Buttercream Frosting

Prep Time: 15 min / Total Time: 15 min

red velvet cupcake with buttercream frosting

A classic buttercream frosting recipe that is perfect for cakes, cookies, cupcakes, and more. This vanilla buttercream frosting can be converted into any flavor or color you need.

red velvet cupcake with buttercream frosting

Classic Buttercream Frosting

A simple buttercream frosting recipe is a must-have for anyone who spends time in the kitchen. I absolutely love this vanilla buttercream frosting recipe! It is super quick and easy to make and extremely versatile. Here’s why this is the greatest recipe for buttercream frosting ever:

  • I used salted butter because it adds amazing flavor and brings out the sweetness of the buttercream without it tasting overly sweet. I prefer salted butter over unsalted for this reason. A lot of other buttercream frosting recipes call for shortening as opposed to butter, but this creates a greasier and stiffer consistency in addition to (in my opinion) a more bland flavor. 
  • This recipe is for vanilla buttercream frosting, but you can transform it into ANY flavor you want. You can swap out the vanilla extract for another flavor like maple, peppermint, lemon, or raspberry. Adding spices like cinnamon or ginger can take your buttercream to the next level. Citrus zests or fruit purees are another great way to switch up the flavor!
  • This recipe works great for cakes, cupcakes, and even cookies. It has a great light and fluffy consistency, but is also sturdy enough to hold its shape, which makes it perfect for decorating any dessert!
  • It makes enough buttercream frosting to generously frost 12-16 cupcakes or 2 8-inch cakes. You can easily double this recipe if needed!

Tips For The Perfect Vanilla Buttercream:

  • Use softened butter. Not melted butter, people. If the butter is melted, it will not cream properly with the powdered sugar, resulting in a weird consistency. On the flip side, if your butter is too cold, you will end up with chunks of butter throughout your buttercream. Don’t worry if you didn’t plan ahead for this! You can soften butter quickly by using one of these awesome tricks to perfectly soften butter quickly. 
  • Cream the butter. This is an extremely important step for the texture of the buttercream. Cream the softened butter for 5-7 minutes until it’s nice and fluffy. I prefer to use my KitchenAid stand mixer and paddle attachment. All I have to do is turn it on and let it do the work for me. This process also lightens the color of the butter quite a bit so your buttercream frosting will be nice and white!
  • Sift the powdered sugar. Yes, I know it’s more work but, I promise, it’s worth it! I’m really surprised by the number of people that don’t do this. Sifting the powdered sugar not only adds more air into the frosting to give it a lighter consistency, but it also prevents the powdered sugar from clumping together and creating lumps. No one likes lumpy frosting!
  • Add liquid as needed. Adding heavy cream or milk is a great way to thin out the consistency of your buttercream frosting. I would highly recommend mixing up all the other ingredients before adding the liquid. Then, if the frosting is too thick, add the milk or heavy cream 1 tbsp at a time until the desired consistency is reached. Don’t stress if you add too much liquid, you can easily offset it with some additional powdered sugar.
  • Use clear vanilla. Although I prefer to use pure vanilla extract in my buttercream frosting recipe to get the best flavor, it may add a subtle tint to the color of your buttercream. (It will be more off white or cream colored.) If you want the color of your frosting to be closer to pure white, you can easily swap out the pure vanilla extract for a clear vanilla extract.
red velvet cupcake with butter cream frosting

Buttercream Frosting

Prep Time: 15 min / Total Time: 15 min

red velvet cupcake with buttercream frosting

A classic buttercream frosting recipe that is perfect for cakes, cookies, cupcakes, and more. This vanilla buttercream frosting can be converted into any flavor or color you need.

red velvet cupcake with buttercream frosting

What You’ll Need

  • 1 cup (2 sticks) salted butter, softened
  • 4-5 cups powdered sugar, sifted
  • 1 tbsp pure vanilla extract
  • 1-3 tbsp heavy cream or milk (as needed)

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Place your softened butter in a large mixing bowl. Using a hand mixer or stand mixer with a paddle attachment, cream the butter for 5-7 minutes until light and fluffy in texture and pale in color.
  2. Add the powdered sugar in small batches (about a cup at a time), mixing between each addition.
  3. Mix in the vanilla extract and check the consistency of the frosting. If it’s too thick, add the milk or heavy until the desired consistency is reached.

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