Perfect Vanilla Buttercream Frosting

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This easy Vanilla Buttercream Frosting recipe is absolutely perfect! It’s a basic vanilla buttercream made with butter and powdered sugar. The big difference in this recipe is that is starts with cold butter and is whipped, which makes a fluffy homemade frosting that’s ideal for decorating cakes and cupcakes.

A small jar of piped vanilla buttercream with a full piping bag sitting next to it

My Favorite Vanilla Buttercream Frosting

Today’s post is all about going back to the basics. This is the perfect vanilla frosting (or buttercream recipe) and can be used as a base for many different types of frostings recipes. 

While I have over 30 awesome frosting recipes, there’s nothing better than a classic vanilla frosting. I’ve used this recipe as a base for dozens and dozens of cakes, cupcakes and cookies you’ll find on my blog.  This simple recipe can be paired with moist vanilla cupcakes or chocolate cupcakes, lemon or strawberry cupcakes, you name it. You can even use vanilla frosting as a base to add your favorite candy to sugar cookies.

Now if vanilla isn’t your thing, I’ve also got a recipes for chocolate frosting

A line of cupcakes all frosted with different types of frosting techniques

Kinds of Buttercream Frosting

When it come to vanilla frosting recipes, there are two different kinds that most people tend to use: American Buttercream and Swiss Meringue Buttercream.

The difference between a Swiss Meringue Buttercream and an American buttercream is that American buttercream is made with powdered sugar and butter or Crisco. Swiss Meringue Buttercream is made with whipped egg whites, granulated sugar and butter.

Some frosting recipes use half butter and half Crisco. Crisco in a frosting might sound unusual to some, but it has its benefits. It’s often referred to as a decorators buttercream because it more stable and easier for piping different shapes. This is the method I learned when I took the Wilton Decorating classes.

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

How Do You Add Vanilla Flavoring?

There are many different vanilla frosting recipes. Some use vanilla extract and some use vanilla beans or vanilla bean paste. Vanilla beans have a wonderful flavor but can be expensive or difficult to find. Either way, just make sure you’re using pure vanilla extract, not imitation. 

A large piping bag with Ateco 849 piping tip is piping a big swirl of frosting in a jar

What Makes this Vanilla Buttercream the Best?

The Whip it Rule

My perfect vanilla buttercream is whipped buttercream. When it comes to frosting, I live by the WHIP IT rule. The longer you whip it, the better it will be. When a problem comes along, you must whip it. You get the point, right?

Cold Unsalted Butter

I start with COLD butter. Yes, cold. Most frosting recipes (including many of mine) call for softened butter or butter at room temperature. The difference between starting with cold butter versus softened is that the cold butter requires you to whip it longer in the beginning.

I believe the cold butter produces a more stiff frosting that is better for piping. If your butter is TOO soft, then your frosting will be “weaker”. I HIGHLY suggest that you use unsalted butter for your frosting. It allows you to control the flavor.

Whipping Cream

The not-so-secret ingredient to a creamy, velvety frosting is heavy whipping cream. It’s an ingredient that usually doesn’t come cheap, but it is makes the difference. Sure, you can substitute with milk instead but using the heavy whipping cream will help give you those extra air bubbles in the frosting once it’s whipped.

A pile of vanilla frosting on a teal plate

Vanilla Buttercream Frosting Ingredients

You only need a few simple ingredients to make vanilla buttercream frosting. Here’s what they are:

  • Unsalted butter – As mentioned above, it is important to use cold butter here.
  • Powdered Sugar
  • Vanilla Extract – Be sure you are using pure vanilla extract, not the imitation stuff!
  • Heavy Whipping Cream (or Milk) – I prefer to use heavy whipping cream, but you can also use milk in this recipe.

That’s it! See below in the recipe card for how much you need of each ingredient.

A big swirl of vanilla frosting piped onto a crumpled piece of brown parchment paper

How to Make Vanilla Buttercream Frosting

This homemade vanilla frosting comes together in about 10 minutes and only needs one bowl. Here’s how you make it:

  • Whip the butter. Cut cold butter into pieces and whip it with the paddle attachment for 5-7 minutes. Scrape down the sides of bowl occasionally. 
  • Add sugar & vanilla. Carefully add powdered sugar and mix on low speed until incorporated. Add the vanilla extract and mix until combined. Add more sugar and mix.
  • Beat the frosting a medium-high speed for 3 minutes.
  • Add remaining sugar and heavy cream. Beat on low until everything is combined, then increase the speed to medium-high and beat for another 3-5 minutes to whip more air into the frosting.

A gorgeous plate of sugar cookies decorated with vanilla buttercream

How to Use Vanilla Buttercream

This vanilla frosting is perfect for decorating. You can add all sorts of fun colors to it, use it on cupcakes, on cakes, on sugar cookies – the possibilities are endless! Here are some ideas for you to try:

A close up view of a cake decorate with buttercream flowers and buttercream roses

Frequently Asked Questions

How much frosting does this recipe make?

This frosting recipe makes enough for at least 24 cupcakes that have a hefty amount of frosting. The second rule I live by when it comes to frosting, is never come up short. So I usually end up with more than enough frosting.

If you are only frosting 12 cupcakes, you can halve this recipe.

Can I make this frosting in advance?

This recipe can be made in advance and kept at room temperature for 24 hours prior to frosting. Otherwise it can be stored in the fridge for up to 7 days before serving. Any longer than that and I would recommend freezing it. You will need to allow it to soften for a couple of hours before using it after it’s been in the fridge.

