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Perfect Vanilla Frosting

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This Perfect Vanilla Frosting is the best buttercream recipe! Learn how to make light and fluffy vanilla frosting, ideal for decorating cakes and cupcakes.

This is the best vanilla buttercream and one of my go-to recipes. For even more frosting inspiration, check out my round-up of Easy Homemade Frosting Recipes!

The Best Vanilla Buttercream Frosting

Today, we’re going back to the basics. Basic buttercream, that is. There’s nothing better than a classic, creamy American buttercream frosting that comes out perfect every time.

I’ve used this vanilla frosting as a base for so many recipes on my site, from Moist Vanilla Cake to Vanilla Cupcakes, lemon cakes to sugar cookies, and dozens more.

This frosting recipe is my ride-or-die. Tried and true with hundreds of reviews, it’s been pinned millions of times on Pinterest, and it never fails! Below you’ll find my favorite method for making the best whipped and fluffy buttercream frosting.

Why This Recipe Works

What makes this the best-ever buttercream recipe? 

  • It starts with cold butter. My secret of all secrets. This is an uncommon practice, but using cold butter allows for better control over the consistency of the frosting so that it doesn’t separate or lose its shape when piped. More on this below, and trust me, it’s the best!
  • Quick and easy. If you’ve ever been intimidated by the thought of homemade buttercream frosting, don’t be. This recipe is easy to follow, comes together in 10 minutes, and lets your mixer do the work.
  • Incredibly stable. This creamy vanilla frosting is light and fluffy, yet stable. It’s the best frosting for piping onto all your favorite cakes, cupcakes, and desserts.
  • Make-ahead friendly. I’ll often make this vanilla frosting ahead of time to store in the fridge or freeze it for later use. Don’t forget to scroll for storage instructions later on! 

Key Ingredients

You only need a few basic ingredients to make rich and creamy vanilla buttercream frosting. The full amounts and details can be found in the recipe card, but here is a quick overview:

  • Butter – Either salted or unsalted butter will work fine, but if you use salted butter, consider leaving out any added salt that comes later in the recipe.
  • Powdered (Confectioner’s) Sugar – To sift or not to sift? Truthfully I hardly ever sift my powdered sugar, because I spend so much time mixing it, I don’t ever have a grainy texture. That being said, sifting powdered sugar can absolutely help you avoid a grainy texture. However, if your powdered sugar comes in a box, then it’s always a good idea to sift out any large clumps.
  • Vanilla Extract – For the best possible flavor, make sure you’re using a high-quality pure vanilla extract, not the imitation stuff! 
  • Heavy Whipping Cream – Another key to making perfect frosting is heavy whipping cream. You can substitute it with milk, but using heavy whipping cream tones down the sweetness and helps produce a light and fluffy texture.
A black measuring cup filled with powdered sugar.

The Secret to Perfect Buttercream Frosting

My frosting recipes almost always begin with cold butter. How many times have you forgotten to take the butter out of the fridge to let it come to room temperature before making frosting? Well, now you can jump right in. The more chilled, the better.

It’s a bit unconventional. However, I’ve always found that using room-temperature butter yields a weaker frosting that ends up needing more powdered sugar to hold its shape. The results are often overly sweet and not nearly as stable as starting with cold butter right off the bat.

In order for the cold buttercream trick to work, you have to really whip the butter in the initial step to get it to a super light and fluffy consistency. It takes a bit longer, but it’s SO worth it!

A vanilla cupcake with vanilla frosting and sprinkles

How to Make Vanilla Frosting

The more you whip the cold butter in the beginning, the better the consistency of your frosting will be. Letting your stand mixer soften the butter fluffs it up at the same time, as opposed to letting the butter reach room temperature on the counter.

This fluffy frosting recipe comes together quickly in one bowl

1. Dice cold butter. Cutting it into pieces helps the mixture to break it down quicker. Don’t forget to scrap the bowl often.

Three sticks of cold butter cut into cubes.

2. Whip the butter. Use the paddle attachment and work the butter for a good few minutes. It should be light and fluffy, and very spreadable. You’ll notice it has grown in volume and is lighter in color.

3. Beat in the remaining ingredients. Add the powdered sugar to the butter a little at a time at low speed. As your frosting thickens, you’ll want to pour in the liquid ingredients (vanilla and heavy cream) while upping the mixer speed, so that they get well incorporated. 

4. Whip again. Once all the ingredients are added, beat for an additional few minutes to really get air into the frosting for that final, fluffy texture.

A white spatula with smoothed vanilla buttercream on it.

Tips for Success

Below are some additional tips and notes to have your vanilla frosting come out to bakery-worthy perfection.

  • Scale the recipe as needed. This frosting recipe makes enough for at least 24 cupcakes that have a hefty amount of frosting. If you are only frosting 12 cupcakes or a 9×13 inch cake, you can halve the recipe.
  • Can I use a handheld mixer? The short answer is yes if you have a good handheld mixer. You’ll need to spend a bit more time whipping the butter both in the beginning and while adding the powdered sugar. You might even consider allowing the butter to sit for 20 minutes on the counter before you begin. It will be difficult to make large batches of frosting though, simply because the power of a hand mixer is not the same as a stand mixer.
  • Control the sweetness. If you’d prefer a less sweet frosting, add a little bit of salt and another teaspoon or two of heavy cream or milk. Reducing the powdered sugar will reduce the overall yield of the frosting, and make it a little more buttery tasting.
  • Adapt the consistency. If your frosting is too thick, beat in additional milk or heavy cream, one spoonful at a time. If it’s too thin, add more powdered sugar until you reach the right consistency.
  • Buttercream frosting does not hold up well in high temperatures. If you’re serving frosted cupcakes in a hot or humid environment, like an outdoor party, make sure to keep them out of direct sunlight. Or, better yet, keep them chilled, and remove 20-30 minutes before serving.
A big swirl of vanilla frosting piped onto a crumpled piece of brown parchment paper.

Frosting Variations

Basic vanilla buttercream can be flavored with any type of extract including almond, lemon, peppermint, mint, coconut, you name it. I also love adding fresh citrus zest, like lemon, orange, or lime, as I do in the frosting for my Lemon Cupcakes

You can also try one or more of these fun vanilla frosting variations:

Ways to Use Vanilla Frosting

This perfect vanilla frosting is perfect for piping and decorating. It’s crisp and white and holds colors really well, so you can dye it to suit different holidays, or just because. 

My favorite way to color buttercream is with gel food dyes, like the Americolor or Wilton Color Right Color System, as the colors come out super vibrant. I have a tutorial on How to Color Buttercream Frosting that has loads of helpful info on the subject.

Use this homemade vanilla frosting on cupcakes, cakes, sugar cookies, or any of your favorite desserts. The possibilities are endless! Here are some easy decorating ideas to try:

A large piping bag with an Ateco 849 piping tip piping a big swirl of frosting into a jar.

How to Store Vanilla Buttercream

If you make your frosting ahead of time, or if you’re looking to store leftovers, this vanilla frosting can be kept airtight at room temperature for up to 24 hours. Just whip it up in the mixer again for a couple of minutes before you use it. Frosted cupcakes can be stored airtight in a cool, dry place for up to 3 days.

This frosting will keep in the fridge for up to 7 days. Any longer than that and I’d recommend freezing it instead (see below).

The only time I wouldn’t store this frosting at room temperature is in particularly warm or humid conditions. In this case, make sure to refrigerate the buttercream as well as any frosted cupcakes to prevent the frosting from wilting and separating.

