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closeup of Italian meringue Buttercream on beater

Low FODMAP Italian Meringue Buttercream

Turn to this Low FODMAP Italian Meringue Buttercream when you want a supremely silky smooth, elegant buttercream.

Low FODMAP Serving Size Info: Makes about 5 cups (1.2 L); serving size 1/2 cup (120 ml); this is plenty to frost a two-layer 8-inch (20 cm) cake, two-layer 9-inch (23 cm) cake, 24 cupcakes or a 13 by 9-inch cake (33 cm by 23 cm)

Course: Basic, Dessert
Cuisine: American
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes
Makes: 24 servings
Calories: 198 kcal
Author: Dédé Wilson


  • 1 1/4 cups (248 g) sugar, divided into 1 cup (198 g) and 1/4 cup (50 g)
  • 1/3 cup (75 ml) water
  • 6 large egg whites, at room temperature
  • 3/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
  • 2 1/4 cups (508 g; 4 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, very soft, cut into pieces
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract


  1. Place 1 cup (198 g) of sugar and water in a small saucepan. Stir to wet sugar. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, swirling pan occasionally. Dip pastry brush in cold water and wash down sugar crystals from the sides of the pot once or twice. Allow sugar mixture to simmer gently as you proceed with egg whites.
  2. Meanwhile, place egg whites in a clean, grease-free mixing bowl and whip until frothy on low speed using the wire-whip attachment of a standing mixer. Add cream of tartar and turn speed to medium-high. When soft peaks form, add 1/4 cup (50 g) sugar gradually. Continue whipping until stiff, glossy peaks form.
  3. Bring the sugar/water mixture to a rapid boil and cook until it reaches 248˚ to 250˚ F/120°C to 121°C. As syrup cooks, check visual cues to assess doneness if you do not have a thermometer: it starts out with a thin consistency and many small bubbles covering the entire surface. As the water evaporates, the mixture will become visibly thicker. Bubbles become larger and pop open more slowly. At this point the syrup definitely looks thickened, but it has not begun to color; this is the firm ball stage - if you drop a bit of the syrup into a glass of cold water it will form into a ball. When you squeeze the ball between your fingertips, it will feel firm and the syrup is ready.
  4. With the mixer running, pour syrup in a thin, steady stream directly over the meringue. Do not pour any on the whip or the sides of the bowl. Whip meringue until cool to the touch; this could take several minutes. With the mixer running, add butter a couple tablespoons at a time. Keep beating until the buttercream is completely smooth and spreadable, somewhere in texture between peanut butter and mayonnaise. Beat in 1 tablespoon vanilla. The buttercream is ready to use and I highly suggest using right away.
  5. You can refrigerate up to 1 week in an airtight container or freeze up to 1 month. If frozen, defrost in the refrigerator overnight and bring to warm room temperature before re-beating. Always re-beat before using. This is not as straightforward as it might seem. I have presented you with an entire “recipe” unto itself to describe what I call “reconstituting” Italian Meringue Buttercream.

Dédé's Quick Recipe Tips Video



  • Buttercream Variation for Espresso Buttercream: dissolve 1/4 cup (28 g) of instant espresso powder in 2 tablespoons of hot water and beat into recipe along with vanilla extract.
  • For a Larger 8 Egg White Batch: Use the following amounts of ingredients: 1 1/4 cups (248 g) sugar to combine with 1/2 cup (120 ml) water; 8 egg whites, 1 teaspoon cream of tart and 1/3 cup (65 g) sugar added to meringue; and 1 1/2 pounds (678 g/6 sticks) unsalted butter. Proceed as directed in recipe.
Nutrition Facts
Low FODMAP Italian Meringue Buttercream
Amount Per Serving
Calories 198 Calories from Fat 153
% Daily Value*
Fat 17g26%
Sodium 1mg0%
Potassium 15mg0%
Carbohydrates 11g4%
Sugar 10g11%
Protein 1g2%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.