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Easy Homemade Vanilla Buttercream Icing

Updated on March 1, 2014
Easy Homemade Vanilla Buttercream Icing
Easy Homemade Vanilla Buttercream Icing | Source
5 stars from 3 ratings of Vanilla Buttercream Icing

Just about everyone loves icing and frosting. Right? Well, that's never been me. I've always been the scrape the frosting off and eat the cake kind of person.

I'm really picky when it comes to icing. I don't like it too sweet, which is usually the problem, and I don't like a whole lot of it. However, I also don't like whipped cream on my desserts either. lol

With this vanilla buttercream and my Easy Homemade Chocolate Buttercream Icing, I found a way to make delicious cake and cupcake icing that even I crave.

Now this isn't going to be the fancy store icing that you can pipe up high on your cupcakes, but when you spread it across your cakes and over your cupcakes, you will be delighted with the mixture of tastes exploding in your mouth.

They're not too sweet, but have lots of flavor. I really think it's because I like to use butter in my icing and don't like to overkill it with powdered sugar. I make sure to stop before it gets too sweet.

You too can have yummy icing for your delicious baked delicacies with this simple recipe. Let's get to it!!


Cook Time

Prep time: 10 min
Ready in: 10 min
Yields: Easily covers 1 large cake or 48 cupcakes


  • 1 cup butter
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon rum extract, (this is the secret ingredient)
  • 3 1/2 to 4 cups powdered sugar


  1. Start by setting up your area. I would include a hand mixer in your setup to really make your icing creamy.
  2. Add your butter to a large mixing bowl.
  3. Now add your vanilla extract.
  4. Mix your butter and extract well with your hand blender on high until your mixture is light and creamy.
  5. Add your rum extract.
  6. Mix again on high until all ingredients are thoroughly blended and your mixture is a lighter color, this is called whipping.
  7. Now it's time to start adding in your powdered sugar.
  8. Start by adding in one cup of powdered sugar and mix on low until sugar is combined.
  9. If you try mixing on high, your powdered sugar will go everywhere.
  10. Add in another cup and mix again.
  11. Your mixture will start to lighten and even become a pearlescent color (see picture).
  12. Check the texture and flavor of your icing now to make sure it's to your liking before continuing with your powdered sugar.
  13. Unfortunately, my recipe will not develop the thick piping icing you might be looking for. So base your decision to add more powdered sugar more on the flavor of your icing than the thickness.
  14. If you wish, mix in your remaining powdered sugar on low.
  15. Before considering it finished, whip it on high for a few minutes to really make it nice, smooth, and creamy.
  16. Enjoy!!
Click thumbnail to view full-size

Other Buttercream Flavors

Add in
rum extract
1 1/2 cups cocoa and 1/2 cup milk
rum extract
3-4 diced strawberries
vanilla and rum extract
1 tablespoon lemon juice
vanilla and rum extract
1 tablespoon lime juice
vanilla and rum extract
1 tablespoon orange juice
rum extract
6-8 diced blueberries
vanilla and rum extract
2 teaspoons mint extract
Peanut Butter
rum extract
1 1/2 cups peanut butter and 1/2 cup milk

Nutritional Information

Nutrition Facts
Serving size: 1 tablespoon of icing
Calories 99
Calories from Fat54
% Daily Value *
Fat 6 g9%
Saturated fat 3 g15%
Unsaturated fat 0 g
Carbohydrates 11 g4%
Sugar 11 g
Fiber 0 g
Protein 0 g
Cholesterol 5 mg2%
Sodium 14 mg1%
* The Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet, so your values may change depending on your calorie needs. The values here may not be 100% accurate because the recipes have not been professionally evaluated nor have they been evaluated by the U.S. FDA.
The Sign of Good Food
The Sign of Good Food | Source

Personal Review

Perky buttercream frosting that allows for you to pile it up on a cupcake has always eluded me.

This icing is amazing to the taste, will stay on top of your cupcakes and will set in the refrigerator. However, it cannot be piped.

No matter how many times I try it out and how many different recipes I've experimented with, the only way to get it into piping consistency that I've found is to drown it in powdered sugar, and then it's way too sweet.

I've even tried flour and cornstarch to thicken it up without over-killing it with sweetness. I just don't think piped icings are my forte, but that's okay.

Both this icing and my Easy Homemade Chocolate Buttercream Icing have been hits for everyone that have tasted them. They are creamy, smooth, and scrumptious, and super easy to icing straight from the bag when you are ready for it.

One of these days I'm sure I'll find a ways to master the deliciousness of my icings with the fluffy frothiness of icings able to be piped.

Quick Poll

What is your favorite flavor of buttercream icing?

See results

© 2014 Victoria Van Ness


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    • VVanNess profile image

      Victoria Van Ness 3 years ago from Fountain, CO

      I would love to hear how it turns out for you. :)

    • Alissaann26 profile image

      Alissaann26 3 years ago

      Sounds good I will have to try this .

