A trip of vanilla cupcakes topped with vanilla buttercream. The cupcakes have teal polka dot liners and pink, white and teal sprinkles.

How to make buttercream frosting

  • Author: Beyond Frosting
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Total Time: 15 minutes
  • Yield: 3-8 cups


For this buttercream frosting recipe, we are making a traditional American vanilla buttercream frosting. It’s an all butter frosting recipe flavored with vanilla extract.


Frosting for 12 cupcakes

  • 3/4 C (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, cold.
  • 23 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 tablespoons heavy whipping cream

Frosting for 24 cupcakes

  • 1 1/2 cups (3 sticks) unsalted butter, cold.
  • 5 cups powdered sugar
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2 tablespoons heavy whipping cream

Frosting for 3 layer, 8-inch cake 

  • 2 1/2 cups (5 sticks) unsalted butter, cold
  • 810 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 34 tablespoons heavy whipping cream
  • Pinch of salt


  1. Cut butter into pieces. Using the paddle attachment, whip the butter for 3-5 minutes, scraping down the bowl occasionally. Beat until the butter looks light in color and has increased in volume.
  2. Add 2 cups of powdered sugar at a time and mix on low speed until incorporated into butter then continuing adding additional powdered sugar, alternating with the vanilla extract and heavy cream.  After each additional of 2 cups of powdered sugar, beat for about 60 seconds on medium-high or until the powdered sugar is well combined.
  3. Increase speed to medium-high and beat for another 3-5 minutes to whip additional air into the frosting.

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