This Buttercream Frosting recipe is tried and true and always results in at least one person asking for the recipe since it is “The best tasting buttercream frosting I have ever had!” The ingredients are simple and you can make it in just a few minutes, but something magic happens in the process that leaves you with light, fluffy buttercream that blows all the rest out of the water! This Buttercream frosting is perfect for cupcakes, cookies, and even frosting whole birthday cakes.
Buttercream Frosting Recipe
This recipe goes back way longer than I can even remember. My mom frosted every birthday cake she made with this frosting and most of the time we never used a measuring cup or spoon but just knew by feel how this recipe went together.
As I got older I continued to make this buttercream frosting recipe and it became the frosting my kids will remember for their birthdays and special events.
What always struck me as funny though was how every time I made it, someone would beg for the recipe. I just assumed since the recipe was so simple that it was the recipe that everyone used. Somehow though people always tell me that this one is different. It is the best buttercream frosting they have ever had! It is always a compliment but especially from a few of my friends over the years that enjoy baking as much as I do!
I have to admit that I have changed this recipe slightly over the years. When I grew up we made it with margarine and through the years have stopped using it, but if you prefer to use it, you can find my buttercream frosting with margarine recipe here.
What to use this Vanilla Buttercream Frosting on
This buttercream frosting is so good you can (and I many times do) just eat it with a spoon, but it works especially well with a few things. My all time favorite ways to use this buttercream icing are:
- To frost a cake
- on cupcakes (especially chocolate cupcakes in my opinion!)
- On sugar cookies
- Stuffed in strawberries
- On donuts
- As a dip for graham crackers, pretzels or bananas
How to make Buttercream Frosting
As I have mentioned a few times, the great thing about this recipe is that it is so, so simple. I am going to walk through the recipe with you below so that I can answer any more detailed questions that might come up as you cook. There is also a full printable recipe card at the bottom of this post for your convenience.
Buttercream Frosting Ingredients
- 1/2 cup butter, softened- I generally use salted butter because it is what I keep on hand. You can use unsalted as well with a good result. You can also use margarine in the recipe if you prefer.
- 1 (32 oz) bag powdered sugar- This is a standard size bag you will find at the grocery store.
- 1 tsp vanilla- Pure vanilla extract works best for outstanding flavor!
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/2-1 cup heavy cream- Using the heavy cream will add some richness to the sweetness of the frosting, but you can also use regular milk if you prefer.
Buttercream Frosting Instructions
- Beat the butter, vanilla, and salt with an electric mixer until combined. I like to start by incorporating these so they are sure to mix really evenly throughout the frosting.
- Gradually alternate adding the powdered sugar and heavy cream until all of the sugar is added and the frosting reaches your desired consistency. In this step you will want to use the whole bag of powdered sugar, but you may only use part of the cream. I like to start by adding about 1/3 of the powdered sugar then add some cream, then again with the sugar and then cream. Add the last of the sugar and then just drizzle in the cream until it is the perfect consistency.
How do you know what the right consistency is? If you are frosting a cake you may want it a bit thinner so it is easier to spread. If you are using it on sugar cookies a bit thicker, or if you are decorating with it maybe a little thicker. If you are doing donuts or something that is closer to a glaze you may want even more cream.
This really isn’t an exact science but you will learn what you prefer in each scenario!
- Store covered until ready to use. Enjoy!
I really hope that you love this recipe as much as we have over the years. Maybe it will even become an heirloom recipe for your family too!
If you do get a chance to try it, I would love it if you let me know! You can leave me a comment below, or if you post a picture on Instagram, make sure to tag me @easyfamilyrecipes so that I can see what you are cooking up! It makes my day to see others enjoying the recipes that I share!
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Best Buttercream Frosting
- 1/2 cup butter softened
- 1 32 oz bag powdered sugar
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/2-1 cup heavy cream
- Beat the butter, vanilla, and salt with an electric mixer until combined.
- Gradually alternate adding the powdered sugar and heavy cream until all of the sugar is added and the frosting reaches your desired consistency.
- Store covered until ready to use. Enjoy!
- Frosting can be stored in the refrigerator for up to one week.
- This recipe is naturally gluten free, although the serving ideas may not be.
(Nutrition information provided is an estimate and will vary based on cooking methods and brands of ingredients used.)