Vanilla Bean Buttercream

This independence day, I was determined to do something that would set the bars high for myself. In other words (for my friends at least) I promised everyone cupcakes for fourth of July. This was a small problem for me. When you’re entertaining a group of college students each with strikingly picky taste buds, and preferring a different pallet of flavors, it becomes increasingly difficult to find something that will please everyone.

I set the bar high for myself, so I set the bar high for these cupcakes… these cupcakes had to be something everyone would like. They also had to fit the theme of the day – red, white, and blue.With popular choices (like anything red velvet) ruled out, I turned to a classic, a traditional, a classy flavor: vanilla. But I wasn’t ready to settle with imitation or even pure vanilla extract. It had to be the real deal.

I’ll be revealing the cupcake I made for the fourth in tomorrow’s post but for now, here’s a little tease.

The original can be found over at Cupcake Project where commenters regarded this recipe to taste like melted vanilla ice cream. I tweaked the recipe to use both vanilla bean and extract instead of vanilla paste because it creates full bodied flavor with multiple dimensions.

This recipe results in a buttercream good enough to eat with a spoon, pipped on top of strawberries, or smothered on top of what might be the best vanilla cupcake I’ve ever had.

Vanilla Bean Buttercream

Adapted from Cupcake Project

Makes: enough to frost 16 cupcakes


  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 3 cups confectioners’ sugar (add more until it reaches your preferred consistency)
  • 1 vanilla bean
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tablespoon milk


  1. In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat the butter on medium-high using the paddle attachment until fluffy.
  2. Add the confectioners sugar and whip on low until smooth and combined.
  3. While the sugar is combining, scrape out the beans from the vanilla pod and add it into the mixing bowl.
  4. When the sugar is combined, add the vanilla extract and milk and beat on medium high until smooth and fluffy.
  5. Add more confectioner’s sugar as needed to reach desired consistency.

One thought on “Vanilla Bean Buttercream

  1. Pingback: The Ultimate Vanilla Cupcake | boomie's kitchen

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