Beth’s Basic Vanilla Buttercream Frosting

Egg-Free, Gluten-Free, Nut-free, Reduced Sugar

vanilla buttercream frosting on a vanilla cupcake

Doesn’t homemade frosting sound intimidating to make?

It’s actually not too difficult. And, it tastes so much better than anything you might buy in the store. Maybe that’s because it has four essential ingredients, instead of the twenty or so questionable ones hidden in store-bought frosting.

This frosting is great for cupcakes, cakes, cookies, and eating straight out of the bowl with a spoon. Assuming you don’t eat too much of it, the recipe below will frost about 30 cupcakes or one bundt-sized cake.

vanilla bundt cake with vanilla buttercream frosting

If you’re making your dessert in the summer, you may want to chill the frosting before working with it, and store your creation in the fridge until you need it. Otherwise your decorations might melt a little and lose their definition.

How to Make Vanilla Buttercream Frosting


1/2 cup butter, softened
2 cups powdered sugar
2 tsp vanilla (add a little at a time, to taste)
1/2 tsp cinnamon (optional)
1 TBS milk


Cream softened butter with powdered sugar, adding sugar a little at a time.

Mix in vanilla, milk, and cinnamon (if desired).

Beat together for 3-4 minutes.

Note: The cinnamon is optional. I like to add it just to make vanilla frosting a little more interesting! But, it’s not necessary. The vanilla is something you can adjust as well. Add it to taste because while I like a strong vanilla flavor, you may not. Everyone’s different so mix it in a little at a time and try it every so often to make it to suit your palate.

Printable Recipe Card

Want to have a copy of this recipe handy while you’re baking? Save and print this graphic or download it to your phone for easy viewing.

basic vanilla buttercream frosting recipe

Have the buttercream blues? If your frosting isn’t quite the way you like it, check out this article here about how to troubleshoot your buttercream.

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