I’ve been eyeing this cake for months, yearning for a reason to make it. Having full cakes lying around the house is just not a good option. A small bridal shower gathering seemed to be the perfect occasion for those beautiful roses. I wasn’t given much direction with this cake, so I was very excited to make it!
Shiny and smooth, Swiss Meringue Buttercream has worked its way into my heart as a possible favorite frosting. The only problem that I have with it is sometimes I don’t have half a dozen eggs, only to use the whites. If I’m not making a custard or sugar cookies, traditional SMB can be quite wasteful.
I don’t know if I trust those egg whites that come in a milk container yet, but I do trust powdered egg whites! If you haven’t already, go buy some meringue powder. Ateco brand is my favorite, but you have to buy it online. My next favorite is Williams Sonoma brand, but again, those stores aren’t exactly all over the place. Wilton brand is very available at craft stores, there are three different sizes sold at Michaels. While it’s flavor is not my favorite for royal icing, it’s fine in SMB because of the added vanilla extract. (This recipe isn’t real SMB, it’s really more like a regular buttercream stabilized with meringue powder but the texture is closer to SMB so I’ll call it a Quick Swiss Meringue Buttercream)
The original recipe uses all butter, and while I’d normally much prefer that to a combo of butter and shortening, these humid summer months make full butter buttercream very droopy and sad looking. I subbed in 1/2 cup of shortening for the butter, which seemed to make it hold up nicely.
-1/2 cup water
-3/4 cup granulated sugar
-1/3 cup meringue powder
-1 lb (4 cups) confectioners sugar
-1 1/2 cups (3 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
-1/2 cup shortening (Crisco)
-1 tsp vanilla extract
Bring water to a boil, add granulated sugar and stir until dissolved. Let cool at room temp for about fifteen minutes. Pour into the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a whisk attachment, add meringue powder. Beat on high until stiff peaks form. Add the confectioners sugar and beat until smooth. Add the butter one tablespoonful at a time, once it is smooth add the shortening. Add vanilla and beat until smooth. Use immediately. Once a cake is frosted with this, refrigerate.