Vanilla Almond Buttercream

caramel cupcakes

Buttercream frosting is a go-to resource for bakers. It’s easy to make and adapt for different flavor combinations. The key to successful buttercream, in my opinion, is to soften your butter just enough; you don’t want it to be too soft, because you risk a runny consistency, or too hard, which will prevent the powdered sugar from incorporating properly. I once read that the proper consistency of softened butter for buttercream is like ice cream; you can indent it with your finger, but not smash it altogether.

This buttercream was inspired by a vanilla caramel candy and would pair well with almost any cupcake or cake, from caramel to chocolate. As you’re preparing it, taste as you go to make sure that the vanilla and almond flavors are well-balanced.

Vanilla Almond Buttercream


  • 8 tablespoons butter, at room temperature
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 2 cups powdered sugar, sifted
  • 1 to 1 1/2 tablespoons vanilla extract
  • 1/2 to 3/4 tablespoon almond extract


In a mixing bowl, beat butter for about 1 minute, then add salt and beat another minute.

Add powdered sugar and beat on low speed until all of the sugar is fully incorporated into the butter; this will take a few minutes.

Add vanilla extract and almond extract, beating well to combine. Taste; add more extract if desired.

Frost cake or cupcakes and store at room temperature


Vanilla Buttercream






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.