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Vanilla Buttercream Frosting Recipe: The best ever I have ever tried. Easy to make and it will always work out
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How to Make the Best-Ever Vanilla Buttercream Frosting (Bold Baking Basics)

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Hi Bold Bakers! 

Working as a professional chef I have learned a lot of tips and tricks over the years. Now I’m going to show you a Bold Baking Basic recipe that I get the most requests and queries about: How to Make the Best Ever Vanilla Buttercream Frosting.

Now,  it’s very frustrating when you go out and buy butter and sugar (ingredients that aren’t cheap) and you don’t get the results you want. Over the years I have made frosting after frosting and they never turned out the same although it was always the same recipe. I realized it wasn’t the recipe I had to master but the technique. Follow my steps and you will have success every time.

The technique to making my Best-Ever Vanilla Buttercream Frosting is simple: watch my video below, follow the few simple steps carefully, re-watch my video, and have confidence that you will nail this recipe.

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I use Buttercream Frosting for a lot of my cake decorating. I find it easy to work with gives great results. Do you have a birthday coming up and you need to make the cake? Try my Vanilla Birthday Cake recipe. It is covered in sprinkles so if you are an advanced or a beginner Bold Baker you will breeze through this cake.

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I also use this tasty buttercream frosting to stuff Homemade Oreos , yes… Homemade Oreos. Let’s just say you won’t be buying store bought again.

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Best-Ever Vanilla Buttercream Frosting (Master Recipe)
 
Prep time
Total time
 
Author:
Serves: 12
Ingredients
  • 1½ cups (340g/12oz) butter, softened to room temperature
  • 3 ¼ cups (360g/12oz) confectioners' sugar, sifted
  • 2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • Seeds scraped from one vanilla bean pod (optional)
  • 2-3 tablespoons milk or cream
  • pinch of salt
Instructions
  1. In a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment or using an electric hand mixer whip the butter until light and creamy for about 7-8 minutes on medium/high speed.
  2. Once the butter is pale in color and light slowly add in the confectioners' sugar one spoon at a time on medium speed. Let the sugar fully incorporate before adding in more sugar.
  3. Add the vanilla extract, vanilla bean seeds, salt and cream.
  4. Whip on high speed for another 3-4 minutes until very light, creamy, and fluffy.
  5. Use the buttercream straight away for keep it refrigerated for upto 4 weeks. Before use make sure it comes to room temperature.

Try my All-New Swiss Meringue Buttercream Frosting

Best-Ever Swiss Meringue Buttercream Frosting - No more buttercream mishaps, this recipe is fool proof!

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Meet Gemma

Hi Bold Bakers! I’m Gemma Stafford, a professional chef originally from Ireland, and I’m passionate about sharing my years of experience to show you how to make game-changing baking recipes with over-the-top results! Join more than 1 Million other Bold Bakers in the community for new video recipes every week!

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279 Comments

  1. Kells on May 29, 2017 at 12:38 am

    Your instructions for this recipe are fantastic!! I’ve tried so many times to make buttercream frosting, and it all came down to me not whipping the butter long enough before adding sugar. I don’t know why no one else seems to include that in the recipes. It tasted great, was easy to make, any my family loved it. Thank you!!

    • Profile photo of Gemma Stafford Gemma Stafford on May 29, 2017 at 1:34 am

      YES! this is what I love to hear. There are so many simple things which make a difference in our baking, I try to remember to include as many tips and tricks as possible, I am happy when you guys are happy!
      Gemma 🙂

  2. Melissa on May 23, 2017 at 7:38 am

    Hi gemma! I need frosting for 12 cupcakes. Is it enough for 12 cupcakes or is it actually too much? Should i half this recipe? Thanks a lot gem!

    • Profile photo of Gemma Stafford Gemma Stafford on May 23, 2017 at 8:49 am

      it’s loads, you can actually 1/2 the recipe and you will still have enough 🙂

  3. Bill on May 20, 2017 at 11:00 am

    Thanks for this recipe. The flavor and texture came out just right without needing the salt or milk

    • Profile photo of Gemma Stafford Gemma Stafford on May 22, 2017 at 2:16 pm

      I’m delighted to hear that Bill 🙂

  4. Nandini on May 16, 2017 at 9:30 am

    Hi Gemma…. What if I don’t have an electric mixer… Any other substitute??
    Could I use a spatula ?
    Thnx,
    Nini❤️

    • Profile photo of Gemma Stafford Gemma Stafford on May 16, 2017 at 8:06 pm

      Great question! it is super hard to make it without an electric machine. You need that power to whip the butter up really well.

      I recommend investing in one. They are not very expensive and last for years 🙂

  5. Bo on May 15, 2017 at 12:13 pm

    Hi Gemma,
    The recipe says it serves 12. Is that 12 cupcakes? I’m making 24 cupcakes. Should I double the recipe? Thanks!

