runny! (AKA, Plan B)

How to fix Swiss Meringue Buttercream Frosting

That is Dulce de Leche Swiss Meringue Buttercream… syrup? Paint? It’s not frosting, that’s for sure. You’ve whipped the egg whites and sugar until it has cooled to room temp and you’ve just reached stiff peaks, you’ve added your butter and everything is looking absolutely perfect until you add the preserves, or citrus juice, or dulce de leche. And then Pbfffffffffffft, your fluffy frosting breaks into a watery mess.

When this happens, I stick it in the fridge for ~20 minutes and bring it back out. Beat the frosting for a few minutes and it should all come back together into a big bowl of magical fluffiness.

How to fix Swiss Meringue Buttercream Frosting

That is Dulce de Leche Swiss Meringue Buttercream Frosting. And quite possibly the best frosting I’ve ever, ever tasted. But if you’re still having problems with it, keep going.

Help! My frosting is… cottage cheese? What is that?!

How to fix Swiss Meringue Buttercream Frosting

That’s a curdled mess. And just gross. It should have been raspberry swiss meringue buttercream. The technical term for that disaster is “no bueno.” I usually see curdling when I’m re-whipping leftover frosting that has been refrigerated or frozen but occasionally I get it when I’m making a fresh batch.

This was a tip I learned way, way back in the early days of the Daring Baker challenges: take about 1/4 of the frosting out of the bowl and transfer it to a microwave safe bowl. Pop it in the microwave for 10-15 seconds and then stream it back into the bowl while the mixer is running on low. Increase the speed and whip it into a big bowl of fluffy magicalness.

How to fix Swiss Meringue Buttercream Frosting

Can you believe how that pretty, fluffy frosting started out?

So that’s how we do it. If this saves just one batch of frosting from being tossed, then I’ll feel like I’ve helped :) Do you have any frosting tricks or tips to share?

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{ 207 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Katrina September 14, 2011 at 9:33 am

Great tips today! Thanks!

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2 Connie September 14, 2011 at 10:01 am

Great tips! I’m going to keep these in mind when I finally get around to trying out Swiss Meringue Buttercream Frosting. It looks divine!

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3 Jess September 14, 2011 at 10:40 am

Thank you so much for this post! I remember trying to make the swiss buttercream for the margarita cupcakes (delicious, by the way!) and just wound up with a glaze (admittedly, I was whipping it up in the dead-heat of humid August without air conditioning, so I’m not too surprised it didn’t work out). As tasty as the glaze was, I’m eager to get the hang of the Real Deal. Time to get back on the horse!

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4 Joanne September 14, 2011 at 11:33 am

Knock on wood, I’ve actually always had success with swiss meringue, but I’m bookmarking this because now that I’ve said it…you know my next batch will be the batch from hell.

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5 Krissy@DaintyChef September 14, 2011 at 2:43 pm

I have yet to try Swiss Meringue Buttercream because I am intimidated by it, but these tips may help avert some disasters in my kitchen!

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6 Adventuress Heart September 14, 2011 at 3:00 pm

I once added honey to the early process and it turned into a runny mess. Even freezing it didn’t bring it back. Do you think it’s the honey and it should be added at the end? Great tips btw.

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7 foodiebride September 15, 2011 at 9:04 am

Yes – I always add the flavoring purees/liquid/juice at the end, anywhere from 1/4 – 1/2 cup, depending on what I’m using.

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8 Bridget September 14, 2011 at 3:27 pm

Huh…I totally didn’t see you standing behind me taking pictures while I was making dulce de leche swiss meringue buttercream last week. ;) That’s exactly what happened to me, and that’s exactly how I fixed it! I’m always so relieved when it works out in the end.

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9 Jen @ BeantownBaker.com September 14, 2011 at 6:12 pm

What a helpful post!!

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10 Marisa September 15, 2011 at 2:50 am

Awesome tips – on the few attempts I’ve tried this type of frosting it’s almost always turned out like the first pic. Boo, hiss. But now I will know how to whip its butt into shape next time. Boom!

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11 Kelsey September 15, 2011 at 9:55 am

Great post. Thanks Shawnda!

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12 Aryanna September 15, 2011 at 1:03 pm

I’ve had so many people tell me they’re scared of Swiss Buttercream for this exact reason, but it’s my favorite and go-to frosting because I just love the rich silky texture. Here in New Orleans, it can get down right blistery in the kitchen when the oven is on, even with the a/c running full blast, so I often end up with exhibit A. Popping it in the fridge or freezer for a bit always fixes it right up.

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13 Barb September 16, 2011 at 6:05 am

Thank you for those tips on Swiss Meringue Buttercream, I do us the Martha recipe and I love it.
I had the 3rd problem. I had made her recipe with the adding of fresh strawberries, and let me tell you it was to die for. I actually had some left, so in the freezer it went. Later I pulled it out to use on some cupcakes and it just that cottage cheese mess. I did rebeat it but I thought well maybe it can’t be frozen. If it ever happens again (in fact I do have some in the freezer) I will try that. Thanks so much for the help. And let me tell you, her strawberry swiss meringue buttercream can be eaten by the spoonful.
But I do have a question, if it is warm outside what type of frosting do you use, so as not to melt.
thanks
barb

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14 Jess @ littlegirlbigappetite September 16, 2011 at 6:59 pm

Awesome tips thanks so much!!! I’ve thrown out a batch before but def will be using your tips :)

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15 Pam September 18, 2011 at 9:28 am

Very much appreciate the tutoring photos that show the different errors that can occur. It is so helpful to see rather than only to read words. Thanks.

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16 Jenn@eatcakefordinner September 18, 2011 at 9:20 pm

I have never been able to make a successful batch of this buttercream (I’ve only tried three times). I think my problem is not cooking the egg whites and sugar long enough (I need to invest in an instant-read thermometer)? Would that cause me problems? I am going to have to attempt it again, because I hear about how amazing it is and I would really like to know what it should taste like!

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17 foodiebride September 18, 2011 at 9:47 pm

You don’t *need* a kitchen/candy thermometer but I think having one is really handy because it takes the guess work out of it. If you cook the egg whites until they’re very hot to the touch, and you can’t feel any sugar grain when you rub a bit of the egg-sugar mixture between your fingers, then it’s ready to be whipped.

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18 Justina September 19, 2011 at 11:46 pm

Where was this posting around the 4th when I was making two dozen cupcakes for a gathering? The test batches came out great but in making a bulk batch, no bueno. It was painful to toss that much frosting.

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19 Justina September 19, 2011 at 11:47 pm

PS – Thanks for posting, I’ve bookmarked this page!

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20 CurlyCupcake September 21, 2011 at 3:20 pm

Great tips! When I first started making swiss meringue buttercream it would often look like #2 if I froze it or the butter was too cold when I added it in, and I never knew how to fix it! Once I had the great idea if adding powdered sugar to thicken it, BIG mistake! If I ever have that problem again I’ll be sure to use your tips instead of throwing it away like I used to.

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21 Gracie October 1, 2011 at 10:49 am

You saved my cake!! Cottage Cheese. My frosting looked like a big bowl of disgusting cottage cheese. I popped a little bit of it in the microwave and streamed it back in, and Ta-da!!! Perfect icing :) Thanks so much!!

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22 foodiebride October 1, 2011 at 10:51 am

Woohoo!

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23 Mary October 15, 2011 at 9:28 pm

This website was a life saver!

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24 Heather October 24, 2011 at 2:17 am

Thank you soooo much for this post! I had some leftover strawberry Swiss meringue buttercream in the freezer and went to use it for a last min. Party dessert. It was a curdles mess and I was out of time to make a fresh batch. A quick google search yielded your miraculous post, and my buttercream was saved. Thank you! Now I won’t be afraid to freeze leftover buttercream!

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25 Stephanie November 1, 2011 at 8:12 pm

PERFECT! My first attempt ever and it went from a runny paint mess to “no bueno” cottage cheese! Both tips worked and saved it. It was delicious! THANK YOU SO MUCH. I would have for sure thrown it out otherwise.

