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.

How to Make It

Step 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.

Step 2

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

Step 3

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

Step 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.

Step 5

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

Step 6

Note: Nutritional analysis is per tablespoon of Vanilla Frosting.

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