Inside-Out Neapolitan Cupcakes & More About Swiss Meringue Buttercream

Inside-Out Neapolitan Cupcakes

Happy Thursday! You know what’s funny? That very greeting always makes me laugh at myself, but yet I can’t help but write it — “Happy Thursday!” It’s so enthusiastic and peppy, yet, truthfully, when I’m composing these posts, 99% of the time it’s late at night, once the girls are asleep, and I’m often exhausted and feeling not even a wee bit exclamation mark-ish. Somehow, though, my inner enthusiast manages to get that out and keep it there. And not once, but twice: I had actually deleted it a few seconds after writing it, but then there it is again! Oh, and yet another. It’s a condition, I’m certain.

Before I get started with tonight’s post, I’m excited to announce the winner of this gorgeous print of the original painting “Violetta and the Tiny Tea Set” by Vanessa Valencia, (the incredible talent behind A Fanciful Twist) . This prize is courtesy of Vanessa, as a sweet gesture to one of my readers who visited and commented on my last post, “Ruffles & Roses: A Mad(ish) Tea Party.”  I was the lucky honorary guest this year to Vanessa’s popular virtual Mad Tea Party, and I had so much fun stepping even one pink-painted toe into her magical world. She is so unbelievably talented, and I adore her. So, the winner is…

#25 Bourbonnatrix: “Oh Rosie, what a pretty tea party! Love LOVE your cakes and sweets. Absolutely beautiful, and the rain, on some pics made it that much more special :) Great post!”

Congratulations, Bourbonnatrix (and thank you for the sweet words)!

So, tonight I want to chat about this fun cupcake version of my Inside-Out Neapolitan Cakes (truly, one of my favourites), and I also want to talk more about Swiss Meringue Buttercream. Would you believe that I get more emails with Swiss Meringue Buttercream related questions than anything else? Many readers write to tell me how it’s changed their lives, and they adore it with all of their being, and others write perplexed and filled with questions about troubleshooting, or just general concerns, etc. I thought it may be helpful to shed more light on the topic of the beloved Swiss Meringue Buttercream tonight, based on your questions and experiences.

I’ll quickly talk about these yummy cupcakes, which are, incidentally, filled with 3 flavours of Swiss Meringue Buttercream. A few months back I decided to turn a few of my favourite cake recipes/combinations into cupcakes, and it was a lot of fun and kind of a refreshing change from lofty layer cakes. After posting about the Campfire Delight Cupcakes, followed by the Dark Chocolate & Raspberry Buttercream Cupcakes, this was my third cake-into-cupcake experience, and they were as flavourful and moist as the mama version, but definitely a simpler alternative for those who don’t feel like embarking upon the layer cake process. If you do make the layer cake (and I do urge you to; it’s a crowd pleaser!), the cupcakes are a great addition to it — you can bake a quick batch of the cupcakes and then use your remaining Swiss Meringue Buttercream trio and fill the cupcakes. Who wouldn’t love their own little layered Neapolitan cupcake?

Inside-Out Neapolitan Cake via Sweetapolita

So here is the original Inside-Out Neapolitan Cake: 3 layers of a southern take on Devil’s Food Cake, including some rich and decadent ingredients such as mayonnaise, butter, and, of course, my favourite cocoa powder, (Cacao Barry Cocoa Powder – Extra Dark), which makes every chocolate cake rich and incredibly chocolaty, in my opinion, and filled with a layer of each Chocolate, Vanilla, and Strawberry Swiss Meringue Buttercream. I particularly love the contrast of the cloud-like buttercream and the rich chocolate cake, and when the Neapolitan flavour combination comes from the filling and not the cake itself, it adds an interesting (and delicious) dynamic to Neapolitan cake.

