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Classic Vanilla Buttercream Frosting Recipe

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. YIELD:24 servings


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


  • 1. 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.
  • 2. 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. Yield: 3 cups.

Recipe Note

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.

Nutritional Facts

2 tablespoons: 155 calories, 13g fat (7g saturated fat), 84mg cholesterol, 118mg sodium, 10g carbohydrate (10g sugars, 0 fiber), 1g protein.

Reviews for Classic Vanilla Buttercream Frosting

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shawnba User ID: 2581969 249956
Reviewed 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 User ID: 209131 231487
Reviewed Aug. 20, 2015

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

Susannah3777 User ID: 8414920 227925
Reviewed 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 User ID: 8134462 214116
Reviewed Dec. 5, 2014

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

hotamale User ID: 2594355 134122
Reviewed Feb. 23, 2013

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

stwood64 User ID: 3644447 84263
Reviewed 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."

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