How to Make Vanilla Frosting

Learn how to make vanilla frosting — it’s a baking basic that will come in handy time after time.

Before you start reinventing the wedding cake, you’ll need to get some baking basics down pat. Vanilla buttercream frosting is just one of those things that all bakers need to know like the back of their spatula.

I’ve been an avid baker for the last 10 years or so, but I continually return to this simple vanilla frosting recipe. It’s almost fool proof and can be customized with infinite combinations of colors and flavors. Happy baking!

How to Make Vanilla Frosting

What you need.


  • 500g softened unsalted butter (room temperature)
  • 1020g soft icing sugar mixture (sifted after it’s weighed)
  • 2 tbsp milk (room temperature, optional)
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract


Now to put it all together…

Step 1. Butter. Butter. Butter.

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Use a stand mixer or hand mixer to soften butter in a large bowl and mix for 5 minutes, so it gains some volume and goes pale in color.

Step 2. Add Sugar, Milk & Vanilla Extract.

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 Add half of the sugar mixture and mix until it’s completely mixed into the butter. Then add the rest of the sugar mixture, along with 2 tbsp of milk (optional) and a tbsp of vanilla extract.

Step 3. Mix. Mix. Mix.

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 Continue mixing for 5 min until it’s all combined.

There you have it! A lovely, tasty and fluffy homemade Vanilla Buttercream Frosting that is easy to make!

Things to Remember:

  • If you want to add color or flavoring, step 2 is the time to add it.
  • Store in an airtight container and refrigerate. (The frosting will keep for 2 weeks.)
  • To get the ideal frosting consistency, keep the frosting in a room temperature for 2 hours after refrigeration.
  • Best to use essences and gel flavorings instead of the normal ones.
  • Milk: it makes the sugar less grainy and make the frosting fluffier. However, don’t add too much of milk. Just add the required amount to avoid the frosting splitting apart. We say the milk as optional because this may cause the frosting to get very soft in warm weather.


Hope that this helps! Big thanks to The Scranline for this awesome step-by-step vanilla frosting tutorial. See the video below.

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