When it comes to vanilla frosting recipes, there are two different kinds that most people tend to use: American Buttercream and Swiss Meringue Buttercream.
The difference between a Swiss Meringue Buttercream and an American buttercream is that American buttercream is made with powdered sugar and butter or Crisco. Swiss Meringue Buttercream is made with whipped egg whites, granulated sugar, and butter.
There are many different vanilla frosting recipes. Some use vanilla extract and some use vanilla beans or vanilla bean paste. Vanilla beans have a wonderful flavor but can be expensive or difficult to find.
Some versions use half butter and half Crisco. Crisco in a frosting might sound unusual to some, but it has its benefits. It’s often referred to as a decorators buttercream because of it more stable and easier for piping different shapes. This is the method I learned when I took the Wilton Decorating classes.