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Vanilla Buttercream Frosting Recipe: Follow my chef-tested technique to making the best ever icing recipe!
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How to Make the Best-Ever Vanilla Buttercream Frosting

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Make the Best-Ever Vanilla Buttercream Frosting recipe with my chef-tested tips and techniques for the perfect buttercream icing every time!


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 recipe. Watch my step-by-step video below and get all my best tips on how to make icing.

How to Make Buttercream Frosting?

How do you make fluffy buttercream icing? The secret ingredient in my buttercream frosting is time. Most people whip their butter for a few minutes then start adding in sugar and expect a light and airy result, but it’s never achieved. This frosting recipe takes its literal sweet time to really incorporate as much air as possible into the butter. This means allowing your butter to whip to perfection for a full 7-8 minutes. Only then do I add in sifted powdered sugar one spoon-full at a time. While this takes a bit of patience, follow my steps and you will have the best buttercream frosting every time:

  1. Get Some Air: Use an electric stand mixer or hand mixer. For the stand mixer, use the whisk attachment because this will get all of the air into your frosting.
  2. Soft Butter is Everything: The most important thing that you need is to have soft butter. If you leave your butter out at room temperature for around three hours, it will be a lovely texture for you to start whipping. This is super important and the base of your frosting.
  3. Whip it Good: Turn your machine on a medium high speed and beat the butter by itself for around eight minutes. Get your butter light and fluffy before you add in any sugar.
  4. Sift your Sugar: While the butter is whipping, sift your your icing sugar (powdered sugar). It is really important to sift it because you want to get a lot of air in there and make sure there are no lumps. This will give you a lighter frosting as well.
  5. Spoonful by Spoonful: Once your butter is pale and light, add in your sugar spoonful by spoonful. Add in a spoonful, let it fully incorporate, and then add in your next one. Make sure your machine is on medium high speed here because we want to incorporate all of the lovely air that is going to give us a soft, fluffy frosting.
  6. Finishing Touches: When all of your sugar is added in, add in vanilla extract and a little bit of milk. What that does is it just lightens up your frosting. Turn the machine back on high speed and let everything incorporate. In just a few few minutes, you will have perfect frosting.

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WHAT IF MY BUTTERCREAM FROSTING ISN’T STIFF ENOUGH?

What do you do if you’ve followed my tips but you find your frosting just isn’t stiff enough? The first thing I’d suggest is to chill the buttercream frosting. By bringing down the temperature, the frosting should tighten up immediately. This is a great trick for buttercream frosting that may have been over mixed, or made at too warm a temperature. If this does not seem to do the trick, try adding more sifted powdered sugar, 3 tablespoons at a time. With just a few extra tablespoons of sugar, your frosting will transform and be so much easier to work with, saving you from wasting ingredients.

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WHAT IF MY BUTTERCREAM FROSTING IS TOO THICK?

If your frosting feels too thick, there is no reason to start over from scratch on a new batch. Simply add milk 1 tablespoon at a time to your Buttercream Frosting until you reach your desired consistency. From there, simply pipe or frost as normal. You’ll be surprised how little milk you actually need to fix this problem. This will not at all affect the flavor of your frosting, regardless of what is in it.

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4.6 from 38 reviews
Gemma's Best-Ever Vanilla Buttercream Frosting (Master Recipe)
 
Prep time
Total time
 
Learn how to make my easy, Best-Ever Vanilla Buttercream Frosting recipe, which is perfect for my Vanilla Birthday Cake and any of my cakes & cupcakes.
Recipe type: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Serves: 12
Ingredients
  • 1½ cups (12oz/340g) butter, softened
  • 6 cups (1lb 8oz/680g) icing sugar (powdered 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 icing 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 or milk.
  4. Whip on high speed for another 3-4 minutes until very light, creamy, and fluffy.
  5. Use the buttercream straight away or keep it refrigerated for up to 4 weeks. Before use, make sure it comes to room temperature.
Notes
I have updated this recipe to add more sugar to the frosting. This is the new, improved version.

 

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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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695 Comments

  1. Lea Seidman on June 10, 2018 at 9:49 am

    Thank you for this recipe! I’ve been making buttercream for years, but never with proper instructions, and so got mixed results. The frosting I made with your instructions turned out gorgeous, well worth the powdered sugar snowfall in my kitchen.
    The full recipe amount filled and iced a 2-layer 9” x 13” cake. (Both crumb and top coat.)
    You helped make my husband’s 60th birthday cake look beautiful.

