Although cakes have existed in rudimentary forms since the time of the ancient Egyptians, frosting first appeared on the scene in the mid-17th Century. According to the Food Timeline, the first cake frosting (or icing) was a hard and gloss-like confection that was comprised of boiled egg whites and sugar. Today, a wide variety of cake frosting recipes exist. These frosting varieties cover a broad range of tastes and textures. It is easy to whip up a homemade vanilla frosting in just a few minutes, using staple ingredients that can be found in virtually every kitchen.

Things You'll Need

Set the butter in a large bowl about one hour prior to making your frosting, so that it can soften by acclimating to room temperature. Cover with a towel until soft.

Add confectioner’s sugar to the bowl. Blend butter and sugar with an electric mixer or a fork until the ingredients are fully incorporated.

Stir in the milk and vanilla extract. Beat all of the ingredients together at high speed until your frosting is smooth and easy to spread over your cakes or cookies.


  • Use your vanilla frosting immediately for best results; it is easiest to spread frosting when it is fresh and at room temperature.