The Best Ever Vanilla Icing

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Do you call it frosting or icing?

When I make a cake like this Best Ever Vanilla Cake, I almost always use this vanilla icing recipe. It pairs with pretty much every single flavor cake and, to be honest, I have been known to just eat it by the spoonful. Absolutely no shame here! Now, I don’t really have a story to go along with this recipe, so I hope you guys don’t mind just cutting to the chase and getting straight to the good stuff. This is a super versatile recipe; I’ve used it for simple cake frosting, decorating, and lettering on cakes. Because it is so versatile, think of a the recipe as a starting point. If you need the icing to be thicker, add some more confectioners sugar. If you need the icing to be loose (is that the way to describe it? I have no idea, but that’s what I’m going with) enough to do a delicate script “Happy Birthday,” add some extra water and whip until it’s the consistency you desire.

Additionally, feel free to add dyes if you want some colorful icing! I’ve used the Wilton dyes the most (, but have had my eye on the India Tree Dyes (, too! Make sure to use dye meant for cakes/icing; they aren’t as watery and will make sure that the icing stays the right consistency.

The Best Ever Vanilla Icing

My go-to vanilla icing recipe!

Author Caffeine & Fist Bumps


  • 2 sticks salted butter softened
  • 1 tbsp vanilla extract use clear vanilla extract if you prefer more of a white icing rather than beige
  • 4 cups confectioners sugar
  • 2 tbsp room temperature water may need more depending on the consistency you desire


  1. Using a handheld or stand mixer, whip together the softened butter and vanilla extract until well combined.

  2. Slowly add confectioners sugar and whip after each half cup or so is added.

  3. Add water, 1 tbsp at a time, and whip until the desired icing consistency has been reached.

Let me know when you get to try the recipe! Tag me on Instagram at @caffeineandfistbumps if you post a photo! I’d love to see what you’ve created!

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