Fluffy Vanilla Buttercream

Let’s establish something: I would not post a simple vanilla frosting recipe without an accompanying cookie or cake if it wasn’t something special. Typically I’d give you Sugar Cookies + Vanilla Buttercream or Banana Split Cake + Strawberry Buttercream. So what’s the occasion? Well, my little cookies, I have here for you my go-to Fluffy Vanilla Buttercream. I’ve tried others before, but this is by far my favorite. It is simple, and it is perfect.

There is no complicated technique or preparation involved in making this lusciously sweet spread. It does not take hours to make or cause you mental stress. Merely beat the ingredients until homogenous and fluffy, and you’ve got yourself a perfect frosting.

The easiness of this icing takes backseat to its deliciousness. The texture is so delightfully fluffy, but melts away as it meets your tongue. I believe its beautiful fluffiness can be attributed to the use of whipping cream as opposed to the usual milk.

This buttercream is perfectly sweet, but not so much that it will rot your teeth out upon contact. There is wonderful vanilla flavor, as well as an extra special something provided by almond extract. I only add in the slightest bit so there’s enough to make your palate curious, but not so much so that it’s all you taste.

This lusciously fluffy and delicious buttercream is incredibly versatile. It’s great on cake, cupcakes, cookies, and more. It also freezes wonderfully. If you’re searching for a vanilla frosting to add to your go-to collection, this is it. It’s creamy, scrumptious, and perfect spread atop just about anything.

However, be warned: you may find yourself eating half of the icing straight from the mixing bowl before ever spreading a spoonful onto a cake or cookie.

A Few Tips Before You Get Cooking:

  1. You can adjust the thickness of this frosting to suit what you’re making. Want smooth, easy spreading on a cake? Make it thinner. Want the frosting to set up stiff after decorating cookies? Make it thicker. More powdered sugar = thicker, stiffer frosting. Less powdered sugar/more cream = thinner frosting.
  2. You could also use this as a building block for flavored frosting. Add cocoa powder to make chocolate buttercream, strawberry puree to make strawberry buttercream, etc.
  3. This frosting is great for decorating cookies. I used it for my sugar cookies at Christmas and added more powdered sugar. It set up stiff so I could touch the cookies without smudging the frosting, but it still melted in my mouth when I ate it.
  4. Add food dye to make beautiful, colorful frosting.
  5. This can be frozen in an airtight container for up to 4 weeks. Thaw it in the fridge for 12 hours. Just give it a quick re-fluffing with the beaters after it thaws and then frost away.

Fluffy Vanilla Buttercream

Recipe adapted from Food Network


  • 4 cups confectioners’ sugar
  • 1 cup butter (2 sticks), room temperature
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon almond extract
  • 1 to 2 tablespoons whipping cream


In a standing mixer fitted with a whisk, mix together sugar and butter. Mix on low speed until well blended and then increase speed to medium and beat for another 3 minutes.

Add vanilla, almond extract, and cream and continue to beat on medium speed for 1 minute more, adding more cream or powdered sugar if necessary to reach desired consistency.

Posted in Dessert, The Smart Cookie Cook and tagged , , , , , , .

Colleen Bierstine


  1. Love the addition of the almond extract to this…what a great idea! I am a big fan of simple buttercream frostings and next time I need one I’ll pull this one up and give it a try. Happy New Year!

  2. THANKS A LOT! Just when I was getting used to this whole *DIET* thing! You jerk :)
    Really, is there anything more perfect than a giant fluffy cookie and the perfect vanilla frosting. Seriously one of my favorite things on the planet.

  3. It’s so good to have another recipe for buttercream frosting–I feel like I’ve tried a lot of them, but the texture on yours is amazing!

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  7. I love love love this recipe. Have you ever adapted it to a chocolate version? (I’m a chicken at changing things up on a good recipe!)

    • I love it too! I haven’t tried a chocolate version, but it would be quite simple (and delicious). Just add cocoa powder (preferably sifted), a 1/4 cup at a time, until you reach your desired chocolaty-ness. I believe a 1/2 cup total would be sufficient.

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  10. It looks yummy and easy but will get smashed if the cookies are packed on top of each other like in a cookie box. I would love to hear your reply. Thanks!

  11. I am making high heel cupcakes for my daughters party would this icing be good for that? It will be outside and the weather is hot would it hold its shape and stiffness or should I add something else?

    • You can’t really keep any frosting in the heat for extended periods of time. Just about any frosting is going to wilt in heat. IF you weren’t planning on putting these in the heat, this frosting would be fine for those cupcakes.

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