Balsamic Caramel Swiss Meringue Buttercream

Hello! I have made a couple of desserts with this amazing frosting so I’ve decided to create a whole post dedicated to it. Cause it’s THAT good! I present to you Balsamic Caramel Swiss Meringue Buttercream! Plus, find a video on how to make this unbelievable frosting in this page!

balsamic caramel swiss meringue buttercream

This Balsamic Caramel Swiss Meringue Buttercream is basically a traditional Swiss Meringue Buttercream to which we add the Balsamic Caramel sauce to at the end.

So we start with making the Balsamic Caramel Sauce, because it has to cool down all the way before we add it to the Swiss Meringue Buttercream, but have in mind that the sauce can’t be solid and cold from the fridge either. You want the balsamic caramel sauce to be at room temperature.

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balsamic caramel sauce

You will only need 5 simple ingredients, you probably already have them in your pantry right now. And here they are:

balsamic caramel sauce ingredients
  • Brown sugar
  • Balsamic vinegar
  • Butter
  • Salt
  • Heavy cream

That’s it!

Start by mixing the balsamic vinegar and brown sugar in a small saucepan.

brown sugar and balsamic vinegar in a small pot

Bring to a boil, reduce temperature and keep stirring them over medium heat, for about 3 minutes.

Remember to keep a gentle simmer.

simmering balsamic vinegar and brown sugar

Once the brown sugar and vinegar have thickened and reduced, add heavy cream. Be careful because the mixture might splatter a bit once you add the heavy cream.

adding heavy cream to sugar and balsamic vinegar to make caramel sauce

Bring this mixture back to a boil and simmer for another 2-4 minutes until thickened.

Add butter and salt. Mix until butter is melted.

adding butter and salt to balsamic caramel

Remove from the heat, and pour onto a bowl.

pouring caramel sauce into a bowl

Let sauce cool down all the way before proceeding with the recipe.

This recipe will make more caramel than what you need for the Swiss Meringue Buttercream. You can store any leftovers for up to 1 month in the fridge, and up to 3 months in the freezer.

Eat over ice cream, or however you prefer to enjoy your caramel sauce.

It will become very thick and delicious as it cools down. Totally amazing!

balsamic caramel sauce

Once the balsamic caramel sauce cools down all the way, you can begin making the Swiss Meringue Buttercream.

Start by whisking egg whites and sugar over a double boiler.

whisking egg whites and sugar over double boiler

The water in the pan should be barely simmering, and shouldn’t be touching the bottom of the bowl that contains your whites and sugar.

Whisk the egg whites and the sugar until sugar melts and the temperature of the syrup registers 140 Fahrenheit. That’s because this is the temperature that the whites will be safe to be consumed, since we aren’t going to cook this mixture after this point.

taking temperature of egg white and sugar syrup for swiss meringue

At this point, remove syrup from the double boiler. Wipe down the bottom of the bowl, so the water that accumulated won’t transfer to the bowl of the mixer when you go to whip the meringue.

Which brings us to the next step, you guessed it: whipping the meringue.

Whip the whites and sugar syrup for about 2 minutes on medium speed, until it looks white and thick.

whipping egg whites and sugar syrup to make meringue

Raise speed to high, and continue to whip for 5-10 more minutes, until it achieves stiff peaks.

whipping swiss meringue

Once you have achieved stiff peaks, start to add the butter by the tablespoon. Add one tablespoon, then wait for it to be incorporated before adding the next one. Scrape the bowl every so often.

adding butter to swiss meringue

Make sure the butter is at room temperature, NOT melting or too soft, and absolutely NOT cold!

Depending on how hot your kitchen is, remove the butter from the fridge about 30 minutes before you begin to make the recipe. If your kitchen is too cold, consider removing the butter from the fridge sooner.

If you add butter that’s too soft to the meringue, it won’t have a chance to get creamy and fluffy. And if you add butter that’s too cold to the meringue, your buttercream will have speckles of butter in it, it will be very hard to frost any cakes smoothly with it, and you will get little bites of butter as you chew on the buttercream, so not the most pleasant.

The good news is that if the butter is too soft, you can place the mixer bowl in the fridge or freezer for just a few minutes, and then continue to whip the buttercream after, and it should come together. As far as the cold butter goes, not much you can do, but learn a lesson.

The total time for the frosting to achieve the perfect creamy and fluffy consistency as you add the butter could be from 5-10 minutes. It should be coming together as you add the final tablespoons of butter.

making swiss meringue buttercream

Once you achieve this perfect creamy and fluffy consistency, you can add the vanilla extract. This is a basic Swiss Meringue Buttercream.

Now, for our Balsamic Caramel Swiss Meringue Buttercream, we are going to add the balsamic caramel sauce we made earlier to the mix.

adding caramel sauce to swiss meringue buttercream

Again, make sure the caramel is precisely at room temperature, not cold, and not warm.

If it’s warm, it will melt the butter in the buttercream, and if it’s cold, it won’t incorporate.

And voila! Here we have our Balsamic Caramel Swiss Meringue Buttercream!

making balsamic caramel swiss meringue buttercream

Now, I have used this recipe to frost a cake, and to make macarons as you can see below.