Can I Freeze Buttercream Frosting?

Yes! I like to fill a Ziploc bag with frosting, squeeze out the air, seal it, and freeze it. Vanilla buttercream will keep frozen for up to two months. You will need to allow it to soften for a couple of hours to let it return to room temperature before you use it. I recommend re-whipping it in the mixer to get the fluffy texture back.

A small jar of piped vanilla frosting with a teal napkin and piping bag next to it

Perfect Vanilla Frosting

  • Author: Julianne Dell
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Total Time: 15 minutes
  • Yield: 4 1/2 Cups


My Perfect Vanilla Frosting is the best for a reason! This easy buttercream frosting recipe makes stable, fluffy frosting that’s ideal for decorating cakes and cupcakes. Ready in 10 minutes with just 4 ingredients!


  • 1 1/2 cups (339 g) (3 sticks) unsalted butter, cold.
  • 5 cups (650 g) powdered sugar
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons (12 ml) pure vanilla extract
  • 2 tablespoons (30ml) heavy whipping cream (or milk)
  • Pinch of salt (optional)


  1. Cut the butter into pieces. Using the paddle attachment, whip the butter for 5-7 minutes, scraping down the bowl occasionally, and beating until the butter looks light in color.
  2. Add 2 cups of powdered sugar and mix on low speed until incorporated into the butter then add the vanilla extract and mix to combine. Beat for about 60 seconds.
  3. Next, add an additional 2 cups of powdered sugar and beat on low speed until sugar is incorporated. Increase speed to medium-high and beat for 3 minutes.
  4. Add the remaining 1 cup of powdered sugar along with the heavy whipping cream and salt. Beat on low until the ingredients start to mix together. Increase speed to medium-high and beat for another 3-5 minutes to whip additional air into the frosting.


  • How much does this frosting make? This makes enough to frost 24 cupcakes or a two layer 6-inch cake. 

Storing and freezing:

  • Storing this frosting: This frosting can be kept at room temperature if serving within 24 hours and it’s not too hot. It can be made ahead of time and kept refrigerated for 7 days. Frosting must come back to room temperature before piping, and I suggest to re-whip it.
  • Freezing this frosting: This frosting can also be frozen in an airtight bag, be sure to squeeze all the extra air of out the bag. Thaw to room temperature and I suggest to re-whip prior to piping

Adjusting the consistency:

  • If your frosting is too soft: Add additional heavy cream 1-2 teaspoons at a time until desired consistency is reached. I recommend continuing to beat the frosting while doing so.
  • If your frosting is too thin: Add an additional 1/2 cup powdered sugar at a time and continue to beat the frosting until desired consistency is reached.

How to scale the recipe

  • Frosting for 12 cupcakes or 9×13 inch cake
    • 3/4 cup (170g) unsalted butter, 
    • 2–3 cups (260g-390g) powdered sugar
    • 1 teaspoon (5ml) vanilla extract
    • 1 tablespoon (15ml) heavy whipping cream (or milk)
    • Pinch of salt (optional)
  • Frosting for 3 layer, 8-inch cake 
    • 2 1/2 cups (567g) unsalted butter, cold
    • 8–10 cups (1041-1301g) powdered sugar
    • 1 tablespoon (15ml) vanilla extract
    • 3–4 tablespoons (45-60ml) heavy whipping cream (or milk)
    • Pinch of salt (optional)

Additional notes- coloring and flavors

  • Coloring this frosting: If you are coloring this frosting, I suggest using gel colors for the best color variation. 
  • Flavor variations: This can be made with virtually any type of extract, including almond, lemon, peppermint, mint, coconut, etc. You can also add some fresh fruit zest such as lemon, orange, or lime.
Nutrition Information:
1/2 cup
  • Category: Frosting
  • Method: Stand Mixer
  • Cuisine: American

Keywords: buttercream frosting recipe, vanilla buttercream frosting, easy buttercream frosting

More Easy Homemade Frosting Recipes

Leave a Comment

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362 Responses
  1. Pia

    Superb recipe. It is exact, really helpful with the timings, and produced a perfect buttercream quickly and incredibly efficiently. Thank you so much! Now my go-to.

  2. Brittany

    To scale for the 3 layer 8” cake how much powdered sugar do you typically use? 8-10 cups is a decent gap when it comes to baking.

  3. Hailey

    I use this recipe every time I bake a cake! Some people like it, others think it’s too rich with powdered sugar. Like a crunchy texture. But overall it’s the best recipe I’ve seen! 🫶🏼

  4. Cindi

    Sooooo delicious! I baked my cake and made my frosting while it was in the oven. Cake done and now needing it to cool. Is is ok to put the frosting in the fridge while the cake is cooling, please? Wonderful recipe. 🍰🧁💞

    1. Julianne - Beyond Frosting
      Beyond Frosting

      Hi Cindi, you shouldn’t need to unless you live in a warm or humid climate. Storage instructions are included in the post!

    1. Julianne - Beyond Frosting
      Beyond Frosting

      Hi Elise, I am not sure what it means that it’s sticky. Is it too stiff and difficult to pipe? If so, make sure to whip the butter for a longer period of time in the beginning, and try re whipping the finished frosting in the mixing bowl again to make it fluffier.

  5. Cheryl Hall

    My husband said this is the best he’s ever tasted!! Will be my go-to icing recipe from now on!

  6. Kerri Tillquist

    This has become my personal go-to recipe for vanilla /white frosting. I made 3 dozen cupcakes and 2 layered cakes recently and ended up using this recipe each time. It frosts cupcakes easily and was easy to swirl and layer ( i use a butter knife to frost). It by all accounts was delicious and looked perfect! Thank you for the new standard.

    1. Jen

      Agreed! I’ve tried a bunch of different recipes but this by far my favorite. It tastes great and makes decorating so easy.

  7. Kim

    It worked great for decorating sugar cookies. Its a great flavor. My family loves it. Thank you for recipe

  8. Naomi

    BEST frosting recipe ever!! It pipes so well and holds its shape! I always get lots of compliments of how good it tastes and looks!

  9. Angela Haynes

    It was the first time I made this Icing and it was great the only thing I found wrong with it, it was a little too sweet for me but everyone else liked it. 👍 Thank you 😊

  10. Diana Freeman

    I can’t wait to try this, as I am not a fan of royal icing on cookies. I have a question about storing decorated cookies. Royal icing hardens, which means that cookies can be carefully stacked to store. Does this buttercream develop a “skin” (for lack of a better term) so that they can be put on a platter to serve or into a container to store?

    1. Julianne - Beyond Frosting
      Beyond Frosting

      This is answered in detail under the FAQ section and is somewhat dependent on the climate. Please refer to the section “Do frosted cupcakes need to be refrigerated?”

  11. Amber

    I’ve always wanted to make frosting from scratch and never had the tools or right recipe but this was my first time making it and trying this and honestly I would do this one over over !! came oht amazing😍😍😍😍

  12. Sarah

    This is a great recipe! Frosting turned out perfectly so thank you! Was wondering if it would be possible to turn it into a chocolate frosting?

  13. Lauren

    Wow 🤩 this frosting is perfect! I am not a fan of abstain buttercream but use it because it’s easy. I loved the idea of the cold butter because I’m impatient and thus was sooo delicious!!!

  14. Amanda

    Ruined my little girl’s cupcakes with this overly hard frosting. By not softening the butter and adding an extra cup of powdered sugar, this frosting is impossible to pipe on a cupcake, let alone spread. Very sad turnout. Use a softer frosting with less sugar and soft butter! Do not recommend!

