Vanilla Bean Buttercream Frosting

Vanilla Bean Buttercream Frosting

Last October (in 2013) I decided to make my own homemade vanilla extract.  I had been researching it for months and I really wanted to make it for myself and as gifts for Christmas for the ladies in my life.

Homemade Vanilla One of my homemade bottles… on Instagram!

It turned out to be a wonderful thing to do – it ultimately saves me lots of money on vanilla, it was a perfect homemade gift, and the flavor is amazing!   I know a few of you asked me about posting the recipe and maybe, just maybe I’ll eventually get around to that but for now, I want to talk about the vanilla beans.

You see it was all fine and good… except months later, as I start to empty the first of the bottles, I find myself staring at these “used” vanilla beans.

Since they were not cheap and I hated to just toss them out, I started searching  for ways to use them and discovered that I could cut those babies open and scrape out the “good stuff” inside.

Vanilla Bean Paste

Apparently, it’s what they use to make to make vanilla bean paste and other deliciousness…. hello beautiful!   Unfortunately, I’m not creative enough to come up with a good way to photograph the vanilla seeds that I scraped out of the bean, so that’ll just have to do!

You can mix it into *anything* that you want vanilla flavored (ice cream, frosting, whipped cream, cookie batter, etc.) or mix it into sugar and let it sit for a couple of weeks to make vanilla sugar or well… the sky is the limit!

Vanilla Bean Buttercream Cupcake

My first use of that vanilla bean goodness … this vanilla bean buttercream frosting.   It’s not a far stretch from my regular vanilla buttercream (I used the same proportions of butter, shortening and sugar), but you can definitely taste that his frosting is more potently vanilla!

Plus it has the added bonus of those tiny black flecks that just make the frosting look so much  more interesting… don’t you think?   Admittedly not everyone will see it that way… my kids thought I used a dirty frosting bag… buhahahahaha!

Click to see Nielsen-Massey Madagascar Bourbon Pure Vanilla Bean Paste

Back to seriousness… if you don’t have real vanilla beans, I highly recommend this Nielsen-Massey Madagascar Bourbon Pure Vanilla Bean Paste.  I’ve used it in the past and it is also amazing and would be perfect in this frosting!!

What do you think?   Have you made vanilla bean frosting before?  If not – will you be trying it soon?  I sure hope so!!  Here’s the printable recipe: 

Vanilla Bean Buttercream

Vanilla Bean Buttercream


  • 1/2 cup salted butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup vegetable shortening**
  • 2 vanilla beans (seeded) OR 1 Tbsp. vanilla bean paste
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 4 cups powdered sugar
  • 3-5 Tbsp. heavy cream (or milk if you don't have cream)


Using a stand mixer, cream together the butter, shortening, vanilla bean paste (or the scrapings from 2 beans), and the vanilla extract with the paddle attachment, scraping down the sides as necessary. Unless you use a SideSwipe paddle like I do... then no scraping is needed ;) Either way, continue mixing until it's smooth.

Add in the powdered sugar, one cup at a time until it's all incorporated and moist. The mixture will be stiff.

When all the sugar is mixed in, you can begin to add heavy cream, a tablespoon at a time until the consistency is good for you!

I like the frosting to be stiff enough to pipe, but not so stiff that it makes my hand hurt! I know that's an incredibly scientific texture, right?

Add more milk and/or vanilla bean paste until it's perfect for you!!

**Before you ask... YES, you can use all butter and skip the shortening, but it will not hold up as well in heat (I live in Mississippi ya'll) or pipe as beautifully because it will be a softer frosting. It will also have a slightly different taste and texture.

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Ivory Roses Wedding Cake and Pale Pink Roses Cupcakes

Ivory Roses Wedding Cake and Pink Rose Cupcakes

Okay – I’m so ready to be done posting 2013 cakes and I’m nowhere near being finished.  How did I let myself get so far behind??  This wedding cake was done last September. September ya’ll!!  If I don’t get on the ball and start catching up, I’ll be a full year behind!! Ugh!

That aside, today I want to share this Ivory Roses Wedding Cake and Pale Pink Roses Cupcakes!

Wedding Cake and Cupcakes on Stands

The cake was white almond sour cream cake filled and frosted with vanilla buttercream.  I used Americolor Ivory Gel coloring to give the frosting that pretty ivory color!  Instead of the usual 1M tip, I piped these roses with an  Ateco #825 tip.

The cakes were 6″ round, 9″ round, and 12″ round for a total of 100 servings.   I prefer Magic Line pans – if you’re curious!

Roses Cupcakes

In addition to the cake, Haley also wanted 50 cupcakes with pale pink frosting.  These were also white almond sour cream cake frosted with vanilla buttercream.

Pink Rose Cupcake

I really, really love the swirled roses done with the  Ateco #825 tip… don’t you?  I used a tiny bit of Americolor Soft Pink to color these.  If you don’t know already, a little bit of pink gel coloring goes a long way, so be careful or you’ll have seriously pink frosting!

When I got to the wedding, I realized their wedding colors were ivory, soft pink and light blue and I thought it was beautiful…

Roses Wedding Cake and Cupcakes

The cupcakes were set up on mismatched crystal cake stands and it was a really pretty effect!

Pink & Blue Wedding Decor Mason Jars

She also used my favorite Blue Heritage Ball Jars all over the reception hall and had them filled with fresh flowers!!    I wish I had more pictures of all of the decorations but there were still people setting up everywhere so I just took a few snapshots!

Candy Table Centerpiece Table

So that’s that!   Do you have any questions about this cake or the cupcakes?  If so, leave me a comment!  Thanks, as always for visiting!!

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Extra Orders, Broken Bones and Exhaustion.


I had a plan this week.     My plan involved pampering my husband on his birthday, knocking out a couple of long-overdue doctor appointments for the kids, and most importantly, very little cake decorating and lots of relaxing.

Well, my plans didn’t exactly work out.  Monday and Tuesday were pretty good, but things quickly went wacky on Wednesday and all the following days!   Those days followed with extra cakes and cupcakes, broken bones and overall exhaustion.

Keep reading over at

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