Vanilla Buttercream Frosting – Eating Bird Food

This Easy Vanilla Buttercream Frosting is rich, creamy, fluffy, and super quick to make. It is perfect for decorating your favorite cake, cupcakes or cookies.

The next time you want to make cupcakes or a cake, skip the store-bought frosting and make this Easy Vanilla Buttercream Frosting instead!

I don’t make buttercream frosting that often, but with that being said, everyone needs an easy buttercream recipe in their back pocket.

This frosting is not only creamy, smooth, and delicious, but it can be whipped up in about 10 minutes with just 4 simple ingredients. It can’t get any easier than that!

A cupcake with vanilla buttercream frosting and sprinkles on top.

Why you will love this recipe

  • The texture is thick, creamy and easily spreadable.
  • It works for frosting a variety of recipes including cupcakes, cakes, and even cookies.
  • It’s fresh, flavorful, and made with better ingredients and fewer preservatives than store-bought frosting.
Ingredients for the vanilla buttercream bitumen: butter, milk, vanilla and icing sugar.

Ingredients needed

One of the main benefits of making your own frosting is that you get to choose the ingredients and avoid some of the highly processed ingredients, such as high fructose corn syrup and palm oil, found in store-bought frosting. store.

  • butter – I recommend using a high-quality grass-fed butter. Both Kerrygold and Vital Farms are big brands. You can use salted or unsalted, whatever you prefer or have on hand.
  • vanilla extract – a touch of vanilla extract adds a lovely aroma and enhances the flavor. Be sure to use pure vanilla extract instead of imitation vanilla. This will give the buttercream frosting a more authentic and rich flavor.
  • powdered sugar – powdered (also called icing sugar) provides the right level of sweetness and texture, ensuring a smooth, creamy consistency that is easy to work with.
  • milk – a little milk is used to adjust the consistency of this frosting. Use more or less depending on how thick or thin you want your frosting. You can use regular dairy milk, non-dairy milk, half and half, or heavy cream.
A flat beater into a bowl of vanilla buttercream frosting.

How to do

Before you start making the frosting, make sure the butter has softened to room temperature. This is the key!! It will take about an hour for the butter to fully soften at room temperature on the counter. Alternatively, you can soften the butter in the microwave on a plate for about 10-20 seconds. Just be sure to unwrap the butter from the package before microwaving and don’t overheat it, otherwise the butter will melt completely.

Combine the butter and vanilla in a large mixing bowl with a hand mixer or stand mixer with the paddle or whisk attachment. On medium speed, beat the butter and vanilla until the mixture is light and fluffy. Gradually add the powdered sugar, one cup at a time, and continue to beat on medium speed until fully incorporated and smooth. To achieve preferred consistency, add milk one tablespoon at a time. Once it’s the desired thickness, you’re ready to spread the frosting on your favorite dessert.

Multiple cupcakes with vanilla buttercream frosting.

substitutions and notes

  • Make it vegan: It’s actually really easy to make this buttercream frosting vegan or dairy-free. Just use a vegan butter like Earth Balance vegan buttery sticks or MIYOKO’S CREAMERY cultured plant milk butter and plant-based milk instead of cow’s milk.
  • Low sugar option: I haven’t tried it, but for a lower sugar option, you should be able to replace some (or all) of the powdered sugar with a sugar substitute like powdered erythritol or Swerve icing sugar. You may need to adjust the amount to taste.
  • Try other extracts: Instead of vanilla (or in addition to vanilla), you can add other extracts like almond or coconut for fun flavor variations.
Cupcakes with vanilla buttercream frosting and sprinkles on top.

tips for success

  • Use room temperature butter: It is crucial to use softened butter that is at room temperature. This will ensure that your buttercream is smooth and lump-free. Cold butter can result in a thick texture, and melted butter will not churn properly.
  • Sift the powdered sugar: Sifting the powdered sugar before adding it to the butter helps prevent lumps and ensures a silky smooth texture in the frosting.
  • Gradually add the powdered sugar: Adding the powdered sugar gradually while mixing helps to achieve the right consistency without making a mess.
  • Adjust consistency with milk: If your frosting is too thick, add milk a tablespoon at a time until it reaches your desired consistency. If your frosting is too thin, add a little more powdered sugar.
  • Scrape the sides: Be sure to scrape down the sides of the bowl with a spatula during mixing to ensure all ingredients are well incorporated.
  • do not over mix: Beat the frosting until light and fluffy, but be careful not to over mix as this can cause air bubbles or the frosting to separate.
A piping bag that adds vanilla buttercream frosting to a cupcake.

how to freeze

You can freeze this in a variety of different ways! I usually use a knife or spatula to spread the frosting on cakes or cupcakes, but you can also use it with a piping! To pipe the frosting, pipe it into a piping bag or plastic bag. Cut the corner of the baggie and scoop out the icing on your treats. If you’re using the frosting for the piping, just make sure it’s thick enough to hold its shape. You may need to use less milk or add more powdered sugar for a stiffer consistency.

Ways to Use Vanilla Buttercream Frosting

This recipe is enough to frost 12 cupcakes or one 8- to 9-inch layer cake. Here are some recipes that would be delicious with this buttercream frosting:

Multiple cupcakes with vanilla buttercream frosting and sprinkles.

How to store leftovers

If you don’t use all of this frosting right away, you can store it in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 5 days. When ready to use, bring to room temperature, then beat again with a hand mixer or stand mixer before using.

Can I freeze this frosting?

Yes, you can freeze this Vanilla Buttercream Frosting. Simply place in an airtight container or freezer-safe plastic bag and freeze for up to 3 months. When you’re ready to use it, thaw it in the refrigerator overnight, then let it come to room temperature and stir well or blend with a hand blender before using.

More Frosting Recipes

Dessert Recipes to Try

Be sure to check out all the dessert recipes here on EBF!

Service: 2 tablespoons | Calories: 181kcal | Carbohydrates: 26gram | Fat: 9gram | Cholesterol: 24milligrams | Sodium: 63milligrams | Potassium: 3milligrams | Sugar: 26gram

Nutrition information is automatically calculated and should only be used as an approximation.

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