Basic Vanilla Buttercream Frosting is so versatile, you can use it for just about anything. Made with just a handful of ingredients, this frosting comes together in a snap. Not only is this a great vanilla frosting, it’s also the perfect base for other flavor additives. Mix in any other flavored extract to create your own unique frosting.
You won’t be disappointed in the light, creamy texture. Use this homemade frosting to top cakes and cupcakes or sandwich it between your favorite cookie.
Basic Vanilla Buttercream Frosting
It’s always a good idea to have a basic frosting recipe in your archives and this is one you’ll want to keep!
My coconut buttercream frosting is always a huge hit around here but sometimes you just need something basic. This vanilla frosting is just that!
It’s light, fluffy, smooth, and creamy. It’s the perfect frosting for a basic vanilla cake or any cake for that matter.
This frosting can also be used as a base for other flavors. Try adding in almond extract or any other extracts that you love. Or turn it into pineapple frosting!
Tips for a smooth, fluffy frosting
Make sure the butter and heavy cream are at room temperature. The butter should be soft enough to bend without breaking but not so soft that it’s melty.
Whip the butter with an electric mixer until it’s smooth and free of lumps before adding the cream and salt. Once the cream and salt are added, whip the mixture until it’s very well combined.
When adding the confectioners’ sugar, start with two cups and beat it in well before adding more. Depending on how soft the butter was when you started, you may or may not need to add any more confectioners’ sugar. If the frosting does need more sugar, add it in one cup at a time and mix well after each addition.
After adding the desired amount of sugar, let the mixer run on medium high until the frosting is light and fluffy.
Tools needed to make vanilla buttercream
Basic Vanilla Buttercream Frosting
Basic Vanilla Buttercream Frosting is so versatile, you can use it for just about anything. Made with just a handful of ingredients, this frosting comes together in a snap. Not only is this a great vanilla frosting, it’s also the perfect base for other flavor additives. Mix in any other flavored extract to create your own unique frosting. You won’t be disappointed in the light, creamy texture. Use this homemade frosting to top cakes and cupcakes or sandwich it between your favorite cookie.
- 2 cups unsalted butter softened
- 2 tablespoons heavy cream
- 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
- 1/8 teaspoon salt
- 3-5 cups confectioners' sugar sifted
In a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment or with an electric hand mixer, beat the butter on medium-high speed until smooth. Add the cream, vanilla, and salt. Continue to beat until incorporated.
Add 2 cups of confectioner's sugar, beat on medium-low speed until most of the sugar is moistened. Gradually add in the remaining sugar, one cup at a time. You may need more or less depending on how soft the butter is. Beat on medium-low speed until the sugar is moistened. Turn the speed up to medium-high and beat until light and fluffy. Scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed.
Make ahead tip
Frosting will keep for up to 4 days stored in the refrigerator in an airtight container. Let stand at room temperature to soften before use.
Or it can be frozen for up to 3 months. When ready to use, place in the refrigerator overnight to thaw. Let stand at room temperature to soften before use.
How to soften cold buttercream:
- You must let the buttercream come to room temperature by setting it out on the counter for a couple hours, then beat it with an electric mixer if needed.
- If it’s still unworkable, break it apart, place it in a microwave-safe bowl, and microwave it in 10-15 second intervals until it begins to melt but don’t allow all of the frosting to melt.
- Then, whip the melted and solid frosting together until it’s smooth and soft.
- If it doesn’t soften as you beat it, return it to the microwave for a few more seconds and try whipping it again.
- Be very careful if trying to warm the buttercream in the microwave. This method can ruin the frosting altogether!
This recipe makes enough to frost 24 cupcakes or a double layer cake. Halve the recipe to make enough for 12 cupcakes or a single layer cake.
The calories shown are based on 2 tablespoons per serving. Since different brands of ingredients have different nutritional information, the calories shown are just an estimate.