Learn how to make creamy vanilla buttercream frosting.
- 230 grams (1 cup or 2 sticks) butter, room temperature
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract or vanilla bean paste
- 500 grams (4 cups) icing sugar or powdered sugar, sifted
- 2–4 tablespoons full fat milk
- Start with room temperature butter. Roughly chop your butter into cubes and place in a large mixing bowl. Beat with an electric mixer on medium speed for 1-2 minutes or until your butter is smooth and creamy. There should be no lumps.
- Scrape down the sides of the bowl. Add your vanilla and beat briefly to combine. Then add 125 grams (1 cup) sugar. Beat on a low speed to combine, then turn up the speed to medium and mix for 30 seconds or so. Mixture should be thick and appear a little dry – this is fine.
- Next, add another 125 grams (1 cup) sugar, along with 1 tablespoon of milk. Beat on medium speed until combined. Scrape down the sides of the bowl.
- Add another 125 grams (1 cup) sugar, along with 1 tablespoon of milk. Beat on medium speed until mixture is thick and creamy.
- Finally, add remaining 125 grams (1 cup) sugar and beat on medium speed until mixture is smooth. Buttercream should be lovely and thick at this stage with no lumps.
- If the buttercream is too thick, add an extra tablespoon or two of milk. To finish, remove your mixer, and give your buttercream a good stir by hand using a spatula.
- Use your buttercream straight away or store it in an airtight container in the fridge. When you are ready to use it, simply bring it to room temperature, give it a good stir by hand or beat it briefly until it becomes creamy again. Add an extra tablespoon or two of milk to loosen the mixture if needed.
The thumb test is an easy way to check if your butter is at the right temperature. You should be able to press your thumb into the butter and it easily leave an indent (see photo). If it’s too hard, leave your butter out at room temperature and check it again in 30 minutes time.