French Buttercream
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5 from 8 votes

French Buttercream

A French buttercream made by whisking a hot sugar syrup into an egg-yolk foam! Silky, smooth and mildly sweet.
Prep Time25 mins
Cook Time20 mins
Total Time40 mins
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: French
Keyword: buttercream, French, frosting
Servings: 4 cups
Author: Heather Perine


  • 1/2 cup (50 grams) granulated sugar
  • 3 tablespoons water
  • 4 large egg yolks
  • 1 cup (226 grams, 2 sticks unsalted butter) cubed and softened at room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • Pinch of salt
  • mixer
  • wilton 2d tip


  • Combine sugar and water in a medium saucepan. Heat over low heat, stirring, until sugar has dissolved and the syrup is clear. Increase heat to medium-high and allow syrup to come to a boil.
  • Place yolks in the bowl of a stand-mixer fitted with the whisk (or, if using a handheld mixer, in a medium mixing bowl) and beat until thick and foamy.
  • Cook syrup until it registers 235°F, then immediately remove from heat. With the mixer running, slowly drizzle hot syrup into the bowl with the yolks: don't pour the syrup onto the whisk, or the syrup may splatter against the sides of the bowl; instead, aim for a spot close to the whisk.
  • Once all the syrup has been added, keep mixing until the bottom of the bowl feels cool to the touch and the yolk mixture has cooled to room temperature.
  • Add butter one cube at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in vanilla and salt. Continue mixing until the buttercream looks smooth and creamy, about 5 minutes. (If the buttercream separates, keep mixing: it will come together eventually.)


  • Be sure to add the hot sugar syrup gradually to the egg yolk mixture. Otherwise you will just have scrambled eggs on your hand!
  • Make sure your sugar-egg mixture is cool enough before adding the butter. Feel the bottom of the bowl before adding your butter. If it's warm, wait a bit more!
  • If your mixture seperates when adding the butter, continue to mix. It will come together! You can also try putting your bowl of frosting in the fridge to cool down, then try re-whipping again.