This is my preferred vanilla buttercream icing that’s abundant, velvety, and seasoned with genuine vanilla beans. It’s easy to make and ideal for piping onto cakes and cupcakes!

Recipe Summary.

Why you’ll like it: This bakery-worthy vanilla buttercream recipe is prepared in minutes with just 4 ingredients.
The length of time it takes: 10 minutes or less.
Devices you’ll require: an electrical mixer and a durable bowl.
Servings: 1 1/2 cups, enough to frost roughly 12 cupcakes.

The Very Best Vanilla Buttercream Icing

Homemade buttercream may seem like a pipeline dream, however I guarantee, by the end of this post, the only thing you’ll be piping is this ideal vanilla icing! For the longest time I was on an objective for the very best vanilla buttercream recipe, and I lastly struck it rich with this one.

This buttercream is delightfully velvety with a fragile, sweet vanilla taste thanks to genuine vanilla beans throughout. It pipelines magnificently, making it the very best well-rounded icing recipe whether you’re embellishing cakes, cupcakes, cookies, or practically any dessert.

Why You’ll Love This Recipe

If you have actually long imagined making your own buttercream, you’re going to be delighted with this recipe! Here’s what makes this the very best vanilla icing:

  • A baker’s staple. Every home baker requires a traditional buttercream icing recipe to utilize when embellishing desserts. Homemade buttercream does not improve than this (if I do state so myself).
  • Quick to make. This icing is prepared in minutes with easy ingredients.
  • Perfect for piping. Buttercream is the very best icing for piping and embellishing cakes, cupcakes, even sugar cookies, as it’s thicker and more steady than other kinds of icing.
  • Easy to tailor. Quickly adjust this icing’s consistency whether you’re piping it onto cupcakes or spreading it over cakes. You can likewise utilize this timeless buttercream recipe as a base for a lot more icing tastes. Do not forget to take a look at my variation concepts listed below!

What’s the Distinction In Between Icing and Buttercream?

The primary distinction in between buttercream icing and routine icing or icing remains in the name: “ butter cream.” Unlike other icing recipes that start with reducing or cream cheese, buttercream begins with butter. It’s then whipped with the other ingredients to make a thick, fluffy icing.

Ingredients You’ll Require

Below is a brief summary of the ingredients you’ll require to make the outright finest buttercream icing. Keep in mind to describe the recipe listed below the post with the complete measurements and recipe information.

  • Butter: You can’t make buttercream without butter! Unsalted butter is best, however salted butter is likewise great if that’s what you have on hand. Keep in mind to take it out of the refrigerator prior to you begin so that it softens to space temperature level. It must still be firm and not melted.
  • Vanilla: I taste this vanilla icing with the seeds from 2 vanilla pods. So excellent! If you can’t get your hands on vanilla beans, nevertheless, that’s okay. Replace one teaspoon of vanilla bean paste rather. You can likewise simply utilize a teaspoon of vanilla extract, however bear in mind, the vanilla taste will be lighter.
  • Milk or Cream: Including a little liquid enhances the consistency of the icing and makes it velvety. You can utilize milk, whipping cream, or half-and-half, the option depends on you.
  • Powdered Sugar: You may likewise understand it as confectioner’s sugar. It includes sweet taste and thickens the icing to a pipeable consistency.

How to Make Vanilla Buttercream Icing

It could not be simpler to make silky smooth and steady vanilla buttercream from scratch! This icing comes together in minutes:

  • Beat the butter. Initially, in a big bowl, you’ll cream together the butter, vanilla beans, and milk (or cream).
  • Include powdered sugar. Next, beat in the powdered sugar one cup at a time, till you reach a thick, pipeable consistency.

Electric mixer product image.

Electric Mixers.

You can whip your buttercream icing utilizing a whisk and some muscle power, however I extremely suggest utilizing an electrical hand mixer or stand mixer. It makes it a lot simpler and the outcomes are method fluffier!

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Tips for Perfect Buttercream Icing

What’s the secret to buttercream icing? It remains in the consistency! Here are some last suggestions for getting your buttercream icing whipped to your taste:

  • Determine the sugar properly. To ensure you get the best measurement, I suggest spooning your powdered sugar out of the bag and into your determining cup prior to levelling it off with the back of a knife.
  • To make this icing thicker, include more confectioner’s sugar, 1/4 cup at a time. To make icing thinner or softer, include more milk, one teaspoon at a time.
  • If you’re intending on utilizing a piping bag with a suggestion to frost your desserts, go for a somewhat thicker icing so that it holds its shape. If you’re spreading your vanilla buttercream over a cake, the consistency must be a little softer so that it’s simpler to spread out.
A spatula spreads vanilla buttercream over a vanilla cake layer.

Frosting Frequently Asked Questions

The length of time should I whip my buttercream?

