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Vanilla Buttercream Frosting is one of my quick, classic go-to frosting recipes that I turn to time and again.
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.
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.
Classic Vanilla Buttercream Frosting Recipe
- 1 cup butter softened
- 3 – 4 cups confectioner’s sugar sifted
- 2 teaspoons vanilla
- pinch salt
- 2-3 tablespoons milk heavy cream, or half-and-half
- 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.
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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
White Chocolate Buttercream Frosting
So yummy!! Nothing beat true vanilla buttercream!
Another classic recipe. I’ll have to give it a try. Looks beautiful 🙂
This is just lovely!
I really want a giant slice of this right now!
Looks wonderful! Beautiful photo too!
This frosting really does look perfect – so fluffy, so white – definitely need to use these on some pumpkin cupcakes. YUM!
Hi, your recipe calls for 3-4 cups sugar, how much do you suggest? Is it based on sweetness? Where should I start for a fluffy, not overwhelming sweet frosting? Thank you!
I generally start with 3 cups and go from there based on the consistency I’m looking for in my buttercream at the time.
can someone please help me. I am making Neapolitan cupcakes and am making chocolate buttercream vanilla buttercream and strawberry buttercream on the cupcakes. I want to divide the vanilla buttercream recipe into thirds and make one bowl vanilla one bowl chocolate and one of strawberry (with real strawberrys) Does anyone know a recipe that I can use that I can so this with. Thanks
I’m going to say that you could pretty much divide ANY buttercream recipe down to thirds – make a full (or double depending on your volume need) – take 1/3 and add cocoa, another 1/3 and add strawberry. I would warn against real strawberries – can result in very runny frosting if not proportioned correctly.
Perfect! I used 4 cups of the sugar and 2 tablespoons of skim milk. It was the perfect amount of sweetness and perfectly spreadable. Not too thin and not so thick that you couldn’t spread. I actually made a second half batch and added food coloring to draw pink and green designs on the cake. Thanks for the most perfect vanilla butter cream recipe!
I just saw on another site that if you add the tiniest bit of violet colouring to the buttercream, it will brighten the white. Hope this helps!
I just wanted to ask you that is it really important to use a paddle attachment to prepare vanilla buttercream frosting?
Sania — I made this today without a paddle attachment. At first the butter filled the beaters — but eventually — it worked great. The end result was far better than any buttercream frosting I’ve ever tasted.
I love this
I really like the taste but it turned out grainy any suggestions? Thanks
You’ll want to make sure your butter is really well-softened to help emulsify the butter when you cream together. Then, you shouldn’t have a grainy texture with your buttercream frosting.
Sounds like you used regular sugar and not icing sugar. regular sugar will leave a grainy texture in icing unless its a cooked icing when it can melt.
Do you mean vanilla by vanilla extract or vanilla powder? Or what form of vanilla?
You’ll use vanilla extract in this recipe.
Do I need to refrigerate this recipe after using it?
You do not need to refrigerate.
What milk did you use?
My batch came out liquidy any suggestions on how to make it stiffer in order to frost a cake? “HELPPPPP”
I’m not sure why your buttercream came out liquidy. You’ll want to be sure that your butter is softened, but definitely not beyond that and that you whip air into the buttercream after the addition of your sugar, after each cup. I hope that helps!
As milk has been added to this buttercream , how long will it last before turning?
I am OBSESSED with your Strawberry Frosting recipe! So, so good the best Strawberry Frosting I’ve ever had!! So now I’m like I have to try her other frosting recipes, especially after the Strawberry Frosting.
With the Strawberry Frosting, the recipe called for unsalted butter sticks. Is there a specific butter I need for this recipe? Salted or unsalted butter?!
I’m so glad you love the strawberry buttercream. I’m not really a stickler for salted or unsalted, and generally use whichever one I have on hand.
Kindly explain what you mean by heavycream ,half and half. Thanks.
Heavy cream is also called whipping cream in the grocery. Half & Half would be sold in the same section – usually used for coffee.
This Looks great!!! Would I be able to make this pink by adding the gel color? Or would that not work?
I made this buttercream frosting for my husband’s birthday cake and although I loved the taste, I recommend using a lot of more milk than the recipe suggested because mine was too thick. Otherwise, I loved it!
Tam, some like a softer frosting so you will need to add more milk as I stated in the instructions. So glad you liked the taste.
I wanted to try your Strawberry buttercream frosting under Fondant. Is the consistency with the fresh strawberry syrup smooth enough so that there wont be bumps on the fondant?
Can I add coconut milk or coconut extract to this recipe?
Can I use baking margarine instead of butter?
Hey! I’m using this recipe for cupcakes, 3 dozen standard, and I’m wondering if i would need to double it. I’m still just starting out and am not sure how many cupcakes 4 1/2 cups of frosting would frost!! Thanks!
This was perfect! We loved it, thanks!!
Could you please put this into grams please?
The icing turned out fine, however, the quantity was certainly not enough for a three-tier cake! It sufficed just enough for the crumb coat, but not the top layer! So keep this in mind if you’re making a bigger cake, you might want to double the ingredients.
I was just wondering ,
What is heavy cream is it like Philadelphia cheese cream ????
Is icing sugar ok to use????
Heavy cream is like double cream, and yes icing sugar is confectioners/powdered sugar.
It was very tasty,but it wasn’t so white. So, should I add more sugar?
If the consistency is correct, I wouldn’t add more sugar unless you also increase the milk or cream to increase the recipe. Normally, when I whipped my ingredients on high, the buttercream becomes lighter in texture and in color. Next time, try whipping it just a touch longer and see if that lightens it for you! Hope that helps!
Hi There. Delicious and easy. I normally like to put cakes in the fridge overnight and sit them out to enjoy again the next day.
Does anyone know if doing that will cause the buttercream to get wet and fall apart? Do I need to definitely keep it out of the refrigerator? How long will it last?
I need to make the frosting tonight, and then frost my cupcakes in the morning. If i put the frosting in a pastry bag and place it in the fridge will it still be fluffy? Or should i not put it in the fridge?
I would recommend storing in an airtight container overnight and not storing in the pastry bag.
this is not buttercream. buttercream is very specific. not every frosting is buttercream. this is just vanilla frosting. there is no egg.
Yes, this is buttercream. I believe you are referring to meringue-based buttercreams, which this is not. You are correct that those style buttercream frostings do contain eggs. However, this is the simple buttercream frosting which does not contain eggs.
Hi Robyn, HELP PLEASE. Thanks for posting your buttercream. I made this twice, beautiful, fluffy and light but how come it doesn’t come out as white as your picture? I followed your tips.
hi my frosting came out and it looked like way too much sugar and i know i put in the right amount.
Thanks so much for the great Buttercream Frosting recipe. I followed but did make a few changes………only 1tsp vanilla, 2 cups of powder sugar and I used coconut milk. Came out white, fluffy and very good flavor. I don’t like deserts too sweet this is perfect!
I also found if you use unsalted butter they don’t add the yellow coloring and it will be whiter… 🙂
Hi Robyn !
I’m thinking about making this recipe once I get some new frosting tools, I was wondering did you use milk, half and half or heavy cream? I want it as perfect as it can be. And also another question, would I have to add more sugar to this recipe to frost it on your White Cake recipe?
Thanks ahead of time !
HEY! Just want to know if this buttercream will be very sweet to be eaten together with the white cake cause I would like to make this for my brother’s birthday cause he don’t really like his cake too be too sweet like those we get at stores
I made this today…very close to white, easy to spread, and tasty too! I put a link to this in my blog. I hope you don’t mind.
Perfect! Exactly what I was looking for to decorate a few sheet cakes. Deliciously light and fluffy and the bright white color makes it stunning. Already had great customer feedback about this buttercream. Thank you!
About how many cups of this would be needed to frost 12 cupcakes? I don’t want a ton of extra frosting on my hands. Although it would taste good…
This is the best white icing I have ever tasted! It was the perfect consistency and spread so beautifully! Thank you for sharing!
trying this today along with your white cake recipe I love baking as well so I decided to give you Robyn my wonderful yeast biscuit recipe. Since you were so kind to share so many things with people. So here it is
3 tsp (teaspoons) of Fleischman’s active dry yeast from jar (or you could use bread machine yeast from the jar) plus 1 TBS (tablespoon) of sugar
1 cup of 115 degree water
3 Cups of sifted all purpose flour
1/4 cup sugar
3 TBS (tablespoons) of warm temp butter
In a big liquid measuring Cup Dissolve yeast and 1 tablespoon of sugar in the one cup of water lightly stir with fork to mix. Cover with paper towel set aside and let set for 12 minutes or until yeast mixture doubles in size.
In stand mixture combined the dry ingredients. Mix for a few seconds to combine ingredients. Mix butter on medium speed until mixed well about 2 to 3 minutes. Mix in yeast and stir until dough sticks to paddle attachment or forms a ball about another 2 to 3 minutes.
Dough should still be a little warm, roll out on lightly floured surface to 1/4 inch thickness, cut with a 2 inch biscuit cutter, and place on a lightly buttered cookie sheet. No more than 1inch apart. Cover with a light towel or something that’s light to keep air off biscuits. ( I use a old worn out pillow case.) let rise in a warm place, for about an hour.
Bake at 400 degrees for 12 to 15 minutes.
(Depending on what kind of oven you have weather it’s gas or electric you might even have to cook them up to 20 minutes.) I have propane so they take about 14 minutes for me. should make about 1 1/2 dozen. if using a 2 inch cutter. when done brush with melted butter. then enjoy,
tip) dough should be at temp between 80 to 90 degrees to rise, make sure you have good yeast. if it doesn’t double in size in water after the 12 minutes the yeast isn’t active, also you can set covered dough on a large pan of steaming hot water. I also use a digital meat thermometer to gauge the water temp.
I generally make 3 layer cakes. How many layers will this recipe cover, please? I like for there to be enough to make the icing between the layers thick enough to hold the layers in place.
I really loved the texture ( so did my family) but this was definitely too sweet for me.(It’s all about the butter in buttercream usually) But next time I make frosting, I will be using this… technique? Again, really liked it. Also, it came out white. So , success! And it was amazing to frost with, it was like a pillowy cloud. I’ve never gotten homemade frosting like that at all. SO thank you.
I made this yesterday. Loved it, but my cake was a little dense. The baking powder was good, I used all purpose flour,. . . . I am wondering if cake flour would lighten it up? I poked a few small holes on top of each layer and used a little liqueur-flavored thin icing between layers before I put the butter cream to fill the layers. I also put a little of the orange flavored liqueur in the buttercream. . . Just about 1T. The buttercream was wonderful, and overall the cake was a big hit w/ guests. Thank you for sharing!