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26 Rebekha December 9, 2011 at 11:18 am

THANK YOU! I broke my buttercream. Your advice was brilliant. Back to work, phew…

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27 foodiebride December 9, 2011 at 2:09 pm

Yay!

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28 Jonathan December 24, 2011 at 12:54 pm

You just saved Christmas dinner (well, at least dessert)! Thank you so much!

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29 Ela January 9, 2012 at 2:55 pm

Thank you so much for this post. It will save a lot of my Swiss Buttercreams. May I ask you on what to do if I make one batch of Swiss Buttercream and have to add about 3 different colors separately. Do I have to add the colors in the end? Do I divide it into 3 then add color then re-whip? I’ve done it before and my buttercream had streaks of color and it became oily. Any suggestion on how I should add gel colors? Thank you.

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30 foodiebride January 9, 2012 at 3:41 pm

That’s exactly what I do – divide and then color separately. What kind of gel colors are you using? Americolor is the very best, in my opinion – it takes very little to get beautiful color but it’s not enough to throw off the delicate structure of the meringue.

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31 JEAN January 16, 2012 at 8:53 am

Thank you SO much!! I have made Swiss Buttercream several times before without any problems, until today, yikes!!! I had that nasty cottage cheese looking stuff, I found your site, did the microwave thing and voila, problem solved!!! Thank you, thank you, thank you!!!!!

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32 jboydbears January 27, 2012 at 11:11 am

Thanks! I will remember these tips for sure!

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33 Suzi Humphries February 3, 2012 at 11:57 am

Hi I had a dredfull afternoon … made all the cupcakes for a wedding then started on some Italian Meringue frosting and … it curdled big time so I set it to oneside and started on another lot as I didn’t have time to mess around trying to work out what to do with it and then the second lot did exactly the same !!!! I just couldn’t believe it ! …. so I decided to check out the web and see if there were any hints and tips of why this happened and if there was anything I could do to save them …. and I found You ,,, YAY xx thanks soooooooooo much for your tips on how to get the buttercream scrummy again xx I think I had over whipped it before adding the butter and the mix became to cold ??? but heating in the microwave worked a treat .. thank you thank you thank you xx

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34 Uriel Naomi February 6, 2012 at 11:28 pm

I have made SMB twice. I should have looked at your website to save me from all the stress and disappointment. Thank you so much for your tips. My problem was definitely the cottage cheese. disgusting! Thank you again!

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35 Mindy February 7, 2012 at 10:27 pm

Thank you so much! My cooked buttercream (with egg whites and cream of tartar, I must’ve overwhipped it) turned out just like the cottage cheese one and I was *this close to dragging myself to the store to buy tons more butter. So glad I Googled this and you came up, the trick totally worked. Thank you!!!

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36 Nancy February 10, 2012 at 7:30 am

Wow! Thank you SO much. I’ve just made my first ever batch of Swiss Meringue Buttercream and it turned out runny so I started panicking. It’s in the fridge now so hopefully your wonderful advice will bring it back to life. A billion and nine thank you’s in advance :D !!!

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37 K B February 12, 2012 at 4:29 pm

Thank you you saved my frosting!!!!

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38 Lisa Mai February 12, 2012 at 7:34 pm

Thanks for the tips! I didn’t have the luxury of reading this post until after my SMB failed and I added icing sugar to stabilize it, but I definitely will refer to this post in the future =)

Cheers!
Lisa

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39 Melissa February 25, 2012 at 3:47 pm

I cannot find any advice for the mistake I made to my SMB. Can anyone suggest a fix if I didn’t beat my egg white enough before I started adding butter? My plan is to do some heated egg whites again, beat them properly this time, and add my flat batch of SMB to the new fluffy whites. Think this will work? Thanks!!

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40 Linda February 27, 2012 at 12:31 pm

These tips just saved the cupcakes I’m bringing to a girl’s evening tonight! Thanks so much for sharing :)

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41 Courtney February 27, 2012 at 5:02 pm

I know this post is older, but I had to thank you for saving my butt this last weekend! I had made a perfect swiss meringue for my sister’s bridal shower cake, which I planned to frost with fantastic ruffles once I got to the church where her shower was held. Imagine my horror when I realized it had been put in the fridge! I took it out, and slowly but surely watched it turn into cottage cheese. Thank goodness I found this, had my mom bring her hand mixer, and managed to save my frosting and decorate a gorgeous cake. THANK YOU!

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42 Chrispy February 28, 2012 at 10:53 am

Fantastic how-to! I did my first batch of Swiss meringue buttercream the day before my Birthday (had to impress my guests since they call me Miss Cupcake). How many times am I allowed to mess it up?? Apparently quite many times! First the buttercream looked like cottage cheese in a worse condition than pictured above. I put 1/4 of it into the microwave as advised. It became a smooth buttercream, and I was quite pleased whilst putting it in the fridge. The day after when I wanted to decorate the cupcakes, it became too runny :( And then it looked like cheese again somehow. I’m quite good at screwing up things in the kitchen :D Fridge, microwave and microwave again (didn’t put enough in the micro the first time).

I think I’m in love with Swiss Meringue Buttercream and it’s lovely texture! <3 Thank you so much for these tips! I wouldn't have tried SMB if it wasn't because of your foolproof tips :)

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43 S March 2, 2012 at 2:53 pm

I just came across your site in desperation…I’m making a cake for my husband’s 33rd birthday, and was THIS close to tossing a batch of curdled swiss meringue buttercream. Been beating it for a good 15 minutes, followed your advice for problem #2, and within literally 2 minutes it transformed. I suspect my butter wasn’t close enough to room temperature before adding it to the meringue. This was my very first time making swiss meringue buttercream…thank you!

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44 liz March 10, 2012 at 10:51 pm

I had issues with my swiss meringue via martha stewart’s cupcake cookbook. I will tell you I was very close to a major meltdown. When i calemed myself and typed in “swiss meringue curdled” and after visiting a couple of sites with no ideas I came across yours and thought…at this point I will try anything! Well, I tried it and the results were terrific! You are a life saver…my 7 year old daughters birthday party is tomorrow now I can sleep in peace! Thanks so much!

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45 Morgan March 12, 2012 at 2:41 am

HELP!!! I have tried this recipe twice and still the mixture turns into cottage cheese. I have even tried the techniques to fix it. No such luck. The kitchen aid has been running for 40 minutes?!? What am I doing wrong? Should the butter be super soft? The meringue whips into peeks, but once I start adding the butter it goes down hill. Again…HELP.

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46 foodiebride March 12, 2012 at 9:58 am

The butter shouldn’t be *super* soft, cool but should dent easily when you press on it.

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47 Morgan March 12, 2012 at 2:44 am

OMG!!! After 40 minutes of agony it finally worked. thank ya jesus … i know what the problem was….I kept looking at it…lol. Once I turned away to ask for help BAMM…tricky tricky SMB

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48 Sheeba March 17, 2012 at 2:04 pm

OMG!!!, I just came back from the kitchen with tears in my eyes as this was the first time I ever dared to make a Swiss meringue,my butter cream was exactly looking like pic1. Googled and just got your site. Thank God, there was help .

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49 Cristina March 21, 2012 at 5:58 pm

I stumbled upon this page because my Swiss meringue buttercream was way too soupy (I accidentally put the strawberry puree in at the wrong time. Eeek!). I put it in the fridge and after beating it for a few minutes, it also curdled! I followed the curdling tip here and it eventually became yummy and fluffy. Thank you so much!!

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50 catherine March 25, 2012 at 3:39 am

thank you so much I was really beginning to despair about my frosting it was a curdled mess and now its beautiful frosting. Best tips ever!

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51 Jenny March 25, 2012 at 5:24 pm

LOVE this! I was wondering what solution you might have when adding cream cheese to the SMB and it becomes curdled??? I have tried to whip it to death and nothing, any ideas??

