Classic Vanilla Buttercream Frosting (also called American Buttercream) is my go-to frosting recipe for cakes and cupcakes; it's simple and delicious.
Note: Find the full recipe for Classic Vanilla Buttercream at the bottom of this post.
I'm baaackkkk! Well, almost. If you hadn't noticed, I have been a bit of a stranger to my blog over the last few months. That's because we moved to a new house and decided to do a complete kitchen renovation. And subsequently, I've been without a full kitchen for almost 3 months. But the good news is, it's finished! Whew! That was really hard for me, since I LOVE baking.
My new kitchen is so nice and I can't wait to show you pictures. Stay tuned. That will be another blog post in the very near future. I want to show you all the before and after photos too. But first, let's talk about FROSTING!
Many Uses for this perfect buttercream!
I've been wanting to do a blog post on my favorite frosting for the longest time. Of course, you might have already seen it paired with some of my most popular recipes like Baseball Cupcakes or Red Velvet Cupcakes or my famous Ugly Sweater Cake. My Classic Vanilla Buttercream Frosting is the one I make the most of all my icing recipes. It's like old faithful. I can really depend on it coming out perfect every time and it's only 4 ingredients!
The key to making Classic Vanilla Buttercream
The main ingredient, of course, is butter. Plus, lots of powdered sugar, a little cream and some vanilla extract. The real key to this recipe is to start with room temperature butter, then beat it with an electric mixer for 3 minutes. This is an important step. The butter changes in those 3 minutes. It gets light and fluffy.
I always use my KitchenAid Mixer to make all of my frosting recipes. Here's the one I have (affiliate):
You could also use a hand held mixer like this one:
How to make classic vanilla buttercream frosting
This is just an overview, scroll down for the full recipe.
- Place room temperature butter in a large bowl, beat it with an electric mixer for 3 minutes.
- Then you gradually add the powdered sugar, cream and vanilla.
- Once that is completely combined, turn up the mixer and beat again for 3 minutes. That's it! You're done.
The frosting is ready to use. It's perfect for cupcakes. This recipe is enough for 12-18 cupcakes, depending on how high you pipe it. Pour the frosting into a large pastry bag fitted with your favorite pastry tip. I used a large star tip, a French star and a round tip on the cupcakes in the above photo to show you all the different looks you can get. In the above photo, starting from the left, the first two cupcakes have frosting piped with a large star pastry tip (1M). The next two cupcakes have frosting piped with a French star pastry tip. And for the last two cupcakes, I used a large round pastry tip.
I've included some links to the tools I used to decorate these cupcakes. First, I scooped the Classic Vanilla Buttercream Frosting into these Wilton Pastry Bags, fitted with the pastry tips below (affiliate):
Here is a set of pastry tips that includes all of the ones I used:
You could also use this Classic Vanilla Buttercream Frosting for a cake. It's enough to frost a 8-inch or 9-inch round layer cake.
More TOOLS FOR SUCCESS
Note: The above items are affiliate links. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.
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Red, White and Blue M&M'S Candy Cake
For the cake
- 1 yellow cake mix, prepared according to package
For the frosting
- 1 cup unsalted butter, softened
- 4 cups powdered sugar or 16 ounces
- ¼ cup heavy whipping cream or 3 tablespoons milk
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 3 cups M&M candies in red, white and blue
For the cake
- Prepare cake mix according to package. Bake in 2 greased 6-inch round cake pans. Let cool. Fill and frost with but.tercream
For the buttercream.
- Beat softened butter on medium speed with an electric or stand mixer. Beat for 3 minutes until smooth and creamy.
- Add powdered sugar, cream, and vanilla extract with the mixer running on low. Increase to high speed and beat for 3 minutes. Note: If the frosting is too thick, you can add a little more cream. Just add one tablespoon at a time, then mix thoroughly until you get the consistency you like.
- *Note: If you don't have heavy cream, you can use milk or water instead. If using milk or water, I would try 3 tablespoons instead of ¼ cup. If it's too thick, add another tablespoon.
- For the decoration, place M&M's on side of cake in a diagonal line in each color. Start with red, then white, then blue. Repeat until you have gone all around the cake. Pipe swirls of frosting on top using a 1M pastry tip. Add more M&M's to top of cake and paper flags, if desired.
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All text and images © Lise Ode for Mom Loves Baking. Please do not use my images without prior permission. If you want to republish this recipe, please re-write the recipe in your own words, or link back to this post for the recipe. Disclaimer: Nutrition information shown is not guaranteed to be accurate. This post may contain affiliate links.