This Vanilla Buttercream Frosting recipe is easy to make with just four simple ingredients. It rivals my favorite cream cheese frosting. You’ll never use store-bought again! You can choose to make a 1 or 2 layer cake depending on how hungry you are. It also helps to have a stand mixer, with a whisk attachment and a cold bowl. Cakes are huge social media darlings for a good reason. Who doesn’t love chocolate cake, covered with chocolate frosting, vanilla cake, or even lemon cake with American buttercream or even swiss meringue buttercream? I also love sugar cookies, and anything covered with powdered sugar or including cocoa powder. I am hungry just writing this!
I remember my mom making homemade buttercream frosting when I was growing up. I somehow got the impression that it was difficult or a lot of work or even required heavy cream.
To my surprise, it is not! It takes just four ingredients–softened butter, confectioners’ sugar, a dash of milk, and a flavor extract– or pure vanilla extract depending on your budget! It is so quick to pull together! Whenever we make cake or cupcakes for a party or potluck, I whip up a batch of this easy Vanilla Buttercream Frosting, and it’s always enjoyed. I also enjoy piping designs for special occasions like birthdays and Halloween.
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Homemade frosting is not hard to make, and the flavor is so good that it’s worth the time! Of course, once you have the hang of it, you can add one more ingredient if you desire, a cream cheese-based frosting, instead of a vegetable shortening based one. Another favorite of mine! I always use a large bowl so there are leftovers for me to eat or I put under refrigeration to enjoy later.
I love this frosting recipe to “dress up” a store-bought cake mix. It makes such a difference!
Because the vanilla extract can give a slightly brown tint to the white frosting, I like to add food coloring for a pop of color.
This recipe makes enough frosting for a regular two-tiered circle cake or 24 cupcakes.
It does need to be refrigerated if you don’t use it all at once. Then, you’ll need to soften it before spreading or it will “tear” the top of your cake.
If you want to change it up a bit, replace the vanilla extract with another variety–almond, peppermint or raspberry (my fave!).
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Vanilla Buttercream Frosting
- ⅓ cup butter, softened
- 3 cups confectioners’ sugar
- 1 ½ tablespoon milk
- 1 ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
- food coloring, if desired
- Using a hand mixer on low, blend the butter and confectioners’ sugar.
- Add the milk and vanilla and continue to blend until smooth. If you prefer a thinner consistency, add more milk.
- If desired, add food coloring.