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52 foodiebride March 25, 2012 at 9:29 pm

Jenny – I have never added cream cheese to SMB but maybe someone else can answer.

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53 Chong March 27, 2012 at 8:36 pm

I’ve tried making this recipe three times, but mine always turned out tasting like butter. It’s fluffy but doesn’t taste right. After frosting the cake and leaving it in the fridge for a few hours the frosting turned hard and tasted like butter. My thinking was that I probably didn’t the right whisk or maybe didn’t whisk the frosting long enough. Do u suggest using a special whisking tool when adding in the butter??

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54 Vicky March 30, 2012 at 7:35 pm

Thank you so much for the tips!!! I’ve made so many batches of Swiss Meringue buttercream that I can’t even count them and usually have no trouble (occasionally I might have the curdling problem.) I just got a new 7 qt. Cuisenart mixer and decided to quadruple the recipe I use (Martha Stewart’s) just to see if the mixer could handle that quantity. I ended up with way too much frosting for the bowl capacity and it is super runny. So I did a search and found your site. Hallelujah! I put half the mixture into another bowl and popped both in the fridge. I’m pretty sure my problem was that the butter had been out on the counter for awhile and was pretty warm, just short of melty. Anyway, thank you!!!

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55 Cakeboule April 3, 2012 at 6:53 am

Thank you so much you saved my first attempt at buttercream! Just wanted to say a big thank you else it would have ended in the bin instead of becoming a sticky toffee pudding cake :)

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56 Lexi April 6, 2012 at 10:12 am

Oh no! I have successfully made SMB twice, but this time I did everything exactly the same and it turned out horribly curdled! I tried your trick, but it only got worse. I don’t know what to do!

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57 Lexi April 6, 2012 at 10:30 am

OMG! I kept whipping it, like, half the morning, and I think it might be okay! Thanks!

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58 Pamie April 16, 2012 at 7:02 am

Wow, thanks a lot. I spent like an hour whipping it before i found this page, just put it in the fridge. ^_^

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59 Beth April 30, 2012 at 6:48 am

Thank you so much! I made the margarita cupcakes and everything was moving along nicely until I added the lime juice and tequila to the frosting. But this fixed it right up. And the cupcakes were a huge hit! Thanks again!

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60 Novice May 5, 2012 at 9:07 am

You saved the DAY! THANK YOU SO MUCH!!!

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61 Jewel May 8, 2012 at 4:06 am

Hi! What if I do not have a microwave at home; and it becomes curdled? How should I rectify it? Thanks!!

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62 Ariel May 10, 2012 at 10:01 pm

Thank you so much for writing this post. I think you have just saved my SMB and taught me a very valuable trick–and lesson! Cake saved!

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63 abigail-mynappytales May 12, 2012 at 11:29 pm

Thank you for this post. You just saved my SMBC.

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64 Tracy May 14, 2012 at 9:29 pm

Question: What’s the best way to “smooth” swiss buttercreme once it’s on the cake? With regular “American” Buttercreme, you can use warm water to smooth out the frosting for a nice flat and smoothed surface. Can you do that with Swiss Meringue?

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65 Heather May 25, 2012 at 8:04 pm

Thank you so much for the tips. My buttercream was a curdle mess. You are a life saver :)

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66 Veiga May 31, 2012 at 3:44 am

Thank god for you, I was making SMBF for the first time for my daughters birthday. And it was all going wrong and I nearly gave up, but fist I thought of checking for rescues online and found your fix it tips. first my frosting was runny so I popped it in the fridge for 20 minutes and it stopped being runny but it turned curdled, so I took a querter and popped it in the microwafe. Then I held my breath as I pored it in the whipping again, and voila all of the sudden a magic started to happen and now it is sitting fluffy, creamy and oh so successful in the fridge waiting to be put on a lovely cake. Thank you a million times for saving my frosting and my sanity. :)

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67 bao kim June 1, 2012 at 12:18 pm

Dear Shawnda, First of all, I must say your Fresh Strawberry Cake is AWESOME, I have made this cake several times to rave reviews from my friends, so THANK YOU from all of us homebakers out there:) Of course I made YOUR Swiss Meringue Strawberry Buttercream for the cake, but I just wanted to try the French Buttercream (Made of egg yolks) to experiment, and found that the French Buttercream was a bit looser and doesn’t hold its shape as well as the Swiss Buttercream. I was wondering if it would be okay to mix in some of the Swiss Buttercream together with the French Buttercream to make the French Buttercream a bit sturdier??? I really dont want to throw away the French Buttercream, it would be such a waste, PLEASE give me your advice. Thank you for your help:)

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68 Becky June 13, 2012 at 12:07 pm

Thank you, thank you, thank you! I just made my second batch of SMB and it was so weird–both watery and cottage-cheesy…so strange! I was about to give up hope, but your FAQ gave me some great pointers! I ended up having to microwave some of the frosting because the butter was too cold to incorporate correctly. If it hadn’t been for your post, I never would have figured that out and might have had to start over! What a life saver (or at least a cake saver)!

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69 COOKING June 15, 2012 at 3:50 pm

OMG Thank you soooo much for that help…. I had a bad case of curdle, I had to microwave the thing 4 times and then i had perfection…. I nearly cried of happiness…. Thank you soooo much!!!

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70 syoung June 16, 2012 at 9:02 am

Up last night at 2 AM panicking; hours of work on margarita cupcakes (Martha Stewart’s recipe) for my brother-in-law’s 30th birthday party, all for nothing… Then I found your website with this easy fix. I had been trying to re-whip the curdled (#2) frosting for like 20 minutes, but after I added a bit of the microwaved stuff, It came back to life. It did take about 3 cups, each added and incorporated after one was fully blended in.

thanks thanks thanks :-)

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71 Emily July 1, 2012 at 10:34 am

Thank you for the help! I was starting to panic when my frosting turn its drastic turn. I stuck it in the fridge for 20 minutes, beat it, and it’s now as good as its pre-butter stages. :) Thanks!

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72 Anna July 2, 2012 at 1:17 pm

You are a saviour! I made the most stunning Italian Meringue Frosting with the help of a friend and her kitchenaid the day before planning to ice 40 cupcakes and a large chocolate cake. Pulled the frosting out of the fridge and started to pipe in 32 degree C heat and voila….curds & whey!!! I wanted to lie on the floor crying clutching the bowl like Julie in “Julie & Julia” (if you haven’t seen it get it on DVD now!!) with my husband saying “I knew that wouldn’t work”. But instead of floor sobbing & a divorce I googled and found your site and rescued the whole batch!!

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73 SNM July 3, 2012 at 11:39 pm

Thanks so much- your tips saved me! I was making a frosting for 4th of July cupcakes on July 3rd at 10 pm and my frosting looked like your cottage cheese picture! I thought I was done for as I had no eggs or sugar left (a special lavender sugar I had been “prepping” for days!), but that microwave trick worked perfectly! You saved Independence day :)

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74 Sarah July 5, 2012 at 8:39 am

Hi not sure if you can help me but I’ve stuffed my smbc up and I’m
afraid it’s beyond repair! I made a huge batch – 15 eggs whites, 800 gr sugar and 1 kg butter. because it was so much my mixer couldn’t accommodate it all after it had reached 140 degrees so I split it into two batches at this stage. I proceeded to made the first batch which came out great but the 2nd batch will not proceed to the glossy stage during the cool down stage. I ignored that and added the remaining half of the butter anyway and still it’s a lumpy runny mess. I’ve put it In the fridge in an attempt to ‘thicken’ it up but I don’t have faith in this theory. I believe this happened be ausr I didn’t clean the bowl or paddle before proceeding to whip the second warmed batch. Any ideas? Also I forgot to change back to the whisk as it was getting late so maybe this also affected it? Please help I would hate to throw this out after spending all that time in the kitchen! Thankyou!

