Here are the step by step instructions to make the best whipped frosting! It’s a fluffy vanilla frosting with a texture like whipped cream and a less cloying sweetness than most other recipes!
A good cake has a great frosting to match. Because truly, frosting makes the cake. Right?
I’m glad that we agree. Now, bear with me here because I’m going to talk science and logistics of perfecting that sweet silky cream.
The slight problem I find with many homemade frostings (versus freshly made bakery versions) is that they’re either too heavy or too sweet. Even the best buttercreams have a slightly overpowering presence on cupcakes and layer cakes. They’re delicious, don’t get me wrong, but the flavor is often a little heavy on the unsalted butter (you know that straight slick of cream coating your tongue?) or the powdered sugar isn’t as incorporated as it should be, making it slightly gritty. The texture isn’t silky enough, the flavor isn’t delicate enough, to properly balance a tender, soft-crumbed cake.
The best frostings must be so well balanced and blended that no one flavor note sticks out in isolation. And there’s a word for that perfect blending of flavors: ‘amplitude.’ It occurs when all of the various ingredients in something fuse to create a seamless and uniform crescendo of taste. (Malcolm Gladwell refers to amplitude in his essay, The Ketchup Conundrum, where he writes about how and why Heinz Ketchup secured the throne in the world of ketchup. It’s because of it’s unmatched flavor blending, FYI) The beauty of a frosting with high amplitude is that you don’t taste the components of the frosting separately; you taste them as one intense mix. It’s not a hit of butter, then a gritty tingle of sugar, followed by a vanilla aftertaste. It’s all at once a sweet puff of cream. A single but complex flavor and texture.
That’s what I’m looking for in a frosting.
And that’s what I found in this whipped wonder.
It’s somewhat of a silky, more substantial whipped cream. A puffy cloud of milk and sugar.
It’s luxurious and smooth, but only subtly sweet. Perfectly light and fluffy, and able to make an intense cake somehow delicate and dainty. Really, it’s just the thing to balance an ultra rich chocolate fudge cake.
And it’s not difficult to whip up either. Essentially, you make a roux of milk and flour, which is just a thick creamy paste, and then whip it with softened butter and granulated sugar until you’ve got a big bowl of fluff on your hands. The flavor is gently vanilla; the texture is feather-light.
I made this frosting on Christmas Eve to top a sour cream fudge layer cake. I wanted something light enough to let the melting fudge layers to really take center stage. That kind of cake begs for a break from intensity and unrestrained decadence. It was a huge hit, and the most lovely icing I could have imagined slathered on my favorite cake.
I recommend using this recipe for any or all of the following three things: 1) a bold baked good that needs a light complement, 2) a soft, fluffy crumbed cake, 3) everlasting happiness.
Here is how to make it:
In a medium saucepan, whisk one cup of milk with 5 tablespoons of flour. Heat over medium until the mixture begins to sputter, whisking constantly.
Continue to stir as the mixture thickens. You will know it’s done when it reaches the consistency of thick cake batter, after about 7 minutes of heating and whisking.
Stir in 2 teaspoons vanilla extract and set aside to cool COMPLETELY.
Now, in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment, or using a hand held mixer, beat 2 sticks of softened butter (1 cup) with 1 1/4 cups of granulated sugar until light, fluffy, and white in color, about 3 solid minutes of beating on medium-high speed. You want the sugar to be totally incorporated into the butter.
Now, be sure that the milk/flour mixture has completely cooled, and add it to the butter/sugar mixture.
Beat all ingredients for about 1 minute on high speed, scraping down the bowl halfway, until they are smooth and well blended.
The frosting should be as light and fluffy as whipped cream. Use it to frost a layer cake, to generously pipe atop 12 cupcakes, or as a main course. Really.
The Best Whipped Frosting
- 1 cup milk
- 5 tablespoons flour
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1 cup butter at room temperature
- 1 1/4 cups granulated sugar not powdered sugar
- In a medium saucepan, whisk one cup of milk with 5 tablespoons of flour. Heat over medium until the mixture begins to sputter, whisking constantly. Continue to stir as the mixture thickens. You will know it’s done when it reaches the consistency of thick cake batter, after about 7 minutes of heating and whisking. Stir in 2 teaspoons vanilla extract and set aside to cool COMPLETELY.
- Now, in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment, or using a hand held mixer, beat 2 sticks of softened butter (1 cup) with 1 1/4 cups of granulated sugar until light, fluffy, and white in color, about 3 solid minutes of beating on medium-high speed. You want the sugar to be totally incorporated into the butter.
- Be sure that the milk/flour mixture has completely cooled, and add it to the butter/sugar mixture. Beat all ingredients for about 1 minute on high speed, scraping down the bowl halfway, until they are smooth and well blended. The frosting should be as light and fluffy as whipped cream.
I LOVE THIS FROSTING. I didn’t like frosting before this… I make this all the time for cupcakes. SO GOOD!
I am 70yrs young and the first time I had this awesome (mocked whip cream) My aunt brought to a family homecoming for my brother from the military on a rich mayo-chocolate cake in 1957…been using ever since
Thank you for sharing..it is nice to know that this recipe is an old family favorite.
Why did my frosting taste granulated? I mixed for quite a while!
Mine did also! Disappointing.
u used too much sugar or the grains were to big
you can add the powdered sugar while u mix flour with milk and heat it to thicken.
I just made another version of this recipe in which you cook the flour and milk WITH the granulated sugar. This ensures that the sugar will be completely dissolved. Turned out great and everyone LOVED it!
you did not beat the sugar and butter together long enough. it is the sugar that makes it gritty. it takes quite awhile for it to be completely ungranulated.
Mine did immediately after mixing, but after I frosted the cake and put it in the fridge to set, it was wonderful. Very creamy and not grainy at all!
on this recipe do i mix in the 1/4 cup sugar or just the one cup that it calls for
Use 1 1/4 cups of sugar. Sorry for the confusion. I edited the recipe instructions!
We just made your whipped frosting and it is great however, it was not fluffy. Do you have any thoughts how to make it fluffy? It is flat right now
Hmmm…that is strange. Try beating the mixture for another two minutes on high speed to see if that adds some airiness and fluff to it.
The instructions stated to use a stand mixer with a whisk fitting OR a hand mixer. I don’t have a stand mixer so I stuck my whisk fitting on my hand mixer and went to town. Not so good. I changed out the whisk for the regular beaters in hopes of salvaging what i had already started and that did the trick! I’m guessing my hand mixer was not as powerful as a stand mixer so it needed the beefier beaters. DELICIOUS.
I hate everything about you, YOU SUCK!!! #creamless
What about using powdered sugar?
I’ve been making this for years and can say that the bad reviews are user error. I get the frustration that comes with a failed recipe attempt, but the recipe is not the problem.
hi i am trying to leran how to make this and I am making it right now and it is the best thank you so much please right back
I love this frosting I’ve made it b4 it turned out great but just wondering if it would make a difference if I used a salted or unsalted butter. Or does it have to be a reg butter?
I’d recommend using unsalted butter
Hi,I’ve been making this frosting for many many years and it won’t be fluffy if the butter and sugar is light and fluffy and the flour mixture isn’t hard enough and cooled throughly. You can also substitute cornstarch for the flour (1/2 the amount)
i have been using this frosting as my only frosting since i found the recipe the trick to it is to have everything as cold as you can possibly have it …and instead of using regular granulated sugar use caster sugar a little finer grind than regular you get a smoother result, i also sieve the flour and milk mix after it has cooked to eliminate any tiny flour lumps that form….use a nonstick pot as regular ones the flour tends to stick and changes your recipe…..your butter needs to come straight out of the fridge or only stand for 2-3 minutes…..you can use unsalted but i tend to use what ever is on special at the time, if it is unsalted i add a little salt for a nicer flavor…yes the salt makes a difference…..i dont add the vanilla to the hot mix i add it last better flavor as the heat changes the taste slightly…..i have even put into this recipe blueberries that i have cooked down with a little sugar and folded them through omg devine…add cocoa to it and my husband thinks it is my real chocolate mousse that i make…soooo versatile when you get it right…..people will want the icing and forget about the cake….good luck
Awesome whipped icing. We had no butter so I used Becel margarine. Lovely result.
In the second batch I put in 3 tablespoons of coco powder in with the flour. Great tasting! However it is really light brown in color. I am attempting to freeze the cupcakes with the icing and a container of just the icing. Hoping it will work!!
I have many thoughts on this frosting recipe. At first, I was confused, I didn’t understand why there wasn’t any powdered sugar in the recipe. Regardless of this, I proceeded to follow the instructions step by step to get this right. As I continued to make the icing, things started to go downhill… my frosting had the consistency of milk and tasted like cardboard. To make matters worse, the use of granulated sugar gave it a crude and grainy texture. I desperately tried to resurrect the frosting by adding large quantities of powdered sugar which proved to be a waste of time. In the end, I had to dump the entire batch of icing. I would not recommend this recipe to anyone.