    PS: I noticed the frosting tasted better after a few hours vs when it was first finished. Have you noticed this?

    • Gemma Stafford on June 11, 2018 at 2:24 am

      Hi Lea,
      GOOD! And well done you to make a great cake for your husband’s party. I hope he has many many more parties!
      Yes, this is a big mix and covers a big cake well. When the buttercream is first made it is pretty soft, and the mouth feel is slightly different than when it has set up in a cold place, I think this is what you noticed!
      Thank you for this kind review,
      Gemma 🙂

  2. Carey on June 8, 2018 at 12:55 pm

    Hi Gemma, I am making a 3-layer cake, 8″ each. and would probably need half this recipe. I don’t understand how you figure your recipe being a 1:2 ratio butter to sugar in oz. or cups? I’d like to halve the recipe, can you please tell me the measurements for each? Thanks!

    • Gemma Stafford on June 9, 2018 at 2:42 am

      Hi Carey,
      How do you measure your ingredients?
      If you measure in ozs/grams then this recipe becomes really easy to adjust, for even the smallest amount. When I was growing up we measured on a scales, in ozs. I never had to look up a recipe for buttercream, and could make as little or as much as I anted for a recipe.
      1:2 works. you can go as low as you can mix, 1oz butter to 2ozs icing sugar, plus a touch of milk and vanilla. 2oz butter to 4ozs sugar etc, 3ozs butter to 6ozs sugar etc.
      The same applies to a Victoria sponge mix, never needed to look up that recipe either, it is equal quantities of butter, sugar, flour, 1/2 the amount in eggs and a little milk and vanilla. You can keep it in your head. See this recipe here (https://www.biggerbolderbaking.com/painted-cake/). It is worth getting to know both of these recipes.
      I hope this helps you,
      Gemma 🙂

  3. Eli on May 30, 2018 at 10:15 pm

    Heya Gemma! I only have a cup of butter,what’s the measurement for this?

    • Gemma Stafford on May 31, 2018 at 6:07 am

      Hi Eli,

      Buttercream recipe is simply double the amount of sugar to butter so if you have 1 cup of butter you need 4 cups of icing sugar 🙂

      Best,
      Gemma.

      • Eli on May 31, 2018 at 11:44 pm

        Thanks Gemma!

  4. Julie Wilcox on May 29, 2018 at 3:16 am

    Hi
    I plan to use your buttercream to sandwich and coat a 10 and 6 “ rainbow cake, so lots of layers, I just mixed my first batch and think I might have made a fatal mistake, I used spreadable butter instead of block and now the buttercream isn’t as stiff as I would like it. Is there a way to salvage this?
    Thanks
    Julie

    • Gemma Stafford on May 29, 2018 at 3:30 am

      Hi Julie,
      Yes! You are right, the tub of butter is designed for spreading, and to remain soft even when refrigerated. it is not good for buttercream.
      Now to rescue it you need to add something to stiffen it. 1/2 teaspoon blended in a little milk per cup of powdered sugar/4.5ozs/130g. This should do it for you and make it good for piping.
      If you have a lot of buttercream, take out one cup, add 1/2 teaspoon of cornstarch/cornflour and try this. Very little milk will do it. That will tell you.
      I wish you well with it,
      Gemma 🙂

      • Julie Wilcox on May 29, 2018 at 4:32 am

        Hi
        Thanks for your fast response unfortunately it’s still very soft, any other suggestions before I give in and throw it away?
        Julie

        • Gemma Stafford on May 31, 2018 at 5:49 am

          Hi Julie,

          Sorry for my late reply. Yes add more icing sugar to it and it will stiffen up. Also note it will firm up in the fridge when cold.

          Best,
          Gemma

  5. Leonie VanPuymbroeck on May 20, 2018 at 10:01 am

    Hi Gemma,

    Making this today and I was wondering why the Vanilla pod is optional. If I don’t have any (ran out and they are so expensive now) can I put in 5 teaspoons of vanilla extract, instead of just 2?

    Thanks! Leonie

    • Gemma Stafford on May 22, 2018 at 1:38 am

      Hi Leonie,

      yes vanilla is optional. 5 teaspoons might be too much, maybe 3 or so at the most.

