2-Minute Vanilla Frosting

2-Minute Vanilla Frosting

2-Minute Vanilla Frosting

You can double or triple the recipe if you need more but make sure you add the milk very slowly. It thickens up very quickly. - Jenny Jones

Total Time: 2 minutes

Makes: about 1/2 cup

2-Minute Vanilla Frosting


  • 1 cup powdered sugar (do not sift before measuring)
  • 2 Tablespoons softened butter
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla

  • about 3 teaspoons milk


  1. Place powdered sugar, butter, and vanilla into a bowl.
  2. With electric mixer on low, combine for a few seconds.
  3. Slowly beat in the milk, a little at a time, until it’s frosting consistency.
  4. Beat on high for about 15 seconds.

85 Comments on "2-Minute Vanilla Frosting"

  1. Steve

    Thanks Jenny for the easy frosting recipe. It taste great and saved me a trip to the store made my pineapple,mandarin cake & whip cream disappear and a lot of smiling faces. Steve

  2. Shannon C

    Mine turned out runny but I failed to slowly add the milk. My bad. I ended up adding some cream cheese to thicken it up. It didn’t thicken up enough to be frosting but made a delicious glaze.

  3. Elizabeth p

    AMAZING! So easy, so simple, so perfect! 😋 YUM

    • Dilerah

      It was very confusing and turned out to be very watery. Not even like frosting.

    • Dilerah

      The instructions were not clear, and my frosting turned out very watery

      • Jenny Can Cook

        Can you please say what was confusing and I can try to clarify. Thank you.

  4. Gloria H Deere

    It was easy and very taste.
    Thank you God bless

  5. Katie

    Best frosting recipe

  6. Anna

    This frosting recipe is fantastic just as it is. The go to for anytime I want to make a white frosting. Reminds me of the old fashioned buttercream frosting my mom used to make.

  7. Melanie

    I made it turned out great only very sweet, anyway to make it a cream cheese flavor or just not so sweet


    • Heather

      This doesn’t make sense!? In the ingredients list, it does not lust milk. But in the instructions, it says to beat the milk slowly & also doesn’t say how much milk. Help, lol, please!?!

      • Jenny Can Cook

        The amount of milk is listed in the ingredients.

      • Gail

        I missed the milk ingredient also, now I see it 🤣

  8. Laura

    This is a perfect recipe if you follow directions carefully adding the liquid 1/2 tsp at a time I added 1/2 coffee 1/2 milk and a T of cocoa. Should double the recipe for a 2 layer cake or maybe even 2 1/2 times. Great mocha flavor this way. Would be great on german chocolate cake with coconut added😀

  9. Jackie

    Hi Jenny – love your videos! For the frosting recipe, can I use skim milk?

  10. D Adventure

    Frosting came out perfectly again! This time I swapped the vanilla with lemon extract and the powered sugar with Lemon Powdered Sugar! Still added a bit of Vanilla extract to soften the taste. I added a splash of milk for my preferred consistency!! Thanks Jenny!

  11. Tiffany Beth

    Brown ish. Think has curdled. Tastes good with ginger snap. Similar consistency to ketchup. ;0

    • Jenny Can Cook

      Frosting can not curdle and the consistency is what you make it with the amount of milk added. If you follow the recipe it can’t be brown, can’t curdle, and you can use less milk to keep it thicker. I hope you’ll try again.

    • Melissa

      Tiffany, if it looks curdled but tastes fine, your butter was probably too cold. What looks like curdles, is probably little pieces of butter. The brown color is probably too much vanilla. Good luck!

  12. Lauretta

    This worked great. Not runny at all.
    Just add milk a little at a time. Need to double or triple recipe if you want to frost a double layer cake & middle all over.

  13. Cindy

    Thank you came out yummy!!