Inside-Out Neapolitan Cupcakes

For the layered cupcake effect, I simply baked the cupcakes as muffins (in greased and floured muffin tins with no cupcake liners), and then, once cooled, sliced each one into 3, then piped each flavour of Swiss Meringue Buttercream between and on top, then added some chocolate sprinkles. I was happy with the cake-to-buttercream ratio in the end, after worrying it would be too much buttercream. The Swiss Meringue Buttercream is not overpowering, so is the perfect pairing to these cupcakes, and the dark, rich, southern Devil’s Food Cake can definitely hold its own surrounded by all three flavours. If you’d like to try these, I’ve included the recipe below. In the meanwhile, I want to chat more about making, using, eating, and storing Swiss Meringue Buttercream.

Swiss Meringue Buttercream, or SMB, or SMBC as most call it can be an intimidating endeavour, but, honestly, once you get the hang of it, you may never look back. Let’s just get it all out in the open right  now. Truly, let’s just stay up all night talking it through until we’ve run the gamut of emotions and can, finally, share a group hug and skip off into the horizon, armed with our whisks and unwavering confidence to make it, use it, and decorate with it. Since this post comes as an answer to your emails and questions following my previous post, Swiss Meringue Buttercream Demystifyed, I’ll put it in point form and  Q&A format, and hopefully I cover it all. So, let us talk Swiss Meringue Buttercream (SMB):

*If you would simply like to read the cupcake and buttercream recipe, they are at the bottom of this post.

A few quick facts about my deep and meaningful relationship with Swiss Meringue Buttercream:

1. No, I didn’t invent SMB, but I love its not-too-sweet taste and satiny texture, and I use it for all of my wedding cakes, gourmet cakes, and even many casual cakes and cupcakes. I’m not an SMB expert, but I make it often, love it, and was taught how to make it by professionals at Bonnie Gordon Confectionary College in Toronto.

2. The first time I tried SMB, I was used to sugary confectioners’ sugar-based , and I didn’t like the taste of SMB at all; I felt it tasted oily and too buttery. I didn’t think there was hope  for my converting to an SMB lover, or even liker.

3. I still love sugary frostings from time to time (as you will see some of my other posts), but once I acquired a taste for it, SMB quickly became my favourite frosting (after a few tries).

4. The first few times I made SMB, I used a lower grade butter, and it would not hold  my batch together; it wasn’t creamy, or satiny, but rather almost separated. It wasn’t until I was advised to try a better quality butter, that I figured out how to make the ultimate batch of SMB. I now use only premium butter, with my favourite being Lactancia.

5. One of my favourite treats in the entire world, and out of everything I’ve ever made, is a dark chocolate cake frosted with vanilla Swiss Meringue Buttercream. It’s just that good.

Now, onto the questions and answers:

Q: My SMB was coming along fine, but then, once I added all of the butter, it was still too runny. What did I do wrong, and is there hope at this stage?

A:Yes, there is hope! Actually, there’s nothing hopeless about this situation, but rather just an extra step involved. If you added your butter and the SMB is still runny, then 1 of 2 things (or both) has likely happened, in my opinion: 1. Your butter was much too soft (should be cool, but  not cold, which is about 20 minutes out of fridge for me) when you added it to your meringue. 2. Your meringue was still too warm when you started adding the butter. Be patient, because I know it takes seemingly forever for the bottom of the mixing bowl to feel neutral before you add the butter, but it needs to be, or, as you can imagine, the butter essentially melts when you add it. As for repairing this runny batch, you can take the entire mixing bowl, cover it, and place it in the fridge until it chills up a bit, say 30 minutes or so (or even in the freezer for 15 or so), and then re whip. It’s not an exact science, as far as how many minutes, or how cold, etc, but I can tell you this: in my experience, it is practically impossible to ruin a batch of SMB to the point of no repair. If your meringue has whipped up nicely, then you can get away with a lot from that point on, and it’s most often fixable. I promise, promise, promise!

Q: My SMB suddenly curdled, and looked like scrambled eggs in the bowl. Why did it do this, and is it ruined?

A: It often does hit this “scrambled egg” stage, and this happens to my batches occasionally as well. Basically, from what I can tell, this happens when the meringue is a little “shocked” by butter that is too cold, but after mixing for a few more moments, the butter blends in nicely, and it magically becomes smooth and satiny. Is it ruined? Never!

