Vanilla buttercream is the little black dress of the baking world. It goes with everything, from a chocolate birthday cake to a strawberry-filled almond wedding cake. You cannot go wrong with this smooth, mellow, just-sweet-enough frosting.
- 1 cup butter, softened
- 3 to 3 ¼ cups powdered sugar, sifted
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 1 to 2 tablespoons vanilla extract
- 2 tablespoons milk
Place butter in a mixing bowl and beat for a few minutes using the paddle attachment.
Add 3 cups powdered sugar. With your mixer on low, incorporate the powdered sugar into the butter. (Hint: I find that placing a kitchen towel over the mixer during this stage prevents a powdered sugar blizzard.)
Increase speed and add 1 tablespoon vanilla, salt, and milk.
Beat for 3 minutes, then taste. If you’d like a stronger vanilla flavor, add the second tablespoon of vanilla, along with the additional ¼ cup of powdered sugar. Beat until combined.
For thinner buttercream, add additional milk, one tablespoon at a time, until you reach the desired consistency.