    1. Julianne - Beyond Frosting
      Beyond Frosting

      Hi Amanda, as a Mom, I can totally understand this heartbreak and I am so sorry this didn’t work for you. Unfortunately, it does sound like maybe the butter was not beaten for long enough on the front end or perhaps the frosting not whipped long enough during the process. These really the only reasons this would be too difficult to pipe or spread. I am unclear from the comments if you added extra powdered sugar. But also if you find the frosting is too stiff, beating for additional time, as well as adding some additional milk/hevay cream can help to thin it out. Also if you have a handheld mixer, it is also difficult to achieve the right consistency without even more time spent mixing as explained in the blog post.

      1. Jillane

        This is hands down my fav frosting to make! Quick question though! Tonight I made it and I’m not sure if my two year old did something to it (while I looked away 🤣) or I did something wrong this time. I didn’t have unsalted butter so tried with salted. I whipped it for the time said but when I came back to it, it was gritty like (and a bit on the salty side but I knew that going in). Any ideas? Going to remake now!

      2. Julianne - Beyond Frosting
        Beyond Frosting

        Hi Jilane, did you try sifting the powdered sugar? I don’t think the salted butter would leave you with the gritty texture. Maybe try beating for a little longer or adding a little more cream, like 2 teaspoon. Let it sit for a little white, maybe 30 minutes, and rewhip. See if you like it before tossing it out.

  15. Adi

    Hi, it looks great.
    will this frosting work with vegan ingredients?
    If not, do you have a good recipe for a vegan frosting? (No milk products or eggs).
    Thank you

    1. Julianne - Beyond Frosting
      Beyond Frosting

      Hi Adi- I am not sure about vegan ingredients, but after a quick Google search, I would start with minimalist baker

  16. Brenda Sanger

    I have made a lot of buttercream frosting in my time but I have to admit this recipe is the best I have ever tried….perfect sweetness, spread consistency….going to try piping with ot next time.

  17. Jen

    Can I frost my cake the night before the party or should I do it the morning of? I’m worried the frosting will get crusty.

    1. Julianne - Beyond Frosting
      Beyond Frosting

      Hi Jen, the frosting will form a light crust after a couple hours but it won’t be anything hard or too firm

  18. Jenny Helton

    This reminded me of the frosting my mother would make. Ive been trying to duplicate it for years and have found that this recipe tastes exactly like she made. I love it!

  19. Kathleen Berry

    Love this recipe! I will be making wedding cupcakes for an outside venue in a couple weeks. Should i not use heavy whipping cream but instead water? Weather is set to be in the low to upper 80s. I worry about dairy and the heat.

  20. Sarah P.

    Amazing !!! I will never buy another can of frosting. This buttercream is amazing. So smooth, no fatty after taste, not too sweet. Thanks for this. I’ll come post pictures when I ice the cupcakes Friday!

  21. Diana

    I just made this icing for my Mama’s 90th birthday cupcakes!! It turned out awesome! I used to decorate cakes, but that was when my now grown children were home and growing up (I’m 63 now), all the Sesame Street characters, Disney, Holiday’s, flowers etc, until I broke my back in 2000. Just now starting to bake again, but mostly my furbabies treats! Thanks again!! 🥰

  22. Tiffany

    I am looking to try this recipe, as my default is always a heavy whipping cream instant pudding recipe. Everyone loves it, and it pipes well, but it does soften slightly when left out. Have you ever tried a buttercream recipe incorporating instant pudding? White chocolate is my go to flavor and wanting something similar but with butter

    1. Julianne - Beyond Frosting
      Beyond Frosting

      Hi Tiffany, I can’t say that I have. I have tried the heavy cream and pudding mixture, but I don’t think I’ve specifically added it into this buttercream.

  23. Lorraine Richie

    I just made your buttercream, and it is heavenly!!!!!! I doubled the recipe and had no issues at all! It’s light and fluffy, but stable!

  24. Kaylie

    This recipe is definitely a new favorite it’s not to sweet it’s perfect in my opinion! Thank you for the amazingly delicious recipe

    1. Julianne - Beyond Frosting
      Beyond Frosting

      I have not heard of that specifically but I would likely recommend using freeze-dried raspberries that are pulsed into a powder. For the amount of raspberry you’d need to add to achieve a good flavor, you might find it to be too watery. If you want to try it, boil the raspberries down to a thick puree to get all the water out of it

  25. Chuck

    I cut the sugar to 3 cups, included seeds from one vanilla bean pod and regular whipping cream instead of heavy cream and it was delicious! 5 cups of sugar in my opinion would be too sweet, at least for me.

  26. Jacqueline Rizzo

    I just made this frosting, followed the directions exactly and it has become thin after adding the last powder sugar and whipping for four minutes. How do I fix this? I did add another cup of powder sugar no luck. It’s in the fridge right now hoping it will firm up.

      1. Jenny Grgas

        I am having the same problem where mine became thin at the last step and after whipping for 5 min it just seemed grainy. I added more powdered sugar and whipped some more and still looks grainy but slightly thicker. I did use cold butter and followed the directions.

      2. Julianne - Beyond Frosting
        Beyond Frosting

        Hi Jenny, had to know without seeing it. Could be in the ingredients. If it’s too thin, try reducing the heavy cream next time. As far as the graininess, try sifting the powdered sugar

    1. Julianne - Beyond Frosting
      Beyond Frosting

      yep! Frosting for 12 cupcakes

      3/4 cup (170g) unsalted butter, cold.
      2–3 cups (260g-390g) powdered sugar
      1 teaspoon (5ml) vanilla extract
      1 tablespoon (15ml) heavy whipping cream (or milk)
      Pinch of salt (optional)

  27. Eva Kopelman

    Absolutely the best frosting recipe ever!! I was so hesitant to make cupcakes for one of my customers because I’m not really a baker but this recipe truly brought up my confidence!! I’m posting the cupcakes on my Instagram @eatinwitheva!! Thank you so much this was so helpful💘

  28. Christina

    Loved this recipe!! Directions were better than the many recipes in the past I have attempted. I added gel colors and had fun icing my cookie cake!! If I could post a photo i would!!! Thank you!! Will use again.

    1. Julianne - Beyond Frosting
      Beyond Frosting

      Thank you so much Avery! I very much appreciate the review and love that you chose this recipe as the first one to try!

  29. Alice

    I’ve had so many compliments on cakes I’ve made with this frosting, everyone loves them!
    Wouldn’t use any other recipe now. There’s always some left over as well so I don’t have to worry about not having enough.

  30. Linda Piotter

    ABSOLUTELY the very BEST buttercream frosting! Used on my butter cookies.
    THIS is a keeper!!!

  31. Michelle Lee Figueroa

    I made this recipe yesterday for my daughter’s birthday cake. I loved the flavor of this frosting, and the ease of making it was incredible. I was leery of using cold butter, but it whipped up nicely and turned that very pale yellow color quickly. This is going in my recipe box!

  32. Irene

    Hi, i made the frosting and it was very good. But we could feel the powdered sugar inside when we ate it. This is something i often find in the frostings. Here in Cyprus, we do like our frostings smooth without the taste of the sugar. What else can i do so that the powdered sugar incorporates well inside? Can i melt some butter (not all of it) so that the sugar melts?

