Sabayon Vs. Hollandaise Sauce

Have you ever wondered what the difference between sabayon and hollandaise sauce is and felt a bit confused? 

At first glance these two sauces look alike. They are both thick creamy sauces with rich flavors.  

These closely related sauces also feature similar ingredients.

However, there are a couple of things that differentiate hollandaise sauce from sabayon.

In this post, we’ll take a look at these two sauces, and discuss the differences between them, including their ingredients, the way they are prepared and also how each of these sauces is used.

Continue reading to find out more about these two sauces.

Difference between sabayon and hollandaise sauce


Hollandaise sauce consists of an emulsion of egg yolk and butter. It is also made with lemon juice.

Sabayon is made from egg yolks, sugar and marsala wine. It is not made with butter; therefore sabayon is dairy free.


Hollandaise sauce is a savory sauce with a bit of a tangy flavor. Sabayon typically has a sweet flavor although it could also be savory  

The savory sabayon could be used as a base for hollandaise sauce  


Sabayon is typically a dessert sauce and can also be eaten on its own.

It could be taken as a beverage in some cases, it is also used as a filling for a wide variety of Italian treats.

Hollandaise sauce is typically used as a condiment and usually accompanies a main dish.

What is sabayon?

Sabayon is a creamy Italian dessert.

This sauce originated in Italy in the 1500s, and is also known as zabaglione to the Italians. 

It is traditionally made with egg yolks, sugar, and wine.

Marsala wine is often used to make this dessert sauce, although any sweet wine can be used to make this dessert including madeira and sherry.

The flavor could range from sweet to tangy depending on the ingredients used. The thickness and consistency could vary as well 

It can be served on its own as a dessert sauce, it can also be used as a pastry filling.

How sabayon is made

Equal parts egg yolk, marsala wine and sugar are mixed together. The amount of wine can also be adjusted.

The mixture is whisked over heat until it thickens.

Constant whisking is required to achieve the desired texture of the sauce.

Whisking aerates the mixture which becomes frothy. The mixture also increases in volume as it begins to froth. 

A double boiler or a bain marie could be used to make this sauce, ensuring an even distribution of heat.

Sabayon can be served warm or cold. 

What is hollandaise sauce?

A classic French sauce and one of five “mother sauces” in French cuisine. It is used to make other sauces including Béarnaise and sauce au vin Blanc. 

This thick creamy sauce can also be referred to as Dutch sauce 

Although the name hollandaise means “from Holland,” this sauce is originally from the French region of Normandy. Some may argue that this sauce was first created in Netherlands.

Hollandaise is a very popular sauce with a rich flavor. 

The ingredients for this sauce are butter, egg yolks and lemon juice. The sauce could also be lightly spiced with pepper. 

Hollandaise sauce is served together with fish, eggs, or vegetables. Hollandaise sauce is also the sauce components of the popular dish known as eggs Benedict.

How hollandaise sauce is made

Making hollandaise sauce can be quite challenging.

Hollandaise sauce is an egg emulsion where soft butter is whisked together with egg yolks and lemon juice.

It can also be seasoned with salt and pepper.

The mixing is done over low heat where the ingredients are gently heated.

The sauce is heated gently so that the egg does not coagulate as excessive heat can make the sauce curdle.

A double boiler could also be used to achieve an even heat distribution.

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