Before I try this recipe, I have one question.. Does the buttercream taste too much like vanilla or smell like it? Whenever I buy a cupcake at a bakery, it never smells or tastes too much like vanilla, which I love, but every time I attempt to make some at home, I feel like the vanilla scent and taste is overpowering. The same problem at times occurs with the cakes, but mostly frosting.
I loved your white cake! It tasted like one of the cakes from my favorite bakery here in town, my family could not get over how delicious it was. Putting this and others like this in my repertoire of cake recipes!!! Thank you so much for sharing!!!
I’m so glad you and your family enjoyed it, Lisa! xo
Can I store this frosting in the fridge to use tomorrow?
Yes! Just store it in an airtight container and it should be just fine!
Regarding the white cake. Can you cut the recipe in half? Not sure if you tried that, or use a 9 x13 pan?
I make the white cake in a rimmed sheet pan frequently and it does really well. I don’t halve the recipe for using that pan, though. I would recommend dividing the recipe in half for a 9×13.
Salted or unsalted butter?
I personally always use salted butter, but I know the professionals recommend using unsalted. So, whichever you prefer is fine.
You asked for tips and hints. Well, I always, but always, use pure whipping cream for the liquid. I find it makes a much fluffier and much more dependable frosting than the other two milk substitutes.
I also use only salted butter, because the unsalted has added flavorings, which I don’t want.
Lastly, you can add a bit of salt to this, even so, and if you do so before you add the liquid, it will be encapsulated in the butter, and then if you tint it a dark color, and if moisture draws to each salt granule, the frosting will surprise you with white flecks amidst all the dark frosting, after a day’s wait, giving a starry night effect. “If” is a big word, here, but it is a nice look, if and when it turns out. 🙂
Possibly the best buttercream I have made! Thank you for the tip beating after each 1/2 c of sugar! Mine turned out amazing
Amazing frosting! I love the fact that there is no shortening in this recipe. I have seen similar recipes that call for way more sugar, and I can’t imagine how sweet they must be. This one is perfect – texture, flavor, color is great (followed directions exactly). Definitely a keeper! Thank you!
Love this recipe! Thank you so much. Every other time I’ve tried making buttercream frosting the consistency turned out gritty. Your instructions are so helpful; creaming the butter first and whipping on high speed after each addition of confectioners sugar. Brilliant!
Can u use a regular hand mixer
Im baking for the first time and I found this cake simple and easy to make…
The flavor was perfect, light and fluffy….Perfect for any special occasion 🙂
I had no buttermilk so I just changed to to ” 1.5 tsp fresh lemon juice and fresh milk, I used a 1 cup measuring cup and left the two ingredients to mess together on there own. After 5 mins I gave it a quick stir and into the mix it went…” Really the favor was awesome! Thanks for sharing your family secrets with us robin… we love baking them.
regards Jaimie Parnell
Just stumbled upon your blog while looking for the “best vanilla cake recipe” and your site came up and I tried your recipe tonight and I must say that it’s the best vanilla cupcake I’ve ever made. Will definitely keep this recipe and will do a cake as well using your frosting recipes which I can’t wait to try. Thank you for sharing your recipe.
I’ve always disliked the way vanilla colors the frosting. I’ve never heard there was a clear vanilla. Where can I find it? I’m baking today, for hubby, who is turning 51 as we watch the Denver/Seattle game. He’s a rabid Denver Bronco fan while the rest of the three of us are fairly rabid Seattle Seahawk fans. It’s interesting here, and a good thing we love each other so much,
You can usually find clear vanilla extract at stores that sell baking supplies, like Hobby Lobby or Michaels. You can also find online at Amazon.
I wanted to let you know that this is THE Best buttercream recipe I have ever made. The technique of adding the sugar one cup at a time and speeding the mixer up is great. Plus, I used salted butter which I have never done before. Thank you for sharing those tips. I used it to frost the Best White Cake I found on your site. The friends I made it for loved it! I will for sure be making this again, but now I have my eye on the Southern Caramel Cake…
This is seriously the best buttercream I’ve ever made. My family loves it and they are extremely picky about their icings. It holds color well too. Thanks for the recipe!
Can I use this frosting on a cake that I am going to cover in fondant? I need a delish tasting frosting that I can use for that 🙂 Thanks
It works great, Birgitta. I hope you love it!
Is it really a must to use vanilla extract at all? Can i skip this ingredient all together?
Do cupcakes/cakes need to be refrigerated with this icing? Or can I cover and leave on the counter?
Recipe: 2-3 tablespoons milk, heavy cream, or half-and-half
Does it matter if you use milk, heavy cream or half and half? I want to choose the best of the three but not sure which that would be?
I was wondering the same thing. I want to make this cake for a friend for November 7th. I hope she responds before then. 🙂
I think they all work well and use them all. I think you’ll be happy with using any of the three.
Help! The taste and thickness is perfect. But, mine turned out gritty. What did I do wrong?
Thank you for sharing this wonderful (non-shortening) recipe!
Did you sift the sugar?
Michaels sells white icing color drops by Wilton which whitens the frosting for those who were asking about how to make the frosting whiter.
Is there a way to make it not so sweet? My family does not like very sweet frosting too much. Can I use less powdered sugar and use shortening instead of butter? Would that help keep the frosting firm?
I like the tips of beating on the highest speed and creaming the butter first, but the recipe just tasted like butter and sugar, even though it looked great.
Sorry you didn’t like the final flavor, Jake.
I’m sorry you didn’t care for it, Trish.
Am making this for a first communion, as i don’t like the taste of fondant! This cake looks amazing on the website (don’t know what mine will turn out like though 🙂
Any tips for assembling the cake??? i really like how it looks in the photo. how can i replicate that??
I placed about 1/4 cup of frosting on the cake stand before I placed my bottom layer on it so that it worked as a sort of “glue” to hold the cake in place on the stand. Then, spread frosting on top of the bottom layer and stacked the second layer on top of it. Some use cake dowels or bamboo sticks cut to size to hold their cake layers in place. I don’t find it needed with this cake, but you may decide you need them. Once I have the cake layers stacked and aligned like I want them, I spread a thin coat all over the cake to seal it as a crumb-coat. Once the crumb coat is on the cake, I then begin with the sides and frost the cake, moving all around until the sides are well covered. Then, I frost the top of the cake. Once it is completely frosted, I go back over it with a spatula to make sure it looks as close to how I would like for it to look as possible. That’s it. It sounds a lot harder than it actually is. I hope that answers your questions and I didn’t misunderstand you! xo
thanks heaps all the way from aussie! will try tonight and let you know the result!
I want to make a sponge cake with butter icing for my mum’s birthday,which is going to be my first time…am so scared of how its going to turn out to be
I remember the ingredient but was putting to much sugar,Thank for the help hand.
You can avoid the yellow tint from butter by getting all-natural butter. most store-bought butters have an artificial yellow coloring in them, home-made butters will be a nearly pure white.
This is a GREAT point! I just made butter yesterday (we were making a thank you gift that included homemade bread so it is only proper to include homemade butter, right?) and it is MUCH more white than store bought butter.
Could you use buttermilk to replace the milk/half-and-half??
LOVE this recipe. I did 1.5 teaspoons of vanilla extract and 1/2 teaspoon of imitation butter flavor. Just for a bit of an extra butter flavor. Soooo yummy!
I am an impatient cook/Baker whatever. So if I get bored, which happens very quickly, I tend to shorten things up (i.e. properly mixing the frosting). Thanks for sharing the science behind it. Now that I know what the purpose of mixing so long is, I will do it! Frosting is amazing!
I love this recipe SO much! Your tip for mixing in 1/2 cup at a time makes all the difference. I do this will all my frosting recipes now! My modification: I use an all natural vanilla flavored coffee creamer instead of milk or cream…gives it that extra layer of deliciousness! Keep up the delicious work! 🙂
I’m so glad you find that tip useful! I think it makes a huge difference in the consistency of frosting! I love your idea of adding the vanilla flavored coffee creamer! Oh at the possibilities! 🙂
I’ve made this several times now, it is a fantastic recipe and I love the taste, just right. I just use whatever butter I have lol and just follow your instructions and voila, beautiful white frosting
I am going to use this frosting with coconut . Can I use coonut milk in thr frosting?
Sure! It’ll be delicious!
This frosting recipe was very useful. I added some lemon juice and cinnamon to mine. Thank you so much and God bless you!
Sorry to leave a bad comment but I followed this recipe to a “T” and it turned out awful. It’s runny and has absolutely no consistency. Usually I can find something to do with my recipe fails but I don’t know what I’ll even do with this. I may just deal with the loss of supplies and just toss the stuff.
Can you use a hand mixer instead of a stand mixer?
Can I frost these the night before?? Because it is butter I think I will frost and put in fridge overnight???
You absolutely can frost your cake the night before. You can store it in the refrigerator if you like and depending on your climate (if it is hot, etc), but you don’t have to do so.
Hey I made this and everyone loved but me. I could taste either my vanilla or sugar too much. Could you please tell me the brand butter, sugar, and vanilla I should use as my go to? I have this problem a lot and have tried various brands but something just doesn’t taste up to par.
I want to try this recipe for my daughter’s smash cake. Do you think it will do good if I add food coloring?
It should work beautifully. I use it as my base and then add food coloring whenever I need a colored frosting.
I’m going to make this today for my son’s birthday cake. I can’t wait. I’ve been looking for a better cake recipe and I’m so excited to try this one. Thanks for posting your expertise for us to use!
Thank you so much for the recipe it was my wifes 39th birthday the other day and i made her a cake….now im no shakes at baking but i love to cook, and it turned out perfect i i upsized the ingredients due to the size of my cake but worked beautifully with a hand mixer thanks again Robyn
This cake is amazing! It is so soft that melts in the mouth. I did it for Valentine’s day today, and my husband and I loved it!
Wow… talk about the best EVER frosting. This is now my vanilla frosting recipe for every occasion. Every time I first a cake with this frosting, everyone ALWAYS comments on the frosting. I live in South Asia so some ingredients are hard to get by, like whip cream. So I have to substitute milk, which doesn’t always work. But by far, this is the best frosting I’ve made. Now to find a vanilla cake recipe to go along with it…
I was looking for a new vanilla buttercream frosting for cupcakes for my daughter’s 4th birthday. Found it Thursday and tried it Friday morning for the party. WOW! I love it and so did everyone at her party! And I’m super picky about buttercream, because sometimes it’s too sweet for me. I made chocolate cupcakes and piped on the vanilla buttercream (love the look of that combo). I used a combo of whipping cream and milk. It was creamy and smooth, but firm enough to hold it shape for the cute swirls I made on top. Thanks for sharing this!
