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Basic French Buttercream

recipe at a glance
Rating: 5/5 5 stars
14 reviews
14 comments

ready in: 30-60 minutes
serves/makes:   1 batch
  

recipe id: 52601
cook method: stovetop

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ingredients

1 cup sugar
3 tablespoons corn syrup
1/2 cup water
3 eggs
1 pinch salt
1 pound butter

directions

Put sugar, corn syrup and water in a saucepan over high heat.

Meanwhile, beat eggs and salt until fluffy.

When all of the sugar is dissolved and the mixture is boiling, pour over beating eggs. Cut butter into cubes. When the eggs-sugar bowl is lukewarm to the touch, slowly add butter while continuing to beat until fluffy and smooth. Flavor as desired.

added by

Rebecca Michaels, CDKitchen Staff

nutrition

69 calories, 6 grams fat, 4 grams carbohydrates, 0 grams protein per tablespoon. This recipe is low in sodium.
Show full nutritional data (including Weight Watcher's Points ®, cholesterol, sodium, vitamins, and diabetic exchanges)

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comments & reviews



number of 5 star votes on this recipe
1179%
number of 4 star votes on this recipe
321%
number of 3 star votes on this recipe
00%
number of 2 star votes on this recipe
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number of 1 star votes on this recipe
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number of unrated comments on this recipe14



Guest at CDKitchen.com

Guest Foodie

COMMENT:
Although I had no problems with the recipe it tasted too buttery for my liking. I am wondering if I can fix the remainder tomorrow by making another sugar syrup to add as I am not overly fond of powdered sugar icings.


Guest at CDKitchen.com

cakelady

COMMENT:
the recipe calls for eggs, yet the postings that i read exclaiming over this recipe, said egg yolks.... so which is right - whole eggs as in recipe, or yolks as in postings? other recipes i've seen say egg whites? please clarify so i don't waste another batch


Guest at CDKitchen.com

Gail

COMMENT:
Can I make this a couple days before using it and store in the refrigerator?


Registered Member at CDKitchen.com
Member since:
May 24, 2011





REVIEW: recipe rating
Could anyone please tell me how many cups approximately this batch will make. I am making a wedding cake and need to know how many batches I would have to make?

CDKitchen Staff Reply:
Since you're making this for something as important as a wedding cake, you'll probably want to make a test batch well in advance. That would be the best way to gauge exactly how much you'll need and if the recipe is what you are expecting.




Guest at CDKitchen.com

Guest Foodie

COMMENT:
When I made this it turned out runny. It was a waste of time and money.I think putting the exact temp. that it needs to be would be very helpful.Very disapointed.

CDKitchen Staff Reply:
If it was runny then the mixture may have been too warm before adding the butter.




Guest at CDKitchen.com




REVIEW: recipe rating
First off this is a really nice recipe and I found quite easy to do. One thing to remember is that you want to whip it for a crazy amount of time. That is whip it till you think you should take it off and then whip it some more. One chef i talked to whipped the egg yolks for a good 10 minutes till they had hard stiff peaks. Then after adding the syrup they whipped it another 10 minutes. And another 15 after they added the butter. The result is a light fluffy non butter flavored bit of goodness.

Secondly I know this butter cream uses corn syrup but it is still a French butter cream as it uses a hot syrup and egg yolks. See if you don't have corn syrup you would essentially not add it. The corn syrup just prevents any crystals forming which would make your frosting kind of grainy. To prevent this if you're not using corn syrup you would simply make sure you don't stir or bump the pan while it's getting to temperature. Also after it is at temp put a lid on it for about 3 minutes as this will wash away any crystals that might have formed on the side of the pan.

Third...this is a French butter cream as its made with egg yolks. Italian is made with egg whites and hot sugar, Swiss is made with a meringue and sugar heated on a double boiler. After that you have your standard bastardizations which might include butter and powdered sugar , cream cheese, non fat milk or even shortening.

