Easy Vanilla Buttercream Frosting
Easy Vanilla Buttercream Frosting
A simple recipe for American Buttercream Frosting! This recipe is arguably the easiest of the buttercreams. With just a few ingredients and 5 minutes!


  • 1 cup unsalted butter softened to room temperature (226g)
  • 4 cups powdered sugar 500g
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • ⅛ teaspoon salt add more to taste, as needed
  • 2-4 Tablespoons heavy cream or milk plus more as needed (see "Tips" section in post for substitutes)


  1. Place butter in the bowl of a stand mixer (or use a large bowl and an electric mixer) and beat on low-speed until creamy and smooth.
  2. Add 1 cups (125g) of powdered sugar, vanilla extract, and salt and turn mixer to low speed¹ and stir until combined. Slowly add remaining powdered sugar until completely combined. Mixture will likely look very dry.
  3. Add heavy cream or milk, one tablespoon at a time. Start with mixer on low-speed and gradually increase speed to medium-high, beating on this speed for several seconds to whip the liquid into the batter and scraping down the sides and bottom of the bowl after each addition. Add additional cream until desired consistency is reached. If you accidentally add too much liquid and make your buttercream too soft, you can usually salvage the icing by adding more powdered sugar
  4. If using food coloring, stir it in here at the end. Gel food coloring is my preference for vibrantly colored icing.
  5. I recommend piping icing over your cupcakes or frosting your cake immediately.
Author, educator, musician, dancer and all around creative type. Founder of "The Happy Now" website and the online jewelry store "Silver and Sage".

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