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 for: How to Make the Best Ever Vanilla Buttercream Frosting. Watch my step-by-step video below and get all my best tips on how to make icing (along with a complete recipe below!):
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:
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
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.
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.
Get More Frosting & Cake Recipes
- Gemma’s Best Vanilla Birthday Cake recipe: Covered in sprinkles, this cake is perfect for any Bold Baker.
- Crazy Frosting Recipe: One Buttercream Frosting recipe with endless flavor variations.
- Gemma’s Best Cake Recipes: Vanilla Cakes, Chocolate Cakes & even entire cakes made in the microwave.
- Crazy Cupcakes: One Cupcake recipe with endless flavor variations.
- 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.
- 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.
- Add the vanilla extract, vanilla bean seeds, salt and cream or milk.
- Whip on high speed for another 3-4 minutes until very light, creamy, and fluffy.
- Use the buttercream straight away or keep it refrigerated for up to 4 weeks. Before use, make sure it comes to room temperature.
Watch the Recipe Video!
I have updated this recipe to add more sugar to the frosting. This is the new, improved version.
SUBMIT YOUR OWN PHOTOS OF THIS RECIPE
54 ImagesSubmit Your Photos
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!
Have you made a recipe? Share photos on my website or across social media with the hashtag #boldbaker.
And don't miss my NEW Bold Baking recipes and tips. Sign up for my weekly email newsletter.