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Cupcakes topped with piped French buttercream with sprinkles being scattered on top. The cake in in a bright blue wrapper with polka dots
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5 from 1 vote

Vanilla French Buttercream

Vanilla French Buttercream has a texture as smooth as silk and a sumptuous flavour reminiscent of classic custard. It is rich, dreamy and decadent, making it an exemplary choice of topping to turn a simple cupcake into something really rather special.
Prep Time30 mins
Total Time30 mins
Course: Baking
Cuisine: French
Servings: 6
Calories: 322kcal


  • 4 Egg yolks from large, free-range eggs
  • 40 ml/ 8 tsp Water
  • 100 g/ ½ cup Sugar Caster
  • 180 g/ ¾ cup Butter Unsalted, softened
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1 teaspoon Vanilla bean paste or vanilla extract


  • Begin by heating the water and sugar in a small saucepan over a low heat, stirring often, until the sugar dissolves
  • Next, place the egg yolks in the bowl of a stand mixer and beat until thick and foamy
  • Once the yolks are beginning to thicken, turn up the heat on the sugar and water and allow to boil and cook until the syrup reaches 115C/ 240F then remove from the heat
  • With the mixer running, slowly pour the hot syrup into the bowl in a long thin stream. Be careful not to let the syrup hit the beater. Continue mixing until the bottom of the bowl is cool to the touch and the yolk mixture has cooled to room temperature
  • Start adding the butter, a cube at a time, beating well before the next chunk is added
  • Add a pinch of salt and the vanilla extract. Continue to beat until the buttercream is smooth and silky. Don't panic if it splits, just keep on beating and it will come together after approx 5 minutes
  • Use immediately or store in an airtight container in the fridge for up to two weeks or in the freezer for up to 3 months.
  • Cakes or cupcakes decorated with French buttercream should be stored in the fridge. Allow to come to room temperature before serving.


To use french buttercream that has been stored in the fridge or freezer, first allow it to come to room temperature then beat it with a mixer until its smooth, silky consistency returns. It may split at first, this is completely normal. Just keep on beating until the consistency is restored. 
This buttercream is quite heat sensitive and does not hold up well in hot/ humid environments. Please keep this in mind when deciding whether or not French buttercream will suit your needs.


Calories: 322kcal | Carbohydrates: 18g | Protein: 2g | Fat: 28g | Saturated Fat: 17g | Cholesterol: 195mg | Sodium: 220mg | Potassium: 20mg | Sugar: 17g | Vitamin A: 923IU | Calcium: 23mg | Iron: 1mg