Looking to kick your homemade frosting skills up a notch and aren't scared of a little extra work? Well, our Italian Buttercream Frosting is just the ticket. This recipe makes a batch of buttercream that’s less sweet than an American buttercream and not quite as buttery-tasting as its French counterpart. It has a dainty taste and airy, rich texture which makes this Italian Meringue Buttercream an upscale option for both frosting and decorating everything from a simple 2-layer chocolate cake to an elaborate lemon wedding cake. Once this recipe becomes second nature, try adding some chocolate for another delicious flavor option.
In a small saucepan, combine 1 and 1/4 cups of granulated sugar and 2/3 of a cup of water. Cook over medium-high heat, stirring just until sugar just starts to dissolves. Let it cook until it the syrup reaches 240°F when measured with a candy thermometer. Set mixture aside.
Next, in a large bowl, beat the 5 egg whites and 1/2 teaspoon of salt with an electric stand mixer fitted with the whip attachment on high speed until stiff peaks form.
With the mixer still running, slowly drizzle the sugar syrup that was set aside, down the side of the bowl. Continue to beat the mixture until the bowl has cooled to room temperature, which should take about 10-12 minutes. Do not begin adding the butter until the mixture has cooled fully.
Gradually add the butter, 1 piece at a time as the mixer runs, beating on medium-high speed. Let each piece of butter incorporate fully before adding another. The texture of the frosting will change as the butter is incorporated.: First, it will become runny. Next, it may appear curdled. Once all of the butter has been added, add the 2 teaspoons of vanilla and continue whipping for about 1-2 minutes until smooth.