Easy Vanilla Buttercream Frosting
Total TimePrep/Total Time: 10 min.
MakesAbout 3 cups
- 1/2 cup butter, softened
- 4-1/2 cups confectioners' sugar
- 1-1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 5 to 6 tablespoons 2% milk
- In a large bowl, beat butter until creamy. Beat in the confectioners' sugar, vanilla and enough milk to achieve desired consistency.
Change up the flavor. Prepare the recipe as directed making the following substitutions:
Almond: 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.
Test Kitchen Tips
Nutrition Facts2 tablespoons: 124 calories, 4g fat (2g saturated fat), 11mg cholesterol, 40mg sodium, 23g carbohydrate (21g sugars, 0 fiber), 0 protein.
Apr 20, 2018
This is my go-to basic frosting. I always add just a bit of salt (a generous pinch), which brings out the buttery flavor nicely and helps offset the sweetness just a bit. So easy and so much better than a store-bought frosting!
Mar 24, 2018
This recipe is perfect in taste and texture. To give you an idea of quantity, I made two batches that was just enough to frost a 3-layer cake, using 9-inch rounds. Truthfully one more batch would have been better.
Dec 31, 2017
Even better when you use heavy cream or 1/2 & 1/2 instead of milk. You can even substitute some room temperature cream cheese for a small part (maybe 1/4) of the butter. A good way to use up that little bit of leftover cream cheese, especially if you've made a spice cake or carrot cake. If I make chocolate, I usually use a few chunks of unsweetened baking chocolate that I've melted in the microwave. Just be sure the chocolate's melted but not too hot.
Dec 12, 2017
This is my go-to frosting recipe for cookies, cupcakes, or cakes! Everyone loves it and it's so easy to make! Plus you get a big batch of it so you have plenty to mix a few different colors. Swapping the vanilla for peppermint extract is a nice touch during the holidays too!
Dec 11, 2017
Used eggnog in place of the milk, turned out perfectly!
Nov 20, 2017
This is my go to, never fail buttercream recipe. I have never had this not work & I always use almond extract. Definitely gives it a while new flavor that tastes divine on any baked good.
Oct 25, 2017
This recipe is very sweet. Most buttercream recipes have 1 cup to roughly 1lb. of 10x sugar. Note: one review thought the recipe was written as four 1/2 cups. This is NEVER how ingredients would be written. If increments or additions of sugar were to be added, that process would be included in the directions. This can be a big misunderstanding for new bakers. ( we should get confident weighing ingredients. :)
May 26, 2017
This is the best frosting and the only one I use!
May 11, 2017
Very nice recipe
Jan 5, 2017
This is the best frosting ever! I make the chocolate, but usually substitute a couple of tablespoons of coffee in addition to the milk.My granddaughters love it on a Devils Food Layer cake. Thank you for the recipe.
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