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Chocolate Swiss Meringue Buttercream [Video Tutorial]

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Chocolate Swiss Meringue Buttercream is a creamy chocolate buttercream with silky finish. It’s a perfectly elegant frosting for cakes and cupcakes and less sweet than American buttercream. Read through my all tips and watch the step-by-step video recipe.


A vintage measuring cup filled with silky chocolate Swiss Meringue Buttercream

Have you ever tried Swiss Meringue Buttercream? If so, have you ever added chocolate to the recipe? If not, I insist you give it a try!

This silky-smooth Chocolate Swiss Meringue Buttercream made with egg whites, sugar, butter and melted chocolate.

The flavor is subtle. It’s not overly chocolate, and it’s not overly sweet. It has more of a velvet buttery finish. Not quite as light as whipped cream but it’s very airy.

A piping bag filled with Chocolate Swiss Meringue Buttercream is piping frosting onto a chocolate cupcake

A lot of people don’t like American buttercream because they say it’s too sweet and sugary. I always recommend Swiss meringue as an alternative.

It’s actually a very versatile buttercream because with the base, you can flavor it with almost any extract, emulsion or zest. I also like to add fresh fruit or fruit purees.

Personally, I love this frosting because it doesn’t overpower.

A gorgeous cupcake frosted with Chocolate Swiss Meringue Buttercream

If you a true chocolate lover like my husband, who always tells me to add more cocoa powder to my chocolate frosting, even when I tell him it’s more than enough, you probably won’t like this frosting. As I mentioned before, the chocolate flavor is subtle because I used melted chocolate instead of cocoa powder. 

This recipe is made with dark chocolate, which I prefer because it’s a little less sweet. However, milk chocolate will work, as will white chocolate.

You’ll want to get a high-quality chocolate, and I recommend getting a chocolate bar because they melt down better than chocolate chips. Chocolate chips have a coating on them, and when melted they tend to be a little gummier and glossy.

A lone chocolate cupcake frosted with a silky chocolate buttercream is surrounded by strawberries and red and pink roses.

Most people are intimidated by Swiss Meringue because it involves heating egg whites and sugar, whipping it into a meringue and then breaking it back down with butter.

I’m here to tell you the process is EASY. It just takes some patience and coordination. I have a complete guide for how to make Swiss Meringue Buttercream, but I want to share to a few helpful tips for you here.

Tips for making Chocolate Swiss Meringue Buttercream

  • Plan ahead, your butter and egg whites must be at room temperature to properly incorporate into the Meringue.
  • Crack your eggs whites in a small dish and then add them to a larger bowl. This way if a yolk breaks, you aren’t wasting them all.
  • The utensils have to be grease-free, so I use only metal utensils. If you must use rubber, make sure they are only for meringue. I have rubber spatulas which I only use when I have meringue base frosting like royal icing.
  • Use a candy thermometer, I bought mine at target for $10 and it has been well worth the investment.
  • Use a bar of chocolate instead of chocolate chips. It’s easier to melt and when melted, has a better consistency. Allow your chocolate to cool completely before adding it to the buttercream.

A straight on shot of 6 cupcakes sitting in a vintage cupcake pan

  • Always use unsalted butter! This allows you to control how much salted is in your frosting. I once made the mistake of using salted butter and the frosting was WAY to salty, I think I ended up throwing it out and starting over.
  • Use lemon juice or vinegar to wipe off all utensils and bowls to remove any lingering oil and grease.
  • Make sure you use just enough water to cover the bottom of your pot, I suggest about 1 ¼ cups for a medium-sized pot. You do not want your bowl to touch the boiling water.
  • To see if your sugar is fully dissolved, you can drizzle some of the egg whites in your fingers and rub them together, it should be completely smooth. But be careful, it’s pretty warm!

