Vanilla Buttercream Frosting

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This classic vanilla buttercream tastes so much better than store-bought frosting. It’s light, airy, and has an intense vanilla flavor. It takes under 10 minutes to make, so you can easily whip up a batch if you’re in a hurry.

I’ve been making this buttercream for over ten years. It’s one of my most requested recipes.

Vanilla buttercream frosting being piped onto a chocolate cupcake

I use this on vanilla cupcakes, chocolate cupcakes, funfetti birthday cupcakes, in cake truffles and cake pops, and even as a filling in my homemade Oreo cookies. Even though it’s considered an American buttercream, it isn’t cloyingly sweet; vanilla is by far the most prominent flavor.


Vanilla buttercream frosting on a mixer paddle

This recipe requires only unsalted butter, confectioners’ sugar (powdered sugar), vanilla extract, and salt.

Make sure that you sift your powdered sugar if it has clumps to avoid lumpy frosting.

Do not use imitation vanilla extract in this recipe! Since it’s the main flavor, splurge and buy the real thing [paid link].

Tip: If you want a really strong vanilla flavor, try using vanilla bean paste instead of vanilla extract. It’s like the extract, but with seeds from vanilla pods mixed in. If you use it, you’ll end up with a beautiful speckled and a strong vanilla flavor. I strongly recommend you try the paste; it’s my favorite way to make this frosting.

Salt cuts the sweetness of the frosting and enhances the vanilla flavor. I always suggest using unsalted butter and adding salt so that you can control the total salt quantity.

How It’s Made

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

Tip: 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. While easiest way to do this is with a silicone spatula, you can avoid the scraping entirely by using a scraping paddle. Many mixers now come with scraping paddles, but you may be able to purchase one [paid link] if yours doesn’t.

Butter mixed in stand mixer

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 will end up flying all over your kitchen!

Adding powdered sugar to vanilla frosting recipe

Next, mix in the vanilla extract (or paste) and salt.

adding vanilla bean paste to vanilla buttercream frosting

Spread or pipe onto your desserts!

Expert Tips and FAQs

Lemon Ginger Power Cupcakes
How is this recipe different than other frostings?

This frosting is an American buttercream, which means that it is made by mixing powdered sugar and butter; French, Swiss, or Italian meringue frostings all 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. (Read all about different frostings on my post about cupcake frostings.)

What’s the best way to pipe this frosting onto cupcakes?

The easiest way to achieve the perfect cupcake swirl is to use a 1M tip [paid link].

Can I make make this recipe without an electric mixer?

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 handheld electric mixer or a stand mixer will both work well.

What can I do to make sure all of my butter gets properly aerated?

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 edge of the bowl. You can do this with a silicone spatula or avoid it entirely by using a scraping paddle [paid link].

Do I have to sift my powdered sugar?

Take a look at the sugar to see if it has clumps; some brands are clumpier than others. These clumps of powdered sugar will not get integrated properly into the frosting and may end up getting stuck in your piping tip. Always measure your powdered sugar before sifting.

How do I store this frosting?

It 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.

Can I flavor this buttercream?

It’s really easy to adapt this recipe to all kinds of different flavors. Add a little lemon zest for a great lemon buttercream, orange zest for orange buttercream, cocoa powder for a chocolate buttercream, or sour cream for a tangy sour cream frosting!

Chocolate cream cheese frosting being piped onto a chocolate cupcake
Did you make this recipe? Leave a review!
Vanilla frosting on vanilla cupcakes
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4.45 from 98 votes

Vanilla Buttercream Frosting

This vanilla buttercream frosting recipe is light, airy, and has a strong vanilla flavor!
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Prep Time 6 minutes
Total Time 6 minutes
Servings 24 servings
Calories 128kcal
Author Stefani


  • 1 cup unsalted butter room temperature
  • 3 cups confectioners’ sugar add more until it reaches your preferred consistency
  • 4 teaspoons vanilla extract Try using vanilla bean paste instead for a stronger vanilla flavor.
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt


  • 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 extract and salt and continue to beat for another minute.
  • If desired, add more vanilla to taste or more confectioners' sugar to make the buttercream frosting stiffer.



