Foolproof Vanilla Frosting

Erin McDowell

Want to know the secret to a fabulous layer cake (or any cake for that matter)? Decadent frosting. Sure, you want the cake to be moist. But it’s the frosting that can take your dessert to the next level. Enter this recipe for foolproof vanilla frosting. When it comes to decorating, we’ve got you covered too: Check out our simple technique that will have you frosting like a pro.

The Mess-Free Way to Frost a Cake


3 sticks unsalted butter, softened

6 cups confectioners’ sugar, sifted

⅓ cup heavy cream, at room temperature

¾ teaspoon pure vanilla extract


1. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, beat the butter with the confectioners’ sugar until light and fluffy, 3 to 4 minutes.

2. Add the heavy cream and whip until well incorporated, about 2 minutes more. Add the vanilla and mix to combine.

3. The frosting is now ready to use. It can be made ahead and refrigerated, covered, for up to four days. Bring the frosting to room temperature before using.