A vintage cupcake pan with chocolate cupcakes frosted with a silky chocolate buttercream

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A vintage measuring cup filled with silky chocolate Swiss Meringue Buttercream

Chocolate Swiss Meringue Buttercream

  • Author: Julianne Dell
  • Prep Time: 30 minutes
  • Cook Time: 12 minutes
  • Total Time: 42 minutes
  • Yield: 4 cups- 24 cupcakes


Easy to make, this rich chocolate frosting is silky and light in texture and less sweet than American buttercream.


For the frosting

  • 5 large egg whites
  • 1 1/4 cups (237.5 g) granulated sugar
  • 1 1/2 cups (12 oz) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 2 teaspoons (10ml) vanilla extract
  • 6 ounces (226g) dark chocolate, melted


  1. Wipe down the inside of your stainless-steel bowl with vinegar to remove any grease. Combine sugar and egg whites in the bowl with candy thermometer attached.
  2. Set the bowl over top of a pot with 1 ¼ cups water covering the bottom. Place over medium heat.
  3. Stir constantly with a whisk until the mixture reaches 140°-160°  The sugar should be dissolved in the egg whites. You can test this by placing a drop on your finger tips and rubbing them together. The mixture should be completely smooth.
  4. In a microwave-safe bowl, microwave the chocolate 50% power in 30-second increments, stirring each time until the chocolate is melted and smooth. Set aside to cool.
  5. Immediately place the mixing bowl on your stand. Using the wire whisk attachment, beat the egg whites on low for 2 minutes then increase to medium high.
  6. Beat for another 5 minutes. At this point, your frosting should have turned white and the body of the meringue starts to form. Increase the mixing speed to high. It will start to look glossy as the peaks begin to form. Beat for another 5-8 minutes until the bottom of your bowl is cool to the touch and your meringue has stiff peaks.
  7. Turn your mixer down to medium-low. Slowly add your butter, 1 tbsp at a time. As you add more butter, the frosting might appear to have curdled and lost its body, that’s ok. Scrape down the sides of the bowl.
  8. Switch to the paddle attachment, add the vanilla extract and continue beating on medium-high speed until your frosting starts to form. Slowly drizzle in the chocolate and continue beating until stiff peaks form, about 3-5 minutes.


To frost a 3 layer 8-inch cake, double this recipe

  • Category: Frosting
  • Method: Stand Mixer
  • Cuisine: American

Keywords: Swiss Meringue Buttercream, chocolate frosting, swiss meringue frosting, SMBC

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Leave a Comment

Recipe rating

14 Responses
    1. Julianne - Beyond Frosting
      Beyond Frosting

      Hi Roneka, no this is not a good frosting for warm climates because the butter will melt very quickly

  1. Gypsy

    It was perfect! Very very tasty and just as silky and delicious as merengue buttercream should be!

    1. Julianne - Beyond Frosting
      Beyond Frosting

      You can use chocolate chips, they just tend to be more oily, so make sure that you melt them down until they’re nice and smooth

  2. Molly

    Can I used chocolate chips in this recipe or would a Baker’s chocolate bar be the better choice?

    1. Julianne - Beyond Frosting
      Beyond Frosting

      Hi Molly- A Bakers chocolate bar would be a better choice if you have it, but chocolate chips will work

  3. Mariana

    Hi! Thanks for sharing all these recipes.
    Question: If I want to make the chocolate swiss meringue buttercream, for how long can I store it in the fridge?

    1. Julianne - Beyond Frosting
      Beyond Frosting

      Hi Mariana, I would say if you need to store it for longer than a week, you might consider freezing it. While I have frozen regular buttercream, I have not personally tried to freeze a Swiss Meringue buttercream- as you might need to do some additional research. Note that it should be at room temperature when you decorate and you may need to rewhip it a bit prior to using

    1. Julianne - Beyond Frosting
      Beyond Frosting

      I don’t see why you couldn’t use a super fine sugar, I just never have it, so I use regular, granulated sugar.

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