I’d like to make a chocolate version of this. Suggestions on amounts of cocoa to add? anything else?
Ok I have tried other frosting recipes, but this is so easy. You can change the flavor by changing the vanilla extract , to a flavor like imatation rum, or almond, or what eve. You can also adjust the sweetness buy cutting back on the sugar. You can even double the recipe with no problem. Yep I have been messing around with the recipe, but it all seems to work, and it always looks just like the photos supplied here, easy to work with. (Don’t tell anyone but if you have any leftover put it a zip bag and inthe fridg sneak in and test to be sure it keeps well. Boy is it a good snack.). Enjoy and God Bless. Thanks Annie
Thanks for the suggestions… I just made this and it is by far the best frosting I’ve ever made. Can’t wait to make some lemon cupcakes and use lemon extract in the frosting!!
I have many thoughts on this frosting. I was confused at first because there was no powdered sugar in the recipe. I thought nothing of it and proceeded to make the icing. The instructions were unclear, and I was very confused. I’m not sure why the recipe called for flour. As I continued to make the icing, things went downhill. The icing was the same consistency as milk and had the taste of cardboard. To add to this, the use of granulated sugar made it grainy and inedible. Furthermore, you did not specify what kind of butter I should use. My icing turned out horribly, and I would not recommend this recipe to anyone.
Huh… I can only think you must have missed something in the translation. I made this and it’s by far the best frosting I’ve ever made. I used salted butter and actually added a pinch of salt to the sugar before adding to the butter. It enhanced the sweetness. When I was whisking the milk and flour, it cooked up pretty quickly, so I added a few drops of water to thin it out, then added a tablespoon of vanilla extract at the end, then let it cool completely. I creamed the (very soft) butter and sugar together for at least 3 minutes before adding the flour/milk mixture. It came out perfect. I’d give this another shot. Have you ever made a roux before, like for macaroni & cheese or for gravy? That’s the consistency you’re aiming for. Good luck!
It was absolutely horrid… Never fluffed up… Added the flour mixture and you could feel pudding in it… Will never try this again as I’m sure another batch of it would be just as bad… Especially since I followed the recipe to a tee…
YES. As soon as I started reading this post, I knew which frosting recipe I’d see at the end. Unlike you, I’ve never been a frosting person. I mean, I enjoy it on cakes and cupcakes and cookies but in much smaller ratios than others (like my mother) find suitable. But this frosting? Pile it on. It’s perfect.
I love cake!!! However I am usually disappointed with the frosting. So when cake is offered as the dessert at a party I will usually share a slice with my husband or pass on the cake altogether. I am very excited to add this frosting recipe to my list of “must try” recipes for 2011. Thanks for sharing! Happy New Year!
I am never satisfied with frosting- it’s always what I leave behind in my plate :(
Thanks! I was just about to email a friend asking for a good frosting recipe, but I’ll just use this!
Nothing beats an amazing frosting!!! Love learning new cooking info – didn’t know that about Heinz ketchup???
I cannot wait to make another batch of cupcakes so I can try your frosting (icing) recipe.
I was JUST looking for a frosting recipe to use today. Looks like I’ll be going with this one! :)
This sounds absolutely divine. I will be making this the next time I make a chocolate cake. I’m sure that I will find the hubby on the couch licking the frosting off of it and weeping quietly at its perfection. That would be the perfect time to ask him for a new purse.
Birthday cake with white cake iceing and white cup
Cakes for birthday party &”
This frosting issue is why I stopped doing cakes from scratch (at least the frosting part)
It never seems just right.
THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU.
I can’t wait to experiment and also my diet is getting de – sugared again so this sort of makes me sad…hehe but Birthdays are right around the corner so I will have great excuses to experiment!
i tried this frosting after seeing it on tasty kitchen and totally had a love affair with it…i added peanut butter and chocolate to mine and HOLY MOLY…i die…
So to make it your own flavor, you jus added extra ingredients on top of the recipe above? I’m trying to make an orange or pineapple flavored frosting…
I think that Baked Explorations has a similar recipe – and the authors claim it is shelf stable for up to 3 days. A HUGE plus for buffet-type parties.
Ooo great to know! Thanks Victoria!
I’ve never seen an icing recipe with flour. Can’t wait to try this one.
Can I substitute Splenda for the granulated sugar??? I tried this with homemade ice cream and it didn’t work. The texture came out gritty. Should I try it?? Thanks. If all else fails, I guess I’ll have to just suffer through with the granulated sugar!! Sounds delish. Thanks.
Hey Linda! I bet Splenda would work just fine! I see no reason why not- so long as you’re using the one for baking because that can be swapped out in the same measurement as table sugar.
I always use Splenda, but I only use a little over a half of a cup. You can’t tell the difference.
For Easter, I made a box white cake and added a can of crushed pineapple and a cup of coconut. Then I added coconut to the frosting and topped the frosted cake with coconut. To die for!!!!
I’m not a fan of most buttercreams, and I love flour frostings. thanks for posting your recipe!
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Looks so taste :)
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I heart Malcolm Gladwell, and I heart frosting. This post couldn’t be any closer to perfection :) Trying this recipe over the weekend, hurrah!
Help? I tried this recipe twice over the weekend, and I’ve got one stumbling block: How do you get the sugar to incorporate into the butter, without remaining gritty? Are you using superfine sugar? I tried creaming the butter and sugar of my second batch for forever (12 minutes!), and the end frosting still had the grit :( I love the rest of the way this frosting turns out, all whippy and fluffy and perfectly sweet. I just need to figure out the sugar part….
Hey Sara! No, I didn’t use superfine sugar. I think that if your butter is truly at room temp, it will gently warm the sugar enough to dissolve it with a lot of creaming. There may be the slightest bit of grittiness, but it should mostly be silky smooth. Also, I think the room temperature thickened milk/flour mixture helps to dissolve the sugar.
I just came across this recipe and decided to try as written. My butter had sat out for over an hour and was very soft and I used granulated sugar. I sampled the consistency after 3 minutes and again at 6 min — very gritty. I continued mixing on high (KitchenAid stand mixer) for between 15-20 minutes and it was still gritty. The taste was excellent so I planned to use it on a cake (couldn’t let it go to waste). But, I couldn’t make the cake until the next day. I put the frosting in the fridge until I was ready to use, I put back in the mixer to whip it up after being stuffed in a plastic container. I couldn’t believe it – IT WAS NOT GRITTY ANYMORE. Very smooth and yummy!!! Thanks for posting this recipe!
I made this frosting, my butter had been sitting out probably 12 hours when I made it. I didn’t actually check if the butter/sugar mixture felt/tasted gritty, I just went on appearances & Then mixed in the cooled milk mixture. I had absolutely no gritty texture to my finished result. Oddly, I felt like the frosting wasn’t quite sweet enough which is NEVER my issue. I always leave behind frosting because it’s -gag- level of sweet. I’m definitely going to keep trying this recipe. I actually used unsweetened coconut milk instead of dairy milk as that’s what I had on hand, I don’t use dairy milk much at all. This is probably where the sweetness got lost. The coconut milk has 0g sugar <1g total carbs per cup where milk has something like 12g. Not a huge amount but I can see where it could make a difference. I will likely try again with both "original" (sweetened) coconut milk as well as cow's milk just to see the difference.
I agree. When I make it the sugar is still in granules even when the butter/sugar mixture is white and fluffy. It isn’t until I add the flour mixture and beat it for while that the sugar dissolves.
I LOVE this recipe and it’s all I’m using from now on. The first time I made it was for a double-layer angel food Japanese-style cheesecake. The filling was cooked strawberries, so I just used the juice from those in the frosting. YUM. Made the frosting a pretty pink/lavender color, too.
I love love love this whipped frosting. My valentine cupcakes were a hit…..thank you for sharing the recipe.
I LOOOOOOVE this frosting! My only problem with it is that it always seperates… Do you think it could be because my kitchen is hot from baking? I promise the flour mixture is completely cooled and the butter is room temp… Any thoughts???
Hey, I found this too…I actually had refrigerated it overnight to use it the next day. It separated but I found if I added flour..a little a time it smoothed it right out and didn’t change the flavor or texture at all.
I’ve made few batches to try to get this just right. I had some of the challenges other people described- my first batch came out granular. Letting the frosting sit in the fridge overnight fixed that- and i think mixing the sugar and butter for a good long time helps too. I also experienced the separation- it sorta looked very finely curdled. I tried what another person had suggested and added a flour a little bit at a time as it mixed in my Kitchenaid. I used about 1/4 c of flour for this last step. Wow, that did the trick! I ended up with a slightly thicker, much smoother, still fluffy frosting that piped easily out of a ziplock bag. It tasted great! It wouldn’t be ideal for detail piping, but I bet you could add powdered sugar to get it more stiff (more flour would probably start to make it taste weird if you used too much). Thanks for the great recipe!