      Best,
      Gemma.

      • Leonie VanPuymbroeck on May 22, 2018 at 3:42 am

        Thanks Gemma!

        I ended up making it before your reply. Used four tablespoons of vanilla. Was a little too much, I’ll use three next time! So fluffy and delicious. I shared a pic of my cupcake on your Facebook page I hope you saw it. Thanks again!!

        • Leonie VanPuymbroeck on May 22, 2018 at 3:43 am

          Teaspoons*

  6. WannabeBaker on May 18, 2018 at 2:40 pm

    Hiiiii Gemma!

    Quickie please. In one of the above replies, you mentioned the following;
    “A buttercream is proportional, 1:2, butter to powdered sugar, then the additions proportionally.”
    But your recipe calls for almost 1:6 butter to sugar.
    I always thought it was 1:2 butter to sugar… so which is correct? Thank you so much 💛

    • Gemma Stafford on May 18, 2018 at 11:42 pm

      Hi,

      Yes that is correct. If you look at the grams and ounces it is double. thats what should be 1:2.

      Hope this clears it up.
      Best,
      Gemma.

  7. Sierra on May 15, 2018 at 5:36 am

    Hi, can I add in fresh fruit and fruit preserves in order to flavor this buttercream or will that affect the consistency to much that I won’t be able to frost my cake?

    • Gemma Stafford on May 15, 2018 at 7:57 am

      Hi Sierra,

      you sure can add those. That will work well. Use either, just note if you use pureed fruit just don’t add too much as it can make your buttercream split. Jams and preserves won’t split if however.

      Best,
      Gemma.

  8. Allison on May 14, 2018 at 4:27 am

    Hello Gemma! I do not have a stand mixer, can I use a hand mixer?

    • Gemma Stafford on May 15, 2018 at 7:07 am

      Yes, Allison. Feel free to use a hand mixer just make sure you whip it up really well.

      Best,
      Gemma.

  9. Kira on May 11, 2018 at 8:13 am

    Hello, does this recipe call for unsalted butter, or salted butter?

    • Gemma Stafford on May 11, 2018 at 8:19 am

      Hi Kira,
      Either one! I tend to use salted, but most people would choose unsalted for this type of recipe.
      Thank you for being in touch,
      Gemma 🙂

  10. Jamie on May 9, 2018 at 8:42 am

    I’m making cupcakes for my son’s first birthday. I think I need to frost about 48 cupcakes(using a simple large star tip-Wilton 1M). How many times would you recommend making the recipe? This recipe looks awesome! Thank you!

    • Gemma Stafford on May 9, 2018 at 11:27 am

      Hi Jamie,
      This is a big recipe!
      I think this will easily do 30 cupcakes, depending on how generous you are. I suggest you make a batch, see how far it goes, and make more as you need it. I do this all the time, it is quick. A buttercream is proportional, 1:2, butter to powdered sugar, then the additions proportionally. This makes it easy to make a little extra.
      I hope this makes sense to you, this is what I would do in the circumstance,
      Gemma 🙂

  11. Rebekah on May 8, 2018 at 8:26 am

    I am wondering if this is a stiff enough frosting to make flowers? That has been my trouble with other recipes: a great frosting, but not stiff enough to make a flower that keeps its shape.

    • Gemma Stafford on May 9, 2018 at 2:28 pm

      Hi Rebekah,
      Buttercream can be used for flowers, and works well with Russian tips. stabilizing it with cornstarch really helps, not too much, say 1 teaspoon to 8ozs butter, 16ozs powdered sugar, and a little cream or milk. To keep its shape, and to crust it, it needs to be a little stiff, but pipeable. Try a little sample recipe, it is proportional so easy to cut down. 1 oz butter, 2 ozs powdered sugar, 1/8 teaspoon of cornstarch/cornflour, and test it!
      Gemma 😉

  12. Krystal on May 6, 2018 at 8:18 am

    I followed the recipe and directions exactly but after putting in vanilla and cream it’s no longer fluffy. Help!!!

    • Gemma Stafford on May 6, 2018 at 10:17 pm

      Huh! That is weird. I’m really surprised by that. Try to continue whipping it and see if it becomes fluffy again.

      I’m not sure why that would happen.
      Gemma.

  13. Mae on May 4, 2018 at 6:06 am

    Gem, help!! 😭

    Can I still rescue my grainy buttercream? Its too airy too. Disaster! 😩😩😩 I dont want to throw it. Suggestions please.

