Vanilla Bean Buttercream Recipe

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Vanilla Cream Buttercream |

This is my very favorite buttercream frosting! It’s perfect for crumbing and frosting cakes, piping on cupcakes, and just general spoon-licking. I like to use vanilla paste, because it’s just so easy! But you could also split a vanilla bean and scrape out the insides… you know, if you’re the over achieving type.

And on the flip side, feel free to just use an extract if that’s what you have on hand. Of course, the better quality the extract (or paste– seriously, buy some vanilla paste– life changing), the better tasting the frosting will be!

This frosting is so perfectly versatile and really very necessary for any baking repertoire. It takes on coloring really well (I always use gel colors). You can sub 1/4 cup cocoa powder for 1/4 cup of powdered sugar to make chocolate frosting. Or add 1/4 cup sprinkles for homemade Funfetti frosting. Add crushed Oreos for Cookies & Cream frosting… seriously, endless possibilities!

Homemade buttercream is so much better than canned frosting and comes together in just a few minutes, so there’s not reason not to make it!!

Vanilla Cream Buttercream |

Vanilla Bean Buttercream


  • 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup shortening*
  • 4 cups powdered sugar
  • 3 tbsp milk
  • 1 tbsp vanilla paste or extract or 1 vanilla bean


  1. In a stand mixer, whisk together the butter and the shortening, scraping down the sides as needed, until smooth and blended.
  2. Add 1 cup powdered sugar and 1 tbsp milk, whisk until smooth.
  3. Add 1 cup powdered sugar and 1 tbsp vanilla, whisk until smooth.
  4. Add 1 cup powdered sugar and 1 tbsp milk, whisk until smooth.
  5. Add 1 cup powdered sugar and 1 tbsp milk, whisk until smooth.

Be sure to scrape down the sides as needed when mixing!


*Since I know some of you are going to ask: yes, you can substitute butter for the shortening! The taste and texture won't be exactly the same as mine, and it definitely won't hold up in heat (like, being outside on a hot day) like the shortening version. But it does work ๐Ÿ™‚

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10 thoughts on “Vanilla Bean Buttercream Recipe”

  1. Two questions from a newbie baker… where can I buy the vanilla paste? And can I just add a few drops of gel color and get colored frosting? Amazing haha dying to try this! Thanks

    • I can usually find vanilla paste a little culinary shops, definitely at williams-sonoma, and definitely on Amazon (which is your best price too)! ๐Ÿ™‚ And yes, you can add a little gel color for colored frosting!

  2. I found vanilla paste at Michael’s (craft store) in the speciality baking section. 6.99 a jar, but coupons are almost always available from the Micheal’s android app.

  3. Vanilla buttercream is the best buttercream in my opinion! What a simple recipe! I’ve actually never made buttercream frosting this way before. I don’t use shortening or crisco a lot in my cooking, so maybe that is why! Have you ever made buttercream using egg yolks and simple syrup? It’s a bit more work (and messier, seriously) but it tastes like no other frosting I’ve ever tried (though, to be fair, I’ve only tried store bought, homemade mascarpone and homemade cream cheese frostings. I may not be the best judge as of now) But I’m interested to make these two together and see if there is a taste difference! If not, why not go with the simpler way to do it, haha! Thanks for posting this recipe ๐Ÿ™‚

  4. Do you use the whisk attachment on your mixer or the paddle? I’ve always used the paddle attachment but I know your recipe says “whisk together” so I wanted to clarify. Thanks!


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