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+ servings

Basic Vanilla Buttercream Recipe

This rich and creamy vanilla buttercream recipe makes 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.

Prep Time 10 minutes
YIELD 2 .5 cups


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


  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.