Homemade Hollandaise Sauce With Clarified Butter

Homemade hollandaise sauce over eggs Benedict

The Spruce


  • Total: 30 mins
  • Prep: 10 mins
  • Cook: 20 mins
  • Servings: 8 servings
  • Yield: 1 cup
Nutritional Guidelines (per serving)
244 Calories
26g Fat
1g Carbs
4g Protein
See Full Nutritional Guidelines Hide Full Nutritional Guidelines
Nutrition Facts
Servings: 8
Amount per serving
Calories 244
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 26g 33%
Saturated Fat 15g 76%
Cholesterol 165mg 55%
Sodium 81mg 4%
Total Carbohydrate 1g 0%
Dietary Fiber 0g 0%
Protein 4g
Calcium 24mg 2%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

Let's talk about something that a lot of hollandaise sauce recipes omit: To make hollandaise sauce, you are absolutely going to have to make clarified butter. Clarified butter—butter that is liquefied and then strained until it's clear, thus earning the name "clarified"—helps stabilize your sauce so that it doesn't curdle. And it really does make a difference. Why? Clarified butter is pure fat, whereas whole butter is 16 to 17 percent water, which can weaken the emulsion.

Required tools for making clarified butter: A pot. A spoon. Seriously, you've got this. Mostly it's a matter of standing in your kitchen for half an hour while some butter melts in a pan.

For the hollandaise itself, you'll also need a glass or stainless steel bowl and a whisk, in addition to the aforementioned pot. Required skills: Pouring. Stirring.

All else being equal, you'd prefer a warmer kitchen over a cooler one, since warmer temperatures help the egg yolks to emulsify with the melted butter. That's one reason the hollandaise at that brunch place you love so much is so amazing—their kitchen is probably roughly the same temperature as Hades. (The main reason, of course, is the cook there makes hollandaise sauce every single day and is probably borderline obsessive about it.)

For our purposes, if all you do is let your eggs come to room temperature before you start cooking, you'll be helping yourself out tremendously. Just take them out of the fridge a couple of hours beforehand. The butter, too, of course, but you don't keep your butter in the refrigerator, do you?


Click Play to See This Homemade Hollandaise Sauce Recipe Come Together


  • 1 cup clarified butter (about 2 1/2 sticks before clarifying)
  • 4 egg yolks
  • 1 tablespoon cold water
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice (juice from 1 small lemon), divided
  • Kosher salt, to taste
  • Cayenne pepper (or a dash of Tabasco sauce, to taste)

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    Hollandaise Sauce Recipe ingredients
     The Spruce
  2. Heat 1 to 2 inches of water in a saucepan over medium heat. Also, make sure your clarified butter is warm but not hot.​

  3. Combine the egg yolks and the cold water in a glass or stainless steel mixing bowl (not aluminum) and whisk for 1 to 2 minutes, until the mixture is light and foamy. Whisk in a couple of drops of the lemon juice, too.​

    Hollandaise Sauce Recipe
     The Spruce
  4. The water in the saucepan should have begun to simmer.

    Hollandaise Sauce Recipe
     The Spruce
  5. Set the bowl directly atop the saucepan of simmering water. The water itself should not come in contact with the bottom of the bowl. Whisk the eggs for 1 to 2 minutes, until they're slightly thickened.​

    Hollandaise Sauce Recipe
     The Spruce
  6. Remove the bowl from the heat and begin adding the melted butter slowly at first, a few drops at a time, while whisking constantly. If you add it too quickly, the emulsion will break.​

    Hollandaise Sauce Recipe
     The Spruce
  7. Continue beating in the melted butter. As the sauce thickens, you can gradually increase the rate at which you add it, but at first, slower is better.​

    Hollandaise Sauce Recipe
    The Spruce 
  8. After you've added all the butter, whisk in the remaining lemon juice and season to taste with kosher salt and cayenne pepper (or a dash of Tabasco sauce).

    Hollandaise Sauce Recipe
     The Spruce
  9. The finished hollandaise sauce will have a smooth, firm consistency. If it's too thick, you can adjust the consistency by whisking in a few drops of warm water.​

    Hollandaise Sauce Recipe
    The Spruce 
  10. Serve and enjoy.

Raw Egg Warning

Consuming raw and lightly-cooked eggs poses a risk of food-borne illness.


  • It's best to serve hollandaise right away. You can hold it for about an hour or so, provided you keep it warm. After 2 hours, though, you should toss it—it'll eventually start to separate, and food safety begins to become an issue as well.
  • By gently heating the egg yolks, we're altering the proteins in a way that makes them bond more effectively with the fat droplets in the clarified butter we're going to be adding. This creates a more stable emulsion, meaning your Hollandaise is less likely to curdle. At the same time, though, we don't want to get the yolks too hot, either. Egg yolks lose their emulsifying powers when cooked, which is why we use this gentler, less direct method of warming them. Plus, if you heat the yolks too much, you'll have scrambled eggs.