Easy Vanilla Bean Buttercream Frosting

Delicious, rich and easy vanilla bean buttercream frosting recipe that anyone can make. This is not a crusting buttercream. It has a slight shine and chills nicely in the fridge. Takes 10 minutes to make and is fool-proof! Light, fluffy and not too sweet. 
↓ Recipe ↓ Video Never Miss A Cake
Total Time: 10 mins
Serves: 8 cups
vanilla bean buttercream flowers

Vanilla Bean Buttercream That’s Smooth, Creamy And Packed With Vanilla Beans Specks!

I love this vanilla bean buttercream. Not only does it taste amazing but it looks gorgeous! I love all those little specks of vanilla in the buttercream. This buttercream is super easy to make and comes together in a few minutes. It’s super light and melts in your mouth like ice cream. 

vanilla bean buttercream flowers

Why Is Vanilla So Expensive

Vanilla can be super expensive! A few years ago, storms completely decimated the vanilla bean crops. Driving prices through the roof to as high as $40 for one pod! Vanilla beans take a long time to mature so even though things are slowly returning to normal, vanilla bean prices can still be very high.

I used vanilla bean paste to make my vanilla bean buttercream because I found it on sale at Home Goods but you can also use fresh vanilla bean pods. Use whatever is the most economical for you.

vanilla beans in a glass bottle to make vanilla extract

I actually buy my vanilla beans in bulk so that I can use some for buttercream, some for baking and some to make my own vanilla extract and you can even make your own vanilla bean paste. It’s still expensive but if you can go in on an order with some friends, it’s way cheaper than buying beans or extracts from the store.

Egg Whites In Buttercream?

This is a mock swiss meringue buttercream meaning that it tastes similar to swiss meringue buttercream but since we aren’t making a meringue, it’s not a true swiss meringue buttercream. I love how easy this is though. Because we are using pasteurized egg whites that have already been heat-treated, we can skip the sugar cooking part and get right to making our buttercream. 

You can find pasteurized egg whites in the egg section on the top shelf. They are sold in a box and somewhere (usually very small) you’ll see the word pasteurized. Don’t worry about the part that says they aren’t good for making a meringue, we aren’t using them for that. 

pasteurized egg whites on wooden table wit blurry kitchen in background

How Do You Use A Vanilla Bean?

You can use any kind of vanilla bean that you want or vanilla bean paste. If you use extract then you won’t have those pretty specks in them. But if you do use a vanilla bean, you might be wondering how do you get the vanilla beans out of the bean?

scraped vanilla bean

  1. Lay your vanilla bean flat on the table
  2. Use a small sharp knife or x-acto blade and starting cut a line through the skin from end to end (be careful of your fingers!)
  3. Use your fingers to open the vanilla bean up.
  4. Use a spoon or butter knife to scrape out alllll those beautiful vanilla seeds from the pod. 
  5. Scrape them into the buttercream and that’s it! I love how those specs of vanilla look in the buttercream

vanilla bean specks in buttercream

Pro-tip: I put my leftover pods into a jar of sugar with a lid. The pods flavor the sugar and make it vanilla flavored. Gotta use those vanilla beans as much as possible!

How To Make Easy Vanilla Bean Buttercream

This vanilla bean buttercream is just like my easy buttercream frosting recipe but with MORE vanilla power! Plus bonus bean specks! So cute! Here are some tips on how to make your vanilla bean buttercream super creamy and melt in your mouth delicious. 

  • Start with the whisk to incorporate air and whip on high
  • Switch to the paddle attachment and mix on low 15 minutes to make it super smooth and get out air bubbles. 
  • Taste! If it still tastes like butter, it needs to be whipped MORE. 
  • You can switch out the vanilla bean for any extract that you like!
  • Add a TINY speck of purple food coloring to reduce the yellow appearance of the buttercream and make it appear more white. 

Cake Batter and Frosting Calculator

Select an option below to calculate how much batter or frosting you need. Adjust the servings slider on the recipe card to change the amounts the recipe makes.

Choose a pan type

Choose a cake pan size
(based on 2" tall cake pan)

Choose a cake pan size
(based on 2" tall cake pan)

Choose a cake pan size
(based on 2" tall cake pan)

Cupcake Tin Size

Choose number of pans

Cups of Batter Needed

8 cups

Cups of Frosting Needed

5 cups

Note: measurements are estimated based off the vanilla cake recipe using standard US cake pans and sizes. Measurements used are for 2" tall cake pans only. Your results may vary. Do not overfill cake pans above manufacturer's recommended guidelines.

