Brown Sugar Swiss Meringue Buttercream

Silky smooth brown sugar buttercream is a winter baking dream come true! Brown sugar is dissolved into egg whites over low heat and then we whip it into a super fluffy meringue! Whip in your butter, vanilla, some cinnamon, and salt and you have the best buttercream ever!
↓ Recipe ↓ Video Never Miss A Cake
Total Time: 35 mins
Serves: 6 cups
close up of brown sugar swiss meringue buttercream on a cupcake

Silky smooth brown sugar buttercream is a winter baking dream come true! Brown sugar is dissolved into egg whites over low heat and then we whip it into a super fluffy meringue! Whip in your butter, vanilla, some cinnamon, and salt and you have the best buttercream ever!

close up of brown sugar swiss meringue buttercream on a cupcake

Brown Sugar Buttercream Ingredients

I love the flavor the brown sugar adds to this swiss meringue buttercream frosting. I added cinnamon to my recipe but you could use any kinds of spices you like to accent the cake you are pairing it with. I’m putting this buttercream on my gingerbread cake recipe but it would also taste amazing with apple spice cake, pumpkin spice cake, or even brown butter cake!

brown butter cake ingredients

If you don’t have brown sugar or you don’t want to take the extra step of dissolving the brown sugar into the egg whites and making the meringue, you can make this buttercream using my easy buttercream recipe. Just add in 4 Tablespoons of molasses and 2 Tablespoons of cinnamon. 

 

Brown Sugar Buttercream Step-By-Step

Step 1 – Bring two inches of water to a simmer over medium-high heat. Once it’s simmering, reduce the heat to medium-low.

Step 2 – Place your egg whites and brown sugar together in the metal bowl of your stand mixer and whisk to combine.

egg whites and brown sugar in a metal mixing bowl

Step 3 – Place the bowl on top of the simmering water and whisk continuously until the grains of sugar are dissolved. Don’t walk away or you could accidentally cook your eggs.

hand touching egg whites and brown sugar mix

Pro-tip – (or oops I accidentally multi-tasked and got distracted tip) if you do walk away and see some bits of cooked egg, you can strain it out and then continue with your buttercream. It’s not ruined. 

Step 3 – Once you cannot feel any grains of sugar, take the egg mixture off the heat and attach it to your stand mixer with the whisk attachment. Turn the mixer onto high and let your eggs whip until you reach stiff STIFF peaks. Stiff peaks are when the meringue stands straight up from the whisk. This can take 5-15 minutes depending on the strength of your mixer.

egg and brown sugar mixture whisking on a stand mixer

Step 4 – Because I’m impatient, I like to scoop out my meringue and place it onto a cookie sheet to cool down quickly in the fridge. You can stick the whole bowl in the fridge but it takes much longer. We can’t whip in the butter until the meringue is cool or it will melt the butter and we’ll get brown sugar soup!

brown sugar meringue on a green sheet pan

Step 5 – After about 10 minutes, your meringue shouldn’t feel warm anymore, scoop it back into the bowl and start mixing on medium speed while adding in your chunks of room temperature butter.

Step 6 – Add in your salt, vanilla, and cinnamon. Increase the speed to high and whip the buttercream until it’s light and fluffy and doesn’t taste like butter anymore.

Close up of brown sugar buttercream on a whisk

Pro-Tip: If your buttercream is too cold and seems like it’s clinging to the sides of the bowl and whisk you can fix it. Remove about 1 cup of the buttercream and place it into a bowl. Microwave it until it’s barely melted. It took me about 30 seconds.

Pour the half-melted buttercream back into the bowl and continue mixing, it should get light and fluffy now. 

Related Recipes

Moist Vanilla Cake Recipe

Brown Butter Cake

Fresh Apple Cake

Did You Make This Recipe?Leave a rating and tell me how it went!
close up of brown sugar swiss meringue buttercream on a cupcake

Brown Sugar Swiss Meringue Buttercream

Silky smooth brown sugar buttercream is a winter baking dream come true! Brown sugar is dissolved into egg whites over low heat and then we whip it into a super fluffy meringue! Whip in your butter, vanilla, some cinnamon, and salt and you have the best buttercream ever!
5 from 4 votes
Print Rate Never Miss A Cake
Prep Time: 10 mins
Cook Time: 10 mins
Cooling: 15 mins
Total Time: 35 mins
Serves: 6 cups
Calories: 890kcal

Ingredients

  • 8 ounces (227 g) egg whites fresh is better, you can use boxed if needed
  • 14 ounces (397 g) light brown sugar
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 18 ounces (510 g) unsalted butter room temperature
  • 1 Tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 1 Tablespoon ground cinnamon

Equipment

  • Stand mixer with whisk attachment

Instructions

  • Bring two inches of water to a simmer over medium-high heat. Once it's simmering, reduce the heat to medium-low.
  • Place your egg whites and brown sugar together in the metal bowl of your stand mixer and whisk to combine.
  • Place the bowl on top of the simmering water and whisk continuously until the grains of sugar are dissolved. Don't walk away or you could accidentally cook your eggs.
  • Once you cannot feel any grains of sugar, take the egg mixture off the heat and attach it to your stand mixer with the whisk attachment. Turn the mixer onto high and let your eggs whip until you reach stiff STIFF peaks. Stiff peaks is when the meringue stands straight up from the whisk. This can take 5-15 minutes depending on the strength of your mixer.
  • Because I'm impatient, I like to scoop out my meringue and place it onto a cookie sheet to cool down quickly in the fridge. You can stick the whole bowl in the fridge but it takes much longer. We can't whip in the butter until the meringue is cool or it will melt the butter and we'll get brown sugar soup!
  • After about 10 minutes, your meringue shouldn't feel warm anymore, scoop it back into the bowl and start mixing on medium speed while adding in your chunks of room temperature butter.
  • Add in your salt, vanilla, and cinnamon.
  • Increase the speed to high and whip the buttercream until it's light and fluffy and doesn't taste like butter anymore.

Nutrition

Serving: 4oz | Calories: 890kcal (45%) | Carbohydrates: 67g (22%) | Protein: 5g (10%) | Fat: 69g (106%) | Saturated Fat: 44g (220%) | Cholesterol: 183mg (61%) | Sodium: 382mg (16%) | Potassium: 170mg (5%) | Fiber: 1g (4%) | Sugar: 65g (72%) | Vitamin A: 2125IU (43%) | Calcium: 91mg (9%) | Iron: 1mg (6%)

7 comments on “Brown Sugar Swiss Meringue Buttercream

  1. Hello Liz. I love your recipes. I have only made Italian merenge buttercream because I find SMB a little intimidating.. Can I use Brown sugar in IMB and get the same effect? Thanks

    1. I haven’t tried it, but I don’t see why not! I’ll do a test soon

  2. 5 stars
    Your recipies are easy to follow. Love the way you work. Thank you for sharing. Merry christmas to you and your family.

    1. Thank you so much! Merry Christmas to you and yours too <3

  3. 5 stars
    I used your recipe for Italian meringue buttercream and substituted brown sugar. It turned out BEAUTIFULLY!

  4. Did I just do Swiss Meringue? Been very intimidated but went for it. Thank you again!

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