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Vanilla Bean Frosting

Happy Thursday, all! I’m pretty excited about this weekend, as BottleRock is happening in Napa. It will be my first year attending, and I’m curious to see what all the fuss is about. And, well, to be completely honest, I want to see which food vendors are there!

Anyway, last week I’d posted about the scrumptious chocolate cake recipe I’d made for my dad’s birthday and mentioned that I’d also be sharing the recipe for the vanilla frosting that went with it. So here we are, following through and such!


Like I’d mentioned last week, my dad’s favorite cake combination is chocolate with vanilla frosting. The chocolate cake I’d made was a huge success!

20140528-120944-43784127.jpg I think it was definitely given a run for its money with this vanilla bean frosting recipe, though.

20140528-120945-43785730.jpgBoth recipes would be quite tasty in cupcake form, and it might be nice that you’d have instant portion control.


Unless you eat like 5 back to back.. I mean, the cake is that good.


I did learn something important while assembling this delicious birthday cake: I am a terrible cake froster.


I know, there are worse things to be.. But considering how much I bake, I thought I’d be a little better. Oh well, I told everyone I was going for a rustic, homemade look.


I’m pretty sure they bought it.


This recipe is a combination of two delicious sounding recipes I’d found in a search online. You can see Rosie’s (of Sweetapolita) recipe for whipped vanilla bean frosting here and Michelle’s (of Brown Eyed Bakereasy vanilla bean buttercream recipe here.


I’ve found that you can make this recipe without the vanilla beans (sometimes they’re hard to find or ridiculously expensive), but then it’s not vanilla bean frosting. Just plain ol’ vanilla frosting. Not as fancy, but still delicious!



  • 3 sticks unsalted butter, softened and cut into cubes
  • 3 cups sifted confectioners’ sugar (also called powdered sugar)
  • 3 tablespoons heavy whipping cream
  • 1 vanilla bean cut in half lengthwise, scraped
  • 1 Tablespoon pure vanilla extract
  • pinch of salt


  1. In a medium bowl with a hand mixer (or using a standing mixer), whip butter for 6-8 minutes on medium speed.  Butter will become very pale and creamy. Add the vanilla bean and mix for 15-30 seconds.
  2. At medium-low speed, mix in confectioners’ sugar and salt until mixture is fully incorporated, scraping down bowl occasionally.
  3. Add vanilla and heavy cream, and beat at medium speed until incorporated, about 20 seconds. Increase speed to medium-high and beat until light and fluffy, about 4 minutes, scraping down bowl once or twice. Frosting will be very light, creamy and fluffy.

Cake Assembly:

  1. Place bottom cake layer upside-down on cake plate or 8″ round thin cake board and spread 1 cup of frosting on top with a small offset spatula.
  2. Gently place 2nd cake layer face down on top. Place a generous scoop of frosting on top, spreading evenly with a small offset spatula and working your way down the sides until you have a thin layer of frosting over the entire cake.
  3. Store at room temperature for up to 2 days, or in refrigerator for up to 5 days. Best eaten with a bowl of vanilla ice cream all at once day 1.


I definitely ate three huge spoonfuls sampled the frosting right after making it and it was so so so tasty. The cake was frosted the night before we celebrated and despite losing a bit of fluffiness, was still just as delicious. So, I’d recommending frosting right before you’re about to dive in to a slice.

20140528-121638-44198327.jpgAin’t she a rustic beaut? I’m not terribly picky when it comes to my birthday cake.. But I’ve always been a fan of chocolate with chocolate fudge frosting. However, I wouldn’t mind having this cake again. What’s your favorite cake flavor/combo?


About In Natalie's Shoes

I’m a twenty-something food fanatic. By day, I’m working for a non-profit, by night I’m dreaming of becoming a domestic goddess, creating adorable crafts to gift and engineering delicious home cooked meals for the fabulous dinner parties I’ll one day throw. I love to travel, locally, regionally… heck, even internationally, I don’t discriminate too much when it comes to a new destination. I am a little obsessed with taking photos of the food I eat, whether I make it or pay to eat it. It is my firm belief that a girl can never have enough purses or too many shoes. I plan to fill this lovely little blog with my adventures in food, travel, and craftiness. I hope you enjoy!

One response »

  1. Pingback: The Only Chocolate Cake Recipe You’ll Ever Need | In Natalie's Shoes

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