Hollandaise sauce in a white bowl with white and brown eggs in background.

Classic Hollandaise Sauce Recipe

  • Author: Christine Pittman
  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Cook Time: 15 minutes
  • Total Time: 20 minutes
  • Yield: 1 cup 1x
  • Category: Sauce
  • Method: Stovetop
  • Cuisine: French


Our Classic Hollandaise Sauce recipe may require a lot of whisking but the results are delicious!


Units Scale
  • 3 egg yolks
  • 1 Tbsp. water
  • 1 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice
  • 1 cup butter, very soft but not melted
  • 1/8 1/4 tsp. salt
  • Dash of cayenne pepper (optional)


  1. Fill a large bowl with ice cold water.
  2. Put the yolks in a small saucepan. Add the water and lemon juice. Whisk until they’re a pale color and very frothy.
  3. Put the saucepan over low heat and whisk quickly and continuously. Really target the sides and bottom of the saucepan because that is where things are the hottest and where you’re most likely to get congealed egg. I prefer a flat whisk like this because it really scrapes against those sides. If you notice some congealing going on, or to really help prevent it from starting, every minute or so, dunk the bottom of the saucepan into the ice water. Don’t let any water get into your pan though. Leave it in the ice water for 3-4 seconds and then put it back on the heat. Continue to heat and whisk until a slash of the whisk parts the eggs enough so that you can see the bottom of the saucepan for a good second.
  4. Take the saucepan off of the heat.  Add the very soft butter 1 tablespoon at a time, whisking vigorously after each addition to really emulsify the butter.
  5. Add the salt to taste and a dash of cayenne. You can add more lemon juice if you’d like.

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