Simple Vanilla Frosting

Makes 4 1/2 cups

Our simple frosting recipe is made with just four basic ingredients: unsalted butter, confectioners' sugar, milk, and vanilla extract. This basic buttercream is one of the most simple frostings you can whip up—and it elevates cakes and cupcakes alike. Try it on top of these chocolate chip cookie cupcakes (you won't regret it!).


  • 4 ½ sticks room-temperature unsalted butter

  • 6 ¾ cups confectioners' sugar

  • 1 tablespoon plus 1 ½ teaspoons whole milk

  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract


  1. Beat butter and 1 1/2 cups sugar with a mixer on medium speed until pale and fluffy. Reduce speed to medium-low; gradually add an additional 5 1/4 cups sugar. Raise speed to medium-high. Add milk and vanilla. Continue to beat until pale and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Store at room temperature until ready to use (up to 2 days).

    simple vanilla frosting
    Johnny Miller
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