Q: I had no problem making my SMB, and it looked so beautiful and satiny, but when I tasted it, it tasted like pure butter. What did I do wrong?

A:You did nothing wrong, and I have a feeling you did everything right! Here’s the thing about SMB: It tastes much like butter and not a lot like sugary sugar, which to many is the draw, but if you are used to sugary frostings, chances are your palate hasn’t developed the tastebuds for SMB yet, and you simply aren’t used to it. There is also a chance that you just don’t like it — as with any food, it’s not for everyone. If you’re making it for fun, for your own friends and family, you may want to stick with the frostings you love, and revisit it at a later time, or not at all. If you’re aspiring to make wedding cakes and gourmet cakes, you will likely need to continue making it, in which case, trust me, you will probably find yourself licking the bowl and spatula clean, begging for more, a few batches down the road. Don’t say I didn’t warn you.

Q: Why do I have to use pure vanilla extract in my SMB when I have imitation vanilla extract on hand? Will anyone taste the difference?

A:If we’re being honest, then yes, they will. And so will you, I imagine. You have to keep in mind that sugary frosting (those made with icing sugar/confectioners’ sugar) are dominated by the taste of sugar, and the vanilla can be a little overpowered by the intense sweetness. With SMB, the sugar takes a backseat (albeit delightfully sweet, it’s still subtle), and the flavours, let it be simply vanilla, or others, shine through. That’s why it’s such a great base for almost any flavour you can dream of: coffee, liqueur, citrus, chocolate, berries, and more. It’s also important to add that pinch of salt, particularly when opting for vanilla flavoured SMB, because no, it doesn’t result in a salty flavoured frosting, but it really pulls the true flavours out — kind of crazy, but true.

Q: I refrigerated my SMB, then thawed it on the counter overnight, as suggested, but when I went to use it on my cake, it wasn’t satiny or smooth anymore, but rather airy and thick. What can I do to fix it?

A: The great thing about SMB is that it can be made in big batches and frozen, or refrigerated for up to a week. The only thing is you need to take a moment to reconstitute it back to its glorious satiny texture when you’re ready to use it. If it’s frozen or refrigerated, you need to thaw it at room temperature; this can take overnight if it’s frozen, and several hours if it’s refrigerated. There are a few ways you can revive it, but I do 1 of 2 things: 1. I take the thawed (but sometimes still cool) SMB in a microwavable container, and I warm it up for about 10 seconds, then remove container from microwave and stir it aggressively with a rubber spatula in kind of a back and forth motion, repeatedly until it’s smooth. If I think I need to warm it up a bit more, I microwave again but am careful not to melt it. I mix it really well with the spatula, to remove the air bubbles. 2. I take about 1/3 of the SMB I thawed and I warm it up by the above method, and put the remaining 2/3 in the electric mixer bowl. I add the 1/3 warmed SMB to the 2/3 cool SMB and mix on medium or medium-high speed with the paddle attachment (flat beater) until smooth and satiny.

Q: After I make my SMB, and add gel food colour to it, the SMB seems to “reject” the colour. What am I doing wrong?

A:I’ve been asked this question many times, and I hate to do this, I really do, but it’s seemingly the truth: In my experience, using Wilton brand colours are the culprit here. I know this can be an issue as far as availability goes, because sometimes the premium colour brands such as Sugarflair, Americolor, and Ateco colours are difficult to get, particularly outside of North America, but if you find you will be doing this kind of work often, I personally feel it would be worth it to get your hands on these colours.

Q: Is SMB stable enough to pipe such things as flowers, basketweave, etc.?

A:Yes! SMB is what you will see Martha Stewart uses for all of these techniques, and for good reason: it’s so light and fluffy yet super stable and resilient. Kind of perfection, really.

Q: Once my cake is frosted in SMB, does it have to be refrigerated?

