This confectioners’ sugar frosting recipe is very easy and is the go-to for many cake bakers. It is similar to canned frostings, which is a plus for many because it’s the nostalgic, sweet frosting from many of our childhoods. It is easy to make and has a basic vanilla flavor. The recipe makes enough to fill and frost a typical 8-inch or 9-inch two-layer cake.
- ¾ cup (1½ sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature, cut into small pieces
- 6¾ cups confectioner’s sugar, whisked before measuring (plus extra as needed)
- ⅓ cup whole milk (plus extra as needed)
- 1½ teaspoons vanilla extract
- In a large bowl with an electric mixer on medium-high speed, beat butter until creamy, about 2 minutes. Add 1 cup sugar gradually, beating until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes, scraping down the bowl once or twice. Add remaining sugar, milk and vanilla and beat on high speed until silky smooth. Frosting is now ready to use and is best if used immediately, although it may be refrigerated in an airtight container for 4 days. (Bring to room temperature and re-beat after storing).
- Most frostings that use confectioners sugar require a bit of leeway. If the frosting is too thin, add a bit more confectioners sugar, if too thick, thin with a little milk.
- The key to making this silky smooth and creamy is to beat it longer than you might think is needed; once it is smooth, keep beating for a couple of minutes. This extended beating time gives the confectioners’ sugar, which is powdery and slightly granular, time to dissolve to a greater extent.