Saving Your Buttercream-Whip It Good!

When I was in culinary school, my cake instructor told us that every baker needed to know how to salvage a failed meringue buttercream as a basic skill.

curdled and sad

Sad to say, she was right. I've used the methods I learned then many times. And don't let anyone tell you that you can't save a failed buttercream.

Using Italian meringue as the example, it will curdle if the butter is too cold when you add it. It looks like cottage cheese, and you might think that you ruined it. But don't despair, just beat it on high while you wrap a hot dishtowel around the mixer bowl. Eventually it will warm up and emulsify into a beautiful fluffy icing once again.

The same icing after whipping it.
The other side of it would be if you add butter that's too soft to the meringue, or add the butter before the meringue has cooled down enough. If that happens you'll end up with soup instead of buttercream. The easiest thing to do is put the entire bowl in the fridge until it cools down, then rewhip it. It should combine and be fine once again.

And now, enjoy the best video ever made while you wait for your meringue to whip up. I think the lady in it is actually making a meringue, so it's appropriate.

 Kara Buntin owns A Cake To Remember LLC in Richmond VA, and cake supplies online at and