French buttercream : Egg yolk buttercream

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If you make make macarons often you will notice that you have a lot of egg yolks left over and there is only a limited amount of custard you can make. In this video tutorial I show you how to make this easy French Buttercream recipe.

French buttercream can be used just like any other buttercream but it is less sweet and it is quite rich because of the egg yolks but it tastes great.

When you make macarons you could make this French buttercream as a filling so that no egg yolks go to waste and you can flavour it anyway.


  • 225g caster sugar
  • 75ml water
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • pinch of cream of tartar
  • 8 large egg yolks, about 160 grams
  • 350g unsalted butter, softened


  • Put the egg yolks into a large bowl and put it to one side. If you have a mixer put the egg yolks into the mixer bowl fitted with a whisk attachement
  • Pour water into a pot with the sugar and cream of tartar.
  • Let it boil until it turns into a syrup. If you have a sugar thermometer you can use it and let the water boil until it reaches 115 Celsius or the soft ball stage
  • Switch the mixer on and whisk the egg yolks and then pour the sugar syrup steadily before it sets and continue whisking t until the mixture is thick, very pale, almost white in colour. This can take about 5-10 minutes but it can vary depending on your machine. It will also take longer if you are using a hand whisk. It will be much cooler too by then.
  • Add the vanilla extract and then start adding the butter, about a tablespoon at a time, and whisk well between each tablespoon of butter added. Whisk continuously and when you have used up all the butter carry on whisking for about five more minutes until it is thick.
  • That’s it. You can use it now to pipe on cupcakes, cake or macarons and anything else that needs icing.