To guarantee that adequate air is whipped into the icing, you need to intend to whip your buttercream on high for a great 4-5 minutes.

Does buttercream need to be cooled?

If you intend on utilizing the icing right now, it can remain at space temperature level (unless you remain in a hot environment). Nevertheless, in the longer term, you’ll require to cool it. See even more on for in-depth storage guidelines.

Why is my buttercream icing runny?

This might be due to the fact that your butter was too soft or melted. Attempt cooling the icing for a bit, and after that whip it once again. If it’s still runny, it might be due to the fact that you included excessive milk or cream. In this case include more powdered sugar, a little at a time (see my suggestions above).

Can I overbeat my buttercream?

Yes, and it can trigger the butter to separate, or you’ll end up with air bubbles in your icing. Ensure that you stop blending as soon as your icing starts to form stiff peaks.

A piping tip pipes a swirl of vanilla buttercream onto a vanilla cupcake.

Variation Concepts

This vanilla buttercream icing strolls so that recipes like my Irish cream latte buttercream can run. It’s the ideal base for all sorts of scrumptious variations. Attempt these concepts:

  • Chocolate: Make chocolate buttercream frosting with the addition of unsweetened cocoa powder.
  • Oreo: Beat in crushed Oreos to make Oreo icing (ideal for frosting Oreo cookie bars).
  • Peanut Butter: Mix in a spoonful or 2 of shelf-stable, velvety peanut butter for simple peanut butter icing.
  • Extracts: In addition to or in location of the vanilla in this recipe, attempt more flavoring extracts like peppermint, lemon, orange, and so on
  • Coloring: It’s simple enough to color buttercream to fit any vacation (like I provide for these Christmas tree brownie bites). For finest outcomes, I suggest utilizing gel food dyes, as the colors are bolder and they do not thin down the buttercream.
Overhead view of vanilla cupcakes topped with swirls of vanilla buttercream frosting, next to a piping bag and a mixer attachment.

Ways to Utilize Vanilla Buttercream

This simple vanilla buttercream is ultra-creamy while holding its shape, making it ideal for piping and designing. It’s my go-to dessert topping for whatever from homemade vanilla cupcakes to this abundant and decadent chocolate cake. It’s likewise fantastic for piping over sugar cookies throughout the vacations, or you can utilize it to frost these vanilla sugar cookie bars and cake mix blondies. And aside from devouring this buttercream by the spoonful, I’ll typically serve it as a dip with fruit and graham crackers!

An unwrapped vanilla cupcake topped with a swirl of vanilla buttercream frosting, with a piping bag in the background.

Make-Ahead and Storage Tips

Among the important things I like about buttercream is how well it keeps in the days after it’s made. Here’s how to effectively keep or freeze buttercream icing:

  • Refrigerator. Keep buttercream firmly covered in the refrigerator for approximately 1 week. Take it out of the refrigerator prior to you utilize it and provide it a fast re-whip as required (see listed below).
  • Freezer. Shop your vanilla buttercream airtight and freeze it for approximately 3 months. Defrost the icing over night in the fridge whenever you’re prepared to utilize it.

Frosting that’s been cooled or frozen might be stiff coming out from the cold. Let the icing rest on the counter for an hour or 2 prior to utilizing, so that it concerns space temperature level. If you see that your icing has actually deflated a bit, whip it quickly with your mixer to get it back to a fluffy consistency.

More Easy Icing Recipes.

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Vanilla buttercream frosting being piped onto a cupcake.

Preparation Time: 10 minutes

Overall Time: 10 minutes

12 portions

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This simple vanilla buttercream icing is abundant, velvety, and made with genuine vanilla beans. It’s very easy to make, ideal for piping onto cakes and cupcakes!


  • Utilizing an electrical mixer, cream together the butter, vanilla, and milk.

  • One cup at a time, include powdered sugar till you attain preferred consistency. You’ll desire it a little stiffer/thicker for piping.


  • Yield: 1 1/2 cups, enough for a 9 × 13 cake or 12 cupcakes. Double recipe for a layer cake.
  • Butter must be relatively firm, not totally mushy.

Nutrition Details

Serving: 2 tablespoons, Calories: 164 kcal, Carbohydrates: 30 g, Protein: 1 g, Fat: 5 g, Hydrogenated Fat: 3 g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 1 g, Monounsaturated Fat: 1 g, Trans Fat: 1 g, Cholesterol: 14 mg, Salt: 2 mg, Potassium: 6 mg, Sugar: 30 g, Vitamin A: 162 IU, Calcium: 5 mg, Iron: 1 mg

This site supplies approximate nutrition info for benefit and as a courtesy just. Nutrition information is collected mostly from the USDA Food Structure Database, whenever readily available, or otherwise other online calculators.

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