Vanilla buttercream frosting is the traditional choice for bakers and decorators alike. Quick and easy to make, this delicious recipe is well-loved for its flavor and versatility. Use this vanilla frosting as is, or try other delicious flavor variations like chocolate or strawberry buttercream. Our vanilla buttercream frosting recipe is smooth and spreadable, making it perfect for frosting cupcakes, cakes, and cookies. This buttercream can also be stiffened to hold its shape for decorating treats with buttercream flowers or piped messages. Pair with a basic yellow cake for consistency or a chocolate layer cake for a bit of contrast. If you're after a super white frosting, this homemade buttercream can also be prepared with all shortening, resulting in a pure white frosting.
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Substitutes & Modifications:
This buttercream recipe is for medium consistency, which is excellent for piping decorations like rosettes and dots. However, it will need to be thinned for frosting birthday cakes and borders.
Stiff Consistency: Gradually add additional confectioners’ sugar for a stiffer consistency. Best for dimensional decorations that need to retain their shape when piped. This consistency is generally used for piping upright petals for flowers.
Medium Consistency: Add 1 teaspoon of liquid (light corn syrup, milk or water) for each cup of stiff frosting. For pure white frosting, add up to 2 tablespoons of clear liquid. Medium consistency is used for borders such as stars, dots, rosettes and shells, as well as other decorations that will remain relatively flat.
Thin Consistency: Add 2 teaspoons of liquid (light corn syrup, milk or water) for each cup of buttercream frosting. For pure white frosting, add up to 4 tablespoons of liquid. Thin consistency is best for cake frosting, as well as piping lines and letters. If you are making a buttercream intended for writing, use light corn syrup as your liquid. Writing will flow easily and won’t break.