Vanilla Buttercream

My three favorite things about being a baker:

  1. Being able to make people happy by giving them food.
  2. Licking the spoon.
  3. Buttercream.

Ah, buttercream. I usually avoid butter at all costs, but this heavenly frosting is the only exception.

Before I made buttercream the first time, I never realized what I was missing. I had been used to Duncan Hines and Pillsbury and Betty Crocker store-bought frostings, but now these seem so artifical-tasting. Homemade is the best, nay, the ONLY way to go.

In a stand mixer, whip two sticks of room temperature butter at medium-high speed until soft and creamy. To get butter to room temperature: either have your little sister sit on it for fifteen minutes, like I do, or microwave it for eight seconds.


Scrape the bowl with a rubber spatula. Add a teaspoon of vanilla extract and 1/4 teaspoon salt. I always add a scant 1/4 teaspoon almond extract, as well. Whip again and scrape the bowl. Add a cup of powdered sugar and mix on low until just combined, then on medium-high again for twenty seconds.


Add another cup of powdered sugar using the same process. Assess the frosting: if it is too runny, add more sugar; if it is too stiff, add a tablespoon of milk at a time until the desired consistency is reached. Scrape the bowl before each addition.


It should be very soft, but stiff enough to hold its shape.


To fill a piping bag:

You can use a piping bag or a large Ziploc bag. I use both, depending on my mood. If you are using a tip, you need to attach the tip to the bag first- if using a Ziploc, snip the end and push the tip inside and through the hole.

Take a large glass. Put the Ziploc bag or piping bag inside so the tip is halfway to the bottom of the glass, and fold the bag over the edges of the glass.


Using a rubber spatula or tablespoon, spoon the buttercream into the bottom of the bag. Fill about halfway.


(My peanut butter buttercream)

Twist the top of the bag. Push the frosting out by squeezing it from the top.

Use it on cupcakes, in whoopie pies, between two cookies, to decorate a cake…



You can do some pretty cool stuff, depending on the shape of the tip. I usually do some kind of swirl.

Vanilla Butterceam


  • 1 cup (2 sticks) butter, room temperature
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • scant 1/4 tsp almond extract
  • 2-4 cups powdered sugar
  • 1-2 tbs milk
  1. Cream butter for 1-2 minutes on medium-high speed.
  2. Add extracts and salt and whip again.
  3. Scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl with a rubber spatula. Add a cup of powdered sugar and mix on low, then on medium-high until thoroughly combined.
  4. Add powdered sugar and milk as necessary until the desired consistency is reached. Scrape the bowl before each addition.

Will frost 24-30 cupcakes or a two layer cake.

3 thoughts on “Vanilla Buttercream

  1. Pingback: Peanut Butter Blossom Cupcakes | Teenage Cakeland

  2. Pingback: Assembling a Cake | Teenage Cakeland

  3. Pingback: Black Forest Cake | Teenage Cakeland

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