And I am already thinking about the next use for it!

What are you going to use it for?

Grape Cake with Balsamic Caramel Swiss Meringue Buttercream
Grape Cake with Balsamic Caramel Swiss Meringue Buttercream frosting
Balsamic Caramel and Strawberry Macarons
Balsamic Caramel and Strawberry Macarons

Here are some more recipes with Swiss Meringue Buttercream. Some are plain Swiss Meringue Buttercream, and others are flavored Swiss Meringue Buttercream variations:

Thank you so much for reading this post, I hope you liked this awesome Balsamic Caramel Swiss Meringue Buttercream! Have a fabulous day!

balsamic caramel swiss meringue buttercream

Balsamic Caramel Swiss Meringue Buttercream

Camila Hurst
Balsamic Caramel Swiss Meringue Buttercream is an elegant, light, and fluffy frosting. Perfect for people who don't like overly sweet frosting! Enough to frost a 8" or 9" cake with 2 layers, or 16 cupcakes.
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 40 minutes
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Servings 20
Calories 150 kcal

Ingredients
  

Balsamic Caramel*
  • 1/2 cup light brown sugar 100 grams
  • 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream 118 ml
  • 1 tbsp butter 14 grams
  • 1/4 tsp salt
Balsamic Caramel Swiss Meringue Buttercream
  • 4 large egg whites 120 grams
  • 1 cup  sugar 200 grams
  • 20 tbsp butter 283 grams
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup balsamic caramel recipe above

Instructions
 

Balsamic Caramel
  • Place brown sugar and balsamic vinegar in a small saucepan. Bring to a gentle boil.
  • Let mixture simmer over medium heat for about 3 minutes, until thickened and reduced.
  • Add heavy cream.
  • Be aware that the mixture will probably splash once you do this.
  • Bring it back to a boil, and simmer again over medium heat for another 2-4 minutes, until thick.
  • Add butter and salt. Mix to combine, until butter is melted.
  • Remove and transfer to a bowl. Let it cool down completely before adding to the Swiss meringue buttercream.
Balsamic Caramel Swiss Meringue Buttercream
  • Remove butter from the fridge about 30 minutes before you start to make this. We are looking for the perfect butter temperature and consistency. It shouldn’t be hard cold, and it shouldn’t be so soft that is almost melting.
  • Put whites and sugar in a heatproof bowl.
  • Place bowl on top of a small pot with simmering water.
  • Whisk whites and sugar until they temp 140 Fahrenheit. Basically you are looking to melt the sugar granules, and also make it so the egg white is in a safe temperature to be consumed.
  • Once you achieve that temperature, transfer the syrup to your mixer bowl.
  • Whip with the whisk attachment for about 2 minutes at medium speed, until the mixture looks white, and thicker. At this point, raise speed to high and continue to whip until fluffy and doubled in size. Meringue should have stiff peaks. It can take anywhere from 5-10 minutes to obtain stiff peaks.
  • Test every so often, so you don’t over whip it.
  • Start adding the butter that should be slightly softened.
  • Cut butter into very thin pats. Starts doing one by one with mixer running on medium-high.
  • Wait for one butter pat to be incorporated before adding the next one.
  • This whole process could take about 15 minutes. Add vanilla extract.
  • Once butter is all incorporated add 1/2 cup of the Balsamic Caramel Sauce to the Swiss Meringue Buttercream. The caramel sauce should be at room temperature.
Storage
  • This frosting can sit at room temperature for up to 1 day.
  • Store in the fridge for up to 4 days, or in the freezer, for up to 2 months. Remember to package it really well in sealed air tight containers, or zip loc bags, before freezing.
  • To use it again, simply let it thaw until it comes to room temperature and beat it briefly to make it creamy again before using.

Notes

*This recipe will make more caramel than what you need for the Swiss Meringue Buttercream. You can store any leftovers for up to 1 month in the fridge, and up to 3 months in the freezer.
Keyword caramel, frosting

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10 Comments

  1. Hi there,

    To make this vegan do you think it would work with aquafaba? And do you think I would still need to cook it?

    Looks amazing! Thanks 🙂 Holly x

    1. I think it would be better to find a vegan Swiss meringue buttercream recipe and then add the caramel to it. And maybe use coconut cream and vegan butter in the caramel instead of heavy cream and butter. But I wouldn’t just adapt this same Swiss meringue buttercream recipe to work with aquafaba, and I am pretty sure you will need to add shortening to the Swiss meringue buttercream instead of all vegan butter, by the research I’ve done about vegan Swiss meringue buttercream.

  2. Is this correct for 4 egg whites equal 224 g/7.9 ounces? It took 7 large eggs for me to get 224g. I’m working on making this now.

    1. I am so very sorry, that gram measurement was wrong, it’s supposed to be 120 grams not 224 grams! There must have been a mistake when I copied and pasted or something I apologize about this!

  3. The balsamic vinegar pictured looks quite viscous, did you use balsamic vinegar syrup in place of normal balsamic vinegar?

    1. just balsamic vinegar. it’s just this brand. I’ve made it with different brands that were like regular vinegar consistency, and it worked fine

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