I’m looking for one that will be great for putting on a cake before the fondant. Will this frosting dry? Also, how long can it be left out at room temperature?
Would it be okay if I used this recipe with your chocolate cupcakes for a school project? I’m sure you wouldn’t mind, but I figured it would be nice to ask.
You absolutely may, Thomas. Thank you so much for asking. xo
I know this is an old post, but is this a crusting buttercream? I am looking for a nice frosting for a wedding cake, but not too big on crusting frostings.
It is not a crusting buttercream.
I made your Classic Vanilla Buttercream frosting yesterday to top a birthday cake I was making for a friend. I had been searching for a simple delicious recipe any home cook could make. Anyone does not need to look any further than this one! Everyone loved the frosting! I started only with using 3 cups of sifted sugar as directed, but ended up using all 4 cups in the batch. It was nice and smooth, I almost forgot to incorporate the milk. The milk added just the right touch. This frosting also stands up well when using food coloring.
Thank you so much for this! Because of dietary restrictions, I had to make it completely dairy free. So in place of butter, I had to use margarine (I used Earth Balance brand) and in place of the milk or cream, I used soy milk (Wegman’s store brand, for what it’s worth). I also only have a hand mixer. So even with these maybe less-than-ideal replacements, it was awesome! I mean a million times better than anything that I’ve ever had that comes out of a can from the store. I used it on our daughter’s birthday cake and people were commenting how good it was. Creamy, smooth, and with real flavor. I was happy to tell our friends and family that I finally found my go-to recipe on this site! So thank you again for posting this.
I’m so glad you loved it Emily and made the adjustments that were just perfect for you! Happy birthday wishes to your daughter! xo
I’ve been searching for a different buttercream frosting. I used your recipe yesterday for my daughter’s birthday cake. OMG this is the most fluffy and deelish frosting ever! Not greasy tasting like some buttercreams. I think the beating on high after every addition of sugar is the key. This recipe is definitely a keeper!
Robin, I can’t thank you enough!
I’m so glad you loved it. Yes, that makes such a difference in making buttercream! Happy birthday to your daughter!
Does it hold up well for decorating? I want to do a basket weave decoration on the cake for Easter. Thanks!
What size cake would this cover? I am making a 9in four layer cake for Easter and wondered if this should cover it, or if I should double? We don’t do thick amounts of frosting, since it will be decorated with wafer grass, but still wanted to have enough. Thanks so much! 😀
It covers a 3-layer cake generously, so I would think you should be fine for a 4-layer.
Thank you! Just getting everything pulled out to get started! Thank you for sharing your recipe! 😀
I don’t really like sweet frosting can I add in about 2 1/2 cup of sugar instead?
can you used buttermilk?
Do you use salted butter for the buttercream icing?
You can use any, salted or unsalted both are great
Yes you can, I did it and it worked fine!
Should unsalted or salted butter be used for this recipe?
You can use whichever you prefer
Yes both are actually fine. I made this recipe 2 times , once using salted butter , and other using unsalted butter. They both turned out to be great.
I just made your chocolate buttercream frosting about an hour ago, and it’s fabulous! Perfect directions, and tastes delicious. I made a large cake and there are only a few of us here, so I know it won’t get eaten right away. Does it need to be refrigerated?
How many cupcakes would this cover?
I’ve found it can cover about 24 cupcakes with a fairly generous amount of frosting when piped, and if done with an offset spatula, leaves a bit left over.
I just made this recipe using 4 cups of confectioners sugar and had leftover icing after icing 24 cupcakes. I would guess there’s enough for 5 or 6 more.
Hello! This recipe looks fab, but I work on UK measurements! How much is a cup of butter? Thank you!
Converting the recipe to UK metric:
250 grams butter
500 grams icing sugar
10 ml vanilla extract
30 – 45 ml milk
The amount of icing sugar may need to be adjusted up or down to get the desired consistency, but 2 to 1 sugar to butter is a good starting point.
How warm/cold should the milk be? I want to make earl gray and lavendar frosting and am wondering if I could heat the milk up to absorb the tea flavour better. Should I let it cool to around room temperature or chill it in the fridge?
Also every time I have made buttercream frosting it gets chunky and the butter doesnt mix properly in with the other ingredients. Is the butter too cold? Am I overmixing??
Your butter should be softened to room temperature and your milk/ cream can warmed to absorb the flavor and then cooled completely. Make sure that it doesn’t have any heat remaining in the milk or the frosting won’t come together and hold properly.
thank you! I’m excited to try this.
I came across your vanilla frosting since I am looking for one to cover a cake that I want to bake for my son’s birthday. It will have a firetruck shape so I wonder if this is thick enough?
Also can I add food coloring?
Thank you in advance
I think this frosting will work perfectly. It is thick and covers well and works perfectly with coloring. I would recommend using gel coloring so as not to add much additional moisture to the frosting. Happy birthday to your son!
Thank you ever so much for replying and for the birthday wishes.
That’s wonderful to know. I don’t want to use the supermarket ones because of the artificial taste so I will surely use yours.
Thanks for the tip on the gel coloring as well.
I forgot to ask. Because I’m in the UK I’m not sure if 3 cups of confectioner’s sugar is the same amount as in the US? My cup is roughly 250ml? I would assume it’s the same but can you just confirm?
This looks great! I do have a question though… Is this recipe really buttery? What I mean is, is it a sweet suger frosting or heavy duty butter taste to it…? Would love an answer… Thanks you!! =)
do you have to use a paddle attachment?
Can’t wait to try your icing. I was wondering if since you are using cream, do you need to keep the cake refridgerated or will it be fine on the counter? Also, I generally have some icing left over, can I freeze the extra for another time?
This looks great, I’m going to try it for my son’s first birthday cake this weekend. Do you think frosting it the night before will be okay? I have a cake stand with cover. If so, should I keep it on counter or in fridge over night? (sorry this might be silly question- I don’t have a lot of baking experience!)
It should be just fine to make ahead and store under a cake dome. Happy birthday to your son! What a special day!!!
Thanks for sharing all your wonderful recipes for both cake and frosting. They are easy and always yield great results especially for someone like me who is new to baking from scratch. It was such a treat for my parents on their 25th anniversary!
Hi there! I’m planning to use this recipe for my cupcakes. I’m just wondering if making it double would cover 72 cupcakes? They are not regular sized cupcakes though, not minis either. I think somewhere in between. Maybe 1.5oz, not sure. Thanks in advance. Great recipe, btw! (:
it is perfect I just gave it a try, thank you 🙂
Is this a really sweet recipe?
Can I use this frosting and add food coloring if I’m making a kids’ birthday cake? Specifically, I’m trying to make a superman cake, so I’ll need blue, red and yellow frosting 🙂 I want a frosting that’s somewhat firm but good tasting. Thank you!!
Can we use fine sugar ???
Confectioners sugar and fine sugar are completely different. Because confectioners sugar is powder it sort of absorbs the butter, which is how it thickens and makes it icing. Fine sugar would just give you really sweet and gritty butter. Lol. Hope I’m not too late with this info for you.
I made this icing and put it on cupcakes made from Betty Crocker white cake mix for our July 4th Barbecue. They were wonderful and they are gone! what a great, easy icing recipe. I did add Almond extract to the cake and icing. Thank you for such wonderful recipes!
I’m so glad you enjoyed it, Parrish!
I have a 600 watt Kitchenaid mixer. I’m wondering if the mixer you used is the same wattage? I just worry about my highest setting differing than what you used, as I don’t want frosting flung all over the kitchen. Just wanted to be sure before I use this recipe.
I’ve used different wattages of mixers to make my buttercream. I would recommend gradually increasing the speed until you feel comfortable that it is mixing at a high enough speed without flinging contents all over the place 🙂
Hi, since the butter cream recipe no longer comes with the chocolate cupcake recipe what would the measurements be for 12 cupcakes?
what if it’s too runny what do i do
can i use cornflour
Just add more sugar. Cornflour would probably alter the taste.
This buttercream is amazing! My daughter wanted cotton candy icing, so I bought some really good cotton candy flavouring. I substituted the vanilla for 3/4 of a teaspoon of flavouring. It turned out incredible! It’s so fluffy and white, which is perfect as we are using gel colouring to colour the icing, so this won’t change the colours at all. This will be q staple buttercream in my recipe book now.
That’d be “a staple” not “q staple”. Lol.
I didn’t have a paddle attachment for my mixer, so I was deciding to use a whisk attachment or do it by hand. I decided to do it by hand with a paddle, while i made the Chocolate Buttercream Frosting with the whisk attachment. The Chocolate Buttercream turned out so much better! I added extra powdered sugar to make the Vanilla Buttercream thicker, but should i do anything else to make my frosting fluffy, yet thick? Should I go over it with a whisk attachment on the mixer? I need to know by tomorrow.
I haven’t made this recipe,but I find that if I whisk a little whipping cream into stiff peaks and fold it in, it makes for a fluffier frosting.
Hi. I love this recipe and your cake recipe. I’m making both for my daughter’s first birthday party next weekend. However, there is a lot of preparation I all have to do. If I make this two days ahead of time, would it still be easily spread of I keep it in the fridge the whole time. I’m making a two layer 9 in round cake with a 6 in round layer on top for the smash cake and about 50 cupcakes. I’m planning to make three batches of the cake batter and three batches of the icing, making each batch of icing a different color. But I’m worried the time in the fridge might alter the consistency with the gel food coloring in our alert the vibrance of the color. Any thoughts?
I tried your white cake and it was so perfect! big hit 🙂 can I use this buttercream recipe to do a frozen buttercream transfer? I keep reading that you need a buttercream that is half butter, half shortening to do the transfer. I’m just wondering if this one being all butter would work or it wouldn’t freeze?
This looks and sounds absolutely Devine! And heavenly… Thanks so much for sharing it with us and I look forward to an amazing & beautiful cake!
My daughter is having a “cupcake wars party” If I make the frosting the night before and put it in piping tubes for the girls to use in decorating, should I make it the day of or can I do it the night before (which is what I would prefer to do)?
I have two questions
Is this Icing stable enough to pipe? and I find buttercream frostings to become stiff over time, does this icing do that?
