This beautiful Raspberry Buttercream frosting is an intensely fruity and flavorful version of my Swiss meringue buttercream. It's ultra-creamy, stable (meaning it will hold its shape), light, and fluffy. If you've never tried this type of buttercream before then you should definitely try this recipe. Below, I share my foolproof recipe and tip and tricks for making this delicious buttercream for your favorite cake.
I love Swiss meringue buttercream. The first time I made it I couldn't believe how good it was and how easy to make. It was like luxurious whipped cream. Since that time, it's my go to frosting for cakes and cupcakes. One of things I love about it is how easy it is to flavor, whether it's making something like this raspberry buttercream, or making a caramel version.
With only 5 basic ingredients you get an incredibly creamy buttercream. For this recipe, the 6th ingredient is fresh raspberries which produces a fruity and tart buttercream, that's perfect for almost any cupcake or cake.
I recommend this buttercream for vanilla, chocolate and lemon cake. So if you already have a favorite cake recipe, try this buttercream, or try with these delicious raspberry cupcakes. And if you like the combination of raspberry lemon pair it with these incredible lemon cupcakes.
Raspberry Buttercream Ingredients
Here are the ingredients you'll need for this delicious buttercream frosting:
- Raspberries: Raspberries add a beautiful and natural color and berry flavor to the buttercream. You can use fresh or frozen raspberries. If using fresh raspberries make sure they taste good. Good raspberries are sweet with a little tartness.
- Lemon Juice: The lemon juice pairs really well with the raspberries.
- Egg Whites. The egg whites create the meringue which is the base of the buttercream.
- Granulated Sugar. The sugar adds sweetness to the buttercream but also helps to create a stable meringue.
- Kosher Salt. The salt adds a nice counterbalance to the sweetness of the meringue.
- Unsalted Butter. Butter turns meringue into meringue buttercream. Don’t use salted butter because that amount of salt will produce an off taste. The butter should be at room temperature (65-68F) when it’s added to the meringue. Butter that is too warm (above 72F) will produce a buttercream that is kind of soupy. For accuracy, you can use an instant-read thermometer to check the temperature. Cut the butter into tablespoon-size pieces before using.
- Pure Vanilla Extract: Compliments the raspberry flavor of the buttercream.
Full ingredients, measurements, and instructions are in the recipe card at the bottom of this post.
How to Make Raspberry Buttercream
One of the lovely things about Swiss Meringue Buttercream is that is a recipe of perfect proportions. For every large egg white (30 grams), use 1/4 cup of granulated sugar and about 8 tablespoons of unsalted butter.
The raspberry sauce is reduced to concentrate the flavor and remove most of the moisture so the buttercream doesn't become thin or soupy when the sauce is added.
Step 1: If you using fresh raspberries, rinse them off in a colander under a spray of water. Remove any moldy berries. If using frozen berries don't thaw them out.
Step 2: Place the raspberries (fresh or frozen), sugar, and lemon juice in a 3 or 4-quart saucepan.
Step 3: Bring the blackberry mixture to a boil, reduce to medium heat and cook until the berries are soft enough to mash with a back of a large spoon.
The reason I use a bigger saucepan for even small amounts is because the ingredients cook quicker with the larger surface area.
Step 4: Strain the raspberry puree through a fine-mesh strainer to remove the seeds to make the sauce smooth. Return the sauce to the saucepan and cook on medium low heat until it's reduced.
Step 5: Pour the reduced raspberry sauce into a bowl and let it cool to room temperature before adding it to the buttercream.
The raspberry sauce can be refrigerated for up to 1 week in an airtight container before making the Swiss meringue buttercream.
Step 6: Whisk together sugar, egg whites, eggs in the large mixing bowl of a stand mixer. Then set the bowl over a saucepan filled with simmering water. Do not let the bottom of the mixing bowl touch the water.
Step 7: Whisk the whites and sugar constantly until sugar is dissolved and the mixture has thinned out and reached a temperature of 165°F. The mixture will be thick and tacky at first, then thin out and appear frothy on top. Use an instant-read thermometer to check the temperature.
If you're making this recipe for the first time, I highly recommend using an instant-read thermometer to ensure you're hitting the right temperature. It's a simple check and ensures success.
Step 8: Once it reaches the correct temperature place the bowl on the mixer stand.
Step 9: With the whisk attachment beat the meringue on high speed until it is cool to the touch, about 80-85F.
The meringue should be smooth and glossy with soft peaks with the beater is lifted straight out of the bowl.
Step 10: Reduce the mixer to medium speed and add the butter 1 tablespoon at a time. Continue to add the butter until the buttercream looks like thick whipped cream. Beat in the vanilla extract
Step 11: Whip two tablespoons of raspberry sauce into the buttercream. After that add the raspberry sauce 1 tablespoon at a time until the desired flavor is achieved.
The butter should be between 65-68 degrees F before adding it to the whipped egg whites. If the butter is too warm the buttercream won't set up and it will have a soupy consistency no matter how much butter you add. Trust me I know.
One thing I've learned over the years is that sometimes the amount of butter may vary. You may end up using less butter than the recipe calls for to reach the desired texture and creaminess.