Did You Make This Recipe?Leave a rating and tell me how it went!
vanilla bean buttercream flowers

Easy Vanilla Bean Buttercream Frosting

Delicious, rich and easy vanilla bean buttercream frosting recipe that anyone can make. This is not a crusting buttercream. It has a slight shine and chills nicely in the fridge. Takes 10 minutes to make and is fool-proof! Light, fluffy and not too sweet. 
5 from 18 votes
Print Rate Never Miss A Cake
Prep Time: 5 mins
mixing time: 20 mins
Total Time: 10 mins
Serves: 8 cups
Calories: 849kcal


  • 24 oz (680 g) unsalted butter room temperature. You can use salted butter but it will affect the taste and you need to leave out additional salt
  • 24 oz (680 g) powdered sugar sifted if not from a bag
  • 1 whole (2 tsp) vanilla bean or 1 Tbsp vanilla bean paste
  • 1/2 tsp (1/2 tsp) salt
  • 6 oz (170 g) pasteurized egg whites
  • 1 TINY drop (1 TINY drop) purple food coloring (optional) for whiter frosting


  • Stand Mixer
  • Whisk Attachment
  • Paddle Attachment


  • Place egg whites and powdered sugar in a stand mixer bowl. Attach the whisk and combine ingredients on low and then whip on high for 5 minutes 
  • Add in your butter in chunks and whip with the whisk attachment to combine. It will look curdled at first. This is normal. It will also look pretty yellow. Keep whipping. 
  • Let whip on high for 8-10 minutes until it's very white, light and shiny. 
  • Add in your vanilla and salt
  • Switch to a paddle attachment and mix on low for 15-20 minutes to make the buttercream very smooth and remove air bubbles. This isn't required but if you want really creamy frosting, you don't want to skip it. 


Serving: 2g | Calories: 849kcal (42%) | Carbohydrates: 75g (25%) | Protein: 2g (4%) | Fat: 61g (94%) | Saturated Fat: 38g (190%) | Cholesterol: 162mg (54%) | Sodium: 240mg (10%) | Potassium: 18mg (1%) | Sugar: 74g (82%) | Vitamin A: 2055IU (41%) | Calcium: 18mg (2%) | Iron: 0.4mg (2%)
Tried this Recipe? Tag me Today!Mention @SugarGeekShow or tag #SugarGeek!

23 comments on “Vanilla Bean Buttercream

  1. Hi! Can I use this recipe under fondant? Thank you!

  2. Hi, what does it mean “this is not a crusting buttercream?” I’m a beginner and still don’t know a lot.

  3. I’m comparing this vanilla bean recipe with your Easy Buttercream Frosting, and when choosing 8 cups for serving size, this recipe calls for 24 oz. butter and sugar, but the “Easy” recipe calls for 21.33 oz. of both butter and sugar. Other than the vanilla, I thought they were basically the same. Could you tell me how much buttercream is needed for the outsides of a 10, 8 and 6 inch cake? My sister and I are making a cake for our parents’ 65th anniversary this weekend and I want to make sure I make enough. Would nine cups be enough? We’re filling the 3 cakes with something else. In general, how much filling/frosting goes in between the different size layers? Is there a formula to go by? Thanks so much.

      1. Eight cups for just the outside of a 10” cake!? Seems like an awful lot of frosting.

  4. The egg whites are not cooked in anyway, are they OK for a baby to eat, because they are pasteurized

  5. Can I use regular vanilla if I don’t have paste or the bean?

  6. Could you please do a copy cat Mccain deep n delicious vanilla cake frosting ??I’m sure its a meringue based frosting but would appreciate if you can break the code

  7. Can u please tell me the substitute of egg which I can use for this recepie?

  8. 5 stars
    So easy to create! Liz, how would you store excess? Also for how long?

    Thank you for sharing!

    1. You can put it in the fridge or you can freeze it. Bring it to room temp and re-whip to bring back that fluffy texture.

  9. I apologize if this has been asked before. I looked quickly but didn’t see it.
    Are the egg whites for the frosting supposed to be at room temp before using?

    Thank you for your help!

  10. Hi, Thanks for the great recipes.
    I made this icing with a hand mixer and followed the timing to make sure I was whipping it for the right amount of time. However the end result came out almost curdled and thick and not smooth. Overall an odd texture both when applying to the cake and when eating (mouth feel). I’m just so confused as to why this happened, the butter was room temperature and my house on the cooler side. I can never seem to master any recipe for buttercream.

    1. It isn’t whipped enough and your butter is cold. Next time take a small amount out (about 1 cup) and microwave it until its barely melted. Pour it back into the buttercream while it’s whipping to make it a bit warmer. Then it will become creamy.

  11. Can this be left in a covered container overnight on the counter like the IMBC? I am doing 4 dozen cupcakes for a baby shower and that will be 4 flavors of cupcakes, each with its own flavor and type of frosting. 4 shades of a different color of green for each dozen. 16 colors. EVERY recipe is from your website! You have created a monster! Lolol!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

Recipe Rating