    1. Julianne - Beyond Frosting
      Beyond Frosting

      Hi Irene- thanks for your comment. Melting the butter won’t melt the sugar, it will actually make the frosting really clumpy. You could reduce the powdered sugar but it does change the overall yield and you want to be careful with how much liquid you add to ensure it’s not too soft. If you like a smooth buttercream with minimal sugar taste, I’d recommend trying Swiss meringue buttercream instead.

      1. Kat

        I love this recipe. My go to! I sift the flour before measuring and adding. It helps the texture become silky smooth.

      2. Julianne - Beyond Frosting
        Beyond Frosting

        Thanks Kat! I think you mean powdered sugar or are you adding flour to your buttercream LOL 🙂

  33. Martina Rowley

    Hi, will this recipe quantity be enough to cover the cookie monster cake if i choose to use this icing. And when in the process would you add the food colouring. Thank you

    1. Julianne - Beyond Frosting
      Beyond Frosting

      Hi Martina, yes this will definitely work the cookie monster cake. Add the food coloring together with the last cup or two of powdered sugar. In regards to the amount, I always error on the side of too much frosting, especially since you’ll be dying it. If it were me, making the 3 layer cake I would make. You will have leftovers, but this will give you flexibility with how much frosting between the layers and also to do the crumb coat.

      2 cups (453g) unsalted butter, cold
      7 cups (910-1041g) powdered sugar
      1 tablespoon (15ml) vanilla extract
      2–3 tablespoons (30-44ml) heavy whipping cream (or milk)

  34. Jan

    Made this frosting this morning. Never used cold butter before but will definitely make this recipe again. Can’t wait for my guests to try the cake later today.

    1. Julianne - Beyond Frosting
      Beyond Frosting

      The ingredients should be gluten-free but you need to specifically check the powdered sugar and other ingredients you purchased if you are preparing the for someone with a gluten intolerance, as certain products can vary from others.


    The icing was not hard to make and tasted delicious! A little goes a long ways and will cure any sweet tooth. THANKS!

    1. Julianne - Beyond Frosting
      Beyond Frosting

      Hi Marie, this would be cutting it close, especially if you’d like to decorate. For my 3-layer 8-inch cake, I use these amounts:
      2 cups (453g) unsalted butter, cold
      7–8 cups (910-1041g) powdered sugar
      1 tablespoon (15ml) vanilla extract
      2–3 tablespoons (30-44ml) heavy whipping cream (or milk)

  36. Kim

    Tried this recipe yesterday for my granddaughters birthday and it was perfect! Everyone loved the texture, the flavor. I followed the directions to a T with all of the whipping which I really feel ups the texture of normal buttercream. Thank you for taking the time to share this!

  37. Kim

    I know this is an old post but hopefully you will see this. Can I add raspberry jam to this to make a raspberry buttercream without it changing the consistency? I’ve made this a couple of times and absolutely love it!

    1. Julianne - Beyond Frosting
      Beyond Frosting

      Hi Kim- we check comments daily 🙂 I have not tied it, but I think it should work. Try reduce the heavy cream a little bit to offset the raspberry jam and if you can use a jam that is on the thicker side, that would be best. Let me know how it goes, I am super curious! Also flavor wise, you might try adding some freeze dried raspberries. Turn them into a powder with a food processor and then add them to the frosting.

      1. Anna

        I’m going to make it this morning and I will use to decorate sugar cookies. Does the frosting harden well and how long does it take I need to individually wrap my cookies without making a mess with soft buttercream.

      2. Julianne - Beyond Frosting
        Beyond Frosting

        Hi Anna, this buttercream does have a light crust once it sits, but no it doesn’t harden like royal icing. You can refrigerate them once decorated to help the buttercream to harden and then package.

  38. María Jaquez

    I simply love this recipe. I have made it more than 5 times. It’s works great with cakes, cupcakes. My favorite one. Super easy to make. I highly recommend it. Thanks for sharing.

  39. Linda Johnson

    Not on this page, but on the front Pinterest page it says this recipe has 4 ing. It does not mention butter. I’m glad I looked further because it’s a really easy and delicious frosting, but I wonder how many people have not looked further, thinking it has no butter in it.

  40. Mary

    Hello, I have made this frosting recipe twice yesterday. I am now a believer in cold butter. My question is can this be over whipped? I am struggling with getting it fluffy. Thanks.

    1. Julianne - Beyond Frosting
      Beyond Frosting

      Awesome Mary! I would try adding a touch more heavy cream and beating it at a higher speed for a couple more minutes.

    2. Kim

      I have made several different buttercream recipes in search of a keeper. None of them ever used cold butter so I was a little hesitant with this recipe. But I’m so glad I tried it. This is the best overall buttercream I’ve ever made. The texture was perfect and tasted amazing. I will only use cold butter from now on!

  41. Holly

    Hi! I have a few questions. I’ve been practicing decorating sugar cookies and have been searching for a great buttercream that’s not overly sweet but will pipe flowers and crust over so I can lightly stack the cookies after they are decorated. Does this recipe crust?

    Second question, if I have a recipe that I like the proportions of powdered sugar/butter can I just try using that same recipe but using the cold butter method from here to see if that will help improve my buttercream texture and consistency?

    Thanks so much! I do plan on trying it out as written sometime in the near future 🙂

    1. Julianne - Beyond Frosting
      Beyond Frosting

      Hi Holly, this is the buttercream I use to decorate all my sugar cookies- you can see them on my blog, just search sugar cookies. While this does have a light crust, I still do not recommend stacking them. Regarding the other recipe, I am not sure, but worth giving it a try.

  42. Beth

    I didn’t realize there was another type of icing for decorating. I’ve been trying to learn cookie decorating with Royal icing. My outlining has improved but I still have trouble with filling or flooding a cookie. Do you do that with Buttercream?

    1. Julianne - Beyond Frosting
      Beyond Frosting

      Hi Beth- So royal icing and buttercream and very different. For buttercream, you’ll want all the same consistency, and it’s pretty thick. There is no outlining and filling. If you’d like to see some cookies decorated with buttercream, you can take a look at this sugar cookie recipe

    2. Zoe

      Wonder if you’ve tried modulating the consistency of your royal icing with water. That’s how we did it when I worked as novelty cookie decorator at Christmas time. Pretty cool job to have in high school.

      I see it’s been awhile since you posted but I was reminded how fun it was. If I remember correctly we watered it down enough that it didn’t leave a nipple in order to spread it. We made the outline and then pushed icing towards it from the middle. Lots of pushing and pulling to get it to do what you wanted. Stiffer icing for different effects. 🙂

  43. Riley

    I’ve been struggling FOREVER to make a perfect buttercream and I’m so happy I have this recipe now! I’ve tried tons that all use room temperature butter and they always seem to come out too soft. This holds up really well!

  44. Kellye

    Love this recipe, it was so easy to make, came out perfectly white, & was so good & creamy! I’ve made so many recipes for buttercream over the years & finally found a keeper.

  45. Cristel

    This recipe is the absolute best vanilla buttercream frosting ever! Every time I make it, people just can’t quit talking about how good it is!😊 If you haven’t tried this recipe or the chocolate frosting recipe you need to go there because it is a game changer for any mini cupcake, cupcake or cake frosting addition. You will not be disappointed. Thank you, Julianne for always providing top shelf recipes!

  46. Kayla

    This recipe was perfect for my daughters birthday cupcakes that I made! Everyone loved the frosting and thought I had a professional make the cupcakes.

