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.

153 Comments on "2-Minute Vanilla Frosting"

  1. Chugwater Cowboy

    Here are two alternatives for a real pizzazz!

    1. Try using some good dark, freshly brewed coffee instead of milk if you’re going to be using any cocoa or chocolate. Coffee and Chocolate are great companions

    2. Add just a hint (not more than a 1/4 teaspoon of chili powder to the mix (again, if you’re going to be making a chocolate frosting). You won’t taste the chili powder but the chocolate will have a kick.

    I don’t know if I’d ever do the two of these together, but either one might give you a great surprise.

  2. Terry Singleton

    Does this frosting have to be refrigerated?

  3. Cece


  4. Bethany

    This could use more liquid. Was kinda dry.

    • Jenny Can Cook

      The liquid is approximate. You control the consistency with less or more liquid.

    • Chugwater Cowboy

      I didn’t use the full 3 tablespoons because it was already getting too runny. I also tasted what you might have been considering “Dry” and what I think that is, is the texture of the powdered sugar that hasn’t completely dissolves yet. I’m letting it sit in the refrigerator for 15 minutes before using and that changes the texture because the sugar has more time to dissolve. It’s a more creamy texture after waiting.

  5. Bethany

    This is really good
    Could use more liquid though

  6. Experimenting cook

    If you don’t use a mixer than refrigerate for about twenty minutes

  7. Benjamin "the Gangsta Baker" Rubio

    YOU SAVED OUR CAKE!!!! I thought I’d have to eat dry Funfetti cake, but alas, Jenny Can Cook saved the dish! Can anyone say… bon appetit?

  8. MarshaR

    Added milk a “drizzle” at a time to desired consistency. Then added sifted cocoa to desired flavor. Used stand mixer with whisk attachment.
    WONDERFUL recipe!

  9. Andrea Freeland

    I cut the sugar to 2/3 cup but added blueberries and mixed it and it turned out really yummy, and a pretty shade of light purple. Yummy!

  10. Christina Secrist

    This icing was super easy a d tastes great!

    • Debbie

      Would margarine work instead if butter?

      • MuffinButt

        Yes you can, HOWEVER, the taste and consistency is off. Not terribly, but you will taste more margarine than frosting. This is due to the margarine being primarily vegetable oil. I would not recommend using margarine over butter. But hey, to each their own.

      • Cailee

        It’s the same thing

        • WyoCowboyJoe

          Cailee, not sure what you mean are the same???

          Are you trying to say that margarine and butter are the same? I have a suspicion the Dairy Industry would take exception to that. You may use them interchangeably and consider one the same as the other in the way you use each of them. However, they are no more the same than a fork and a spoon are the same. Both have a commonality in that they are eating utensils but just try eating some soup with a fork and see the difference. To a good chef, the difference between butter and margarine is even greater in how they react to the other ingredients and the end result taste of the dish.

  11. Tamara Perez

    This recipe was a lifesaver. And the top it off it tasted wonderful!!! I won’t even be purchasing frosting from a tub anymore!

  12. Shani

    I added a little Maker’s Mark whiskey…magnifique. 😙

  13. Nancy

    Can I use amaretto instead of vanilla?

    • Becca

      Yes. But use almond extract for that ammereto, Be careful thought a little almond extract goes a long way. You can use both Vanilla and almond extract as well. extract s allow all the flavor with out the risk of your frosting becoming watery or thin or split.



  15. Abigail

    This is a very good recipe for when you are in a hurry and do not have any cream or cream cheese, or butter!
    Thank you!

  16. Mary

    Definitely my go to frosting from now on.
    Great recipe. Thank you for sharing 🙏

  17. emily

    it turned out amazing!

  18. SmallTownGypsy

    Has anyone tried this with coconut oil (not heated)? Need a vegan recipe

  19. Brooke

    Is this frosting good for cupcakes?

    • Becca

      Any frosting for a cake can be used on cup cakes because they are just cake too

  20. Leilani

    I made this for my cookies and it turned out great

  21. Cake Maker

    It was difficult to make because if you’re pouring milk from a gallon container it will be hard not to pour more milk than needed into the frosting.

    • Suggestion

      You could pour the milk into a smaller container (like a measuring cup, bowl, glass or a regular cup) then measure it using a spoon you dip into the milk.

    • Whitney

      Measure it out and put it in a small cup.