    • Gemma Stafford on May 7, 2018 at 5:07 am

      Hi Mae,
      How did it get grainy? Really if you chill it a little, and whip it again it should work out well for you. Powdered sugar usually dissolves in the softened butter, and the added milk further sees to that. I am not sure why it is grainy, sorry. I hope you get it resolved,
      Gemma 🙂

  14. Deiz on May 3, 2018 at 1:08 am

    Hi Gemma,

    I love this recipe because it’s very yummy. However, it’s very hot here so I added about 1/4 cup shortening to make it even more stable (because it’s very hot in my country) but my buttercream had air bubbles and I can’t pipe continuously because of the air coming out. What should I do?? And please tell me what I did wrong. I’m hoping for your reply.

    Thanks,
    Deiz

    • Gemma Stafford on May 3, 2018 at 1:48 am

      Hi Deiz,
      I think it was the shortening?
      Re-whip the mix, at high speed to try to get the two fats to come together. It sounds like they have remained separate, and I am not sure if they can combine successfully.
      In hot countries buttercream is often stabilized by cornflour/cornstarch. Just a little though, as it can also cause it to stiffen too much, when it is difficult to pipe.
      It is a difficult thing to resolve as butter will melt unless it is kept chilled,
      Gemma 🙂

      • Deiz on May 6, 2018 at 1:28 am

        Hi Grmma,

        You are really wonderful! Thanks for replying to me! But will the buttercream moist after I take it out of the fridge? And how should I put cornstarch on the buttercream, will I cook it first?

        • Gemma Stafford on May 7, 2018 at 4:51 am

          Hi Deiz,
          You have to be careful with the cornstarch, a little goes a long way. You add it to the powdered sugar, and sieve it in to the butter. 1 teaspoon will be loads for this recipe, 1/2 teaspoon may do the trick for you where you live. Real butter sets up hard in the fridge. It is the nature of it. At room temperature, above 18C it will soften out, so it depends no where you live. In a coffee shop you will never find it out of a refrigerated unit until it is sold, here in the US and in other places food for sale is regulated, and temperature control comes into this. So, try it, run a small experiment, a little batch. There is nothing like experience to teach us,
          Gemma 🙂

  15. Selina on May 1, 2018 at 12:47 pm

    Hi Gemma!
    Im making a wedding cake which is going to be a 3 tier cake of a 6, 8 and 10″ tiers. Do you think this recipe would be enough for that size cake or do you think i would need to make more?
    Thanks in advance!
    Selina x

    • Gemma Stafford on May 2, 2018 at 4:19 am

      Hi Selina,
      I think this will be sufficient, depending on how you fill and frost the cake.
      The great thing about this type of frosting is that it is easy to whip up an extra batch if you need it. Get it to the crumb coat layer, allow it to set up, in the fridge if possible, and then assess the remainder, this will tell you if you need more. do not over fill the cake, it will not need it.
      I hope it works out really well for you, let us see the result,
      Gemma 🙂

  16. Rabia Dhanji on April 26, 2018 at 11:59 am

    Hi … I love your recipes. .Your cake just turned out perfect… I have a question about buttercream. I have to deliver a cake on Saturday, if I ice it, I’d it ok to leave at room temperature till Saturday? I presume I have to put it in the box and leave it on the counter…. Thank u xx

    • Gemma Stafford on April 26, 2018 at 4:55 pm

      Hi,

      I’m thrilled to hear it worked out. Yes leave it at room temp. That is totally fine.

      Good luck with your cake!
      Gemma.

      • Rabia Dhanji on April 27, 2018 at 10:58 am

        Thank you. I will post pics x

  17. Jeanine on April 22, 2018 at 7:46 pm

    Hi Gemma, How long can the left over Butter cream be stored for?

    • Gemma Stafford on April 23, 2018 at 1:57 am

      Hi Jeanine,
      This buttercream can be stored, well wrapped, in the fridge for about one week to be at its’ best.
      In the freezer it will hold for months! In both instances it will need to be re-whipped when you wish to use it. Take it back to room temperature, and proceed.
      Gemma 🙂

  18. Zay on April 22, 2018 at 7:08 pm

    Hi Gemma.. May I ask, how do I make the colours?

