Vanilla Buttercream Icing

Christine Albury

Vanilla Buttercream Icing is classic! It's the best for birthday cupcakes and wedding cakes alike.

This vanilla buttercream icing recipe is quick and easy, but makes a great way to turn your cakes into extra special treats!

Its texture is perfect for piping, which gives a lovely, professional look to your creations.

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Tips for making perfect vanilla buttercream icing

- Always ensure your butter is at room temperature before you start, so that it is soft enough to get that nice, creamy texture you need once its blended with the butter.

- Make sure you use unsalted butter. You can always add a little salt if you want to - it's a great way to offset the sweetness of this icing - but by using unsalted butter you can control just how much salt the end product will contain.

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- Be sure to use confectioner's sugar and don't try to substitute it with any other variety. This is because confectioner's sugar is very fine and will blend well. Other types of sugar will give your buttercream icing a grainy texture.

- Use pure vanilla extract and don't accept any imitations! Pure vanilla extract is a high quality ingredient that has to meet certain standards, which ensures it has the wonderful depth of flavor you'd expect. Imitiation vanilla is made with synthetic products and often has a bitter aftertaste. There is really no comparison!

- If you find that your vanilla buttercream icing contains air bubbles, try blending the butter and sugar by hand instead of using a mixer. It is easy to overwhip the butter with a mixer, and that's what causes the bubbles, They won't affect the flavor of your icing in any way, but bubbles do affect the texture and make the mixture seem less creamy. They can also cause problems when piping on designs.

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How to make your own piping bag using a zip-top bag

If you'd like to have a go at piping this vanilla buttercream icing on to a cake but don't have the right equipment, then you can improvise with a zip-top bag. This won't be any use for intricate designs and certainly won't be perfect, but it's fine for creating simple patterns on a sponge cake or drizzling over a bundt cake, for example.

All you need is a thick resealable bag - a freezer bag is ideal. If the bag you use it too thin, it might pop as soon as you start squeezing it!

Spoon in your buttercream icing and seal the bag, making sure you've squeezed out all the air first.

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Push the icing down into the corner of the bag you plan to squeeze it from, then snip off a tiny bit of the corner with a sharp pair of scissors. Have an experimental squeeze to see how much icing comes out - if you want to pipe thicker lines then snip off a little more.

Hold the bag over your cake and start piping. You won't need much pressure and the icing will probably flow out fairly quickly, so take care.

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Vanilla Buttercream Icing

  12 Servings


  • 1 cup Unsalted Butter
  • 4 cups Powdered Sugar
  • 2 tablespoons Milk
  • 1 teaspoon Pure Vanilla Extract


  1. Cream the butter and sugar together using the paddle attachment in a stand mixer at medium speed, until light and fluffy.
  2. Next, beat in the vanilla and scrape down the sides of the bowl.
  3. Add the powdered sugar a cup at a time, turning the speed to low with each new addition then returning to the medium setting. Stop often to scrape down the sides.
  4. If the mixture is a little too dry for your needs, add milk until it reaches the desired texture.


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Related Recipes:
Frosting Recipes, Cupcake Recipes, Cake Recipes, Dessert Recipes
Recipe Yields:
Frosting for 12 cupcakes
Prep Time:
Total Time:
Related Posts:
Author: Christine Albury
Recipe Yields: Frosting for 12 cupcakes
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 15 minutes

Nutrition Facts

Serving Size 1 cupcake
Servings Per Recipe 12

Amount Per Serving
Calories from Fat 123
Calories 294

% Daily Value*
Total Fat 15g
  Saturated Fat 10g
Sodium 2mg
Total Carbohydrate 40g
  Dietary Fiber 0g
  Sugars 39g
Protein 0g

* Percent Daily Value are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.
** Nutrition Facts are estimated based on ingredients and data provided by Fat Secret. Please consult a doctor if you have special dietary needs.
Christine Albury

About Christine

I'm a mom of 5 and love making healthy baby food with wholesome, natural ingredients. In 2005 I started the Homemade Baby Food Recipes website, sharing recipes for everything from simple fruit purees to gourmet curries for the baby food connoisseur! You'll also find plenty of tried and tested tips to help encourage even the most reluctant diner to enjoy a wide range of nutritious new foods. If you enjoy cooking, then you will LOVE learning to become head chef for a very special little customer!

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