I might also recommend re-whipping it after it has come back to room temperature. I prefer to make all my frosting recipes fresh, so I can’t speak too much to the freezing of the frosting.

A close up shot of the top of a unicorn cupcake showing the rosettes, ribbons and buttercream frosting swirls

Do my cupcakes needs to be refrigerated?

If you live in a hot and humid environment then I would suggest that you refrigerate cupcakes that are frosted and allow them to come to room temperature before serving.

Since this frosting is all butter based, it will melt in high temperatures or in humid environments. If you are serving this buttercream at an outdoor party, be sure to keep it out of the sun, especially if temperatures are hot that day.

Otherwise I store my cupcakes in a cool, dry place in an airtight container for up to 3 days once they are frosted.

Can I make this frosting with a handheld mixer?

The short answer is yes, anything is possible. However, it will be difficult for you to make large batches of frosting, simply because the powder of a handheld mixer is not the same as a stand mixer.

You will likely need to spend even more time whipping the butter both in the beginning and throughout when adding the powdered sugar.

How do you make light, fluffy or whipped buttercream frosting?

The key to making fluffy buttercream is by whipping your frosting, a lot! I think fluffy buttercream is best produced when you start with cold butter. As mentioned above, cold butter allows you to control the consistency of your frosting.

Think about it, if you start with softened butter, it will take more powdered sugar to get a stiffer frosting, but if you start with cold butter, then you have more control over how long you can whip the buttercream.

Be sure to whip your butter for a good 3-5 minutes before adding any liquid or powdered sugar. The butter will grow in volume and look very light in color. Then you’ll whip the buttercream for 1-2 minutes at a time after adding each cup of powdered sugar and again at the end for a couple of minutes. If you feel the frosting is too thin, you can add additional powdered sugar.

How to Make Buttercream Frosting

If you’ve ever wondered what my secret is to piping perfectly beautiful cupcakes, I’ve got you covered. I’m telling you all about my favorite tools and tricks for decorating the perfect cupcake, and there’s a bonus video included! This is a post you’ll come back to time and time again.

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A small jar of piped vanilla buttercream with a full piping bag sitting next to it

Perfect Vanilla Frosting

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

Description

This Perfect Vanilla Frosting Recipe recipe is very versatile. It’s a basic vanilla buttercream using butter and powdered sugar. This is the perfect frosting for piping cupcakes and cake decorating. 

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 cup (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)

Instructions

  1. Cut the butter into pieces. Using the paddle attachment, whip the butter for 5-7 minutes, scraping down the bowl occasionally, beating until the butter look 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 last 1 cup powdered sugar along with the heavy whipping cream. 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.

Notes

  • This frosting can be kept at room temperature if serving within 24 hours and it’s not too hot. I
  • t can be made ahead of time and kept refrigerated for 7 days. Frosting must come back to room temperature before piping, and suggest to rewhip.
  • This frosting can also be frozen, but once thawed, I suggest to rewhip.
  • If you are coloring this frosting, I suggest to try using a clear vanilla extract to keep the frosting a pure white
  • Flavor with different extract or zest of lemon, orange or lime
  • This makes enough to frost 24 cupcakes
Nutrition Information:
1/2 cup
540
65.4g
6.1mg
31.3g
19.5g
66.7g
0
0
83.2mg
  • Category: Frosting
  • Method: Stand Mixer
  • Cuisine: American

Keywords: Vanilla Frosting, Vanilla Buttercream, Best Vanilla Buttercream Frosting, How to Make Vanilla Frosting

Recipe Card powered byTasty Recipes

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188 Responses
  1. 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

  2. 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. 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.

  3. 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. 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).

        1. 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.

          1. Beyond Frosting

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

  4. 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!

  5. Yvonne

    Hi
    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

  6. 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. 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.

  7. MICHELLE SAMUEL

    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 🙂

  8. 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

  9. 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. 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.

  10. 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!

  11. 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. 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.

  12. 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!

  13. 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. 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.

      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.

  14. 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. Beyond Frosting

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

  15. 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. 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.

  16. 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. 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!

  17. 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. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. 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. 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

  20. 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. 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?

  21. 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!

  22. 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!

  23. 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. 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

  24. 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!!!
    5.eat it and enjoy it!!!

  25. 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.

  26. 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. 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.

  27. 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!

  28. 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. Beyond Frosting

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

  29. 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. 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.

  30. 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.
    Thanks!!!

    1. 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!

  31. 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!

  32. 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.

    From,
    Samantha Edwards

  33. 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. 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.

  34. 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. 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.

  35. 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?
    Thanks!

    1. 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. 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.

  36. 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!

  37. 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. 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!

    1. 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.

  38. 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!

    Thanks!

  39. 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?

    Thanks!

    1. 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.

  40. 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. 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.

  41. 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!

  42. 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!

  43. 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. 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.

  44. 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.

  45. 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. 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. 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?

        1. 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. 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. 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?

  46. 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)

  47. 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. 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.

    1. 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!

  48. Jackie R

    Hi!
    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?

    Thanks!

    Jackie

    1. 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.

  49. 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!

  50. 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!

  51. 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.

  52. 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. 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.

  53. 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!

  54. 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. 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.

  55. 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. 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!

  56. 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..)

  57. 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!

  58. 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! 🙂

  59. 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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