    • Gemma Stafford on April 23, 2018 at 2:04 am

      Hi Zay,
      This is easy, when you have the colors to add. I how you how to make natural colors here (https://www.biggerbolderbaking.com/all-natural-homemade-food-coloring/). These will give a light/pale color to your food. for a deeper color you will need to use a manufactured product, a gel or paste. I like Americolor and Wilton. You will find them on Amazon or locally if you have a baking section in your store.
      Thank you for being in touch,
      Gemma 🙂

      • Zay on April 30, 2018 at 3:46 am

        Thanks a lot Gemma for telling me.. It turns out great.. At first I thought you won’t be replying me..😁

        • Gemma Stafford on May 1, 2018 at 4:39 am

          hi Zay,
          I reply to everyone, as I understand that ingredients/ovens/climate are all different around the world. it is a matter of trying to find solutions to the issues, that matters, and if you have an issue, you can be sure someone else does too!
          Thank you for being in touch,
          Gemma 🙂

  19. Sophia on April 22, 2018 at 9:30 am

    Hi Gemma,
    This buttercream frosting is way too sweet for me. Can I cut down on the sugar? Like 1 3/4 cup or 1 1/2 cups? Also I’m halving this recipe 🙂

    • Gemma Stafford on April 23, 2018 at 11:01 am

      Hi Sophia,
      This is a sweet frosting, and it is proportional 1:2, butter to sugar.
      To reduce the sugar in this recipe you have to replace the bulk of the sugar, and I am not sure it works so well, it becomes a different thing.
      It is easy to reduce this recipe, keeping the proportions in mind. This is a big recipe, but you can take it back to as little as 1oz butter to 2ozs icing/powdered sugar. Adding things like cocoa will balance the sweetness, coffee powder too!
      google some low sugar options, you will see what I mean,
      Gemma 🙂

  20. Anna-Lee on April 19, 2018 at 1:06 pm

    Hi Gemma,

    I’m looking to use this recipe to frost just the top of a one layer cake. I don’t really want any leftover because I will not use it. Do you think I could half this recipe?

    Thanks!!

    • Gemma Stafford on April 20, 2018 at 6:11 am

      Hi Anna,
      This is a BIG recipe, it will fill, and fully coat a 10 inch cake, but the good news is it is really easy to make a small portion.
      If you read the recipe you will find it is proportional, 1:2 butter to sugar.
      You did not say how large your cake is, but an 8inch cake, just frosted on top, will take 4ozs butter. 8ozs icing sugar, vanilla to taste and a little milk.
      I hope this helps you,
      Gemma 🙂

      • Brenda on April 29, 2018 at 8:10 am

        The ratio of butter to sugar in your recipe is not 1:2. I found the last two cups of powdered sugar difficult to mix in my stand mixer because it was so dry. Any suggestion?

        • Gemma Stafford on April 30, 2018 at 4:06 am

          Hi Brenda,
          Here is my recipe:

          1½ cups (12oz/340g) butter, softened
          6 cups (1lb 8oz/680g) confectioners’ sugar, sifted
          2 teaspoon vanilla extract
          Seeds scraped from one vanilla bean pod (optional)
          2-3 tablespoons milk or cream
          pinch of salt
          I think you are using cups to measure the powdered sugar, and this is not an exact science. The ration is 1:2, but this is impossible for cup measurements as they are a measure of volume, and the volume changes according to a number of factors, sieved before measuring, heaping the cup/scooping/leveling etc.
          If you have a scales use that. A digital scales is the most accurate of all.
          I hope this is of help. I cannot think of another reason why it cannot mix for you,
          Gemma 🙂

  21. Andrea on April 18, 2018 at 6:24 pm

    Hi! Would this recipe work under fondant?

    • Gemma Stafford on April 19, 2018 at 2:14 am

      Hi Andrea,
      Yes! I would do a crumb layer first, That is fill the cake, and add a really fine layer of buttercream, which will pick up any loose crumbs on the cake, which will allow you to place the fondant, or another layer of buttercream. Set it up in the fridge before attempting a second layer, that is what helps. This is a big recipe, so make as little or as much as you want, it is easy to reduce it.
      Good luck with your cake!
      Gemma 🙂

      • Andrea on April 19, 2018 at 11:05 am

        Thank you for your quick reply. It’s a large cake and I normally work with ganache but this friend is a butter cream lover! Thank you for the recipe!