Thank you so much for the suggestion!!! I have a giant double batch of this frosting in my fridge right now for a cupcake order I’m doing. When I went to re-whip it after it sat in the fridge for a few hours, it became almost curdled looking. I was very sad! I was planning on throwing it out tomorrow and trying it again (smaller batch this time), but before I do that, I’m going to try your suggestion of adding a little more flour. I really hope it works. I hate to throw out yummy frosting.
I had a problem with it looking grainy or curdled and not lite and fluffy at all. What did I do so wrong!!
Started reading your site today and I’m impressed with your recipes! I’m from the Philippines and most of the ingredients from sites in the US are not available here. I’m surprised that for most of your recipes, the ingredients are readily available here in my side of the world! Perfect too that I found this frosting recipe as like you, I’m sick of frosting that overpowers the cake. Question though: can I color this with coloring paste (like Wilton’s Icing Color paste)?
Hi there! Yes, you can absolutely color the frosting! And Wilton makes the best icing pastes. Thank you for saying hello :)
IMHO I think Americolor makes superior icing colors. They are liquid so mix more smoothly and deepen in color over time to give a very rich and vibrant color.
I love wilton icings pastes- any paste has much better color pigment than a liquid coloring in my opinion- and you dont have to use as much! :)
i dont think i have heard of americolor though. i will have to look it up!
I am a professional cake decorator and Americolor outshines Wilton. The quality far surpasses Wilton’s coloring paste. And when she mentioned “liquid” it’s more of a gel. It doesn’t take a lot of color either to achieve nice, rich colors. Honestly I don’t use anything that’s edible from Wilton….fondant, icing colors, icing decorations, etc. They do have good cake decorating products though. If you’ve never heard of Americolor you absolutely should give it a try.
About the granules in the frosting, they dissipate over time (hours). Just make sure you fluff well in the beginning.
I have made this recipe and for some reason it is not whipping. Can it be saved? If so how?
I’m having the same problem!!
I don’t know if these commenters will check back to this post, but just as a helpful hint, when I tried it at first with my metal flat beater in my Kitchenaid mixer, it also would not get fluffy. It was only after I changed it to the whisk beater that it whipped up well, so if you have a whisk style mixer head, that would help. Hope that helps.
I do not like frosting (too sweet!) but I am about to eat the whole bag of left over frosting! Oh my goodness!!! I followed this recipe and had WAYYY more than enough for 24 cupcakes. Amazing stuff. Thanks!
HOLY COW. I made this frosting for my friend’s birthday cake (plain vanilla cake with strawberries and this frosting in the middle, topped with more frosting and more strawberries) and IT IS SO GOOD! We actually ate some of it on top of the extra strawberries for lunch. :-) (Also, I think I just maxed out the number of times I can say “strawberries” in one comment.)
Hello – thank you for posting, I made this tonight and it came out perfectly, but I did sub icing sugar for regular sugar and it came out perfect still.
1. Can this be left out at room temperature?
2. Do you know if it freezes well?
3. Have you tried to incorporate chocolate, pureed raspberries, strawberries or lemon for other flavors, and if so, how did they turn out, and how much would I use?
Thanks so much!
ruby i have left this out for a couple of days ( in an airconditioned room ) and i had no problems, i have added blueberries, cocoa , chocolate ganache, flavor oils, THIS RECIPE FREEZES PERFECTLY……
when i add cocoa to it i use about 2-3 tab then taste, do everything to taste……i have added a strong solution of about 3-4 tsp of coffee and about 1 tab hot water, let that cool and gradually beat that into the frosting…omg this icing is the best, i have had marriage proposals because of it
Is this cake good for decorating?
THis is my favorite frosting/filling, etc. Depending on the cake I’m using it on, I often sub mascarpone (and some times cream cheese if it’s for carrot cake) for use as “Twinkie filling”. It’s less buttery. I love that’s it more economical than other frostings as the milk/flour paste is a good “extender” (or filler)and gives it more body! Glad you published this one, Andie! Always a winner!
OH DEAR…(I need to edit my post above).
I meant, “I often sub mascarpone (and some times cream cheese…)” FOR HALF THE BUTTER. 1 stick of butter AND 4 oz (1/2 cup) mascarpone.
Does this frosting need to be refrigerated if not eaten immediately? After it is on
Being that it’s dairy based, I would think refrigeration is a safe idea.
THANK YOU. I’ve been using my mom’s buttercream frosting for yeeeeeeeeeaaaaaaaaaaaars and it’s just like you said, it’s a bit over powering. I. Am. Pumped. :0)
I have a question. Why is that you have listed in the ingredients 1 1/4 cups of granulated sugar but in the recipe you only use 1 cup. Did I miss something? I read through this several times and I just want to make sure that I do not screw this up.
I noticed the same thing, but I’m pretty sure it’s just a typo. If you read through the rest of the post the recipe is all written out accompanied by pictures and there it says to use all the granulated sugar (1 1/4 cups).
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Mmmmm, mmmmmm, yum! I did the cream cheese sub mentioned above and I’m so happy with it. I also love the pb and choc idea too. I made a small change, I used a healthy cup of sugar instead of the 1+1/4 cup called for. (doesn’t seem like much, I know, but I try to cut down on sugar wherever I can). I also ran my sugar through a small food processor I have before beating it with the butter and cream cheese mix. Anyhow, thanks so much, this one is going into my recipe files!
I made this to the T, but my texture looks a little grainy and the layers are separating. Help! :(
I think you may not have mixed the butter and sugar long enough. I kept it whipping and whipping in my mixer until it was a pure white and creamy texture, before adding the flour mixture. If the butter and sugar aren’t blended well enough, you may have trouble with graininess and separation. Hope that helps.
From the comments, it is obvious that this is a wonderful frosting and one that I will try. I have two questions: Does the frosting crust so that it can be smoothed for decorating? Can it be used to pipe decorations, ie. borders, flowers, etc.?
This is the old-fashioned frosting that I use with Red Velvet Cake.
You do need to store it in fridge. Don’t try to keep it out for a picnic or the butter may separate. I’ve found it works best if butter is slightly chilled, or not room temp if it’s warmer.
It is very, very, very good!!
I have been looking for a new frosting recipe, as some that I know think my decorating buttercream is too sweet. I tried this recipe out tonight, and I have to tell you, I am in love with it. It is so light, so fluffy, and colors easily. It is also easy to frost with, does not pull cake with it as it spreads, and, so far, is easily usable in decorating bags, if you’re aware that at times you’ll have air pockets in it, which should be expected with the fluffy texture of the frosting.
It took almost no time at all to prepare, and now I can’t wait to try it out on desserts for my family and friends. Thank you SO much!
I made sure everything was at room temp and the flour/milk combo was completely cooled.. and it still turned out gritty. I thought I had the perfect recipe but am now in search of anohter. I don’t like the grit.. even if its just a little bit.. reminds me of sand in my mouth. :-(
I searched the web to find out how to make this icing like the store bakerys….wilton has this same exact recipe on their web site. so I tried it and also got that grainy testure like you are eating sand….I searched alittle more and found a comment from a bakery chef and she said they used this same recipe except after you cook your roux, then mix in your sugar to that while it is hot and it will disolve, plus the roux mixture should be completely cooled to room temp., before adding to your whippedbutter/crisco mixture and add xtract after whipping together and whip again, I tryed and it does work, if your mixture is seperating its because you are not cooling down the roux mix first.
Try this if you don’t want that buttery taste: 5 Tbsp flour
1 cup of milk
1/2 C. unsalted butter (room temp)
1/2 C. crisco shortening( I use Hi-ratio shortening for Kitchen Krafts.com)
1 C. granulated sugar
1 tsp. vanilla
Follow all directions from this site except melt your sugar into the cooked hot roux mixture first and let that cool, good luck….it worked for me…
Where is the cake recipe. I only see the frosting
Ok, I just want to add a few comments into the mix as someone who did actually make the frosting ( seemed like lots of them were from folks super-excited to TRY making it) 1) it is delicious, if you like very rich buttercream icing. There’s so much butter in the recipe, that it was hard not to feel like I was just eating creamed butter! I even added in extra vanilla to try to cut down on the pure butter flavor. I also had to beat mine about three times as long as suggested to get the right, non-grainy texture. My final take-the texture may be light and fluffy, but this icing is incredibly rich and really heavy on the butter. It also makes a TON. I iced a batch of 12 cupcakes and had enough left over for at least 12 more. The next time I make it, I’m going to try it with half the butter
My son’s first birthday is coming up and I’ve been looking for a light and fluffy frosting… we LOVE homemade whipped cream (whipping cream and powdered sugar) I thought about just using that for his cake, but I just don’t think it will hold up… I’m going to use this!! :D I just have one question, does it matter what kind of milk you use? We drink skim, but I didn’t know if you used 2% of whole? please let me know :)
I made this last Thursday to fill/frost 2 dozen Low-Fat Pumpkin Spice cupcakes.