      1. Jaymie

        Does this frosting work well to frost a layered cake? Not decorating it but for a crumb coat and final coat?

  47. Debra

    Is this frosting suppose to be like a filling? Mine came out real fluffy like a donut filling. It’s very good. I just want to make sure the texture is right and not a fluke. Should this be refrigerated?

    1. Julianne - Beyond Frosting
      Beyond Frosting

      Hi Debra, probably not quite as thin as a donut frosting but definitely fluffy! If you live in a hot or humid environment, then yes, I recommend refrigerating. Serve at room temperature.

  48. Gail Webster

    THIS IS IT!! This is the one! I will never make any other buttercream from this day forward.. thank you for sharing this spot on recipe! ❤️

  49. Alexia

    I have made this now twice and it’s amazing I always had floppy buttercream I love that the butter is cold a little more work but so worth it
    Taste amazing texture amazing!!! Going to do the choc and the cream cheese recipe a try now

  50. Lori

    Just as the recipe says it’s perfect vanilla frosting ! It’s not overly sweet …just right amount of sweetness! This will be my go to recipe for vanilla frosting!

    1. Julianne - Beyond Frosting
      Beyond Frosting

      It needs to be adjusted and depending on how much frosting you want and what type of decoration you want to make. I’d do 2 cups butter, 8 cups powdered sugar and 1-2 additional tablespoons of heavy cream.

  51. Lynn

    I made this the other day. I wanted a very creamy, fluffy frosting. I didn’t have the heavy cream, only half and half. It was good, but not what I’d hoped for. I really want and love a fluffy pudding-like frosting. I’ll make it with the heavy cream so I can give it another try.

    1. Lynn

      also, it seemed gritty. The confectioner sugar is a brand name..I beat it like you directed. what causes the confectioner sugar to be like that at times. I am finding that happens often for me. I did sift it…

      1. Julianne - Beyond Frosting
        Beyond Frosting

        Hi Lynn- I am not exactly sure what a fluffy pudding like frosting means to you 🙂

        In regards to the confectionary sugar, you might try mixing it even more between 1-2 cup additions but I do find that as it sets, it settles a bit. I don’t seem to experience the grittiness (but I don’t think the heavy cream vs milk makes a difference with this).

      2. Lynn

        Pudding like is A softer type of frosting. FYI… I just made Buddie’s (Cake boss) buttercream frosting…it is exactly what I was looking for. Perfection.

      3. Julianne - Beyond Frosting
        Beyond Frosting

        I am glad you found one you liked. I see he has a few frosting- did you use the decorators buttercream?

  52. Danica

    I LOOOOOOVED IT! I made my first ever cupcakes and looked ages for a frosting that is both tasty and save enough for bloody beginners! And I am so happy I tried this vanilla frosting! It worked out perfectly! Smooth, silky and perfect in taste (and I usually don’t even like frosting!).
    Thank you a thousand times for sharing the recipe!

  53. Yvonne

    I made this recipe today for my daughters birthday cake. It is very similar to my mother’s recipe except for using cold butter. I think it is perfect. I think, my theory of course, is that the cold butter gives the powdered sugar time to get rounded off a bit so it’s not too grainy yet holds. The whipping also of course it’s so important and without the cold butter, it just wouldn’t work. This recipe really is great. Thanks

  54. Mary

    Hi, I tried the recipe exactly today. Is it supposed to be sooooooo sooooo sweet? It almost made me sick. I’m sorry, I don’t want to upset you, I’m just trying to understand if it’s ok to be so overly sweet.
    Thank you! 🙂

    1. Julianne - Beyond Frosting
      Beyond Frosting

      Hi Mary- 2 cups of powdered sugar for every half stick of butter is pretty standard for a thick frosting. You can certainly use powdered sugar, and have a more buttery frosting. A pinch of salt and the heavy cream cut the sweetness a little bit.


    I have tried the vanilla butter cream frosting but I substituted the icing with sugar free powder ( my husband is diabetic) and it came out perfect!!! I’m very impressed with this easy recipe and will be trying some of your other recipes too 🙂

    1. Julianne - Beyond Frosting
      Beyond Frosting

      Hi Michelle- this is great news! I love to hear when recipes can be adapted for everyones individual needs.

  56. Darcy R

    Hello! Thanks for all the great detail on perfecting this process – I often get overwhelmed and talk myself out of the attempt.

    Do you have an airtight container recommendation that is tall enough but big enough to hold at least a dozen cupcakes? Thank you!

    1. Sarah

      I make a batch of 100 cupcakes every year for a fundraiser, and this year I pulled up this recipe for the buttercream. I liked how you start with COLD butter. It made so much sense!! I added both vanilla and almond extract and I just wanted to say, this was HANDS DOWN the best buttercream I have ever made. We offer 1 cupcake per person and people were buying these cupcakes at extra cost, and we actually sold out in a little over 2 hours! Thank you! The frosting was definitely the talk of the night

  57. Jennifer Jaku

    The flavor is great. But, piping it is horrible. It does not come out of the bag easily. My, hands are killing me! Just trying to push it out broke the bag and had to re-bag. Don’t use this for a big amount of use.

    1. Julianne - Beyond Frosting
      Beyond Frosting

      Hi Jennifer- sounds like you need to whip it for longer, or add additional heavy cream or milk. This is definitely a very pipeable frosting as many others have found.

  58. Barb Mellon

    I am so happy I stumbled upon this recipe! After years of making batches of homemade buttercream frosting, finally one that uses cold butter! The extra time beating the butter and heavy cream makes the most amazing icing texture. I iced your 3 layer vanilla cake with my off set spatula this time, but I can’t wait to pipe it onto my next cake. Thank you Julianne!

  59. Riley

    I’m wondering if you can use less butter than what is suggested.
    Because I am wanting to double you’re recipe (I’m piping 48 Cupcakes). To do that, I would need 6 sticks of butter, but I only have 4. do you think it would still work. If not what can I do to make enough to pipe 48?
    Thank You!

    1. Julianne - Beyond Frosting
      Beyond Frosting

      Hi Riley, no, for 48 cupcakes you would need 6 sticks of butter if you are piping the frosting with a large piping tip. If you are just frosting them with a knife, you could MAYBE stretch it out.

  60. Lou


    I’m making this frosting soon but wondered if you could post on grams rather than cups? Also wondered does this form a good crust?

  61. Charli

    This is the first time I’ve made my own frosting and it was wonderful. Perfect flavor and consistency. I won’t be using store bought again. Thank you for a great recipe!

  62. Nicole

    Hello everyone, does this recipe leave a grainy texture? I’ve made ABC about 5 different ways, but I like a thick consistency like this seems; however, I get sugar granuals. I use name brand products like others recommend, yet still having issues and would like to try this one.

    1. Julianne - Beyond Frosting
      Beyond Frosting

      Hi Nicole- Do you ever sift your powdered sugar? That might help. Also I recommend that you spend an extra minute or two incorporating the powdered sugar at each step. What kind of mixer are you using?

      1. Nicole

        Thank you for responding. I sift everytime, but probably should mix a little longer. I have been using a hand mixer, but finally got a stand mixer the other day. Haven’t made any with it yet but I sure will let the sugar incorporate more now that Im not having to use the extra elbow grease lol.

  63. Sabrina


    If I want to add lemon flavour how much do you think I would add? Do I keep the same amount of vanilla added? Thanks!

      1. Nicole

        Hello everyone,
        Does this recipe have a grainy texture? The recipes I have tried come out gritty and I would like to try this one.
        Ps… I use name brand ingredients like often suggested.

