The synthesis of yolk–shell catalysts, consisting of platinum or gold–platinum cores and graphitic carbon shells, and their electrocatalytic stabilities are described. Different encapsulation pathways for the metal nanoparticles are explored and optimized. Electrochemical studies of the optimized AuPt, @C catalyst revealed a high stability of the encapsulated metal particles. However, in order to reach full activity, several thousand potential cycles are required. After the electrochemical surface area is fully developed, the catalysts show exceptionally high stability, with almost no degradation over approximately 30 000 potential cycles between 0.4 and 1.4 VRHE.