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Best Vanilla Buttercream Frosting

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This is my go-to, fluffy, DELICIOUS, creamiest, best Vanilla Buttercream Frosting. It is light, fluffy and out-of-this-world creamy frosting! It’s my go to frosting for all kinds of sweet treats!

red bowl with heaps of vanilla buttercream frosting and a spreader with sugar cookies in background |thefreshcooky


Spreadable and pipeable and holds up extremely well under most circumstances (except extreme heat), this frosting is so versatile!

Spread it lavishly these Soft Sugar Cookie Bites and Bars, Frosted Cut-Out Sugar Cookies, slather atop and have even adapted it for these Mint Brownie Bites.

Try this buttercream on your favorite treats!!

The Best Vanilla Buttercream Frosting | www.thefreshcooky.com


Plop the room temperature butter in the bowl of a mixer, whip it until nice and fluffy, 2-4 minutes.

Then add vanilla extract and/or vanilla bean paste.

Toss in a pinch of salt, yes, sea salt, you won’t taste it but it truly brings out the flavors. (Normally I truly pinch it, but someone gave me these cute little measuring spoons…just a dash and a pinch.)

Now with your mixer on stir or low, add your powdered sugar, alternating with the milk/cream. Start by adding 4-5 tablespoons of milk/cream, adding more as needed.

If you are piping the frosting, add a little less milk/cream, if simply spreading, add a little more.

Close-Up of red square bowl piled high with vanilla buttercream.


The trick or hack to the fluffiest, lightest, creamiest pipeable buttercream is in the whipping!! Don’t be afraid to really whip it well!!

Once the powdered sugar is incorporated, scrape down the sides of the bowl, turn mixer on high and beat 4-8 minutes until smooth, light and fluffy. Scraping down the sides and bottom every so often.

If spreading directly onto a pan of cookies or a cake, spread using an offset spatula for ease.


Easily fill a piping bag, but placing bag and tip into a tall heavy glass. Turn the edges of the bag over and scoop the frosting into the bag. 

spreading frosting on cookie bars | thefreshcooky.com

How to Flavor Frostings

If desired, tint with gel food coloring or keep it plain vanilla; nothing plain about that at all!

Holiday Mint Brownie Bites with kisses of minty buttercream on a red plate.

Finish with some festive sprinkles on top!

Vanilla Buttercream piled atop a soft sugar cookie bar, sprinkled with red and white candy canes.

Can I Freeze Frosting / Buttercream?

Yes, seal well as it will absorb flavors around it. Keep frosting in fridge up to one week or frozen up to 3 months.

Thaw on counter, if piping or smoother frosting is desired, place in bowl and whip until light, smooth and fluffy once more.

Loaded red dish full of light and fluffy vanilla buttercream with a spreader sticking out of the top.

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The Creamiest Vanilla Buttercream Frosting (Pipeable)

Author: Kathleen Pope
5 from 1 vote
This is my go-to, fluffy, DELICIOUS, creamy vanilla buttercream frosting. It is spreadable and pipeable and holds up extremely well under most circumstances.
Prep Time 10 minutes
Total Time 10 minutes
Course Frosting
Cuisine American
Servings 1 1/2 – 2 cups frosting
Calories 3542 kcal


  • 1 cup butter, no substitutes, room temperature
  • 1-2 teaspoons vanilla, or 1 vanilla bean, seeds scraped into frosting and beaten, or 1 tsp vanilla bean paste
  • pinch salt
  • 4 cups powdered sugar
  • 4-6 tablespoons milk, or cream
  • food coloring, optional
  • sprinkles, optional


  • Place butter in the mixer bowl and whip on medium-high speed until light & fluffy, 2-4 minutes. Add the vanilla and pinch of salt and whip up well. Gradually add powdered sugar, mixing on low.
  • Pour 4 tablespoons (with mixer running) of milk or cream and whip well; depending on desired consistency (less milk for piping) a little extra for spreading typically. Add more milk as needed, whip for 4-8 minutes until cloud-like light!
  • If you’d like to tint the frosting, add tiny amounts of gel food coloring until desired tint is achieved. If adding an extract, add at end and whip for additional minute. Spread or pipe onto baked goods. Add sprinkles, if desired

✱ Kathleen’s Tips

BACKING HACK | If piping, place tip in bottom of decorating bag, place bag/tip in tall heavy glass, fold over edges of bag and scoop in frosting.


Serving: 2 tablespoons Calories: 3542 kcal Carbohydrates: 482 g Protein: 4 g Fat: 186 g Saturated Fat: 118 g Polyunsaturated Fat: 7 g Monounsaturated Fat: 48 g Trans Fat: 7 g Cholesterol: 495 mg Sodium: 1492 mg Potassium: 160 mg Sugar: 473 g Vitamin A: 5770 IU Calcium: 134 mg Iron: 0.3 mg

Nutrition Disclaimer

The Fresh Cooky is not a dietician or nutritionist, and any nutritional information shared is only an estimate. We recommend running the ingredients through an online nutritional calculator if you need to verify any information.

Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!
Kathleen Pope, The Fresh Cooky.

About Kathleen Pope

Recipe Innovator | Food Photographer | Food Writer

Hi, I’m Kathleen Pope. Here at The Fresh Cooky you will find easy, mostly from-scratch, trusted recipes for all occasions. From speedy dinners to tasty desserts, with easy step-by-step instructions. I am here to help teach you how to make mouthwatering recipes without spending hours in the kitchen. Read more about Kathleen here.

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  1. Homemade buttercream frosting is the best! If all you’ve ever had is store bought frosting that comes in a can, you don’t know what you’re missing 🙂 My favorite is chocolate buttercream frosting so I look forward to Kathleen’s “CREAMIEST CHOCOLATE BUTTERCREAM FROSTING” recipe hopefully coming soon 🙂

    1. It is coming soon as an individual recipe, but ingredients and instructions are on my Chocolate Zucchini Cake. So in the meantime hop over there and grab it —individual recipe coming soo !!