  • If you plan to make a large swirl of frosting, this recipe will only cover about 12 cupcakes. Double as needed.
  • The frosting will cover two 8″ round cakes.
  • If you want to pipe vanilla buttercream frosting on cupcakes, the easiest way to achieve the perfect cupcake swirl is to use a 1M tip [paid link].
  • 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 [paid link]).
  • 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.


Calories: 128kcal | Carbohydrates: 15g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 8g | Saturated Fat: 5g | Cholesterol: 20mg | Sodium: 50mg | Potassium: 2mg | Sugar: 15g | Vitamin A: 236IU | Calcium: 2mg | Iron: 1mg
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Recipe Rating


  1. Msays:

    4 stars
    My MIL used to decorate cakes, and her American buttercream was ridiculously fluffy and light. Even though she used vegetable shortening so the frosting didn’t melt.

    After she made the frosting like normal, she used the whip attachment on her Kitchenaid and whipped the frosting for 5 minutes. It still piped beautifully, but it was lighter and less sweet because of all the air in it. It even froze well but it didn’t stay as fluffy.

  2. Brittanysays:

    3 stars
    The consistency of the frosting was fantastic, but it was waaaaay too sweet. I ended up using a quarter of it on top of my cupcakes.

  3. Pamela Lepinesays:

    5 stars
    Apsolutly delisious..and easy to make, follow tips and your good to go.

  4. Sujatasays:

    Too sweet 1:3 omg goodness gracious that’s insane amount of sugar to butter

  5. pest controlsays:

    I think I want to smear that on everything and anything!

  6. Hillarysays:

    5 stars
    I made this frosting along with your mini cupcake recipe for my daughter’s 2-year birthday, and the cupcakes were fantastic. Thanks!

  7. Paula Randsays:

    5 stars
    I frosted a cake today with this buttercream! It’s fabulous! It didn’t come together with just the ingredients, I had to thin it with whipping cream which worked perfectly. The buttercream looked like it was starting to separate, just keep beating it and it will come together.

  8. Ronicasays:

    5 stars
    I tried this recipe yesterday. It came out so tasty, moist, soft. I tried vanilla butter cream frosting. It’s delicious . I used homemade butter. why butter smells buttery even after using adequate vanilla.

  9. Robinsays:

    5 stars
    Made this frosting yesterday and I must say it is the best vanilla frosting I have ever had. I could not find Vanilla Bean Paste in any of the grocery stores in my area so I could only use Vanilla Extract. I’m curious how much better it could be with the paste. Might order some from Amazon. Thank you so much for sharing your recipe.

  10. downloadnsays:

    Yum! I’m the same as you… if I’m eating vanilla ice cream, you can be darn sure it’s vanilla bean! Cant wait for the pumpkin cupcakes (or pies?). :)

  11. Cindysays:

    Does this frosting work well for decorating with tips?

  12. yallat7melsays:

    it’s really awesome and helpful article many thanks for sharing it with us :) ♥

  13. http://www.gamesmego.comsays:

    this article for 9 year old and still recipe i have ever done

  14. Bkwrmsays:

    Also is the icing sugar sifted before or after measuring it out?

  15. Bkwrmsays:

    How much buttercream does this make? How many cupcakes will it cover. If piping with 1m tip?

    And to cover and fill a 7 inch cake, do I double or triple the recipe?

  16. Marysays:

    My frosting is always a bit gritty. Tips? I sift the icing sugar. I’ve tried different brands. Should i put the sugar in a foodprocessor?

    • karenbsays:

      I add cornstarch to my frosting and it cuts the grittiness. Read this on a blog site. Start with heaping Tablespoon and beat in, taste frosting & add more if needed. Need to adjust amount of cornstarch according to amount of powdered sugar used. I have added up to 1/3 Cup.

      I tried sifting confectioners’ sugar, putting in food processor,
      grinding in Vita Mix blender & NOTHING worked until I used cornstarch!

  17. شركة تنظيف بالمدينة المنورةsays:

    Yum! I’m the same as you… if I’m eating vanilla ice cream, you can be darn sure it’s vanilla bean! Cant wait for the pumpkin cupcakes (or pies?). :)

  18. Teesays:

    5 stars
    I just made cupcakes for my job and yes this frosting is amazing. I used the vanilla paste.