Do you have any tips for making this frosting ‘by hand’? i I don’t have the mixing equipment you describe 🙁
Does this cake need to be Refrigerated?
Can I use grinded sugar instead? And what if I want to make half? Do I divide all ingredients to ½?
Also, can I just add cream instead of milk?
The taste and the consistency were wonderful! The colour wasn’t completely white but it was O.k! It was a great recipe overall and I’m going to use it again 🙂
This was great and so easy! Thanks for the recipe and detailed instructions. I only used 2 cups of sugar and added about a tablespoon of cream cheese because I like the little bit of complexity it adds to the taste.
Is this frosting possible to make by hand (without a mixer)? I have a balloon whisk and a rubber spatula.
It is possible to do with a whole lot of arm work! An electric mixer definitely makes it easier if you have access to one, but it is definitely possible without.
Alright! Thanks! I’m going to go try this recipe right now!
It’s in the oven now – I let my 11 year old try some of the raw batter and I heard him whisper “that is so good”. Now to pick which buttercream recipe to use!
Thank you for this recipe; I can already tell it’s going to be a favorite!
I didn’t have powdered sugar so I blended sugar. It came out fluffy and I thought ok. But my butter cream frosting turned out very grainy. I felt like I was biting into the sugar.
Is it because of the sugar I made or is there any other reason you can think of?
Yes, it is because of the sugar. Try it next time with the powdered sugar and you’ll be able to see a remarkable difference.
Thank you Robyn!
I will try that next time
I’ll let you know how it turns out
I forgot to ask you one more question. I need to make a lot of frosting. Is it ok to double this recipe? Will it work out just as good?
Can you tell me what butter you use please ?
I use unsalted sweet cream
I’ve used this recipe many times and have loved it every time. I most often use the white cake recipe with the white buttercream but the strawberry buttercream is amazing and the chocolate buttercream is perfect. It’s hard to get a good tasting chocolate frosting but this is a hit!
The cake is welcomed at all our family functions. Tomorrow I’m trying it in a 3D bunny mold for my son 3rd birthday which we are celebrating at Easter(the same one that was for my 3rd birthday). I’ll try to shoot a photo of it IF comes out decent.
Anyway. Thanks for sharing this fantastic recipe.
I appreciate it. Happy Easter!!
Just made the white cake and classic buttercream for my brother in law since my daughter wanted to do something nice for uncle make:) amZing!!!!
Does the icing recipe need to be doubled for the 3 Layer cake!
If you like thick frosting on your cakes, I would recommend increasing the recipe another 1/2. That will give you plenty for in between the layers and still have a thick, fluffy frosting on the outside of the cake as well! I hope you enjoy it!
How far in advance can one make any of the buttercream recipes?
How well does this refrigerate? I volunteered on a whim to make the wedding cake for a coworker’s wedding, which is on Tuesday, so if I make this on Sunday, will it stay alright? Should I wait until Monday evening? What about an assembly timeline? I’m using your best white cake recipe, too!
Even more excited for this project after finding your site and recipes. Thanks!
I made this recipe but it tastes far too much like butter. I added more vanilla, sugar and cream and still tastes just like butter please help.
Hi Robyn, thanks for sharing your buttercream recipe.
Can I please clarify – 2 to 3 tablespoons of milk, heavy cream. Do you mean 2 to 3 tablespoons of either milk or heavy cream? Or you can add 2 tablespoons milk and 1 tablespoon heavy cream? Also, I am making a 10 inch and 5 1/2 inch cake, 2 tiers, if I double your ingredients, will that be sufficient to cover both cakes? Thanks Kaza
can i use this recipe to make a 9 by 13 cake ?
I used this recipe to frost a 9×13 cake and it was the perfect amount. And very tasty!
Can I use food coloring with this recipe. I want a green color frosting
I’m wondering the exact same thing.
I did! I just made this to top cupcakes for Halloween. The orange dye (yellow and red liquid food color) had no negative effect on the taste or consistency! It was fantastic frosting!
So happy you liked enjoyed it, Sasha! Thanks! xo
How long can you keep the frosting before it goes bad?
The most creamiest and delicious frosting i have ever made. thank you for sharing this recipe
Why do some butter cream recipes use unsalted butter?
Different brands of butter contain different levels of salt. You cant control the level of salt in the butter either so it’s best to use unsalted, and then add salt if desired, to taste. Nothing worst than having a salty icing because the confectioners sugar that you will use will definitely bring out the salt taste
I live in Poland and the confectioners sugar here is wonky, to coarse or something. So nothing ever tastes right, except for this. The method really made up for the local ingredients, My kid just declared this the best frosting ever. Thank you!
Just put regular sugar in a food processor with a cutting blade, process it for a while, with some pulses, and you might get something quite close to confectiner’s sugar.
Maybe this frosting works better than others because the milk helps dissolve the sugar. Other frostings with no milk will leave coarse sugar just coarse, and this will make the frosting unpleasant…
Thank you for sharing this recipe. It is absolutely perfect
Thanks so much,Renee! I’m so glad you enjoyed it! xo
Can you half this recipe and be able to cover a 9 x 13 cake? My family does not like a real thick layer of icing on our cakes. I made this recipe like it states, but it ended up being very thick on my 9 x 13 cake. Also, because you put cream or milk in it and it is not cooked, do you have to store it in the fridge?
You can half the recipe if you’d like less on that cake. Yes, does need to be refrigerated.
I just made the cake but want to freeze until next week – should i frost it before freezing or next week when I serve it?
I would wait to frost the cake until after it’s defrosted or close to time to serve it. Thanks!
Hi is it salted or unsalted butter? Thank you!
It is salted butter in this recipe. I hope you enjoy it! Thanks!
For the sugar, the recipe calls for this:
3 – 4 cups confectioner’s sugar, sifted
does that mean 3-4 cups of sifted confectioner’s sugar or 3-4 cups of confectioner’s sugar that is then sifted? I am not sure if I need to sift the sugar and then measure or measure the sugar, then sift it.
measure the sugar, then sift it.
Hi, I made this vanilla buttercream frosting today for your chocolate cupcakes and the cupcakes turned out great and so delicious. But the frosting was kind of a disaster, it turned out grainy and wasn’t at all pretty, white, or smooth. I halved the recipe. Is there something I may have done wrong?
I would appreciate an answer, as I usually never fail with a recipe and also I would love to do these cupcakes again with this frosting.
This recipe didn’t call for any “grainy” ingredients, so my only guesses would be:
1. You used white sugar instead of confectioner’s (powdered) sugar; or
2. You did use the correct type of sugar, but did not sift it adequately.
Hopefully your butter wasn’t the grainy part >_>
It’s important to beat the softened butter first (and all at once) until it’s creamy and light. Until I learned this my buttercream icing often ended up grainy.
YUM!! Thank you!
I hope you enjoy it, Julie!
Thank you very much for this recipe as well as the chocolate cake recipe (all of the versions!) which I’ve baked several times over the past couple of months with great success. I love baking but had gotten tired of my two go-to chocolate cake recipes. This recipe is so easy and quick and with three children including a newborn this is exactly what I need ?
Happy New Year!
I’m so thrilled you enjoy the cake and frosting! Thanks so much, Carmen!!! Happy New Year to you and your family! xo
Just want to add that this is the best and most descriptive buttercream recipe ever. I stopped making buttercream after several grainy attempts and mostly use store bought fudge icing. Beautiful fluffy almost completely white buttercream icing. Lovely! I now have the perfect cake for New Years Eve. Thanks again!
Oh thanks so much, Carmen! I love making this frosting for so many cakes and treats and am so glad you enjoy it too! It am sure what you’ve baked will be beautiful for New Years Eve! Thanks again! xo
Made this recipe for the first time last night..OMG it is so awesome, my daughter and her friend loved it..I do have one question tho, i refrigerated it, to get it smooth again should i just add some more cream??? Thanks
I pinned this awhile ago but don’t believe I tried it until today. I often make buttercream but everytime I forget which exact recipe I followed 😀 So today I followed this one and I loved your tips explaining how to make it the best rather than just throw all these things together. It came out delicious and I love how it was hard after frosting so the designs aren’t dripping away like I’ve had in the past. It looks professional! Due to lack of time (and patience lol) tonight I just quickly shook powdered sugar one cup at a time into a measuring cup and then mixed it in, and repeat. I did the full 4 cups. I also used probably the full 3 tbsp of milk. It came out the perfect consistency. We added a few drops of red to make it pink. It’s delicious and this will be my go to recipe now! Thanks!!
I’m so glad you love it, Suz! I found that those little nuances make it so much better than just adding it all at once and mixing. I’m so glad you did, too! xo
is this recipe enough for a 10 inch and a 8 inch cake?
I tried this for my son’s birthday last month and it was BY FAR the BEST buttercream I’ve had!! I’ve searched high and low the last 3 years for a good one and this is going on my recipe book! We have lots of birthday parties in our family and I’m beyond thrilled to have found the one!!!!!!! THANK YOU!
I’m so glad you love it, Amy! xo
Hi! I was wondering how much of this i should make for a 3 layer 6-inch cake? (frosting outsides and between the layers). Thank you in advance!
I tried this recipe for a cake I made for a colleague earlier this week and it was absolutely delicious! Your tips were so useful too , they made the whole process of making it much easier. And I don’t even have a stand alone mixer, just used a good old hand mixer, so I can only imagine how better it could get if I did have one. Thank you so much for sharing, I will use it again!
Thanks so much, Nadina! I’m so glad you enjoyed it!
I cannot begin to tell you how grateful I am for this recipe. Not only did I use your vanilla buttercream icing recipe, but I also made your best ever chocolate cake. I was designated by my friends to make a birthday cake, which I did last minute early in the morning on the day. I found your chocolate cake, which was deliciously moist. Only down side is I could taste the one teaspoon of salt, but then again I reduced the sugar to one cup instead of the two. But the vanilla icing made up for everything. I made a double staked cake so i used the cut out pieces and whisked it with the vanilla icing. It came out really pretty and made the whole cake amazing. My friends and the birthday girl could not stop talking about how delicious it was. Thank you for making our day with your recipes.
I’m so glad you enjoyed this frosting and the Best Chocolate Cake Ever – I love this combination too! As far as the cake itself, you are correct about the reduced sugar being why you tasted salt in the cake.
Your cake sounds so pretty! I’m glad you let me know that you liked it! Thanks so much! xo
This is so good!
should i use the whisk for the standing mixer or the other placement
Could I use this frosting to make roses or decorations? If so, by how much should I alter the amount of powdered sugar I add?
