Fluffy Vanilla Buttercream

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Photo: Sang An
8 cups

The firm texture of this buttercream frosting helps to keep candy decorations in place.


  • 3 cups (6 sticks) unsalted butter, softened

  • 9 cups sifted confectioners' sugar

  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract


  1. Beat butter in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment on medium high speed until pale and creamy, about 2 minutes.

  2. Reduce speed to medium. Add the confectioner's sugar, 1/2 cup at a time, beating well after each addition and scraping down the sides of the bowl with a spatula as needed, about 5 minutes total. After every 2 additions, raise speed to high, and beat 10 seconds to aerate the frosting. Add vanilla, and beat until buttercream is smooth.

Cook's Notes

The 8-cup yield will cover an 8-inch 3-layer cake; use half a batch for a 6-inch 3-layer cake. Buttercream can be refrigerated in an airtight container up to 10 days. Bring to room temperature, and beat on low speed until smooth, about 10 minutes, before using.

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