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75 foodiebride July 5, 2012 at 10:31 am

I’d try everything that I could before giving up (cooling, microwave method), but I wouldn’t be very hopeful. You usually can’t get a meringue if there are any traces of fat in the bowl when whipping the egg whites.

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76 leemz July 6, 2012 at 11:15 pm

phew, gee thanks! The curdle one happened to me yesterday and I was like so disappointed of the buttercream and myself. But now I have faith in swiss meringue buttercream, again! Thanks you once again :)

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77 PD July 18, 2012 at 8:39 am

Thanks so much for your tips……although this is just the second time I’m making SMBF, I wanted to really stiffen it up to make some Wilton roses……..not the oh-so fluffy and glossy kind…that Is typical of SMBF…….could you help with some tips for achieving this…….maybe my meringue should be made of more egg whites….or should I use shortening instead of the butter?? Pls help….

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78 Bo July 20, 2012 at 1:40 pm

brilliant post…brilliant save

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79 Kate July 25, 2012 at 1:14 pm

LIFE SAVER!

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80 Stacy July 30, 2012 at 9:51 pm

I just wanted to say thank you sooo much, I was making a batch of frosting and it turned into cottage cheese so I microwaved it and it saved it! Thank you :)

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81 Michelle August 3, 2012 at 8:53 am

Thank you, thank you! I usually make Italian Meringue buttercream & never had this problem until I made Swiss today. This totally saved it for me.

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82 mickey August 10, 2012 at 5:04 am

Just wondering if I can add some lemon curd and/or a little lemon juice to my SMBC which I made yesterday. It looked perfect before putting in fridge. I would hate to ruin it at this point. Should I let it sit out awhile before remixing to make it smooth again? When, and how much lemon juice, curd should I add to a recipe in which I used 8 whites and 6 sticks of butter?

Thanks

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83 Mrs. Q. August 10, 2012 at 2:05 pm

Thanks you! I did not make Swiss buttercream, but had similar issues. This was a regular butter/conf sugar/cream recipe that you add boiling water to and mix. I’ve made it before and this time– soup. I chilled for a while and re-whipped. It’s not the texture it should be, more like whipped cream, but enough for me to pipe it on cupcakes and then pop then in the fridge. Saved. Thanks, and after all that, I think I’ll try your recipe suggestions next time.

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84 jmk August 12, 2012 at 10:02 am

I had a cottage cheese disaster yesterday and threw it away, I had made it the day before and refrigerated it !

How stable is this stuff for celebration cakes, if they get too cold will it go cottage cheese like and if it gets too warm will it melt ? I love the flavour of it but the instability of it worries me.

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85 S Levy August 19, 2012 at 12:09 am

These tips saved mybutt today. Thank you!!!!!!!!

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86 Charlotte August 26, 2012 at 7:58 am

I was about to throw away my curdled buttercream and call it quits but the microwave trick actually worked!!! Rescued!

I love you, kind internet stranger.

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87 Jessica September 20, 2012 at 7:07 pm

YOU ARE MY HERO! I just put my first successful Swiss Meringue Butter cream icing project in MONTHS into the fridge. All thanks to you! I am not even going to start cleaning up the giant mess in my kitchen until I take a moment to properly thank you for your super-helpful post.

I made my first batch of SMBCI last fall and had done dozens of cupcakes and cakes with it since, then just a few months ago (when the weather started to get nice mid-summer. I have never had to worry too much about the way temperature or humidity would affect my baking. I live in Seattle.) All of the sudden I kept ending up with “soup” I was flabbergasted and my confidence was seriously shaken. It had worked so well for me for months, then one day- nothing. Nothing I did seemed to correct it. I threw out more batches than I can count thinking that the butter was bad, ot the eggs were not at room temprature or something. I ruled out my bowl or beaters being oily because I could get to the meringue stage everytime, but it would collapse when I added the butter.

Your moment of silence for those lost batches, is more like an hour for me! I just kept tossing the soupy batches out and trying again, and again, and again to no avail. One day I made (and failed) with 4 batches! I gave up and made a ganache that day instead.

I never thought to pop the bowl into the fridge!!!!

Well, that’s what I did today. I nervously accepted a request from a friends husband for red velvet cupcakes for his wife’s birthday not knowing if I was going to have a huge failure again. But I had since read your post and I knew there was no way for me to know if it will work unless I try…. SUCCESS! I now have 24 beautiful chocolate swiss meringue butter cream – red velvet cupcakes. My confidence is restored! I will never let SMBI discourage me from baking up another cake again! I now know I can defeat it and bend it to my will!

Thank you so much for taking the time to put this together! I REALLY appreciate it!
~Jessica

….Now to turn all this positive energy back to cleaning my kitchen. Best of luck to YOU in your baking adventures.

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88 Rhaelyn September 29, 2012 at 1:37 pm

Wow….am I ever glad I found this! I unfortunately had the cottage cheese looking meringue and your tip to fix it was perfect!! The meringue looks fantastic now!

Thank you so much!

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89 Naomi October 13, 2012 at 7:03 am

I have successfully made Swiss Meringue Buttercream countless times, particularly the chocolate kind, with no problems at all until this time. My project was a bright red fire engine for my oldest son’s 3rd birthday. We had a busy few days planned so I made things in batches, the cake on the Friday morning, the buttercream on the Friday evening and then into the fridge (for the first time ever, although I didn’t realise the ‘problem’ with this plan at the time), all ready to assemble on Saturday night for the Sunday party.

Cue Saturday night, kids are bed, I assemble everything on the kitchen bench and proceed to (try to) stir my brilliant red buttercream, only to see if separate and curdle in front of my eyes!

Thanks to you and this wonderful blog post, I was able to resurrect the buttercream and within a few hours had a wonderful fire engine assembled and decorated! And, long before midnight! I’d had visions of being up all night whipping up a new batch (although with no more red colouring in the house I was in dire straits!) but you saved me.

Thank you!

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90 Joseph October 14, 2012 at 9:38 am

Thank you! I almost threw away my soupy mess, but you saved me! God bless internet forums.

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91 Victoria October 24, 2012 at 1:16 am

Thank you for just saving my curdled batch :)

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92 Jonna October 25, 2012 at 2:16 pm

You saved me ! I refrigerated my frosting thinking it needed to be cold!! Thanks gain

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93 Naaz October 29, 2012 at 9:49 am

Hi,

I’ve always used fresh cream for my frosting and I’v never had any problems with the consistency and is very smooth to spread on the cake. However yesterday I made the SMBC for the 1st time. It turned out to be good except that it was a bit stiff to spread. I am in Uk and its cold here. I am under the impression the cold weather makes the butter in the SMBC go a bit stiff or is it to do something with under or overbeating. Please advice..

Thanks

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94 Kaytie October 30, 2012 at 11:17 am

I can’t tell you how many batches of refrigerated frosting I’ve thrown away, only to start a fresh batch! I am SOOOO thankful for your tips – no more cottage cheese frosting for me. It whipped up beautifully today!

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95 Jen November 2, 2012 at 4:13 pm

HELP!
I am making Ina Garten’s coconut cupcakes, which are delicious. I have followed the icing recipe to a T. But the icing is super watery. It is cool in my kitchen, and I have checked the measurements a million times. I am going to pop it in the fridge and remix and see what happens. But why do you think this happened? So weird!
Thanks for your blog,
Jen

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96 Icha November 18, 2012 at 12:28 am

Thank you for the tips! I wish I had found your website last July when I tried to save my curdled strawberry SMBC to no avail (and had to deal with the heart-break of tossing it down the sink…). Now I know what to do if I have that problem again. Thank you!

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97 teela. November 19, 2012 at 6:16 am

this post totally saved my butt this weekend! thanks so much for the info!

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98 Lauren November 23, 2012 at 12:42 pm

Hey, thank you so much for posting this. I’ve never had curdled swiss before, and I had no idea what to do. you just saved my double batch, thanks!