A: Well, you know, it seems that all baker’s have a different opinion on this topic, but all I can do is tell you what I do. Many will tell you that it’s okay to leave SMB frosted cakes out for a few days, but, personally I like to refrigerate my cakes overnight, and then take them out first thing in the morning so that they are nice and soft and fluffy when I serve them. If I’m making it on the day of serving, I would just keep it out. I just find that Swiss Meringue Buttercream that is too warm isn’t appealing, and it if it’s too cool, it’s too buttery in texture. Definitely a fine line, but mostly, it’s just heaven.

I hope this helps in some way! All of that being said, I promise you with all my heart that it’s A. Not really as difficult as it may seem, and B. Even if it was, it’s worth it!

Inside-Out Neapolitan Cupcakes

Yield: 18 layered cupcakes


    For the Cupcakes:
  • 6 tablespoons (85 g) unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 cup (230 g) packed dark brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon (5 ml) pure vanilla extract
  • 1 large egg, at room temperature
  • 1 egg yolk, at room temperature
  • 3/4 cup + 2 teaspoons (115 g) all-purpose flour
  • 6 tablespoons (38 g) unsweetened Dutch-processed cocoa powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon (3 g) baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon (3 g) baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon (5 g) kosher salt
  • 3/4 cup (180 ml) buttermilk, at room temperature
  • 2 tablespoons (30 ml) mayonnaise
  • For the Swiss Meringue Buttercream:
  • 5 large fresh egg whites (150 g)
  • 1-1/4 cup (250 g) superfine granulated sugar
  • 1-1/2 cups (340 g) (3 sticks) unsalted butter, softened, cut into cubes
  • 2 teaspoons (10 ml) pure vanilla extract
  • pinch of salt


    For the Cupcakes:
  1. Preheat oven to 350° F. Butter and flour standard cupcake pans as you would for muffins, tapping out the excess.
  2. In a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter, brown sugar, and vanilla on medium-high speed until lighter in color and slightly increased in volume, about 5 minutes. Lower the speed to medium and add the eggs, one at a time, mixing until each is fully incorporated before adding the next.
  3. Sift the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda and baking powder into a medium bowl. Add the salt to the dry ingredients after sifting, and whisk dry ingredients.
  4. Alternate dry ingredients and buttermilk into creamed mixture, beginning and ending with dry ingredients. Mix until just incorporated, or finish by hand gently.
  5. Fold mayonnaise into batter with a whisk, until just blended.
  6. Fill cupcake pans 2/3 each (I like to use a 1.5 oz cookie scoop) and bake for approximately 17 minutes, or until a skewer inserted into center of cupcakes comes out just barely clean (a few crumbs). This works well for moist chocolate cake (not vanilla).
  7. Let cupcakes cool on wire rack for 10 minutes, then gently remove from pan and continue to cool on a wire rack. Let cool completely.
  8. For the Swiss Meringue Buttercream:
  9. Wipe the bowl of an electric mixer with paper towel and lemon juice, to remove any trace of grease. Add egg whites and sugar, and simmer over a pot of water (not boiling), whisking constantly but gently, until temperature reaches 160°F, or if you don't have a candy thermometer, until the sugar has completely dissolved and the egg whites are hot.
  10. Place bowl back on mixer and fit with whisk attachment. Whip until the meringue is thick, glossy, and the bottom of the bowl feels neutral to the touch (this can take up to 10 minutes, or longer). Switch over to paddle attachment and, with mixer on low speed, add softened butter in chunks until incorporated, and mix until it has reached a silky smooth texture (if curdles, keep mixing and it will come back to smooth).
  11. Add vanilla and salt, continuing to beat on low speed until well combined.
  12. You can also add a wide variety of flavourings, extracts, and more, but always add the vanilla first, as it brings out the true taste of the other flavours.
  13. Assembly of the Inside-Out Neapolitan Cupcakes:
  14. Divide buttercream evenly into 3 bowls. Flavour 1/3 chocolate, 1/3 strawberry, and leave final 1/3 vanilla (using instructions above). Add a few drops of pink gel colour to strawberry buttercream.
  15. Using a very sharp serrated knife, slice cupcakes twice, horizontally, resulting in 3 "layers."
  16. Fill one layer of each flavour (chocolate, strawberry, and vanilla), and top with sprinkles, if desired.
  17. Best eaten at room temperature on the day they were made, but can be stored in an airtight container for up to 3 days (in refrigerator overnight).


