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The key to fluffy vanilla buttercream frosting is a lengthy whip at the end – a full 5 minutes. This simple trick makes a light and airy frosting that spreads and pipes beautifully! This buttercream frosting comes together quickly, isn’t overly sweet and packs a vanilla punch! It’s perfect for frosting cakes and cupcakes and for filling Oatmeal Sandwich Cookies  (Trust me on this one – they’re incredible!) or topping Soft Sugar Cookies.

Fluffy Vanilla Buttercream Frosting

We have a little cupcake shop here in Bend with made-to-order cupcakes. They offer more than a dozen cupcake varieties and at least that many flavors of frosting, so there are hundreds of options. Keith and I have the same cupcake order every time: vanilla cupcakes with vanilla frosting, no sprinkles! Once in a while I’m tempted to order a more adventurous frosting flavor like salted caramel or even cream cheese, but I always come back to vanilla.

Oatmeal Sandwich Cookie Assembly

If you’re like me, vanilla buttercream frosting is often too sweet, tasting more like sugar than vanilla. Not this one. It’s plenty sweet and intensely ‘vanilla.’ It’s also very rich, especially if you splurge for European-style butter with a high butterfat content. If you buy the unsalted version, use 1/4 teaspoon of salt instead of just the pinch I’ve called for in the recipe. And remember to whip, whip, whip at the end for a truly fluffy frosting.

More Delicious Frosting and Icing Recipes

I put together a quick video to show you the process. Notice how the color and texture of the buttercream changes at the end!

Recipe Video

Fluffy Vanilla Buttercream Frosting

Prep: 15 minutes
Total: 15 minutes
Course: Dessert
Calories: 161
Servings: 24 2 Tablespoon servings
The key to fluffy vanilla buttercream frosting is a lengthy whip at the end – a full 5 minutes. This simple trick makes a light and airy frosting that spreads and pipes beautifully! This buttercream frosting comes together quickly, isn’t overly sweet and packs a vanilla punch! It’s perfect for frosting cakes and cupcakes and for filling sandwich cookies.

Ingredients  

  • 1 1/2 cups butter room temperature, ideally 85% butterfat
  • 3 cups powdered sugar 375 g, sifted
  • 1 tablespoon real vanilla extract
  • pinch fine sea salt

Instructions 

  • Add butter to bowl of stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Whip butter until pale and smooth. You’ll hear it slapping the sides of the bowl.
  • With the mixer on low speed, add half of powdered sugar and mix until combined. Repeat with second half. Scrape down sides of bowl and paddle.
  • Add vanilla and salt and mix until combined. Increase speed to medium-high and whip 5 minutes, stopping half way through to scrape sides of bowl and paddle.
  • Spread or pipe frosting as desired.

Notes

If you use unsalted butter, increase salt to 1/4 teaspoon.

Nutrition

Calories: 161kcal | Carbohydrates: 15g | Fat: 11g | Saturated Fat: 7g | Cholesterol: 30mg | Sodium: 101mg | Potassium: 3mg | Sugar: 14g | Vitamin A: 355IU | Calcium: 3mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

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11 Comments

  1. David @ Spiced says:

    Oh, you can never go wrong with a good vanilla buttercream! True story: my favorite cake is a vanilla cake with vanilla buttercream. I’ll go to that over almost any other dessert! And I love the idea of using the vanilla frosting inside of mini-oatmeal cookies. (I also happen to love oatmeal cookies, so that combo is like heaven on a plate to me!) It’s only 7:30am here, but you’ve already got me craving dessert, Marissa! 🙂

  2. Helen @ Scrummy Lane says:

    Marissa, next time I need a vanilla buttercream, I’m coming here! It’s simple (can’t stand frosting recipes that have more ingredients than the cake!) but it sounds like you’ve really perfected that technique! 🙂

    1. Marissa says:

      Well said, Helen! Thank you. xo

  3. Muna Kenny says:

    Buttercream frosting is the best frosting (in my humble opinion!) your frosting came out smooth and silky, just perfect! 🙂

    1. Marissa says:

      I agree, Muna! Thank you.

    2. Lori Alexander says:

      Can I ask you how do you put a creamy frosting in middle of your cupcakes a sweet little surprise.

      1. Marissa says:

        Hi there, Lori! Have a look at this cupcake filling tutorial – it offers 3 methods that you might find helpful.

  4. Faith (An Edible Mosaic) says:

    Oooh, I am a sucker for a good vanilla frosting! I like to add salt to mine too, but I don’t think I whip it long enough! I will definitely remember to have more patience next time, lol. I bet it makes all the difference!

    1. Marissa says:

      That extra whipping was something I learned by accident. (Don’t ask. 😉 ) But it really does make all the difference! xo

  5. Dorothy Dunton says:

    Hi Marissa. just give me a spoon. I love making sandwich cookies (aka whoopie pies to my relatives). One of my sisters in law makes chocolate whoopie pies and fills them with a vegetable shorting filling…YUCK. I’m heading for your oatmeal sandwich cookies. 🙂 I’m making my carrot cake for Easter which has cream cheese frosting, a must for me.

    1. Marissa says:

      Hi Dorothy. I bet your sandwich cookies are incredible! I completely agree about shortening in frosting and in cookies – nothing better than butter. I’d love to try that carrot cake of yours some time! Have a wonderful Easter! xo