Smooth, rich, and creamy, this Vanilla Buttercream Frosting comes together in just 10 minutes with 4 ingredients. Perfect for piping on cupcakes, frosting cakes, and more. You can even add a bit of food coloring for festive holiday desserts.
Homemade Vanilla Buttercream Frosting
Vanilla buttercream frosting may be the most versatile of all frostings. It’s definitely a classic and if you find yourself baking frequently, it’s a recipe you’ll want to keep on hand.
I use this frosting on pretty much all cupcakes and cakes. It even works great in layer cakes and also sugar cookies! Plus it stores well in the fridge, so it’s easy to make extra and pipe on to desserts throughout the week.
Prefer chocolate? I have a simple chocolate buttercream frosting recipe too!
Why This Is The Best Vanilla Buttercream Frosting Recipe
What makes this the best vanilla buttercream recipe? Here are a few reasons.
- Only 4 ingredients. To make homemade buttercream, you need just heavy cream, vanilla, butter, and powdered sugar. You probably already have everything on hand!
- Thick, creamy, and sweet. This vanilla buttercream is just the right amount of sweetness. It doesn’t feel overly indulgent but it has that classic thick, creamy buttercream texture too.
- Versatile. There are a million ways to use vanilla buttercream frosting. It can work on pretty much any cupcake or cake and plenty of other desserts too.
What You’ll Need
Homemade vanilla buttercream is made with just 4 ingredients. Scroll down to the recipe card below for measurements.
- Heavy whipping cream – Whipping cream is what gives the frosting its form. The exact amount needed will vary on the consistency you desire.
- Vanilla extract – Be sure to use clear vanilla extract to avoid coloring the frosting.
- Salted butter – Salted butter gives more flavor to the frosting than unsalted butter. Be sure to use cold butter.
- Powdered sugar – Sift to prevent any lumps in the frosting.
How to Make Vanilla Buttercream Frosting
Here’s a quick rundown of how to make this frosting. Scroll down to the recipe card for detailed instructions.
- Whip the butter. Whip the butter and vanilla extract with the paddle attachment of a stand mixer for 3-4 minutes, until smooth and creamy.
- Add the powdered sugar. Beat in 2 cups of powdered sugar, then add in a tablespoon of heavy whipping cream. Beat in 2 more cups of powdered sugar, scrape down the sides, and add the last cup of powdered sugar.
- Adjust the consistency. If needed, add another tablespoon at a time of the whipping cream until you achieve the desired consistency.
Tips for Success
Here are a few helpful tips to making the best vanilla buttercream frosting.
- Make sure you use cold butter for this recipe. You do not want the butter to warm up before whipping. I recommend keeping it in the fridge just until you need it.
- Add some color. If you are wanting color frosting, you can add a few drops of gel food coloring to the frosting.
- Thin the frosting. If the frosting is too thick, add in extra whipping cream ½ tablespoon at a time until you get your desired consistency.
- Adjust the consistency for cupcakes. To use buttercream for cupcakes, you will want it a little thicker than if using it for a cake recipe.
- The best piping tip to use. Using a 1M piping tip is best to get that desired bakery look.
Ways to Use Vanilla Buttercream Frosting
One thing about vanilla buttercream frosting is that it’s so incredibly versatile. Vanilla goes with pretty much everything and you can easily dye the frosting to any color you want, making it ideal for holiday desserts, birthdays, and more.
You can use this frosting on cupcakes, cakes, layer cakes, and more. Here are a few of my favorite desserts to top with vanilla buttercream:
- Robin Egg Cake
- Valentine’s Day Layer Cake
- Cherry Cake
- Unicorn Easter Bunny Cake
- Orange Julius Cake
- Chocolate cupcakes
- Vanilla cupcakes
- Room temperature. Vanilla buttercream frosting can sit out at room temperature for up to 3 days, as long as your house isn’t overly warm. Keep it in an airtight container.
- Fridge. After 3 days, or if your house is particularly warm, you’ll need to store the buttercream in an airtight container in the refrigerator. It will last for at least 7 days.
More Frosting Recipes
- Peanut Butter Frosting
- Cream Cheese Frosting
- Chocolate Buttercream Frosting
- Cinnamon Cream Cheese Frosting
Vanilla Buttercream Frosting
- 1-3 tablespoons heavy whipping cream
- 1 1/2 teaspoons clear vanilla extract
- 1 cup cold salted butter
- 5 cups powdered sugar sifted
- Using a stand mixer, attach the paddle attachment, whip the butter and vanilla extract for 3-4 minutes on medium speed. Butter mixture should be smooth and creamy afterwards.
- Scrape the sides of the bowl down.
- Add in 2 cups of powdered sugar and mix until well combined and then scrape the sides of the bowl down.
- Add in 1 tablespoon of heavy whipping cream and mix well. Then add in 2 more cups of powdered sugar. Beat until well combined.
- Scrape down the sides of the bowl and then add in the last cup of powdered sugar and mix well. If the frosting is not the consistency you are looking for, you can add in another tablespoon at a time of whipping cream.