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Gingerbread German Buttercream

  • Author: Erin Clarkson
  • Prep Time: 25 minutes
  • Cook Time: 0 minutes
  • Total Time: 25 minutes
  • Yield: 30 macarons worth 1x
  • Category: Buttercream
  • Cuisine: American
  • Diet: Gluten Free


Pastry cream based buttercream, flavoured with molasses and spices for a gingerbread flavour.


  • 110g dark brown sugar
  • 12g (1 1/2 Tbsp) cornstarch
  • 1 egg
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 190g whole milk
  • 1 tsp vanilla bean paste
  • 15g unsulphured Molasses (treacle if you are in NZ)
  • 2 1/2 tsp ground ginger
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 1/4 tsp ground cloves
  • 1/4 tsp allspice
  • 340g (3 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature


  1. In a bowl, whisk together the sugar and corn starch, then whisk in the egg, egg yolk and salt. In a medium saucepan, combine the milk, vanilla, molasses, ginger, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves and allspice. Heat to to just shy of a simmer.  Remove from the heat.
  2. Using one hand to whisk constantly, pour half of the hot milk mixture into the egg mixture. This helps to temper the eggs and stop them from scrambling. Whisk until incorporated, and then pour the whole lot back into the saucepan.
  3. Heat the milk and egg mixture over medium heat, whisking constantly, until it begins to bubble. It will thicken quickly. Once it has thickened, cook for one minute, then remove from the heat. Pour into a shallow container or bowl of a stand mixer and press some plastic wrap over the surface to avoid a skin from forming. Refrigerate until cold - at least four hours, preferably overnight. If you need to speed this process up, you can place the pastry cream in a bowl, then place the bowl in an ice bath. Stir frequently.
  4. Fit your mixer with the whisk attachment, and place the pastry cream in the bowl. Whip the mixture on medium until creamy and lump-free. Begin adding the butter, a few cubes at a time, until fully incorporated. It may look curdled at some point but just keep whipping - it will come together! Store in an airtight container until ready to use, or if using immediately, transfer to a piping bag fitted with small french star tip.
  5. Pair up the macaron shells, and pipe small buttercream blobs on one half. Top with the second shell. Macarons taste best if you 'mature' them in the fridge overnight to let the flavours meld, but they are perfect eaten immediately too! Store leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge.

Keywords: German Buttercream, gingerbread buttercream, pastry cream, molasses