Vanilla buttercream icing


Vanilla buttercream icing

Photo, Erik Putz.


  • 1 cup unsalted butter , softened
  • 3 1/2 cups icing sugar
  • 1 1/2 tsp vanilla
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 cup 35% cream


  • BEAT butter in a bowl, using an electric mixer on medium, until smooth, 1 to 2 min. Gradually beat in icing sugar on low, scraping bottom and sides of bowl. Add vanilla and salt and beat on medium-high until very light and fluffy, 3 to 4 min. Add cream and beat 1 min.

Make it fancy: Cupcakes

A classic vanilla buttercream recipe is easy to master, and even better to have in your repertoire. It’s perfect for cakes and cupcakes, and is easily altered with new flavours and colours.

Kitchen tip: Gel food colouring goes a long way. Use toothpicks dipped into the gel to get a small amount. Build the colour(s) in your icing by adding a little bit of gel at a time.

Vanilla buttercream icing variations

Chocolate buttercream

Substitute 1/2 cup icing sugar for 1/2 cup cocoa. Continue with recipe.

Brown butter buttercream

Refrigerate brown butter until it has the texture of room temperature butter, about 20 min. Beat equal amounts Brown Butter and icing sugar, using an electric mixer, until buttercream is fluffy and pale.