It was PERFECT. :) Thank you for sharing.
I want to make this for a birthday cake. Should I use salted or unsalted butter?
I tried this recipe and loved the taste but had some issues with the flour/milk mixture and it took forever for the sugar to dissolve to a point that it was not grainy. So I searched some more and found a recipe that was almost identical with the change of melting the sugar in the flour/milk mixture then pouring the hot mixture in the bowl of your stand mixer and beating on high for about 7-10 minutes to cool it down to a point that you can add the butter in bit by bit. Hope this helps.
It sure did help,I have been making this frosting for 30 years with great success.It always took a long time for the sugar granules to melt but after reading your method I tried it and it worked great and took less time so Thank You so very much for posting this information it is deeply appreciated. Everyone should try this frosting it doesn’t get any better for a semisweet mock whipcream taste. If you chill leftovers bring to room temp. and rebeat and it also freezes well.Enjoy.
Is it okay to use non-dairy milk?
Can this frosting be made 3 days ahead of time and kept in the fridge? What about your tye dye cupcakes? Could I bake them one day and serve 3 days later? Would they still be moist if kept in an airtight container?
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i just made the frosting, but there are lumps of flour & milk mixture. only really small ones but enough to taste. did anyone else have that problem…?
I had the same problem! I’ve made this a few times and I still can’t get out the milk/flour lumps no matter how long i beat it.
You absolutely must get all the lumps out while it is heating. Flour will not dissolve in room temp or cold liquid. Whisk it before and keep whisking it while it is heating, do not stop. This is the trick to any flour mix, icing or gravy.
If this is a real problem, you can try using 1/2 as much cornstarch (no flour) and do not heat it at all. Cornstarch only dissolves in cold liquid, heating it before it dissolves makes dumplings. Some people can taste the difference between the two though.
I know this frosting!!! I came across it a few months ago and have only used it since. ok that’s a lie because nothing can replace cream cheese frosting, let’s be real here. This really is the Perfect Frosting.
Do you use whole milk? Or can I use a reduced milk — either 1% or 2%. Every one of your recipes look awesome! Can’t wait to try them. Thanks.
I used water and it still came out really good
Do you think this icing would be used well for Whoopie pies???
They are GREAT with Whoopie Pies!!!!!
I added some peppermint extract and they are the most beautiful dessert EVER!!!
My search for the perfect frosting is OVER!!
Can you turn this into chocolate frosting by just adding cocoa powder, or do you need to increase the sugar?
I think you can just add cocoa powder, but yes, I would increase the sugar by about 1/2 cup. You might need to add more liquid to thin it a bit as well. Let me know how it goes if you try it!
I find that using cocoa powder makes frosting really grainy, and dry-ish. Try melting chocolate instead. I generally use semisweet chocolate chips. If you add that, then you don’t need to worry about extra sugar or liquid. I haven’t tried it with this recipe yet, but it works better from the frosting I have experienced. Just a suggestion…
I made this because it reminded me if a similar recipe ( which i can not find at the moment!) involving cooking flour/milk mixture before adding the butter/sugar. I added in a melted brick of white baking chocholate at the last step. It made a velvety white chocholate frosting that I piped onto dark choch cupcakes :)
Just put this on sugar cookies. .I don’t love frosting but this was awesome. Can’t wait to try substituting cream cheese, and other variations. Thanks for sharing
I have made this frosting for many years. It is a family favorite.
I tried this recipe and I suppose it turned out well. Maybe I am just not a huge fan of how overwhelmingly buttery the flavor is. I think next time I would use less butter for sure.
I am making a wedding cake and the grooms cake. Does this icing work well on wedding cakes? does it hold up well in room temperatures or does it have to be refrigerated? Can it be used to make decorations.?
Thanks for writing. I would not recommend this frosting for a wedding cake- go with a more traditional buttercream as it will hold up better. This, I fear, will wilt and be much too soft, too fluffy for that kind of decorating.
I use this frosting all the time. I used it on my sons wedding cake and it worked great, Instead of regular sugar I used powder sugar. It tasted the same, but held up great. But, I do use it more
with the rest of my baking because it’s not to sweet
This is the best frosting — so whip creamish, I love it! — if you want to “color it” (for birthdays etc) add to the milk mixture at the same time as the vanilla — I am going to try next time with a bit more vanilla.
P.S. I think it really is enough for 24 cupcakes!
I have been searching for a frosting to use on my daughter’s birthday cake. On most cakes I prefer just slightly sweetened whipped cream, but the since the cake will need to be frosted ahead of time and travel I need to find something studier. I like this recipe, but also found it a bit gritty and even though I cut the sugar (1 cup instead of 1 1/4) it was still WAY too sweet for my tatse. Next time I will reduce it to just 1/2 cup to start. I also like the suggestion of substituting half the butter with mascarpone….my husband is going to have me committed if I make one more practice frosting!!!
Has anyone tried it with powdered sugar? That would help with the gritty sugar element.
On another note, I did a little experiment and left half the frosting sitting in a bowl on my counter and half in a tupperware container in the fridge. I am trying to see how far ahead of the party I can make it, and how well it will hold up at an outdoor party (in Florida). So far the counter top bowl looks good, no separation and its been there over 4 hours. (Windows open and almost 80 degrees today.) It is still soft but thick enough that if I turn the bowl completely upside down it stays put. The fridgerated version has gotten firm. Tomorrow I’ll take it out and let it soften, maybe re-whip it if neccesary. I want to make as much of the party food as possible the day before:)
This is the best homemade frosting ever! Even the pickiest person I know loves it!!
I just made this frosting for a carrot cake. I added mascarpone to the mixture, it tastes very much like a delicious whipped cream!!!
I want to make these for cupcakes that I need for tomorrow. Is it okay if I frost them tonight and serve them tomorrow? Will the frosting hold up?
Yes, should be fine to frost them tonight and then leave them. I would suggest refrigerating tonight and then letting them come to room temperature before serving- perhaps 2 hours before they’ll be eaten, take them out of the fridge. The sugar will act as a preservative.
I was searching for a not too sweet frosting and filling and came across yours. Absolutely the best. I made it for the first time last Saturday December 29 and left it out. Today, January 5, there is still a small slice sitting on the counter. Not once did I refrigerate and it got firmer everyday. Maybe, it is the season, but it get better every day. Made another batch today for a lemon cake. I added 1 oz crisco to mixture and was able to pipe beautifully. Will definitely use for wedding cake. Thank you so much.
HI Claudette ~ or anyone who reads this ~ I am looking to make this ahead of time and possibly pipe a couple days later. We will be traveling.. and I’d like to know how well this will pipe again without another whipping… Do y’all think this will hold up well in a ziploc then piped out of a piping bag in two days without being able to mix it again?
Please give me your thoughts… making it on Monday (today is Friday.)
I have used this frosting & yes it is great! Now I need to decorate cupcakes for Easter. Will this frosting work like to make flowers?
Hey Janie! Unfortunately, no, the frosting is too light and airy to use for flower piping. I’d recommend a stiff buttercream for that. Hope it turns out great :)
THANK YOU for this recipe!!! I’m making surprise cupcakes for dessert after dinner for my boyfriend.. I found this really good double vanilla cupcake recipe that I am going to fill with frozen raspberries and chocolate ganache and I know that it will be too rich to have any other frosting!
I’ve been watching food network all day and cupcakes are calling.. it has been a long time since I’ve baked and I love to make goodies, they just never get all eaten up so I don’t do it often.. But tonight they will!! Thank you again!
I made this frosting yesterday! Not only is it delicious, but it is easy and my coworkers loved it! Thanks for sharing!
Mine turned out crunchy from the sugar. Can anyone tell me how to fix this? (I Am NOT a baker…LoL) My sons party is tomorrow and really want to make this good! Please help!
hands down, the best frosting ever.
My mom has a recipe very similar to this that she uses for her red velvet cake, and it is one of my favourite frostings ever!
I totally agree that buttercream can be a bit overpowering and very unappetizing when you feel like you’re eating a sweetened stick of butter. Yesterday, I made a vanilla Swiss meringue buttercream and I just cannot enjoy the cake because of the frosting. I feel like I am eating greasy butter, and it’s pretty gross. Next time I make a cake I will go to this recipe.
Also, I would imagine you could add the sugar to the warmed milk and flour mixture to fully dissolve it and prevent the final product from being slightly grainy.
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Wow! I was looking for an icing recipe for cupcakes and boy did I find a great one! Love this so much, I can see what you mean about having it for the main course :) Thank you !
Is the butter in this recipe salted or unsalted?
