Very Vanilla Buttercream Frosting Recipe
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Very Vanilla Buttercream Frosting Recipe

This vanilla buttercream frosting recipe is light, airy, and has a strong vanilla flavor. It tastes like melted vanilla bean ice cream! I love using this vanilla frosting on cakes, cupcakes, and pies.

Plus, it’s easy to make and only has four ingredients!

Vanilla buttercream frosting being piped onto a chocolate cupcake

I’ve been making this vanilla frosting for over ten years – it’s one of my most requested recipes. I use this buttercream frosting on vanilla cupcakes, chocolate cupcakes, and even as a filling on my homemade Oreo cookies. It isn’t cloyingly sweet and, rather than tasting like butter or sugar, vanilla is by far the most prominent flavor.

How to Make Vanilla Buttercream Frosting

Vanilla buttercream frosting on a mixer paddle

This vanilla frosting is an American buttercream, which means that it is made by mixing powdered sugar and butter – as opposed to French, Swiss, or Italian meringue frostings that use eggs. The latter frosting styles end up being incredibly fluffy and not quite as sweet as American buttercream. I would highly suggest that you try them when you have more time on your hands. This frosting is EASY and can be made when you’re in a hurry!

The first step is to beat the butter for three minutes at high speed in a stand mixer. Mixing for the full amount of time is very important. If you don’t mix long enough, the frosting will be very dense.

Butter mixed in stand mixer

Next, mix in the powdered sugar. Add the powdered sugar a little bit at a time and always start the mixer on low speed. If you start on high speed, the sugar may end up flying all over your kitchen.

Adding powdered sugar to vanilla frosting recipe

Mix in the vanilla bean paste and salt. Vanilla bean paste is the secret ingredient in my vanilla frosting. Vanilla bean paste is like vanilla extract, but with seeds from vanilla beans mixed in. This saves you the step of of buying vanilla beans and scraping the seeds out, and you end up with the beautiful speckled look of vanilla bean seeds and a strong vanilla flavor. In a pinch, you can use vanilla extract, but I strongly recommend you try the paste.

Salt cuts the sweetness of frosting and brings the flavors to life. I always suggest using unsalted butter and adding salt so that you can control the salt quantity.

adding vanilla bean paste to vanilla buttercream frosting

Best Tips for Making Vanilla Frosting

Lemon Ginger Power Cupcakes

  • You can spread vanilla bean buttercream frosting on anything. If you want to pipe it on cupcakes, the easiest way to achieve the perfect cupcake swirl is to use a 1M tip.
  • While there are many frosting recipes that you can mix by hand, the best buttercream frostings require lots of air to be incorporated into the butter. To really get this job done right, I highly recommend that you use an electric mixer. A hand mixer or a stand mixer will both work well.
  • You will need to stop and scrape down the side of the bowl every minute or so while you are mixing as butter will stick to the edges of the bowl. The easiest way to do this is with a silicone spatula. One way to avoid scraping down the bowl is to use a mixer that has a scraping paddle. Many mixers now come with scraping paddles, but you may be able to purchase one if yours doesn’t (e.g. the beater blade).
  • Sift the powdered sugar if needed. Take a look at the actual sugar to see if it has clumps (some brands are clumpier than others). Clumps of powdered sugar will not get integrated into the frosting and may end up getting stuck in your piping tip. Measure before sifting.
  • The frosting lasts for up to a week at room temperature or months in the freezer. You will need to bring it to room temperature and mix it again for a minute or two before you start piping.

If You Like This Recipe, You May Also Like…

Chocolate cream cheese frosting being piped onto a chocolate cupcake

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Vanilla buttercream frosting being piped onto a chocolate cupcake
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4.17 from 53 votes

Vanilla Buttercream Frosting Recipe

This vanilla buttercream frosting recipe is light, airy, and has a strong vanilla flavor! It tastes like melted vanilla bean ice cream!
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Keyword vanilla bean buttercream, vanilla buttercream, vanilla frosting recipe
Prep Time 6 minutes
Total Time 6 minutes
Servings 12 servings
Calories 130kcal

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter room temperature
  • 1 1/2 cups confectioners' sugar add more until it reaches your preferred consistency
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla bean paste add more to taste
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt

Instructions

  • Beat butter on high speed with an electric mixer for about three minutes until light and airy.
  • Mix in powdered sugar a little bit at a time.
  • Add vanilla bean paste and salt and continue to beat for another minute.
  • If desired, add more vanilla bean paste to taste or more confectioners' sugar to make the buttercream frosting stiffer.

Notes

  • If you plan to make a large swirl of frosting, this recipe will only cover about 6 cupcakes. Double as needed.
  • The frosting will cover one 8" cake.
  • If you want to pipe it on cupcakes, the easiest way to achieve the perfect cupcake swirl is to use a 1M tip.
  • While there are many frosting recipes that you can mix by hand, the best buttercream frostings require lots of air to be incorporated into the butter. To really get this job done right, I highly recommend that you use an electric mixer. A hand mixer or a stand mixer will both work well.
  • You will need to stop and scrape down the side of the bowl every minute or so while you are mixing as butter will stick to the edges of the bowl. The easiest way to do this is with a silicone spatula. One way to avoid scraping down the bowl is to use a mixer that has a scraping paddle. Many mixers now come with scraping paddles, but you may be able to purchase one if yours doesn't (e.g. the beater blade).
  • Sift the powdered sugar if needed. Take a look at the actual sugar to see if it has clumps (some brands are clumpier than others). Clumps of powdered sugar will not get integrated into the frosting and may end up getting stuck in your piping tip. Measure before sifting.
  • The frosting lasts for up to a week at room temperature or months in the freezer. You will need to bring it to room temperature and mix it again for a minute or two before you start piping.

Nutrition

Nutrition Facts
Vanilla Buttercream Frosting Recipe
Amount Per Serving
Calories 130 Calories from Fat 63
% Daily Value*
Fat 7g11%
Saturated Fat 4g20%
Cholesterol 20mg7%
Sodium 50mg2%
Carbohydrates 15g5%
Sugar 15g17%
Vitamin A 235IU5%
Calcium 4mg0%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
Have you tried this recipe?Click here to leave a comment and rating!
Vanilla buttercream frosting that tastes like melted vanilla bean ice cream! Light, airy and has strong vanilla flavor! Perfect for cakes, cupcakes and pies! Try this on your next dessert project!
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