This small Batch swiss chocolate meringue buttercream is an easy yet elevated frosting that you can easily recreate at home. It is chocolatey, rich, indulgent, and silky smooth. It is perfect for small-batch cupcakes and small cakes or cookies as well.
I have been meaning to make this small batch of chocolate Swiss meringue buttercream for quite some time now because of how well the Small batch Swiss Meringue Buttercream did. Since receiving so many messages telling me that this buttercream was delicious and so easy to make, I knew I had to do something about it!
I also have been asked quite a lot about how it can be transformed into a small-batch chocolate Swiss meringue buttercream as well. So here it is!
This is the best small batch chocolate Swiss meringue buttercream ever!
This small-batch chocolate buttercream is silky smooth, rich, and stable for piping. It is also not too sweet which makes It perfect for decorating cookies, small cakes, and even small-batch cupcakes.
Made with a base of cooked eggs and sugar, whipped until stiff peaks form. Its flavor is very chocolate meringue-like, which is what makes SMBC one of my favorite buttercreams ever!
It then gets a generous amount of softened butter added to the mix, vanilla, a little salt, and some really really good quality melted chocolate.
Why you need to make this recipe!
- It is not overly sweet like the good old American buttercream.
- The texture of this buttercream is silky smooth. Seriously feels like velvet!
- It has the perfect amount of chocolate mixed in there.
- Can be used to frost little cakes, small batches of cupcakes, and even cookies.
Ingredients for this easy chocolate Swiss meringue buttercream
Here are the ingredients you will need to make this chocolate frosting at home. Make sure to scroll down to the recipe card for the full detailed ingredient measurements.
- Egg whites- This recipe uses fresh egg whites not carton egg whites. Make sure that the egg white is free of any yolk so that you can whip it properly.
- Butter– Make sure to use unsalted butter for this recipe. Cut it into small pieces and let it get to room temeprature (68F-7-F). The time will vary depending on how hot or cool your kitchen is.
- Granulated sugar– This recipes uses granulated sugar not powdered or confectioner’s sugar.
- Vanilla– The vanilla extract will help bring out the flavor of the chocolate in this frosting.
- Instant coffee- The instant coffee helps bring out the chocolate flavor even more.
- Semi sweet chocolate– Use really good quality semi sweet chocolate to have the best tasting frosting ever. After all this is literally a chocolate frosting recipe.
- Dutch processed cocoa powder– The cocoa powder adds extra chocolate flavor and color.
- Salt- Add a little pinch of salt to help balance out the sweetness of this buttercream recipe.
How to make Small batch chocolate swiss buttercream?
This is how you can make your own chocolate swiss buttercream. Make sure to scroll down to the recipe card for the full detailed instructions!
- Before starting, make sure that all your tools are clean. Egg whites don’t whip up if there is any fat residue on the utensils you’re using. So make sure that you wash and dry your mixing bowl, whisk attachment well. You can even go ahead and wipe them down with some white vinegar to cut down of any leftover fat residue that’s in there.
- Set the mixing bowl over a water bath (so a pot of simmering water) making sure that the water doesn’t touch the mixing bowl. The amount of water will depend on how large your pot is. But aim for 1 inch of water at the bottom of pot.
- Continuously whisk the egg whites and sugar together while over the waterbath until the mixture is thin, the sugar has dissolved and the temperature reaches about 160F.
- transfer the bowl to a stand mixer and start whipping the egg mixture right way. We want the meringue to reach stiff peaks and cool down at the same time. You will know the meringue is cool enough when the outside of the bowl feels cooler to the touch.
- Slowly add in the butter about ½-1 tablespoon at a time while mixing/whipping at medium speed. Make sure to let the butter fully incorporate before adding in the next tablespoon.
- Now time to add in the cooled down melted chocolate and vanilla and mix again on medium speed with a paddle attachment until combined. Make sure to scrape down the sides as you go.
- Add in the sifted cocoa powder and mix again to combine if you want your chocolate buttercream to be darker in color.
- Mix one last time on medium high speed for 30-40 seconds and there you have it, the most perfect and luscious small batch chocolate Swiss meringue frosting.
Tips to make the best small batch chocolate Swiss meringue buttercream.
- Make sure your butter is softened– Having sofetened butter will allos it to emulsify properly with the meringue. So plan ahead and pull out the butter from the fridge about 30-40 minutes (depending on how hot or cold it is where you are) before you plan to making this recipe. It should be at 68F-70F degrees.
- Clean all your ingredients thoroughly– Making sure that all your utensils are clean will ensure that you don’t run into any issues when whipping your egg whites. If there is the slightest amount of grease on the mixing bowl or whisk, the meringue won’t get to stiff peaks. So clean, clean, clean!
- Make sure the egg whites are free of any yolk– This piggy backs on the last point. Egg yolks have a high fat content, now any fat will keep our meringue from getting to stiff peaks so make sure to crack your eggs in a separate bowl then add them to the stand mixer to not spoil the bunch if some egg yolks gets in there.
