Easy Vanilla Buttercream Frosting Recipe
Easy Vanilla Buttercream Frosting Recipe photo by Taste of Home
Next Recipe

Easy Vanilla Buttercream Frosting Recipe

Read Reviews
4.5 131 130
Publisher Photo
This basic buttercream frosting has unmatchable homemade taste. With a few simple variations, you can come up with different colors and flavors. —Diana Wilson, Denver, Colorado
TOTAL TIME: Prep/Total Time: 10 min.
MAKES:24 servings
TOTAL TIME: Prep/Total Time: 10 min.
MAKES: 24 servings


  • 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • 4-1/2 cups confectioners' sugar
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 5 to 6 tablespoons 2% milk

Nutritional Facts

2 tablespoon: 124 calories, 4g fat (2g saturated fat), 11mg cholesterol, 40mg sodium, 23g carbohydrate (21g sugars, 0 fiber), 0 protein.


  1. In a large bowl, beat butter until creamy. Beat in the confectioners' sugar, vanilla and enough milk to achieve desired consistency. Yield: About 3 cups.

Change up the flavor. Prepare the recipe as directed making the following substitutions:
Add 1/2 to 3/4 teaspoon almond extract instead of the vanilla.
Chocolate: Use 4 cups confectioners' sugar, 1/2 cup baking cocoa and 6-7 tablespoons milk.
Lemon: Use 5-6 tablespoons lemon juice instead of the milk and 1 teaspoon grated peel.
Orange: Use 5-6 tablespoons orange juice instead of the milk and add 1 teaspoon grated orange peel.
Peanut Butter: Use 1/2 cup peanut butter instead of the butter and use 6-8 tablespoons milk.
Peppermint: Use 1/2 to 3/4 teaspoon peppermint extract instead of the vanilla.
Originally published as Easy Vanilla Buttercream Frosting in Complete Guide to Baking 2004, p140

Sweet White Wine

Enjoy this recipe with a sweet white wine such as Moscato or a sweet Riesling.

Reviews for Easy Vanilla Buttercream Frosting

5 Star
4 Star
3 Star
2 Star
1 Star
Please Log In or Join to add a rating and review.
Click stars to rate
Any changes to your rating or review will appear where you originally posted your review
Loading Image
Sort By :
angela32 User ID: 3084463 254422
Reviewed Sep. 21, 2016

"Easy recipe for a great frosting! I like to add almond extract too. Yummy!"

Freetobejenn User ID: 8931114 253925
Reviewed Sep. 10, 2016

"I used only the 1stick of butter stated, four cups of powdered sugar,1 tablespoon of vanilla, and half & half to get to the proper consistency I needed. Delicious!"

clodermeier User ID: 8885397 249920
Reviewed Jun. 29, 2016

"This is my go-to frosting for cakes and cupcakes... it tastes amazing! The only thing is that sometimes the powdered sugar leaves little clumps, but a little high-power mixing can usually solve that. I love all the variations of this frosting as well."

Lheneryf User ID: 8813168 245848
Reviewed Mar. 23, 2016

"Great recipe went well on the cake I made and was delicious easy to make as well"

oldpueblocolo User ID: 8628963 244553
Reviewed Feb. 27, 2016

"Love the ease of this recipe. I made the chocolate version with a yellow cake and it was delicious. During Lent I make a lot of cakes and I will use this re pie because it comes out perfectly. Next week will try either lemon or orange version."

Ham_Sammich User ID: 8473184 242207
Reviewed Jan. 21, 2016

"I used the called for butter and vanilla in the recipe, and then added a tablespoon of milk and one cup of powdered sugar at a time until I reached my desired consistency. All in all, I probably used 3.5 cups of powdered sugar and 3-4 tbsps of milk, but I achieved the delicious buttery taste and consistency I wanted... and for my first time making buttercream frosting, I was highly impressed!"

slocook805 User ID: 7734059 240655
Reviewed Dec. 30, 2015

"1/2 cup of butter is not enough for good creamy buttercream frosting that calls for 4.5 cups of powdered sugar. To 4.5 cups of powdered sugar I use 2 sticks (1 cup) of butter, yes it's OK to do that, it's called buttercream for a reason. I think that like fudge buttercream frosting is affected by humidity in the air and when using powdered sugar a little liquid goes a long way. I always start out by mixing together the butter and powdered sugar till it's as mixed as it can get and then the milk, I use half and half with the liquid flavoring added to it. With liquid every drop counts so I start with less liquid then called for and then go from there til I get the consistency I want, I have noticed that over the last year or so this site has revamped recipes and seems to dwell on 2% milk instead of the 96% lean (4%) milk which I always have a gallon of in my fridge along with a container of half and half and heavy cream. There is no low fat or non-fat any kind of dairy in our house and we're healthy. I gave this recipe 3 stars because it really doesn't have enough butter. You can't put health before flavor, texture and comfort factor. I know some might disagree or cringe but we're talking dessert here."

dublinlab User ID: 1682119 240652
Reviewed Dec. 30, 2015

"Always an easy recipe to fall back on in a hurry, simple and tasty."

bameiboo User ID: 2470958 238193
Reviewed Nov. 26, 2015

"My hubby and I need a sweet treat after leaving the Thanksgiving pies at his sons house after tonight dinner. Plus neither were gluten free which I need. This was very easy to make. Sift your sugar, that could be why your frosting was grainy. Ours was smooth and creamy and yes sweet. I did add a tablespoon more of vanilla as my hubby and I both thought it needed it. I will admit I liked the flavor of my first taste which was all the butter and a third of the sugar! I used my babycakes 3 in 1 cooker to make mini cupcakes. They are cooling then we will be using this sweet frosting to top them! I can't wait too try more flavors!"

lurky27 User ID: 1251896 237482
Reviewed Nov. 16, 2015

"The best!

- Theresa"

Loading Image