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99 Cindy November 26, 2012 at 3:33 pm

I know this is going to sound strange to you buy, is there another method of heating the frosting? I don’t have a microwave! :-(

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100 foodiebride November 26, 2012 at 6:55 pm

I’d try a sauce pan over low heat for just a minute or set over a small sauce pan of simmering water for a minute or two.

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101 Kathleen January 2, 2013 at 11:46 am

I just tried your microwave tip for my > 5 day old SMB that had been stored in an airtight container in my fridge. It was a success! It returned to its original smooth consistency!
I have no plans to use this SMB but wondering if you have ever used SMB older than the 5 day recommendation.
Also is there an explanation why the addition of the warmed icing into the SMB works to restore its consistency? Emulsion related?
I’m so thrilled that I came across your site!
Many thanks!

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102 Nabiya November 30, 2012 at 11:35 pm

Thank you so much for this! I’ve made SMB frosting tons of times an today was the first time it came out looking like picture #1 and I was ready to pull my hair out cos the thought of separating all those eggs again was giving me a stomach ulcer. You’re a goddess xx

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103 Janessa December 2, 2012 at 4:08 am

Here’s how I rate the 4 types of frosting:

1. The Swiss
2. The Italian
3. The American

I’ve yet to try the the French. Maybe next week. But srsly I love the Swiss. It’s perfect and holds up in my country’s humid weather. It’s terrible living one degree north of the equator.

I digress. I’m sure Italian is great but I’m scared to death of it. I’ve been burned from making the sugar syrup. As for American. Well I love love it cos I have a major sweet tooth but its always a soupy mess in the heat even if I throw in a sack of icing sugar in the bowl. Not to mention, my mum just developed mild diabetes so definitely a no no in my household.

Anyway I’m bookmarking this in case things go wrong with the Swiss but so far, it’s been perfect. Except for that one time where I accidentally made scrambled eggs.

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104 Meredith December 8, 2012 at 7:56 pm

Thank you thank you thank you thank you!!!!

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105 Amanda December 15, 2012 at 6:02 pm

Thank you so much – I had a nasty curdled mess trying to make my first batch of a German buttercream – tried your microwave trick and I now have lovely billowy frosting! The pastry cream must have been too cold, but I was freaking out until I found your site- you saved my batch!

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106 dbs December 31, 2012 at 9:47 am

HELP! I made a batch of Caramel Swiss Buttercream and despite the fact that the color is sort of strange- sort of a weird orange-pink, it tastes like sweet butter – I made more caramel but it didn’t help with the taste much. I don’t know if I can save this batch – any ideas?

Thanks,

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107 Kristi January 10, 2013 at 7:59 pm

Thank you for saving my ‘cottage cheese’ frosting for hubby’s birthday cake!!! Appreciate ya!!

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108 Janis January 12, 2013 at 1:15 pm

You just saved my life! I must have walked away while leaving the mixer on high speed- seriously just for a few seconds to get something from the freezer and came back to what look like a curdled mess in my mixer. I almost cried, but thank goodness for the internet and this very helpful post…. I followed your tip and now I have nice pink fluffy buttercream for my daughter’s dinosaur cake. Thanks so much!!

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109 elzimmy January 29, 2013 at 10:11 am

Thank you so much for this. You saved my Bailey’s Irish buttercream for my husband’s Guinness chocolate birthday cake. I had zero eggs left after baking the cake and making the buttercream, so you really saved me! This worked like a dream. Thanks again!

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110 Toni-Jane February 4, 2013 at 5:55 pm

OMG!! Thank you so much! its approching midnight and I was already on my 3rd batch of cupcakes having disarsters with the rest, having finally perfected the cupcakes I almost screamed when by buttercream collapsed! fast running out of ingredients at almost midnight with sleeping children upstairs I was at my witts end! I had beautiful tasting slop! I’m expecting a house full of mummys in the morning who had been promised cupcakes with their coffee!! In desperation I ran to my laptop and googled it! mostly I got recipies! finally I came across this and figuring I has nothing to lose shoved my gloop in the fridge, 30 minutes later I had beautiful buttercream and the day is saved!

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111 Vivienne Nonis February 5, 2013 at 5:54 am

NO FREAKIN’ WAY!!! I read your tips with some skepticism. Was about to throw out an entire batch of curdled buttercream when I tried the “heat 1/4 in microwave” tip … and it totally worked!! I am still in disbelief, but I now have a huge bowl of salvaged swiss buttercream ready to go.

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112 Monique February 5, 2013 at 3:24 pm

You are my HERO. I happened upon this post last night after stupidly trying to flavor my smbc with fresh strawberry puree…only problem was I wasn’t patient enough to let my frosting reach room temp…enter exhibit B – the broken, separated, looks-like-barf MESS! You saved me! I took it all out this morning and let it come to room temp, then beat it with the paddle. Creamy, pinky-white perfection. I wish I’d taken pictures because it was like watching a miracle unfold in 3 minutes flat! Wish I could hug you right now :-)

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113 Shannon February 13, 2013 at 2:55 pm

OMG!! I was about ready to throw away my whole batch of Swiss buttercream because it had curdled!! But it took less than a minute to fix using your tip! Thank you so much!!!

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114 Amy February 15, 2013 at 8:09 pm

This SMB fix totally worked! You saved me $20, a trip to the grocery store, and probably a late night!

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115 Tais February 23, 2013 at 5:03 am

Thank you soooooooo much!
I had tried to make the swiss buttercream with martha’s stewart recipe and at first the meringue was just perfect but then when I had to add the butter everything just became a mess.
I was left with a quite disgusting-looking frosting all watery filled with stubborn butter bits!
When I looked at your INCREDIBLE website and saw the solution I dashed to the kitchen and put 1/4 of all the frosting in the microwave for 15 seconds just like you said and it freaking worked! :DDD
I was SO HAPPY! It really feels good when the desserts we make turn right ;)
Thanks again, seriously! You made my day :D
You are amazing I absolutely LOVE YOU! and your miraculous website of course :)

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116 M Anderson March 2, 2013 at 12:17 am

You just saved me BIG TIME.
Spend forever making a strawberry meringue buttercream for the filling in a six layer cake I was making, and then had to go eat dinner. Thought it would be fine if I put it in the fridge while I ate, WRONG.
Took it out and tried letting it thaw out, it was very hard so I thought maybe I ought to whip it in the mixer. Turned out horribly curdled and thought I was doomed. I was about to throw it out and just use a more simple filling (I was exhausted by making the first meringue and didn’t want to have to go through it again.)
As a last resort decided to check and see if there was a solution and found your site. THANKS so much! My cake is now chilling before I put a chocolate glaze over and it still has the same fantastic strawberry meringue buttercream I made earlier now and I am oh so very happy :)

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117 Jessica March 2, 2013 at 1:53 pm

You know, I’v been making swiss meringue buttercream perfectly for years. Until I read this article, then my batch turned into soup! Guess it’s good this was here.

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118 Lily March 3, 2013 at 2:47 pm

Hi! So, I’m new here, but I just wanted to say thank you. I’m making Swiss Buttercream for the first time right now, and your tip for curdled-looking frosting saved my best friend’s birthday cupcakes! Thank you so much!!

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119 Fi V March 3, 2013 at 3:15 pm

My hero! Thank you for the rescue remedy for curdled Swiss meringue. I’ve never made it before and was about to abandon all in the bin when I found your top tips. Meringue buttercream saved. Cake back on course. Thank you!

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120 m4nic baker March 10, 2013 at 10:09 am

You are a star.
Today was my first attempt at making this kind of frosting.
It was all going perfectly till I put the butter in , and even then it did not seem to bad, but then it started to curdle!!!!!
I was about to bin it till I read your suggestions
I took out some of the curdled mixture and heated it up for 20 seconds, then drizzled it back in
worked a treat
It was like magic
Thank you…..!