*Keep in airtight container in refrigerator for up to one week, leaving out at room temperature when needed, re-whipping in mixer for 5 minutes.

**Can freeze for up to 6-8 weeks. To thaw, place on counter overnight, and rewhip for 5 minutes with paddle attachment in an electric mixer.

***For Chocolate Buttercream, add 150 g (3/4 cup) melted bittersweet Belgian chocolate (the best you can get--I use Callebaut) to Vanilla Swiss Meringue Buttercream and beat until incorporated.

****For Strawberry Buttercream, add strawberry puree to taste, OR a few drops of LorAnn Strawberry Flavor Oil.

Southern Devil’s Cake Recipe adapted from Fine Cooking, by David Guas.

Happy Canada Day to my fellow Canadians, and Happy Independence Day to our American friends! Wishing you all a safe and happy weekend!

Good luck & enjoy!


Share the Sweetness!


  1. says

    I have made the beautiful SMB and I loved it. The only issue I had was after I iced my cake I put in the fridge overnight then I served it at the right temperature which was fine but I started to notice that it looked grainy and almost curdled on the cake. It still tasted nice but looked a bit gross.

    • says

      Hi Michelle! I’m sorry to say that I’m not sure what happened with your frosting. I wish I could help, but you’ve stumped me with that one. Because this has never happened to me, I can only guess that perhaps the colour you used affected the frosting, or maybe even the butter itself wasn’t of high enough quality (this can be a difficult thing to determine when buying butter, but if you stick with the well-known brands, I find it yields much better results). Just a few thoughts. Hope this helps!

      • Elizabeth says

        The same happened to me, although i didn’t put any food coloring on mine. At first it looked fine but after I iced my cake it looked as if i had spread scrambled eggs on it. My theory is that it started to separate from the butter cause once i mixed it again it returned to its normal smooth-satin form but as soon as i start to put it on the cake it happened again. What can i do? Please help

  2. Caroline says

    oh, also I wanted to ask where do you find the: Sugarflair, Americolor, and Ateco colours? I’m also in the K-W area.

  3. MammaDucky says

    I’m making some cream cheese Swiss Meringue Buttercream later to go on top of some red velvet cuppies and I cannot WAIT to lick the bowl afterwards. SOOOO in love with that icing!

  4. says

    I just adore your blogg! Thanks for all the lovely inspiration :-) Thanks to you I´m now nearly (or to be honest, truly) addicted to SMB.
    The sadly rainy wheather here in Sweden made me do a cake with apple pie-inspired SMB that now awaits in the fridge for later. All thanks to you!!!

    x Louise

  5. says

    I swear… if I weren’t running around this weekend like a crazy person, I would definitely be making some SMB! Not only does this look wonderful, but I found your Q&A to be so helpful!

    Another fabulous post!

  6. angela says

    How does the frosting hold up to humidity? Should I avoid making it on a humid day? I’ve made seven-minute-frostings that don’t hold up at all when it gets hold and humid.

  7. says

    I also have a love affair with smb. My only problem has been with it taking a ton of coloring to achieve a vibrant color – I am using Americolor gels. Thanks for your post – extremely helpful!


  8. Mary Sanavia says

    Hi Rosie! Thank you for your tips on SMB. I recently frosted a cake with it and left it at room temperature on purpose because I wanted to see how it would hold up and I have to say that it stayed perfect until day three, that’s when the “test” ended, along with the cake…..
    p.s. I’m going to try your little ruffle cakes RIGHT NOW!

  9. Timmi says

    Does anyone have a good substitution for the mayo? I don’t use it and really I would hate to buy it for 2 tablespoons worth.

    • Katy says

      Maybe sour cream or plain yogurt? I think either one would work as a fine substitute, the mayo is there to lend moistness and a hint of “tang” in contrast to the sweetness.

