Simple, quick, and delicious vanilla buttercream frosting. This frosting is a classic. Perfect for decorating cupcakes, wedding cakes and birthday cakes!
This vanilla buttercream recipe has been requested time and time again, so here it is! It is incredibly simple, yet delicious. Very beginner friendly.
Truthfully I have made hundreds of batches of this frosting. I find it to be a very stable option for wedding and birthday cakes. The KEY I have found, is using pure vanilla extract. Invest in good quality vanilla. It will make a big difference in your baking products.
- As I stated earlier, using PURE vanilla extract is (in my opinion) a must
- Always use softened butter. I find that the butter is perfect when it is just slightly cooler than room temperature. PLEASE do not melt your butter…
- Adjust the milk accordingly. If you live in a humid climate – use less. Start with a small amount of milk and beat for a minute, then add more if needed.
- I always use unsalted butter, then add my own salt. This is optional. I just like being able to have absolute control of the salt content.
Softened, Unsalted Butter (NOT MELTED)
Pure Vanilla Extract
How to make vanilla buttercream frosting
Place softened butter into the bowl of a stand mixer (or hand mixer)
Using the paddle attachment, beat for 1-2 minutes
While mixing on low, slowly add half the amount of powdered sugar.
While the mixer is still on low, add half of the milk.
Let ingredients incorporate.
Add the remainder of the powdered sugar. If needed, add the remaining amount of milk.
Scrape sides of bowl.
Add pure vanilla extract and salt.
Beat for 4-5 minutes on medium high speed.
Frosting should be light and airy.
Now, if air bubbles in frosting tick you off and you are wanting a velvet smooth frosting click here. “Sugar Geek Show” has a detailed recipe/technique to achieve a velvet smooth texture in frosting.
Basically, you need enough frosting in the bowl to cover the paddle attachment, but not quite filled to the top of the bowl. Mix on LOW for 10-20 minutes until creamy and all air is gone.
Personally, I find this method makes the frosting a wee bit softer, and therefore, its shape doesn’t hold quite as well. But that is just my personal experience! It does make smoothing the outside of cakes a lot easier though.
Buttercream Frosting have a yellow tint?
TIP: Add a small amount of violet food dye to your frosting if you find it still has a yellowish tint from the butter. Purple cancels yellow out. Just be sure not to add too much and end up with purple frosting! I typically start with a SMALL drop and go from there.
will this Vanilla Buttercream frosting hold up at room temperature?
It’s important to note that when buttercream is left out at room temperature, it will form a crust on the outer layer. The inside should stay smooth, however. Frosted cupcakes should always be covered, as they dry out faster. Understandably, cakes can’t always be covered, and that’s fine. The frosting actually acts as a barrier and helps block outside air from getting into the cake layers and drying them out.
Note: if it is hot or humid, the buttercream can soften and loose structure. This will affect decorations you’ve piped. The heat can also cause layered cakes to sag or even collapse. Though refrigerating cakes can cause a loss in moisture…it’s much better to have a cake in tact! If it’s too hot for you…it’s too hot for the cake. Pop it in the fridge.