    • Profile photo of Gemma Stafford Gemma Stafford on May 15, 2017 at 6:54 pm

      It makes 12 cupcakes so 1 each for 12 people.

      Good Luck with your cupcakes 🙂

  6. Profile photo of Andyt Andyt on May 13, 2017 at 2:22 pm

    Best recipie and method by far, try it you will not be disappointed, today made Lavender cupcakes with Lavender frosting a total thumbs up from all at my wife’s work, they have already put in their next order. Thanks Gemma

    • Profile photo of Gemma Stafford Gemma Stafford on May 14, 2017 at 2:50 am

      Hi Andy,
      You know what they say, happy wife, happy life!
      Well done you, I am really happy that oyu are finding the recipes useful,
      Gemma 🙂

  7. Samia on May 11, 2017 at 3:12 pm

    Hi Gemma, can i make this frosting 1 day before baking and keep it in the refrigerator? Thanks

    • Profile photo of Gemma Stafford Gemma Stafford on May 12, 2017 at 1:51 am

      Hi Samia,
      Yes, but you will need to allow it to soften at room temperature before you pipe it!
      Gemma 🙂

  8. Saba on May 7, 2017 at 7:21 am

    If I were to add coloring to this icing would the consistency change drastically? I always used Wilton but am going to change to americolor from positive reviews. Will this icing recipe begin to separate if I add to much coloring for brighter colors??

    • Profile photo of Gemma Stafford Gemma Stafford on May 8, 2017 at 1:23 pm

      Hi Saba,
      No, this will take the color really well. If you add it to the liquids you will be able to judge it really well, and adjust if you need to,
      Gemma 🙂

  9. Katie on May 6, 2017 at 2:54 pm

    Is this unsalted butter what kind did you use?

    • Profile photo of Gemma Stafford Gemma Stafford on May 7, 2017 at 2:27 am

      Hi Katie,
      I tend to use unsalted butter for buttercream frosting, but it does not matter so much.
      thank you for being with us,
      Gemma 🙂

  10. Rowa on April 30, 2017 at 1:01 pm

    Hi Gemma,
    Excited to make this frosting for my husband’s bday.
    Question: Is it possible to make it with a food processor?

    • Profile photo of Gemma Stafford Gemma Stafford on May 1, 2017 at 12:33 pm

      Hi there, yes and no!
      You can certainly start this in a processor, but then I think it may be harder to get it light and fluffy. A hand whisk will take it on for you! this is how it was made traditionally,
      Gemma 🙂

  11. Nells on April 23, 2017 at 1:46 pm

    Finally!!! A frosting that’s not too sweet…perfect frosting didn’t need any adjustments. Well done.

    • Profile photo of Gemma Stafford Gemma Stafford on April 24, 2017 at 1:31 am

      YEA! thanks Nells, I love this one too, and it takes other flavors really well too, good job you!
      Gemma 🙂

    • Katie on May 10, 2017 at 8:09 pm

      I absolutely love this buttercream recipe. I had found other recipes and tried them and by far this was my favorite. The texture was almost like a whipped buttercream icing and I was still able to pipe it. It wasn’t overly sweet which I love! It’s a really fluffy buttercream icing that just melts in your mouth. I followed your recipe and watched your video so I knew exactly what I was doing! Thank you so much for the recipe and the video was so helpful. I’m a novice at cake decorating and it was so helpful so it was nice to have everything spelled out!

      • Profile photo of Gemma Stafford Gemma Stafford on May 11, 2017 at 1:38 am

        Hi Katie,
        this is what I love to hear. well done you, it is important to really follow a recipe, and the steps, and you did, and I am happy!
        Thank you for being in touch,
        Gemma 🙂

  12. Ginny on April 19, 2017 at 5:10 am

    This was absolutely the BEST tasting buttercream frosting I have ever made. It was not too sweet, easy to spread. No need to even experiment with it – I followed the recipe exactly and this will definitely be my go to frosting from now on.

    • Profile photo of Gemma Stafford Gemma Stafford on April 20, 2017 at 11:58 am

      YEA! Ginny, I am so happy to hear this,
      Gemma 🙂

  13. Stephanie on April 18, 2017 at 10:39 am

    Hi Gemma! ? I don’t know if you will read this but OMGeeee!!!! I have been trying to make buttercream for the last 2 years and have ALWAYS failed. It would end in grainy, over sweetened, goop that would at times curdle or separate. I had given up trying for a while and stuck to using home made whipped cream to “frost” cakes at home and yucky store bought frosting for others. I was skeptical at first as to how it would turn out when I came across your video. I watched it many times and went to your website to read EVERYTHING under this recipe. And then i tried it today…..And it it PERFECT!!!!! I just can not stop eating it! I literally cried and shouted with joy sending you many Thanks because i finally got an amazing batch of buttercream frosting that is edible and just pure sweet beauty. So THANK YOU Gemma! You have made me very happy home-baking girl!!! ???

