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Maple Buttercream

Top our Maple-Walnut Cupcakes with this buttercream.

Maple Buttercream

Source: Martha Stewart's Baking Handbook


  • 3 large egg yolks
  • 1 cup pure maple syrup, best quality
  • 2 sticks (1 cup) unsalted butter, cold, cut into small pieces


  1. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, beat the egg yolks on high speed until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes; set aside. In a small saucepan set over medium-high heat, bring the maple syrup to a boil, and cook until it registers 240 degrees on a candy thermometer, about 15 minutes. Remove from heat.

  2. With the mixer running, slowly pour syrup down the side of the bowl in a slow, steady stream, until completely incorporated, about 1 minute. Continue beating until bowl is just slightly warm to the touch, 4 to 5 minutes. Add butter, one piece at a time, until thoroughly incorporated and the frosting is fluffy, about 4 minutes more.

Reviews (13)

  • pjguihan 24 Nov, 2015

    Excellent buttercream. Patience is the key here. You need to slowly whip in the syrup so that you are incorporating a lot of air to make an emulsion. Then slowly add a piece of butter one at a time and incorporate again to add a lot of air to the buttercream. Mine came out perfect and took about a 1/2 hour to make.

  • jillstruzynski 7 Oct, 2015

    This recipe is fantastic, but it's difficult. It took me two tries to get it right, but once I did, it was AMAZING.
    Use a medium saucepan, a good thermometer (Thermapen!) Don't rely on cooking times in recipes. If your frosting came out like a glaze, it was probably too warm when you added the butter and your butter melted. I found a hand mixer (even though it's a pain) incorporated the hot maple syrup more thoroughly than a stand mixer. Cut your butter into TINY pieces, and keep it cold.

  • je_bergeron 7 Jul, 2014

    Simply the best maple buttercream recipe! It is light and fluffy as whipped cream but has the awesome taste of maple syrup. Delicious! I did it with butter and pecans cupcakes and everyone loved it!

  • nicolezern 25 Mar, 2014

    I have to agree with the first reviewer. I wouldn't recommend this recipe. My maple syrup boiled over multiple times and the frosting didn't come out thick at all. After leaving it in the fridge all night, it was still pretty thin. It was only a little thicker than a cake batter. Needless to say my cake is a little melty looking. I would definitely advise using a different recipe.

  • beths228 17 Nov, 2012

    I made this recipe exactly as stated in the recipe, so
    delicious! I made maple sugar cookies for place
    cards and used this frosting to pipe names on the them.

  • saralynn099 9 Mar, 2012

    Don't change this recipe!! It is perfect and so delicious!! It is smooth and velvety, similar to a Swiss Meringue Buttercream, and not meant to be as stiff as an American Buttercream; however, still a great consistency for decorating cupcakes. Unlike other buttercreams, the recipe calls for using cold butter when incorporating it into the buttercream. I think this is perhaps where other reviewers ran into trouble. Just keep whipping and the butter will stiffen. Try chilling, if necessary.

  • carashowers 1 Nov, 2011

    This icing was perfect atop my pumpkin cupcakes. Yes, as many of you have stated, 2 sticks is a lot of butter, but you have to pair this icing with something that tastes good with a buttery topping. Spice cake is one such thing. I have to admit, though, that I added another half stick to get the consistency right. I started to add the icing sugar but I was afraid it would be too sweet. With the extra butter I was able to decorate with it. Everyone who tasted said it was divine! Best they'd had!

  • Lychee 24 Feb, 2011

    Amabana is completely correct.. I made this recipe today using their changes and it turned out great! Before adding icing sugar, the frosting is waay too watery, but I'd definitely reccommend giving it a try with about 1.5 cups icing sugar, boiling the maple syrup at medium-low heat for about 7 minutes, and only adding one stick of butter.

  • amabana 16 Feb, 2011

    I'm pretty sure Martha doesn't know what pure maple syrup is (prob flavored corn syrup). I'm from Qc and after 15 minutes of cooking, my syrup was rock hard candy!! The second time around I lowered the heat and I reached 240* after 7 minutes but left it cooking on med-low until ~10 minutes.
    Secondly two sticks of butter is nasty tasting. I used ~1.3 and added icing sugar until I had a frosting consistency (~1.5 cups).
    I got great reviews from coworkers but its not easy to correct this recipe!

  • Tamara5252 24 Nov, 2009

    This is the most amazing buttercream I have ever class.

  • dorwartk 8 Oct, 2009

    I would definitely not recommend this recipe. The consistency is more of a glaze, not the fluffy deliciousness that is buttercream. Also, boiling the maple syrup is rather difficult, because it has a tendency to boil over extremely quickly unless you stir it, and stirring for 15 minutes ends up feeling like a very, VERY long time. Another detractor is that with TWO STICKS of butter, it just ends up tasting like butter, with only a tiny bit of maple syrup. I would suggest finding another recipe.

  • dorwartk 7 Oct, 2009

    2 STICKS OF BUTTER??? ARE YOU KIDDING ME??? If I'm going to go all out on a recipe, I'm going to use a better one than this. This frosting just tasted like pure butter.

  • Carmenid 18 Sep, 2009

    it's alright, over all, it is a waste of maple syrup

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