  10. Laura says

    Wow… And yummy!! I was wondering just last week if you would do a cupcake version of this cake. It looks amazing. I hope I’ll be able to gather up the courage to do the SMB frosting sometime soon. One question though, is it safe for pregnant women?

    • Katy says

      Hey Laura… Yep, SMBC is perfectly safe for pregnant women because the egg whites and sugar are heated together to pasteurization temp before whipping. Italian buttercream (IMBC), on the other hand, uses raw egg whites combined with a hot sugar syrup, so it is probably less safe. Happy cupcake & frosting making! :-)

      Rosie, these cupcakes are ADORABLE!!

    • says

      Thanks for the sweet words, Laura. SMB is generally accepted as safe during pregnancy and children because the egg whites and sugar are heated to between 140°F-160°F before mixing. I recommend using the freshest eggs you can find (a very fresh egg should sink right to the bottom of a bowl of cold water and lie on its side — never float) for your batch, just for peace of mind. Good luck!

      • Pauline says

        I have only just found this site and already love it. I can’t wait to try the SMB.
        Just one thing. On the egg issue – it’s not so much that there’s risk from older eggs, The risk with any egg is that it may be, and probably is, contaminated, inside and/or out, with salmonella, which is destroyed at 160 degrees F. According to the CDF, older eggs that have not been stored in the refrigerator could contain an increased amount of the bacteria.
        Fresher, cold eggs have thicker whites. They will take a bit longer to whip but they will have small uniform bubbles and the foam will be more stable. I wonder if the scrambled egg effect that some people have experienced was when using older eggs?

  11. Leanne Murdoch says

    Hi Rosie
    If you get a chance can you tell me what icing tip you used on the cupcakes (which are gorgeous by the way)


  12. Nicole says

    Rosie-I wanted to thank you so much for your very detailed instructions on SMB! I just made it for my daughter’s birthday party, and it was a huge hit. I made a mistake along the way and it looked all like scrambled eggs–I would have totally thrown it away (and cried) at this point if not for you! Thanks so much!

  13. Alia says

    These are sooo cute! I followed your directions for SMB a few months ago and just like you said, my boyfriend and I thought it tasted very buttery. I’m so tempted to try it again after reading this though! Is there any way to play around with the frosting so the butter flavor isn’t as strong?

  14. Ginger says


    I’ve recently delved into the world of SMBC myself. I love it, I love that it takes more steps to make, and the satiny smooth texture. However, my SMBC is never really fluffy – its smooth and satiny, but kind of dense. I always whip my egg whites for ~10 minutes (or until I get stiff peaks). Am I just not whipping it enough after adding the butter, or am I adding too much butter? I usually use Martha Stewart’s SMBC recipe, which calls for 10 large egg white and 2 lbs of butter. I normally half it, because I normally make cupcakes.

    Any advice is appreciated!


    PS. I can’t wait to try this Neapolitan cake/cupcakes!

  15. Janice Clarke-Reiter says

    Rose, thank you so much for sharing your expertise with the world! I stumbled upon your blog [I was actually researching recipes for margaritas for an annual camp out with friends!] and am thanking the “cake gods” that I was lead to your site. I spent most of a day looking at all your gorgeous cakes and recipes. Last night I prepared the Inside Out Neapolitan Cupcakes (made some food processor mayo rather than using store-bought), and today I made the Swiss Meringue Buttercream. It was the first time I ever made buttercream frosting. Thanks to your wonderful instructions and advice cupcakes and frosting turned out fabulous! [I have to admit my cupcakes don’t look quite as professional as yours, but for a first attempt, they are lovely!] In a few hours I will be taking the cupcakes to my mom to celebrate her 82nd birthday, and I know she will love them! I was also attracted to your frosting because I have been on a low-carb diet for 10 months (have lost 40lbs…yea!!]. The buttercream has far fewer carbs than standard frostings, making it possible for me to splurge without ruining my diet! Again, thank you for your vision and generosity.

