How to make French Buttercream at Home

How about a buttercream that’s rich, creamy and incredibly delicious! Also known in the world of pâtisserie, as a pâte à bombe and frequently used as a base for mousse, French buttercream is made with a base of egg yolks and eggs. The eggs are tempered with a hot sugar syrup that has reached ‘soft ball stage’, which helps pasteurize the eggs, making them safe for consumption. Then butter is tossed in and whipped to creamy, dreamy goodness that can be flavoured with a plethora of flavour options. Take for instance these pear mascarpone cupcakes, where the addition of mascarpone adds a tang to balance out the sweetness of ripe Ontario pears!

ripe Ontario pears 

For this recipe, you will need: 



1 cup water

2 cups sugar

2 Tablespoons of corn syrup

1/4 tsp cream of tartar

5 egg yolks

1 whole egg

1/8 tsp xanthan gum

1 and 1/2 lb of good quality butter


 Digital candy thermometer

Stand mixer

Yield: frosting for 36 cupcakes

  • In a heavy bottom pan, add water, then add sugar, corn syrup, and cream of tartar. Place the pan on high heat and make sure you monitor closely as sugar syrup can overheat quickly and create quite a mess if left unattended!
  • Place the yolks and eggs in a stand mixer with the whisk attachment and turn to high. Whisk away, until the eggs have tripled in volume and reach ‘ribbon stage’.
  • In the mean time when the sugar syrup reaches 230°F, also know as soft ball stage, turn off the mixer and add the xanthan gum, turn back up to medium and whip for a few seconds to incorporate.
  • Remove the candy thermometer from the sugar syrup and carefully rest the lip of the pan on the edge of the mixer bowl. Slowly tilt and pour the sugar syrup in a slow and steady stream down the side of the bowl. We want to do this slowly as this will help temper the eggs, however we don’t want to cook them to a solid!
  • Once the sugar syrup has been poured in, turn the mixer to high and beat until cool. You will be able to gauge this by touching the side of the bowl, it should be cool to the touch. 
  • At this stage we will start adding in the butter. So switch out the whisk for the paddle attachment and then start adding slices or cubes of butter, one bit at a time.
  • Once all the  butter is added, turn the mixer to medium high to add beat for around 30 seconds.
  • There you have it…creamy, dreamy and incredibly delicious French buttercream…enjoy!



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