hand holding a whisk attachment to a standing electric mixer with vanilla buttercream frosting in the center of the whisk
Whipped vanilla buttercream frosting made without powdered sugar is the perfect simple recipe to top any cake or cupcake!

I did it. I made a vanilla buttercream that actually rivals a traditional one made with powdered sugar.

It only took me… six years. But, I did it.

Listen, frosting can be difficult when you’re refined sugar free. I hate the aftertaste and flavor of artificial sweeteners.

Sure, in small quantities I can do artificial sweeteners, but frosting loaded up with the artificial sweeteners? Not my fave.

I knew I needed a traditional vanilla buttercream. After all, I needed to slather it on birthday cakes and cupcakes, and in between cookies, you know?

The best part of this easy vanilla buttercream frosting is it doesn’t use traditional powdered sugar. It doesn’t use artificial sweeteners. It uses agave nectar! The sticky sweetener is perfect for this recipe and although I prefer agave nectar because it’s low glycemic, you can definitely sub in honey or maple syrup if you prefer.

This vanilla buttercream frosting is so light, fluffy, creamy, pillowy, whipped to perfection, made with simple ingredients, and easy to make!

ingredients to make vanilla buttercream frosting on a white counter

6 simple ingredients for vanilla buttercream:

  • heavy cream: you can sub in heavy unsweetened coconut cream if you can’t do dairy
  • arrowroot flour: we’re going to use this to make a slurry with our heavy cream. It thickens up the heavy cream, reduces the moisture of excess milk, and adds some lightness and fluffiness to the frosting.
  • butter: I use unsalted, but salted butter works fine too. I haven’t tested it with ghee or vegan butter, but I think it should be a fine sub!
  • agave nectar: honey or maple syrup work here too!
  • vanilla: gotta get that vanilla frosting flavor!
  • salt: to bring out the sweet vanilla flavor

How to make vanilla buttercream without powdered sugar:

It’s pretty simple! First, you want to make your slurry.

Place the cream and arrowroot in a saucepan over medium heat. Whisk continuously for about 20 seconds until the cream thickens up and pulls away from the sides of the pot as you stir. Remove from heat and set aside to come to room temperature.

Cut the cold butter into cubes and place it in your electric standing mixer and turn it to high.

While the butter is mixing, drizzle in the agave nectar, vanilla, and salt.

After those ingredients are whisked together and combined, use a rubber spatula to transfer the heavy cream slurry to the mixing bowl. Turn the mixer to high and mix until combined.

If it looks like the mixture is about to curdle – it’s ok! Stop the mixer, scrape down the sides and continue to whip on high until it gets so fluffy and creamy.

Transfer the frosting to your piping bag or on top of a cake.

This frosting is best made day of. It hardens in the fridge so if you do make it ahead of time, allow time for the frosting to come to room temperature before frosting your cake.

Other frosting recipes to try:

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hand holding a whisk attachment to a standing electric mixer with vanilla buttercream frosting in the center of the whisk

Easy Vanilla Buttercream Frosting

  • Author: Lindsay Grimes Freedman
  • Prep Time: 15 min
  • Cook Time: 0 min
  • Total Time: 15 min
  • Yield: serves 12 1x
  • Category: dessert
  • Method: mixing
  • Cuisine: frosting
  • Diet: Gluten Free

Description

Whipped vanilla buttercream frosting made without powdered sugar is the perfect simple recipe to top any cake or cupcake!


Scale

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 1 teaspoon arrowroot flour
  • 1 cup cold unsalted butter, cut in cubes
  • 1/2 cup agave nectar (honey or maple syrup also works)
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon salt

Instructions

  1. Make the slurry: place the cream and arrowroot in a saucepan over medium heat. Whisk continuously for about 20 seconds until the cream thickens up and pulls away from the sides of the pot as you stir.

  2. Remove from heat and set aside to come to room temperature.

  3. Cut the cold butter into cubes and place it in your electric standing mixer and turn it to high.

  4. While the butter is mixing, drizzle in the agave nectar, vanilla, and salt.

  5. After those ingredients are whisked together and combined, use a rubber spatula to transfer the heavy cream slurry to the mixing bowl.

  6. Turn the mixer to high and mix until combined.

  7. If it looks like the mixture is about to curdle – it’s ok! Stop the mixer, scrape down the sides with a rubber spatula, and continue to whip on high until it gets so fluffy and creamy.

  8. Transfer the frosting to your piping bag or on top of a cake.

  9. This frosting is best made day of. It hardens in the fridge so if you do make it ahead of time, allow time for the frosting to come to room temperature before frosting your cake. 



Nutrition

  • Serving Size: 2.5 tablespoons
  • Calories: 195
  • Sugar: 10.8g
  • Sodium: 305mg
  • Fat: 17.2g
  • Saturated Fat: 10.9g
  • Unsaturated Fat: 0g
  • Trans Fat: 0g
  • Carbohydrates: 10.9g
  • Fiber: 0g
  • Protein: 0.3g
  • Cholesterol: 48mg

Keywords: buttercream frosting, vanilla buttercream, how to make buttercream, buttercream frosting without powdered sugar