  16. Mallory says

    Today my co-workers will be enjoying these little treats for a baby shower. My cupcakes didn’t bake up as tall as I would have liked, so I opted for only two layers over the three as shown above. The parents-to-be have decided to wait until delivery to find out the baby’s gender, but for now their colors are brown and green. My final product came to two layers with a layer of Chocolate and a layer of Vanilla (tinted a light shade of green opposed to the Strawberry above) set individually on small doilies. Overall, I was extremely pleased with how they turned out.

  17. Ellen says

    Oof! Good to know! I freaked out because my SMB never hit the runny, scrambled-egg stage. So that doesn’t always happen? It was a nutella version, naturally a bit softer, but it wasn’t added until the end. The beginning stages just never got runny! I was all prepared, but it stayed a smooth, buttery mixture throughout. I was thoroughly confused, and sure that I screwed up. Did I? This is the recipe I used and it’d be awesomeee if you could give me some thoughts! SMB is totally foreign to anyone else I have to ask.

    • says

      Hi Ellen!
      If you’re SMB never hit the scrambled-egg stage, that’s definitely not a bad thing :) That occurs when the butter is added too quickly and/or is too cold, even though it does come back together nicely once whipped for a bit. Sounds like you did a fabulous job! And, yum, Nutella! :)

  18. says

    Hi Rosie
    Just wanting to thank you for this, particularly the info about how to salvage a runny SMB! Am currently in the midst of making a 6 layer rainbow cake for a first birthday in the morning, in a steaming hot summer’s night in Australia, and was sure my first ever attempt at SMB was a runny failure due to the heat and would be oozing out horribly from between the layers. After a stint in the fridge and another beating it thickened up beautifully and I think my fears of ruining a little boy’s first birthday are now unfounded ;) Thanks so much!

  19. Lyndsay says

    Hi! I am very excited to try this recipe…I have been looking for a substitute for the classic buttercream frosting (the Wilton recipe), which I find way too sweet. Does this frosting also work for decorating with? Or is it better for the basic frosting of cakes?


  20. Aimee says

    I have a question on transportation. What is best to keep them from falling over? Or are they that stable that I need not be concerned?

    Thank you.

  21. says

    HELP!!!! So I have made Chocolate SMBC, quite a few times, some times it comes out great and other times it comes out “soft” after I add the chocolate. When you add the chocolate can you overbeat it at that point? So it was perfect SMBC before the chocolate, soft and not keeping its form after adding the chocolate. I refrigeraed it and took it out this morning, but when it comes back to room temp. its just kind of soft. Hopefully, I am making sense. Thanks Rosie

  22. Nina says

    Am from Malawi a small country in Southern Africa and I am in love with you cakes so please keep up the good work cause am learning a lot from you; me and my sisters have just started a catering business and in charge of the desserts section and cakes cause i love to bake.

    The Cupcakes look yummy!!!!!!!!

    Have a good day.

    Will try Inside-Out Neapolitan cupcakes and will let you know how they turn out.

  23. Vaishnavi says

    Hi Rosie,
    Let me begin by saying that I absolutely love your blog:-).. I’ve tried making these cupcakes twice and they’ve earned me “ROCKSTAR STATUS” every time:-) keep up the great work!!

  24. Jacqui says

    Hi Rosie,
    I’m pretty new to your blog, but your cakes are so beautiful and your intstructions are so clear! I’ve quickly become an addict. I have an event coming up and these would be such a perfect treat. I would need enough for about 50 people. Do you think it would work to make the cake in a sheet pan and cut rounds with a biscuit cutter? I would ideally like thinner cake layers to make it a one or two bite dessert. Or would the cake fall apart if much thinner? Maybe if I froze it a bit before cutting them out? Any tips would be so appreciated.

  25. Nadia says

    What a lovely blog. Thank you for sharing all that information with us.

    Please could you tell me what nozzle number/ type did you use on the cake?

    Many thanks

  26. aliye imam says

    I LOVE your cakes, they make my rainy British summer days more bearable. I love the colours you choose, and the way you keep everything simple, yet elegant. One question I have is; when making SMB, can it be made using a hand held electric mixer? as I do not have a kitchen machine as yet?