    I searched endlessly through the comments to see if anyone asked how to make this a chocolate buttercream and if my eyes didnt decieve me, you mentioned to add 1 tbsp with powdered sugar and sift together? Please correct me if I’m wrong.

    Again, Thank You sooooo much! May the good Lord continue to bless you and your talent!

    • Profile photo of Gemma Stafford Gemma Stafford on April 19, 2017 at 2:23 am

      Hi Stephanie,
      I am really happy to hear this, you clearly followed the instructions really well.
      Yes, 1 tablespoon of sieved cocoa powder, mixed through the powdered sugar will do this for you.
      You can also add melted real 72% cocoa solids chocolate, and this is delicious, but you have to work quickly with this as it really sets up the buttercream. you can experiment with this!
      Gemma 🙂

  14. Profile photo of shaziyah shaziyah on April 9, 2017 at 5:42 am

    Sorry If i am disturbing you but i just want to try this recipe and your white velvet cake and want it to be Perfect… So another question

    When i should add the Strawberry puree? shoult it be added with vanilla extract and salt while Whisking it..
    OR After incorporating all the ingredient of the buttercream and just add strawberry puree and give it a fold with a spoon or spatchula…

    Gonna tru the Combo soon And will try to share the pics with you ❤

    FingerCrossed Hope it turn out perfect ?❤❤

    • Profile photo of Gemma Stafford Gemma Stafford on April 10, 2017 at 3:27 am

      H ithere,
      You add it at the end, and either fold it through, or whip it in! It is a choice,
      Gemma 🙂

  15. Profile photo of shaziyah shaziyah on April 9, 2017 at 2:44 am

    hey gemma…. I love this recipe thanks alot for sharing it.. but can i use this Vanilla buttercream reciple in your white velvet cake strawberry buttercream recipe… ??

    if i change it all i have to do is add strawberry puree ? or is there some other changes to this recipe? and vy going with the exact measurement is this be enough for frosting the White velvet cake ???

    •I know thats alot of question• ?

    • Profile photo of Gemma Stafford Gemma Stafford on April 9, 2017 at 4:02 am

      H1 there,
      This is a good question!
      Yes, you may use this recipe, and it will be enough.
      There is a little cream/milk in this recipe, this softens the buttercream, and makes it soft and delicious.
      If you add a syrup you may over-wet it. So, add the syrup, then test it to see if it is stiff enough/soft enough. Beat it really well before you add the syrup too, and then if you wish you can swirl in the syrup, and leave it like that!
      Gemma 🙂

  16. J on April 4, 2017 at 4:36 am

    By far the best buttercream recipe I have ever used! Using cream instead of milk was a masterstroke.

    It’s light, airy and unlike my usual recipe, so easy to spread – yet still firms up perfectly.

    Thanks a lot!

    • Profile photo of Gemma Stafford Gemma Stafford on April 4, 2017 at 4:27 pm

      That is so great to hear!!! I know how tricky it can be to make it so i wanted to share a fool proof recipe.

      Thank you for your comment.
      Gemma.

  17. Connor Timmons on March 27, 2017 at 8:02 pm

    I was wondering approximately how much cake this would cover? I am currently making my first birthday cakes for a client (that is also family?) and I am making a 9×13, 2 layer cake for the boy and a 2 layer 6-inch smash cake for a girl. I figured I would have to double the recipe for the rectangle cake and use the normal recipe for the smash cake. Is this close? Also, I have experience with piping from operating my small cookie business! Sorry if I repeated this comment. p.s. I love you’re website and YouTube channel!?

    • Profile photo of Gemma Stafford Gemma Stafford on March 28, 2017 at 1:04 am

      Hi Connor,
      This is a big mixture! Depending on how you spread it I think a double batch should do both cakes, perhaps with a little left over! It is quick enough to whip this up too, so start with double, and if you feel you need more make 1/2 batch. I think you will have enough in double.
      Post a photo here when you are done, I will look forward to seeing them,
      Gemma 🙂

  18. Anu Philip on February 17, 2017 at 10:51 pm

    Hello Gemma,
    Is this butter cream recipe suitable for piping roses with a 104? Would I have to add more icing sugar to make it more stiff.?

    • Profile photo of Gemma Stafford Gemma Stafford on February 18, 2017 at 7:43 am

      Hi Anu,
      Yes! this is perfectly good for piping. If you wish to stabilize it you can use the Swiss buttercream. This is a stronger structure, but the original is great in normal circumstances,
      Gemma 🙂

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