This vanilla buttercream frosting is so smooth and velvety. It pipes on to your cupcakes perfectly and spreads beautifully on cakes.
It’s so easy to make the most smooth and velvety vanilla buttercream frosting.
It’s an easy 4-ingredient recipe that you will love for cupcakes, cakes or cookies.
And if you want a chocolate version, then check out our recipe for chocolate buttercream frosting.
How To Make Vanilla Buttercream
Full instructions and measurements can always be found in the recipe card at the bottom of the post. This is a summary of the process to go along with the process photos.
- Add softened butter to the mixer and beat for around three minutes until smooth and pale in color.
- Add powdered sugar, vanilla extract and milk and beat again for around 6 minutes until very fluffy and smooth.
- Pipe onto cupcakes or spread onto cake.
The Butter: If you forget to soften the butter first, then it’s fine, just beat it a little longer until it reaches a nice smooth texture and pale color (as pictured above). Definitely cut the butter up into small squares to make it easier.
For Cakes: This makes enough to frost a two layer 8-inch or 9-inch cake.
For Cupcakes: This makes enough to generously frost 12 cupcakes (as pictured) or for 18-24 cupcakes if a little less frosting is piped onto each cupcake.
Make It Dairy Free
If you need this to be dairy-free then you can use a dairy-free margarine or vegan butter product like Earth Balance and any non-dairy milk such as soy milk or almond milk. The main difference is that various brands of dairy-free margarine or vegan butters can have different water contents; a soft tub style will have a higher water content than a stick version. So add in the non-dairy milk slowly and only use as much as you need.
Storing and Freezing
This buttercream will keep in the fridge for up to a week. It will get very firm in the fridge, so let it come to room temperature before piping it. You can also beat it again with your mixer to get the texture perfect if it has spent some time in the fridge.
It is also freezer friendly for up to 3 months. Just let it thaw overnight in the fridge and then bring it to room temperature on the countertop before beating it again with your electric mixer.
Vanilla Buttercream Frosting
- 1 cup Butter Lightly salted, Softened
- 4 cups Powdered Sugar
- 2 tsp Vanilla Extract
- 4 Tbsp Milk
- Add the softened butter to the bowl of your stand mixer, start at slow speed and gradually increase speed. Let it whip for around 3 minutes until your butter is smooth and pale in color.
- Add the powdered sugar, vanilla extract and milk and beat for around 5-6 minutes until very fluffy and smooth.
- Butter: We used lightly salted butter. If you’re using unsalted butter then add in a small amount of salt (around 1/8 teaspoon or to taste). If you forget to soften the butter first, then just beat it for a couple of minutes longer until it’s smooth and pale in color, before adding the other ingredients.
- Powdered sugar is also called icing sugar.
- Keep the frosting at room temperature before piping onto cupcakes or spreading onto cakes. If the weather is hot and it gets too soft then let it sit in the fridge for 10-15 minutes to firm up slightly.
- This frosting will keep in the fridge for up to a week. It is also freezer friendly.