French Buttercream with Various Flavor Options

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.

4 Replies to “French Buttercream with Various Flavor Options”

  1. Thanks for your quick reply! I am using French buttercream, just yolks, since have a ton left over from macaron making. I made my own jam and cooked it longer so it’s a bit gel-like, and added it to room temp buttercream at about 1:3 ratio. It’s holding up well. Thanks again

    1. Oops! Sorry about that. I recently made Italian buttercream and must have had that on my mind. However, you can still revive a broken French buttercream by gently heating as well. (At least, that’s what I’ve read.)


    1. Hi Katherine,

      The best buttercream for adding jam is Italian buttercream –

      Meanwhile, if you do break butter cream it’s usually because it’s too cold or too warm. Usually adding liquid like jam breaks the bubbles. To re-whip, simply warm the mixture (I use a sink filled with hot faucet water) and then beat it with your mixer to revive. If it is still too soft, refrigerate the butter cream to firm.

      The safest way to flavor French buttercream is by using something like LorAnn’s emotions. Her strawberry emulsion has color and flavor.

      Once you’re signed into this site, go o this page to learn more about buttercream –

      Good luck!

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