Vanilla Buttercream Frosting
One of the most basic of baking essentials has got to be this fantastic Vanilla Buttercream Frosting! This quick and easy vanilla frosting is the base for adding so many other flavors to, is the best frosting for crumb coating a cake that you plan to cover with fondant, and spreads or pipes like a dream!
Once you have this basic vanilla frosting recipe down, you can add so many other flavors or ingredients to customize your frosting for whatever cake or cupcakes you like! We use our favorite buttercream frosting in so many ways, and have tried other methods of mixing it up…so we are sharing our preferred method here with you.
While you can always add all of your ingredients after creaming your butter, we prefer to add our additional ingredients gradually. We start with only 2 tablespoons of heavy whipping cream, as how much liquid you may need will be determined by the exact amount of ingredients, as well as temperature and humidity
On high humidity days, to prevent your buttercream frosting from melting, you can do a 50/50 ratio of butter to shortening (look for a high fat percentage shortening – NOT the 0% trans fat option). Although we do have some days with high humidity here in Minnesota, we have very rarely actually needed to use anything other than butter in our buttercream frosting recipe. Enjoy!
Last Updated: August 19th, 2017
Vanilla Buttercream Frosting
Our favorite and most versatile frosting ever! This vanilla buttercream frosting is so easy to make and perfect for spreading or piping onto your next cake or cupcakes!
- 1 cup butter (softened at room temperature, but not too soft)
- 4 cups confectioners sugar
- 4 Tbsp heavy whipping cream (2-4 Tbsp, start with 2 Tbsp)
- 2 tsp vanilla extract (or other flavor)
- 1 pinch salt (optional)
In a large mixing bowl (with a hand mixer) or the bowl of your stand mixer (with the whisk attachment), beat your slightly softened butter for 5-6 minutes or until light (pale in color) and creamy.
Add the vanilla extract, salt (if desired, add to reduce the sweetness of your frosting) and 1 cup of the confectioners sugar. Mix at medium speed and add the remaining confectioners sugar alternating that with drizzling portions of the heavy whipping cream into the frosting.
*You may not need all of the heavy whipping cream, stop adding liquid once you have added all of the confectioners sugar and have reached a firm, but spreadable frosting consistency.
Once all of the confectioners sugar has been incorporated, continue whipping on medium speed for 2-3 minutes until light, creamy and fluffy.
*Buttercream frosting stores at room temperature for 2-3 days once you have frosted your cake and does not need to be refrigerated, as long as your filling is not perishable (custard, whipped cream, or fruit fillings).
**Store unused buttercream in an airtight container and keep refrigerated. Will store for up to 4 weeks.
***Before using refrigerated buttercream frosting, allow to come to room temperature.