  22. Maureen on April 18, 2018 at 6:26 am

    Hi Gemma! I took a Wilton cake decorating course 40 years ago, and now that I’m a Grandma, guess who is making cakes again?! I’m doing 2 9 inch (these will be done with ruffle tip) & 2 6 inch cakes,(that will end up a cat face using grass tip) I’m going to use your Best Ever Vanilla Buttercream. Your recipe says serves 12, so should I double your recipe? It looks delicious!!

    • Gemma Stafford on April 19, 2018 at 3:50 am

      Hi Maureen,
      A skill learned is never forgotten, well done you, it is a great pastime.
      This is a big recipe, though I know the ruffles and grass will use up a lot of it, I would not be thing double this recipe, perhaps 1 1/2 times.
      I will be looking forward to seeing the results, do please post a photo!
      Remember to do a crumb layer, a really light layer to pick up the cake crumbs, this will really help in applying the top coat/ruffles.
      Chill the cake after the crumb layer, and again after the first layers of decoration, this really helps it hold its’ shape.
      I hope you have a lovely party, and great praise for your cake, I think you will.
      Gemma 🙂

    • Maureen on April 19, 2018 at 6:20 am

      Thank you so much! I wasn’t sure if you had time to answer, so I tripled the ingredients when I shopped! LOL that just means I have to keep baking. Thank you again!

      • Gemma Stafford on April 20, 2018 at 7:27 am

        Maureen, this is true, you are obliged to keep on going now!
        Haha! thank you for being here with us,
        Gemma 🙂

        • Maureen on April 21, 2018 at 3:39 pm

          Gemma, this was delicious, but when I did a crumb coat with off set spatula, it would roll back up. I had to really play with it to get it to stick. Then while using the grass tip to make “fur” large chunks would fall off. I did finally finish the cake. I hope it made it to the party!

          • Gemma Stafford on April 22, 2018 at 3:49 am

            Hi Maureen,
            I am happy that you got there, but sorry it gave you trouble. Was it a little too cold to spread? adding a little cornflour will stabilize this buttercream, too much makes it difficult to apply. Not sure why this was an issue for you, but glad you got there with it. I just checked out the pic, it looks great! loved the ears, and the great color on the ‘fur’ well done you,
            Gemma 🙂



  23. Bigger bolder baker on April 17, 2018 at 7:52 am

    Thanks for always trying to help, really appreciated!

    • Gemma Stafford on April 17, 2018 at 11:15 am

      Happy to try, even though I do not always get it right!
      Gemma 🙂

  24. Bigger bolder baker on April 16, 2018 at 11:20 pm

    I used icing sugar and followed the recipe exactly but it’s still gritty?dnt know where I went wrong?

    • Gemma Stafford on April 17, 2018 at 2:47 am

      Hi there,
      Me neither! I am wondering if it is down to expectation! The sugar largely dissolves, but it is still there! sorry, I do not seem to be able to help with this,
      Gemma 🙂

  25. Bigger bolder baker on April 16, 2018 at 2:23 am

    Hi Gemma, tried this recipe, still getting grittiness even after beating for long, can I use boiling water to melt the sugar and spoon in as in the recipe to remove the grittiness? Thanks a lot!

    • Gemma Stafford on April 16, 2018 at 3:35 am

      Hi there,
      Are you using confectioners/icing/powdered sugar?
      If you are then you really should not be having this issue. Boiling water will melt the butter, that would not work. The milk you add to this recipe will melt icing sugar, you can test this with a little in a small bowl.
      I have a feeling that I do not have all the necessary information!
      Gemma 🙂

  26. Linda Martin on April 15, 2018 at 2:05 pm

    You said you had a new improved Buttercream recipe with more sugar added. How much more sugar? Is this a whipped buttercream recipe as I have been told not to use the whisk (to use paddle) as you don’t want to add air into your icing as it will cause bubbles when trying to smooth out your iced cake?

    • Gemma Stafford on April 21, 2018 at 6:27 am

      Hi Linda,

      Sorry for my late reply. This recipe has already been edited so it’s this recipe you should follow. I use the whisk for my buttercream as you get the best results. It yields a soft and fluffy buttercream.If you don’t want that air then use a paddle, however I don’t think it will yield you the best buttercream.

      My buttercream is perfect for decorating with.
      Best,
      Gemma.