I’ve made this a few times and I’ve always let the roux cool before i add it to my creamed butter/sugar in teh stand mixer. BUt somehow I always end up with a lumpy frosting ( I can see small balls/clumps of milk/flour mixture when i spread. The sugar is totally dissolved but the texture of the frosting looks grainy/rough. Help?
Same thing happened to me. It tasted great, just had lumps. I ended up having to strain my frosting. Did you find a way to fix this?
because flour will only dissolve in warmed water, and it realy really wants to make dumplings when it does, you have to whisk it the entire time it is heating, and don’t leave any lumps in the pan, they won’t dissolve later. I find if I sprinkle the flour in the warming milk and whisk while I’m doing it (not stopping) I get a smooth texture. if I dump and wait I get lumps.
hello,i’m glad i came across your site!
does anyone know if i can add raspberry jam to this frosting to make it a raspberry whipped frosting?
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Would this recipe work well on piping a character cake with the small stars?
I was able to do it successfully!
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I am having a crazy time trying to find a whipped frosting recipe that is firm enough to pipe onto a cake for decorating. This one sounds promising but I only have soy milk on hand. Does anyone know if a non-dairy milk would work the same? I try to avoid animal products as much as possible. Thanks for any info!!
I’d imagine soy milk would work fine, but I’m curious if you also sub all of the butter in place of something else as well? I’d probably try the soy milk with coconut oil as a vegan option, although I don’t think it would hold up well to piping. Do let me know what you’ve tried and what’s worked!
I have use both white and butter flavored Crisco in this recipe, many many times, and it always comes out perfect. I also use skim milk, it all works, but the best thing for making this easy, is a Kitchenaid or Cuisinart mixer, using the whip. Grammy used to whisk it by hand!!!!
I add some cream cheese to it and put it in my pumpkin rolls. Last week I added 1 tsp white vanilla and 1 tsp almond…….to die for!!!!!
Soy milk works just fine! I have used vegan margarine as a butter substitute but have run into problems when coloring it as they usually use yellow dye in margarine. So, my blue turned green! I found if dyeing I just use vegetable shortening instead. Works well!
Anyone have experience/suggestions for using coconut milk instead of regular milk? Or would that end in disaster?
Margarines, unlike real butter, has a lot of water content. I never even buy margarine!
I make this frosting using the following:
2 tablespoons cornstarch or 4 tablespoons flour
1 cup whole milk
1 cup butter
1 cup sugar
1 teaspoon pure vanilla
Mix cornstarch (or flour) with milk. Cook until thick, whisking the entire time. Set aside to cool. Cream butter and sugar until fluffy. Add vanilla and cooked cornstarch mixture slowly. Beat until it feels like whipped cream.
Actually I use cornstarch. Those who find it grainy are not beating the butter and sugar together long enough. It takes a long time for the granulated sugar to fully dissolve into the butter. Check it – if it still feels grainy, keep beating. Once it is fluffy, then you add the cornstarch (or flour) mixture slowly and beat until it looks like whipped cream.
I have no problem piping this frosting but I wouldn’t rely on it to make flowers etc. It does need refrigeration but you can bring to room temp prior to serving. It is my favorite frosting for any rich or delicate cake. I had a cake decorating business and cannot stand typical American buttercream frosting – too sickeningly sweet and not a good mouth feel. Anyway, this frosting is a hit with those who like a less sweet but fluffy and I prefer it to cream cheese on a red velvet cake.
I agree 100% on the Red Velvet cake comment. When we first started making it in the 1970’s (it was called the Waldorf Astoria Red Cake and had an urban myth attached to it) it had this fluffy frosting on it that we all loved. Somewhere along the line someone determined it was easier to use the cream cheese frosting. I prefer this one.
I find the graininess goes away if you leave it sit. And I tend to find it is grainier the colder my butter is.
I knew I should have looked over your site a little longer. Made your Perfect White cupcakes last night and frosted with a disappointing powdered sugar frosting. I’m almost tempted to scrape off the frosting and refrost with this recipe – next time for sure!
Made this frosting for some lavender honey cupcakes I made today and it was absolutely AMAZING! When I was walking through the ingredients and process, I thought, ” no way this could taste good” but oh my goodness! I will continue to use this recipe only!
I just made a small test batch and the taste is wonderful and light. I do get a bit of flour taste in the back of my throat, but I don’t think it’s something that will be noticeable once put on cake.
I tried making it using heavy whipping cream instead of milk, adding the stabilizer “whip-it,” as I’m looking for something that can hold up piping work in the florida heat and humidity without being crazy sweet. Thus far, this is the closest I have found to meeting both requirements. Whether using the whip cream and stabilizer really makes a difference, or if I’m wasting energy I can’t be sure.
I’ve done some sculptured piping work on a plate and have left it on my counter for the last hour, my kitchen probably averages 75 degrees, and while I do see a bit of separation at the base of the pipework, it is still holding up better than other versions – sticking to the plate and not gooping up or sliding off. I bet simply substituting some of the butter for crisco will solve that problem.
*Update. I just checked the pipework again, and it now seems to have set back up and is in fact more dense/firm than when I first piped it. What was once separating at the base is no longer apparent, and I can pinch the work between my fingers slightly and feel a more firm center than what was initially made. I’m thinking the stabilizer I added must have kicked into gear? Whatever it is, it’s working beautifully!
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Hello~! I was deciding to make a cake, but first wanted to find a great frosting. I saw this site on Google because it used the ingredients I had on-hand. I wanted to know if you could substitute the butter for margarine. :)
Thank you very much,
Thank you for this wonderful recipe! It’s now my icing of choice for just about anything. I paired it with the 100 calorie chocolate cupcakes. Yum!!! It piped on easily and freezes well.
My WHOLE family LOVED this and it’s so easy and I have to admit I was surprised, never tried anything like it before. I actually use butter instead of margarine because butter stands up better than margarine (because of the water content in margarine)
Tonight I am making a wacky cake (chocolate, made from scratch cake that gets more moist each day instead of drier) and adding some cocoa and instand coffee granules for a light mocha frosting.
Where did you find a recipe for a cake that does that?? I’d love to try it!
I find that’s true of my spice cake and carrot cake. I never eat either one the same day I made it.
My sister made this frosting with her cake this weekend and it was AMAZING! My brother and I were fighting over who was going to clean the bowl LOL! I have marked this recipe down because it tastes REALLY creamy and milky and just enough sweet but not overpowering, it’s really a beautiful balance. Thank you so much for this recipe! I feel good making this for my kids too. ^_^
Hi, I love the taste of this icing but i had a slight problem…the flour/milk mixture just would not blend very well when added to the rest of the mixture. I saw that others had this same problem but I didn’t see an answer to the problem. Any suggestions? I need to perfect this ASAP!!! Thank you! :)
Flour does not dissolve well in cold liquid, it will clump. Wait to add the flour until you have the milk warmed up, then sprinkle the flour in while whisking the entire time. Don’t leave any lumps because they won’t dissolve later. If this seems time consuming, and it is, use 1/2 the amount of cornstarch and don’t heat it at all. Cornstarch has the opposite property of flour, it only dissolves well in cold liquid. So start with cold milk and shake well in a container. Some people can taste the difference between the two. I can’t but my dad can.
Btw once it is dissolved it can be heated or cooled with no issue. This is the secret to gravy too btw. :)
This is the best buttercream frosting I have ever made! So light, not too sweet, and super fluffy. The perfect add on to a rich chocholate cake. Thank you for this recipe! Looking forward to sharing with friends and family.
I tried something a little different and it was great: After I whisked the milk (I did 1/2 cup half and half + 1/2 cup nonfat milk), vanilla and flour, I refrigerated it in a seperate bowl. Then I mixed the butter and sugar very well. I added the cooled milk/flour mixture right after. I mixed it on high for another 3 minutes. It was very light and fluffy and very mixed well.
Speechless! I never bake my whole life, but I couldn’t resist the aqua blue kitchenaid mixer because it matches my nail polish (just kidding!) … anyway, I’m almost 40 years old and tonight is the first time ever making frosting (I want to make sure I don’t fail the icing before I attempt to make the cake) and voila! Now I’m in heaven!
It took me much more than 3 minutes to beat sugar and butter (maybe 6-7min? I don’t know I just kept on trying every minute (after 3 the first initial 3 min) or so, when it still feels grainy I keep on beating), I almost gave up because while my new mixer was beating the batter I started to read comments and realized that many people got problem with it. Thankfully mine turned out perfect! Is it just beginner’s luck? Not sure but I’m too happy to care!
Thank you! *bow*
PS. I accidentally reduced the sugar to one cup, maybe it’s just a typo but for me it’s sweet enough. Just perfect. For the next times I will only use one cup of sugar :)
My mother made this frosting when I was a little girl. She got the recipe from my grandmother (Dad’s mom). So they were making this in the 50’s and 60’s. Mom always used it for her annual Bunny Cake, covered with coconut. It is wonderful. But, do not overbeat – it will curdle!
