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 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.
  • Whipping cream is perfect for the most airy, fluffy texture but regular milk definitely works too. The difference is subtle (but worth using cream if you have the option).
  • 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 5-Minute Fluffy Vanilla Frosting

Prep Time 5 mins
Servings 12
Keyword Vanilla Frosting


  • 12 oz softened unsalted butter (1 1/2 cups)
  • 13.5 oz confectioners' sugar (3 1/3 cups)
  • 6 tbsp whipping cream or milk
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 1/8 tsp fine sea salt


  • Combine all ingredients in stand mixer fitted with whisk attachment. Beat on medium-high speed for 5 minutes, until very pale and very fluffy. Pause several times to scrape down sides of mixer bowl.


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, use 16 oz (by weight) butter, 18 oz confectioners’ sugar, 5 1/2 tbsp cream, 1 1/2 tsp vanilla and keep the salt the same.
Keyword Vanilla Frosting
5 1 vote
Article Rating
Notify of
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments

Join the Foodess Tribe

Be the first to get new recipes and science-based cooking and baking tips straight to your inbox for free

Would love your thoughts, please comment.x