Get this four ingredient, super simple buttercream frosting recipe. Easy to halve, double or triple, just make sure you have soft butter!
I love the sweet simplicity of a vanilla buttercream frosting. I prefer this plain buttercream frosting over any chocolate version and the older I get the more I prefer vanilla cake over chocolate…the exact opposite of my husband, the chocoholic. Moist vanilla cake paired with a perfectly sweet, soft and creamy vanilla buttercream frosting doesn’t need anything extra. It’s just simple and delicious as is!
This recipe is not rocket science in the least and I assure you that you can totally make your buttercream frosting turn out as perfectly as the pictures make it seem.
If you are more of a chocolate person, be sure to check out my perfect chocolate cake and my chocolate frosting recipe. Or my chocolate cream cheese danish. Or my entire chocolate recipe section here.
Here’s how to make buttercream frosting:
Into a large bowl, measure out powdered sugar, vanilla and softened butter. Don’t make a rookie mistake and use cold butter or try to soften the butter in the microwave. It absolutely needs to be room temperature butter. Start to mix to separate the butter.
Then start adding in the milk tablespoon by tablespoon until your frosting starts to come together and look creamy. After each addition, stir and wait for it to come together. If it hasn’t come together, add another tablespoon, mix and wait it out. After about 2 or 3 tablespoons, your frosting should be thick enough to hold it’s shape, but light enough to have a butter knife or rubber scraper run through it with ease. Once you reach this point, you are done and the buttercream is ready to use.
In the recipe card below, I go over how much frosting one recipe will make and how far it could frost. These are just guidelines since people frost differently and have different frosting preferences. I like mine loaded on thankyouverymuch, but you might like a lighter, thinner layer. To each her own. Also, the tools you use can determine how far one batch of frosting will take you (for example, a piping bag versus an offset spatula). So, keep that in mind as you are frosting away.
A few more tips and tricks:
Offset spatulas work amazingly well for frosting a larger, layered cake. These are the ones I use and love!
These plastic disposable piping bags are heaven sent! Use them with or without special tips for frosting cupcakes. This large, open star tip and this wide, round tip are my two favorites for frosting cupcakes.
Never underestimate using the back of a spoon or a butter knife to decorate! Those can work just as beautifully!
Get this four ingredient, super simple recipe for buttercream frosting. Easy to halve, double or triple, just make sure you have soft butter!
- 1/2 cup butter softened
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1 pound powdered sugar
- 2 tablespoons milk or more, as needed
Place butter, vanilla and powdered sugar into a large bowl. Beat with a hand mixer (or stand mixer), slowly adding in milk one tablespoon at a time until thick and creamy.
Scrape the sides of the bowl and mix again briefly and use as desired.
Add the milk in 1 tablespoon at a time until it starts to come together and look thick and creamy. If you aren't sure if its done, scrape the bowl with a rubber scraper. If you can do that easily and run it through the frosting easily while it holds its shape, it's ready.
One frosting recipe will frost:
- 1 2-layer 8-inch cake OR
- 1 9x13 cake OR
- 12 cupcakes using a piping bag OR
- 24 cupcakes using a butter knife