This is what buttercream should be. I am done with the graininess of powdered sugar.
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I absolutely love this frosting. I have to admit, I was not a big whipped frosting fan before I tried this, but you have converted me.
I used this recipe on funfetti cupcakes and they were a hit. I posted rave reviews on my blog http://sugareuphoria.com/2012/09/14/whipped-frosting-that-is-absolutely-euphoric/
Thank you for sharing!
This may be the only time I have commented on a recipe. Tonight I wasted a lot of butter and sugar playing with various recipes and then I tried this one. It’s perfect. Just perfect. My 15 year old was the test and it got the thumbs up for his birthday cake. I really wanted to try to avoid the frosting in a can this year ! I am so glad you posted this! Thanks so much :)
This is a delicious and light recipe. Just tried it and the taste is heavenly. Thank you so much!
When i made this, i accidentally melted the butter, it didn’t matter in any other frostings i’ve made, so i used it. That ruined the entire batch and i just wasted about $5 worth of ingredients. You really should have mentioned that is vital not to melt the butter.
It is rude to complain about wasted money and ingredients and tell somebody to change their directions because you made the mistake and didn’t follow them. Maybe next time you should read more carefully and take your time.
Can I used whip cream instead of milk?
I used half and half and it turned out just as creamy and fluffy. I’m sure I increased my body proportion since last Saturday. Love it.
can i make it the night before?
I think this is best made fresh on the day you’ll eat it.
Can this be made early the day to be used and stored in the fridge until ready to use?
Thx so much, really looking forward to making this. What about a chocolate version? Just add some cocoa powder? What adjustments would I have to make? Also what about fruit flavored versions like lemon, coconut, orange, etc? Thx again.
Thanks for this frosting, used to make a coffee crisp cake, just crumbled some bars into it! Tasted great and is really nice to spread onto cake!
I like the fluffiness but can taste the grittiness. I just finished whipping it so maybe once it use it and the cupcakes sit, the grittiness will disovle?
I have to whip mine on high with my stand mixer for about 15 minutes before the grittiness begins to dissolve.
perfect frosting! not just a few people asked “how-did-you-make-this?”, but lots . . . a hit . . . thank you!
Will it hold up for a few days? Or will it get runny “deflate” etc…
Making birthday cupcakes and need to do it before hand. Also if we don’t eat them all that day. Will it still be yummy the next day?
Jen, Yes the frosting will hold up, but do refrigerate them. They will still be yummy the next day.
How should I store the frosting? i.e. if I made it today and want to frost a cake with it tomorrow….
If one does not like the taste of butter, one can use Crisco. We used Crisco when I was growing up. It is also whiter in color with Crisco.
I like the idea of using corn starch because it can be gulten free…
I’m going to use this to fill whoopie pies and surprise my Yankee husband on his birthday
Can i and fresh rasberrys to this if i blended them???? To make a rasberry flavored frosting
You’re likely to wind up with a soup. If you do attempt it you’re going to have to compensate the liquid to solid ratio by adding more sugar or flour or whatever. Personally I’d recommend instead using a flavoring or extract of raspberry in place of vanilla extract.
I love this frosting! It’s so light and the perfect amount of sweet. I’m making it my go to frosting. Thank you for sharing!
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I just made this with 1.5 tsp peppermint extract and green food coloring instead of vanilla extract and it is yumm-o!
I put it on brownies, and in an ideal world it will harden and set in the fridge over the next 2 hours so I can then put a layer of chocolate on top. We’ll see!
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HEEEELLOOOOOO!!!!!! DO NOT USE GRANULATED SUGAR!!!! USE POWDERED SUGAR!!!!!!! I JUST MADE IT 2 TIMES BECAUSE WHOEVER WROTE THIS RECIPE MADE A MISTAKE BY SAYING GRANULATED SUGAR!!!!! MAKE IT WITH POWDERED AND YOU WILL SEE – IT REALLY IS AMAZING!!!!!
It was not a mistake…it is supposed to be made with granulated sugar not powdered sugar. I’ve had this frosting my whole life and it is delicious. Read the recipe before beginning so you understand the proper way to make it and you will love it!
This looks delicious! but… what if i want to make a cream cheese frosting instead?
thank you for this wonderful recipe.
for christmas, i’d like to frost a chocolate cake with this.
But i’m wondering..
What is the texture like? it looks really fluffy, but i want to make the cake in advance (like, 2 days. is it going to stay stiff?
how long will this frosting last with the cake in the fridge?
It’s winter here in germany, so room temperature will be normal.
I’ll be very thankful for any help! :)
I used heavy cream instead of milk. I sifted the 5tbs. of flour before adding it to the heavy cream.
I used powdered sugar instead of granulated sugar and then added 4tbs of raspberry jam to the overall frosting. It’s AWESOME! best frosting I’ve ever made.
How much powdered sugar did you use?
Thank you SO much for sharing this recipe! Am really glad I came across this online the other day, as I looked for a new frosting recipe to try. Made it with gluten free flour for my Godson’s Gluten free cupcakes! Turned out beautifully!! Really love how it turned out, rating on top of my favorite frostings
I just made this icing but mine was completely runny. I used and hand held electric whisk, although it tastes delicious I need help with how to make it look whipped it currently looks like cake batter. HELP!!!!!
Does this frosting need to be refrigerated? I am looking for a not to sweet frosting to use to make cake pops. Normally I use cream cheese frosting but would like one that doesn’t require refrigeration of the items after used.
I live in Massachusetts and have left the finished product out of refrigeration for one whole week and believe me, it just got firmer. I even piped with it. Just try it. I am surely camping here. Don’t know what I will do with my stash of icing sugar (just kidding).
I have never been so in love with a frosting in my life!!! I was not intimidated by this recipe at all!! It came out beautifully, and the taste? BEST FROSTING I HAVE EVER HAD THE PRIVILEGE TO TASTE!
I used confectioners sugar instead and it was great!
is it possible to make this without a mixer? can i just mix/whip it manually?
Unfortunately, no, it’s not a good idea to try this without using a mixer of some sort. You don’t need a stand mixer, but you’ll need some electric hand beaters for the proper blending/whipping. Sorry for the bad news :/
I just wanted to say I tried this without an electric mixer simply because I don’t have one, and it turned out fine. It will require extra baking power to whisk everything together, but it IS possible.
However, I definitely plan to cut down on the butter and/or sugar next time–as light and fluffy as the frosting is, I personally found it slightly still too buttery and sweet.
I have tried recipes like this before and love the frosting. However, I sometimes end up with small lumps in the roux even though I constantly stir the mixture. What could I be doing wrong? Thank you for your help.
Could you be adding the flour while the liquid is still cool? I don’t add the flour until the liquid is warm, of course whisking the entire time.
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So.. I found you on pinterest and made this a few times and iced an ice cream cake with it. Its perfect — not too sweet.
Then came my son’s birthday party a few weeks ago.
I just wanted to let you know that I am upset because I bookmarked this recipe on my computer and your blog was down that day and so I had to search up another whipped frosting recipe and it SUCKED.
lol — where were you when I needed you??!!
Anyway… one thing I like to do with this recipe is add a few drops of Lorrans Flavored Oils… Raspberry… watermelon.. whatever you like really. It makes it flavored.
Aaahh, sorry to have failed you on the day you needed the recipe! And sad to hear the other recipe turned out poorly. I do like the idea of the flavored oils though. I’ll have to give those a try next time!
Does this frosting need to be refrigerated? I’m making it for my nieces birthday this week and was planning to leave it out so the icing doesn’t firm up. Is that ok? And do leftovers need to be stored in the fridge? I’m concerned about the milk.
This frosting will be fine if left out at room temperature for a few hours (I’d say up to 4), but yes, it should be refrigerated if you’re making it ahead of time or if you have any leftovers.
Thanks so much! And your recipe is amazing!!
I use this frosting all the time. It’s my fav
I have had this recipe for years and my favorite cake with this frosting is angel food. (from scratch) In fact, this has been my birthday cake choice for 45 years! : )
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oh yeah, oh yeah, oh yeah! Your frosting looked the best and tastes fluffy and divine. it’s just as ‘Goldilocks” would of liked it. Thank you xx
Fun fact: If you use oil (I used sunflower, anything neutral should do) instead of butter in this recipe, you end up with the densest, yummiest pudding. Bonus: Use cacao, or replace part of the sugar with a hot cocoa mix :D
hi, I was just wondering how do you make the icing chocolate flavoured?
Just made this frosting amazing, light and fluffy just as you said.I made cupcakes for my grandsons Christening and added blue foo dcolouring to make a Baby Blue Frosting. Very pleased with myself. Just as you said not to sweet perfect and light as a feather. Thank you
does it have to be unsalted butter?
LOVE this icing <3 Like so many others I have been making this for EONS. I switched up a few things and it still turned out fantastic (I substituted SoDelicious Unsweetened coconut milk for the dairy and used equal amounts of coconut oil and butter instead of all butter, and powdered sugar instead of regular sugar.)