  14. Maddie

    It was so good the kids loved it i will use it again

  15. Sherie

    At the VERY TOP of this recipe readers are directed to: “…make sure you add the milk very slowly. It thickens up very quickly. – Jenny Jones”
    PLEASE let ALL of us know HOW you made “soup” following these directions. Please???😂😂😂😂 Very Sharon Weiss

  16. Soccer Girl

    I think it worked pretty well I would do it again for sure a little thick at fist def need the electric mixer for this one

  17. Eileen

    Love all recipes – quick and easy thanks

  18. Kate

    Hello, I am Kate I’m in sixth grade and when I tried this recipe it was really good and I had no problems. So if you’re an adult and the recipe turned out soupy or too sweet you probably read the recipe wrong because when I saw this recipe there wasn’t a lot of ingredients and it took 2 minutes at most I recommend this recipe if your in a rush or just in general I would rate this 5 stars

  19. Casey Allen

    Does it have to be real butter or can i use margarine? I am looking to make brownie witch hat cupcakes for my school kids for Halloween! I work in the cafateria. We use margarine big blocks of it

    • Indian 3

      I know it’s to late for this answer but it doesn’t matter which one you use. My sister replaces butter with Greek yogurt on a lot of different recipes. Real butter or margarine will work just fine for this recipe

    • Michael

      Margarine is very unhealthy!
      Margarine may contain trans fat, which raises LDL (bad) cholesterol, lowers HDL (good) cholesterol and makes blood platelets stickier, increasing heart disease risk. Margarine containing hydrogenated or partially hydrogenated oils contain trans fats and should be avoided.Dec 3, 2020

      • Dee

        Gee thanks for the tip there KAREN! Lord knows just how ignorant everyone is and using it in a recipe once or twice will definitely cause all of us to die (of heart failure/clogged arteries/strokes) myself I would also worry about the sugar content!

      • Kencancook

        I’m sorry. I couldn’t read your comment because of the reflective glare from your tinfoil hat.

  20. Laurel

    My Mom made this tons but used cold coffee instead of milk …. Very good

  21. TX Old Lady Gang

    Great recipe for a beginner such as myself! It was a hit. 🙂

  22. Daniel

    This recipe was delicious. Very easy to follow and loved that only four ingredients are needed.
    I will use it again.

  23. Lilly L.


    • Robin

      Can you tell me why you didn’t like this recipe? I’m looking for an easy frosting for a cake but don’t want to ruin it with a bad tasting frosting

      • Indian 3

        I think it tastes great snd you can add other things to it to make it more for your tasting but just as is, is good too. Maybe she did something wrong I don’t know Good luck

      • Julie G

        This frosting is delicious. It’s incredibly easy to make in a small or large batch. I made a small batch to frost sugar cookies for my young granddaughters to decorate. I did soften the butter as directed and slowly added milk to get the right consistency. Also…I used salted butter and whole milk, you could use cream too. Another commenter used cold coffee as the liquid. The better quality ingredients you use, the better the taste!

  24. Patricia

    I am trying this recipe I think my mom use to do this same recipe or something similar. No one cooks alike even if you use the same recipe. I just cooked some chocolate layers I thought I had some icing and I didn’t. So I need something because my grandkids are coming and my oldest son loves to have something sweet. I thought I would do something fast . Thank you

  25. Jam

    My boys and I had a craving for graham crackers and frosting so I quickly made this and it was so good!!! Thank you!! I believe I ended up using a little less milk than the recipe.

  26. Mentat30

    My mom used to make this frosting all the time 40 years ago. It’s perfect!

  27. Person

    I tried the recipe 2 times and it looks nothing like the picture, it just became a sugar soup. Not sure if you have any tips, if so, please share.

    • Austin

      Add more sugar

    • Jah

      Try adding the milk a drop @ a time. 🧈 and sugar should be the condensity of a frosting with adding of the milk and vanilla should make it perfect

    • Daniel

      It sounds like you used 3 tablespoons of milk instead of 3 teaspoons.

  28. Debbie

    Nope just nope. I should have read the comments first. I had my doubts before starting too. I just added the rest of the ingredients to my normal frosting recipe.

