It was my Dad’s birthday this past week and I wanted to bake him something special. He is diabetic and doesn’t get to enjoy home-made baked goods like he used to and I’ve been experimenting with some recipes lately for him. I decided I would make his birthday cake.
I’ve been thinking about whether I could make Swiss Meringue Buttercream with Splenda or not and I didn’t see why not. I had asked on Twitter and I had one friend reply back that he had made meringue cookies with Splenda. That was good enough for me.
I had made Sweetapolita’s Swiss Meringue Buttercream for the twins’ Mario and Sonic birthday cake that was absolutely delicious, so that was the recipe I started with. The only change I made, was I substituted Splenda for the sugar.
I cut Sweetapolita’s recipe in half, so I combined 2 cups of Splenda and 1 cup of fresh egg whites into my double boiler (I used a small metal mixing bowl set inside a small pan of simmering water).
If you have ever used Splenda in anything before, you will know it foams when added to liquid. Here it foamed. A lot. I wasn’t sure if it was even combining, it was just kind of a thick, lumpy, foamy mess. This was the first time I got nervous.
I had my candy thermometer nearby and kept watch over the temperature. When it reached 140 degrees, it kind of separated. It was very thick and foamy and eggy (is “eggy” a word?) on the top 2/3 and the bottom was pure yellow liquid. Here is where I panicked…again. But I poured it into my Kitchenaide Mixer and started whipping with my whisk attachment. I prayed. Again.
My meringue was looking less than desirable. It had little lumps. I was already contemplating an alternative and was going to start pulling stuff out for a regular chocolate buttercream. But the mixer kept whipping and I kept praying.
My meringue remained lumpy, but did thicken up nicely. I was conflicted. I was afraid if I started adding my five cubes of butter here that I was just going to waste FIVE cubes of butter. This was either going to be brilliant or a disaster.
I love living by the edge of my seat!
I started to slowly add my chunks of cool butter. Like regular swiss meringue is known to sometimes do, it separated and looked really watery. But I kept adding my butter and I kept my mixer flying.
I’ll be damned if I didn’t have something that resembled smooth, creamy, and buttery Swiss Meringue Buttercream!
It was at this point that I added in a handful (maybe 1/2 cup) of fresh pureed strawberries, my salt and vanilla. I wanted to try and mask the Splenda taste that I could detect. I don’t know if I could taste it because I’m not used to eating Splenda or if it was just really strong. Because everyone else that tasted it said it was AWESOME!
8 large egg whites (1 cup)
2 cups granulated Splenda
5 sticks of butter (I used salted, but original recipe says unsalted), cut into cubes. Soft but still cool.
1 Tbs pure vanilla extract
dash of salt (probably can skip it if you use salted butter)
1/2 cup pureed fresh strawberries (optional)
Really, Sweetapolito has THE very best method instructions and I basically just followed them. You just need to be aware that Splenda will foam and not dissolve into the heated eggs making for a very nervous baker. But if you just follow it through…it WILL work and it WILL be delicious and it WILL make your diabetic daddy very happy.