The Best Vanilla Buttercream

The Best Vanilla Buttercream – light and fluffy, creamy and delicious, but this vanilla buttercream is not only delicious, it’s easy to make and a breeze to frost with.

The Best Vanilla Buttercream: all my tips and tricks for making the best buttercream of your life. Once you have this buttercream, you'll never go back to another recipe. It's simple, delicious and spreads onto your cakes like a dream. #cakebycourtney #thebestvanillabuttercream #bestvanillabuttercream #vanillabuttercream #howtomakebuttercream #buttercreamrecipe #icingrecipe #frostingrecipe #buttercreamfrostingrecipe #howtomakefrosting #vanillafrostingrecipe

The Best Vanilla Buttercream

This buttercream is just too good not to have its own post! It’s light and fluffy, silky and smooth – and just all-around delicious.

To me, a buttercream should never be so dense that it steals the show away from the cake. In fact, a buttercream should be part of the ensemble, a complementary element to the layers and fillings. However, that’s not always the case. I grew up thinking buttercream was dense and heavy. It wasn’t until I started making homemade cakes and homemade frosting that I realized, it didn’t have to be that way.

How to Make Buttercream Frosting

To get a light and fluffy homemade buttercream frosting, I have a detailed post: HOW TO MAKE THE BEST BUTTERCREAM to give you in-depth instruction for making your buttercream unreal! Here’s an overview with a quick picture tutorial for making the best vanilla buttercream:

  • Sift your powdered sugar
  • Use slightly cold butter and mix on its own for 2 to 3 minutes
  • Use heavy whipping cream
  • Beat for 5 minutes
  • Stir by hand

Before frosting your cake, make sure to stir the buttercream with a wooden spoon or spatula to push out the air pockets. This makes getting smooth sides on your cake so much easier.

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Look at the transformation in color and texture in these pictures below.

You’ll be able to get nearly white in color with that extra five minutes of beating. More importantly, you’re creating a light, fluffy texture that won’t overpower your cake layers.

The Best Vanilla Buttercream: all my tips and tricks for making the best buttercream of your life. Once you have this buttercream, you'll never go back to another recipe. It's simple, delicious and spreads onto your cakes like a dream. #cakebycourtney #thebestvanillabuttercream #bestvanillabuttercream #vanillabuttercream #howtomakebuttercream #buttercreamrecipe #icingrecipe #frostingrecipe #buttercreamfrostingrecipe #howtomakefrosting #vanillafrostingrecipe

Vanilla Buttercream

5 from 19 votes
A light and fluffy vanilla buttercream


For the Buttercream

  • 2 cups (452g) unsalted butter slightly chilled
  • 6 cups (750g) powdered sugar measured and then sifted
  • 3-4 tbsp (57.75g) heavy whipping cream
  • 2 tsp (8.4g) vanilla extract
  • Pinch of salt
  • *This buttercream recipe makes enough to fill and cover your cake. If you want to add additional piping, you’ll want to make an extra ½ batch.


To prepare

  • In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, cream the butter for about 2 to 3 minutes. This will soften the butter without it having to be warm.
  • With the mixer on low speed, gradually add the sifted powdered sugar, one cup at a time, mixing a little in between each addition.
  • With mixer on medium speed, add whipping cream, vanilla and salt.
  • Turn the mixer to medium-high speed and beat for an additional 3 to 5 minutes. The frosting will become lighter in color and texture.
  • Before spreading on your cake, spend a couple minutes mixing the buttercream by hand with a wooden spoon to push out the air pockets.
Cuisine Buttercream
Course Dessert
Keyword easy buttercream recipe

Courtney Rich

I’m a self-taught baker, obsessed with cake.

I long ago ditched box mixes in pursuit of melt-in-your-mouth, to-die-for flavor combinations, fillings and textures. I believe cake must be decadent, life-changing and worthy of celebration! And I believe anyone should be able to bake that kind of cake – and I’m here to teach you just that!

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Everything you need to know about decorating a cake like a pro!

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Recipe Rating


  1. I find buttercream always turns out tasting like too much powdered sugar, do you think the brand of powdered sugar makes a difference in taste? What brand do you use? Any other tips to cut the sweetness of the powdered sugar? Thank you.

  2. 5 stars
    I have never liked my vanilla buttercream recipe, and whenever someone requests vanilla frosting I try to suggest another because its very sweet and not my best. I am SO EXCITED that I tried this recipe!!! Its so much more creamy and perfect than others I’ve tried. I think its more buttery than other recipes I’ve used and it reeaally makes a difference. I didn’t think vanilla buttercream recipes could be that different but THIS IS THE ONE!

  3. 5 stars
    I have made several other buttercream frostings over the years and yours is the first I actually loved! Clear instructions and wonderful results. Thank you!!!

  4. How long can I store the buttercream in the fridge before using to decorate a cake? How long should it stay out of the fridge for to soften before I use in piping bag? Thank you!!

  5. Hi Courtney,
    Can I color this buttercream with gel food color? About how much do you add between your layers? TIA!