Vanilla Frosting

Vanilla Frosting Recipe
Photo: Lee Harrelson; Styling: Jan Gautro, Laura Zapalowski
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.


Makes about 2 1/2 cups

Recipe from


Recipe Time

Prep: 10 Minutes

Nutritional 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


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


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.

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

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

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.

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

Note: Nutritional analysis is per tablespoon of Vanilla Frosting.

Linda Lau Anusasananan,


May 2005
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