- Cool down the melted chocolate- If the chocolate mixture is too hot, you will melt the whole buttercream and end up with a soupy mess. My advice here is to melt the chocolate first and let it sit on the countertop as you’re making the buttercream. This will allow it to cool down to room temperature befor ebeing added to the SMBC.
- Good quality chocolate is a must- Since this is a recipe with minimal ingredients the quality of your ingredients will be front and center of its flavor profile. Making sure that you’re using a really good quality chocolate will allow you to make the best tasting buttercream ever!
Frequently asked questions – FAQ
Can I use a different chocolate other than semi sweet?
Absolutely! Depending on what you’re looking for the final result to taste like, you can use either semi-sweet, milk chocolate, dark chocolate, bitter-sweet chocolate, and even white chocolate!
The only rule you need to stick to is to make sure that the quality of your chocolate is top-notch otherwise the flavor of the chocolate SMBC will suffer.
Can I still make swiss meringue buttercream with a hand mixer if I don’t have a stand mixer?
Yes, you can, but I don’t recommend it. Swiss meringue often takes some time and a lot of whipping to come together that’s why the stand mixer is your best bet. Between whipping the meringue, cooling it, and mixing the butter in one little chunk at a time it can easily take 10-15 minutes. That amount can be doubled if done with a hand mixer.
Feel free to try it with a hand mixer but just know it’s gonna be a little longer to come together.
How to store small batch Swiss meringue chocolate buttercream and can I make it in advance?
Absolutely! This chocolate frosting is a great make-ahead frosting as it stores really well.
You can store your small-batch chocolate buttercream in an airtight container in the fridge for up to one week. When ready to use it, whip it again until smooth again.
You can also freeze it in an airtight container for up to 6 months. Once ready to use it, let it thaw in the fridge overnight, then re-whip it to get that silky smooth texture back.
Will my Swiss meringue buttercream get hard in the fridge?
Because of the high content of fat in this recipe, it will get hard in the fridge. But it will not form a skin-like other buttercreams do if that’s the concern.
If you stored your buttercream in the fridge and are ready to use it but it is hard, pull it out of the fridge, let it get to room temperature, then whip it again until smooth.
How will my chocolate Swiss meringue buttercream hold up in the heat?
Again, since this recipe has a very high-fat content it will melt at very temperatures.
Room temperature is best for this frosting but once it gets above 80F, you will start noticing your buttercream getting softer and softer. So keep that in mind when placing whatever treats you made with this SMBC out in the heat.
Can I use chocolate chips in this Small batch chocolate Swiss frosting?
Yes! I’ve made this with chocolate bars as well as chocolate chips and both results were really good. I would highly recommend you use a chocolate bar, but if you don’t have it and can’t grab any at the time using chocolate chips is fine too.
Here are a few things that might help answer your questions if you think something went wrong.
- My meringue won’t reach stiff peaks! The issue here is probably FAT. If you leave, even the tiniest bit of fat in your egg whites, they will not whip up. So make sure that there is no egg yolk in the egg whites and that all your utensils are clean.
- The buttercream is too curdled! Don’t worry! The buttercream might look like it curdled once you add in the butter but keep whipping it and will come together.
- My buttercream flavor tastes too much of butter! SMBC contains quite a lot of butter so it will naturally have some butter flavor. One thing I noticed is that if you use salted butter in your Swiss meringue buttercream the butter flavor is gonna be a lot stronger. So make sure to use unsalted butter for this recipe.
- The buttercream is too thin! If your buttercream is soupy, you probably added butter that was too soft. Pop the mixing bowl in the fridge for 10-15 minutes then whip it again. If it’s still on the soupy side, your kitchen might be extra hot and the buttercream might need a little more than 10-15 minutes in the fridge.
Small batch chocolate Swiss meringue buttercream
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Fail Proof small batch chocolate Swiss meringue buttercream
- In a small bowl mix the vanilla and instant coffee and set aside.
- Combine the sugar, egg whites, and salt in a stand mixer bowl. Place the stand mixer bowl over a saucepan filled with about 1 inch of simmering hot water, making sure the bottom of the bowl isn't touching the water. Whisk the mixture constantly, until the sugar dissolves and the mixture is starting to thicken up and become foamy. The temperature should be at around 160F.
- Transfer the bowl to a stand mixer and start whipping the egg mixture right way. We want the meringue to reach stiff peaks and cool down at the same time. You will know the meringue is cool enough when the outside of the bowl feels cool to the touch.
- Slowly add in the butter about ½-1 tablespoon at a time while mixing at medium speed. Make sure to let the butter fully incorporate before adding in the next tablespoon.
- Now time to add in the cooled-down melted chocolate, vanilla coffee mixture, and salt then mix again with a paddle attachment on medium speed until combined. Make sure to scrape down the sides as you go.
- (Optional if you want your buttercream to be darker in color) Sift in the cocoa powder and mix with the paddle attachment until combined.
- Whip one last time on medium-high speed for 30-40 seconds and there you have it, the most perfect and luscious small-batch chocolate frosting.
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