This Gal Cooks

Simple Vanilla Bean Buttercream Frosting

You guys. This is like the BEST frosting I’ve ever made.

Simple Vanilla Bean Buttercream Frosting. Perfect for topping cakes and cupcakes. | This Gal Cooks

So good that I just had to share it with you.

Initially, I wasn’t even going to share this recipe with you. I made it to frost a chocolate cake that I made. But when I tasted this frosting, I was like WHOA. That’s some good schtuff. So here we are today, talking frosting and all things sweet. Which is ok with me. It’s Thursday. Tomorrow is Halloween and on Halloween, tons of sweet things are enjoyed.

I’m one of those people who can eat frosting with a spoon. Actually, I can eat a lot of things with a spoon. Peanut butter. Cake batter. Brownie batter. Mmm. Tonight I will be dreaming of eating all of these things with a spoon. Sweet dreams, my friends. Sweet dreams.

Simple Vanilla Bean Buttercream Frosting. Perfect for topping cakes and cupcakes. | This Gal Cooks

This frosting is probably one of the simplest things you’ll ever make. You’ll never buy prepackaged frosting again. I haven’t bought it in years. For all of you Publix cake fans out there, this tastes very similar to the Publix buttercream frosting.

This recipe makes about 2 1/2 cups of frosting but if you need more, you can easily double the recipe. Store any leftovers in a refrigerator for 3-5 days. Enjoy on other baked goods or simply eat with a spoon. Enjoy the recipe.

Vanilla Bean Buttercream Frosting

5.0 from 2 reviews
Simple Vanilla Bean Buttercream Frosting
Prep time
Total time
Recipe type: Frosting
Serves: 2½ Cups
  • ½ C unsalted butter, room temp
  • ½ C vegetable shortening
  • 4 C sifted confectioners sugar
  • 2 tbsp half and half
  • 1 vanilla bean
  1. Slice the vanilla bean down the middle and then pull apart to open. Scrape the insides from the bean and set aside.
  2. In the bowl of a stand mixer with the flat attachment, beat the butter and shortening until smooth and creamy. Beat in the vanilla bean. Gradually add the confectioners sugar and beat until well incorporated. The mixture will be very thick and dry. Beat in the half and half.
  3. Store any unused frosting in a refrigerator for 3-5 days.
Adapted from

Simple Vanilla Bean Buttercream Frosting. Perfect for topping cakes and cupcakes. | This Gal CooksSimple Vanilla Bean Buttercream Frosting. Perfect for topping cakes and cupcakes. | This Gal Cooks


Try these recipes made with fun frosting.

Spiced Apple Cupcakes with Maple Marshmallow Frosting from Blahnik Baker.

Orange Cake with Cool Whip Pudding Frosting from Call Me PMc.

Banana Chocolate Chip Cake with Nutella Cream Cheese Frosting from Frugal Foodie Mama.


Pumpkin Spice Cake with Maple Bourbon Frosting

Pumpkin Spice Cake with Maple Bourbon Frosting

Pumpkin Snickerdoodle Blondies with Nutella Cream Cheese Frosting

Pumpkin Snickerdoode Blondies with Nutella Cream Cheese Frosting #blondies #pumpkin #snickerdoodle


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25 comments on “Simple Vanilla Bean Buttercream Frosting”

  1. It looks like a fluffy cloud! Haha. It’s so pretty!! I loooooove Publix cakes. I didn’t know that was a thing and that they’re was a Publix bakery following, but count me among them. Their frosting is phenomenal!! I love their cakes! I will have to try this next time I make cupcakes. Thanks, Julie!

  2. So simple but soooo good! I’m loving those vanilla bean specks in there ;)

  3. So simple but so fancy, sometimes the best desserts are those made with a delicate vanilla frosting.

  4. Pingback: Simple Vanilla Bean Buttercream Frosting | My Recipe Network

  5. vegetable shortening! Genius.

  6. I love surprises like that! Like, you know it’s good, but then it’s REALLY good. The texture of this frosting looks incredible! The lighting for these photos is fantastic as well. Pinning this one Julie!

  7. Oh I just want to swim in this!! Using shortening is such a great idea…a more stable frosting!!

  8. I love how you can see the vanilla beans in this yummy frosting! Thumbs way up!

  9. I have never cooked with a vanilla bean so please forgive my ignorance. When I scrape the insides, do I set aside the insides or the outsides for use in the recipe? Thank you for your help. (& for not laughing) ;)

  10. Is this safe to set out at an event, such as a wedding, with the butter and half-and-half in the recipe? Thanks!

    • Hi Jackie,

      It should be. I’ve iced a cake with it and left the cake on my counter for a few days and all was well. However, if you want to play it super safe, you could always keep it chilled until it’s ready to use. Hope this helps!

  11. love Publix icing – so this is so exciting! I just bought a jar of vanilla bean paste, hopefully I can sub with that. I have never tried actual vanilla beans,

  12. Hi Julie,
    I just found your Site, it’s wonderful. Your Dog is adorable.
    I just finished Baking a Chocolate Cake and was looking for a Vanilla Frosting, as this is my favorite. I can’t wait to try this Vanilla Bean Frosting.
    Thank You,

  13. Hi there! I write to you from Romania and I have a question for you. What does does it mean that “half half “? I really like your recipe and I want to try it. Anyway..congratulations for all your work!!!
    Hugs from Bucharest !!!!

    • Hi Dana,

      Hello from Florida! Half & Half is half cream and half milk. It’s sold here in the US at markets and grocery stores for cooking. A lot of people use it in coffee, too. Hope this helps and I thank you for stopping by. :)

  14. ANything I can do to cut down the waxy feeling in my mouth from the crisco?