  19. العاب تلبيسsays:

    Thank you very much

  20. العاب تلبيسsays:

    Thank you very much ^_^

  21. العاب ماهرsays:

    5 stars
    I love this recipe.

  22. شركة نقل أثاث بالرياضsays:

    Looking for some advice on perfecting buttercream. I always use Vanilla Bean Paste and it makes a huge difference. The problem is twofold. I don’t care for super sweet frosting and I also seem to still be able to taste butter anytime I try to make a buttercream. It tastes to me as if the PS and butter do not combine and the texture is off. I do not have a stand mixer and am using a hand mixer, could this be my issue?
    Read more atشركة تخزين اثاث بالرياض

    • Stefsays:

      You can make it with a hand mixer, but you need to be patient. You might want to mix the butter on high for 5 minutes or so before adding the other ingredients.

  23. Vidasays:

    Would this be good for a cake between layers or is it best for cupcakes?

  24. Kayteasays:

    5 stars
    Yum! Totally tastes like melted ice cream even with out the vanilla paste. I couldn’t find the paste anywhere but thanks to those of you who shared how wonderful it is. I will try to acquire some in my future! ;) This frosting however turned out great with vanilla extract and a big pinch of vanilla power. Thank you!

  25. Elizabethsays:

    Looking for some advice on perfecting buttercream. I always use Vanilla Bean Paste and it makes a huge difference. The problem is twofold. I don’t care for super sweet frosting and I also seem to still be able to taste butter anytime I try to make a buttercream. It tastes to me as if the PS and butter do not combine and the texture is off. I do not have a stand mixer and am using a hand mixer, could this be my issue?

    • Stefsays:

      Yes.. you will probably have to mix much longer than you think you do. Maybe even 5-7 minutes.

    • Bkwrmsays:

      Hi, just in case you still need to know, using salted butter or a pinch of salt will reduce the sweetness. If texture is grainy, it’s not been mixed long enough, usually takes 5-10mins.

  26. Hollysays:

    This is my absolute favorite frosting! It tastes exactly like melted vanilla ice cream. I have only made it with pure vanilla extract, as I have never bought the vanilla bean paste. I plan to try that eventually though. :)

  27. brand jacket salesays: nylon parka

  28. Love and compassionsays:

    I am the best one without the colors and I will r eating them daily

  29. Tom Da Bakersays:

    5 stars
    I’ve never colored frosting with vanilla bean specks in it before, will they show through in the color also? Thanks in advance … The cupcake and the frosting tastes insane !!! I made a 9″ round, 6″ round cake for a 2 tier birthday cake and 2 dozen cupcakes they came out great texture and taste wise just need to ice the outside now

  30. Juliasays:

    Olá, estou fazendo cup cakes para vendas na rua, sabe me dizer se essa é a melhor cobertura? gostaria de uma que fosse resistente ao calor pelo menos por algum tempo.

  31. Nikkisays:

    5 stars
    I made these cupcakes today with the vanilla bean buttercream frosting…I think I am in cupcake heaven. They are moist, and they remind me of a good vanilla cake. Thank you for creating my new “go to” cupcake recipe.

    I encourage everyone to use good quality unsalted butter when making the frosting. I usually use a good European or Cabot brand butter. I don’t like vanilla paste, so I used vanilla bean seeds from the pods. Then I store the used pods in organic raw sugar for my use in tea (southerner girl) or other beverages that require sweeting.

  32. Jensays:

    Does anyone know the yield of this recipe? Need it for 60 cupcakes. Thanks!

    • Noelsays:

      The single stick of butter makes me think… 12-24 cupcakes? Does anyone know? (I cannot wait to try this frosting!)

      • Noelsays:

        Tried this frosting and LOVED it, as did my party guests!!! Thank you! Okay, so I doubled this recipe and it frosted 30 cupcakes. A word of warning to those using a hand-mixer: when initially beating the butter and powdered sugar together, the sugar goes everywhere! I think a larger-than-needed bowl might help. Bon appetit, everyone.

