Makes about 3 1/2 cups; enough to fill and frost two 9-inch cake layers

Notes: You can make this frosting up to 1 week ahead; cover airtight and chill. Before using, let buttercream come to room temperature, then beat briefly at medium speed to restore texture. In place of the vanilla in step 4, you can flavor buttercream with 2 to 3 tablespoons liqueur, 6 ounces bittersweet chocolate, melted, or up to 1/2 cup strained jam of any flavor. Soften the butter briefly in in a warm place in the kitchen or in a microwave oven until very soft but not melted.


How to Make It

Step 1

In a bowl, with a mixer at high speed, beat egg yolks until pale yellow, 4 to 5 minutes.

Step 2

Butter a 2-cup glass measure. In a 2- to 3-quart pan, combine sugar and corn syrup. Set over medium-high heat and stir until sugar is dissolved and mixture comes to a rolling boil. Immediately pour into the buttered glass measure.

Step 3

Beating constantly at medium speed, pour syrup in a thin, steady stream into egg yolks (avoiding beaters). Continue beating until mixture is at room temperature, 7 to 10 minutes.

Step 4

Add butter and vanilla. Beat just until smooth.

Step 5

Nutritional analysis per 1/4 cup.

Ratings & Reviews

Carrierobinw's Review

March 29, 2012

rainboltmrv's Review

March 21, 2013
The taste was excellent. The consistency was not. When I had beat in about half the butter it looked perfect but I continued to follow the recipe and added the rest of the butter. I wish I had trusted my instincts and stopped when I liked the look and consistency. I would try it again with about half the butter to see how it spreads. I agree that it didn't make an attractive cake due to the consistency

BlaisesMom's Review

April 06, 2013
Saw the Almond-Apricot cake when it posted again and thought I'd give it a try, including this frosting. I never got past the sugar/corn syrup stage (is it supposed to darken?) I soldiered on and poured it into a buttered 2-cup measuring cup then poured it into the eggs, "avoiding the beaters" per the directions. It hardened immediately and of course got into the beaters anyway. I had to give it only one star, even though the fault is undoubtedly mine, because the recipe is supposed to be foolproof. I went ahead and made the cake with store-bought frosting (I was really discouraged). It was beautiful and the taste was spectacular ... except for the frosting. I know this is long after the recipe originally appeared but if there's someone out there who has successfully made this frosting, please help!.

pinkberrymuffin's Review

July 09, 2010
Foolproof? Foolproof my ass.

Imen24's Review

June 26, 2010
I'm not generally a fan of those thick, store-bought frosting, but the flavor of this buttercream was great. Not too heavy. I couldn't get it to the right consistency though, so in the end, my cake looked like I had coated in in a layer of melted icecream. If you've made frostings before, this is great. If you're a beginner who has never tried it and wants to make it for a dessert to give other people...I suggest you experiment with this on your own before letting others see it :)