This post may contain affiliate links. Please read my disclosure policy.

Vanilla Buttercream Frosting is one of my quick, classic go-to frosting recipes that I turn to time and again.

Vanilla Buttercream Frosting is one of the classic frosting recipes used on so many delicious desserts! Get this favorite vanilla buttercream frosting recipe along with all the tips for making perfect buttercream frosting every time. // addapinch.com

My family absolutely adores it, it is so very simple to make, and you just can’t beat that classic vanilla buttercream for all sorts of celebratory and everyday type of desserts. It is perfect for my white cake recipe for birthdays, weddings, and other celebrations and works as a delicious, yet stark visual contrast on chocolate cake, too. It is great sandwiched between a couple of butter cookies or spread on top of a cookie cake, as well. You just can’t beat the versatility of good ole vanilla buttercream frosting. It just works.

I am consistently receiving emails asking about my vanilla buttercream frosting, so I thought I’d repost the recipe by itself instead of it being included along with my chocolate cupcake recipe where it is scaled down for just 12 cupcakes.

Vanilla Buttercream Frosting is one of the classic frosting recipes used on so many delicious desserts! Get this favorite vanilla buttercream frosting recipe along with all the tips for making perfect buttercream frosting every time. // addapinch.com

I also thought I’d answer a few of your questions as well.

How do you get your vanilla buttercream frosting so white? 

There are a few tricks to getting my vanilla buttercream frosting as white as I do. First, after each cup of confectioner’s sugar that I add, I turn my stand mixer on the highest speed that it will go. This not only makes the frosting extremely fluffy, it also lightens the coloring of the frosting as air is incorporated.

My second trick is to use clear vanilla extract whenever I want my vanilla buttercream as white as possible. Mind you, vanilla buttercream frosting still has butter in it, so it is virtually impossible to get it pure white. It will still have a bit of a tint of the yellow, albeit it will be faint. Most folks probably will say it is pure white. We’ll just know it isn’t exactly pure white, just as close as a vanilla buttercream can get without substituting shortening for the butter.

How do you get your vanilla buttercream frosting so fluffy? 

I skipped ahead when I answered the question above and explained how after each cup of confectioner’s sugar that I add to the buttercream, I turn my stand mixer on the highest setting that it will go. This incorporates air into the buttercream and makes it lighter and fluffier.

I also use the paddle attachment of my stand mixer as I have just found it to make a smoother, fluffier buttercream frosting than when I use the whip attachment. Also, it is easier to get all of that delicious buttercream frosting off of your paddle attachment than it is the whip attachment. And I’m all about easy. Heh.

How do I make my vanilla buttercream firmer for a prettier decoration?

The firmness of your buttercream frosting greatly depends on the amount of sugar to liquid ratio in your frosting. If you want a firmer frosting, add more confectioner’s sugar. If you want a softer frosting, add more milk or cream.

Please know that I in no way am professing to be a professional baker, frosting maker, or anything else for that matter. These are my observations after years and years of making buttercream frosting and finding little nuances that make it easier, prettier, tastier, and more everything -er.

Here’s my Vanilla Buttercream Frosting recipe along with a few instructions and notes.

4.78 from 115 votes

Classic Vanilla Buttercream Frosting Recipe

Dessert 10 mins

Prep Time 10 mins
Servings 3
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Author Robyn Stone | Add a Pinch
Vanilla Buttercream Frosting is one of the classic frosting recipes used on so many delicious desserts! Get this favorite vanilla buttercream frosting recipe along with all the tips for making perfect buttercream frosting every time.

Ingredients  

  • 1 cup butter softened (2 sticks)
  • 3 – 4 cups confectioner’s sugar sifted
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • pinch salt
  • 2-3 tablespoons milk heavy cream, or half-and-half

Instructions 

  • Place softened butter into the bowl of a stand mixer that has been fitted with the paddle attachment. Turn the mixer on a medium setting and cream the butter until it is smooth and has lightened in color, about 3 minutes.
  • Add confectioner’s sugar, ½ a cup at a time. After each cup has been incorporated, turn the mixer onto the highest speed setting and for about 10 seconds to lighten the frosting.
  • Add vanilla and a pinch of salt and combine until well-incorporated.
  • Add milk, heavy cream or half-and-half until the frosting has reached the preferred consistency. For a firmer frosting, add more confectioner’s sugar, a ¼ cup at a time. For a softer frosting, add more milk or cream, a tablespoon at a time.

Notes

If you want to make the buttercream frosting ahead, place it into an airtight container and refrigerate. When ready to use, let the frosting come to room temperature, then beat it again with the mixer until fluffy.

Shout Out

Did you make this recipe?

Mention @addapinch or tag #addapinch!


Share it with the world!

Happy frosting making! Do you have any tips you’d like to share on how you make the perfect vanilla buttercream frosting? Please share them in the comment!

If you are looking for other buttercream frosting flavors, you might like these:

Perfect Chocolate Buttercream Frosting

Strawberry Buttercream Frosting

Salted Caramel Buttercream Frosting

Nutella Buttercream Frosting

White Chocolate Buttercream Frosting

Love ya,
Robyn xo

Frosting / Icing Recipes

Robyn Stone

..where I share sweet, savory and southern recipes, as well as home and garden tips and tidbits of travel.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recipe Review




Comments

  1. Can I frost the cake, and freeze it frosted? Then thaw it to room temp in a few weeks when I get ready to serve it?
    Thanks

    1. Terri, after you have frosted your cake, place the cake uncovered in the freezer and flash freeze, usually about 4 hours. Once frozen, then wrap cake airtight in plastic wrap and then foil or place in an airtight container and place in freezer. The cake should then be good for about 3 months. Once you are ready to serve the cake, remove from freezer, place it in the refrigerator and let thaw at least overnight. Hope this helps.

    1. Karen, there are several steps I use to make this frosting white listed in the post under How do you get your vanilla buttercream frosting so white?.

  2. When you mix at highest speed after each confex sugar, do you end up with a lot of small air pockets that you then have to get rid of? If you do, what’s your best way to do that? I’ve seen some bakers say to just finish off with several minutes of beating very low/slow…and other say just to stir it by hand for awhile to kind of mash out the air pockets…
    Thanks….
    Also, have you added that white gel coloring to try to get it whiter? THANKS

    1. Martha, I haven’t had a problem with air bubbles but if you do, here are some steps to get rid of them and to prevent them. You can use a metal or wooden spoon and stir the frosting by hand. Mash the frosting against the side of the bowl to pop the bubbles, and stir until smooth. Make sure when you are mixing the frosting, that the butter is room temperature and you are using the paddle attachment on your mixer to prevent air bubbles. I have not added white gel coloring in my frosting.

  3. Made the chocolate cupcakes! Love love big hit at a baby shower! Doubled the recipe since it made 12. Then made half batch of chocolate icing and a batch of vanilla icing and that pleased everyone. Chocolate was the big favorite. Will definitely keep these recipes to use repeatedly

    1. Jamie, almond extract has a stronger flavor that vanilla so I would use half the amount of almond extract as the vanilla in the recipe.

Load More