    • VVanNess profile image

      Victoria Van Ness 3 years ago from Fountain, CO

      Thanks! This was fun to make. The rum extract really made this one a winner!

    • mariexotoni profile image

      mariexotoni 3 years ago

      So nicely written! Buttercream is definitely one of my favorite frostings. After cookie-dough frosting... Oh I think you just inspired another frosting hub.

      Beautiful hub, voted up! Will share when I'm at a desktop. Definitely on pinterest. :)

    • VVanNess profile image

      Victoria Van Ness 4 years ago from Fountain, CO

      Lol Nice! I'm glad you enjoyed it!

    • raymondphilippe profile image

      Raymond Philippe 4 years ago from The Netherlands

      Another calorie bomb to add to my collection ;-) I'll ask my daughter to bake some cupcakes with icing.

    • VVanNess profile image

      Victoria Van Ness 4 years ago from Fountain, CO

      Wonderful! I'm so glad you enjoyed it! It seems I am not the only one after all that doesn't like tons of super sweet icing. Lol

      Thank you so much for your wonderful comments!

    • suzettenaples profile image

      Suzette Walker 4 years ago from Taos, NM

      I love your buttercream icing recipe and this hub. Perky is the right word to describe it! LOL! I use a recipe similar to this, but without the rum (I'm not a rum lover) for the same reasons as you - it is not so ikky sweet. I love the info on how to vary the frosting flavors. Thanks for sharing your icing recipe and ideas with us.

    • VVanNess profile image

      Victoria Van Ness 4 years ago from Fountain, CO

      I'm glad you liked it! I hope you have success with it. :)

    • DDE profile image

      Devika Primić 4 years ago from Dubrovnik, Croatia

      This recipe looks so delicious and would love to try.

    • VVanNess profile image

      Victoria Van Ness 4 years ago from Fountain, CO

      I sure will when I get back to my computer. Thanks! :)

    • bravewarrior profile image

      Shauna L Bowling 4 years ago from Central Florida

      Victoria, email me and I'll send you the recipe. It's from McCall's Cookbook and is my go-to recipe. I cook nothing out of the box and I don't use mixes or pre-made products. I cook from scratch. The seafoam icing is a derivation of 7-minute icing. I love it!

    • VVanNess profile image

      Victoria Van Ness 4 years ago from Fountain, CO

      Oh man. I would love to know how to make that. :) Thanks for stopping by.

    • bravewarrior profile image

      Shauna L Bowling 4 years ago from Central Florida

      I love butter cream icing, but I'm like you; I prefer the cake to the frosting. This sounds like a good one. I make a sea foam icing that I just love. It's really good on banana cake - chocolate cake, too.

    • VVanNess profile image

      Victoria Van Ness 4 years ago from Fountain, CO

      I'm glad you both enjoyed it! This recipe is great for cakes. Thanks both of you for your wonderful comments!

    • Faith Reaper profile image

      Faith Reaper 4 years ago from southern USA

      I love buttercream frosting, any flavor on any type of cake ! LOL Thank you for sharing your wonderful and easy recipe.

      Up and more and sharing

      Have a lovely Sunday,

      Faith Reaper

    • AliciaC profile image

      Linda Crampton 4 years ago from British Columbia, Canada

      I don't like icing or frosting that is very sweet, either. It's the creaminess that I crave, not the sweetness. Thank you for this useful recipe, Victoria. The flavor variations sound delicious!

    • VVanNess profile image

      Victoria Van Ness 4 years ago from Fountain, CO

      If you like chocolate, I highly suggest my over the top extreme chocolate cupcakes, lol. Otherwise my vanilla cupcakes are super decadent! You can't go wrong with either one. Thanks for your thoughts!

    • FlourishAnyway profile image

      FlourishAnyway 4 years ago from USA

      I could use this on some cupcakes right now, any flavor.

    • VVanNess profile image

      Victoria Van Ness 4 years ago from Fountain, CO

      Thanks Eric! Always love your support!

      Dearabby, tempting isn't it? Lol A coconut cake sounds amazing!

      Vandy, it should be available right next to the vanilla extract. It really adds something special to vanilla recipes that will surprise and delight you!

      Thank you all for your wonderful comments!

    • vandynegl profile image

      vandynegl 4 years ago from Ohio Valley

      Thank you for sharing your recipe! I am also the type that does not like icing that is too sweet, or piled too high! It grosses me out! I am a fan of homemade kind, since the store bought "packages" also gross me out! I can't believe the ingredients in them! ANYWAY, I like that your recipe is simple with very few ingredients (and without food colorings!). Can you get rum extract at a regular store? I've actually never had that kind of extract before! Looking forward to trying it!

    • dearabbysmom profile image

      dearabbysmom 4 years ago from Indiana

      I am imagining this yummy frosting topping a vanilla cake and covered with coconut. Did not know I was hungry for cake, but...

    • Ericdierker profile image

      Eric Dierker 4 years ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Love hugs and kisses!