Each variations gives you different results and textures. However I prefer the French, Italian, and Swiss style myself as they are always super light and airy.


Guest at CDKitchen.com

Celia

COMMENT:
they actually do have corn syrup in France...they call it Glucose Syrup though not Corn Syrup.


Guest at CDKitchen.com




REVIEW: recipe rating
Using the egg yolks is what makes this a French buttercream or Pâte á bombe. An Italian buttercream uses egg whites only in the recipe.
Great icing!


Guest at CDKitchen.com




REVIEW: recipe rating
This is the best buttercream I've ever made. I only use a hand mixer but I have had people comment on how its the best buttercream. If it gets to soupy, do what I did, I let the egg mixture sit for about 1 hour and than added the butter in. If the mix is too warm it melts the butter to fast.
Thanks for such a great recipe.


Guest at CDKitchen.com




REVIEW: recipe rating
This frosting tastes sooo yummy! I added some vanilla and it is great. You have to mix it a long time. It will be soupy when you are adding the butter and all of a sudden it will turn into a creamy frosting. Thank you for this recipe:)


Guest at CDKitchen.com




REVIEW: recipe rating
This was the best buttercream I have ever tasted. I did a butter recipe golden cake and added almond extract and pistachio pudding mix to the cake. Once the icing was whipped completely, I added 3/4 of a pistachio pudding packet and almond extract! It was amazing!


Guest at CDKitchen.com




REVIEW: recipe rating
OMGosh this was the Best Buttercream I have ever tasted...I read all the other reviews so I had a heads up on what to do and what not to do...It turned out perfect...


Guest at CDKitchen.com

bill

COMMENT:
just a question: do you really use the whole egg?


Guest at CDKitchen.com




REVIEW: recipe rating
This is my first try at a Butter cream frosting. I have to say it is delicious. I did not have the soupy problem either. I believe whipping the eggs well may make the difference. My butter was room temperature and it came out smooth and creamy. The cupcakes are in the fridge cooling as i type.


Guest at CDKitchen.com

ash

COMMENT:
ummm does this recipe call for powdered or granulated sugar?

CDKitchen Staff Reply:
It is granulated sugar (you use granulated in boiled frostings)




Guest at CDKitchen.com

Guest Foodie

COMMENT:
I did my buttercream according to Rose Levy Beranbaum because I have her bake book and she is very exact. Her recipe is somewhat different but the end result was similar to some of the comments here. Soupy. I thank the reviewers here, because after I refrigerated the mix for some time, I used a hand blender and it turned out to be a wonderful butter cream. Mine is silky smooth. The problem with recipe writers is, sometimes they forget to advise us to the: "What if" moment.
SAo thanks again.
Michael Weber


Guest at CDKitchen.com

Guest Foodie

COMMENT:
its a good recipe but its not a french buttercream its italian


Guest at CDKitchen.com




REVIEW: recipe rating
This was my first butter cream. I'm glad others told of their 'soupy' mixture because I thought I'd really screwed up.

However, after continuing to mix until it was 'fluffy and smooth' all was well.

Love the texture and the fact it isn't overly sweet.

I have it all the refrigerator to cool prior to icing the cupcakes.


Guest at CDKitchen.com

DK

COMMENT:
This is VERy close to the perfect buttercream I am seeking but I would make it a bit differently next time - I used regular salted butter. Next time I'd use "Plugra" unsalted (rich European chef's butter). I halved the recipe (whipped the eggs then used half of the mixture, etc) so I am not sure if it would have turned out differently had I not done that. But even still, I do not like an overly sweet icing, yet this did not taste sweet enough at all to me so I ended up adding powdered sugar at the end. Next time I would just add more of the boiling sugar mixture since that seems to be what sets this apart from "American" buttercream. I did not get the gloopy mess others talked about but could see how it could happen - my eggs were REALLY fluffy - used a KitchenAid - so it came out great in terms of texture. I just frosted the cupcakes and set them outside to "firm up" because I LOVE cool buttercream that is firm at first then melts in your mouth! I have not tasted the finished product yet - just the finger in the bowl test! But thought I'd review this while fresh in my mind (and before I get too busy EATING it!!) Thanks for posting - I will try it again with "better butter" - Does this make me "Betty Botter?!" LOL!

