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

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

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

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

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

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

How do you get your vanilla buttercream frosting so white? 

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

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

How do you get your vanilla buttercream frosting so fluffy? 

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

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

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

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

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

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

Classic Vanilla Buttercream Frosting Recipe

Vanilla Buttercream Frosting is one of the classic frosting recipes used on so many delicious desserts! Get this favorite vanilla buttercream frosting recipe along with all the tips for making perfect buttercream frosting every time.
4.71 from 86 votes

Review Recipe

Print Recipe

Prep Time10 mins
Total Time10 mins
Servings: 4 1/2 cups
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Author: Robyn Stone | Add a Pinch

Ingredients

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

Instructions

  • Place softened butter into the bowl of a stand mixer that has been fitted with the paddle attachment. Turn the mixer on a medium setting and cream the butter until it is smooth and has lightened in color, about 3 minutes.
  • Add confectioner's sugar, 1/2 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 1/4 cup at a time. For a softer frosting, add more milk or cream, a tablespoon at a time.

Notes

If you want to make the buttercream frosting ahead, place it into an airtight container and refrigerate. When ready to use, let the frosting come to room temperature, then beat it again with the mixer until fluffy.
Have you made this recipe?Tag @addapinch on Instagram or hashtag it #addapinch

 

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

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

Perfect Chocolate Buttercream Frosting

Strawberry Buttercream Frosting

Salted Caramel Buttercream Frosting

Nutella Buttercream Frosting

White Chocolate Buttercream Frosting

Love ya,
Robyn xo

 

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Robyn Stone

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

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410 Comments Leave a comment or review

  1. 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!

    1. Hi Vanessa,
      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!

  2. 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? 

  3. 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!

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