  29. D. Baker

    This is a classic buttercream frosting – just a small batch and using less butter. (Jenny’s recipes are always healthier and more economical). For those of you who had failures with the recipe (and wrote rude comments), you may not know about classic buttercream. The butter is softened – that means room temperature, not melted. You cream in the powdered sugar until you get a frosting consistency. You only add the milk a little bit at a time, beating well after each addition. You may not need all the liquid. The amounts of powdered sugar and milk are not exact – you just add and stir until it is at the desired consistency. If it is too wet, you can add some more powdered sugar or place it in the refrigerator. Please look up buttercream frosting.

    • Regina

      I would also recommend they ensure they are using butter and not margarine as it can affect the consistency when the main ingredient of margarine is WATER.

  30. Yo

    This recipe was….ok. 3 teaspoons of milk is a BIG lie. AT LEAST 5 teaspoons were needed to make this workable. There are better recipes out there using less ingredients and taste way better, but for how much worse this recipe could’ve come out as, it’s ok.

    • Marty

      I’ve made this recipe many times with great results but if it didn’t turn out, I might consider what I might have done wrong rather than post a rude comment like this. A better frosting with less ingredients than sugar, butter, vanilla & milk? That sounds like a big lie to me.

      • LAS

        Great comment, Marty and nicely stated. Some people just cannot help being rude.

    • Jam

      That’s strange. I used less milk. Maybe because I used skim milk 🤷🏼‍♀️ It was really good when I made it. I didn’t even take the effort to use the electric mixer because I was too lazy to clean it at the time, haha! I used an old school mixer that you have to turn with your hand.

  31. Recommended for sweet-tooths

    I made this for my sisters birthday cake and when i tried it, it was very sweet and i only used half a cup of powdered sugar. My sister doesn’t like that level of sweetness, so i dont know what to do with it

  32. RJ

    This was awful. It made sweetened liquid.

  33. Sarah

    Really good and soft it took about 5 minutes total but that might be because I’m slow also I don’t have an electric mixer. Is there a way without it I just used a wooden spoon and it was enough for 4 medium sized cupcakes.

  34. Mihi singer

    Diddn’t work! Such a waste of food. I followed it and yet such a waste.

  35. Liv

    I didn’t bother to measure and just eyeballed because this is so simple. I love this frosting. It kinda reminds me of a less greasy dunkaroo frosting! We made bunny cupcakes for Easter with this 🙂 I’ll be using this as my go too frosting from here on out

  36. LA Powell

    We appreciate you being out there to help us with our culinary skills – Jenny really can Cook & Bake – Made this cake with frosting, and sprinkled it with toasted coconut on top & chopped up pecans – excellent recipe – Thank you – LAP

  37. MsS

    I’m going to do the vegan version- plant based butter, and plant milk, and see how it goes! 🙂 Will report back.

    Is there a chocolate version of this same recipe?

  38. Kim

    Jenny Jones;
    Hi,I am going to make your quick&easy vanilla cake today and I am going to put the vanilla frosting on top of the completely cooled cake.I will let you know how much my mom and I enjoy eating your cake.

  39. Christine

    This worked really well. I made it exactly as is, tasted it, and it was great. I then added 3 drops of food coloring, and it still tasted good. Great small batch recipe for an 8×8 or 9×9 inch cake. Thanks!! 😉

  40. Geri

    Hi again Jenny: I have made your light and delicious vanilla cake quite a few times and it is wonderfully easy and delicious. Yesterday for company, I gently turned it out of the pan onto a desert plate, then frosted the entire cake using your vanilla frosting. The difference in the frosting is simply this: I used almost 2 cups of powdered sugar, the addition of 2 tablespoons of soft cream cheese to the 2 table spoons of butter, and 1 full teaspoon of vanilla, 4 or 5 tablespoons of milk, and a drop of orange oil.
    The addition of the soft cream cheese and bit of orange flavor made it absolutely Pastry Shop delicious.
    Jenny, hope you approve of my “tweaking” your lovely Quick and Easy Vanilla Cake recipe. Best regards for the New Year.

    • Jenny Can Cook

      I don’t mind at all and it helps everyone who looks through the comments. The cream cheese and orange oil additions sound really good!

