Easy 5-Minute Fluffy Vanilla Frosting

This Easy Vanilla Frosting recipe is fluffy and satiny, not to mention delicious. It is so simple with my 3 key tricks for success. It is as uncomplicated and as delicious as you could ask for.

Easy Vanilla Frosting Recipe

This fluffy vanilla frosting is a basic American buttercream, meaning a few simple ingredients: butter, confectioners’ sugar (a.k.a. icing or powdered sugar), vanilla extract and a splash of cream. It’s easy for even the most beginner baker, but delicious enough that even pro bakers will want it in their regular rotation.

Here are the 3 Secrets To Making the Best-Ever Vanilla Frosting

  • Use only a whisk attachment on a stand mixer, the paddle attachment will not whip enough air into the frosting to the fluffy, cloud-like texture.

  • Allow the mixture to whip for a solid 5 minutes. Letting the mixer run for a prolonged time allows the butter and sugar to whip up into a luscious, pillowy texture that incorporates a lot of air for a mouthfeel that teeters on the precipice of mousse-like. Because air is essentially an ingredient, the sugar is less dominant for perfectly sweet, never cloying, icing for the cake.

Recipe Notes:

  • You can make this vanilla frosting recipe in advance and refrigerate it. You’ll need to bring it back to room temperature before you use it and it should be re-beaten for a minute or so for optimal results.
  • If ever there is one place where unsalted butter is non-negotiable, it’s in a vanilla frosting. Salted butter will totally overpower this recipe.
  • As the frosting sits, it will thicken and become drier. This is because the sugar absorbs the free liquid. If you are not using it immediately after the 5-minute beating time is up, beat in 1-2 tablespoons more cream or milk just before filling your piping bags.
  • This recipe yields enough frosting to frost and fill a two-layer 9″ cake, or 24 cupcakes. If you’d like to frost the cake and then pipe additional details, make 1 1/2 times this recipe.
  • As with any butter-based frosting recipe, you only want to frost a cake once it is completely cooled. Even a slightly-warm cake (any warmer than room temperature) will make the butter in the frosting melt and the frosting will become greasy and/or slide a bit off the cake.

Where To Use this Vanilla Frosting:

Easy Vanilla Frosting

Easy 5-Minute Fluffy Vanilla Frosting

Prep Time 5 mins
Servings 12
Keyword Vanilla Frosting


  • 2 cups softened unsalted butter (454 g)
  • 4 cups confectioners' sugar (460g)
  • 2 tsp milk
  • 1 tbsp pure vanilla extract


  • Combine all ingredients in stand mixer fitted with whisk attachment. Start on low to incorporate confectioners' sugar, then gradually increase to high.
  • Whip on high speed for 5 minutes, until very pale and very fluffy. Pause several times to scrape down sides of mixer bowl. The frosting will double in volume and will go from a dull, matte white to a shiny, satiny white.


This makes enough frosting for 24 simply-frosted cupcakes, one 9×13″ slab cake, or two 9″ cake layers. If you want enough frosting to pipe details on the cake or make dramatic cupcake swirls, make 1.5 x the recipe.
Keyword Vanilla Frosting
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