I’m a huge believer that every kitchen tool you own should serve multiple purposes (or be used A LOT for its specific purpose). I don’t have anything in my kitchen that is only used for one thing because it wastes valuable space. I believe the same thing about some recipes, including this one. This vanilla buttercream is so flavorful, endlessly versatile, and is my go-to for so many things: wedding cakes, birthday cakes, cinnamon rolls, sugar cookies, whoopie pies, red velvet cakes, pumpkin cakes, carrot cakes, and even devils food cake! Not just any white frosting can successfully be used on a chocolate cake, but this one can!
The only problem with this vanilla buttercream frosting is that the high amount of butter turns it more of an ivory color than a pure white. However, last year Kailey discovered that if you add the tiniest bit of violet food coloring to the frosting, it will turn it bright white. Why didn’t I think of that years ago?
If you want to add flavors to this frosting, I recommend avoiding extracts. The taste just doesn’t work in this yummy vanilla buttercream frosting. Try adding some of whatever flavor you’re trying to achieve. My favorites in the past have been citrus zests, cinnamon, or even raspberries.
If I’m craving a lighter flavored frosting I use my favorite cream cheese whipped cream. That and this buttercream are the only two white “frostings” I use anymore. They’re just so delicious and I’m happy every time I use them.
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- 2 C (16 oz) salted butter
- 7 C (32 oz) powdered sugar
- 2 tsp vanilla
- 4-7 T milk
- Soften the butter. Do NOT melt. Beat butter with a mixer until smooth.
- Add powdered sugar. Beat together until combined and the mixture looks dry but uniform. Scrape bowl.
- Add vanilla. Add milk until frosting is light and creamy. Add up to 3 additional tablespoons of milk if too thick.
- Caution, overbeating will result in too many air pockets while frosting.
- Buttercream can be kept in the refrigerator for up to 7 days. Freeze any leftover frosting in a freezer container or freezer plastic bag. To use again, thaw and re-whip.
- Cover your stand mixer with a towel or included appliance cover, or if you are using a hand mixer, use a deep bowl to avoid powdered sugar flying all over.