You can use the same method to reduce other fruit such as blackberries, strawberries, and blueberries to make other fruit-flavored buttercreams. Check out my recipe for Blackberry Buttercream in my Blackberry Lime Cake recipe.
How to Store the Buttercream
Room Temperature. Store the buttercream at room temperature for 1-2 days in a bowl covered with plastic wrap or a lid.
Refrigerated. Store the buttercream in an airtight container for up to two weeks in the refrigerator.
Freezer. Freeze the buttercream for up to 3 months in an airtight container. Thaw it out at room temperature on the counter. Once completely at room temperature, place it in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment and beat for 2-3 minutes until creamy again.
Pro Tips for Making This Recipe
- It is essential to have a clean and dry bowl for whipping the egg whites. The egg whites cannot contain any egg yolk whatsoever. If the bowl is not completely clean or there is egg yolk in the egg whites, it prevents the meringue from setting up.
- This recipe uses large egg whites. If you're using different size eggs use a kitchen scale to weigh the egg whites.
- Eggs are easier to separate when cold, but egg whites whip up easier when closer to room temperature. I recommend separating the egg in advance. In addition, allowing the egg whites to sit gives them a chance to relax, which improves their elasticity during the whipping process.
- For best results use room temperature butter (65-68F). If the butter is too warm, the buttercream will be soupy and not set up properly. If that happens, chill the buttercream in the refrigerator for 15 minutes.
- It is entirely normal for the Swiss meringue buttercream (SMBC) to look soupy or curdled in the beginning after a portion of the butter has been added. That’s okay, just continue to whip it and it will soon firm up and become creamy.
Recipe - Frequently Asked Questions
Yes, because of the sugar content and the fact that the egg whites are cooked this buttercream can sit at room temperature for 1-2 days.
No, Swiss meringue buttercream does set hard nor does it form a crust or dry out like American buttercream can. That’s why SMBC is excellent for creating the smoothest frosting detail on cakes and perfectly piped (yet still fluffy tasting!) designs.
Yes. Swiss meringue buttercream can be refrigerated for up to 2 weeks or frozen for up to 3 months. If freezing, store it in an airtight container, then thaw it at room temperature on the counter. Once completely at room temperature, about 72°F (22°C), place into the bowl of your stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment and beat for 2-3 minutes until creamy again.
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If You Like This Recipe, Try These Recipes
- 12 ounces (340 grams) fresh or frozen raspberries
- 3 tablespoons (37 grams) granulated sugar
- 2 tablespoons (30 grams) fresh squeezed lemon juice
Swiss Meringue Buttercream
- 5 large (150 grams) egg whites
- 1-1/4 cups (250 grams) granulated sugar
- 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
- 30 tablespoons (424 grams) unsalted butter room temperature (65-68 degrees F)
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- Place a medium sized bowl with a fine-mesh strainer next to the stove.
- Place the fresh raspberries, sugar, and lemon juice in a medium-sized saucepan and bring it to a boil. Quickly reduce the heat to medium and cook the raspberry mixture until the raspberries are soft enough to smash with the back of large spoon or a potato smash.
- Transfer the berries to the fine-mesh strainer and use the back of a large spoon to press the berry mixture through the strainer to remove the seeds. Get as much juice and pulp out of the raspberries as possible. You should have about 3/4 cup of raspberry coulis.
- Return the raspberry sauce to the saucepan and cook on medium heat, stirring constantly, until it is reduced by half. You should have 6-7 tablespoons of coulis, when it’s finished.
- Half fill a 3-quart or 4-quart saucepan with water and bring it to a simmer over high heat. Once it starts to simmer, reduce the heat to medium.
- Place the egg whites and sugar in the bowl of a stand mixer and set it over the pan of simmering water. Do not allow the bottom of the pan to touch the water.
- Whisk until the mixture by hand until reaches 165 degrees F then immediately put the bowl on the mixer stand, attach the whisk attachment and whip at medium-high speed until the meringue mixture is cool (about 75-80F).
- With the mixer on medium speed add the butter to the meringue one tablespoon at a time. About half through the buttercream will begin to look curdled. Don’t worry it’s supposed to look like this. Continue to add the butter and eventually the buttercream will begin to look creamy and smooth, almost like thick whipped cream. You may need less than the full amount of butter to reach the desired consistency.
- Scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl. Add 2 tablespoons of the raspberry sauce to the buttercream and mix it in on medium speed. The buttercream will be light pink. Add the raspberry 1 tablespoon at a time mixing on medium speed after each addition until the desired flavor is achieved.
- Use the buttercream right away to frost and decorate your cake or cupcakes.
- The buttercream is good at room temperature for up to 2 days because of the amount of sugar which inhibits bacteria growth and the cooked egg whites. The buttercream can be refrigerated in an airtight container for up to 2 weeks. When ready to use, place in the bowl of a stand mixer and beat on medium speed for 2-3 minutes until it appears smooth and creamy.
- To freeze the buttercream place it in an airtight freezer safe container. It can be frozen up to 2 months. When ready to use the buttercream let it come to room temperature (68-70 degrees F) on the kitchen counter and then follow the directions above to restore its smooth and creamy texture.