PS FYI - I did not rate it because I changed the proportions... but the half recipe was PLENTY for 16 generously frosted cupcakes!


Guest at CDKitchen.com




REVIEW: recipe rating
OH MY GOD! That is heavenly! My didn't get soupy all all. I mixed the eggs for about five minutes, until they were fluffy, then I added the sugar mixture. I was worried I would end up with scrambled eggs since I didn't temper the eggs, but it ended up fine. I guess it's because the eggs were so fluffy? Next I let it cool for about ten minutes, then mixed in the butter one pat at a time. Mine mixed up just like the butter cream frosting I see on the cake Challenges on FoodTV.

I finished it off with about a cup of powdered sugar, some vanilla, and green food coloring.

This page is definitely bookmarked. Tell your Chef friend I said thank you!


Guest at CDKitchen.com

Cat

COMMENT:
This recipe half way through putting the butter through,when it was still soupy tasted nice.But as soon as I put the rest of the remaining butter in it got thick but it tasted like I was eating a block of butter with a sprinkle of sugar in top EWWWW!. If I ever decide to do this again I will be halving the butter, maybe a bit more. I don't think I will do it again!


Guest at CDKitchen.com




REVIEW: recipe rating
I too yielded soup as a result! But I read the reviews and continued to beat it in my kitchenaid. It took a very long time, but it eventually did thicken up like icing. Putting it in the refrigerator after it has thickened will also help it be thicker. The taste was delicious! I will definitely try this one again!


Guest at CDKitchen.com




REVIEW: recipe rating
At first I got the same, soupy mess that has been reported on some of the other reviews. Confused at how it could go so horribly wrong my sister suggested I continue to whip it to see what would happen. Lo and behold the butter within the mixture cooled as the air whipped in and it became light and fluffy. : ) loved this recipe.


Guest at CDKitchen.com




REVIEW: recipe rating
To Anonymous, try adding a bit more sugar (say 3 Tablespoons) and allov whe water surag mixture to simmer for about 30 minutes. Then you end up with a fondant, (which you may also be able to buy in france) add that instead of the corn syrup!


Guest at CDKitchen.com




REVIEW: recipe rating
A pound of butter! This is truly decadent and rich tasting. The recipe turned out soupy for me too but after refrigerating the soupy mixture for 30 minutes and whipping it with a hand blender, all the ingredients came together to form a nice, creamy, tasty frosting. The only bad thing is that because of the high butter content, the frosting hardens when refrigerated and has to sit out for a while before it's spreadable.


Guest at CDKitchen.com

Chef B

COMMENT:
This recipe is very nice. To make it not soupy make sure the whipped eggs are cool and add the butter very slowly, chunk by chunk. and when all the butter is added you have to let it whip until it comes together, this may take awhile. if the mixture is too warm place a cold towel with some ice against the bowl while whipping, if too cold use a warm towel in the same way.


Guest at CDKitchen.com

unhappy

COMMENT:
I just got done making the basic french buttercream frosting for a 11*15 cake and it turned out to be like soup than frosting so I don't recomend this frosting receipe.

CDKitchen Staff Reply:
This recipe comes from an actual pastry chef (Rebecca Michaels, a former CDKitchen columnist) so I find it hard to accuse the recipe. It's important that the mixture not be too warm when adding the butter or it'll melt instead of thickening the mixture.




Guest at CDKitchen.com

Guest Foodie

COMMENT:
I doubt that this is a French recipe since I've lived in France for 6 years and I've never seen corn syrup available anywhere. In fact I'm looking for a frosting recipe without corn syrup and shortening because those are 2 things I can't get here (in addition to frosting).