        • Erinsays:

          Noel. did you pipe a swirl on 30 cupcakes, or just lightly frost them? I an wanting to try this on 24 cupcakes but I now the swirl uses a little more frosting …

  33. Vicsays:

    Does this icing crust a little bit? Im looking for a recipe that would be thick and can hold about 3-4 hours on a cupcake (roses) bouquet

  34. AmiMsays:

    5 stars
    I love, love, LOVE this recipe. It is by far my favorite vanilla frosting, which I normally don’t like. I prefer chocolate, but for decorating my twin girls cupcakes, they prefer the vanilla. For those who don’t know where to buy vanilla bean paste…I got mine at Williams Sonoma. I also use it in my homemade syrup…mmmmmm….love that stuff!

  35. Bronwensays:

    4 stars
    I personally found the recipe needed salt and added a pinch but I think it would be just as simple to use regular salted butter instead of the unsalted type.

    I personally have never really been a fan of butter cream frosting’s as I find them too sweet unless you are pairing them with some something not very sugary. For this reason I decided to add some cream cheese. I didn’t use an exact measurement but it does make the frosting softer so play with it and be careful to find the balance between soft and far too runny.

    Also note that frosting with cream cheese will need to be refrigerated. I would take the cake out aprox 30min prior to serving so as to not serve it fridge cold.

    Thanks for the recipe, I never would of thought of using vanilla bean paste. :)!

  36. SaraJsays:

    Has anyone frosted a layered cake (like two tiers) and then put fondant decorations on it? I just wondering how it holds up? or does it stay soft/stick or crust over at all?

  37. Anonymoussays:

    This looks delicious! I’m planning on making an ice cream cake with 2 9″x13″ cakes (stacked on top of each other) + 3 layers of ice cream in between. Do you have an estimate of how many recipes of this frosting I will need to frost the entire cake? Even a ballpark would be great, because I have no idea!

  38. Suzsays:

    How many cupcakes can this recipe be used for? I don’t see the info anywhere

  39. Zarsays:

    Is it supposed to be white? oooor another color? :S

  40. Kirstysays:

    Hopefully this blog is still getting some traffic so you can all help me with my question! I want to make this for my wedding cake (rather than something with shortening and artificial products)- does anyone have any experience knowing how well it holds up out of the fridge, and also how far in advance it can me made? Thank you!! :)

    • Stefsays:

      I find that it holds up really well for days. But, I would be cautious of using it if your wedding is outdoors and it’s going to be hot.

  41. Zurex Fontanillasays:

    This frosting tastes like it’s made from heaven!!! Thanks and I can’t wait to make the chocolate cream cheese frosting next time.

  42. ursulasays:

    is it supposed to be grainy? 8’ve tried making this recipe and it doesn’t come out smooth…

  43. Laurensays:

    If I’m going to use vanilla beans and extract, how much of each do you suggest?

  44. Natalie Jonessays:

    Btw – excellent on line source for all Vanilla products, including a 10 x strength alcohol free version, is Vanilla Mart. They sell world wide. They do a variety of vanillas and produce pastes, extracts and powders from many of them. I’ve used their products exclusively for a long time.

  45. Natalie Jonessays:

    I grew up in the UK with exactly this buttercream frosting. Well, not quite exactly, we used vanilla essence at the time. However every British mum used this, on top of tiny sponge cakes (we called them fairy cakes) made to a Victoria Sponge recipe or Pound Cake as you guys know it. So often I read American recipes that use shortening(!) or other fats to make buttercream. The reason we called it buttercream is because it’s made with butter and you use it like cream. Something odd occurred to baking on the Mayflower maybe? It’s really nice to see you enjoying and sharing something that I’ve known about for nigh on 50 years. :) I still use normal buttercream and Victoria sponge as the base for a lot of my cakes, simply because it always works, it always tastes great with real butter in it, and people always come back for more. :) Oddly enough, people even prefer it to things like red velvets! Maybe because it is the taste of their childhood, too.

  46. mtsnydersays:

    Anonymous- It’s definitely off-white! It’s so good though that I could care less :)

  47. Anonymoussays:

    Does this frosting come out white, or does it have that off white color? I am thinking about doing this frosting for a bride, but she really doesn’t like buttercream.