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121 Nata D. Coco March 16, 2013 at 8:05 pm

Just wanted to say thank you! I’ve made SMBC for myself many times with no problem… and of course, the first time ever a friend asks me to make a cake for her, that’s when I get sneak-attacked by a curdled batch. Cue your wonderful advice to save the day, my cake, and my sanity and a LOT of butter. Thanks again!

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122 Ken March 20, 2013 at 5:04 pm

I tend to fall in the 2nd example. Thanks for the tips!!

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123 Melinda March 21, 2013 at 9:11 pm

I think I owe you a box of chocolates or my firstborn child or something! I was utterly skeptical at trying your tips for my second scenario batch of frosting. But since I was just going to toss the frosting anyway, I figured I might as well give it a try. It came back together beautifully!! Thank you!!! I’ll never doubt again. :)

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124 Tasha McClam March 22, 2013 at 11:29 am

I was crying over a gigantic bowl of strawberry frosting Martha Stewart style, when I came across your advice!! THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU!!! Everywhere else recommended I start over, well I couldn’t because I had already use A TON of butter (the good kind even!) and about a million eggs, not to mention all my blood, sweat, and tears! So, I threw it in the fridge and BAM!!! It went from awful paint texture to beautiful, fluffy, goodness!! You are going straight to heaven, I am certain!

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125 Emily March 23, 2013 at 12:40 am

thank goodness for your tips! I thought I was going to have to throw over 1 pound of butter in the trash! I had cottage cheese frosting and your tips worked perfectly!!! THANK YOU!!!

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126 Kelly March 24, 2013 at 10:18 pm

Your tip for curdled swiss buttercream worked! Thank you for saving my cake!

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127 jadda main April 1, 2013 at 1:59 pm

Thank you! GREAT TIP! As with the others, you turned heartbreak and diasater into a sweet vanilla bean dream. One pound butter, 1 vanilla bean, farm fresh range free eggs and mastering the perfect devil food (with shaved premium scharfenberger chocolate) cupcakes and it was all down to the icing when I created a grainy, curdled liquid oozing mass. Into the refrigerator overnight and bring to room temp and rewhip. It should have worked, it had to–it didn’t. 5 minutes whipping time next 10 then 15 –nothing doing; it was still grainy, curdled, oozing mess. Now going on 22 minutes amd about to call it quits. In a final bit of desperation, off to the internet. Did someone have a magic cure? I am indebted to you and humbled–your tip worked like a charm!

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128 Dawn April 3, 2013 at 4:08 pm

I have tried this buttercream 3 times now the first time its work perfectly but put the left overs in the fridge and yeap tried to remix it and got cottage cheese, the other twice I’ve made it gain it was just like cottage cheese :( I did add some icing/powdered sugar and seemed to do the trick but obviously made a little sweeter but still no where near as sweat as regular buttercream.

Can I just ask, I cook the egg whites and sugar just until I can no longer feel the sugar grain, should I be cooking it so the egg white are very hot?

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129 Dawn April 3, 2013 at 4:09 pm

Forgot to say THANKS for the tips will sure try them out if I fail again :)

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130 Mariah April 4, 2013 at 4:38 pm

You are a godsend!! I was prepared to give up on my “cottage cheese” italian buttercream but within seconds of your trick it turned gorgeous. Thank you, thank you, thank you!!!

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131 Meg April 8, 2013 at 5:44 pm

Thank you!!!you saved Easter!!!!thank you thank you thank you!! :)

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132 Ma April 10, 2013 at 3:12 pm

I have tried to make this more than once but everytime it is time to add the butter, this thing goes FLAT! Watery!! Uuggghh. Can someone please help? Maybe post a video or something. This is very frustrating.

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133 Jonny April 12, 2013 at 3:42 pm

You have saved my bacon!

thank you so much for generously sharing your knowledge with us.

much love

Jonny xx

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134 Judy Malatras April 28, 2013 at 6:45 pm

Thank you for this great article. I made Swiss buttercream twice and both times it came out soupy. I tried one more time, and this time beat it 16 minutes and it was better but still not there. So I googled “problems” and found your site. Great information. Thank you!!! Love your site. Will try your margarita cupcakes! Judy

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135 Nies May 2, 2013 at 6:47 am

THANK YOU SO MUCH! you saved the day!!!!

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136 JReid May 5, 2013 at 4:45 pm

Thanks so much, this post was a lifesaver! I was at my wits end after my third batch turned to cottage cheese and I would have tried anything. Your tips saved my buttercream in 5 minutes, and I wish I had read this before I threw out two earlier batches! I’ve made it before and it worked beautifully, but I should have known not to make when it was rainy out. Unfortunately I needed it for a party the next day. Now I know it can be saved, and will def check here the next time it gives me trouble!

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137 Loren May 5, 2013 at 8:45 pm

OMG! Thank you so much! There I was pacing back and forth in my kitchen trying to figure out what I could have possibly done wrong. Shaking my head and refusing to throw away 3 sticks of butter (I was already feeling bad for the 4 yokes I had already trashed); I came on the internet and found this site. There will be cake after dinner after all. Thanks a million!!

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138 Andrea May 9, 2013 at 5:00 pm

my first time making a meringue…. total disaster. when i added sugar the whole thing went down.. BIG TIME!! so now it looks maple syrup. i don’t know what to do.

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139 Lavinia May 10, 2013 at 6:41 am

Thank you soooo much!!! I can´t believe this actually worked! I´m so happy as it is my first time making SMB. Firts it turned out like a soup, after some hours in the fridge, it curdled! I used the microwave trick, kept beating for a while and it all went smooth u__u
Thanks!!

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140 Mel May 10, 2013 at 11:34 am

Thank you for saving my curdled buttercream! I had honestly lost all hope. I tried your trick once and it didn’t seem to come together that easily…..I was also losing patience. I decided to take off some of the excess fruit juice, let it chill again in the fridge, tried one final time and TA-DA! Success!! This trick works wonderfully! Truly appreciate your great advice!

xo

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141 Tiff May 11, 2013 at 6:31 am

Hello! I would like to sincerely thank you all for creating this extremely helpful website! I was in deep deep deep buttercream looking like cottage cheese trouble until I found you guys! I cannot thank you enough! I had to ice 100 cupcakes and didn’t have any time to start over so when I crossed my fingers and tried your helpful tips I was greatly saved! Thank you sooooooooo much again!!!!!

Thank you Thank You Thank You!
(: I’m now truly in love with buttercream frostings and will start using it to cover just about all my pastries.

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142 erin a. May 18, 2013 at 10:40 am

YOU SAVED MY LIFE TODAY!!!
I can’t thank you enough! WEEEEEEE!

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143 Faith May 18, 2013 at 2:30 pm

Thankyou so much! Made SMB for the first time today, and first of all it was runny so I figured I should put it in the fridge, then I got it out and stirred it and it curdled!! Googled a solution and your amazing website came up, you have saved my life, I had 20 cupcakes to cover for a school fete tomorrow. THANKYOU!!!!

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144 Mary Beth May 24, 2013 at 3:13 pm

Oh Thank you Thank you! I put in the butter after it got too soft and looked like pic 1, then I refrigerated the icing and got pic 2. I did have to beat it for about 10 minutes and then the most amazing thing happened! It became beautiful fluffy buttercream icing! Thank you again for posting such simple and succinct instructions. BTW – I used Elisa Strauss’s recipe from Confetti Cakes – super yummy and now super fluffy!

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145 Max May 26, 2013 at 5:30 pm

Hello, I have a question, if you don’t mind answering. I put my swiss meringue buttercream into the fridge, and the next morning I had watery liquid separated from the rest of the frosting. Is this fixable? Thank you.

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146 Shawnda May 26, 2013 at 6:30 pm

Let it come all the way to room temp and then beat it. It might finish breaking on you and look soupy. But I’ve always been able to fix a broken buttercream.

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147 Max May 27, 2013 at 12:44 am

Thank you very much. But in the end, my mother had me tossed it because she was afraid it wasn’t safe to consume. I will have to try that next time.

