French buttercream recipe – The best buttercream

Introduction to French Buttercream:

French buttercream is a rich and velvety frosting known for its luxurious texture and smooth consistency. Unlike its American counterpart, which is often quite sweet and made with powdered sugar, French buttercream has a more refined taste, thanks to its base of egg yolks and sugar syrup. This type of buttercream is favored by pastry chefs and home bakers alike for its ability to hold intricate shapes and its less sugary flavor.

The process of making French buttercream recipe involves cooking a sugar syrup to a specific temperature and then carefully incorporating it into whipped egg yolks. The result is a creamy, silky mixture that is then blended with butter to create the final product. The addition of butter gives the buttercream its characteristic richness and makes it perfect for frostings cakes, cupcakes, and other desserts.

French buttercream is not only delicious but also versatile. It can be flavored with a variety of extracts, fruit purees, or even chocolate to suit different tastes and baking projects. Its smooth texture makes it ideal for piping delicate designs and achieving a polished look on decorated desserts.

Overall, French buttercream is a delightful choice for anyone looking to elevate their baking with a frosting that combines a sophisticated taste with an elegant appearance.

Ingredients Needed:

To make French buttercream, you’ll need a few essential ingredients. Here’s a list of what you’ll need:

  1. Egg Yolks
    • The base of this recipe starts with egg yolk mixture, which contribute to its rich and creamy texture.
  2. Granulated Sugar
    • Sugar is used to create a syrup that sweetens and stabilizes the buttercream.
  3. Water
    • Water is mixed with sugar to form the syrup that will be heated to a specific temperature.
  4. Unsalted Butter
    • Butter adds richness and smoothness to the buttercream. It should be at room temperature for easy blending.
  5. Vanilla Extract
    • Vanilla extract enhances the flavor of the buttercream. You can also use other flavorings depending on your preference.
  6. Salt (Optional)
    • A pinch of salt can help balance the sweetness and enhance the overall flavor of the buttercream.

Optional Ingredients for Variations:

  1. Cocoa Powder or Melted Chocolate
    • For a chocolate French buttercream, you can add cocoa powder or melted chocolate.
  2. Fruit Purees
    • To infuse the buttercream with fruit flavors, you can add purees of fruits like raspberries, strawberries, or mangoes.
  3. Extracts
    • Besides vanilla, you can use almond, lemon, or other extracts to create different flavors.
  4. Food Coloring
    • To achieve specific colors for decorating, you can add food coloring.

Having these ingredients on hand will allow you to create a smooth, rich, and flavorful French buttercream perfect for frosting recipe and decorating a variety of baked goods.

Step-by-Step Preparation Guide:

Here’s a detailed guide to preparing for this recipe:


  • Stand mixer or hand mixer
  • Candy thermometer
  • Small saucepan
  • Whisk


  1. Prepare the Egg Yolks:
    • Place the egg yolks in the bottom of the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment. Begin whisking on medium speed until the yolks are pale yellow color and thick, about 5 minutes. This is superb recipe made with egg yolks.
  2. Make the Sugar Syrup:
    • In a small saucepan, combine the granulated sugar and water. Stir gently to combine, being careful not to splash sugar on the sides of the pan. The egg yolks this buttercream will never be white color.
    • Attach a candy thermometer to the saucepan. Heat the mixture over medium heat, without stirring, until it reaches 238°F (114°C) (soft-ball stage).
  3. Whisk the Egg Yolks and Sugar Syrup:
    • Once the syrup reaches 238°F, carefully and slowly pour it into the egg yolks while the mixer is running on medium speed. Pour the syrup down the side of the bowl to avoid splattering.
    • Increase the mixer speed to high and continue whisking until the mixture is thick, glossy, and the bowl is cool to the touch, about 10-15 minutes.
  4. Add the Butter:
    • Reduce the mixer speed to medium. Add the room-temperature butter, one piece at a time, allowing each piece to fully incorporate before adding the next.
    • If the mixture looks curdled at any point, don’t worry; keep mixing, and it will come together. This process can take several minutes.
  5. Flavor the Buttercream:
    • Once all the butter is incorporated, add the vanilla and salt. Continue to beat until the buttercream is smooth, silky, and well-blended. This is the best french buttercream frosting and this buttercream is made with egg yolks.
  6. Adjust the Consistency:
    • If the buttercream is too soft, you can refrigerate it for 10-15 minutes and then beat it again until smooth. If it’s too firm, let it sit at room temperature for a few minutes and beat it again.

Tips for Success:

  • Ensure all ingredients, especially the butter, are at room temperature. This helps achieve a smooth consistency.
  • Be patient when adding the butter. Adding it slowly ensures a stable emulsion.
  • If the buttercream looks separated or curdled, keep beating. It should come together with continued mixing.

Flavor Variations:

  • Chocolate: Add melted and cooled chocolate or cocoa powder to taste.
  • Fruit: Mix in fruit purees for a fresh, fruity flavor.
  • Other Extracts: Try almond, lemon, or other extracts to create different flavors.

