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"Flexible" Vanilla Buttercream Recipe [for our Skylanders Cake]

Author: Roseanne Carrara, Summer of Funner


  • 1 c UNSALTED butter room temperature
  • 4-8 cups sifted icing sugar
  • .25 tsp salt
  • tbs vanilla
  • 4 tbs [and up to .5 cup] milk or cream
  • gel or liquid food colouring to suit


  • In an elecrtic mixer, on low speed, cream the butter for a minute.
  • Add 3.5 cups icing sugar to the butter and mix on low until the sugar is incorporated.
  • Add salt, vanilla, and 2 tbs milk or cream to the mixing bowl and beat on medium for about 2 minutes.
  • Now here's where you become "flexible" and add .5 to 4.5 cups of icing sugar to the mixture to increase volume and sweetness to your liking.
  • We do this about .5 c at a time.
  • Accordingly, add milk or cream by the scant tablespoon to achieve your desired spreading or piping consistency.
  • We always end up making more icing than we need, using about 6 tbs total milk and 7-7.5 c icing sugar, but this varies by taste, temperature, and the size of the cake/cupcakes you are frosting.
  • Warning, this "flexible" recipe may require a fair bit of tasting and, hence, result in a bit of a "sugar high" pour le chef.