  27. daveg on April 9, 2018 at 11:49 pm

    Hi gemma

    I am sorry if you answered this question. Does the buttercream “crust” if you leave the cake on the counter at room temperature? I was hoping to use the viva paper towel method to remove the lines from the cake. Thanks in advance

    • Gemma Stafford on April 10, 2018 at 12:47 pm

      hi there,
      Really all buttercream will ‘crust’ to a degree when allowed to stand at cool room temperature.
      Using a paper towel to smooth the buttercream takes a little practice. A ‘crumb layer’ really helps here. Try this before you have an important cake to frost, practice makes perfect.
      Do use a crumb layer (https://www.biggerbolderbaking.com/crumb-coat/). This gives a great base to the buttercream, and holds the finish in place.
      I hope this helps,
      Gemma 🙂

  28. Jennifer h on April 8, 2018 at 10:37 am

    Hi- is the butter salted or unsalted?

    • Gemma Stafford on April 8, 2018 at 10:39 am

      Hi Jennifer,
      I tend to use salted, but that is because I grew up with salted butter. Most people like unsalted butter for this purpose, and you can add a pinch of salt if you wish,
      Gemma 🙂

      • Jennifer on April 8, 2018 at 12:02 pm

        Thank you so much for your quick reply! I’m going to attempt your vanilla birthday cake with this frosting for my daughters birthday! 🤞

        • Gemma Stafford on April 8, 2018 at 2:18 pm

          Great Jennifer, do post us a photo too, I hope all goes well for you,
          Gemma 🙂

          • Jennifer h on April 14, 2018 at 9:07 am

            Thank you! We haven’t tasted the finished product yet- it’s for my daughter’s 3rd bday tonight! (We tasted the frosting & the cake I cut off & they were delicious!) It’s the first all from scratch cake I made so it’s a good first try! My cake decorating could use some work though lol.



          • Gemma Stafford on April 15, 2018 at 3:45 am

            Hi Jennifer,
            Happy birthday to your 3 year old daughter, it is a lovely age, and a great time for a party. Believe me, my decorating skills are not tip top either, but it really does not matter, the love that goes in is what matters most.
            good job, thank you for being in touch,
            Gemma 🙂



  29. NikkiSixx87 on April 7, 2018 at 10:34 pm

    I love this recipe! I used it for my daughters birthday cake and it was a hit. I used a vanilla almond wedding cake, triple berry fruit compote, and this frosting was the finishing touch. If I wanted to make this chocolate butter cream, what would you suggest?

    • Gemma Stafford on April 8, 2018 at 11:15 am

      Hi there Nikki,
      That is good to hear, thank you for letting me know, very inventive too!
      Cocoa is a great addition to this buttercream. It will balance the sweetness too. Buttercream frosting is relatively proportional. 1:2 butter to icing sugar. add about 1 tablespoon cocoa to 4oz of icing sugar, sieve it through, and the flavor will be good. 2 tablespoons to 8oz etc.
      I hope this is of help to you,
      Gemma 🙂

  30. Alexandra27 on April 5, 2018 at 1:40 pm

    Hi Gemma,

    I love the way you explain everything and the great tips that you have.
    How many times should I make this recipe for a 3 tier double layer cakes 10,8,6 in.? Also I have seen several recipes where they add shortening or meringue powder for hot weather conditions what do you suggest? Is good to pipe rosettes on a cake? Thank you in advance for your help!!

    • Gemma Stafford on April 6, 2018 at 6:54 pm

      hi Alexandra,

      thank you so much :). I would say make this 3 times. That should be enough.

      Mine is good for piping rosettes. However if you want it firmer add even more sugar. The meringue powder is something I haven’t done but it does work. It would help stabilize it even more if thats what you need.

      Hope this helps,
      Gemma.

  31. zee on April 5, 2018 at 11:12 am

    Hi Gemma,

    I love the video and the great tips you provide. I have a question I want to make a 3 tier cake 10,8,6 in double layer. How many time should I make your recipe and can I add fruit to fill the cake? Also will this buttercream how it shape when I pipe rosettes and it warm outside. I would ate for it to melt. Is there need for shortening or meringue powder?

