You can’t go wrong with this easy vanilla buttercream frosting recipe! It is perfectly creamy, not too sweet, and stiff enough to hold its shape when piped.
Vanilla Buttercream Frosting
I’ll admit, just a year ago I was quite intimidated by the idea of making homemade buttercream frosting. Before I had a stand mixer, whenever I’d try to make buttercream frosting using a hand mixer, it would end up gritty. I figured I was probably doing something wrong so when I got my stand mixer, I did my research, tried different combinations of basic ingredients, learned about sifting, and landed on the perfect recipe. Guys, I am NOT a natural baker. I mean, sifting seems like such an obvious concept, but I had no idea what the point of it was. Turns out, it’s a game changer! (read more about it here.)
This combination of powdered sugar, milk, vanilla extract, and stick butter makes for a perfectly smooth and creamy vanilla buttercream frosting. It is just sweet enough to compliment the cake without overpowering it. I prefer to use clear vanilla extract because it gives it that whiter color, but regular vanilla extract works just as well! Also, I prefer to use salted butter. If you use unsalted stick butter, throw a little pinch of salt in there. I love these Country Crock baking sticks – they are ready to bake as soon as you take them out of the refrigerator – no need to let them soften!
This recipe is enough for 18-24 cupcakes. When piping as shown in these photos, it will only cover about 18. If you are spreading the buttercream, or not piping such high peaks, it will of course go further.
Be sure to pin this vanilla buttercream frosting recipe so you can easily find it next time you bake a cake/cupcakes and want to skip the canned frosting!
- 1 cup butter, softened (2 sticks)
- 3.5 cups powdered sugar
- 2-3 tbsp milk
- 2 tsp clear vanilla extract
- Beat softened butter in large bowl of stand mixer (or mix with hand mixer if stand mixer is not available.)
- Sift powdered sugar into bowl and begin mixing on low-medium speed
- Add milk and vanilla and mix on medium-high speed for 2-3 minutes until creamy
- If too thick, add more milk, about a tsp at a time. If too thin, add more powdered sugar until desired consistency is reached.
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