Addictive Recipes from a Self-Taught Baker

Favorite Vanilla Buttercream

Deliciously soft, creamy, and easy PERFECT vanilla buttercream recipe!

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!

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 right here!


Deliciously soft, creamy, and easy PERFECT vanilla buttercream recipe!

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.)
  2. Cover tightly and store for up to 1 week in the refrigerator.

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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And here is my favorite chocolate buttercream recipe!

Deliciously soft, creamy, silky, and easy PERFECT chocolate buttercream recipe!

Deliciously soft, creamy, and easy PERFECT vanilla buttercream recipe!


  1. CAN this  frosting  be left out of the fridge for a day? Or does it have to be kept refrigerated? I’m trying to frost some cupcakes but they will have to spend the night out of the fridge but I notice it have heavy cream and I worry, they will be ruined tomorrow. Thanks

  2. I made a double batch last week and its the best cupcakes I ever made. I just made a quadruple batch yesterday!! Can I use milk instead of cream in the vanilla buttercream recipe?

  3. Simply the best vanilla butter cream frosting! Your instructions were spot on. Beating it on high for three minutes and the additional salt made this recipie unique. It’s  A keeper. Thank you!  Cynthia 

  4. Sally, thank you.  The recipe for the simple vanilla and favorite vanilla buttercream is spot on and the answer to my Search for the perfect buttercream. Not too sweet with the 1/8 tsp of salt.  Thank you.  Finally a recipe my entire family adores.  I followed the recipe to a t except I didn5 have vanilla bean seed I did have a vanilla bean paste I used in place for the cupcake. Perfection!

  5. Hello
    I just wanted to let you all know that when I make my frosting of any kind that I always run the confection sugar thru the flour sifter. Also if making chocolate frosting put the cocoa thru it too. Trust me the icing is always so smooth and no lumps of any kind. I dont know you, but i cant stand lumps. I always get the best compliments on frosting by going to extra mile.

  6. Hi! I just want to make sure that this recipe is suitables for icing a smooth buttercream finish on a cake? Or will it be too soft?

  7. Made this buttercream with coconut milk instead of heavy cream and then to make it a little thinner I added a TBS of Chila Orchata Cinnamon Rum and boy is it the best buttercream I’ve ever made my son couldn’t stop eating it 😀

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