      2. Julianne - Beyond Frosting
        Beyond Frosting

        Yes it should work just fine, but if you want to do some decorating, add an extra 1/2 cup of butter and 1 1/2-2 cups powdered sugar, 1 tbsp heavy cream.

  64. Abby

    Best buttercream frosting recipe EVER. The cold butter trick is GOLD!!! I have always struggled with remembering to take out my butter at the correct time to get it to room temperature before I make my frosting. It is usually too cold so I try all of the hacks to get it to room temp fast and those never work or it ends up way too warm because of the heat in the kitchen. Most of the time the texture is all wrong, there are just chunks of butter that did not mix in properly, or it starts separating. When I made this recipe with COLD butter and milk instead of heavy cream (I had forgotten to by the cream) it turned out PERFECT! I have been baking for years and this was the best batch of frosting I think I have ever made. I can’t wait to fill my macarons with variations of this beauty! Thank you for sharing all of your baking wisdom!

    1. Julianne - Beyond Frosting
      Beyond Frosting

      A paddle attachment is the the triangular shaped one, and it helps to break down and soften the butter much easier.

  65. Paulette

    WOW!!! This will be my new go-to buttercream frosting. Such a nice smooth consistency. I only have a hand mixer but followed your suggestion and whipped the heck out of it to compensate for the difference in power. Read all the comments so I’d pick up any additional hints. Going to pipe it on to cupcakes tomorrow. Don’t expect anything other than great results. I’m excited to go thru your website in great depth for other great recipes and hints.

    1. Julianne - Beyond Frosting
      Beyond Frosting

      Hi Christina, your frosting could be very buttery if that was the case. For every 1/2 stick of butter you should be using about 1 1/2- 2 cups of powdered sugar.

  66. Heather

    Hi! I’ve made this frosting many times and it’s always a huge hit! I’ve never made it ahead of time and refreigetated it. My question is if it’s been refrigerated how long would you re-whip it on the day you’re using it? Thanks!

    1. Julianne - Beyond Frosting
      Beyond Frosting

      Hi Heather, I’d say for a few minutes if it’s truly at room temperature, but I’d like it to still be just a little cold, but soft enough to run a knife through. Use your judgement, make sure it’s still spreadable!

      1. MM

        This is the best buttercream recipe ever! Do you think I could add cream cheese to this? I’m making a carrot cake for this weekend and I don’t like straight cream cheese icing.

      2. Julianne - Beyond Frosting
        Beyond Frosting

        I am so glad you love it! Yes, I would do 8 ounces of cream cheese with 1 cup of butter at least.

  67. Melodee

    I am so excited to make this frosting for my daughters baby shower. I am making a lemon cupcake and a vanilla cupcake and I Want to add a Raspberry reduction and a blackberry reduction to this butter cream frosting. My question is do I need to do anything when adding the reduction to this recipe? I don’t want to ruin the consistency as I plan on using the 808 piping tip and hopefully it will hold up and taste amazing ? Thank you Julianne

    1. Julianne - Beyond Frosting
      Beyond Frosting

      Hi Melodee! You definitely will reduce the heavy cream in favor of the berry flavor. You might also try using the berry reduction more as a sauce on top of the cupcakes- but be sure to add the day of, as it sits overnight it can tint the buttercream.

  68. Lissa

    At the first of your vanilla buttercream recipe you say it can be refrigerated up to 7 days but in the notes at the bottom you say up to 2 days. I just need a clarification on days as I am making it for cupcakes for a wedding. Thank you.

  69. Ann

    Good Morning,
    Thank you for posting your blog. Can i please ask if his recipe can be used for a wedding cake? it is actually a naked wedding cake, so most of the icing is placed in between layers.

    Thank you,

    1. Julianne - Beyond Frosting
      Beyond Frosting

      Almond extract would be fine. You might try adding a little zested fruit to cut the sweetness and use heavy cream instead of milk

  70. Kerry McMahon

    Hi – Can I substitute water for the dairy? My mom is lactose intolerant and I’m having trouble finding a good piping recipe!

    1. Julianne - Beyond Frosting
      Beyond Frosting

      Hi Kerry, Lactose free milk might be a better option. I am sure water would work but it is thinner than heavy cream, so maybe you need to reduce the amount of milk?

  71. Heather

    Wow! Thank you for posting this recipe. I followed your instructions exactly (using table cream, as that’s all I had on hand) and it turned out PEFECTLY! I had almost given up on finding a recipe that piped well and tasted great. This. is. it. I’ll never try another vanilla icing recipe again. Next up…your chocolate icing recipe!

  72. Karri

    This is the best vanilla frosting I’ve made so far. I added a large amount of gel food coloring after the first two cups of powdered sugar and the color incorporated very well. This recipe is a keeper! Thank you!

  73. Becky

    Hello! If frosting cupcakes the night before sending them to school for birthday treats, should I refrigerate the cupcakes? Room temperature is about 70° here. Thanks!

    1. Julianne - Beyond Frosting
      Beyond Frosting

      You should be fine to leave them in an airtight container. Most of the time my house is at 70 and that is what I do, but I do not live in a humid climate

  74. mrseal

    I liked this recipe a lot and I used this cake to make cake pops
    and I recommend to use this cake .
    this is how you make it:
    1.crush the cake in a bowl
    2.add some whip cream until you can roll it into a ball, you can also use(condensed milk ,frosting, and icing,)
    3.stick a lollipop stick into the ball of cake ,and dip the whole cake pop into melted white chocolate
    4.(optional)decorate it with sprinkles, icing ,or anything you like!!! it and enjoy it!!!

  75. Candice

    I made this frosting yesterday and it’s easy and delicious. I had to make two batches to frost my cake and they both turned out perfectly.

  76. Jeanne

    Made this recipe in the past and LOVED it! Made it tonight with my daughter and it turned out like soup… butter was cold and heavy whipping cream was straight from the fridge and cold also, tried adding more powdered sugar and still too thin. I don’t know what happened, it has never failed before:( Now it’s in the fridge hoping it comes together.

    1. Julianne - Beyond Frosting
      Beyond Frosting

      Oh my gosh Jeanne! I am so sorry, the only thing I could think of it that maybe it was over whipped after adding the liquid but I’ve never experienced that myself, I can’t otherwise understand since there’s so much powdered sugar. Since it’s been 24 hours, what happened after you left in the fridge? Hopefully the butter firmed up, you may need to rewhip it.

  77. Erin

    I was having issues with my frosting (a different recipe) separating after coloring, found beyond frosting and I now have my go to! I was really excited to finally find a thick good tasting buttercream so I can pipe and decorate better!

  78. Christine

    I’m making this frosting to top some vanilla cupcakes for a party, it will be hot and humid out, can I throw in some shortening to stabilize the frosting? If so, what would my butter to shortening ratio be? Thanks.

    1. Julianne - Beyond Frosting
      Beyond Frosting

      Hi Christine, Normally I would suggest half and half butter to Crisco. One stick of Crisco is usually one cup.

  79. Karen W

    Every time I use whipping cream for frostings it gets curdled. What am I doing wrong. Should it be cold or room temperature, should I just keep whipping?

    1. Julianne - Beyond Frosting
      Beyond Frosting

      Hi Karen, whipping cream should always be cold. But I’ve never seen a frosting made with butter and powdered sugar get curdled when adding the whipping cream. I only add one tablespoon at a time in conjunction with powdered sugar. I would continue beating it until it’s incorporated.

