Simple Vanilla Buttercream Frosting

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Smooth creamy and oh so good!

This is, to me, is one that everyone should have in their recipe bank. It’s a quick and easy go to frosting recipe that you can use for so many cake or cupcake flavor because its so versatile. If you wanted to make this a different flavor just remove the vanilla nd add what ever flavors your hearts desire! It’s also perfect for use in creating wonderful designs on your cakes at home as it can be colored all colors of the rainbow. One of the things I have learnt over the years of making this frosting is that keeping the mixer on low helps to reduce the number of air bubbles created when mixing the frosting, which means less blow outs while piping onto your cupcakes or cake. Also smoothing a larger cake takes less time as you won’t have to fill as many gaps. When I first created this recipe it did not have salt but I found that adding just the smallest amount helps balance out the sweetness of the powdered sugar. Personally when I make this frosting I quadruple the recipe so it fills the mixing bowl and covers the paddle attachment. When running the mixer on low and slow it creates such smooth frosting for all my decoration needs. Making big batches can be scary to some but you can freeze buttercream in an airtight container, just be sure to use it within 2-3 months. When your ready to use your frozen buttercream just take it out of the freezer and let it come to room temperature and it’s ready. If you wanted to give it another quick mix is your mixer on low again, just to loosen it up a little, you can but it’s not necessary.

A quick Tip for coloring frosting. Its best to use gel food colors as they should not affect the consistency of your buttercream. If your are wanting dark or stronger colors to decorate with make and color the frosting a day or two ahead of time, just place the colored frosting into airtight container and store in the fridge. To soften bring it out and n]set it on the kitchen counter and let it come to room temperature. Once at room temperature place into your mixer with paddle attachment and mix on lower for just a few seconds, max 30 seconds, to make sure everything is well blended. Doing this gives the colors time to develop and darken as most colors appear very light and muted when first mixed into the frosting.

One last tip before you get started. It may not seem important to sift the powdered sugar before adding it to your butter but I want to assure you it makes smoother finished buttercream and you’re less likely to have lumps of powdered sugar in your buttercream. Even if the powdered sugar packaging states pre-sifted I highly recommend sifting it yourself to ensure no lumps appear in your finished buttercream. All that being said I hope these tips help you in all your decorating escapades!

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What you’ll need…


Stand or Hand Mixer with paddle attachment

Measuring Cups

Measuring Spoons



2 Sticks Unsalted Butter, softened to room temperature

3 C Powdered Sugar, sifted

Pinch Salt

1 tsp Vanilla Extract

1 TBs Milk

How To make it…

  1. Place room temperature butter into your mixer and blend on low speed speed for around 30 seconds to a minute until butter start to lighten in color.

  2. With the mixer still running on low speed and gradually add in your powdered sugar a table spoon at a time, making sure that before adding each spoonful of sugar the previous one is fully incorporated.

  3. Once all the sugar has been added to your butter throw in your salt, vanilla and milk. Start on slow speed blend until this and thoroughly mixed in. After all ingredients are combined ten the mixer up to medium speed and let it run for roughly 5 minutes. I know this sounds crazy but TRUST me this will take the frosting up a notch and give you amazing fluffy white buttercream to decorate your cakes and cakes with.

  4. After 5ish mins stop your mixer and scrap don the sides of your bowl with a spatula and turn on the mixer again and let it run for maybe a minute to incorporate everything thoroughly.

  5. Once your frosting is light, fluffy and smooth use it immediately on your cakes or store in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 4-5 days or freezer for up to 3 months. When using buttercream that has been refrigerated or frozen take out and bring ip to room temperature before frosting you cakes. If you are coloring your frosting I recommend using gel colors. These will produce good bold colors and shouldn’t affect the consistency of you frosting. Also when shopping for ingredients make sure to buy real vanilla extract and not imitation vanilla. Trust me on this one. It may be a little more expensive for the real deal but it’s so worth it in regards to the flavor quality that you’ll have and not getting the chemical after taste that I have experienced with imitation flavorings.


Erika Perona