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    Vanilla Buttercream Frosting

    For many people, cake is just the delivery vehicle for the real star of the show—the frosting. If you agree, you’ll love this five-star buttercream frosting recipe. It’s rich, sweet and foolproof.

    • 1

      In medium bowl, mix powdered sugar and butter with spoon or electric mixer on low speed. Stir in vanilla and 1 tablespoon of the milk.

    • 2

      Gradually beat in just enough remaining milk to make frosting smooth and spreadable. If frosting is too thick, beat in more milk, a few drops at a time. If frosting becomes too thin, beat in a small amount of powdered sugar. Frosts 13×9-inch cake generously, or fills and frosts an 8- or 9-inch two-layer cake.

    Expert Tips

    • Allow your butter to soften at room temperature so it easily beats up smoothly with the powdered (sometimes called confectioner’s) sugar.
    • A real buttercream frosting takes little time to make, can be tinted with food coloring (use paste or gel, not liquid food color), and will hold up to one week if tightly covered and refrigerated.
    • Use a real vanilla; imitations are not recommended. If you can find a vanilla bean paste it’s well worth the investment. The role of vanilla is not only for its flavor value, it also enhances the sweetness of the sugar, so bumping up the vanilla allows you to decrease the amount of sugar in recipes.
    • It’s easy to vary the flavor of this core recipe: stir in a dash of almond extract or grated citrus zest.

    Nutrition Facts

    Serving Size: 1 Serving
    Calories
    170
    Calories from Fat
    45
    % Daily Value
    Total Fat
    5g
    8%
    Saturated Fat
    2 1/2g
    13%
    Trans Fat
    0g
    Cholesterol
    15mg
    5%
    Sodium
    35mg
    1%
    Potassium
    0mg
    0%
    Total Carbohydrate
    30g
    10%
    Dietary Fiber
    0g
    0%
    Sugars
    29g
    Protein
    0g
    Vitamin A
    4%
    4%
    Vitamin C
    0%
    0%
    Calcium
    0%
    0%
    Iron
    0%
    0%
    Exchanges:

    0 Starch; 0 Fruit; 2 Other Carbohydrate; 0 Skim Milk; 0 Low-Fat Milk; 0 Milk; 0 Vegetable; 0 Very Lean Meat; 0 Lean Meat; 0 High-Fat Meat; 1 Fat;

    *Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet.

    More About This Recipe

     

    • Four simple ingredients—sugar, butter, vanilla and milk—come together in a homemade frosting recipe that proves the whole is greater than the sum of its parts. Hundreds of home cooks and bakers have used this recipe for decorating cakes, filling layer cakes or topping off a pan of brownies. Before you begin, check out this step-by-step tutorial on making frosting. You’ll learn that a perfect buttercream frosting recipe starts with room-temperature butter that can still hold its shape but is starting to soften at the edges. Test it by pressing a finger into the butter; if it gives and your finger leaves an indent, it’s ready to go. Once you’ve mastered vanilla buttercream frosting, expand your skill set with more frosting recipes.
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