  80. Jessica

    I made this icing but it didn’t turn out properly? any suggestions for how to fix a buttercream that got too watery and sugary?
    I followed the instructions perfectly.

    1. Julianne - Beyond Frosting
      Beyond Frosting

      Hi Jessica, too watery and sugary, hmm. Did you start with cold butter? And did you use heavy cream or milk. What you can do is put it in the fridge so it gets cold, allowing the butter to firm up. Once the buttercream is solid, pull it out of the fridge and let it come to room temperature for maybe 30 minutes and then re beat it. Usually if a frosting is too thin, I will add additional powdered sugar, but you mentioned it too sugary. To try and cut the taste of the sugar, you can add zested lemon, additional extracts, or a pinch of salt. You can also shoot me an email with additional questions, and its usually quicker for me to get back to you!

  81. Emma

    Delicious, It’s my favorite icing… I use it on every cake and cupcake I make, I hope others love ti as much as I do! It has this sugary, rich and creamy taste and is always my go to icing! Well done Creators!

  82. Samantha Edwards

    Hi Julianne! I love your tips that you gave us.I’m a Junior Baker and I love making sweets. Also I am only 9 and I know a lot about baking and I love it.

    Samantha Edwards

  83. Jun

    I can’t use heavy whipping cream nor a standard electric mixer in my place ’cause I don’t have the budget. Hand-mix with the whisk is all I can do. OTL Is there a way to substitute the whipping cream? Almost all the recipes I see involving frosting needs this. Q-Q I would love to try this, I always have a hard time frosting because the recipe I use ends up being runny or is too… Hard? Stiff? Not sure what’s the right term.

    1. Julianne - Beyond Frosting
      Beyond Frosting

      Hi Jun, you can use milk instead of heavy whipping cream. I am not sure this recipe would work for you if you are mixing by hand, because it starts with cold butter.

    1. Julianne - Beyond Frosting
      Beyond Frosting

      Hi Krystal, yes you can but I suggest cutting the butter into quarters and only making half of the recipe at a time

  84. Talia

    I will never ever make another vanilla frosting after this! Everyone else along with myself says it is the best frosting ever!! I actually kind of hate vanilla frosting but I could eat this with a spoon! So creamy and light and delicious!!

    1. Julianne - Beyond Frosting
      Beyond Frosting

      Yes you can but you may want to adjust the powdered sugar accordingly. And if you don’t refrigerate the shortening, you probably don’t need to beat it as long because it is not as solid as butter.

  85. Casey

    I’m planning on using your vanilla recipe with my salted caramel chocolate cake. Do you think adding a teeny bit of caramel to this recipe would throw it off?

    1. Julianne - Beyond Frosting
      Beyond Frosting

      Hi Casey, yes this would work great! I would say about 3 tablespoons max and you may need to reduce some of the heavy whipping cream so there is not too much liquid in the frosting

    1. Julianne - Beyond Frosting
      Beyond Frosting

      Hi Jane, I don’t recommend trying this recipe by hand as it starts with cold butter. So for you to get it to the texture it needs to be just in the first stage, I can’t imagine how long that would take.

  86. Amanda

    Fantastic recipe! This makes enough to frost a 2 layer 9 inch cake, where many other recipes fall short. The big thing here is no doubt whipping it like crazy! I bake maybe a dozen or more cakes a year and try new recipes regularly, but have never had one include whipping the frosting for this long. I will always do this from now on though. Thanks!

  87. Laya

    Hi….! I’m about to make the cupcakes and frosting for new year’s and have a question…

    I don’t have a pro mixer (you know.. with the palets and all)… just the basic mixer. Will that work?

    1. Julianne - Beyond Frosting
      Beyond Frosting

      Hi Laya, it will work but you won’t have the same powder as a stand mixer and therefore I suggest to only make a half batch at a time. Also be sure to cut your butter into 1 tablespoons size squares and expect to beat for extra time to account for less power in your mixer. Enjoy!

  88. jeanna alimonti

    I’m trying the cold butter but it’s is just clumping up on the paddle. Am I the only one this happened too?

    1. Julianne - Beyond Frosting
      Beyond Frosting

      Hi Jenna, this will happen because the butter is firm. It helps if you slice the butter into about 1 tablespoon size cubes prior to mixing. and you will need to scrape down the sides of the bowl and paddle attachment several times. If you are able to mix it at a high speed, it will help to prevent some of the clumping in the mixer.

      1. jeanna alimonti

        Thanks for answering. I actually cut the butter into a little smaller than dice sized pieces to start. I just kept at it for a long time and eventually it softened. Frosting turned out great in the end. Although a little sweet for me so I just decreased the sugar on the next batch.

  89. Jenna

    Thank you for this recipe!
    I added a bit of homemade vanilla extract and almond extract for flavor.
    The cold butter did a number on my stand mixer, but I am pleased with the fluffiness and texture and heavy weight of this frosting! Just sweet enough and perfect!


  90. Emma

    This recipe sounds amazing!
    Would it be possible to make it dairy free? I can’t have dairy but I’m dying to try these! At my local supermarket they have nutriwhip which is dairy free, can I use that instead of heavy whipping cream?


    1. Julianne - Beyond Frosting
      Beyond Frosting

      Hi Emma, what would you substitute for the butter? You can use Almond Milk or coconut milk in place of the heavy cream, that’s no problem. Even a non dairy creamer would be fine.

  91. Mandy

    Sounds so Yummy! If I want use 3 sticks of butter with 3 cup of sugar, how do I adjust for the other ingredients ( vanilla extract and heavy whipping cream)? Thank you so much!

    1. Julianne - Beyond Frosting
      Beyond Frosting

      Hi Mandy, you frosting will not be very thick at all, and it would be pretty buttery. I would try reducing to 2 stick of butter if you only want to use 3 cups of sugar. And I would add the liquid 1 teaspoon at a time until you reach your desired consistency.

    1. Julianne - Beyond Frosting
      Beyond Frosting

      Yes of course! It tends to be a stiff frosting, so for a cake you might consider reducing by 1 cup of powdered sugar

  92. Laura

    Made the whipped buttercream icing tonight and it was amazing! I can’t wait to take the cupcakes to work, but my son and daughter in law loved the icing with chocolate cupcakes. She said it was like eating fried ice cream. I did not have heavy cream so I took some flavored cream ( frosted sugar cookie) that I use in my coffee and substituted it. It came out great. thank you I will use this recipe again!

  93. Tanya

    Thank you for the recipe! It turns out great! I cut back the sugar to be only 3 cups though as we are not a fan of overly sweet frosting. Then only added 1 TBS milk. And sub 1/2 cup of cisco. It will definitely be my go to buttercream now!

  94. Kris

    This is by far the BEST buttercream my family has had. We pride ourselves on being buttercream connoisseurs and this is AMAZING!!! I’m making a soccer ball cake for my son’s birthday and need the frosting as white as possible – what’s the best way to do that and minimize sacrificing the taste? Thanks!

    1. Julianne - Beyond Frosting
      Beyond Frosting

      Hi Kris! I just LOVE to hear that!! Thank you! Try using a clear vanilla extract (you can usually find it at the grocery store) or half the vanilla and add almond extract instead (but not too much or the taste will be too strong!). You may need to add a pinch of salt to cut the sweetness.