    • Gemma Stafford on April 8, 2018 at 1:44 pm

      Hi Zee,
      Wow! This is a big cake. The vanilla buttercream frosting here is a big recipe. I think double this recipe should work well for you. What concerns me really is the heat. Buttercream is not really stable in heat. It is a dairy product, and it will soften, and melt at above 18c or so. It can be stabilized with cornstarch/cornflour, or by using egg whites, as in Swiss meringue buttercream for instance.
      fresh fruits are great added to cakes, but again they will begin to spoil at high temperatures. Think about it, refrigerate up to am hour before serving for best results.
      Gemma 🙂

  32. Esha Sah on April 1, 2018 at 8:24 am

    Hi Gemma,

    Thanks for the Bold basics series!!

    Today I tried this butter cream recipe. I think it turned out okay. But I can feel fine sugar granules between my finger even though I used powdered sugar and also it has an after-taste of butter to it. Is it normal or am I doing something wrong?

    Also I live in hot and humid place so what precautions should I take so that my butter cream is not runny.

    • Gemma Stafford on April 1, 2018 at 11:36 am

      Hi Esha,

      So you didn’t do anything wrong technically. You just need to whip it up for longer on high speed once you have added in the sugar. You need more air in there and that will eliminate the butteriness. Honestly it takes practice. It took me ages.

      Did you watch the video? Watch it again and listen for those tips.
      Also keep your buttercream in the fridge if that is the climate you are working with.

      Gemma.

  33. BakingLover on March 30, 2018 at 10:09 am

    Thank You so much!

  34. BakingLover on March 29, 2018 at 3:56 pm

    Hi Gemma,

    I was interested in trying this buttercream recipe and I have a question. I am making a cake for Easter using two pans about 9 inches. Will this recipe be able to cover both cakes? Thank you.

    • Gemma Stafford on March 30, 2018 at 2:44 am

      Hi there,
      Yes, easily. This is a big recipe, it will work well for you, and you may have some over. If you do you can freeze it, and re-whip it to use it at a later time,
      Gemma 🙂

  35. Abrown on March 28, 2018 at 5:57 am

    Hi,
    This recipe looks amazing and just what I was looking for. I am thinking of pairing this with your Best-Ever Chocolate Cake because we love the chocolate/vanilla frosting combination. I have a question about this buttercream recipe and when to prepare it. If I plan to make the cake Friday to serve Saturday afternoon, could I also make the buttercream frosting Friday ice the cake and leave it in the fridge overnight? Or should I make the buttercream Saturday morning, Frost and let it set?
    Thanks in advance. And thanks for posting what looks to be a wonderful recipe.
    Abrown

    • Gemma Stafford on March 28, 2018 at 1:36 pm

      Hi there,
      Thank you for your kind words.
      This is a big cake, so it will take up a lot of space in the fridge, however, if you have the space for it it will work perfectly to bake, allow to get cold, then crumb layer, chill and frost. Other than that you can fill, crumb latyer and apply the final layer on the day. Either one will work for you. For the crumb layer spread a thin layer of frosting between the layers and all over the cake. There’s no need to worry too much about what the cake looks like at this point. This is really just a base layer, a good foundation for your final finish. This gives a great and easy platform to work from, and will yield very professional results.
      tip: Chill the remaining buttercream overnight, bring back to room temperature and whisk before using.
      Good luck with this,
      Gemma 🙂

      • Abrown on March 29, 2018 at 5:07 am

        Thank you for getting back to me so quickly and for your advice! I think I’ll bake, cool, crumb layer, chill, Frost and refrigerate overnight! Thanks again for your help!

        • Gemma Stafford on March 30, 2018 at 4:20 am

          Good for you, it will be brilliant, Gemma 🙂

  36. Renee on March 27, 2018 at 6:07 am

    Hello Gemma! I asked a few questions about your birthday cake and now I have one about the frosting……. this recipe says it serves 12 but how many cups of frosting will this recipe make? I need to fill & frost an 8” double layer round. Thanks!

    • Gemma Stafford on March 29, 2018 at 4:00 am

      Hi Regine,
      This is a big recipe:
      1½ cups (340g/12oz) butter, softened to room temperature
      5⅔ cups (680g/1lb 8oz) confectioners’ sugar, sifted
      2 teaspoon vanilla extract
      Seeds scraped from one vanilla bean pod (optional)
      2-3 tablespoons milk or cream
      pinch of salt
      You can add up the ingredients to give you a weight/cup measurement. It is a big recipe, I think you will do what you need to do with about 1/2 of this amount.
      Gemma:)

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