The best buttercream frosting is made with four ingredients: butter, confectioners’ sugar, vanilla and milk. This recipe is simple and sweet!
This is the best buttercream frosting recipe because it is simple, rich and perfectly sweet. All you need is four ingredients to make this frosting and you’ll be decorating your cakes in no time.
Why this buttercream frosting works: This frosting has been a go-to of mine for years because it is rich and creamy without being too sweet. It’s versatile so it works for many dessert recipes—decorate any cake or cupcake, frost cookies, sandwich whoopie pies—the list goes on! The ratio of butter and confectioners’ sugar is perfect while pure vanilla extract adds the right flavor. Milk works to achieve the perfect consistency for piping.
This frosting recipe calls for four ingredients: unsalted butter, confectioners’ sugar, vanilla and milk. Here is a breakdown of the ingredients.
- Unsalted butter is the base for this frosting. Make sure it is at room temperature so when you have a nice creamy frosting.
- Confectioners’ sugar adds sweetness to the frosting. Sift the sugar so there are no clumps and you obtain a smooth frosting.
- Vanilla extract provides flavor to the frosting. Use pure vanilla extract (not imitation) for the best taste.
- Milk thins the frosting slightly so it is easier to spread and pipe on your desserts.
Step by step instructions
Vanilla buttercream frosting is easy to make from scratch. Just follow these simple instructions:
- Beat butter until smooth. Use a stand mixer or hand mixer for this step. Mix for about 3 minutes so some air is incorporated into the butter.
- Add confectioners’ sugar. Spoon the sugar in with the butter while the mixer is running on low. Beat until incorporated, scraping down the sides and bottom of the bowl as necessary.
- Add vanilla extract. Mix just until incorporated.
- Add milk. Mix until desired consistency is reached.
Frequently Asked Questions
Do you have to refrigerate buttercream frosting? No. Butter is safe to eat at room temperature (about 72 degrees). If it is warmer, the frosting with start to melt. Also the milk is stabilized by the sugar, which makes it safe to eat if left at room temperature for 2 or 3 days.
How to store frosting: Place frosting in an airtight container and store in the refrigerator for up to a week. Bring to room temperature before use. If the frosting is in a piping bag, press out any air and tie the open end with a rubber band. Frosting may need to be rewhipped or kneaded before use.
Can you freeze buttercream frosting? Yes. Place frosting in a plastic freezer bag and press any air out. Seal the bag shut and freeze for up to 3 months. Defrost in the refrigerator before bringing to room temperature and using.
Now’s your chance to put your frosting to good use! Try these recipes and frost away.
- Best Vanilla Cupcakes
- Sugar Cookie Bars
- Vanilla Sheet Cake – Celebrating Sweets blog
- Chocolate Roll Cake – Sugar Salt Magic blog
If you like this recipe, be sure tag @ifyougiveablondeakitchen on social media so I can see your frosted baking creations!
- 1 cup (226 g or 2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
- 2 1/2 cups (300 g) confectioners' sugar, sifted
- 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
- Pinch salt
- 1-2 tablespoons milk, room temperature
- In the bowl of a stand mixer, whip the butter using the whisk attachment (the paddle works too). Beat until fluffy, about 5 minutes.
- With the mixer on low speed, gradually add in the confectioners' sugar until completely incorporated.
- With the mixer on medium speed, add the vanilla and salt, and beat for a minute, until fluffy. Add milk until desired consistency is reached.
- Transfer to a frosting bag with tip and frost away!
- Stand mixer – this makes beating frosting quick, easy and thorough
- Whisk attachment – adds air to make your frosting fluffy
- Piping bag and tips – This assortment will give you all kinds of creative options when piping your frosting