Vanilla Buttercream Frosting

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Basic frosting recipe, perfect for tinting and icing cakes or cupcakes.

Vanilla Buttercream Frosting

Yield: 3 cups (enough for 24 cupcakes)

Prep Time: 10 min


1/2 cup butter, at room temperature
1 (3 ounce) package cream cheese, at room temperature
1 (16 ounce) package powdered sugar
1/4 cup milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
coloring or gel paste, optional


In a large bowl, use electric mixer to beat butter and cream cheese at medium speed until creamy. Gradually add powdered sugar, beating at low speed until blended. Increase speed to medium, and slowly add milk and vanilla, beating until smooth. Beat in drops of color if you wish to tint the frosting.


*Add additional powdered sugar if you need to thicken it a bit.


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  • Suzanne wrote:

    Hi – Do you need to refrigerate cupcakes with this frosting or are they okay at room temperature? Thanks!

    • Lori Lange wrote:

      Since there is cream cheese in the recipe, they should be kept refrigerated in a covered container until ready to serve.

  • Michelle wrote:

    Hi, I found this recipe via another food blog, and used it this weekend on some cupcakes. I LOVE this frosting! It’s a perfect combination of buttercream and cream cheese frosting. I will surely be making this over and over! Thanks! 🙂

  • TRISHA wrote:

    Hello. Just wanted to verify the amount of cream cheese… Did you use 3oz???

    • Lori Lange wrote:

      One 3-ounce package (or 3 ounces from a larger package).

  • Sacha wrote:

    Halved this recipe and made it for 12 cupcakes yesterday. Beat it extra long and it became white and fluffy. Yum! Perfect “cloud” topping for rainbow cupcakes. 🙂