  48. Anonymoussays:

    I’ve found great vanilla bean paste(Nielsen-Massey)for about $6-7 bucks at many of my local TJMaxx/Home Goods and stores of that sort. Just make sure you check expiration dates and you should be good to go!

  49. Anonymoussays:

    Hi, I just wanted to post this link for people having trouble finding vanilla bean paste like I am. I havent tried this yet, but its a recipe on how to make your own. It require 4 vanilla beans and some corn syrup. Hope it helps!

  50. paulasays:

    Hi! I really want to try making these! vanilla vanilla are my favs! I am from spain so it’s not so easy for me to find all the ingredients. What is the difference between pure vanilla extract and vanilla bean paste? I already have vanilla beans so can I use just one of the other two for both the cake and the buttercream? Or should i use the extract for the cake and the bean paste for the icing as you wrote?

    • Stefsays:

      You can use extract and beans in the both the cake and the frosting. The paste is essentially vanilla extract plus beans.

  51. Ambersays:

    This is EXACTLY what I was looking for. I’m making a Bailey’s and chocolate cake for St. Patty’s Day. I have vanilla beans on hand, but not extract (or paste for that matter, but that is on my list for my next trip to Trader Joe’s)…and of course I’ll be coloring it green. :)

  52. Anonymoussays:

    Do you think doubling up on the bean paste and mixing the frosting with mascarpone will dilute the sweetness of the frosting? Not too fond of overly-sweet frosting. I’m planning in making this frosting for my daughter’s coffee concert.
    Thank you!

    • Stefsays:

      You may want to try my vanilla bean cream cheese frosting (1/4 C butter, 8 oz cream cheese, vanilla bean paste to taste, powdered sugar until it’s as stiff as you like – if you don’t like sweet frostings, put only as much as need to make it pipable).

  53. Anonymoussays:

    I’m not a huge buttercream fan either, but omg this vanilla bean recipe is perfect. I used it as a topping with your perfect vanilla cupcake (PERFECt consistency and flavor) they paired together perfectly. I will never use any other recipe for vanilla cupcakes and vanilla buttercream! Not too sweet, just perfect. And I shall forever use vanilla bean paste!!!

  54. Unknownsays:

    I never thought I would like buttercream frosting! I guess I was scarred by the grocery store frosting that was overly sweet and disgusting.

    This recipe is amazing! I now have a new found love for buttercream, and the vanilla paste works wonders. It definitely tastes like melted vanilla ice cream.

  55. Michellesays:

    I agree that salt brings out the vanilla flavor, but I never use salted butter. Salted butter can go rancid, and the salt can mask the off flavor. In addition, I prefer to control the amount of salt that I use, so I just use unsalted butter and add a bit of salt to adjust the flavoring – it always works perfectly!

  56. Anonymoussays:

    I would suggest always using salted butter for buttercream recipes. It really makes the recipe pop (in a good way) and makes the vanilla taste more vanilla-y.

  57. CooknTeachsays:

    Would it work to add rum? I want to spike my frosting for New Year’s Eve :). Also, I have another recipe that uses egg whites and granulated sugar. What difference would that make on the outcome of the frosting?

  58. Anonymoussays:

    Just made this and it was awesome, thanks!! :)

  59. Anonymoussays:

    Hi All,

    Not sure if Sur La Table is a store only found in the Midwest but just wanted to give the heads up that this store is awesome! and they sell vanilla bean paste. Wishing everyone a happy and safe new year


  60. pandesmomsays:

    can I adapt this at all with ground vanilla bean?

  61. Stefsays:

    Anon – Great question. I would say about 3 days, but I don’t know for sure.

  62. Anonymoussays:

    it’s the BEST vanilla buttercream i have tried ( i don’t really like buttercream at all)
    one question: how long can this be stored in the fridge?

  63. Shellisays:

    I just made this frosting last night and it was AHHHMAZING! Probably the best vanilla buttercream I have ever tried!

  64. paolasays:

    Fantastic recipe! I got the paste from Williams Sonoma for $10 and it was definitely worth it. My whole family loved it, and most of us never like typical buttercreams. Thank you!

