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Best vanilla buttercream frosting in a bowl with spoon next to 3 unfrosted vanilla cupcakes.

Vanilla Buttercream Frosting

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5 from 3 reviews


This luscious vanilla buttercream frosting is rich and creamy. It has the perfect thickness for piping on cupcakes or spreading on cakes. So yummy! Make this easy recipe in 10 minutes.


Units Scale
  • 1 cup butter (2 sticks), softened to room temperature
  • 4 1/2 cups powdered sugar (confectioners’ sugar)
  • 1/4 cup heavy whipping cream, at room temperature
  • 1 tablespoon (clear) vanilla extract
  • 1 scant pinch salt, if needed to tamp down sweetness


EQUIPMENT: A stand mixer is preferred, but you can also use an electric hand mixer and large heavy mixing bowl. As needed, scrape down the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula.

  1. Add softened butter to the bowl of a stand mixer with paddle attachment. Beat on medium speed for about 2 minutes, or until butter is light and fluffy.
  2. Add powdered sugar, heavy cream, and vanilla to the bowl. Beat on low speed for about 30 seconds. Increase speed to medium-high. Beat until ingredients are fully incorporated – about 2 minutes.
  3. The frosting should be thick enough for piping into swirls on cupcakes. If it’s too thin, add a bit more powdered sugar, 1 tablespoon at a time until the desired consistency is reached. If the mixture is too thick, thin it out by adding a bit more heavy cream, 1 tablespoon at a time. Do a taste test. If the frosting is too sweet, add a pinch of salt to tamp down sweetness.
  4. The vanilla buttercream frosting is now ready to use! If decorating a cake, use an off-set spatula for easy spreading. To decorate cupcakes, transfer buttercream to a piping bag fitted with a metal tip.


HOW TO AVOID FROSTING FROM SEPARATING: It’s very important to use room-temperature butter (but not super soft), and room-temperature heavy cream (not cold). If your powdered sugar is lumpy, sift it once or twice before using. 

  • Prep Time: 10 Minutes
  • Cook Time: 10 Minutes
  • Category: Dessert
  • Method: Bake
  • Cuisine: American