Will the cake need to be refrigerated if using this buttercream icing?
There’s no need to refrigerate. I hope you enjoy it!
How do I make my buttercream smooth not grainy if I use confectioner’s sugar?
If you prepare it according to the recipe instructions, it should not be grainy. Besides, I don’t think confectioner’s sugar would be grainy. I hope you enjoy the frosting. Thanks!
If I want to use almond flavoring, should I still use some vanilla as well? I was thinking 1/2 tsp of vanilla and 1 1/2 tsps of almond. Or is almond too strong and should it be 1 tsp of each? Thank you!!
I would start by adding a 1/2 tsp of almond, and than mixing. Taste your frosting and decide whether you think it needs vanilla, more almond, or if it is perfect!
Thanks for sharing Rachel!
I recently took up a hobby for baking (after watching the great british baking show) but I’ve found that whenever I make buttercream frosting, it is always grainy and so runny that I can’t pipe it. Troubleshooting? Also is confectioners sugar the same as powdered sugar because usually buttercream calls for powdered. Thanks.
Baking is such a fun thing to do! I’m glad you enjoy it!
One thing I’ve found that causes that with buttercream can be if butter has gotten too soft or melted.
And you are correct about confectioners and powdered sugar being the same.
Thanks so much! xo
Could I crush up some Oreos to put in the icing and make cookies and cream buttercream? Also, could this icing be put on the cake and refrigerated the day before it’s eaten?
I’ve never crushed up cookies in the frosting, but it sounds delicious! Let me know how that turns out!
You can definitely make the cake and frost it the day ahead, but there’s not a need to refrigerate it. It will be fine for a few days without refrigeration – I just put mine on cake plate with cover.
Thanks so much!
Could I crush up some Oreos real fine and toss them in to make it cookies and cream buttercream? Also, could I put it on the cake and refrigerate the day before the cake is eaten?
Do you use salted or unsalted butter?
Most professionals recommend using unsalted butter for baking and frostings, etc. I generally keep salted butter on hand since it has a longer shelf life in the refrigerator. So, all that said, I use salted, but you can use whichever you prefer or have on hand! 🙂
I just LOVE LOVE LOVE this recipe. It’s the best one! Simple yet delicious! And SO easy to use.
I’m a beginner and I used this recipe for the first cake I ever made. My cake was perfect!
Yay, that’s wonderful Wendy! I’m so happy you had such success on the first cake you’ve baked – that’s a wonderful feeling!!!
I’m glad you enjoyed the cake and frosting! Thanks so much! xo
Is the boiling water necessary?
I think you may be referring to the Best Chocolate Cake that has boiling water in the recipe since there is none in this frosting recipe. If that is the recipe you are asking about, it is very necessary to use the boiling water as in the recipe for the best results. Thanks!
Hello Robin, thanks for the recipe. Do you find that this is enough to frost your white cake recipe or do you make extra? Made the cake today, delicious by the way thanks for that recipe also it was a hit! But I needed to make extra frosting to cover the cake. Thank you
This recipe + the chocolate cake is unreal. Thank you! Question- I made this and frosted some cupcakes right away, and it was bright white- beautiful! Then, I put the rest of the frosting in the fridge and frosted the remaining cupcakes 6 hours later. They were not bright white at all but more yellowy. I refrigerated all cupcakes and the next day the first batch was still bright white, the second batch still yellow. What?
I’m so happy you enjoy the cake and the frosting! I’m sorry, but I’ve not this happen before with the frosting turning off-white. But if I ever refrigerate my buttercream frosting, I put it in an airtight container…then when ready to use, I let it come to room temperature, and then beat it again with the mixer until really fluffy. I hope this helps!
Thanks so much!
Ok I made the cake first completely following the directions and tips. Then the frosting and doubled it as you suggested. Two things:. One the cake was so good it didn’t need frosting! But I frosted it for my ten year old who has autism and is very picky about cakes. He doesn’t eat candy, cookies or chips like typicall kids. He only likes cupcakes or cakes, frosted of course. The second thing is:. He absolutely loved this cake and got a kick out of it being three layers! He gave it a two thumbs up! Thank you for the recipe!
Oh Debra I’m absolutely thrilled that your son enjoyed it and was excited about the layers! His two thumbs up are such an honor to me today! Thank you so much for telling me this! xo
First of all, this frosting turned out delicious!!! Except I had to add literally twice as much sugar as the recipe stated. After coming up with really soupy “frosting” I looked up the butter to sugar ratio for buttercream and it said it was 4:1 instead of the 2:1 this recipe called for.
I’m thrilled that you enjoyed the frosting! I’ve never had it turn out soupy, nor have I had to double the sugar. It’s always the perfect consistency every time I make it, so I can’t be sure what happened. Thanks!
Can you add pink gel coloring to make it pink icing?
Hi please help. I am panicking. lol. seriously. my daughter’s graduation party is in Am and I am doing cake and cup cakes .. piping buttercream roses to the cake will this recipe work for that? What about adding color to make the Roses yellow or purple thank you? If I can color the ice icing what kind of coloring should I add liquid gel or? This icing goes well with chocolate or vanilla cake correct? I know this is a lot of questions but one more thing when stacking round cakes on top of one another do I need to add support? Any help or advice forever appreciated. thank you kindly.
just clarifying to be sure… the instructions section,
4. Add milk, heavy cream or half-and half until yhe frosting has reached the preferred consistency.
Does it mean that i get to choose whether i want to use milk, heavy cream or half-and-half? or do i need to have all three for this recipe? sorry but i am not sure
Yes, you are right that you get to choose which you will use for the recipe!
You choose the one of those that wish to use. I hope you enjoy the frosting! Thanks! xo
How long is the cake supposed to bake? It doesn’t say in the recipe above?
If you click back to the Best White Cake recipe it gives all the detailed baking instructions. Enjoy! Thanks!
How much frosting does this recipe make ? I’m planning on making a 4 layer 8-inch cake this week.
Thank you 🙂
I’m not a professional, but I noticed in her white cake recipe (three 9-inch layers) she recommended doubling this frosting recipe…so maybe the same for your cake? That is what I’m planning to try.
Love your recipes and have made them several times Now! Wanted to change things up a bit and used coconut oil to cake and added a teaspoon of coconut extract. Still in oven. Now I’d like to make coconut buttercream. Do I replace vanilla extract with coconut or just add coconut extract to recipe?
I’m so happy you enjoy the recipes Karen! I haven’t made this frosting with coconut extract, but I think it would be delicious. Thanks so much! xo
Can I color the frosting to any color ?
This is the best butter cream frosting I’ve ever made! Thank, this is my new go to!
I’m thrilled to hear that, Toni! Thanks! xo
Excellent recipe for frosting . I enjoyed making the chocolate cake and cupcake too . Really spongy and soft the cakes were !!! Thankyou
Thanks so much, Arlene! I’m thrilled that you enjoy them!
I am going to try this frosting for my daughters cake this weekend. The party is Saturday afternoon. However, I would like to make the cake on Friday afternoon. Is it ok to leave it out frosted for one day? Or do I have to refrigerate? I am afraid it will dry out if I refrigerate it. Let me know. Thanks!!
Turned out perfect!
The recipe says “vanilla”; nothing about vanilla extract. But you reference the extract later. Plus, I see black specks in the frosting, which leads me to believe that it is just vanilla bean for flavor. Is this correct & can just use a couple of vanilla beans split & scraped?
I’ve not added vanilla beans, so you could possibly see a shadow. If you want to add vanilla beans to the frosting it should work fine.
Can I reduce the sugar if I don’t want the frosting too sweet?
I don’t reduce the sugar in the recipe, so I can’t say how it turns out. Hope you enjoy it! Thanks!
I did reduce the sugar and it still came out perfect!!! This is my first time making cupcakes and they’re georgous! I did the chocolate cake before and everyone wanted the recipe 🙂 so I spread the word ???? I couldn’t believe the cake was so nice and moist – just the right texture!!! It was almost gone with a blink of an eye…. these cupcakes are for my son’s school Halloween party tomorrow :)) I need to put a locker on the fridge!!!???? I keep them in the frIdge because we live in a hot and humid climate. Thank you Robyn for sharing your recipes!!! ????
What a fun time for cupcakes! You are going to be the hit of their party! Thanks so much for sharing this with me Desana!!! xo
How many cupcakes will this recipe cover? Thank you!
Approximately 24 cupcakes. I hope you like it!
hi can i use olive oil butter and almond milk instead of butter and milk for this receipe??
I haven’t tried making this frosting with olive oil butter and almond milk, Cindy, so I can’t tell you how it will turn out. Maybe someone else on here has and can tell you how it turned out for them.
His long will this buttercream last for?
It will keep in the refrigerator for up to two weeks. I hope you enjoy it! Thanks!
How would I change the frosting from vanilla to lemon?
I just recently had another reader ask this (lots of lemon lovers out there – myself included 😉 ) and I would use a lemon extract in place of the vanilla extract – and if you are serving this immediately so it will be fresh, you can use a bit of lemon zest in the frosting too!
Can I add color to this recipe i.e make it red without ruining the flavor?
You could add food coloring if you wished. I will say this is very white, so not sure how much you’ll have to add to make it red. Enjoy the frosting! Thanks!
I just made the chocolate cupcakes with this icing for my son’s 3rd birthday and they were incredible! The icing itself was amazing. Thanks for the recipe!
Oh what a precious age! I hope your little sweetie had a wonderful birthday! And I’m so happy you enjoyed the cupcakes and frosting! Thanks so much, Erica!
This recipe is incredible!
The compliments I got from the taste to the texture were amazing.
I could have sworn I saw the 1/2 recipe for the buttercream before.
Am I missing something?
I’m so glad you love it, Adrianna. I generally just half all of the ingredients to make half of the recipe.
This should be enough.
To frost 650 mini cupcakes how many times should I do this recipe? Thank you for all your delicious recipes, my fam loves every single one of them
Hi again Crystal!
My recipe should frost 24 cupcakes as I use 1/2 of the recipe when making the 12 cupcakes for my Best Chocolate Cupcakes you’d asked about as well. Again, I’ve never had to make that many cupcakes so I would suggest making in smaller batches. Have fun!
So happy your family enjoys the recipes! Thank you so much! xo
Is it okay if i use apc instead of heavy cream?
