Easy Vanilla Buttercream for 12 cupcakes

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I use this easy vanilla buttercream method all of the time. It’s quick, easy and you can vary it multiple ways.

Take a look at some of the creations below for inspiration on piping ideas or colours that pop.

Easy Vanilla buttercream is also essential when making cake pops or cakesicles as it holds the mixture together.

Ingredients and Equipment

All the ingredients in this recipe can be picked up from your local supermarket or local shop. You can find baking aisles in all major chains such as Asda, Morrisons and Tesco.

The equipment that I use is my trusty stand mixer and is a piece of kitchen equipment that I use pretty much daily. Now that’s not to say that you absolutely need one for this recipe of any of the recipes on my blog, but if you bake a lot, I would recommend taking a look at them.

When I first started baking, I always used a hand mixer. I found Amazon had a great selection of these but they can also be picked up on the high street too. The only major difference I find between a stand and hand mixer is the ability to multi-task. I can leave my stand mixer working away whilst I clear up or prep for the next stage of the bake. With a hand mixer, well, obviously you can’t just walk off and leave that to do it’s own thing.


Did You Know?

When it comes to recipes, you can adjust the quantities to suit your bake. This recipe makes enough for 12 cupcakes or to cover 1 layer of a large cake. If you’re making 24 cupcakes or a double layered cake, simply double all the quantities in the recipe. The same goes for making smaller batches. I’ve said many times before that I freeze my cupcakes in batches of 3 and just get them out a few hours before I’m ready to decorate. If you’re like me, simply divide the recipe by 4 and you’ll have just enough.

Storing unused buttercream is also something you could do if you find you’ve made too much. You can store buttercream in the fridge for up to 2 weeks. Simply put it in an airtight container and make sure you give it a good mix before you use it again (it will go stiff in the fridge).

white buttercream in a bowl

Easy vanilla Buttercream

Prep Time 10 mins
Course Dessert
Servings 12


  • 180 g softened butter
  • 1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 400 g icing sugar
  • 3-4 tbsp milk


  • Whisk the butter for 5 minutes until it starts become pale and fluffy
  • Add the vanilla extract and whisk for a further minute
  • Sift the icing sugar into the butter in 3 stages, whisking for 1 minute after each addition
  • Add 3-4 tbsp of milk until you achieve your desired consistency (I find 2 or 3 is enough for piping on cupcakes)


  • Try adding a few drops of food colouring to change the colour (paste or gel works better than water based colours)
  • Switch vanilla extract for lemon extract for a fruity twist
  • Add mini marshmallows to the buttercream to make snow mountains at Christmas (trust me, it’s sweet but it works!)

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