White Vanilla Buttercream

Here’s my favorite basic buttercream recipe. It’s a great starting point for any cake project, from fully decorated to a simple sheet cake.

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A simple sheet cake covered with White Vanilla Buttercream.
Here, I added some lemon zest and blue food coloring.

Patience is Key

Really, the key to a good buttercream is allowing the butter enough time to do its thing. Whipping the butter for a prolonged amount of time (either with a stand mixer or a hand mixer) is called creaming the butter. When making buttercream (this is also a trick for great cookies) it’s imperative to take the time to cream the butter first, then cream the butter with the sugar.

Doing so incorporates air into the butter, making it light and fluffy instead of heavy. Don’t rush this process! It’s crucial to achieve that creamy, light consistency.

So light and fluffy and amazing.

Decorating Tips

You can absolutely make this buttercream ahead of time. Store it in the fridge and let it come to room temperature before attempting to decorate your cake.

For those fine details, I like to make my buttercream, then immediately fill my piping bags. If I’m planning on using different colors, I’ll mix the colors, fill the bags, then store them in the fridge until ready to use.

For more details on cake decorating, checkout my birthday cake post.

I made and decorated this birthday cake for my Nana’s birthday using this buttercream recipe!

Keep it Simple

This recipe is intended to be as simple and streamlined as possible. Pick quality ingredients and you’re sure to have a delicious buttercream base for all of your creative cake creations.

Most importantly, have fun!

A spur of the moment cake I made for Earth Day!

White Vanilla Buttercream

This White Vanilla Buttercream is the perfect base recipe for all of your decorating projects. Whether making a simple sheet cake, or a fully decorated birthday cake, this buttercream is easy to make and holds up well.
Make a few batches and add different colors for easy decorating!
Prep Time 30 mins
Course Dessert
Cuisine American

Ingredients
  

  • 1 ½ lb powdered sugar
  • 1 ½ cup unsalted butter (3 standard sticks), softened to room temp.
  • ¼ cup heavy whipping cream
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • ½ tsp vanilla extract

Instructions
 

  • Beat butter until soft and fluffy.
  • Incorporate powdered sugar 1/2 cup at a time, waiting until combined before adding more.
  • Once all powdered sugar is mixed into butter, add salt and vanilla extract.
  • Add the whipping cream in a slow steady stream with the mixer still on.

Notes

When making buttercream, it is imperative to scrape the sides of the mixer consistently, as this helps to incorporate everything evenly. Particularly if you have a mixer like mine, with a deep bowl, it is important to scrape the bottom to make sure everything is mixed in evenly.
 
Adapted from a Preppy Kitchen recipe.
Keyword buttercream