Wow it looks yummy!.. I was looking for a good frosting recipe since i m planning to make a three tiered cake for my parents anniversary..any ideas would be most welcome!..just a question…will this frosting hold for long if not refrigerated immediately?
My frosting just looks like a yellow mess/ slop. It’s not white nor fluffy.
I’m looking to make a vibrant coloured icing for my son’s first birthday this weekend. If I add some food colouring paste to this, can you see it causing any problems?
I think that should be fine! Whip it in the last step.
This is the only icing recipe my mother ever made in my lifetime. She liked it because it was not sickeningly sweet. The only difference was she only used 1 cup of sugar, not the 1 1/4 listed here. When money was tight, she used to make this with Crisco, then half crisco and half butter and eventually she was able to afford to make it with all butter. This was always a family favorite.
As far as shelf life, I am sure the health department would say it needs to be refrigerated because it is made with milk. However, my mother believed if the milk was boiled it was safe. We had cakes with this icing sitting on the counter for a week at a time. We all lived to tell about it. :-)
i have made this twice today and it seems too soft…cant understand why
does it work better with full fat butter
Does it matter what type of milk is used for this? Is 2% milk okay?
Yes, 1%, 2%, or whole milk are all perfectly fine. The only type I would steer clear of would be nonfat.
i was wondering can you use this with fondant. will the fondant stick to it??
Hi I just want to ask if this frosting can stand in hot climate? like here in the philippines?
Everytime I make frostings it turns outto be runny, loose and melting… please help me with this..
Or can you share a recipe with me that can stand in hot climate?
Let it be known that I have never made frosting before. Tonight I gave this recipe a go, and it came out looking like mashed potatoes. Delicious, vanilla flavoured mashing potatoes. I noticed a few other people had lumpy frosting as well, and assume it’s a result of poor mixing technique, (I’m also pretty sure I didn’t bring the butter to room temp, as some have recommended). Luckily, I’m stubborn as hell and figured out how to transform my lump-mess into smooth, delicious frosting. It can be done!
1. Whip your lump mess forever, whilst frowning. Worry that your neighbours can hear you using an electric beater at 11:30pm
2. Bust out a strainer, and strain your lump mess into a bowl. I pushed it through twice with a spatula. It was strangely satisfying.
3. Your frosting will still be a bit lumpy. Fear not! Whip the lump mess with an electric beater for six minutes, (if not a bit more). Marvel at the transformation.
The frosting was saved! It also stiffens up a bit in the fridge. Next time I’ll follow the instructions more carefully. I hope this helps anyone who ends up with a lump mess!
This frosting has a great texture. But absolutely ZERO taste. I substituted the granulated sugar for confectioner’s sugar (was aiming for better piping consistency) and used half shortening and half butter. Has anyone else done this and had no taste? I just didn’t want a strong butter taste. Will changing it back to granulated sugar really have THAT much impact? Thanks! :-)
Amy, cup for cup, granulated sugar is sweeter than confectioner’s sugar. Also, all butter is tastier than half butter/half shortening. I also put a bit of salt in there at the beginning of beating to bring out the flavor, especially if I use unsalted butter. My problem is, I get these tiny lumps of the flour mixture here and there in the frosting.
I quite often use half Crosco and half butter and it’s delicious with peanut butter added.
It turned out to be beautiful and as good as most people said. Thank you for the pictures and descriptions because my times were different from yours but I went for consistency rather than time and it was perfect!
We’ve had this recipe in our family for years and it’s always a hit. I’ve decorated so many birthday cakes using this perfect frosting.
Hi. Do you think adding a little heavy whipping cream to it would make it fluffier?
Can you double or triple this recipe with the same result? Have a wedding cake coming up and the bride is not a fan of butter slick taste on the tongue frostings!
I’ve doubled it without a problem, so I don’t see why you couldn’t triple it! Try it and let me know!
Just curious since I have substituted milk with coffee flavored creamer before how that may work….giving a wide range of flavors?? I tried this past week but did have some separation issues – so going to try again and may play with the creamer instead of milk and see what happens:)
Cannot get the grittiness to go away! Ugh. It sounded like a good recipe, but the sugar never truly blends. Off to the store to try something else!
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Hi, Would you be able to post or blog the brownie cake recipe you mention in this article?
I wish I could, but the recipe for Sour Cream Fudge Cake is going in my book so I can’t share it beforehand. I’m sorry :(
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My mother made this frosting for years for her Waldorf Astoria Cake, which is like Red Velvet. It is by far the best icing there is, so much better than the sugary, too sweet stuff. This is all we use for cupcakes, it also makes a great cupcake filling. Good post, glad to see others use this recipe also.
My mother in law has been making this for years. She uses half shortening and half butter and a little less sugar. I find the key to making sure your frosting is not grainy is to beat it longer. Beat it to death! Until it looks like it has almost doubled in size before you add the cooled mixture. Then beat it some more. Just when you think you’ve beaten it enough. Beat it some more. Fluff it up! Excellent on coconut cake!
oh my…this frosting looks superb. I’m making this for my next cake :)
I made this frosting today and it turned out wonderful! In order for my grittiness to resolve, I had to continue whipping the frosting at high speed. Periodically I would check it, continue to whip until I reached that dreamy silky consistency that all sins should be made of. Ahem —- so, following another reviewers suggestion, I melted some semi-sweet choc chips and added it the frosting and blended it until combined. Beautiful! I simply piped it onto my cupcakes and voila! Whatever frosting that was left over, is now securely resting in my stomach. Thank you for the wonderful recipe!
Hi! I just made this frosting today and the texture was great, but there was something a little strange about the flavor. My mom thinks it was too much vanilla, but I feel like the butter was giving it an off taste. Is imperial stick butter a good butter to use for frosting or should I try a different one? The taste pretty much went away when paired with chocolate cupcakes, but I’m not sure if it would with the white cake cupcakes.
Hmm…I’ve never experienced any “off” flavor in this frosting–in fact, I find the flavor of this particular one to be really mild in comparison to most others. However, I could see how there might be a buttery quality to the taste given the amount used, especially if the butter you’re using isn’t the best quality. That said, I’ve never used Imperial brand so I don’t have any point of reference to judge it. Typically, I’ll use Land o’ Lakes or Kate’s brand. Another question: do you think that the milk you used could have been sour at all? Just checking.
If not, perhaps next time you make it (if you choose to), try cutting down the vanilla to 1 teaspoon and using a different brand of butter. Hope this helps and I’m sorry to hear that the flavor wasn’t a true hit!
Thanks for trying it!
Imperial is simply disgusting. It ruins everything, even macaroni and cheese. It’s definitely the Imperial that you are tasting. It’s not real butter.
I agree, Imperial is the cheapest quality of butters.
I am making this for a get together tonight and I have two questions for you!
First, Do I need to make this right before I am planning to serve it or can it store for a bit?
Second, Can it be left out for a bit? Say two or three hours if needed? (I know there is milk in it)?
1. You can make it slightly ahead of time (I’d say no more than 2 to 3 hours).
2. Yes, this frosting is fine if left out for a while at a party. 2 to 3 hours shouldn’t be a problem!
Hope it’s loved by all!
I just made this and can answer your questions, so, I will! :) You can make it ahead of time, but it looks a lot better if you frost the cake/cupcakes immediately after you make the frosting. Then you can refrigerate the frosted cake/cupcakes. I know this because I made the frosting Wednesday, then put it in the fridge and took it out Thursday night to frost the cake – I had to let it sit out for a bit to loosen up, then I had to re-whip it and I have to say it looked fine, but it had looked a lot better when I first made it and I wished I’d frosted the cake right away! As to sitting out, I put the frosting on a cake, and within an hour of the cake being out of the fridge, the frosting began to melt and slide down the cake. :( The frosting is really delicious, but I’d say keep the frosted cake in the fridge until the *last possible moment*. I think if you were doing cupcakes or something where gravity was not involved, you’d be fine with this frosting. One other note, it was sweeter than I expected, probably a little too sweet for my taste but everyone LOVED it. :) I’ll definitely use it for cupcakes!
Thank you both for your help!
Everyone at my husbands work is very excited!
Reading what Andie just wrote, I am wondering if you frost the cake immediately and serve, you may get more time before it starts to slide? I think my make-ahead plan might not have worked so well with this frosting… maybe I’ll experiment with just making it and frosting it right away and see how long I get! :)
Hey! I’m excited to try this for my daughter’s birthday. Is it okay to use whole wheat flour? Please let me know what you think!! Thank you!
Hmm… I haven’t tried it with whole wheat flour but I wouldn’t recommend it. Unfortunately, I think the texture and flavor would be negatively affected by the heaviness and natural nuttiness of the whole grain. All-purpose flour is lighter and will yield a softer, more mild finished product.
