Vanilla Cooked Buttercream Recipe

Photo by    Yasmin Roohi

Photo by Yasmin Roohi


If I had to choose one type of filling for my cakes, I would hands down choose vanilla cooked buttercream.  It's not too sweet, has a creamy texture, is super fluffy, and best of all - it tastes like vanilla ice cream!

Cooked buttercream is when you make a custard by heating milk, sugar, and flour, and add this to some whipped butter.  The addition of flour and milk helps create a wonderful texture and provides just the right amount of richness.  It may require a little more effort than your normal buttercream, but it's so worth it, trust me!  


2 cups milk

1.5 cups sugar

1/2 cup flour 

2 cups unsalted butter, softened

2 tsp vanilla bean paste or vanilla extract


  1. Add your flour and sugar into a medium sized pot, and whisk together until evenly combined. Then add in your milk and whisk.

  2. Over med low heat, whisk the mixture every so often until it becomes thick, almost like a pudding texture. This should take about 10-15 minutes. Make sure to keep a good eye on it because you don't want it to burn!

  3. Once you achieve a thick paste, use a spatula to transfer this to a shallow heat proof bowl and place saran wrap directly on top of it. This will help the custard from forming a rubbery skin on top. Place it into the refrigerator to cool down. (I'll usually make the custard a day before! You can also store it in the freezer if you’re in a rush. Just keep an eye on it so you don’t accidentally freeze it.)

  4. When the custard has cooled down, take it out from the refrigerator and let it come to room temperature. Start whipping your butter using the paddle attachment. Add in your vanilla, and once your butter becomes fluffy and pale in color, add your custard mixture, a spoonful at a time.

  5. Scrape down the sides of your bowl with a spatula, then continue mixing until the custard and butter are evenly combined and there are no streaks.


  • Your flour mixture should be completely smooth, otherwise you will have a lumpy frosting! To ensure this, you can pass the hot mixture through a sieve before placing into the refrigerator. You can also use an immersion blender!

  • This recipe can easily be halved if you want to try a smaller batch first.

  • When storing in the refrigerator, place saran wrap directly on top of the frosting. When ready to use, you can rewhip in the mixer using your paddle attachment.

  • You can add different flavors to this: matcha powder, melted chocolate, espresso, crushed freeze dried fruit, different extracts as well!

If you try this out, be sure to let me know!  Any questions?  Leave a comment below or shoot me an email

P.S. Here are some reviews of this buttercream:

“Your buttercream is the BOMB!!” - Jo Anne

“It’s so tasty! Mind blown! Had no idea you could cook buttercream.” - Jen

Watch my video tutorial below on how to make this cooked buttercream!