  65. Becca Leighsays:

    I took a trip out to William and Sanoma for the vanilla bean paste and it was worth it! I’ve made this 3 times already (in less than 2 weeks) and it has been a huge hit! I’ve even passed the recipe on to several admirers. This will definitely be my go-to icing from now on. Thanks!

    I made this cake and smothered it with the vanilla bean icing:

    After 4 1/2 hours of labor, my version of this cake didn’t look as nice, but it was extremely delicious thanks to the icing!

    • Aneirasays:

      Hi, don’t buy that overpriced stuff at William and Sanoma. You can get the same brand in 2 1 gallon containers on ebay for 65 dollars flat and free shipping. It’s very worth it.

  66. DJ!says:

    I;m trying this right now, I can’t wait!

  67. Bakasays:

    This is my new go-to buttercream recipe. I found vanilla paste at the store recently. It’s so good I could almost eat a spoonful by itself! Great recipes, thank you for existing!

  68. Stefsays:

    Mimi – Buttercream frosting is always very sweet. You won’t be able to pipe it if you add less powdered sugar. Have you tried cream cheese frosting? I find that to be less sweet and even better than buttercream.

  69. Mimisays:

    I made this last week, but I found it to be extremely sweet. I used vanilla essence and 2 vanilla beans instead of the vanilla paste. Should I cut down on the powdered sugar? But what if I want to pipe it?

  70. Anonymoussays:

    I looooove you and I now love love love vanilla frosting! I dashed out to W.S and bought 3, yes 3 bottles of the vanilla bean paste. I’m not sorry at all, it’s amazing stuff. You said it tastes like vanilla ice cream….. and it sure does, just like Breyers. I couldn’t stop eating it. Thanks for a great recipe!!!

  71. Anonymoussays:

    I found the paste at New Season’s Market.

  72. Krissays:

    I’ve been using this frosting recipe almost exclusively for the past (almost) 3 years. Thanks so much for posting it! My now 17 year old daughter is always volunteering to bake cupcakes for school bake sales, and every single time she says, “Hey Mom! Can we make that vanilla ice cream frosting?!” So, another generation using this fantastic recipe!

  73. Lori Psays:

    I was wondering if anyone knows (this might b a silly question, but!)if you don’t have powdered sugar (confectioners sugar) can I use regular sugar than just grind until it gets to be powder looking?
    If anyone can answer this I would really appreciate it!
    Lori P.;)

  74. Stefsays:

    Mimi – It won’t be quite as good, but it should work. You might need to add more than the recipe calls for. Just taste it as you go and keep adding more essence until it’s as strong as you like.

  75. Mimisays:

    Hi Stef! I would love to make this buttercream, but do you think it would taste alright if I used vanilla essence? Most of the vanilla bean pastes contain alcohol, and I’m a Muslim, so that’s a no-no. And vanilla beans are hard to come by in my neck of the woods.

    • reisays:

      Hi Mimi. I’m a Muslim too and I just bought Nielsen Massey vanilla bean paste and I can assure you it is 100% halal. It doesn’t contain alcohol and the thickener is made from all natural plant. Alcohol base vanillas are from pure vanilla extract and you also have to be careful with some vanilla bean pastes as it could be mixed with glycerin (it’s from animal source unless stated as vegetable glycerin). The one that I use, well, there’s nothing to worry about.

      Also, I have to say this, vanilla essence is rubbish. You will not get the same result at all! Please try this vanilla bean paste from Nielsen Massey. So addictive and so good that words can’t even describe!

  76. Sugar and Spicesays:

    Stef – I tried this frosting with the spice cupcakes and added a little cinnamon to the frosting as well to tie it in, I then used a little raw sugar mixed with a bit of cinnamon as homemade dusting sugar to decorate and they were a huge success – my husband said they were the best he’d ever had!!! Thanks for suggesting the vanilla bean paste! I even added it to my pancake batter and made vanilla bean pancakes the next day and they were a big hit too!

  77. Sugar and Spicesays:

    Fantastic – thanks for the response and Happy Baking!

  78. Stefsays:

    Anon – Oops. Sorry I missed your comment from Oct. Cinnamon goes really well in this frosting.

    Sugar and Spice – You could definitely use this with a spice cake. It would be great!

