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Vanilla Bean Buttercream

While I am in my cupcake era, I knew it was time to create my own vanilla buttercream recipe. Vanilla buttercream is a classic for a reason. It is sweet, creamy, and the perfect addition to many bakes. And while buttercream is typically not a favorite of mine I think I just might be swayed by this vanilla bean buttercream recipe.

Vanilla bean buttercream on top of cupcakes

What’s in Vanilla Bean Buttercream?

A classic vanilla buttercream is easy to make. All you need is unsalted butter, powdered sugar, a pinch of salt, vanilla, and a bit of heavy cream. What’s even better is that is all comes together in less than 10 minutes!

It’s so good, you can find this base recipe in several recipes on the blog like our cookie buttercream and our cookies and cream cupcakes.

Our vanilla bean buttercream is no different! It may sound fancier, but all you have to do to achieve this recipe is swap the vanilla extract for double the amount of vanilla bean paste. No need for vanilla bean pods here. The difference in flavor is pretty clear and you get the added bonus of the visual appeal of the vanilla bean flecks throughout the buttercream.

Vanilla bean paste typically is in the same aisle as vanilla extract, right next to each other. It can be a little expensive, but we think the flavor payoff is worth it! However, if you can’t find vanilla bean paste, you can actually make it yourself.

As you can see in the photos throughout this post, we paired this vanilla bean buttercream with vanilla bean cupcakes. They are a perfect match and a great combo to try if you are in the mood for cupcakes. But, this buttercream can be added to your bake of choice. It has a great flavor that goes with pretty much anything!

If you need a healthier, savory recipe for your dinner before you get to the dessert, be sure to check out something from our sister site like 20-minute firecracker ground chicken or air fryer steak bites.

Let us know what you would pair this vanilla bean buttercream with down in the comments below! We love to hear your feedback.

Vanilla bean buttercream being piped onto a cupcake.

Vanilla Bean Buttercream

Yield: 2 cups
Prep Time: 8 minutes
Total Time: 8 minutes

A classic vanilla buttercream with extra vanilla bean paste.


  • 2 sticks (226g) Unsalted Butter, softened
  • 4 C (480g) Powdered Sugar
  • 2 Tbsp (30g) Vanilla Bean Paste*
  • 1/2 tsp Kosher Salt*
  • 2 Tbsp (30ml) Heavy Cream


  1. In a stand mixer, using the paddle attachment, beat the softened butter for 1-3 minutes on high speed, or until the butter is creamy and slightly pale.
  2. Add the vanilla bean paste, kosher salt and half of the powdered sugar. Mix until mostly combined
  3. Add the remaining powdered sugar and mix until fully combined and smooth.
  4. Add the heavy cream and mix until the buttercream is smooth.
  5. Adjustments: If the buttercream is too sweet you can add a pinch of kosher salt to reduce the sweetness. If the buttercream is too thin, you can add more powdered sugar, 1/4 cup at a time. If the buttercream is too thick, you can add heavy cream, one tablespoon at a time.
  6. Frost your cupcakes or cake of choice and enjoy!


  • If you are using table salt, use half the amount of kosher salt listed.
  • If you don't have vanilla bean paste, you can use regular vanilla extract or make your own.
Nutrition Information:
Yield: 8 Serving Size: 1/4 cup
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 457Total Fat: 24gCarbohydrates: 63gProtein: 0g

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