I’m wondering with the high speed mixing while adding the confectioners sugar, does the buttercream not split? That’s what I’m always worried about when making frosting and mixing at high speeds
I have never had a problem with the buttercream splitting when I mix it at high speed. This makes the frosting more fluffy and also lightens the color.
hey Robyn, I want to make a unicorn cake so I found your recipe online! when you write heavy cream and milk / half and half, do you mean I can mix the two? or use both (each one 2-3 ts)? is half and half a product I just dont know? lol.
You use a one of them… 2-3 tablespoons milk, heavy cream, OR half-and-half. Enjoy, Oneill. Thanks!
What is better to use milk, half and half or heavy cream?
Made the cake and the buttercream frosting. Everything came out well. Thank you for a delicious cake and frosting that every one loves. I did read everything concerning this cake before making, It came out very well. Thank you.
I’m so glad you enjoyed it, Karen! Happy that all the tips for the cake helped you! We love this cake so much in our family and I’m glad you liked it as well! xo
I fail in getting a firm buttercream decorations on cake and it tend to melt due to climate…could you share some tips to enlighten me on this?
Could you please give me the recipe in grams 🙂 I can’t wait to try it. Thank you
Hi Ladie, Here is my Conversion Chart for converting the measurements for baking. Enjoy! xo
Hi there, how long can this sit out at room temperature for? Ie. once birthday cake iced, how long can it sit on bench for before it has to be served?
It can be made a day ahead of serving if you wish to do so. Just keep it covered with a cake dome for the best freshness until serving. It does not have to be refrigerated in that amount of time. Enjoy! Thanks!
Delicious! The tips on whipping the icing on high after adding the sugar really improve the consistency. I used 1/2 vanilla and 1/2 almond extract because I love that flavor combo on a white cake.
I am glad you like it Cathy!!! Thanks so much! Glad the tips helped! xo
I am going to make this frosting for my sister’s wedding cupcakes. Wondering if you have ever substituted the vanilla with coconut extract?
How fun to be making cupcakes for your sister’s wedding. I have and it was delicious! xo
It was good with 3 Table spoons milk and 3 cups confectioners sugar but was really buttery.
it was a really good recipe and really easy to make I love how it has a good moisture and plus it tastes really good on chocolate cupcakes. I love it.
So glad you enjoyed it! Such a delicious frosting, isn’t it?! Thanks Mia!
Hi there, I am a Pastry Chef and have used this recipes for countless orders. It always comes out well, either when making it classic or vegan or dairy free, so thank you for putting it out there! I do have to say, I have reduced the sugar at times and it comes out very well and still tasty. It also freezes incredibly well! Just take it out the night before and let it sit out and mix it quickly by hand and it fluffs back up!
Thanks so much for letting me know you enjoy it, Patsy! I like how well this freezes as well – thanks for sharing that! xo
Since I found this cake and frosting recipe, it has been my Go-To for every birthday cake.
I have cooked for my livelihood for many years and this is THE cake for events!
*It can be made days before and still be fresh (if you hide it!)
*You can stack them up and decorate
*Moist and Delicious
We love this for many of our birthdays too, Edwina! Thanks so much for the compliment! xo
Does one recipe of frosting make enough to frost one dozen cupcakes?
The Best ! I will never Go back to The Other Kind????I followed the recipe to the “T” & I made a Beautiful 3 Layer Birthday Cake for Our 48yr Old, she wanted white cake white frosting! Oh and It’s Nice & White. ????
I’m so happy you all enjoyed it!!! Thanks so much Lynn! xo
Made cupcakes and frosting for my hubby this Father’s Day. Delicious and fudgy. All kiddos and hubby loved them. Me, too! Thanks for sharing!
Thanks so much Emarie! xo
If I were to bake a cake how many times would I double the recipe?
Baking a four layer cake
What kind of butter did you use?
Has anyone used this recipe to make a really smooth frosted cake? And does it work for this? I usually make a Swiss meringue but love how much simpler and tastier this one seems!
I’m so excited to try this recipe! I’m wondering if you use salted or unsalted butter?
I use salted butter. Enjoy Cayla! xo
I made another buttercream and then made this recipe to see if there was a difference to colour as I wanted a really white buttercream. I wish I could upload a photo to show how much whiter your recipe for icing is. Thanks heaps!
I’m so happy you enjoy the buttercream, Natalie! Thanks so much! xo
Hi, I’m doing a 4 layer cake is this buttercream enough for it
I personally would want more frosting for a 4 layer cake and would make extra. I can’t say exactly but you may want at least 2 recipe’s worth for a 4 layer cake. Enjoy! Thanks!
Is the butter you use salted or unsalted?
I use salted butter, Jennifer. Thanks!
I confess that I have yet to put this icing on the cake, but I have time to comment while the cake is cooling. I’m making this cake for my husband’s 73rd birthday, so you can surmise that I’ve made a lot of cakes. This Best Vamilla Cream Icing will top the Best Chocolate Cake. The icing tastes delicious, and I have learned a few things in the making, such as using the paddle instead of the whisk and incorporating the confectioner sugar slowly then whipping 10 seconds on high each time. Wow! What a difference in texture. It’s like magic. I’m proud of this cake, and I’m sure everyone will love both the cake AND the icing. Thank you.
I’m so happy you are enjoying the frosting and hope you both enjoy the cake too! Thanks so much for letting me know Nyoka! Happy birthday to your husband!
This frosting came out light, fluffy and delicious. It was easy to spread.
Do you use salted or unsalted butter in your buttercream?
I use salted butter. Enjoy it Laney! xo
Just a question…. i’m planning on doing chocolate dripping over the icing.
Will it be firm enough?
How difficult would it be to make this recipe without a stand mixer? Thanks Robyn
Hi – The ingredients do need a great amount of whipping with the mixer. You could try with a hand mixer and you could mix by hand – just realize you will need to do a lot of mixing by hand to get to a light and fluffy consistency. Enjoy! Thanks!
I replaced butter with smart balance, the frosting was very light and fluffy after initially making it so I left it in the fridge for a bit. When i frosted the cake with it and put it back into the fridge to harden a little I noticed the frosting had thinned out and turned very grainy. Not sure if this is because the cake was still warm or because of the smart balance. I also left out the salt and notified the that the smart balance made it a little more salty than I would’ve liked. I also used low-fat milk rather than half and half. Still tasted pretty good though.
I think the results you experienced could be because of not using butter when you made it.
You also need to wait until the cake completely cools to frost it for the best results.
Hope this helps. Thanks so much!
Good recipe … have one for peanut butter frosting for h’made chocolate cake ? Thank s’much.
I am glad you like it! I do have both a Peanut Butter Frosting and a Peanut Butter Icing. You may want to take a look through my website to see if you find other cakes or frostings you might like too. Thanks! xo
Will this frosting dye easily and have good coloring?
This cake looks yummy! I would like to make it for my daughters birthday but the pattern I need has to be baked in a 9×13. Do you think it would work ok?
I’m not sure which cake you are asking about since this is commenting on the Vanilla Buttercream Frosting. If you are asking about the Best White Cake, it makes a three layer cake using 9 inch round pans. I have not made this cake in a 9 x 13 pan. I hope this helps. Thanks!
I just made this for cupcakes. It is fabulous! This will be the only frosting recipe I use from now on. Thank you for the great recipe.
Thanks, Kim! So happy you enjoy this frosting recipe! xo
Use this one all the time!! My go to for cookies, cakes, brownies! Everyone loves it! Great balance between powdered sugar and butter and the salt gives it that extra depth.
Thanks so much Deena! xo
⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ Really delicious! I just had to “clean” the bowl with a kitchen spoon to eat up any extra frosting! This is so good and I’m sure to use it again and again.
I’ve never made burrercream with clear vanilla but need to do something about my off-white buttercream frosting from pure vanilla. Here’s my question, could I use pure vanilla powder? It’s white and probably wouldn’t darken the frosting. Thank you.
Yes! You definitely can use it! Clear vanilla extract also works well!
Thank you very much, I’ll give both a try.
Made the buttercream frosting! It was easy & excellent! Great texture & flavor!
Thanks Maryanne! xo
What kind of butter do you use?
I am wondering if this frosting holds it’s shape well to be used to swirl the frosting up in a mound on cupcakes. I am making 48 cupcakes for a baby shower. Thanks!
It’s always worked great on cupcakes for me, Jan! Enjoy!
I’m curious if I could use buttermilk rather than milk/cream?
The frosting may have a bit of a different flavor but not sure – I always use milk or cream. Enjoy it Lynn!
Hi there, can I use this under fondant? Would is stick ok? Any tips?
I’ve not used it under fondant before. I hope you enjoy the frosting – it’s delicious! xo
Can you use buttermilk for this?
I have never used buttermilk for this recipe and don’t recommend it. I’m not sure of the flavor.
Hello and thank you for the great white cake and buttercream frosting recipes! I’ve just made a test batch of both, and the cake came out fantastic! The buttercream is good but even though I sifted the powdered sugar, I can still detect a texture from the powdered sugar. Is this normal when it’s just been made and disappears after it’s set for a while? If not, do you know of reasons this may happen? Since it was a test batch, and I wasn’t fully prepared with fully softened butter, do you think that caused the textural problem? And what is the ideal temperature for the softened butter? Thank you!
So glad you like my white cake and the vanilla buttercream frosting. You should not be able to detect any texture from the powdered sugar after your frosting is made. You need to make sure your butter is fully softened before adding the powdered sugar to the butter so that the sugar will dissolve into the butter when you are mixing it. In my post for the frosting, I explain that I add the powdered sugar 1/2 cup at a time. After each cup of sugar is mixed in, I turn my stand mixer on the highest setting the will go. This incorporates air into the buttercream to thoroughly mix in the powdered sugar and to make it light and fluffy. My post on How to Soften Butter In a Pinch shows a picture of what the butter should look like after it is softened. You should be able to make a dent into the butter when pushed with your finger. Hope this helps!
Thank you! Next time I will be sure to use fully softened butter.
I was wondering, once this cake was baked and decorated with frosting, whether it would be possible to freeze it?
Mery, you can freeze the frosted cake. Place the cake in the freezer for about an hour until the frosting is set and firm. Then, wrap the cake in two layers of plastic wrap and then with foil. The cake can be frozen up to 3 months. The day before you are ready to serve, remove the foil but leave the plastic wrap intact and allow the cake to thaw in the refrigerator overnight.
R u sure this recipe covers a three layer cake including a crumb coat?
You would need to double the recipe for that. Enjoy!
Made the chocolate cake and the vanilla frosting for my husband’s birthday. My family loved it! Just curious as to why the frosting was a little grainy. I followed the recipe exactly. Thank you.
