Vanilla buttercream is a simple go-to frosting that works well with cakes, cupcakes, or cookies. It can be used for just frosting a cake or piping beautiful flowers and accents. The color and flavor can be easily changed with extracts and food coloring to match any cake flavor or design.
This recipe is made with all butter. I store it in the fridge if I am not going use it right away. Then let it come to room temperature and whip it up again before using. I also like to store my cakes in the fridge until serving as well.
To make this a crusting buttercream, which means while it sits out it will slightly harden or form a crust on the outside, replace half the butter with shortening. I like to use a crusting buttercream sometimes because it lasts longer sitting out for a party or transporting it. To keep it from crusting up too quickly while working, place a damp paper towel over the bowl and then whisk it up well before using it. Try an organic shortening if the idea of using traditional shortening bothers you.
Want more flavor? Check out my recipe for coconut buttercream.
A note about sifting:
You may have noticed that most of my recipes say “sift or whisk” when using flour or powdered sugar. For reals, I rarely sift anything. Gasp! It’s time-consuming and messy. It’s no secret I like short cuts and less mess. That is why I whisk my flour and dry ingredients for a cake or powdered sugar for icing. With this recipe which calls for 2 pounds of powdered sugar or a whole bag, I whisk it right in the bag. No need to dirty another bowl.