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Homemade Vanilla Buttercream Recipe

Sweet, creamy, and with notes of vanilla, this homemade buttercream is made with all-natural ingredients that are sure to satisfy your sweet tooth. It’s perfect for cakes, cupcakes, cookies, or for filling in between layers of cake.

Vanilla icing on top of chocolate cupcakes.

Buttercream is a type of frosting that is made with butter and sugar. It is usually butter-based, but can also be made with margarine or vegetable shortening. Buttercream can be flavored with vanilla extract, chocolate, and other flavorings.

There are at least four types of buttercream:  American Buttercream, Swiss Meringue Buttercream, French Buttercream, and Italian Meringue Buttercream. American Buttercream is the sweetest and easiest of them all to make.

This recipe for vanilla buttercream is an easy and delicious way to top your cakes and cupcakes. The buttercream is made with butter, sugar, vanilla extract, and a little bit of salt. It is then whipped until it is light and fluffy.

If you are looking for a delicious buttercream recipe, this is the one for you! This recipe is easy to make and will definitely satisfy your sweet tooth.

Let’s look at how to whip up a batch of buttercream, shall we?

Ingredients

Making buttercream frosting is a cinch if you have a good mixer and five ingredients:

  • butter
  • powdered sugar
  • vanilla
  • milk
  • pinch of salt

Instructions

  • Beat 1 cup butter (two sticks) at high speed in an electric mixer until light in color. (This should take a couple of minutes.) Reduce speed to low and gradually add powdered sugar.
  • Once the sugar has been incorporated into the butter, add milk, vanilla, and salt and whip at high speed for 3-5 minutes.
  • Spread or pipe frosting onto cupcakes.

It’s safe to leave cakes or cupcakes topped with American Buttercream out at room temperature for a few days.

The key is to whip the butter really well before you add any additional ingredients. I like to get it looking light and airy before I add powdered sugar. It’s important to slowly start the mixer or powdered sugar will be everywhere. Once the powdered sugar and butter are well blended, then it’s safe to add the vanilla and milk.

Buttercream Vanilla Frosting Tips

  • Keep whipping the frosting until it gets lighter and fluffier in appearance.
  • Use room-temperature butter, not melted butter.
  • Don’t use unsifted powdered sugar, unless you actually like little clumps of powdered sugar in your frosting.
  • When mixing the frosting, if it is too dry, add 1 teaspoon of milk at a time until it is fluffy and moist.
  • Store leftover buttercream in an airtight container in the refrigerator. Allow it to come to room temperature before using.

This vanilla buttercream frosting is great on chocolate cake, chocolate cupcakes, white cake, purple cake – you get the idea.

What’s the Difference Between Frosting and Icing?

Icing is typically thinner and runnier than frosting – it’s more like a glaze. It’s the pretty topping that you see on cookies. (Think royal icing.)

Frosting, on the other hand, is thicker and fluffier and is ideal for topping cake.

Cupcakes with homemade vanilla frosting.

If you like cupcakes like I do, check out my recipe for Small Batch Lemon Cupcakes and these other desserts that pair well with buttercream:

  • Classic White Layer Cake – This is a basic cake that can be embellished with buttercream and sprinkles, chocolate chips, or anything else your heart desires.
  • Decadent Chocolate Layer Cake – Chocolate and vanilla are a match made in dessert heaven. Wouldn’t you agree?
chocolate cupcake with vanilla buttercream frosting

Homemade Vanilla Buttercream Frosting

Sweet, creamy, and with notes of vanilla, this homemade buttercream recipe is made with all-natural ingredients.
4.59 from 39 votes
Print Pin Rate
Course: Desserts
Cuisine: American
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 10 minutes
Servings: 1 batch
Calories: 184kcal

Ingredients

  • 2 sticks butter softened
  • 3 cups powdered sugar sifted
  • 2 Tbsp whole milk
  • 1 -2 tsp vanilla extract
  • pinch salt

Instructions

  • Beat butter at high speed in an electric mixer until light in color. Reduce speed to low and gradually add powdered sugar.
  • Once sugar has been incorporated into the butter, add milk, vanilla, and salt and whip at high speed for 3-5 minutes.
  • Spread or pipe frosting onto cupcakes.

Notes

  • Keep whipping the frosting until it gets lighter and fluffier in appearance.
  • Use room-temperature butter, not melted butter.
  • Don’t use unsifted powdered sugar, unless you actually like little clumps of powdered sugar in your frosting.
  • When mixing the frosting, if it is too dry, add 1 teaspoon of milk at a time until it is fluffy and moist.

Nutrition

Serving: 1/16 | Calories: 184kcal | Carbohydrates: 21g | Fat: 12g | Saturated Fat: 7g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 3g | Cholesterol: 31mg | Sodium: 92mg | Sugar: 20g
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