Roz, I use the paddle attachment on my mixer. After each cup of confectioner’s sugar that I add, I turn my stand mixer on the highest speed that it will go and mix the sugar in completely. I never have an issue with the frosting being grainy when I do this.
Do you know roughly how much I would need to make a two tier cake? Like if I would need to double or triple this recipe?
This recipe should be enough to frost a 2 layer cake. Enjoy!
Thanks for the recipe, I followed your directions in beating in high speed and the frosting came out white. It’s yummy with the vanilla cake that I bake from your recipe. Thanks again 😊
I’m so glad these instructions helped, Rose!
Do you use unsalted or salted butter for this?
I use salted butter in this and most of my recipes. Thanks
Hi there! If I were to make this recipe for your chocolate cupcakes, do I still half the this recipe? Or is 4.5 cups frosting the right amount?
If you are making my Best Chocolate Cupcakes with vanilla frosting, you would half the frosting recipe. Hope you enjoy, Gigi!
Not that white but overall super yummy!
Kate, did you try my tips I give in the post for getting the frosting more white? 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.
Mine was very white and yummy but I beat it after adding each cup of sugar. I thought the two tsp of vanilla was too much….a little strong.
I’m sorry the vanilla was too strong for you, Diane. You can always decrease the amount. Beating the frosting after adding each cup of sugar does make a world of difference, doesn’t it?
Hi Robyn, I’m going to use this recipe to frost my son’s chocolate birthday cake. Do you have any experience in colouring this frosting? Would adding chocolate extract give it a chocolaty flavour? Many thanks!
I’m sorry but I haven’t used chocolate extract with this frosting. If you are wanting a chocolate flavored frosting, try my Chocolate Buttercream Frosting recipe. Hope your son has a very happy birthday, Joanna. Thanks!
I wanted to ask , is it okay if I used coloring to make a birthday themed cake for my children? Like red and yellow ?? Or will the buttercream taste different
Regular food coloring should not change the flavor of the buttercream frosting, Nadya. Hope your children have a very happy birthday.
This recipe is amazing!! It has the perfect amount of sweetness and is soo smooth!! Perfect for any cake or cupcakes!!
Thanks so much, Ashlyn!
I have a question.. Do you think the recipe will be able to cover your Best Chocolate Cake recipe? I was planning on making the cake but I’m opting for a white or vanilla buttercream frosting instead of chocolate. From what I see, your Chocolate frosting looks like it requires more sugar and milk than the vanilla frosting recipe. I hope you understand my question.. and thank you on advance 🙂❤️
The Classic Vanilla Buttercream Frosting recipe should cover the chocolate cake, Zay. But if you like a lot of fluffy frosting on your cake, you can always double the recipe. Hope this helps.
Hi there! I was wondering how many cups this made?
More of a question…can you add coloring to the frosting
Yes, you can add coloring to the frosting, Mary.
Does it matter what kind of butter you use?
I use salted butter with this recipe, Carmen. Hope you enjoy!
Really good! Especially with chocolate cake!
Can I use full cream milk for this recipe?
Yes, Valeria, you can. Hope you enjoy!
What can I use instead of vegetable shortening?
I use butter, not shortening, in this recipe, Sally.
I just wanted to say how much I love your frosting recipe. It has become my “go -to” choice for frosting when I bake. I love your other recipes as well.
Thanks again. Take care and stay safe! 😊
Thank you, Kim.
Hi, so i am making a three layer 8″ round cake and i was wondering how much of each ingredient i should use.
When making a 3 layer cake, I usually double the recipe. You may have some frosting left over but you can always refrigerate it or freeze it to use later. If you refrigerate it, it’s good in the fridge for about 3 – 5 days. Just make sure you store it in an airtight container. If you want to freeze it, put in a freezer safe, airtight food storage container and freeze for up to 3 months. When ready to use after freezing, remove from freezer and place it in the fridge overnight to thaw. Right before you get ready to frost your cake, allow the frosting to come to room temperature and mix it well again to make it fluffy before using. Hope this helps.
If my mixer does not have a paddle attachment, will a regular beater work as well. Are there any specials instructions to do.
You can use your regular beater attachment for your mixer, Joni, and won’t need to do anything different than is instructed in the recipe. Hope you enjoy!
Will using regular milk instead of using half-n-half or heavy cream, make a difference in taste or texture?
Lia, I actually use milk most of the time when I make this. Since you only use a few tablespoons, I haven’t really been able to tell much difference when using either of the others. Hope you enjoy.
hi this recipe was amazing and i’ve used it for so many cakes but i have one question, is it ok if i don’t add the heavy cream? because it tastes good without it but is it ok? will anything happen?
I usually add milk instead of heavy cream to my buttercream frosting, Leila, so you can use that instead. I have just found that the frosting is too stiff and dense if you don’t add a little liquid such as milk, heavy cream, or half-and-half. Hope this helps!
How do I make the frosting more white Robyn?
Kurt, I describe 2 tricks in my post that I use to get my frosting as white as possible. Look under the section How do you get your vanilla buttercream frosting so white? Hope this helps.
Can you melt this recipe for pouring onto s cake? Other than losing its fluffiness, does it lose other characteristics?
Robert, you would heat the buttercream frosting in the microwave at 10 second intervals until it is the consistency for pouring. The only characteristic it would lose is being a fluffy frosting.
How do I get rid of air bubbles?
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.
Is the butter used for the frosting unsalted or regular?
I use salted butter, Melissa, but you can use unsalted if you prefer.
I have used many recipes in the past but now this is my go to!
I just made these cupcakes, we have made your Best Chocolate cake recipe twice, your sheet pan recipe once, this is the best recipe for chocolate lovers. Thank you so much for the excellent recipes and for sure, the best ever. If you could, I would like a chocolate butter cream frosting for the cupcakes, I kind of altered the butter cream one to suit my needs.
Ronald, I’m happy you have made all these recipes and love them. You will use the same Chocolate Buttercream Frosting Recipe for the cupcakes as for the cake. I don’t have a smaller version of the frosting just for cupcakes. You can always refrigerate any leftover frosting for a few days or you can freeze the buttercream frosting. Put the frosting in a freezer safe, airtight food storage container and freeze for up to 3 months. When ready to use after freezing, remove from freezer and place it in the fridge overnight to thaw. Right before you get ready to frost your cake, allow the frosting to come to room temperature and mix it well again to make it fluffy before using
How long will the frosting keep in fresh in fridge?
Elaine, you can store buttercream frosting in the refrigerator up to 2 weeks. Place it in an airtight container to store it. When ready to use, let it come to room temperature, then whip it until fluffy. You can also freeze the buttercream frosting. Put the frosting in a freezer safe, airtight food storage container and freeze for up to 3 months. When ready to use after freezing, remove from freezer and place it in the fridge overnight to thaw, and repeat steps above after refrigeration. Hope this helps!
This is my favourite icing recipe!!! It’s soo light and fluffy… It makes you want more! I think salted butter makes the world of a difference! Thank you so much for sharing this!
I used this to ice 24 cupcakes and it was just enough with a little bit more to spare. Id say if you want to make tall icing decorations you might need a quarter more of this recipe for 24 cupcakes.
Thanks, Jay. I have found that I like salted butter better in my baking recipes but unsalted butter can be used if someone prefers it. So glad you liked this frosting.
how many servings does this take to cover a 3 layer cake?
I double this frosting recipe to frost a 3 layer cake, Natalie.
i love it. it’s a great recipe. i chopped up a few strawberries and crushed them with a fork. then, i stir them into the recipe. finally, i saw this time saving technique on tv. it’s for softening butter. you slice a stick of butter into those little squares and place them in a bowl. then, you fill a larger bowl with hot water from the fawcet, no boiling. then, you place the bowl of butter in the larger bowl of hot water. you wait for butter to start melting. then, you remove the bowl and start mashing butter with a fork. finally, you take a spoon and whip the butter to whatever consistancy you like.
Thanks for the tip, Melvin. I’m glad you loved this frosting recipe.
Icing is excellent and “not” too sweet and has great taste. It is also very easy to spread if you follow the directions and best on high speed for about 10 seconds after every 1/2 cup of confectioners sugar. Will definitely use again.
Deliciously heart-warming! Perfect for any cake or cupcake.
Love this icing!!! Love your chocolate cake. Love everything you do. I used this icing as a base for a pumpkin spiced buttercream. It was just perfect. Thank you for your recipes, they are a staple in my home!
Oh, thank you so much, Maggie! Pumpkin spice buttercream sounds scrumptious!
I was just wondering if this is enough frosting for 24 cupcakes? I was also going to use your white cake recipe for my cupcakes. Should I change anything?
Jules, instructions for making cupcakes with the Best White Cake Recipe are at the bottom of the recipe in the NOTES section. I doubled the vanilla buttercream frosting recipe for the cake so I suggest you do that for the cupcakes. If you have leftover frosting, you can refrigerate or freeze to use later.
Can I add food colouring to the buttercream??
Maya, you can add food coloring to the buttercream frosting if you wish.
Yes, this frosting recipe is the perfect base for adding food coloring..
We needed blue, green, and yellow in addition to white for a cake we recently baked for a child’s birthday.
This year, my oldest daughter wanted to bake her birthday cake instead of ordering something from a local store.
We used this classic vanilla recipe along with the best chocolate cake recipe for her 10th birthday cake.
We needed 2 batches of the frosting. 1st batch was to frost the 2 layer cake. 2nd batch was to decorate. The color of the frosting was perfect for the details that my daughter wanted to keep white. It was also the perfect base for food coloring..
The cake was a HUGE hit. Best part, it wasn’t too sweet. My 2 daughters LOVED the cake and my husband even enjoyed it (he’s the picky eater of the family).. I ended up having to go back and print the recipes so I wouldn’t lose them. Will definitely be our go to recipes for these kids.
Stephanie, it sounds like she had fun with her cake. I’m so happy everyone loved it!
I am going to use this to make my dad a birthday cake hope it’s good ! 🤞🏻 have a great day ! I’m going to add some unsweetened cocoa powder to half of it for a half vanilla half chocolate cake ! The vanilla half will have chocolate and chocolate will have vanilla ! Thank you so much and have an amazing day
This sounds great, Adria. I hope your dad enjoys his cake!
Hi! Im planning to make this buttercream but had a couple of quick questions (sorry if the answers are in the recipe). #1 can I use a hand mixer. #2 Can I use milk instead of heavy cream. #3 How many cupcakes would this frost generously. Thanks!
Carol, you can use a hand mixer for this frosting. You can use milk and it frosts 24 cupcakes. I hope you enjoy!
