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Basic Vanilla Buttercream Recipe

The amount of buttercream in the recipe is enough to frost 16-24 cupcakes, depending on how generous you are with the frosting. For a 9-inch layer cake, multiply the recipe by 1½.
YIELD 2 .5 cups

Ingredients

  • 1 cup (225 g/2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 4 cups (480 g) powdered sugar, sifted, plus more as needed
  • 3 tablespoons heavy cream
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon freshly squeezed lemon juice

Instructions

  1. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat butter and salt on medium speed until smooth and creamy, about 2 minutes. Add 2 cups powdered sugar and beat until combined, then add another 2 cups, and beat until completely smooth. Add cream, vanilla, and lemon juice and beat on high speed for 2 minutes until fluffy. Beat in more sugar as needed, until desired consistency (thick enough to pipe).

Recipe Notes

*Salt and lemon juice are added to cut sweetness and are optional. Depending on your personal taste, you can add more or leave out entirely.