Easy & Quick Vanilla Buttercream Recipe

The classic choice for bakers and decorators when it comes to covering a cake is vanilla buttercream. This recipe is favoured for its flavour & versatility, as well as the fact that it's quick & easy to make! If you're looking for a soft and spreadable icing that is perfect for icing cakes and cupcakes then this frosting is for you. If you want to make your icing super white, this homemade buttercream can be made with all shortening to produce a pure white icing.

Adding Flavour: This buttercream recipe is the perfect starting point for you to add your favourite flavourings & extracts to. Add your flavour to taste, but be careful not to change the consistency of your icing by adding too much liquid. If you like a lot of flavour, try substituting some of your liquid with flavouring. We stock some great natural flavourings from Sugarflair, our favourites are caramel, strawberry & cappuccino, take a look here.

Storage: Buttercream, that is either leftover or you just like to make a big batch, can be kept for up to two weeks in an airtight container that you keep in the fridge. Buttercream can be frozen for up to six months too. Before reusing, bring your buttercream back to room temperature & re-whip it until it is back to the correct consistency.


  1. In a large bowl, beat shortening and butter with an electric mixer until light and fluffy. Beat in the vanilla.
  2. Add the icing sugar, about a 1/4 at a time, beating well on medium speed, scrape down the sides of the bowl often so everything is incorporated properly. When all the sugar has been mixed in, the icing will appear dry.
  3. Gradually add the milk while beating at medium speed until light and fluffy. 

Note: This recipe will yield a batch of around 750g or buttercream that is of a stiff consistency, which is perfect for piping decorations like flowers. If you need it thinner then add a little more milk until your desired consistency is reached (only add 1/2 tsp at a time).

Pure White Buttercream: Replace butter with vegetable shortening.


  • Depending on the humidity and climate that you are in, it may be necessary to adjust the liquid and sugar amounts in your icing. You can add small amounts (1/2 tsp at a time) of liquid if your icing looks dry. If icing is too wet, add 1tbsp of icing sugar at a time. The key to adjusting the consistency of your icing is to do it small amounts until it's just right!
  • You can just as easily make this recipe with all butter, jus replace the shortening with butter. All butter buttercream will make a softer icing and will also melt faster than if you were to make it with vegetable shortening.
  • If you're not a fan of a super sweet buttercream icing, add a pinch of salt. salt will cut through the sweetness. You could let the salt dissolve into you liquid before adding to your icing or try substituting some of your butter for salted butter.