A Simple Vanilla Frosting Recipe

Nanny Burke's Basic Vanilla Frosting Recipe

A Simple Vanilla Frosting Recipe

After four failed attempts, I finally made the simple vanilla frosting I've been dreaming of since childhood and it's all thanks to Nanny Burke.

Jump to the recipe!

You may remember my first attempt. They looked good but the frosting had as much flavour as a of a jar of Vaseline, and the texture to match.

Last week, I made Bacon and Baileys cupcakes. I used what I thought was a decent buttercream recipe but it turned out to be sickly sweet. In an attempt to rescue it, I glugged in a bunch of Baileys, and, as you can see in the photos, it was somewhat of a droopy mess. 

A friend said, “Oh - you need Nanny Burke's vanilla frosting recipe!!” She emailed Nanny Burke in Cape Breton and asked for the recipe on my behalf. Nanny Burke told my friend that, over the last 50 years, she's tried a TON of vanilla frosting recipes and this one was by far the best and easiest.

Nanny Burke’s simple vanilla frosting is what my dreams are made of.

A Cape Breton grandmother's basic, American-style vanilla frosting recipe.
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Nanny Burke's Buttercream
A Cape Breton grandmother's simple vanilla frosting recipe.
  • 2 cups butter
  • 4 cups icing sugar, sifted
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • ⅛ teaspoon salt
Place everything in the bowl of a stand mixer. Mix on low until sugar and butter are combined.Increase speed of mixer and mix 2-3 minutes.*For firmer texture use 1½ cups butter and ½ cup shortening.*Halving the recipe also works and frosting freezes well.*Icing sugar is also known as confectioner's sugar.
Prep time: Cook time: Total time: Yield:

Cupcake Baking Tip

On a side note, here's something interesting that happened when I was baking my cupcakes to frost. I used Ina Garten's recipe for Coconut Cupcakes without the coconut. I baked the first dozen at 350ºF until golden, about 22 minutes. Then I had another look at the recipe and realized that I was supposed to bake them at 325ºF. So I reduced the temperature on the oven for the second batch. Here's what happened:

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Does The Cupcake Baking Tip Work?

This cupcake baking tip was just a random fluke that happened to me, however, hundreds of people on Pinterest swear it works! Did it work for you? Tag me in any and all of your baking creations @baconandbaileys or #baconandbaileys!