This bakery-style vanilla buttercream frosting was one of the most requested Amycakes Bakery recipes--we called it our "House" vanilla frosting. It's super creamy and fluffy with a delicious vanilla flavor and is not overly sweet.
🍰 A cream cheese buttercream blend
At Amycakes Bakery we called it a cream cheese/ buttercream blend, but It's not overly cream cheese-y. In fact, most people don't even realize it contains cream cheese. The cream cheese provides the perfect creamy texture without being gritty or crispy, while balancing the sweetness.
🥣 Ingredients (and substitutions)
- Theres just enough Cream Cheese to make the creamiest addictive buttercream texture.
- This recipe uses Salted Butter, which makes the buttercream more flavorful. You can leave salted butter out at room temperature overnight, which allows it to be soft when you need it. If you need to use unsalted butter, add ¼ teaspoons salt per stick of butter.
- Add just a little Shortening which makes the buttercream fluffier. If you'd prefer, you can substititute it with equal parts butter.
- Powdered Sugar
- Use Pure Vanilla Extract rather than imitation. We want that delicious real vanilla flavor in this frosting.
- If you'd like, you can add Instant Clearjel, one of my favorite bakery ingredients. It will stabilize and thicken the buttercream slightly to help with piping rosettes or other decorations. Just be sure to whisk it well with the powdered sugar before adding it.
🧁 Tips for make the perfect fluffy frosting texture
We're going to let our mixer do the work in this recipe:
- Beat each ingredient well after you add it to the mixer, and scrape as needed--this will ensure there are no lumps.
- Don't skip the last step of beating the completed buttercream on high for 2-3 minutes. This is what whips air into the frosting and makes it super light and fluffy!
💭 Frequently Asked Questions
Buttercream frosting with cream cheese can be left at room temperature for up to 24 hours, but it can get soft and melt in warm temperatures.
It is best to store it in the fridge, but allow the frosting to come back to room temperature before serving it or using it. You can stir or re-whip frosting to bring back its fluffy texture. Keep it refrigerated for up to 2 weeks.
If you're looking for a frosting that doesn't require immediate refrigeration, check out the frosting in my Buttercream Decorated Sugar Cookie recipe.
This buttercream frosting freezes really well for up to 2 months, stored in an air-tight container. Allow it to thaw in the refrigerator overnight before using it. You can also freeze completely decorate and freeze a cake with this buttercream, as described in How to Bake and Layer Cakes Like a Pro.
We used this buttercream on all our tiered cakes at Amycakes Bakery! Just be sure to refrigerate the cake(s) until 2-3 hours before serving, then keep the cake in a cool place. The buttercream can melt in warm conditions.
Creamy Vanilla Bakery Buttercream
- 4 ounces Cream Cheese
- 1 ½ sticks (6 ounces) Salted Butter (at room temperature)
- 48 grams (¼ cup) butter flavored shortening (or use regular shortening)
- 455 grams (3 ½ cups) powdered sugar
- 1 Tablespoon Pure Vanilla Extract
- (optional) 1 Tablespoon instant clearjel (You can add this if you would like a thicker, more stabilized frosting. See notes section)
Make Vanilla Buttercream
- Whisk the powdered sugar and Instant Clearjel (if using) together until well-blended. Set aside.
- Using a stand mixer (preferred) or handheld mixer and a large bowl, beat the cream cheese until broken up and softened.
- Add the room temperature salted butter and continue to beat until there are no lumps, scraping the sides of the bowl as needed.
- Add the shortening and beat and scrape the sides until the mixture is smooth without lumps.
- While the mixer is on low, slowly add the powdered sugar mixture. The mixture will be thick, but continue to slowly beat on low until it is fully incorporated.
- Add the pure vanilla. Scrape down the sides of the bowl. Then beat the buttercream on high for two-three minutes. This important step will add air into the buttercream and make it light and fluffy. The Instant Clearjel will cause the buttercream to thicken slightly during the next 10 minutes as it sits.
- This buttercream is best served at room temperature. If you aren't serving it within 24 hours, refrigerate it, but remove it from the fridge a couple of hours before using so that it may come back to room temperature before frosting cakes, cupcakes, or serving.
- Read my article Instant Clearjel: a Magical Little-Known Bakery Ingredient to see why I think this ingredient is worth having in your pantry. Instant Clearjel must always be whisked thoroughly with other dry ingredients before being added to wet ingredients to avoid clumping. If you don’t have Instant Clearjel you can simply leave it out completely, this frosting is delicious without it. If you need a thicker frosting, you can add a little bit more powdered sugar.
