Best German buttercream frosting recipe ! This pastry cream buttercream is easy to make, rich vanilla taste and light in the mouth. You can use it to fill your cakes, pie bottom crust or pastry choux and with my tips to make it lighter or to have a firmer texture for piping cupcakes.
What is German buttercream
German buttercream is simply a frosting recipe made from pastry cream and whipped butter, it is also known as mousseline cream or custard buttercream.
Hence its very rich and a vanilla taste, which reminds of the delicious custard cream.
It also has a very particular texture and different from other buttercream recipes, such as the Swiss meringue buttercream or the classic American buttercream. It is often found in desserts and pastries such as the strawberry French Fraisier, in the tart bottom crust like my French strawberry tart or to fill the choux pastry (pâte à choux).
This easy recipe start with the preparation of a classic pastry cream also known as custard. Then, at the right temperature, it is combined with beaten butter, which gives a very light and airy cream in the mouth.
Why choose this frosting
As this recipe is made with milk it is quite similar to Ermine’s frosting made with boilled milk but it is even more tasty because it contains egg yolks which gives it that delicious flavor and also that more yellow color.
Because of its less firm and more delicate texture, this frosting is more often used to fill the inside of cakes rather than the outside.
However, it is possible to give it more hold and have a texture more similar to a classic buttercream.
German buttercream is perfect for :
- Filling the inside of a cake, choux pastry, or in the bottom crust.
- Decorating the outside (by adding more butter for a firmer cream)
How to adjust the texture of this frosting
A lighter frosting
To make it lighter, simply reduce the amount of butter (about 50 g in the classic recipe) and whip it well to incorporate as much air as possible and make it lighter in the mouth.
A firmer texture
On the opposite and if you want to use it to decorate with a piping for cupcakes or in a layer cake (as in my strawberry layer cake recipe) you will have to add more fat and reduce the amount of milk a little to give it a firmer and more stable texture.
▶︎ ▶︎ More information in the "Notes" part of the recipe card at the bottom of this article.
Composition of the mousseline cream
- Milk: Whole or semi-skimmed milk.
- Vanilla: Vanilla bean paste, liquid or powdered vanilla extract.
- Eggs: Yolks only for more flavor or whole eggs.
- Sugar : granulated powdered sugar, not whole or flavored sugar.
- Cornstarch: or flour or a mixture of both.
- Butter: unsalted butter, softened at room temperature.
How to make the German buttercream frosting
- Start by simmer over medium heat until boiling the milk with the vanilla bean split in half and scraped out (or your vanilla powder or liquid), then let it infuse for about 5-10 minutes.
- Meanwhile, put the yolks (or whole eggs), sugar and whisk for 1 - 2 minutes in a bowl.
Stir in the cornstarch and mix again for about 30 seconds.
- Remove the vanilla bean from the milk and pour it completely over the egg mixture and whisk for a few seconds.
- Pour the milk mixture back into the saucepan and heat over medium heat while stirring constantly.
- The mixture will thicken and as soon as it starts to boil, continue cooking for 1 minute.
- Transfer to a baking dish and cover with plastic wrap. Place in the refrigerator until completely cooled.
Making the buttercream
- Place the softened butter, cut into pieces, in the bowl of a mixer fitted with the pastry whisk and beat for about 5 minutes on high speed.
- Lower the speed of the mixer and gradually add the cold pastry cream.
- Resume fast speed and beat for about 3-5 minutes until you have a thick, smooth cream.
- Set aside in a fridge until ready to use.
Store and freeze :
It can only be stored in the refrigerator in a container covered with cling film, for about 3-5 days.
Can it be frozen?
Yes, by placing it in a storage box with a tight-fitting lid and placing it in the freezer for up to 3 months. To defrost, let it return to the refrigerator slowly.
FAQS - Frequently asked questions about German buttercream
Why is my cream grainy?
The butter is too cold and it does not mix properly with the pastry cream, which results in a grainy texture.
You should use room temperature butter and beat it for at least 5 minutes before adding the pastry cream.
To fix a grainy cream, take 1-2 tablespoons of the mixture and heat it in the microwave for a few seconds, then fold it into the rest of the custard to smooth it out.
How to thicken the cream ?
Place your preparation in the refrigerator to harden for at least 1 hour before using.
Is this buttercream stable ?
As it contains egg yolks it is not stable at room temperature and must be kept in the fridge.
Others frostings recipes
- Best buttercream recipes
- French buttercream frosting
- Whipped mascarpone frosting
- Russian buttercream recipe
- Italian meringue buttercream
- White chocolate Swiss meringue buttercream
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German buttercream recipe
- 250 ml Milk - whole or semi-skimmed
- ½ Vanilla bean - or 1 tsp liquid or powdered vanilla extract
- 2 Egg yolks - about 60 g
- 60 g Sugar - granulated
- 25 g Cornstarch - or flour
- 150 g Gutter - softened at room temperature
- Place the milk in a saucepan with the vanilla bean split in 2 and scraped off and bring to a boil, then leave to infuse for 5 - 10 minutes off the heat.
- Meanwhile, place the egg yolks and sugar in a bowl and whisk for 1 - 2 minutes until frothy.
- Add the cornstarch and mix again for 1 minute.
- Add the liquid mixture (after removing the vanilla bean) while whisking.
- Then return the entire preparation to the pan and heat over medium heat while stirring with the whisk continuously until the mixture is thick.
- As soon as the mixture starts to boil, cook the pastry cream for another minute.
- Pour the cream into a large dish and cover with cling film. Place in the refrigerator until cool.
- Place the softened butter and cut into pieces in the bowl of a mixer fitted with the whisk attachment and beat at high speed for at least 5 minutes.
- Meanwhile, take the pastry cream out of the fridge and mix it with a whisk to soften it.
- Lower the speed of the mixer and gradually add the pastry cream to the butter.
- Then start again at high speed and mix for at least 5 minutes until you obtain a fluffy cream.
- Use immediately or place in the fridge to firm up a bit.
For a lighter cream:Reduce 25 to 50 g of the butter.
For a firmer cream:Reduce 50 ml the amount of milk and add 50 g butter or even 100 g.
- To save time you can incorporate half the amount of butter at the end of the preparation of the hot custard. And the other half to incorporate when it cools down.
- The butter and the pastry cream must have about the same temperature to have a well homogeneous muslin cream.