- Dissolve the sugar (and salt, if you're using it) in the boiling water, and cool to room temperature.
- Use a mixer on low speed to beat in the meringue powder, until the powder is dissolved and the mixture is foamy.
- Increase the speed and beat until soft peaks form.
- Beat in the vanilla, then the confectioners' or glazing sugar.
- Add the soft butter or shortening a few tablespoons at a time, beating well after each addition. Frost cake immediately; or store buttercream at room temperature, covered, for a few hours before using.
Tips from our Bakers
- For coconut frosting, add 4 to 5 drops coconut flavor and 1/4 cup (1 ounce) coconut milk powder along with the confectioners' sugar. Or flavor to taste with almond extract; coffee flavor; 2 teaspoons espresso powder dissolved in the boiling water; butter-rum flavor, or 2 tablespoons fruit purée, added after the confectioners' sugar. Be aware that adding fruit or espresso will change the color of the frosting.