This frosting is amazing. I substituted 2 Tbsp coconut emulsion for the vanilla and it is divine. So soft and creamy. This will be my go-to for sure!
What a great idea, that sounds delicious!! Thanks so much for your comment, so happy to hear you enjoyed it! 🙂
I've been making this frosting for over a year now and love the flavor! However, unfortunately sometimes the butter and the cream cheese separate and the result is a wet, sloppy mess which appears "curdled". I always use room temp butter, and I have tried both beating the cream cheese until smooth first and alternately beating the butter until smooth first. That doesn't seem to make a difference. Have you ever experienced this? Any ideas what might be going on? Thank you!!
Hi Alexa! I have never had that happen! It sounds like it may be a temperature issue. I always beat my cream cheese first for some time until it is smooth and creamy. Then I add the butter (soft to the touch) while the mixer is going. When the weather is colder, I wonder if your room temperature butter could be a bit too firm? If it isn't soft to the touch, you can zap it in the microwave for just a few seconds at a time until it is somfter. I found some tips here about fixing broken buttercream and what causes it to curdle. Hope that helps!
Tianna Aming-Kirkpatrick says
Hi, I am making this recipe and the video showing the raspberry compote and instructing on using the cake rounds to stack shows vanilla bean paste in the buttercream frosting? Is there a recipe for vanilla bean paste?
Hi, thanks for trying my recipe! It sounds like the video you saw showed my Vanilla Bean cake with raspberry filling. That link will take you to the recipe, which includes the vanilla bean buttercream recipe. 🙂
Hi Amy! Does this frosting crust?
Hi Alexa! It doesn't crust exactly the same as a traditional butter/shortening frosting. I prefer this because the frosting has a smoother texture. When I decorate cakes, I use the fridge or freezer for a few minutes to firm up the frosting between coats and decorating steps, if needed. Hope that helps! 🙂
I am just wondering what the shortening brings to this frosting, and can you use more butter instead?
I've found that by adding a small amount of shortening, it makes a fluffier frosting without altering the flavor--I especially notice the difference when whipping the buttercream on high during that last 2-3 minutes. But yes, you can substitute it with equal parts butter! 🙂
Moriah Briner says
Can this recipe be frozen?
Yes it can! You can freeze it up to 2 months, then thaw it in the fridge overnight. 🙂
Jennifer Mango says
This buttercream was it!! Not overly sweet but perfect with the vanilla almond cake. I have a question - could this buttercream be made ahead of time and stored in the refrigerator? If so, how long can it be stored safely for future use?
I'm so glad you liked it! 🙂 Definitely, you can make it ahead of time and store it in the fridge up to 2 weeks ( or freeze it). Just allow it to get back to room temp before using it--I usually whip the room temperature buttercream with just a heavy duty spatula before using it to bring back the fluffiness.
Tammy M. says
Amy thank you so much for sharing this recipe! I did the 1x version and it was delicious. The only thing is that I wanted it a little stiffer for piping. I see in your notes it says to make the Clearjel equal parts to the the powdered sugar? So if a recipe calls for 3 cups powdered sugar I should also add in 3 cups of Clearjel?
Hi Tammy, thanks for checking! What that actually means is that once you have your completed Buttercream (as written), you can add in a mixture of equal parts powdered sugar and instant clearjel until you are happy with the thickness. I’d start with an additional 1/4 cup of powdered sugar mixed with 1/4 cup of instant clearjel. Then you can add more of the same mixture if you’d still like it thicker. 🙂 Just keep in mind that it will thicken as it sits for 10 minutes. 🙂 So glad you enjoyed the recipe!
Thank you so much for the clarification!
The best buttercream recipe!
Thank you so much! 🙂
Kayla DiMaggio says
Yum! Buttercream frosting is my favorite and this turned out great!
Thank you so much Kayla!
Amy, I'm so thankful for all the knowledge you share on your blog. I am trying to learn how to bake delicious cakes from scratch and have not had much luck until now. I very much appreciate all the information you are willing to share. My mom was the BEST baker, and I was always intimidated living in her shadow. My brothers were not kind with my lame baking attempts! So I quit. Now I have two granddaughters who love to bake, and I want to share the joy with them. The girls and I are dedicated to learning as much as we can together. I just made your vanilla almond cake and finally was able to create something lovely and delicious. Thank you from the bottom of my heart.
Thank you so much for your sweet comment, Kris—this really got to me! 🥲❤️ It’s so wonderful to hear that my recipes are inspiring others to bake, and I’m so happy that you and your granddaughters are enjoying them!