Now you have a rich, smooth French buttercream ready to use for frosting cakes, cupcakes, and other delicious desserts!

Can you freeze French buttercream?

Yes, you can freeze French buttercream! Freezing is a great way to make buttercream ahead of time or to save any leftovers for future use. Here’s a guide on how to properly freeze and thaw French buttercream:

Freezing French Buttercream:

  1. Prepare the Buttercream:
    • Make sure your French buttercream is well-mixed and smooth before freezing.
  2. Portion the Buttercream:
    • If you know you’ll need specific amounts later, portion the buttercream into smaller batches. This makes it easier to thaw only what you need.
  3. Wrap the Buttercream:
    • Place the buttercream in an airtight container. If you’re using a plastic container, press a piece of plastic wrap directly onto the surface of the buttercream to prevent air exposure and freezer burn.
    • Alternatively, you can use heavy-duty freezer bags. Squeeze out as much air as possible before sealing.
  4. Label and Freeze:
    • Label the container or bag with the date and contents.
    • Place the buttercream in the freezer. French buttercream can be frozen for up to 3 months.

Thawing French Buttercream:

  1. Plan Ahead:
    • Remove the buttercream from the freezer and place it in the refrigerator to thaw slowly. This can take several hours or overnight, depending on the quantity.
  2. Bring to Room Temperature:
    • Once thawed, allow the buttercream to come to room temperature. This helps it return to a smooth, spreadable consistency.
  3. Rewhip the Buttercream:
    • After it reaches room temperature, beat the buttercream with a mixer until it regains its smooth, fluffy texture. This step is crucial as the buttercream may separate slightly during freezing and thawing.

Tips for Freezing Success:

  • Avoid Temperature Shocks: Thawing the buttercream slowly in the refrigerator helps maintain its texture. Avoid leaving it out at room temperature for extended periods straight from the freezer.
  • Check Consistency: If the buttercream appears too soft or separated after thawing, beat it until it comes back together. If it’s too firm, let it sit at room temperature for a bit before rewhipping.
  • Use Fresh Ingredients: The fresher the buttercream when you freeze it, the better it will taste and perform after thawing.

By following these steps, you can successfully freeze and thaw French buttercream, ensuring it’s ready to use whenever you need it for your baking projects.

Storing and Preserving French Buttercream:

Proper storage and preservation of French buttercream are essential to maintain its smooth texture and rich flavor. Here’s how to store and preserve your French buttercream effectively:

Storing French Buttercream at Room Temperature:

  1. Short-Term Storage:
    • If you plan to use the buttercream within a day or two, it can be stored at room temperature.
    • Keep the buttercream in an airtight container to prevent it from drying out or absorbing any odors from the environment.
    • Store in a cool, dry place away from direct sunlight and heat sources.

Storing French Buttercream in the Refrigerator:

  1. Medium-Term Storage:
    • For storage up to a week, the refrigerator is ideal.
    • Place the buttercream in an airtight container to maintain freshness and prevent it from absorbing other refrigerator odors.
    • Before using, let the buttercream come to room temperature and then rewhip it to restore its smooth consistency.

Freezing French Buttercream:

  1. Long-Term Storage:
    • French buttercream can be frozen for up to 3 months, making it a convenient option for long-term storage.
    • Place the buttercream in a heavy-duty freezer bag or an airtight container. Press plastic wrap directly onto the surface of the buttercream to prevent air exposure and freezer burn.
    • Label the container with the date and contents before placing it in the freezer.
  2. Thawing Frozen Buttercream:
    • Transfer the buttercream from the freezer to the refrigerator to thaw slowly. This helps prevent texture changes and maintains quality.
    • Once thawed, allow it to reach room temperature. Rewhip the buttercream to restore its smooth, fluffy texture.

Frequently Asked Questions: 

Here are some common questions and answers about French buttercream to help you understand and troubleshoot this delicious frosting:

1. What is French buttercream made of?

  • French buttercream is made from egg yolks, sugar syrup, butter, and flavorings like vanilla extract. It is known for its rich and creamy texture.

2. How is French buttercream different from other types of buttercream?

  • French buttercream uses egg yolks and a hot sugar syrup, giving it a rich, custard-like texture. In contrast, American buttercream uses powdered sugar and butter, while Swiss and Italian meringue buttercreams use egg whites.

3. Can I make French buttercream ahead of time?

  • Yes, French buttercream can be made ahead of time. It can be stored at room temperature for up to 2 days, in the refrigerator for up to a week, or frozen for up to 3 months.

4. Why did my French buttercream curdle or separate?

  • French buttercream can curdle if the butter is too cold or if it is added too quickly. To fix this, continue beating the mixture until it comes together, or gently warm the bowl over a pot of simmering water while whisking.
Akara Karimi

Chef Akara, a culinary virtuoso with a penchant for innovation, crafts dishes that marry tradition with modern flair. Her journey from culinary school to renowned kitchens forged her expertise.

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