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148 Valerie June 10, 2013 at 9:47 pm

Holy Molly! This actually worked !!! You saved my mango swiss meringue buttercream!!! Thank you sooooo much xoxoox

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149 Sarah June 11, 2013 at 11:46 am

I made a perfect Red Velvet today, and a second of extra whipping of the cream cheese frosting ruined it and made it look like cottage cheese. I microwaved, and rescued, and YOU SAVED ME. THANK YOU SO MUCH. I’m caplocky because of the utter despair I felt when I saw what had happened to my frosting, and how your instructions literally were magic. Thank you!

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150 Cammy July 27, 2013 at 11:37 pm

Thank you,thankyou,thank you.
Soupy mess that I whipped for about 40 minutes. Thief the fridge and still nothing….then added a little extra butter and ….BAM, not bad for a first try. I appreciate the help!!!!!

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151 Melissa July 29, 2013 at 8:38 am

Thank you so much for your tips. I was making a batch of Martha Stewart’s Strawberry Meringue Buttercream and everything was great until I added the pureed strawberries. That’s when it turned into the cottage cheese disaster. I didn’t have time or the ingredients to make another batch, so thank goodness for your post. It saved me from throwing it out!

Do you know why that happened? I’d like to know to prevent it from happening, but at least i know if it does that there is a quick fix!

Thanks again!

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152 Lola August 16, 2013 at 8:56 am

THANK YOU!!! GOD BLESS!

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153 Wensday Bermudez August 31, 2013 at 8:06 pm

Thank you for your tips! So lucky to have people like you to help us with our frustations with baking..

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154 Rae September 19, 2013 at 7:55 pm

Thank you for saving me from a cottage cheese disaster! I would have never thought about microwaving it but it came back together.

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155 Ang September 27, 2013 at 8:48 pm

You saved my buttercream!!! I was about to toss the cottage cheese mess after beating to death, trying the wisk, then the paddle, refrigerating… I thought I tried everything. But genius! Melt, pour then beat. Magic! Smooth glossy goodness. And I don’t have to dump in the garbage. Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!

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156 Magnus October 12, 2013 at 5:07 am

Is this for real? I was just standing with a batch of curdled No Bueno Buttercream in my hands, a random batch of Dulce de Leche in the fridge and family coming over to witness what they have been told is gonna be a a beautiful cake. Thanks to you, my pending disaster may still turn into possible success! Thank you so much!

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157 Shawnda October 13, 2013 at 2:27 pm

Hope it worked out for you!

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158 Gloria October 12, 2013 at 7:02 am

Thank you so much for this!!!! This safed my daughters first birthday cake … Phew thanks again!!!!!

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159 Gina October 30, 2013 at 8:27 am

You just saved me from ruining my cupcakes for the bakesale today, my frosting was all curdely in the morning. What an awesome tip!!!!!! Thanks for sharing, your awesome!

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160 asha November 12, 2013 at 7:47 pm

I really thought I was going to sayonara this experimental pumpkin swiss meringue buttercream I tried to make, due to the cottage cheese-y effect. I’ve never had a problem with buttercream doing this before, but your post gave me hope. I tried the melt method, but it didn’t work. Tried beating it to death, didn’t work. But your post did point out that these things work only if you’ve got the ratios right, and I suspected the pumpkin puree had wreaked havoc on the balance. So I added another tablespoon of butter, walked away from the stand mixer, came back 10 minutes later to a transformation to typical frosting. I’d looked at a few tutorials, but this one was the best in terms of really thinking through troubleshooting, so thank you!

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161 Shawnda November 13, 2013 at 8:23 am

Yay! Also? Pumpkin swiss meringue buttercream sounds completely fantastic!

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162 Nora November 23, 2013 at 9:40 pm

Thank you! I found you by googling “how to fix swiss meringue buttercream frosting”, and you saved the day!

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163 Janna December 4, 2013 at 8:41 pm

So glad I found this page. The reheating trick saved me from breaking into tears after working on this meringue for what seemed like forever. Thanks!

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164 nadia December 13, 2013 at 1:48 pm

Thank you so much for sharing! I worked up the courage to try SMB and it worked just perfectly for piping onto cupcakes or as a filling between cake layers. However both times that I tried to apply a smooth frosting on the outside of a cake with the SMB, it began to curdle again as I was actually working on smoothing the frosting on the outside of the cake. I take quite a while to add the buttercream to the cake, smooth and scrape the sides but I keep popping both the SMB as well as the cake in and out of the fridge just as I do with regular buttercream. However it started to separate and get curdled looking; not leaving a smooth finish at all. Any advice on how to avoid this for frosting smooth cakes with SMB?

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165 christine December 13, 2013 at 5:37 pm

You saved my life!! My buttercream curdled and I followed your tip to microwave 1/3 of it and BOOM!!! It was back to it’s glorious self!!

THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU!!!!!!!!

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166 Golda December 16, 2013 at 3:32 am

Thank YOU!!! You saved my day!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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167 Sarah December 19, 2013 at 6:11 pm

I just wanted to thank you for posting instructions AND pictures! Mine was the cottage cheese version, but the microwave tip worked out beautifully! Thanks :)

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168 Elizabeth December 24, 2013 at 9:35 am

Hi, my mom is working on her 30th Anniversary cake for her and my dad, and we weren’t liking the flavor so we added powdered sugar (and thanks to me a tiny bit of milk and cream cheese) and I think I ruined her frosting. After awhile of trying to sweeten it up (because it tasted like butter) it started to thin out. We put it in the fridge after finding your page, but I’m not sure if this will fix it or not. I’m desperate. She’s been working on this for hours for her cake and if I ruined it and we have to start all over I think we’ll both cry. Do you have any advice?

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169 Shawnda December 24, 2013 at 10:07 am

Plain SMBC is definitely a more buttery frosting than standard. I don’t want to be the one to give you bad news on Christmas Eve… but I have never seen powdered sugar “fix” swiss meringue buttercream frosting. But I’ll have my fingers crossed for you guys!

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170 Elizabeth December 24, 2013 at 10:26 am

Thank you anyway. Yeah, I’m pretty sure it’s not going to fix. It isn’t thickening up in the fridge like I had hoped. I’m going to try to save the day with another type of frosting. It won’t be fancy, but if I can save her cake somehow I’m going to do it. Especially since their anniversary is today. For future reference, to have a tastier buttercream frosting, what would you recommend?

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171 Elizabeth December 24, 2013 at 10:40 am

Also, thank you so much for responding. I wasn’t sure if I would hear back because today is Christmas Eve. We’re going to start over on the buttercream frosting because my mom is determined, LOL! And Merry Christmas to you and your family! =)

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172 Josee January 8, 2014 at 7:18 pm

I comb the web regularly for ideas, inspiration, recipes, etc. I never leave a comment on the sites. I must comment here. I threw out a double batch of SMBC yesterday. I tried again today. It looked “ruined” again. I couldn’t bear to throw out another batch. I hit the web. I found this entry. I put the bowl in the fridge. Twice. No good. I took out some of the SMBC and microwaved for 20 sec. Not enough. Took out some more and microwaved for 35 sec. And then a light shone down on my mixer and pure smooth goodness appeared. I shed a tear of gratitude to you. Thank you

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173 Michi January 14, 2014 at 12:35 am

Hello,

Thank you so much for your wonderful post. I made a swiss meringue buttercream and it was beautiful and fluffy until – doom! – I added food coloring to it. It completely broke into that nasty scrambled egg/cottage cheese mess.

I’m very new to food coloring – this was actually my first attempt at coloring (any) buttercream, so I was very sad that I ruined it. I used gel paste by Americolor. Is there a good method for adding gel paste color? Have you ever had food coloring break a buttercream beyond repair?
However, having said all that, I recall I did leave the frosting in the K.A. bowl for about 15 min. and it was cold enough in my kitchen that it “set.” Having read through your post, I wonder if the microwave trick would have fixed my meringue? What do you think? Apologies for the long question, but I appreciate any help! Thank you.

