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Vanilla Frosting

Don't know how to make icing for cake but don't want to settle for store-bought frosting? This four-ingredient easy vanilla frosting recipe is the perfect topper for your cakey creations. The homemade taste just can't be beat. —Mary Faulk, Cambridge, Wisconsin
  • Total Time
    Prep/Total Time: 5 min.
  • Makes
    6 cups


  • 12 cups confectioners' sugar
  • 3/4 cup butter, softened
  • 3/4 cup whole milk
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract


  • Combine sugar, butter, milk and vanilla. Beat on medium speed until smooth and fluffy. Spread over cake or cupcakes. Store in refrigerator.

Vanilla Frosting Tips

How do you thicken vanilla frosting?

If this homemade frosting recipe isn’t as thick as you’d like, slowly add a little more milk to the mixture until you reach your desired consistency. If the frosting is too thin, you can add a little more confectioners’ sugar, but keep in mind it will make the frosting sweeter.

How do I give frosting a smooth texture?

For silky smooth frosting, be sure to bring your butter to room temperature; otherwise it won’t cream properly. Sifting the confectioners’ sugar before you measure will also help. Be sure to follow these other baking tips from pastry chefs!

My frosting has air pockets when I’m piping it. Why?

Beat the frosting just until it is smooth and fluffy. Overmixing it can create air bubbles that can wreak havoc when you are piping the frosting, causing messy swirls. Make sure you learn how to use a piping bag before piping away!
Nutrition Facts
2 tablespoons: 145 calories, 3g fat (2g saturated fat), 8mg cholesterol, 25mg sodium, 30g carbohydrate (30g sugars, 0 fiber), 0 protein.


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Average Rating:
  • Silas
    Jun 21, 2020

    Too k tweny mints I is the sad

  • Michael
    Mar 17, 2020

    I think the problem some people were having is with the butter... soften butter, do not melt butter....and yes, does better if you chill it a bit before using..I cut back the vanilla and worked it up to almost 3/4 tablespoon...came out perfect

  • Minnie
    Feb 14, 2020

    This recipe is PERFECT! It is easy, works easy and took about 3 minutes to make. 5 star!! Great job.

  • Anita
    Jan 26, 2020

    Recipe could use some tweaking. I tried this 3 times and it didn’t work once. I made sure every measurement was exact and when that didn’t work I played around with it.

  • Natalia
    Dec 12, 2019

    Not thick enough

  • Jenny
    Nov 20, 2019

    REALLY good and very easy.

  • Cynthia
    Nov 10, 2019

    I added 3/4 cup of sugar because I didnt have 12 cups of the suggested ( I only had about 8). It came out fine. Also don't add all the confectioners sugar at once. Add it in gradually. Will definitely make it again!

  • Ron't
    Aug 26, 2019

    This was amazing to the only this you let it sit in the freezer for a few minutes

  • Ivana
    Jun 26, 2019

    I thought this was frosting, it is just goop!!!! I am disappointed. I was making cupcakes in a short amount of time, and now I have to restart the “frosting” again!!!!! I am so MAD!!!!

  • Linda
    May 19, 2019

    I had no luck making this frosting. It came out too dry for me. I played around with it and came up with 1/2 cup butter 1/2 solid Crisco only 4 cups confectionery sugar and a touch of vanilla extract. The best frosting I ever made I even added in another recipe made the same way some cocoa powder for a light chocolate delicious