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Classic Vanilla Buttercream Frosting

This rich, buttery frosting has just the right amount of sweetness. So it's a perfect compliment to any flavor cake.
  • Total Time
    Prep/Total Time: 30 min.
  • Makes
    3 cups


  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/3 cup water
  • 6 large egg yolks, room temperature, lightly beaten
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1-1/2 cups butter, softened
  • 6 tablespoons confectioners' sugar


  • In a heavy saucepan, bring sugar and water to a boil; cook over medium-high heat until sugar is dissolved. Remove from the heat. Add a small amount of hot mixture to egg yolks; return all to the pan, stirring constantly. Cook 2 minutes longer or until mixture thickens, stirring constantly. Remove from the heat; stir in vanilla. Cool to room temperature.
  • In a bowl with the whisk attachment, cream butter until fluffy, about 5 minutes. Gradually beat in cooked sugar mixture. Beat in confectioners' sugar until fluffy, about 5 minutes. If necessary, refrigerate until frosting reaches spreading consistency. Store in the refrigerator.
Classic Chocolate Buttercream Frosting: Prepare buttercream frosting as directed above and set aside. In a saucepan or microwave, melt 1-1/2 cups semisweet chocolate chips with 1/4 cup water; stir until smooth. Remove from heat; cool to room temperature. Stir into buttercream frosting. Yield: 3 cups.
Nutrition Facts
2 tablespoons: 155 calories, 13g fat (7g saturated fat), 84mg cholesterol, 118mg sodium, 10g carbohydrate (10g sugars, 0 fiber), 1g protein.

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Average Rating:
  • shawnba
    Jun 30, 2016

    Very buttery, really good flavor. That said, this is not the buttercream to use if you live in a hot, humid climate. I might try it again in the winter

  • muffbear74
    Aug 20, 2015

    Was.disappointed in this recipe after all the rave reviews. Was too buttery for my taste. Will not make again.

  • Susannah3777
    Jun 14, 2015

    I used a lot more powdered sugar than was called for to stiffen up the icing without having to chill it for a long time & also to cover the slightly egg-y flavor. If I make this again, I'd probably reduce the egg yolks to 4. It would still thicken but the icing would be whiter.

  • andreatak
    Dec 5, 2014

    Delicious and addicting. The first time takes a while to learn.

  • hotamale
    Feb 23, 2013

    This frosting was worth the effort. My family loved it!

  • stwood64
    May 6, 2012

    I made this frosting for some cupcakes. The frosting turned out really good. The process kind of long to make it, but it was worth it. I will make it again.