A Simple Vanilla Buttercream Frosting is what most of us like to frost our cakes and cupcakes with. It’s as simple as creaming butter, adding in sifted powdered sugar, vanilla and enough milk until it reaches the perfect consistency.

Simple Vanilla Buttercream Frosting l SimplyScratch.com

Whether you’re frosting a cake or decorating sugar cookies, everyone needs a go-to vanilla buttercream frosting recipe they can pull out of their back pocket. Because a standard, easy vanilla frosting recipe is perfect for whatever strikes your fancy. Maybe for a birthday cake, brownies, holiday cookies or simply eating it by the spoonful. This is my favorite buttercream frosting recipe and I hope it becomes yours as well.

This recipe makes quite a bit of frosting. If you are frosting a 2-layer cake or 2 dozen cupcakes, you should have plenty of frosting. With that said, keep in mind that it depends on how thick of a layer of frosting you want. Consider making a batch and a half if wanting thick frosting layers, pipe flowers or if baking a lot of cupcakes.

To Make This Vanilla Buttercream Frosting You Will Need:

  • softened unsalted butter
  • sifted powdered sugar
  • vanilla extract
  • kosher salt
  • whole milk

Simple Vanilla Buttercream Frosting l SimplyScratch.com

First, always sift your powdered sugar, this is important because it helps keep your frosting smooth as silk. I use a metal mesh strainer and sift a cup at a time into a larger bowl below.

Simple Vanilla Buttercream Frosting l SimplyScratch.com

Then, in the bowl of your stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, add the two sticks of softened butter. Turn the mixer on medium-speed and cream the butter until smooth and light in color.

Simple Vanilla Buttercream Frosting l SimplyScratch.com Simple Vanilla Buttercream Frosting l SimplyScratch.com

Next add in the sifted powdered sugar and mix on low speed until all of it is incorporated.

Simple Vanilla Buttercream Frosting l SimplyScratch.com ..Easy Homemade White Cake with White Buttercream Frosting l SimplyScratch.com (23)

Then add in the vanilla and then add a tablespoon or two of milk at a time until your frosting is a desired consistency. If you need a stiffer frosting, simply add more sifted powdered sugar. Likewise, if your frosting is too stiff, continue adding a little more milk.

Simple Vanilla Buttercream Frosting l SimplyScratch.com

This frosting should be soft yet hold it’s shape well.

Simple Vanilla Buttercream Frosting l SimplyScratch.com

What Other Extracts Can You Add To Buttercream?

You can also use other extracts to flavor the frosting like almond or coconut. Feel free to change things up by using coconut, almond or even lemon extract! With that said, I would maybe start with only a half teaspoon of these flavors, and taste and add more as needed.

Simple Vanilla Buttercream Frosting l SimplyScratch.com

Finally, frost that cake or the cupcakes.

Back in the day, when my kids were little, I would tint my vanilla buttercream frosting with food coloring. If you do this, please keep in mind that you may need to add more powdered sugar because the coloring can thin the frosting a bit.

Simple Vanilla Buttercream Frosting l SimplyScratch.com

Simple Vanilla Buttercream Frosting l SimplyScratch.com

My girls went to town frosting and decorating.

Simple Vanilla Buttercream Frosting l SimplyScratch.com

We had a star with white frosting and coconut.

Simple Vanilla Buttercream Frosting l SimplyScratch.com

Haileigh’s stocking with polka dots and coconut “fur”.

Simple Vanilla Buttercream Frosting l SimplyScratch.com
And Malloree’s ornament with some, as she worded, “pizazz”!

Enjoy! And if you give this Vanilla Buttercream Frosting recipe a try, let me know! Snap a photo and tag me on twitter or instagram!

Simple Vanilla Buttercream Frosting l SimplyScratch.com

Simple Vanilla Buttercream Frosting
Yield: 2-1/2 cups

Simple Vanilla Buttercream Frosting

A simple vanilla buttercream frosting is what most of us frost our cakes with. It's as simple as creaming butter, adding in sifted powdered sugar, vanilla and enough milk until it reaches your preferred consistency.

Prep Time 10 minutes
Total Time 10 minutes

Ingredients

  • 1 cup (two sticks) softened unsalted butter
  • 4 to 5 cups sifted powdered sugar
  • 2 teaspoons to 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • a pinch of kosher salt
  • 4 to 6 tablespoons of whole milk

Instructions

  1. In the bowl of your stand mixer, fitted with the paddle attachment, add the two sticks of softened butter. Beat on medium speed until smooth and creamy and light in color.
  2. Next add in the sifted powdered sugar and kosher salt. Mix on low speed until all ingredients are incorporated. Sifting powdered sugar beforehand, insures a clump-less buttercream.
  3. Then add in the vanilla and add a tablespoon or two of milk at a time until your frosting is a desired consistency. If you need a stiffer frosting, simply add more sifted powdered sugar. If your frosting is too stiff, continue adding a little more milk.
  4. The frosting should be soft yet hold it's shape well.

Notes

Set your butter out the night before so it can soften at room temperature. Microwaving your butter could cause it to soften too quickly (i.e. melt) and you risk your buttercream being too thin and runny or worse grainy.

*This recipe makes quite a bit of frosting, two and a half cups so if you are frosting a cake than you should have plenty, but keep in mind that it depends on how thick of a layer of frosting you want. Consider making a batch and a half if wanting thick frosting layers, pipe flowers or if baking a lot of cupcakes.

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Nutrition Information:

Yield:

8

Serving Size:

1

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 482 Total Fat: 23g Saturated Fat: 15g Trans Fat: 0g Unsaturated Fat: 8g Cholesterol: 62mg Sodium: 26mg Carbohydrates: 69g Fiber: 0g Sugar: 68g Protein: 1g
Nutrition information isn’t always accurate.