Hello. I was wondering if anyone had tips on how to soften butter.
Charlotte, I have tips in my post How to Soften Butter. I hope it helps!
Quick and easy to make. Very good flavor. This recipe is one to keep.
I loved this recipe
This is my go-to buttercream frosting recipe! LOVE it!! I use it to ice my sugar cookies every Christmas and I get RAVE reviews! I find adding the pinch of salt is the perfect way to cut the sweetness a bit from all the powdered sugar.
Hi Robyn! This recipe sounds delicious and I’m very excited to try it out for my birthday cake but I only have an old hand mixer. Will that cause me issues and if so do you have any tips I should keep in mind? Thanks so much!
Alyssa, you can use a hand mixer with this recipe. Just follow the instructions in the post and the recipe and turn your hand mixer on highest settings when it says to turn your mixer on high. Hope you enjoy!
Can I use skim milk instead of heavy cream/half and half? The chocolate buttercream recipe uses milk that’s why I’m asking.
You can use milk in this recipe, Eva.
This is a great recipe! Instead of using the vanilla, I grated some lemon rind and added a tablespoon of lemon juice. I tasted it side by side with a store-bought butter cream frosting and there is no comparison. The storebought icing tasted awful compared to this. I give it a 5 star review.
That sounds awesome with the lemon juice and zest, Suze.
Can I simply double the recipe if I need more icing….or should I do 2 separate batches?
You can double the recipe, Vanessa.
I’ve made this frosting twice and it is so delicious! Very fluffy and light. Today I made it (using 4 cups of the sugar) and it was enough to frost a two layer, 8-inch cake and one dozen cupcakes. I even separated some and added jimmies to it then used that on between the cake layers. This is my go-to vanilla frosting now. Thanks!
am i able to use salted butter for this recipe because it’s the only thing I have?
Hannah, I use salted butter with this recipe. Hope you enjoy!
I’ve been trying to find a “Go To” vanilla buttercream recipe that isn’t too sweet. Most buttercream is too sweet fit me. I made this one with the lesser amount of sugar and it’s perfect! Saving this recipe and making it anytime I need buttercream. It pipes beautifully, is reminiscent of the icing in a can to me (which I consider a high compliment for the record!), and doesn’t taste to sweet.
Next time I make it I’ll try adding some cocoa powder to see how it tastes as chocolate. Thank you for this recipe!
Thanks so much, Stephanie. You may want to try my Chocolate Buttercream Frosting Recipe.
this recipe was wonderful i baked a cake for my sisters birthday and it tasted great! easy to make and delicious. love it
Thank you, Mikaela!
Is this the half recipe for cupcakes or the full recipe for a cake. I got it from the link on the cupcake recipe.
Amy, as noted in the recipe for the cupcakes, you will need to make half this frosting recipe for the cupcakes. This recipe is the full frosting recipe and is enough to frost a cake.
How long will the buttercream last in the refrigerator ???
Roz, you can store buttercream frosting in the refrigerator up to 2 weeks. Place it in an airtight container to store it. When ready to use, let it come to room temperature, then whip it until fluffy. You can also freeze the buttercream frosting. Put the frosting in a freezer safe, airtight food storage container and freeze for up to 3 months. When ready to use after freezing, remove from freezer and place it in the fridge overnight to thaw, and repeat steps above after refrigeration. Hope this helps!
I love this frosting! It has been my go-to frosting for quite some time and always gets rave reviews. Thank you so much for this great recipe!
Thank you, Kim!
This makes a perfect buttercream, i tend to go with 3 cups for a smoother and less sweet option. Looove it!!
how much does one batch make?
How much does this make? I need enough to cover 4 – 9X13 cakes. doubled up side by side. If i double recipe will that be enough? I’m using a different filling for middle.
Excited to make this cake and buttercream icing. Is the butter unsalted or salted?
I use salted butter this recipe, Terri, but you can use whichever you prefer.
This recipe is ama big! Your tips to make it extra white worked amazingly!
I’m so glad those tips worked well for you, Kelli. Thanks.
This tastes amazing! can I frost the night before and keep in the refrigerator till a few hours before its served?
Samantha, I don’t refrigerate cakes with buttercream frosting. I keep mine out on the counter under a cake dome. It will last about 3 to 4 days.
Hi, just wanted to know how many cupcakes this recipe is for?
This should be enough frosting for about 24 cupcakes, Ragini.
thank you for sharing your recipe and tips. I’m having to frost a double layer 16″ cake. Adding fresh strawberries on top. How much will I need to make to frost cake
I would make 2 1/2 times this recipe to make sure you have enough frosting, Eloisa.
Which do you prefer milk, cream, or half & half
Jamie, I think they all work well and use them all. I think you’ll be happy with using any of the three.
If I add heavy cream do I also have to add milk (or half and half), or does one exclude the other?
No, Anna, you just add 2-3 tablespoons heavy cream. Hope you enjoy!
OMG!! I used your recipe over the weekend & it was ABSOLUTELY DELICIOUS!!! Definitely, a keeper!!! My question to you is: I made a 3 layered 8 inch Round Cake & I found myself that I had to make 3 batches of the recipe to make sure there was enough for in between the layers & to cover outside of cake. I didn’t layer it thick in between or anything nor did I use a thick layer on outside. Did I do something wrong? For next time: Should I just triple the recipe to make sure I have enough? I feel silly asking but I’m just beginning to learn about making cakes & frostings. Thank you in advance.
Kim, I double the frosting recipe for my 3 layer Best White Cake Recipe. You should not have to make 3 recipes of this frosting. Make sure you follow the instructions in the post to incorporate air for a fluffier frosting.
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?
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.
How do you get it white
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?.
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…
Also, have you added that white gel coloring to try to get it whiter? THANKS
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.
Wow, this recipe nails it, and I like the touch of salt. Thanks!
Thanks so much, Nancy! I love the little bit of salt in it, too.
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
Thanks, Jan. I’m so thrilled everyone loved these at the baby shower.
if I wanted to sub almond extract for the vanilla would I use the same amount?
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.
Perfect icing thnx!
Will this recipe cover your choc cake recipe or do I need to double it? I do see the serving size says 3, but I’m new to “not box baking!” So I’m unsure how much that is!!
Thank you! Look forward to trying these recipes!
The Classic Vanilla Buttercream Frosting recipe should cover the chocolate cake, Jessica. But if you like a lot of fluffy frosting or a lot of decoration on your cake, you can always make 1 1/2 times or double the recipe. Hope this helps.
how many cups of buttercream does this make?
This recipe makes about 3 cups frosting, Brianna.
hi could you tell me whether the recipe about milk heavy cream or half and half can we do either one of these or do we have to use all.
You would use one of the options, whichever you wish to use, Reisha. Hope you enjoy!
Hi, could I use a hand mixer with the regular beater attachment instead of a paddle attachment? I don’t have a stand mixer.
Yenna, you can make this frosting with a hand mixer. Hope you enjoy!
I just made the frosting and am totally pleased with this recipe! This is a keeper. Thank you.
Thank you really really delicious And it is very easy to make thank you very much
Very good. Appreciated all the notes and suggestions. One additional little note: When creaming butter in the bowl of my stand mixer, I did find that I had to repeated scrap down the bowl and pull butter out of paddle. It came out great.
Jane, make sure your butter is at room temperature before you start to cream the butter.
This is a great go to recipe. Nice texture that is forgiving for the smoothness or thickness wanted. I am only confused that I did not have enough frosting to cover your 3 layer white cake. I ended up going with the partially frosted, rustic look which was fine for what I was doing, but can’t understand that if I used 4.25 cups of sugar, how did I not have enough? Is it because I sifted then measured?
I’m happy you love this frosting, AOK. As I state in my post, I always double this frosting recipe for my Best White Cake. I’m sorry you missed that in the post.
The frosting is delicious but if you are making a double layer cake with the icing also in the middle you must triple the recipe to do both inside and out…instead of vanilla extract I used pure peppermint extract and a bit of green food coloring to make a chocolate cake with mint buttercream frosting …this recipe is very good! Kudo’s to the chef!
I’m so glad you love this frosting. It sounds delicious as a mint buttercream frosting for chocolate cake. I double this frosting recipe for my 3 layer Best White Cake Recipe but you may like more frosting. Check out the post for information on how I make mine lighter and fluffier. Thanks so much, Pat!
Hi, wondering if you can make this diary free?
Laura, you can make this dairy free. You could use a plant butter and a non-dairy milk. Hope you enjoy!
I rate this recipe the best tasting butter cream icing I have ever eaten. I don’t like icing or frosting at all.
I have to be honest due to my allergies I used non dairy cream (I only can have rice milk and it is in no way as heavy as standard milk) and butter.
I did crumb cover, refrigerate 15mins. then added a covering and it smoothed out perfectly. Refrigerate 11-15mins.
Ready for decorating.
LyndaJane, I love that this recipe can be adapted to meet your allergy requirements and you loved the buttercream frosting. Thanks!
Can the cake, once frosted, sit out over night, or does it require refrigeration?
Michelle, the cake frosted with buttercream frosting can sit out at room temperature overnight. However, be sure to cover it with a cake dome so the cake won’t dry out.
Thanks, so glad you loved it.
DO you use unsalted or salted butter in your buttercream icing recipe? I am assuming unsalted since you add a pinch of salt to it?
Deb, I use salted butter in this frosting.
I love this icing recipe. Do I have to refrigerate my finished product ( cake with icing )? Or can I leave out on countertop.
This the best butter cream frosting I have ever made! To whiten the frosting even more, I added purple paste food coloring by dabbing the end of a toothpick in the purple food coloring paste and blending it into the frosting.
Thanks for the tip, Terry. So glad you love this frosting.
Love this recipe! I made it vegan by using Just Egg, almond milk, and plant butter. I found that baking at 350 F worked better for the veganized version!
Thank you for this recipe!
Thanks, Sara. I’m so glad the vegan version works so well for you.
This Vanilla Buttercream is the best I have ever had!! So glad I found this recipe. Thank you!
This was perfect!!
looking to make this once again since it is my absolute favorite icing but was wondering can i double the recipe or do you recommend making two separate batches?
Megan, I double this recipe when I use it to frost my Best White Cake.
Can I use these measurements to ice your 9×13 chocolate cake??
p.s. your cakes are the only cakes my family eats! making the 9×13 for the first time today!
This frosting recipe should be fine for a 9×13 cake, Lisa. I hope you enjoy! I love that your family likes my cake so much. Thanks