This vanilla buttercream is a classic and versatile frosting that is perfect for any dessert. Its creamy, rich texture and delightful vanilla flavor make it a go-to choice for frosting cakes, cupcakes, and more. This recipe is simple yet produces a decadently smooth and flavorful buttercream.

Vanilla buttercream is a staple in a baking repertoire. It has a universal appeal, this recipe is the perfect balance of sweetness and richness. This buttercream is not just a frosting; it’s an essential element that elevates any dessert it graces.

vanilla buttercream in a bowl and on cupcakes

The Chemistry of Buttercream

The science behind this delectable vanilla buttercream lies in the mixing process. When unsalted butter is whipped, it becomes light and airy, thanks to the incorporation of air. The addition of powdered sugar, which contains cornstarch, helps stabilize the mixture. The heavy whipping cream adds richness and smoothness, while vanilla extract infuses the buttercream with its signature flavor. The whipping process lightens the color and texture, making it fluffy and spreadable.

Can vanilla buttercream be flavored or colored?

Yes, it’s versatile enough to be flavored with various extracts or colored with food coloring.

How do you achieve the perfect consistency?

Whip the buttercream for the right amount of time to incorporate air and reach a light, spreadable consistency. The best trick is to turn your mixer on high and whip for 2 full minutes. Watch the frosting, it will transform in color and consistency. It will go from thick and yellowish to white and fluffy.

Can this buttercream be made in advance?

Yes, it can be made ahead and stored in the refrigerator. Just bring it to room temperature and re-whip before using.

How to store and how long does it last?

Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 1 week, or freeze for up to 3 months.

Vanilla buttercream on a spoon

What is in vanilla buttercream?

Unsalted butter

Often the main ingredient of frosting, it adds structure to your buttercream. It also adds a smooth and velvety texture. Butter melts at body temperature, so it will make your frosting have a melt-in-your-mouth sensation.

Powdered Sugar

Is just finely ground granulated sugar. It will absorb moisture in your batter or dough. It dissolves easily, ensuring a smooth texture without grittiness. Because it is so fine, it can melt quickly in the oven and spread cookies out more. Powdered sugar also stabilizes and thickens the frosting, thanks to the small amount of cornstarch it contains.

Heavy Whipping Cream

Makes a softer, more spreadable frosting. When melted with chocolate it adds more fat and moisture to the mixture, resulting in a silkier blend.

Vanilla Extract

When using pure vanilla extract, as opposed to imitation flavoring, it will add the deep rich flavor that everybody wants in a treat.

Storage Tips

Store in an airtight container in the fridge for 1 week or in the freezer for up to 3 months. Thaw back to room temperature and re-whip before using.

Making Ahead

Store vanilla buttercream like I have said above. It is important to re-whip it before use to ensure the best texture and consistency.

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Why make vanilla buttercream?

It is ideal for birthdays, weddings, and other celebrations, or whenever you need a reliable and delicious frosting for your baking creation.

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Vanilla Buttercream on a spoon

Vanilla Buttercream

Author: Madison Reid
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Servings: 24
This vanilla buttercream is the most universal frosting. It can frost any dessert. Creamy, rich and delicious.


  • 2 cups unsalted butter
  • 6 cups powdered sugar
  • 1/4 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract


  • In a standing mixer, add the butter and mix until softened
  • Add the sugar, cream and vanilla extract, mix until combined
  • Whip the frosting on high for 2 minutes until lighter in color and texture
  • Frost your dessert and enjoy


Calories: 262kcal Carbohydrates: 30g Protein: 0.2g Fat: 16g Saturated Fat: 10g Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g Monounsaturated Fat: 4g Trans Fat: 1g Cholesterol: 43mg Sodium: 3mg Potassium: 8mg Sugar: 29g Vitamin A: 509IU Vitamin C: 0.01mg Calcium: 7mg Iron: 0.02mg

Have you tried this recipe?

I’d love to see it! Follow @_mrs.madi_ on Instagram and tag your photos with #mrsmadi.

Vanilla Buttercream Titled