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A photo of three cupcakes topped with french buttercream

French Buttercream

A creamy, custardy yolk-based buttercream that's too dreamy not to make!
Course Dessert
Cuisine French
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 5 minutes
Total Time 10 minutes
Servings 1 batch
Calories 170kcal



  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar 100g
  • 3 tbsp water 45mL
  • 5 large egg yolks
  • 1 cup unsalted butter 227g, room temperature and cubed
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract 5mL
  • pinch of salt optional


  • Combine sugar and water in medium saucepan. Heat over low heat while stirring until sugar dissolves. Increase heat to medium- high and bring to a boil
  • Put egg yolks in a stand-mixer fitted with a whisk attachment and beat until thick and foamy.
  • Cook the sugar and water syrup until it reaches 240 degrees F. Immediately remove from heat. With mixer running, SLOWLY drizzle hot syrup into bowl with yolks.
  • Continue mixing until the bottom of the bowl is cool to the touch and the yolk mixture has cooled to room temperature.
  • Add in butter one cube at a time allowing each piece to incorporate before adding the next. Add vanilla and salt. Continue mixing until buttercream is smooth and creamy. (About 5-6 minutes.)



  • THE BUTTER!! It has to be soft but not super soft about to melt. When you press into it the butter should yield but only after you apply a bit of pressure.
  • Don't let the sugar go past 240F, if you do things will get chunky.
  • When you add the sugar syrup in run the mixer on LOW, you don't want hot sugar splattering all over the place.
  • The recipe doesn't make a huge batch so if you're trying to ice a small naked cake make a double batch.


Serving: 35grams | Calories: 170kcal | Carbohydrates: 17g | Fat: 11g | Saturated Fat: 116g | Cholesterol: 9mg | Sodium: 9mg | Potassium: 4mg | Sugar: 10g | Vitamin A: 200IU | Calcium: 10mg