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5 from 1 vote

Classic Vanilla Buttercream Frosting

Classic Vanilla Buttercream Frosting is my go-to frosting recipe for cakes and cupcakes; it’s simple and delicious.

Prep Time 20 minutes
Servings 12 servings
Calories 397 kcal
Author Lise Ode


  • 1 cup unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
  • 4 cups powdered sugar (or 16 ounces)
  • 1/4 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract


  1. Beat softened butter on medium speed with an electric or stand mixer. Beat for 3 minutes until smooth and creamy.
  2. Add powdered sugar, cream, and vanilla extract with the mixer running on low. Increase to high speed and beat for 3 minutes. Use immediately or store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks.

  3. 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.

  4. This recipe makes enough frosting for 12 cupcakes with a tall swirl of frosting or 24 cupcakes with a thinner coating of frosting. OR you could fill and frost a two layer 8-inch round cake.

Recipe Notes

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 1/4 cup. If it's too thick, add another tablespoon.

Nutrition Facts
Classic Vanilla Buttercream Frosting
Amount Per Serving (1 g)
Calories 397 Calories from Fat 189
% Daily Value*
Fat 21g32%
Saturated Fat 13g81%
Cholesterol 50mg17%
Sodium 150mg7%
Potassium 8mg0%
Carbohydrates 52g17%
Fiber 1g4%
Sugar 50g56%
Protein 1g2%
Vitamin A 585IU12%
Vitamin C 0.1mg0%
Calcium 28mg3%
Iron 0.2mg1%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.