Are you a frosting person or a cake person? And don’t try to wiggle your way out of this and tell me you’re both, because that’s a cop out and we all know everyone likes one more than the other. Well, ladies and gents, I am a frosting person. I could do without the cake (unless it our best vanilla cake ever because it’s so good), and just eat the frosting. I mean butter and sugar? What’s not to like. And today we’re sharing a secret with you: how to make the best buttercream frosting ever.
What ingredients do you need to make frosting?
Butter: Uh duh. Softened butter will be the base of your buttercream frosting. We recommend using unsalted, that way you can control how salty your frosting is. The most important thing is to use room temperature butter. This will ensure you get fluffy, perfect vanilla buttercream every time.
Powdered Sugar: Also known as confectionery sugar, this will sweeten and thicken your buttercream to perfectly complement your cake’s flavor and hold everything together.
Milk: We prefer to use whole milk for frosting to keep it creamy, dreamy and delicious. You can always add a little more milk if you want a slightly thinner frosting or a little less for a thicker option. Just keep in mind that one tablespoon can have a big difference on your texture, so make sure to do it gradually.
Vanilla Extract: High quality vanilla extract is so important as it’s the only other flavor going into your frosting. It’s totally worth the splurge.
Step One: Bring your butter to room temperature.
I know this isn’t really a step, but it’s SO important. If your butter is not room temperature, it will take twice the time to whip up a good frosting and get all your ingredients to incorporate together. Either set your butter on the counter for a few hours, or microwave for about 15 seconds to soften.
Step Two: Place the butter and powdered sugar in a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment.
Step Three: Beat the butter and sugar together until just combined.
The mixture will be very thick, but the sugar and butter should combine, with no clumps of powdered sugar remaining.
Step Four: Add the milk, vanilla extract, and salt. Beat for 3 minutes.
Use a high quality vanilla extract–we love Rodelle, the perfect amount of salt and some milk to thin out your frosting. This will give you the perfect consistency for a spreadable, fluffy frosting.
Step Five: Switch out the paddle attachment for the whisk attachment and beat for 3 minutes, until light and fluffy.
While the paddle attachment works to beat everything together and completely combine all the ingredients, the whisk attachment will beat air into the frosting, creating a fluffy, light buttercream frosting. So dreamy 🙂
Enjoy all this buttery, sugary goodness with your chocolate cake, vanilla cake, sugar cookies whoopie pies….literally put it on anything.
What other kinds of frosting would you love to see on the blog? Chocolate? Cream cheese? Let us know in the comments below!
Place the softened butter and powdered sugar in a stand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment. Beat the butter and sugar together until combined. The mixture will be thick.
Add the milk, salt, and vanilla extract and turn the mixer on high. Beat for 3 minutes. Scrape down the sides of the bowl using a rubber spatula. Beat for 2 more minutes until frosting is thick and fluffy.
Transfer to a piping bag to frost your favorite cake, cupcakes, or cookies!
Leave a comment and rate this recipe!
This is my new tried and true buttercream!!! There is nothing better. It’s perfect and SO easy. Thank you so much!!!
What are your thoughts on using heavy cream instead of milk?!
Hi Mikal! You can use heavy cram if that’s all you have on hand–your frosting will be creamier and richer tasting, but it will work. Just be sure to not overbeat the frosting after you’ve added the cream because it can beat up into more of a whipped cream consistency or even split!
could the whole milk be replaced with a dairy-free milk?
Yes! I would recommend using a thicker milk like oat milk for best results!
Hi! Is this a good option for frosting sugar cookies with a piping bag? 🙂
Hi Courtney! Yes–it definitely is a thicker buttercream, but if you want more of a truly frosted cookie than a iced cookie, this will be perfect!
is there a substitute for powdered sugar or does it HAVE to be powered sugar?
It has to be powdered sugar 🙂