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  • I'm Kristen, a clumsy but determined home cook and crafter living in the Boston area with my husband, B, and I have an interest in all things food and craft.

    This blog was created to keep track of my various projects and adventures. They may not all be successes, but my goal is to remain unintimidated by whatever engages my curiosity.



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Sugar Free Buttercream

For months, I’ve been mulling over the idea of making a sugar free Swiss meringue buttercream, but every time it would cross my mind I would worry that the xylitol wouldn’t work in the meringue and that the whole thing would be a flop.

However, an interesting thing happened. I noticed that, in recipes I made which required the sugar (xylitol, in my case) to be whipped together with whole eggs until they were at the ribbon stage, the xylitol performed as well or better than regular sugar. These experiences gave me enough evidence that I finally decided to attempt a sugar free meringue buttercream.

Sugar Free Buttercream

Oh, my goodness. I don’t normally describe food as gorgeous, but this buttercream is truly a thing of beauty. Again, I find myself wondering what took me so long to try a recipe idea. Honestly, I cannot tell that this is sugar free, as it tastes almost identical to a buttercream made with cane sugar. And the texture, well, it’s silky, smooth, and … drool. I can’t express how excited I am that this worked out, because having a base recipe for something so versatile will finally allow me to get away from the sub par “quickie” buttercreams that I’ve tried using sugar free confectioners’ sugar recipes. They never did taste quite right.

Swiss meringue buttercream is all about the technique, but it’s actually not difficult at all once you get the hang of it. Your mixer does most of the work. The key is to make sure that the meringue is completely cooled before you start adding the butter. If you do that, then you should be good to go!

Sugar Free Swiss Meringue Buttercream

Notes: If you aren’t sugar free, then you can replace the xylitol 1 for 1 with cane sugar.

Ingredients

4 egg whites, at room temperature
1 cup xylitol (or sugar)
10 ounces (2 ½ sticks) of butter, cubed and at room temperature
2 tsp. pure vanilla extract

Instructions

1. Add egg whites and xylitol to the bowl of your mixer and place over a pan of boiling water. Lightly whisk the mixture constantly (no need to whip yet) until the xylitol is completely dissolved, about 7-10 minutes.

2. Remove from heat and move the bowl to your stand mixer (you can use also use a hand mixer). Using the whip attachment, whip the eggs and xylitol on medium until a stiff peaked meringue is formed and the mixture is completely cool. Your mixing bowl should be completely cool to the touch before you go to the next step.

3. Switch out the mixer’s whisk attachment with the beater attachment, and start to beat on low speed. Slowly add the softened butter, one piece at a time, and wait until the current piece is completely incorporated before adding the next piece. At some point in the process, the buttercream may start to appear somewhat curdled, but it will eventually come back together, so please don’t fret and think that you have to start over. Just keep adding that butter!

4. Add the vanilla (or your flavoring of choice) and continue to beat until the mixture is smooth and creamy. Frost cakes, cupcakes, etc. immediately, or store in the refrigerator to use at a later time. If you chill the buttercream, be sure to allow enough time for it to come to room temperature before you use it to frost anything.

Posted in Alternatively Sweetened, Cakes and Cookies, Desserts, Food, Gluten Free | 12 Comments »

12 Responses

  1. Gluten Free, Sugar Free Whoopie Pies says:

    [...] Free, Sugar Free Whoopie PiesSugar Free Swiss Meringue ButtercreamGluten Free, Sugar Free Strawberry TartletsGluten Free, Sugar Free Sweet Potato Pecan MuffinsHow to [...]



  2. Lauren B says:

    Hi there, I was searching for blogs to link to from my current post and stumbled upon your sugar-free swiss meringue buttercream! I guess great minds think alike. :) Yours looks so fluffy and delicious! Mind if I link you on my sidebar? So nice to see someone else working with xylitol.



  3. Lauren says:

    wow… this looks pretty good! My mom was just told she’s borderline diabetic so I’ve been looking around for sugar free frostings. I can’t wait to try this.



  4. Lyra says:

    Yum! This looks SO tasty!



  5. Jocelyn says:

    you’re awesome! I’m a baker and I wanted to try to make this. I was to scared that it wouldn’t work so I never tried. I can’t wait to try this!



  6. Tonya says:

    Hi. I tried this recipe for the whoopie pies. It was delicious, but not firm enough. I had to serve/use it cold. We’re dairy free, too, so maybe it was the Earth Balance instead of butter that made the difference. The taste was amazing, though, so I am determined to get the consistency right. I’ll keep you posted on how it goes. The whoopie pies were great! Just like I remembered them tasting; so glad I found a GF version that I could share with my daughter.



  7. Kristen says:

    Tonya – I can’t say for sure, but the Earth Balance vs. butter may have made the difference in the consistency. Yes, please keep me posted! Glad to hear that you liked the taste, though!



  8. Lauren says:

    I am so excited to try this! I’m a baker and I have been asked so many times about making sugar free cakes and I never knew how. I never knew about xylitol (just ordered some from Amazon) and I LOVE Swiss Meringue buttercream! Thanks for the info!!!!



  9. Amira says:

    Do you think i can substitute shortening for butter. I wanna keep the color white ;)



  10. Robin says:

    Kristen, did Tonya ever get back to you on her Earth Balance texture experiment? I too am dairy free, and though I make regular Swiss Meringue Buttercream for others, I of course cannot partake of this silky, lovely icing! I am going to try this, and also use some melted dairy free white chocolate added at the end. My thought is that the chocolate will make the finished product firmer. Will let you know!



  11. Kristen says:

    Robin – I haven’t heard back from Tonya, but I’ve been thinking about trying the recipe with palm shortening instead of butter to see how much that would change the final texture. Please keep me posted on your results if you give it a shot. The white chocolate idea is a fantastic one!



  12. SkeeterN says:

    I made this frosting following your directions completely except for using Ideal for the sweetener (xylitol + splenda) I was terrified as I do not have a stand mixer but it worked perfectly. The flavor is out of this world spot on! I am so thrilled! I hate to make a recipe and it not be as described but this one surely is



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