  27. says

    I’ve recently used knowledge from my chemistry degree to add a stronger flavour to SMB – just add the flavour to the egg whites before you whisk in the butter. This works because the butter repels the water in the flavouring (and some colourings), so incorporating it into the mixture first reduces the repulsion and incorporates it much more easily.

  28. Tan says

    I added some water to help dissolve the sugar because my sugar wasn’t very fine. I think it made my SMB very runny.Any way to salvage this?

  29. says

    Last time a made SMB my kitchen (and my butter) was to hot so I ended up with SMB soup when I had added all the butter. I’m using a hand held mixer (kitchen aids are quite expensive here in sweden) so i just popped my bowl in a bowl of ice water (like a cold bain marie) and continued to whip it on slow-medium speed. It worked wonders. It took a few minutes but then it started to firm up and get the concistency I wanted.

    I recon you could use a bag with ice water and wrap it around the bottom of the bowl if your using a table top mixer. Or a couple of those ice cube bags.

  30. Colleen says

    How do you keep the cake part from drying out? My friend made these and they were great immediately, but they were sitting out for a while at an event, and they dried out fast.

  31. Christina says

    Dear Lovely Rosie,
    Thank you for your too-good-to-be-true devil’s food cupcake recipe. It’s so delicious my family totally in love with it.i am a new baker and i have somequestions, do you bake your cake with the upper and low heat or only lowerheat? I bake my cupcakes for 17 minutes with lower heat only and they rise beautifully while inside th oven but after cool they shrink so much, they even pull away from the cupcakes liners.
    They stilltaste good but they don’t look pretty. Can you please help me ,why does this happen?
    Thank you :) have a nice day

  32. April says

    Hello Rosie! I love how moist the cupcakes are! Mayo is a nice addition to the recipe! I tried this recipe with Hershey’s unsweetened cocoa (the only cocoa powder I had available) and caster sugar – which is probably why they didnt have the dark and rich flavor that you described with your cupcakes. Ive yet to find an awesome cocoa powder where I live (Greece) that is readily available in the market…

  33. tunie says

    Didn’t think it was possible to see even one more excellent variation on the cupcake craze, but this is it! Lovely and looks delicious!

  34. ada says

    hola me encantaron estos cupcakes pero me duda fue que al leer la receta en los ingredientes para los cupcakes dice 2 veces mantequilla primero dice 85 gramos o ( 6 cucharadas) y mas abajo dice 3/4 ( 180 ml ) de mantequilla. es es esto correcto? muchas gracias y felicidades por blog.

  35. Courtney says

    Hi there i have just finished making my first ever batch of Swiss meringue butter cream!! after a lot of panicking it finally came together after following your advice however I was just wondering what the texture was meant to be like. the flavour was great however it was really shiny, greasy and felt like i was eating butter. i know the main basis of the smbc is butter but i was just wondering if i did it right or if i may have over beated? thanks for a wonderful recipe and some great tips!!! x x x

  36. says

    very nice tutorial Rosie. I had a doubt.. I don’t have a stand mixer. I have a hand mixer… so what attachmen should I use for the SMB? whip attachment I do have…. but I don’t think it comes with a paddle attachment.. Can u please suggest. or guide me. thanks

  37. LL says

    Hi I tried your recipe and found it a little sweet. Am wondering if it’s possible to reduce the sugar for a less sweet version? Would it affect the texture of the SMB? Can I use powdered sugar instead?

  38. Narissa says

    Hi Rosie!! I tried your SMBC it’s sooo yummm my only problem is when I try making chocolate SMBC the melted chocolate makes the yummy vanilla SMBC a runny mess…. Help!

  39. Jody says

    This recipe is amazing! I have made it a few times now, most recently for my daughter’s engagement cake/cupcakes and everyone raved how good it tasted! This will definitely become my ‘go to’ icing recipe from now on! No more sickly sweet buttercream in my house

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