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.

Vanilla buttercream on cupcakes

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 to decorate cupcakes? That video is right here!

 

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

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Favorite Vanilla Buttercream

  • Author: Sally
  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Cook Time: 0 minutes
  • Total Time: 5 minutes
  • Yield: 2.5 cups
  • Category: Frosting
  • Method: No Bake
  • Cuisine: American

Description

This is my favorite vanilla buttercream. It’s the perfect vanilla frosting that’s simple, creamy and smooth and tastes unbelievable on vanilla cupcakes!


Ingredients

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

Instructions

  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. Beat on low speed for 30 seconds, then 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 add 1/8 teaspoon salt.)
  2. Cover tightly and store for up to 1 week in the refrigerator or up to 3 months in the freezer. After freezing, thaw in the refrigerator then beat the frosting for a few seconds so it’s creamy again.

Notes

  1. Quantity: This recipe is enough to frost 12-16 cupcakes or one 9×13 quarter sheet cake. Follow these ratios for a 2 layer cake and these ratios for a 3 layer cake.

And here is my favorite chocolate buttercream recipe!

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

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

150 Comments

  1. for my little sister’s birthday they will be decorating cookies. I will be making your Best Sugar Cookies recipe. so my question is, i need a frosting that is pipeable, tastes good with sugar cookies, and will hold shape well. will this frosting be ok for that? in past expierences buttercream frosting is really thick and hasn’t worked well with me when pipeing, will this be different? and keep in mind that i am working with 5-8 year olds.

    1. Hi Lily! This vanilla buttercream pipes so easily and always holds its shape! Follow the recipe precisely. Let me know how it turns out!

  2. Hi Sally, thanks for this recipe! They were absolutely delicious topped with your buttercream. However, they deflated quite a bit upon retrieval from the oven. Thoughts? They were actually muffin-topping in the final minutes of cooking and then they lost all their body when cooling. Could it be because I let them cool in the cupcake tin instead of taking them out right away? Thanks again.

  3. Oops! I realize I just posted this comment on the buttercream page. It was meant for the “Perfect Vanilla Cupcakes”. Hope you can correct that. Cheers!

  4. When using this frosting for Sugar Cookies, does it dry/harden to allow the cookies to be stacked without being individually wrapped?

  5. Hi Sally, I used this exact recipe for cupcake frosting but found that the frosting did not hold its shape. I added additional powdered sugar and placed in fridge to harden but no such luck. Any suggestions? Thanks

    1. Hi Olive, it could be that your butter was too warm. You can always add a lot more sugar to help thicken it up – and if it’s too sweet add a pinch more salt.

  6. Hi Sally!

    Good day!
    I am anew follower of your page. I already tried baking your super moist chocolate cupcakes and paired it with this vanilla buttercream frosting. My relatives really liked it, however, the frosting is a little too sweet for their taste and for mine as well. I used 1 cup butter to 4 cups confectioner’s sugar. If i reduce the sugar then the texture of the frosting will be thin. Do you have any tips to lessen the sweetness of the frosting but still the consistency and thickness of the frosting remains??? Thank you.

    1. Hi Tala! My typical recommendation is 2 cups of confectioners’ sugar to 1/2 cup of butter (plus milk/cream, vanilla, and salt of course). You can slightly reduce the sugar and cream, but the frosting may taste a little greasy. How about vanilla whipped cream?

  7. Like so many of Sally’s recipes this one is a keeper. It turns out perfectly every time. Sometimes buttercream can look good but lack flavor, or taste good but not pipe or frost well. This recipe does both and is easy to make. Thanks Sally, keep them coming!

  8. Last week I tried the strawberry cupcakes and frosting and commented at that time because they were so amazing! Well this week I did the vanilla cupcakes and this vanilla buttercream and you made me look good again Sally! This buttercream is so smooth and silky and unlike any buttercream I have ever made. One of the men at work asked me to call his wife and give her the recipe. Another just wanted a bowl of it to eat. Next on my list, I am going to try the moist chocolate cupcakes and chocolate buttercream. I am having so much fun with these recipes. Many thanks for bringing new excitement to my baking!

  9. Hi Sally, the butter sometimes makes the frosting not quite as white as I’d like when using it for cookies (snowmen). Do you have any suggestions for that?

    1. I know it sounds weird but sometime a tiny drop (like just barely the end of a toothpick dipped in) purple gel food coloring will whiten it up!

    2. Hi-I’m not Sally, but I love her recipes! She’s my fave, but I also find good baking recipes on a site called What Charlotte Baked. I found a vanilla buttercream technique for getting it nice and white: beat 1 cup unsalted butter by itself on high for at least 5 minutes. The butter will be light, fluffy and very, very pale. Then add 4 cups sifted confectioner’s sugar in 3-4 stages, beating for at least a minute between additions. Once all the sugar has been beaten in, add between 2-4 TBS milk or cream, depending on the consistency you prefer. Beat in 2 tsp vanilla extract. This makes about 2 cups. It really was almost white but I wanted it even lighter so I added Wilton white icing color, which I bought at a craft store. Good luck!

  10. I made your cupcake recipe today ” Homemade Vanilla ” & OMG just tasting the mix straight out of the mixing bowl, was so yummy. After I baked them, “doubled your recipe” I had to eat one “plain” & found them extremely moist & almost the density of an angle food cake. So good, now to make my buttercream icing, it’s very similar to yours only I had , don’t laugh, but I use my French Vanilla or Italian Cream coffee creamer. OMG it makes the icing so good. Can’t wait to put the rich icing on these & then share them with co-workers. I’m so happy I found your site. I’m a home baker & love to bake, as much as I enjoy doing my photography business too. Well almost !!

  11. Sounds great – can’t wait to try both the vanilla and chocolate buttercream! Do you ever SIFT the confectioner’s sugar first?

    I typically sift ALL confectioner’s sugar and flour – but not sure that’s always appropriate for an individual recipe. Thanks!

  12. I tried this butter cream. You have mentioned heavy cream ..is it fresh cream or whipping cream? I used fresh cream and color , the cream curdled and cpuldnt get a proper piping.

    1. If there are no other perishable ingredients in your cake, then a cake covered in buttercream will be stable at room temperature for a few days!

    1. Delicious! I recommend adding 1/2 teaspoon peppermint extract, then tasting and adding more if desired. Mint extract tastes more like spearmint (depending on the brand, it can taste like toothpaste!) so I always recommend peppermint instead.

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