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Billy’s Bakery Vanilla Cupcakes with Vanilla Buttercream Frosting

Have you heard of  Billy Reece from Billy’s Bakery in New York?!   If not, perhaps it is time to taste what he is really all about,  two  fabulous vanilla recipes.   A couple years ago, Billy Reece shared his specialty recipe for “Vanilla, Vanilla Cupcakes” and “Vanilla Buttercream”  with millions of viewers on the Martha Stewart show.   His recipes quickly hit the blogwaves and  were tested out by thousands, followed by results of pure satisfactory and vanilla bliss!  His cupcake and frosting recipe has replaced hundreds of fellow bakers “go-to” vanilla cupcake and frosting recipe.

Rest assured, this has also been our “safe / go to” recipe for the past 3 years.  We have created cupcakes using this recipe  for multiple parties, including but not limited to Melissa’s Wedding Reception, Melissa’s Baby Shower, Kelly’s (Melissa’s sister in-law) baby shower, several events, Dinner Date parties, Birthday parties, etc.  We have received countless compliments, with the most common one said, “These are the best cupcakes I have ever had!”

Billy’s Bakery is a celebrity favorite, especially of Katie Holmes.   In December 2005,  Billy supplied a mass amount of cupcakes for Katie Holme’s  27th birthday bash at F.A.O. Schwartz.  In 2006, Billy’s Bakery reportedly made Katie’s 2006 wedding cake.   In addition, Ethan Hawke, Mandy Moore, and Bungalow 8 club founder, Amy Sacco, are also fans of the bakery. Billy’s has also been featured on Queer Eye For the Straight Guy, MTV Diary Katie Holmes, The Today Show, MTV’s Boiling Point, the CBS Early Show, the Food Network’s Roker On The Road, and Martha Stewart’s television show Martha.

We hope that you have been persuaded to try this fantastic recipe.  Don’t forget to leave a comment and let us know what you thought of it.  Did this recipe become your go-to vanilla cupcake and buttercream frosting recipe?

Billy’s Vanilla Buttercream Frosting Recipe


  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature

  • 6 to 8 cups confectioners’ sugar

  • 1/2 cup milk

  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract


  • In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream butter until smooth and creamy, 2 to 3 minutes.
  • With electric mixer on low speed, add 6 cups sugar, milk, and vanilla; mix until light and fluffy.
  • If necessary, gradually add remaining 2 cups sugar to reach desired consistency.

Billy’s Vanilla Vanilla Cupcake Recipe:


  • 1 3/4 cups cake flour, not self-rising
  • 1 1/4 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 2 tablespoons baking powder
  • 3/4 teaspoonsalt
  • 1 cup unsalted butter, cut into 1-inch cubes
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract


  • Preheat oven to 325°. Line cupcake pans with paper liners; set aside.
  • In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine flours, sugar, baking powder, and salt; mix on low speed until combined.
  • Add butter, mixing until just coated with flour.
  • Add eggs, one at a time.
  • In a large glass measuring cup add milk and vanilla.
  • With mixer on medium speed, add wet ingredients in 3 parts, scraping down sides of bowl before each addition; beat until ingredients are incorporated but do not overbeat.
  • Using an ice cream scoop for even cupcakes, divide batter among liners, filling about two-thirds full
  • Bake, rotating pan halfway through, until a cake tester inserted in the center comes out clean, 17 to 20 minutes.
  • Transfer to a wire rack to cool completely. Repeat process with remaining batter.
  • Once cupcakes have cooled, use a small offset spatula to frost tops of each cupcake.
  • Decorate with sprinkles, if desired. Serve at room temperature.

XOXO, Nancy & Melissa

Here are additional photos of other cupcakes we created using Billy’s Vanilla Vanilla Buttercream:

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  1. Quick question – I’m trying to do a frosting with a similar blue tint any recommendation about how much blue food colouring to use?

    1. I would recommend using a gel dye such as Americolor or Wilton. Using a sky blue, drop one drop at a time and mixing it until the color you want is achieved. Happy tinting!

  2. Hi! This looks lovely, I was just wondering how long this icing will last for once piped onto cupcakes, outside of the fridge? Or, should they always be kept in the fridge? Thank you!

    1. Hi Hayley! Definitely keep the cupcakes in the refrigerator until they are ready to be served. With frosting ingredients such as milk & butter, it’s not safe to store room temperature. The day you are ready to serve the cupcakes, remove them from the refrigerator 1-3 hours prior. They will be grand!

  3. I would love to try this recipe…how many cupcakes will this make and frost? thanks so much!

  4. Does this recipe work well on regular round cakes? Because I know that certain types of frostings go well on cupcakes and others on cakes.a

  5. Is the butter for the cupcake recipe supposed to be cold or at room temperature? The recipe doesn’t say.

    1. Great question. Definitely make sure the butter is at room temperature. Glad you asked! =)

  6. Can I bake/frost these 1 week ahead of time and freeze them until the day of my event? I would love to try these for my daughter’s graduation party, but I’ll be out of town until the day before…I’d love to make them before I leave!

    1. Yes! You absolutely can bake and frost + freeze these one week in advance. The trick is to be sure to cover your cupcakes entirely. Use either a lock and lock container. Happy baking! =)

  7. I’m looking for a vanilla buttercream frosting recipe and I came across this one and I would love to give it a try. However, since I don’t like anything too sweet 6-8 cups of confectioner’s sugar seemed like an awful lot to me. How much does the recipe make?

  8. im going to make cupcakes for my brothers class. but i have to make about 40 cupcakes. so if i double the recipe will it be able to frost them all? thanks!

    1. I would slowly add in the milk. For best results, alternate by pouring a little powdered sugar + milk then mix & repeat. So sorry to hear, runny frosting is the worst. If you’re in a future bind, use additional powdered sugar to stiffen it up. XO

  9. I’ve made the frosting and it tastes great, I now want to frost my cake and add fondant on top. My event is in a couple of days, I’m worried the buttercream frosting will go bad if I leave my cake out of the fridge. I’ve read refridgerating a fondant covered cake will ruin the cake (mushy mess) and its best just to leave the cake out covered in an air tight container and the fondant will protect the frosting and cake. Have you ever worked with fondant and this frosting? How would or did you store your cake?


    1. I have not worked with fondant and this frosting but I would imagine it would work beautifully! Best of luck!

  10. I blog often and I truly thank you for your content.

    This article has really peaked my interest. I’m going to book mark your website and keep checking for new information about once a week. I subscribed to your RSS feed too.

  11. Hi there,
    I am looking for a great round vanilla cake recipe for my sons birthday.
    Could I make this batch of cupcake mix and just put it into a round cake tin??
    If yes, would I have to adjust cooking temperature?
    Thanks so much!

  12. Do you really mean 2 Tablespoons of baking powder? I just popped my cupcakes in the oven and the batter has a brutal aftertaste.

  13. hi for the buttercream: could you please provide the butter and confectioners sugar in grams and the milk in either fl oz or ml? also is the confectioners sugar weighed before sifting?

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