Bailey’s Irish Cream Swiss Buttercream

Silky smooth and divine with liqueurs like Bailey’s Irish Cream, Kahlua, or Amaretto. This is the first Swiss buttercream I’ve tasted that didn’t overdo the word “butter” in its name. It’s also stable, not overly sweet and easy to make ahead of time!
And it’s especially delicious on this Yellow Chiffon Cake!

Bailey's Irish Cream Swiss Buttercream

  • Servings: Makes 8 cups (1800 g): enough to ice an 8
  • Print

11 large egg whites* (396 g or 14 oz) at room temperature
2-1/4 cups (450 g) granulated sugar
4-1/2 cups (1020 g) unsalted butter** at room temperature
1 cup Bailey’s Irish Cream, Kahlua, or your favorite liqueur (237 g)

*Weighing the egg whites is the preferred method here as eggs can vary in size
**Use a butter you love the taste of!!

Create a bain marie (double boiler) by placing a heatproof bowl over a small pot with an inch of water in it. Make sure the bowl does not touch the water. Turn the burner on low and put the sugar and egg whites in the bowl. Whisk until the sugar dissolves, the texture has thickened slightly, and it’s reached 120°F (if the eggs are pasteurized) or 150°F (if not). If you have a probe thermometer, use it. The goal here is to make the eggs safe to eat but not cook the egg whites.

I was shooting for 120F and in just the second it took to take a photo, it jumped to 133F. The lesson: be careful not to leave it or it will begin to cook!
The secret to a great buttercream is letting the meringue cool properly before adding the butter

Once you’ve reached your safe temperature, add the mixture to the bowl of your stand mixer (or use a large bowl with a handheld mixer). Whisk on medium speed for about ten minutes until the mixture has cooled to 90°F. The outside of the bowl should be cool to the touch and the mixture should look thick and glossy.

Next, still on medium speed, spoon the butter in one tablespoon at a time, allowing it to fully incorporate before adding the next spoonful. Be patient ~ this step can take 5-10 minutes. At some point, you are likely to panic because the mixture will look curdled and you’ll think you’ve ruined it. You haven’t! Keep mixing and before you can blink, it will shift before your eyes. You’re looking for a lush smooth texture. If the butter looks like it is separating or like it’s greasy, it could be because it’s too warm. ln that event, place the whole mixing bowl in the fridge for 10-15 minutes and continue mixing.

If you let the butter get soft enough to easily scoop a spoonful of butter through, it will be much easier than having to dice it.
This is the stage where it curdles briefly and people worry. Keep whipping and it’ll calm down!

Once the buttercream is lovely and smooth, add your liqueur and mix again until fully incorporated.

I love how silky this buttercream is!
I split this batch since I was making a two-tiered cake. I flavored one with Bailey’s Irish Cream and the other with Kahlua. YUM!

Store the buttercream at room temperature if you will be using within 2-3 days. If not, wrap it tightly in plastic wrap and store in the fridge.

Adapted from a recipe by Confessions of a Baking Queen.

Leave a Reply