French Buttercream

March 1, 2016

Test Kitchen-Approved

Author Notes:

A rich buttercream made with a base of whole eggs plus egg yolks (pâte à bombe), it has a lovely texture and a lovely yellow hue.

Erin McDowell

Makes: about 4 cups


  • 6 ounces (about 3 large) eggs
  • 6 ounces (about 12 large) egg yolks
  • 14 ounces (2 cups) sugar
  • 4 ounces (1/2 cup) water
  • 18 ounces (2 cups plus 2 tablespoons) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
In This Recipe


  1. Place the eggs and egg yolks in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whip attachment.
  2. Combine the sugar and water in a medium pot and stir over medium heat until it comes to a boil. When it begins to boil, stop stirring and attach a candy thermometer to the pot (if any sugar crystals have washed up on the sides, brush them away using a pastry brush dipped in cool water). Continue to cook the syrup until it reaches 240° F (final desired temperature).
  3. As soon as the sugar syrup hits 230° F, begin whipping the eggs and yolks on medium-high speed. The goal is to have the egg mixture become pale yellow and thick by the time the sugar reaches the 240° F.
  4. With the mixer running, add the sugar syrup in a slow, steady stream Continue to whip on high speed until the mixture is pale and very thick and the bowl is no longer noticeably warm to the touch.
  5. With the mixer running, gradually add room-temperature butter in 1/2 tablespoon chunks to the mixer. Continue adding and mixing until all of the butter is added and the buttercream is light and smooth.
  6. Beat in the vanilla and mix to combine. The buttercream can be used immediately or refrigerated in an airtight container.

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Reviews (1) Questions (1)

1 Review

Lygia September 26, 2017
Great recipe! I use French buttercream to fill my chocolate and salted caramel cakes. I esp love that this recipe uses whole eggs. I often have leftover egg yolks in baking and this is a great way to use them. I followed the directions exactly and it turned out great. I added a dash of salt too. French buttercream freezes beautifully too :)