home > recipes > meals / dishes > desserts > frosting > buttercream

Basic French Buttercream

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

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

recipe id: 52601
cook method: stovetop

recipe tools

Photoadd photo
review it!
share this recipe:
share on facebook share on google plus share on twitter share on pinterest


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


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


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)

Get our best recipes delivered right to you!
Sign up for our newsletters that feature hand-picked recipes

more recipes like basic french buttercream

comments & reviews

number of 5 star votes on this recipe
number of 4 star votes on this recipe
number of 3 star votes on this recipe
number of 2 star votes on this recipe
number of 1 star votes on this recipe
number of unrated comments on this recipe14

Guest at CDKitchen.com
Nov 17, 2012

Guest Foodie
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
Oct 27, 2011

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
Oct 14, 2011

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
Dec 27, 2010

Guest Foodie
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
Oct 22, 2010

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...