Lemon Buttercream (Version 2)

Yield: about 3 cups
Recipe: 44/200
“Back to Baking”, pp. 147

    Lemon Swiss buttercream. Oh, the difficulties I had when making this recipe the first time for the larger batch. Succinctly, it was my first time making buttercream with egg whites and the result was a very runny and lumpy mixture. Not pleasant.

    Fortunately, with helpful comments and suggestions from Anna and other readers, I tried this recipe again, which is simply a smaller batch. I don’t know if it is the new stand mixer, increased patience on my part or the fact that I had your tips in mind, but the result was a heavenly, fluffy, spreadable and lemony Swiss buttercream. Pure delight. I am quite pleased that I was able to learn from my mistakes and get it right this time! The amount of buttercream made from this recipe is just perfect to cover the cake and add a decorative touch.


  • 1 cup sugar
  • 4 egg whites
  • 1 1/2 cups unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract


  1. In a large metal bowl, whisk together the sugar and egg whites until well combined.
  2. Place the bowl over a pot of simmering water and whisk by hand until the sugar has dissolved and the mixture is hot, about 3 minutes. Remove from heat.
  3. Using a stand or hand mixer, whip the mixture until it has cooled to room temperature, about 6 minutes. Note that the egg whites will have more than doubled in size.
  4. While beating, add the butter a little at a time, and mix until homogenous.
  5. Add the lemon juice and vanilla extract and beat until the buttercream is smooth and fluffy. The frosting is best used at room temperature, but can be stored in the fridge.

Notes from Anna:

  • If you want to make the frosting in advance, you can chill to store, but bring it to room temperature and beat it to make it spreadable when needed.