  95. Steph

    This has got to be the best buttercream frosting I have ever made. I have been looking a long time for the perfect buttercream. My daughter hates buttercream and I made this for her friends party, my daughter loved it. I am having a party tomorrow and I made dark chocolate cupcakes and going to frost with this vanilla buttercream.

  96. Terra

    This is excellent frosting! And I love how the butter needs to be cold….for us forgetful people who don’t take out butter early enough.

      1. Julianne - Beyond Frosting
        Beyond Frosting

        Hi Demi, I am sure. Are you using a hand mixer? If so, this might be too much butter and powdered sugar for a hand mixer, you might consider making it in two batches.

    1. Julianne - Beyond Frosting
      Beyond Frosting

      Hi Katy! Yes it can be altered but peanut butter is a little but different because of the oil, there fore you would want to reduce the butter by at least 1 stick, maybe 2 depending on the yield of frosting you need.

      1. Katie

        Thanks! If substituting the vanilla extract for a peppermint or mint extract would you recommend cutting the amount in half because they are so strong in flavor?

      2. Julianne - Beyond Frosting
        Beyond Frosting

        Hi Katie, absolutely yes! I always start with only a half teaspoons of mint of peppermint extract and then add additional to taste. It can be very over powering. Enjoy!

    1. Julianne - Beyond Frosting
      Beyond Frosting

      Hi Olivia, I am sorry this didn’t work out for you. Is it possible you didn’t mix it enough? I’ve never had this frosting turn out grainy. If you are looking for a stronger vanilla flavor, you might find using vanilla beans or vanilla bean paste would be better.

      1. pharris

        I read on a recent site when making vanilla buttercream as you have made to mix the conf sugar and milk first then add the butter and mix away. I tried it and it really worked even with the cold butter. Just a thought.

    1. Julianne - Beyond Frosting
      Beyond Frosting

      Hi Christina, I would not suggest to do this, because this frosting is butter based. Are you able to keep it in cooler temperatures until before serving?

  97. France

    Hands down the best vanilla buttercream frosting I’ve ever made (possibly ever eaten). Thanks for sharing. (FYI – I deviate slightly from the recipe, I added half a vanilla bean…beautiful and tasty)

  98. Milka

    Hello! I would like to make a blue or turquoise baby shower cupcake frosting. How should I go about it? Do I add Wilton food coloring? or Wilton blue chocolate wafers? I have never use coloring or mixing chocolate color before. What should be the measurement?

    1. Julianne - Beyond Frosting
      Beyond Frosting

      Hi Milka! Yes, this frosting is great for adding color, I use it a lot when I do smash cakes or baby shower cakes. I perfect to use the Wilton Gel colors or Amerigel because they are thicker than traditional food coloring. You actually only need a few small drops. Anytime I add food coloring, I start with 1 or 2 drops and slowly add the color after I mix it, so that I don’t end up with a frosting that is too dark. I would not recommend using the chocolate wafers, those are more for candy making.

  99. Melody

    I REALLY want to try this recipe but I do not have a standing mixer with paddle attachment. Can I use a regular electric hand mixer?

    1. Julianne - Beyond Frosting
      Beyond Frosting

      Hi Melody, yes of course! But you may have to whip for longer and maintain the highest speed! Please let me know how it turns out!

  100. Jackie R

    I hope to try this frosting for a red velvet cake for Christmas this year! Three questions:
    First, if I use the Trader Joe’s shelf stable heavy cream, does it have to be refrigerated after opening?
    Second, Can I use store bought heavy whipping cream from the refrigerated dairy aisle?
    Third, I would assume the cake or cupcakes need to be refrigerated after frosting?



    1. Julianne - Beyond Frosting
      Beyond Frosting

      Hi Jackie-, yes, the Trader Joes brand of shelf stable does have to be refrigerator BEFORE you open and after. If it is not cold, it won’t work properly. Yes, store bought heavy whipping cream from the diary isle is what I use. No, you do not need to refrigerate this frosting unless you are in a warm climate.

  101. Michelle

    I just made this amazing frosting for my daughter’s double decker cake. I followed the recipe exactly except I used 1 tsp almond extract and subtracted 1 tsp from the vanilla extract. It was absolutely incredible! Everyone loved it and I looked like a rock star! Ha! I pinned and will def make every time I need frosting! I did have about a cup and a half left over so I froze it…we’ll see how it freezes. Thanks for the great recipe!

  102. Jan

    I used this recipe on a dress shaped cupcake cake I made for my daughter’s bridal shower. It was absolutely fabulous!! Tried making a buttercream b4 with room temp butter and it was bad. This came out to the “T” from your recipe,piped easily,n tasted wonderful! This is the only recipe I’ll ever use-thanx!

  103. Melissa

    I made this over the weekend and it turned out great! My past attempts with buttercream have turned out too sweet, too soupy or too dry. The consistency of this one IS perfect, and it has a lovely flavor. Thank you so much for sharing. This will be my go-to buttercream recipe from now on.

  104. Rosie

    One suggestion here – SALTED butter (or at least adding some salt). Salt enhances the flavor, balancing some of the super sweetness of the frosting. All for cold butter and whipping the heckfire out of it, though.

    1. Julianne - Beyond Frosting
      Beyond Frosting

      Hi Rosie! Absolutely! A pinch of salt does wonders to cut the sweetness. I prefer to use unsalted butter so that I can control how much salt is added to a recipe. I also like to use the heavy whipped cream because I think it cuts some of the sweetness. Thanks so much for your input! Have a great weekend.

  105. Shannon @ Bake.Frost.Repeat.

    I love this post!!!! I never mind using a cake mix but I NEVER use canned frosting. Homemade all the way!!! Your tip on using cold butter blew my mind! I have to make two dozen cupcakes for a party this weekend and I am totally using your cold butter tip. Actually, they have requested vanilla frosting so I’ll be using your entire recipe! Ha, great how things work out. Thanks!

  106. Darlene

    I would like to know if you can substitute margarine for the butter or eliminate the butter all together ? I really hate the taste of butter and a lot of recipes call for it and I substitute.
    Thank You

    1. Julianne - Beyond Frosting
      Beyond Frosting

      Hi Darlene, I have never used margarine in a frosting, but I am sure you can. Since my butter is usually cold and firm, you probably won’t have to beat the margarine for as long, and your frosting might not be as stiff. I sometimes use Crisco but I do not prefer that taste.

  107. Hala

    Hello. Will this end as crusty normal buttercream? no one in my family actually likes the crusty one and I always end up doing the Swiss Meringue buttercream.

    1. Julianne - Beyond Frosting
      Beyond Frosting

      Hi Hala, it should not produce a very crusty buttercream but it depends on how dry of a climate you are in, and how it is stored. I always store my cupcakes at room temperature in an airtight container. However I do really love a good SMB!

  108. Jessica @ Sweet Menu

    Amazing! Thank you for this handy recipe! It looks so beautiful, creamy and thick – perfect for piping!

  109. Thalia @ butter and brioche

    thanks for the helpful tips and recipe, i always have such bad luck when it comes to succesfully frosting the perfect cupcake! (my icing always slips off..)

  110. Heather @ Shards of Lavender

    Thanks for the basic vanilla frosting recipe and the tip on using cold butter. That totally makes sense, but I’ve never attempted to use anything other than softened butter. Pinned for later!

  111. Linda

    Thanks for all your great postings. You’re information is clear and helpful blended with a lot of personality. Keep up the good work! 🙂

  112. Mir

    I love that you use cold butter! I so often want to make frosting and then have to wait to soften the butter. I will definitely be using this!

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