French Buttercream with Various Flavor Options

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French buttercream is silky smooth and rich. Rather than containing egg whites like in Italian Meringue Buttercream or Swiss Meringue Buttercream, French buttercream contains only egg yolks. This makes it rich, creamy, and silky.

This recipe is available to everyone.

French Buttercream

When you want the creamiest, richest buttercream frosting or filling, make this French Buttercream. Then, flavor it with any suggested flavoring you desire.
Course Desserts
Cuisine French
Ingredient Keyword butter, egg yolk, sugar
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes
Servings 2 cups


  • 3 tablespoons water
  • 2/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 4 large egg yolks at room temperature (or 4 tablespoons additional soft butter)
  • 1 dash salt
  • 1 cup 2 sticks unsalted butter, cut into 32 - 40 pieces (or dairy free margarine or buttery sticks) at room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla lemon, almond, or mint extract (or LorAnn Oils emulsions)
  • gluten free food coloring AmeriColor, McCormick etc. (optional)


  1. Add the water and then the sugar to a small saucepan. Cook over medium heat until the sugar melts. Do not stir this mixture. If you feel that the sugar near the edges of the pan is not melting, use a butter knife to push the granules towards the center of the saucepan. If you see any sugar granules on the sides of the pan, use a wet pastry brush to wipe them away. Using a candy thermometer, simmer the mixture until thicken and it reaches 235 - 238ºF.

  2. While the sugar melts, beat the egg yolks in the bowl of your mixer until light yellow in color.
  3. Set the sugar syrup aside to cool for 2 - 3 minutes.
  4. While the mixer is running on medium speed, slowly pour in the sugar syrup on the side of the mixing bowl. (Avoid the running beaters or it will only get on the sides of the bowl.) Once the syrup is all in, increase the speed to high and beat until thoroughly combined and the bowl is cool.

  5. Add in the butter, a piece at a time, while continuing to mix. After adding about pieces, wait until the mixture is creamy and no lumps remain prior to adding more.
  6. Add to a piping bag and pipe immediately or dollop on your dessert, or even use as a filling for cakes and cupcakes. If you need to refrigerate this French buttercream, realize that you will need to leave it out of the refrigerator for about 15 minutes to almost reach room temperature.
  7. Add the flavoring of choice: extract, emulsion, jam, melted chocolate, berry puree, matcha powder, and more.

  8. Use to fill a cake, cupcakes, French macaroons, and more.

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