Favorite Vanilla Buttercream

Deliciously soft, creamy, and easy PERFECT vanilla buttercream recipe! sallysbakingaddiction.com

Finally! A completely separate post for the most common recipe in any baker’s repertoire: vanilla buttercream. This is my favorite vanilla buttercream recipe. There’s nothing fancy, crazy, or complicated about it– but the flavor and texture will certainly taste like you added something special.

But guess what? You didn’t. It’s our little secret.

Deliciously soft, creamy, and easy PERFECT vanilla buttercream recipe! sallysbakingaddiction.com

The word “creamy” doesn’t even do this stuff justice. But even though it’s supremely creamy, this vanilla buttercream holds its shape beautifully. So it’s perfect for piping even the most complicated and intricate designs.

I’ve used this vanilla buttercream more times than I can even fathom, but I love it most paired with chocolate or vanilla cupcakes. If you scale it up (slightly) you can use it to frost a layered cake, like I do with my white layer cake recipe.

Want to see how I use it to decorate cupcakes? That video is coming soon!


Deliciously soft, creamy, and easy PERFECT vanilla buttercream recipe! sallysbakingaddiction.com

Favorite Vanilla Buttercream


  • 1 cup (230g) unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
  • 4 - 5 cups (480-600g) confectioners' sugar
  • 1/4 cup (60ml) heavy cream
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • salt, to taste


  1. With a handheld or stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, beat the butter on medium speed until creamy - about 2 minutes. Add 4 and 1/2 cups confectioners' sugar, the heavy cream, and vanilla extract with the mixer running on low. Increase to high speed and beat for 3 full minutes. Add up to 1/2 cup more confectioners' sugar if frosting is too thin or another Tablespoon of cream if frosting is too thick. Add a pinch of salt if frosting is too sweet. (I like 1/8 tsp salt.)

Recipe Notes:

This recipe is enough to frost 12-16 cupcakes or one 9x13 quarter sheet cake. Follow these ratios for a 2 layer cake and these ratios for a 3 layer cake.

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Deliciously soft, creamy, and easy PERFECT vanilla buttercream recipe! sallysbakingaddiction.com


  1. Sally -I made your frosting and it is delicious. I have also made it with the crushed freeze dried strawberries with great results. I have a small problem though. Since I only bake non-dairy for Kosher purposes, I must use margarine instead of the butter. The taste is fine, but the color of the frosting is not as pale as yours is. I believe when butter is beaten it turns a lighter color than the margarine ever can. I think that substituting half of the margarine with shortening (Crisco) would lighten up the color but I feel that the taste would be sacrificed. Also, when coloring the frosting that is made with the margarine, the colors always end up with a yellowish tinge and are never true to the color they should be. Do you have any suggestions for a good tasting non dairy “buttercream” frosting that would be a lighter color?

    • Unfortunately, I have never had luck making a nondairy buttercream. I wish I could be more help! My only suggestion would be the margarine/shortening suggestion. I’m so sorry! If you find something, let me know!

  2. Thank you for this, Sally! I’ve been looking for a classic vanilla frosting lately. Since I was diagnosed with Celiac I have to make the cupcakes with alternative flour which is often … less than perfect, we’ll say 😉 But the frosting can still be the bomb! And your frostings are always my favorite 🙂

  3. I’ve made butter cream frosting before, not your recipe tho. I’m wondering why after I’ve made the frosting, it tastes great, buttery and very smooth. But after a few hours, it starts to taste too sweet and a bit gritty. Can you help???

    • Hi Lisa! I’m unsure about other recipes, but I’ve never had that issue with this frosting. Make sure you’re using icing/powdered sugar and whipping it up for several minutes.

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