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Source: FamilyTime Favorites

Classic Swiss Meringue Buttercream
This silky smooth frosting is enormously versatile. It requires patience to make, but the payoff is big!
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Serves: Makes about 3 cups
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: about 5 minutes
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3 large egg whites
3/4 cup sugar
1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
3/4 pound (3 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature, cut into pieces

In a double boiler set over medium heat, whisk the egg whites and sugar until the sugar is completely dissolved. Whisk constantly so that the egg whites do not begin to cook.

Immediately transfer the warm mixture to the clean, dry bowl of an electric mixer and beat on medium speed until frothy. Add the cream of tartar and increase the speed to medium-high.

Beat until the stiff peaks start to form. Add the vanilla and continue beating until the meringue cools to room temperature and the peaks are glossy and stiff. Feel the outside of the bowl to determine when the meringue cools.

Add the butter, 1 tablespoon at a time, mixing until each piece is completely incorporated before adding the next. If the butter starts to get so soft it looks oily, refrigerate it for a few minutes. When all the butter is incorporated, the buttercream will be light and fluffy.

For best results, use immediately or cover and refrigerate. Whisk or beat the chilled frosting before using.

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