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174 Jenna January 18, 2014 at 2:42 am

The microwave trick!!! You saved me!!! Thank you so much!

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175 Calla Chamberlain February 2, 2014 at 8:01 pm

Bless you. Bless your family. Bless your dog. Bless your third cousin, twice removed.
You helped me bring my lumpy mess of frosting back from the dead. On the brink of disposal, your easy fixes gave my cake hope! You saved the icing and the rest of my day. You’re a wizard! And I am forever grateful!!

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176 Karla February 3, 2014 at 11:00 pm

This tips are awesome! i just tried the plan B and it tourned out just great! even better than the first time! thank you so much! :)

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177 betsy February 13, 2014 at 8:03 pm

you’ve completely saved me at the 11th hour! I’ll definitely remember the tip about microwaving a portion and then whipping it back into the rest of the icing. Total life saver!

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178 Leslie February 16, 2014 at 7:35 am

thank you for saving my frosting! great micro tip

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179 Maryanne Kuvochi February 22, 2014 at 10:35 am

Thank you! you just saved my opera cake!

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180 ChloeG February 27, 2014 at 5:05 pm

OMG! You save my day! Mine buttercream was like the cottage cheese! Now it is fixed! Thanks!

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181 kat March 6, 2014 at 4:49 am

you saved my SMB’s life! can’t thank you enough!

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182 Stacey @ Not Just Baby Brain March 22, 2014 at 1:10 pm

You just saved my husband’s birthday cupcakes, THANK YOU!!!!

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183 Andrea March 23, 2014 at 10:06 pm

Hello! Thank you in advance for your time! It’s sad to say that I haven’t had many successes with SMB. I just attempted a batch last night – after I added my butter (very soft butter), it became soup. Taking into consideration that the butter was probably too warm, I refrigerated for 20 minutes. It started to thicken and fluff up, but then it curdled. So, then I microwaved a portion and tried again. It became soup again! Determined to win, I put it back in the fridge. I repeated this twice before throwing it away.

I’m not sure what went wrong with this one. I usually make a smaller batch so I don’t have mountains of leftovers. Do you think it’s a proportion issue? I also underestimated how much butter I had on hand before I started and thought I could get away with a little less. I appreciate any insight you have! Thanks!

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184 Grace March 26, 2014 at 10:40 am

Most helpful post i’ve ever read on imbc and smbc ever, thank you so much for the tips. :) it’s saved me throwing out many a batch!

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185 M April 17, 2014 at 2:22 pm

OMG!! I just had failed miserably and accidentally saw this page and… it WORKED!!

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186 Jayne April 19, 2014 at 4:14 pm

I can’t believe this worked. I had a curdled mess a few minutes ago and now I have the icing on the cake! My first time with Swiss buttercream. It really is easy but takes a watchful eye. I know what I did wrong now so next time I expect it to be perfect! Thanks for the tips.

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187 Matty April 24, 2014 at 10:27 pm

Wow. I have made swiss meringue buttercream probably a hundred times. Tonight I made the strawberry one with fresh strawberry puree. I got the curdled mess. I started over before reading this blog. Just plain SMB and still got the cottage cheese. I was about ready to give up on them all together and the 15 seconds in the microwave fixed it!!! I will never understand food science or anything French! I just get really happy when it happens to turn out okay. Thanks for making my night!!!

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188 Sarah April 24, 2014 at 11:15 pm

Worked perfectly! Thank you!!!

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189 amanda May 2, 2014 at 7:41 pm

I have just thrown away 3 batches of swiss meringue…what a waste if only I had taken the time to read your article. Thanks

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190 Anna May 7, 2014 at 11:34 pm

It’s a miracle! Thank you!

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191 Laura May 9, 2014 at 11:16 pm

Thank you thank you thank you! Your page came up first on my search for separated Swiss meringue buttercream worked like a dream, thanks so much :)

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192 Susie May 23, 2014 at 9:24 pm

THANK YOU. I was in the process of making a birthday cake for my wife, and my chocolate swiss merengue buttercream curdled. I beat it for about 30 minutes – no change. Then I found your trick to heat some of the frosting. Bingo. You saved the day, seriously.

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193 Orla May 27, 2014 at 6:10 am

Thank you SO much. Normally have no problem with my buttercream but today I ended up with a bowl of curdled mess!! Followed your “fix” and could hardly believe my eyes as it returned to a lovely smooth perfect buttercream. :-)

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194 Lyn June 15, 2014 at 1:16 am

Thankyou so much you saved the day for me and it worked perfectly!!!

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195 Cindy Goodwill June 19, 2014 at 6:13 am

Thank you for saving my frosting from disaster! You rock!

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196 Katie June 27, 2014 at 10:18 am

When I make my swiss meringue buttercream, the first step doesn’t turn into stiff peaks- it looks more like glossy marshmallow fluff – this has happened everytime I make it. Do you have any idea what could be causing this? Thanks!!

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197 Dhanya July 18, 2014 at 8:23 am

Thank you a million times…like so many others have mentioned above, you saved my cake :) Similar story – First time Swiss Buttercream, Husband’s birthday cake (and our wedding anniversary on the same day), cottage cheese and on the verge of tears – but your microwave tip worked like magic, and that too within a few seconds, the cheese-mess turned into a fluffy cream instantly. I bookmarked the page right away, not only for future attempts, but also for thanking you :) Again, I can’t thank you enough!!

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198 Ben July 31, 2014 at 7:03 am

Thank you so much for spreading he good word on swiss meringue butter cream! I have a whole other issue: I use Bo Friberg’s “the Professional Pastry Chef” which calls for butter and margarine. In the past I have made it with just butter and added some melted white chocolate at the end like he suggests if you cook without margarine. But this time I happen to have some margarine sitting around so I tried it and it tastes like marshmallow fluff. Also in the fridge, the frosting usually hardens to the consistency of cold butter, but now it still has the texture of marshmallow fluff. Is this because of the margarine? Is it suppose to taste like this?

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199 Pat Rutkowski August 2, 2014 at 10:18 am

Need to no can you add powder sugar to swiss meringue
to sweeten it up after it have been thawed to me it isn’t
sweet enough.

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200 Shawnda August 5, 2014 at 3:40 pm

You can try but you run the risk of breaking the meringue and not being able to salvage it.

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201 Jaime August 15, 2014 at 5:19 pm

I just wanted to THANK YOU for posting this helpful tip! I was about to throw out a triple batch that I was using to fill a wedding shower cake with…but then I found your post and was able to rescue it!!! Phew! You saved me lots of time, money and frustration!!!

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202 Dana August 19, 2014 at 11:17 pm

THANK YOU!!! My frosting was looking like cottage cheese, and this just saved my cupcakes :D

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203 Tracey August 27, 2014 at 6:48 am

Wow! Thank you for the tip. Just used it to rescue my “cottage cheese” frozen SMB.
Best tip ever!!!

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204 Hendrika September 6, 2014 at 7:13 am

Hi! But how to fix it when your frosting starts to get runny while already on your cake?
It was perfect before I iced it! Can the amount of butter in the buttercream cause this? I made IMBC with a reduced % of butter , it came together beautifully but started to break after one hour…I can actually see tiny “lakes” on the surface of the cake…ideas?

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205 Yanning October 1, 2014 at 9:26 pm

Hello, you guys are brilliant you have made my WEEK and saved my buttercream!!! It was for a really important cake and I was running out of time & money oh good lord thank you for this wonderful blog!

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206 Farah.F October 8, 2014 at 10:43 pm

OMG, thank you thank you thank you. love you for these life saving tips.

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207 Julie October 15, 2014 at 7:55 am

Thank you so much. I’ve made Swiss meringue Buttercream twice with success and you know it would happen to be the one day before my son’s 13th birthday that I pulled it out of the fridge super hard but shiny and smooth, tried to re whip it and it became cottage cheese using your microwave tip it salvaged all my time, butter and eggs. THANK YOU SO MUCH!

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