      • Paco

        I have been hunting for a recipe for icing w flour or corn starch? It is cooked. My mom made it but brother wont look for recipe.

        Tysvm for great recipes & fun videos.

        • Daniyal

          Oh Search Up “Ermine Frosting” Or “Boiled Milk Frosting”

    • Charlotte

      ooh the orange oil sounds wonderful! I think I’m going to try it next time i make this cake! Thank you!

  41. Geri

    Hi again Jenny: I have made your light and delicious vanilla cake quite a few ties and it is wonderfully easy and delicious. Yesterday for company, I gently turned it out of the pan onto a desert plate, then frosted the entire cake using your vanilla frosting. The difference in the frosting is simply this: I used almost 2 cups of powdered sugar, the addition of 2 tablespoons of soft cream cheese to the 2 table spoons of butter, and 1 full teaspoon of vanilla, 4 or 5 tablespoons of milk, and a drop of orange oil.
    The addition of the soft cream cheese and bit of orange flavor made it absolutely Pastry Shop delicious.
    Jenny, hope you approve of my “tweaking” your lovely Quick and Easy Vanilla Cake recipe. Best regards the New Year.

  42. Ava

    Are used your two minute frosting recipe but I put into much butter I added a bit more powdered sugar It turned out extremely fluffy it was so good!!

  43. Mary Jane leary

    Can I make chocolate frosting with carob powder.

    • Charlotte

      I think that would work if you like how it tastes. I tried dessert made with carob and never again! Lol

  44. Esmeralda Castillo

    I made the vanilla cake and used this vanilla frosting to top it. It was super easy to make and tasted just like I remember vanilla frosting tasting when I was a kid! It tastes just like birthday cake should taste! It is wonderful and so easy to make with few ingredients just about anyone will have in their pantry. It makes just enough to frost the top of this small cake, as this cake is meant to stay in the pan and frost only the top. If you are taking cake out, then you should double your frosting. Loved it Jenny!!!

  45. sandy baldwin


    can you make this into a chocolate icing, I like chocolate icing more than I do vanilla….Thank you anyway Jenny….7-6-20

    • Donna

      Check out her Chocolate Cake recipe. There is a link to her great chocolate frosting in that recipe.

  46. Gina

    Thank you for perfecting and sharing your vanilla cake recipe! I look forward to trying it with this frosting. I really like vanilla frosting on chocolate cake and chocolate frosting on vanilla cake too! I add about 1 tsp espresso powder to your chocolate frosting recipe when making your chocolate cake and that is so tasty! Your recipes are a delight and I use so many!

    • sandy baldwin

      hi there I do no use espresso powder can I use instant coffee or coffee instead?
      stay safe 7-6-20 …..when making chocolate icing?

      • THizzle

        Of course you can use coffee of any sort. If you use espresso powder, you MAY prefer it over instant coffee, but that’s a personal preference thing. Suggestion? Make it a few times, try different additives & decide which you like best. Baking is nothing if not a creative outlet. 😉

  47. Dave M

    Thank you for this recipe. I’m assuming I can substitute the vanilla for other flavourings as well? I did your chocolate cake (which is a hit in this house) in an 8×8″ square glass pan the first time, and forgot to lower the tempurature by 25 degrees farenheit (Why we here in Canada are still using imperial measures for ovens and BBQ’s and meat thermometers while my HVAC system in the house is on Celsius is baffling). I did it a second time, this time lowering the tempurature to compensate for the glass pan, and the edges came out a little bit less firm. In both batches, I removed a 1/4 cup of sugar (still imperial, eh?) from each cake, and they baked perfectly each time. The last time, I found a glass round 9″ pan, and it cooked perfectly. I guess the heat builds on the edges, thus the less than fully tender edging with the square pan. Thank you Jenny, for what you do for the firefighters in London, Ontario, and for all the years you’ve given us your best. You rock!

  48. Douglas DeFusco

    thank you for all of the good stuff and the joy of watching you it’s nice to see the light side when cooking my wife and i love it.

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