Fluffy Vanilla Buttercream Frosting – That You Absolutely Must Try!

buttercream frosting recipe for cake decorating

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Buttercream Frosting

Fluffy vanilla buttercream frosting piled high on a fresh cupcake is my downfall, and I can not resist the sweet creamy delight. Everyone needs a good buttercream frosting recipe for all of their baked goods. I know that some people prefer whipped topping, but I am a buttercream fan!

I love to pair buttercream frosting up with a made from scratch cupcake recipe. One of my favorites is funfetti cupcakes because they are so fun and colorful!


How long can you keep buttercream in the refrigerator?

Buttercream can last for up to a month in the refrigerator and up to three months in the freezer. I always have some leftover frosting after decorating my desserts and do not want to waste it. Put your frosting into an airtight container, ziplock bag, or a sealed piping bag before placing it into the refrigerator or freezer.

When you are ready to use your buttercream take it out of the refrigerator and let it thaw on the counter. Depending on how much buttercream you are thawing this can take a half-hour up to several hours.
If your buttercream is frozen, place it into the refrigerator several days before you need it.

I made delicious mermaid tail cupcakes with frosting that I had previously frozen with this method. The buttercream was so yummy and everyone loved the cupcakes!

Can I use margarine in buttercream frosting?

Margarine can be substituted for butter in a buttercream recipe. However, it will not have the same taste. You may need to experiment with the amount of milk added to the recipe.

Can I use water instead of milk in buttercream frosting?

Water can be used in place of milk in a buttercream frosting recipe. It may change the flavor slightly, but not by much.

Some people say using water in place of milk makes your frosting a little less sugary and fluffier.

Can you make buttercream frosting with regular sugar?

Some recipes use granulated sugar in the buttercream frosting. This recipe has not been tested with granulated sugar.

Can you microwave buttercream frosting?

Buttercream frosting can be brought to room temperature in the microwave. Break the frosting up and put it into a microwave-safe dish. Microwave the frosting in ten-second intervals. Watch for the frosting to melt in some places and still have solid chunks. When it reaches this stage take it out of the microwave and whip it all together with a whisk.

If your frosting is not soft enough repeat the above steps until it reaches room temperature. If your frosting gets too warm, put it back into the refrigerator to chill.

Can you use buttercream frosting for cake pops?

Buttercream frosting is the perfect addition to any cake pop. I use buttercream frosting to mix with crumbled cake for the inside of my cake pops.

fluffy vanilla buttercream frosting

Can you use salted butter for buttercream frosting?

Either salted or unsalted butter can be used in buttercream frosting. Make sure your butter is at room temperature before making your frosting to get the best results. Cold butter does not like to be whipped.

How do you make buttercream frosting from scratch?

Buttercream frosting is easy to make! Mix powdered sugar, vanilla room temperature butter, and milk. Frost your dessert or store it in an air-tight container.

How do you make chocolate buttercream frosting?

Add 1/4 to 1/2 cup of cocoa powder to the recipe to taste.

How far in advance can I make buttercream frosting?

Buttercream frosting can be stored in an air-tight container in the refrigerator for up to a month and in the freezer for up to three months. I prefer to make my frosting a day before making a cake to make the process less stressful.

How to add flavor to buttercream frosting:

You can swap the vanilla extract in this recipe for another extract: peppermint, almond, mint, or rum. Keep in mind if you choose a colored extract it may change the color of your frosting slightly. But my favorite is still fluffy vanilla buttercream frosting!

How to defrost buttercream frosting:

After buttercream frosting has been placed in the freezer it will need to be thawed before you can use it. Place the frosting into the refrigerator for several days. Then place it on the countertop to warm up to room temperature. The frosting may need to be whipped with a whisk before use.

How to firm up buttercream frosting:

To make your frosting firmer put it in the refrigerator to firm up. Or you could also add more powdered sugar to your frosting, a few tablespoons at a time.

How to fix lumpy buttercream frosting:

  • Before making your frosting make sure your butter is at room temperature. Butter that is too warm or too soft will not mix with the other ingredients correctly.
  • Sift your powder sugar before adding it to the frosting. This will eliminate any clumps of powder sugar from entering into your frosting.
  • If your frosting is lumpy after combining the ingredients, you may just need to mix it more.

How to get red buttercream frosting:

Use a red gel food coloring. Do not use liquid food coloring, it will ruin the consistency of the frosting if you need to add a lot. Make and dye your frosting several days in advance and place it in the refrigerator. The color will deepen with time. To achieve a deep red color try adding a small drop of black gel food coloring in with the red.

How to make buttercream frosting without a mixer:

Buttercream frosting can be made without an electric mixer. Use a spoon and a whole lot of elbow grease to mix the ingredients.

fluffy vanilla buttercream frosting

What is the difference between buttercream and whipped frosting?

Buttercream is made with butter and powdered sugar. Buttercream is smooth and easy to spread on a cake. It can be used to make intricate decorations on a cake.

Whipped icing is made from heavy whipping cream and powdered sugar. It is more delicate and is not as easy to spread as buttercream. Whipped icing can be used for piping borders on a cake but is not recommended for intricate details.

Marshmallow fondant is also an alternative you can use to decorate cakes. It is typically added over a thin layer of buttercream. Many intricate designs can be made from fondant because it has the same consistency as playdough.

Can buttercream frosting be left out overnight?

Buttercream with small amounts of milk and no cream cheese can safely be left out for two or three days.

Can you decorate sugar cookies with buttercream frosting?

Cookies can be decorated with buttercream frosting, although many people use royal icing to decorate sugar cookies. The buttercream will hold up on a cookie because a slight crust will form on the frosting. It will never fully harden like royal icing.

Fluffy Vanilla Buttercream Frosting Recipe


3 cups powdered sugar
1/3 cup butter softened to room temperature
2 teaspoons vanilla
1-2 tablespoons milk


In a medium bowl, mix powdered sugar and butter with a spoon or electric mixer. Stir in vanilla and 1 tablespoon of milk.

Gradually add more of the remaining milk, if needed, to make the frosting smooth and spreadable.

If your frosting becomes too thick, add more milk a few drops at a time. If your frosting becomes too thin, add a small amount of powdered sugar.

This recipe frosts a 13×9 inch cake.



good buttercream frosting


If you loved the fluffy vanilla buttercream frosting recipe, I’d love for you to leave a comment and review!

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