  22. Kayley G

    quick and easy my 14 year old self could do without any help and with little to none cooking/baking experience

  23. Bri

    My mom and I made this icing for our cake and it turned out so delicious I would recommend this recipe it’s easy and quick

  24. Bri

    My mom and I made this icing for our cake and it turned out so delicious I would recommend this recipe🥰

  25. Bev Fowere

    Visiting my grand daughter in La Mesa California from the Florida Keys. We Made a cake and had no frosting to put on it. I googled Quick Frosting, this recipe was the first one that came up. We had everything we needed. We made the frosting and it was perfect. Thank you! It saved the day.

  26. Bev Fowere

    Visiting my grand daughter in La Mesa California from the Florida Keys. We Made a cake and had no frosting. With. I googled Quick frosting and we had everything we needed. We made this. It was perfect. Thank you!

  27. Leslie

    Loved it!

  28. ✨cat luver✨

    it tastes so good and easy to make

  29. Diane


  30. Kelli

    I tripled this recipe with great success. It’s the perfect icing for my Hot Milk Cake.

  31. Maria arpaia

    Made a double batch using lemon instead of vanilla. Was excellent. ( covering for my cracked cake.).

    • Kyle thibodeaux

      I did the same I’m a huge lemon lover I used lemon extract and also a full teaspoon of real lemon zest then put another of lemon zest on top after frosting is on the cake

  32. Kim

    Can you use any type of milk? Like almond milk?

    • Marijuana Suparman

      yeah use mayonnaise if you REALLY want to 😉

    • Yogurt Fan

      You could use either vanilla or plain yogurt as well. Softened cream cheese would be another good alternative. Or for really sweet chocolate frosting, skip the milk or any other liquid and mix in some chocolate syrup. Or any other Ice Cream topping syrup for additional flavor options. Or if you’re frosting a Red Velvet cake and you want some kick, try using a good RED wine instead of milk. You’ll get a nice pink color as well.

  33. AC

    Can it be left out overnight after cake is frosted without refrigeration?

    • BN

      If your house is cool then yes, it will keep overnight. I would personally refrigerate though it keeps longer that way

  34. AC

    Do you need to refrigerate it? Can it be left overnight out after cake is frosted?

  35. Brittney Gearheard

    Literally perfect. I will never buy icing again!!!

  36. PuppyLove❤️🐶

    Mine was really watery. I did everything right, but I did not use a mixer. I used a whisk.I really hoped it would work.

  37. BILL


  38. Awesome Ed

    Quick and easy, but most importantly…..delicious! Great recipe to satisfy your sugar fix when store bought icing is unavailable. As a matter of fact, I may never buy store bought icing ever again. Thanks for sharing.

  39. Sparrow

    I’m going to try this, I want to add coconut to it.

  40. Mary Ann

    This recipe is great! I used my electric mixer and it came out so good. It’s the perfect size for a small cake. Thanks!

  41. Mary Ann Garby

    This recipe is great! I used my electric mixer and it came out so good. It’s the perfect size for a small cake. Thanks!

  42. E

    Will it turn out the same if I use a whisk?

  43. soulana

    Just wondering do I have to throw in the butter I’m 12 its my sis 18 birthday!!! and she made me a cake for my 10th plz help!!!

  44. Leigh Ann J.

    My kids and I wanted to make a cake but didn’t have frosting so we found this recipe and had all the ingredients in hand so we made it and it was FANTASTIC!!! Great recipe and simple instructions!

  45. 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

  46. 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.

  47. 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.

  48. Gloria H Deere

    It was easy and very taste.
    Thank you God bless

  49. Katie

    Best frosting recipe

  50. 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.

  51. 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 🤣

  52. 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😀

  53. Jackie

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

  54. 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!

  55. 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!

  56. 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.

  57. Cindy

    Thank you came out yummy!!

  58. Maddie

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

  59. 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

  60. 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

  61. Eileen

    Love all recipes – quick and easy thanks

  62. 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

  63. 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!

        • tory

          you are a karen! .

          • Baskitcase

            The more I choose to be kind, the Easier it gets! Especially if I think of all the mean things I’ve said to people. Good recipe!

      • Kencancook

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

  64. Laurel

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

  65. TX Old Lady Gang

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

  66. Daniel

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

  67. 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!

  68. 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

  69. 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.

  70. Mentat30

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

  71. 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.

  72. 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.

  73. 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.

  74. 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.

  75. 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

  76. RJ

    This was awful. It made sweetened liquid.

  77. 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.

  78. Mihi singer

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

  79. 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

  80. 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

  81. 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?

  82. 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.

  83. 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!! 😉

  84. 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!

  85. 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.

  86. 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!!

  87. 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

  88. 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!!!

  89. 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.

  90. 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. 😉

  91. 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!

  92. 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.

Leave a Comment

Want to share your photo of my recipe?
Just click on this link: YourPhotos@JennyCanCook.com.