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Vanilla Buttercream Frosting

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I cherish the rich, creamy texture of a well-made buttercream frosting, and you’re going to adore this Vanilla Buttercream Frosting Recipe! Crafted with the perfect balance of butter, powdered sugar, and vanilla extract, this frosting is delightfully smooth and spreadable.

It’s versatile enough to enhance any dessert, adding a touch of elegance and vanilla flavor that’s sure to impress everyone who tries it!

For your convenience, the recipe card is located at the top of this post. Scroll down for step-by-step images, expert tips, FAQs, and more!

Fluffy vanilla buttercream frosting.
Small batch cupcakes featured image

Vanilla Buttercream Frosting

Samantha Pickthall
This easy Vanilla Buttercream Frosting Recipe is ideal for cakes, cupcakes, and more. Created with 5 ingredients and whipped until fluffy, creamy and sweet!
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Prep Time 20 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Servings 3 cups
Calories 3480 kcal


  • 226 g (2 sticks / 1 cup) unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
  • 3 1/2 cups powdered sugar, sifted
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream / thickened cream
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/8 tsp salt


  • Beat Butter: In a large mixing bowl using electric hand beaters or a stand mixer with the paddle or whisk attached, beat the softened butter for 2 minutes until pale and creamy.
  • Add Sugar Gradually: Gradually add powdered sugar, one cup at a time, beating well (about 15 seconds) after each addition.
  • Add Cream and Vanilla: Add heavy cream and vanilla extract, then beat for 2-3 minutes until the frosting is light and fluffy.
  • Adjust Consistency: Check the consistency of your buttercream. If it's too stiff, add a little more cream, a tablespoon at a time, until you achieve the desired consistency. If it's too soft, add more powdered sugar, a few tablespoons at a time, until it firms up.
  • Final Whip: Once the consistency is just right, give the buttercream one final whip for about 30 seconds to make sure it's perfectly smooth and airy.
  • Ready to Use or Store: Your buttercream is now ready to use for decorating cakes, cupcakes, or any dessert. If not using immediately, store it in an airtight container in the refrigerator. When ready to use, let it come to room temperature and rewhip briefly to bring back its creamy texture.


  • Store: Keep refrigerated in an airtight container for up to one week.
  • Freeze: Freeze in an airtight container for up to three months. Label with the date.
  • Thaw: Thaw overnight in the refrigerator, then let sit at room temperature until soft. Rewhip before using to restore texture.


Calories: 3480kcalCarbohydrates: 422gProtein: 4gFat: 205gSaturated Fat: 130gPolyunsaturated Fat: 8gMonounsaturated Fat: 53gTrans Fat: 7gCholesterol: 553mgSodium: 341mgPotassium: 131mgSugar: 414gVitamin A: 6522IUVitamin C: 0.4mgCalcium: 99mgIron: 0.4mg
Tried this recipe? Let us know how it was!

Vanilla Buttercream Frosting Recipe

Every swirl of this easy vanilla buttercream frosting is a creamy delight, enhancing any dessert it graces.

The secret to its smooth and irresistible texture is the perfect balance of butter, powdered sugar, and vanilla extract, ensuring each application is as luscious as it is flavorful.

This frosting is perfectly suited to generously ice a 9 x 13 cake, providing just the right coverage and thickness. It should typically be enough to pipe frosting on approximately 24 cupcakes.

It’s perfect for celebrations, offering enough to decorate a large cake or multiple cupcakes, and there’s something truly special about presenting a dessert decorated with your own skillfully made frosting!

6 cupcakes on platter with vanilla bean

Best Frosting Recipes

  • Easy Pineapple Icing – A sweet and fruity topping that pairs wonderfully with tropical desserts!

Essential Ingredients

The essential ingredients listed below are affiliate links on Amazon so you can easily find and see the exact products I recommend for creating this recipe!

Must Have Tools

For making the perfect vanilla buttercream recipe, it’s essential to have these Amazon affiliate tools at your disposal.

vanilla buttercream frosting preparation.

Expert Tips

  • Butter Temperature: Ensure your butter is at room temperature to achieve a smooth, creamy texture without lumps.
  • Sifting Sugar: Always sift your powdered sugar to avoid graininess in your frosting.
  • Mixing Time: Whip the buttercream for several minutes after adding sugar to incorporate air, making it light and fluffy.

What is the trick to buttercream frosting?

The key to perfect vanilla buttercream frosting is ensuring that all ingredients, particularly the butter, are at room temperature before you start mixing.

Additionally, it’s important to sift the powdered sugar to avoid lumps and achieve a smooth consistency.

Lastly, whipping the butter on its own first until it’s pale and fluffy before slowly adding sugar can greatly enhance the texture.

Moist vanilla sheet cake with sprinkles on board.

Can you over-beat buttercream?

Yes, it is possible to overbeat buttercream. While it’s important to whip it enough to incorporate air and achieve a fluffy texture, overbeating can make it too airy and may cause it to lose its structure, making it difficult to spread or pipe. Overbeaten buttercream can also become too warm and start to melt.

Should I make buttercream the night before?

Yes, you can definitely make buttercream frosting the night before. Store it in an airtight container in the refrigerator. Before using, allow it to come to room temperature and then rewhip it briefly to bring back its smooth texture. This ensures the frosting is easy to spread or pipe the next day.

Basic Single Layer Vanilla Cake Recipe

Vanilla buttercream frosting applications and coverage

This Vanilla Buttercream Frosting yields about 3 to 4 cups of frosting. This amount is typically sufficient to:

  • Frost a two-layer 8 or 9-inch cake, providing a moderate amount of frosting between the layers and around the outside.
  • Generously cover a single 9 x 13-inch sheet cake.
  • Decorate approximately 24 to 30 cupcakes, depending on how generously the frosting is applied, especially if using designs that require more frosting, such as tall swirls or rosettes.

Ideal Recipes for This Vanilla Buttercream

Squares of vanilla sheet cake with frosting and sprinkles on marble platter.

How to store vanilla buttercream frosting

Store: Keep refrigerated in an airtight container for up to one week.

Freeze: Freeze in an airtight container for up to three months. Label with the date.

Thaw: Thaw overnight in the refrigerator, then let sit at room temperature until soft. Rewhip before using to restore texture.

If you enjoy this recipe, please consider leaving a ⭐️ star rating and a comment review below. I love to hear what you think and it’s much appreciated. Thank you! Your email address will not be published. Sam x

Easy vanilla buttercream frosting pin.

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