French Buttercream

French buttercream may not be as popular as the Italian or Swiss variety, but it is just as light and creamy. Plus, it is richer and a deeper shade of pale yellow from extra egg yolks. It makes a great cake filling and frosting.
  • Level: Intermediate
  • Total: 40 min
  • Active: 25 min
  • Yield: about 4 cups
Save Recipe

Ingredients

2 large eggs plus 6 large egg yolks

1 1/2 cups sugar

Pinch kosher salt

12 ounces (24 tablespoons) unsalted butter, at room temperature, cut into 1-inch pieces

1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Directions

Special equipment:
Candy thermometer
  1. Place the whole eggs and yolks in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a whisk attachment. Beat on medium-high speed until the eggs are pale yellow and thick, about 5 minutes. (The eggs will hold an indent made with your finger for a few seconds.)
  2. Meanwhile, pour the sugar and 1/3 cup water in a medium saucepan set over medium heat. Attach a candy thermometer to the side of the pan and bring to the soft-ball stage, without stirring, 240 degrees F.
  3. Begin whipping the eggs again on medium-high speed and slowly drizzle in the hot syrup, aiming the syrup between the side of the bowl and the beaters. Continue to whip until both the bottom of the bowl and the mixture are cool, 10 to 15 minutes. The mixture should be thick, but will not form a peak at this point. Beat in the salt.
  4. While still beating on medium-high, add the butter, a few pieces at a time. As the butter is added, the buttercream may appear to thin out some, but it will thicken into firm peaks once all of the butter is added. Beat in the vanilla extract.
  5. Use right away or refrigerate in an airtight container overnight. The buttercream may need to be beaten again to smooth out before using.

Cook’s Note

If you plan on using any other flavoring or color, add it at the very end.

Get the Recipe

Perfect Cranberry Sauce

This ruby-hued sauce is a breeze to make with either fresh or frozen fruit.

French Toast

Quick Vanilla Buttercream Frosting

Homemade French Baguettes

Popovers

French Meringue Buttercream

Buttercream

Italian Buttercream

Swiss Buttercream