Foolproof! Simple! Tasty!

We’re tackling American Buttercream. With a powdered sugar base, all we need to add is a little flavor and a splash of milk. Before you know it, you’re all done! The best part? You can keep your stand mixer clean and use your hand mixer! And before we start, don’t forget to check out the KitchenAid giveaway below.

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Let’s Make Some Buttercream!

Now let me start by saying that I’ve added notes below on the best options available should you need to alter this recipe based on your current need or just preference. Depending on your location’s climate, it might be best to opt out for an all butter buttercream. All butter will make this buttercream noticeably softer & will melt faster. So just keep that in mind if your baked treats need to travel.

Essential Vanilla Buttercream

Essential Vanilla Buttercream

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes

Simple & easy to follow vanilla buttercream recipe.

Ingredients

  • 1 stick butter at room temperature (see notes)
  • 1/2 cup vegetable shortening
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 4 cups powdered sugar, sifted (see notes)
  • 4 tablespoons heavy cream at room temperature (see notes)

Instructions

  1. If not already done prior, sift 4 cups of powdered sugar. When finished, measure out 4 cups of sifted powdered sugar and put away what’s left.
  2. Beat butter and shortening together until both are well combined, light, and fluffy.
  3. Beat in the vanilla extract.
  4. Place your stand mixer, or hand mixer, on the lowest possible setting. Begin to slowly and gradually add in your powdered sugar 1/2 cup at a time. (see notes)
  5. Add in heavy cream, 1 tablespoon at a time, while beating buttercream at a medium speed until light & fluffy. (see notes)

Notes

  • If you’d prefer to skip the shortening, simply swap it out with 1 additional stick of room temperature butter.
  • If you’d prefer a more white, stiffer, buttercream then simply omit the butter & replace with 1 additional cup of shortening. Also be sure to swap out the vanilla extract for clear vanilla extract.
  • Make sure you sift your powdered sugar. This will help the sugar mix into the butter & shortening smoothly.
  • When all your powdered sugar has been added in, the buttercream will appear dry. Don’t raise the alarms. When adding in your milk or heavy cream, your buttercream will start to have the fluffy texture it‘s known for.
  • Keep in mind that your heavy cream should be added in 1 tablespoon at a time. I do this way to make sure I am not drowning my buttercream to the point of a soupy mess.
  • Also worth mentioning, if desired, you can easily swap out the heavy cream for equal parts of your preferred milk.
  • Room Temperature Ingredients: Be sure to allow your dairy ingredients to reach room temperature. Room temperature ingredients not only combine more effortlessly (no over-mixing needed) but they also trap air so much better. This trap air will expand and produce a fluffy texture during your baking process.
  • Prepared Pan: There will always be the "next best way to prepare your pan" article. Simply put however, the most effective way i find in my kitchen is a light rub of shortening around the sides, parchment paper on the bottom of the pan (for majority of baking pans), & a very light dusting of flour (cocoa powder for chocolate baked goods) all throughout.

The buttercream will certainly keep for up to two weeks in an airtight container. If you’re like me and find prep your best friend in the kitchen, you can certainly make this ahead of time. Just be sure to let come back to room temperature and give it a good quick whip before using.

Kitchen Note(s):

  • If you’d prefer to skip the shortening, simply swap it out with 1 additional stick of room temperature butter.
  • If you’d prefer a more white, stiffer, buttercream then simply omit the butter & replace with 1 additional cup of shortening. Also be sure to swap out the vanilla extract for clear vanilla extract.
  • Make sure you sift your powdered sugar. This will help the sugar mix into the butter & shortening smoothly.
  • When all your powdered sugar has been added in, the buttercream will appear dry. Don’t raise the alarms. When adding in your milk or heavy cream, your buttercream will start to have the fluffy texture it‘s known for.
  • Keep in mind that your heavy cream should be added in 1 tablespoon at a time. I do this way to make sure I am not drowning my buttercream to the point of a soupy mess.
  • Also worth to mention, if desired, you can easily swap out the heavy cream for equal parts of your preferred milk.

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