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Vanilla Frosting

Photo: Lee Harrelson; Styling: Jan Gautro, Laura Zapalowski
Prep time 10 mins
Yield Makes about 2 1/2 cups
This vanilla frosting can be flavored many ways; see our variations that follow. You can make the frosting up to 2 days ahead; cover and chill. Bring to room temperature and stir until creamy and spreadable before using.

Ingredients

  • 1 cup (1/2 lb.) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 4 cups (1 lb.) powdered sugar, sifted
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons milk
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla

Nutrition Information

  • calories 86
  • caloriesfromfat 48 %
  • protein 0.1 g
  • fat 4.6 g
  • satfat 2.9 g
  • carbohydrate 11 g
  • fiber 0.0 g
  • sodium 84 mg
  • cholesterol 13 mg

How to Make It

  1. In a bowl, with a mixer (preferably fitted with whisk attachment) on low speed, beat butter, 2 cups powdered sugar, and the salt until blended. Add milk and vanilla; beat until blended. Add remaining powdered sugar, 1 cup at a time, beating until incorporated. Turn mixer to high speed and beat frosting until fluffy and smooth.

  2. Coffee frosting: Replace milk and vanilla with 4 teaspoons instant espresso powder dissolved in 3 tablespoons hot water, then cooled.

  3. Lemon frosting: Replace milk with 2 tablespoons lemon juice, and vanilla with 2 teaspoons grated lemon peel.

  4. Mint frosting: Replace vanilla with 4 teaspoons crème de menthe or 1 teaspoon mint extract and 2 or 3 drops green food coloring, if desired.

  5. Orange frosting: Replace milk with 2 tablespoons orange juice, and vanilla with 2 teaspoons grated orange peel.

  6. Note: Nutritional analysis is per tablespoon of Vanilla Frosting.