  79. Sugar and Spicesays:

    I am eager to use this frosting on my Husband’s birthday cupcakes! Can I get some feedback on how everyone thinks it might taste on Spice Cupcakes (I mean the spice cake flavor that you can purchase in a box)? I know that usually a cream cheese frosting is used on spice cake and wondered if this would be ok instead. Thanks!

  80. Anonymoussays:

    Has anybody tried adding a touch of cinnamon to this frosting? I’m wanting to use it on my apple pie cupcakes :)

  81. Stefsays:

    Christie – Don’t worry about asking anything. I always bake with unsalted butter.

  82. Christiesays:

    I know I’m going to sound like a newb (can’t help what you are lol), but did you use unsalted butter in this recipe? I’m making a chocolate cake that calls for 1 cup of coffee, so I think this buttercream would go really well with it. I, too, am not a huge fan of buttercream as I find it to be too sweet. Thanks in adanced!

  83. romygirlsays:

    What a wonderful icing! Easy to make and easier to eat! wow! Thanks!

  84. tarannsays:

    This icing was AWESOME and so easy to make. I really enjoyed it.

  85. Erinsays:

    Thanks sooo much for this recipe! It is AMAZING!! I’ve made it a handful of times now and I’ve converted buttercream haters into buttercream lovers! This is now the only buttercream recipe I use!

  86. Beale's Kitchensays:

    Thanks for the recipe :) I heard about vanilla bean the other day and I think I might have to invest!

  87. AliMomma8says:

    I tripled the recipe to ice 24 cupcakes & it was the perfect amount. I didn’t have vanilla bean paste, but I did have extract & vanilla beans. I used 3 tsp extract & the seeds from 2 whole vanilla beans. I also measured out my milk & let the vanilla bean skins soak in the milk before I added it to the butter & sugar. I used unsalted sweet cream butter & added a pinch of salt to the frosting while mixing. I used a piping bag & 1M tip and it piped wonderfully. My hubby & 2 boys LOVED it! Thanks!

  88. HealthJunkiesays:

    I love this recipe. I make in in my KitchenAid Mixer all the time, and it goes on ANYTHING!

  89. Corinnesays:

    This is the best vanilla frosting ever. Buy the vanilla bean paste, it’s worth it for the taste and the compliments. Unprompted, most say “This tastes like vanilla ice cream!” and “I didn’t think I liked vanilla frosting until now.”

  90. Wilenesays:

    finally got around to posting/making the vanilla bean buttercream frosting, im also like you and dont normally like buttercream frostings but to say this is the best buttercream frosting i have made/eaten the vanilla bean paste made a HUGE difference and it was SO pretty with the specks of vanilla bean so glad i listened to you and bought the vanilla paste and made this frosting! btw my daughter 2 1/2 begged to lick the bowl LOL

  91. Stefsays:

    Anon – I’m not sure what you mean by fluffy. It pipes well without adding too much sugar, but perhaps it is never what you would think of as fluffy.

  92. Anonymoussays:

    So im not sure how much extra powdered sugar I need to add because I want it to be fluffy and for some reason it isnt fluffy ? How do I get it fluffy. other than that i love the idea . i couldnt find the vanilla bean paste but I can imagine that it tastes delicious ~

  93. ivysays:

    Thanks alot steph!

  94. Stefsays:

    Food coloring will be fine. As for jams and jellies – that will change the consistency of the frosting. It will probably still taste good though.

  95. ivysays:

    hi stef,

    How abt if i flavour it with chocolate,jams or jellies?will it turn out right?

    If i add food colouring…will it be ok?

  96. Stefsays:

    Ivy – That shouldn’t be a problem at all. I’ve even frozen it.

  97. ivysays:

    hi….I really wanted to try this ice cream like frostings..just a question before i attempt it.
    can this frosting be made in advance and refreigerate?As i was thinking of making it a day in advance and chill them.

    Thank you!

  98. Ambersays:

    Amazing! I haven’t frosted with it yet, but have snuck a few tastes and this is great. I tripled the recipe and just used one bean, which worked for me. Thanks!

