Black Swiss Meringue Buttercream

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Ever wonder how to do this without adding loads of grainy black cocoa powder? We'll make our own black Swiss meringue buttercream, and in the video below, I'll explain the science and meaning behind every step.

You'll need the Vanilla Swiss meringue recipe below, or you can use my cakeculator to create as much of this Swiss meringue buttercream you need for your cake.

You'll also need some high quality gel food coloring, such as Americolor, which I buy from Amazon here.

Vanilla Swiss Meringue Buttercream Recipe

Yield: 4.5 cups

  • 1/2 cups (151g) egg whites, fresh
  • 1 1/4 cups (250g) granulated sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
  • 1 1/2 cups (354g) unsalted butter, softened to cool room temp
  • 3/4 teaspoons (2g) vanilla extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon (1g) salt
  1. Prepare your double boiler. Make sure you can fit your stand mixer (or other heatproof) bowl on the top so that the bottom is exposed to steam but not directly touching the water. Bring the water beneath to a gentle boil.
  2. To the bowl of your stand mixer (or other heatproof bowl) add egg whites, sugar, and cream of tartar. Mix with a spatula. It will be viscous (pretty gooey) and thick. Place on top of the double boiler and check to make sure that the steam is getting to the bottom of the bowl properly.
  3. Continuously stir with the spatula. The eggs will thin out, all the sugar will melt, and the mixture will become more opaque. Use a thermometer to make sure you reach 165. Remove from double boiler.
  4. Place the bowl in a stand mixer fitted with a whisk. Whisk on high speed for 10 minutes until the bowl has cooled to the touch, the meringue has more than tripled in volume, and starts to ball up around the whisk. Set aside to cool completely.
  5. Add in the butter, one TB chunk at a time. The frosting will lose volume at first, and then start to come together and look and feel little like firm freshly whipped cream, leaving tracks in the frosting.
  6. Add your vanilla and salt.
  7. You can use it immediately, store in the fridge for a couple weeks, or the freezer in an airtight container for a couple months.
Meet Adriana

Hello, I'm Adriana, a science and tech nerd that loves to create helpful resources for home bakers. This is home the Cakeculator and a recipe repository for all my baking vids you find on YouTube/Tiktok/Instagram. Hope you have fun around here!

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