  99. Mermaid Sweetssays:

    I love this frosting, it is my go-to vanilla frosting – just like ice cream. And it works with nucoa margarine for us lactose intolerant folks! Love the blog too. Just posted some of your frostings! Thanks much. =)

  100. Anonymoussays:

    I used seeds from 2 vanilla beans for this and it was amazing…I recommend doing this.
    -Jen Chasse

  101. Anonymoussays:

    for those who tried this recipe, is this sweet? i am looking for a buttercream frosting recipe that is not too sweet…i tried a lot of recipes and seems to always fail:( desperately looking for a moist vanilla cake and vanilla buttercream frosting that will suit my husband’s tastebuds….th
    thanks in advance..

  102. Stefsays:

    Cupcake Fairy – You could just use vanilla extract, but it wouldn’t be as good. If you could get your hands on a vanilla bean that would be the next best thing to the paste. I’m sure it would be fine with vanilla extract, it just wouldn’t have the same punch.

  103. Cupcake Fairysays:

    I see that anonymous added a bean + vanilla extract instead of the vbp… Do you think if I just added vanilla extract it would do? I’m having a Thanksgiving “pre-game” dinner w friends this week and I want to make the pumpkin cuppies with this buttercream but I don’t think that the vpb will get here on time! :(

  104. Tabsays:

    I honestly don’t like any frosting…. at least I didn’t until I had this one. I adore it! Thank you so much for this recipe!

  105. Diva11says:

    Trader Joe’s sells an amazing vanilla bean paste and the price is not bad

  106. Stefsays:

    Anon – Yay! I’m so glad you enjoyed it! I’m really picky about frosting too.

  107. Anonymoussays:

    This frosting was awsome!! I’m very picky about frosting and so is my hubby and we both loved it! I couldnt find the vanilla bean paste so i used one whole bean and 1 teaspoon of good vanilla extract. Thanks so much =)

  108. Stefsays:

    Ryley – If you can’t find it near you, you can always buy it online. I end up buying lots of supplies online. I’ve got the link in the post.

    Jezebel – That’s a hard question because I don’t know how much frosting you like on your cupcakes. If you want a big whopping swirl of it, I would say that it would take at least double this amount to frost 12 cupcakes. However, if you are just going to lightly cover your cupcakes, this recipe should do.

    Ley – Yes! It’s got a very strong vanilla flavor – after all it IS extract – it just has beans added to it. Also, you can always add more vanilla bean paste if you want it even stronger.

  109. leysays:

    Does vanilla bean paste have a similar, like, potency as vanilla extract? Or is it another taste class all its own? Because…I don’t know that I could find it down here in the mountains. lol. I’ve been wanting to make a strong vanilla frosting for a while, though…this could be it for me!

  110. jezebelsays:

    sounds amazing! i have a gift card to williams sonoma (and it’s not enough to buy a nice pan or anything) so tomorrow i’m going to see if i can find vanilla bean paste.

    how many cupcakes can one frost with this recipe?

  111. Ryleysays:

    I totally need some of that paste.. I just wish I knew where to find it here!!!

  112. Stefsays:

    Lyb – It was!!

    Laura – Putting the finishing touches on the post and it will be here soon.

    TW – Interesting question about the butter. I typically use the Whole Foods house brand of organic butter. I know slow foods is having a butter tasting coming up. I’m looking forward to trying out some new butters. As for the teasing, the good news is that you get to hear from me more often instead of just once a week when I have a new cupcake.

    Brylynn – Hah! Hot dog with vanilla bean frosting! Chicken dinner with vanilla bean frosting. Why not. :)

  113. Brilynnsays:

    I think I want to smear that on everything and anything!

  114. laurasays:

    Yum! I’m the same as you… if I’m eating vanilla ice cream, you can be darn sure it’s vanilla bean! Cant wait for the pumpkin cupcakes (or pies?). :)

  115. Tempered Womansays:

    You do seem to love to taunt lately- what up with that?!?! ;-)
    What kind of butter did you end up using? I’ve found that with really good buttercream the vanilla and butter both make a huge difference.
    I LOVE the idea of pumpkin cuppies-yeah! cants.wait.2.Xcited.2.c.

  116. LyBsays:

    Tastes just like melted vanilla ice cream is a HUGE selling point, I love vanilla! Looks delicious!

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