Hope this helps! Good luck!
Yes, thank you! (I don’t care what kind of flour – just as it’s organic!) Thank you for the quick response!
So, I did not do a trial run, I just went for it and made this for my daughter’s birthday cake. It was SOOO PERFECT!! This was my 2nd ever frosting also, I am not a baker. I was afraid that it would be grainy, so I put the (organic cane sugar) in the magic bullet and gave it a buzz. It was grainy when I mixed it with the butter, but when I added the cooled flour mixture, it was smooth and delish! I whipped it for about 3 min without checking it – it was already fluffy and just perfect. I piped it on the cake, no melting, no slipping. It held up so great. I was so nervous it wouldn’t come out (20 minutes before the party as I’m making this…not advised!) I was so pleased with it!! Thank you, thank you!! **side note: I used organic everything. When I mixed the flour mixture with the butter mixture I added about a tablespoon of beet powder for natural “pink” frosting. Success!!
I did not have good results. The frosting didn’t really whip, and I didn’t like the taste either. It sounded awesome, but a no go for me.
Hi Andie! :)
Just wanted to let you know that this is a delicious recipe! I have made it for years and years, before me my mom made it for years and years, we both still make it. Before us, my grandmother and great-grandmother both made it. We all use it to frost Red Velvet Cake, my mom and I also use it between homemade oatmeal cookies as a filling. They are awesome! The recipe we have always used calls for 1/2 C Crisco and 1/2 C softened butter and 1 C sugar. If you blend the Crisco, softened butter and sugar well, the sugar does dissolve in this mixture. When the sugar has dissolved in the shortening and butter mixture, add the cooled custard mixture to it. Mix well and frost your goodies. Turns out light, fluffy and perfect every time!
Forgot to say, add 1 t of vanilla to the sugar mixture when sugar is dissolved and mix well then add cooled custard mixture and beat well. Also if you will use a whisk to mix the flour, pinch of salt and milk custard,until it is done, you won’t have near as many lumps.
I have 100 cupcakes to do this week for a very special event. I have a whipped buttercream recipe i normally use but its just not stable enough for what I’m doing….my questions are:
1. Does it pipe well? Meaning, holds its shape if piped with a 1M sized tip?
2. Any concerns with melting?
3. Can I decorate my cupcakes and leave out overnight?? Does it need refrigeration?
Hey! I just made this frosting this weekend – it was great! I researched it a bunch, and saw that someone else piped it…and YES! It worked for me. It did not melt after basically being out all day. It held up and looked great BUT it did seem to sort of dry out. It got weird. Best to use right away then refrigerate. Just my opinion. Super yummy though. Very light.
I have a question, I made this as a trial run before my daughters birthday. The first time I made it, it was about the consistency of thick pancake mix, I tried mixing it longer to see if it would thicken up, but it didn’t. I now have it sitting in the freezer hoping it will thicken up in there. I made it a second time just to see if I maybe missed a step, but the same thing happened except it was even more runny. What can I do to fix it?
I think the people here would need more information about what exactly you did before they could help. Was the butter room temp but not melted? did you let the milk completely cool before adding it (most common cause of runny icing). Did you use a whipping tool, or a mixing tool? Whippers add lots of air, mixers just mix though they do add a little air. Cooling the mix just rehardens the butter. You can try whipping the cooled mix after cooling. good luck!
Made this frosting on easter for cupcakes. SOOO DELICIOUS!! Everyone liked the cupcakes but raved about the frosting
I am wondering if this frosting works well for piping stars and such on decorated cakes? and how it does with coloring?
for me, it was great with both!
does it hold long even in unairconditioned area’s?
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I love this recipe and it taste good but my flour and milk mixture is always lumpy! I have to sift it all the time. Am I doing something wrong. What should I do to make it less lumpy with clumps of flour?
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This looks really good! Just had some gross frosting today…..yet i ate it all. Bleck!
after frosting the cake, would you recommend me storing the cake in the fridge?
Merissa, I found that the consistency of the roux must be the same as the butter/sugar mixture. When the roux is thicker than the butter/sugar the flour forms lumps which has to be sieved. It still tastes delicious anyways.
Yes, you should store it in the fridge afterward.
I was skeptical about putting flour in my frosting but this tasted amazing! I find most buttercreams are overly sweet and rather dense so I was INCREDIBLY happy with the fluffiness of this recipe and it tasted divine. The only issue I had that I noticed some others had as well was that my icing separated a little and looked slightly off. It still tasted fine, but I was wondering if you could tell me my error?
Otherwise an amazing recipe.
There were a lot of comments about not mixing it enough makes it lumpy later.
This frosting was amazing! I definitlywasafraid to use flour but it was perfectly sweet :)
Can I make this ahead of time and freeze it or refrigerate it without it changing the texture or flavor? I am planning on using it for my daughters first birthday cake and don’t want it tobe ruined if I try to get it done beforethe party and wait to ice the cake the night before.
Having read all the comments here I tried this icing this afternoon – FABULOUS!! I was in the ‘sceptical’ camp about flour in icing but it just works. There was a moment where I had added the flour mixture and it wasn’t looking special but I continued whipping and suddenly it went shiny and smooth and was like a SMB but less greasy. Top marks!!!
I love this recipe and I have been using it for at least a year now on my baked goods. However, I would like to use it on my wedding cake for June 29th and I just made a sample of both the frosting and the cake but when I went to pipe the frosting, chunks of the roux get stuck in the tip and ruined the design. Any help on how to make sure the roux chunks go away or are very small?
I’ve been making this recipe for years! A friend shared her mother’s recipe. :) I really don’t like frosting/icing – it’s just too sweet. I am the one who scrapes the frosting off of cake and cupcakes however, not this one!!!! Super easy and super good!!
Can i use this for cup cake or birthday cake?
I have to admit, I was skeptical about this, having tried so many different frosting recipes….but I really do love this one. I felt compelled to write and thank you, as this will now forever be my go-to recipe for buttercream. It takes a little more forethought and planning….and sadly not something you can whip up in a moments notice as the milk has to cool, and the butter has to warm up…but it’s worth the effort IMHO. Thank you for this wonderful recipe!
A couple of questions:
1) Have you ever tried adding more of the milk/flour mixture to the same amount of butter to cut down the sweetness even more? Just wondering if it will hold together.
2) Can this be adapted to make chocolate frosting? Is it as simple as adding cocoa powder?
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Hi, I have used this icing before and I LOVE it! I just smeared in on top of cupcakes last time but im making a monster cake for my sons birthday soon and as after a frosting that would be suitable to pipe like “fur”. Does this recipe pipe easily and also would it hold its “fur” piped shape overnight if I made it the night before? Also maybe a silly question but does it take to food colouring ok? some frostings I find separate a bit when colouring is added. thanks so much
I made the frosting and loved it. Whenever I make a white gravy I always mix the flour/ cornstarch, whatever I am using in the water/milk first. So I decided to try this with the flour and milk. It worked great. I put the milk in a jar added a tablespoon of flour at a time and shook it like crazy until all 5 Tbls. have been added. I cooked it on low as it starts to thicken fast. Was thick like cake batter in about 3 1/2 minutes. No lumps at all. At first I did taste the flour but after a couple of days didn’t taste it at all. I don’t know if this was from not cooking the 7 minutes as it said it would take. I was practicing with this recipe and it kept great in the refrigerator for several days.
Hey there. I don’t make a roux but I do make my butter cream with sugar and butter but the ratios are really good. I think you have to “melt” your sugar per say to really have a great butter cream. I use the one from Thomas Keller at the French Laundry Restaurant. I like to use the professionals different recipes, if I ever use powdered sugar it is no more than 2 cups not a 16 oz box that is just WAY to much. I love your site!!
Andrea it would be nice to be able to print your recipes without the hundred of comments attached…
Just made this recipe printable!
My East Coast Aunt who was fromThe depression times used to make this frosting. When she died the recipe was lost. Well thank you for posting it. It is soo good.
Wow I just tried this recipe last night and i am so going to make this agajn and again! This just taste so so gd! :)
I am not a fan of buttercream or frosting that are way too sweet but this is just nice for me. I addwd 1.5tbsp to half of this recipe for honey lemon cupcakes and I m glad I tried this!
I used this recipe but I substituted heavy cream for the milk to get a actual whipped cream flavor. It was fabulous!! I did get the “grainy sugar” problem, but nothing a little more mixing didn’t fix! :)
I too have been been using half whole milk and half heavy cream together with substituting two tablespoons of cornstarch for the flour to the recipe. Talk about fluffy, this is the best.
Firstly thank you for sharing. This recipe was so good I had to make a comment!!
It was very fluffy, mild in sweetness and creamy. My 6 year old nephew loved it. I loved it. my 50 year old mom loves it and she is really picky with sweetness.
Easy to make make. Great tasting.
*I made a modification by adding half the sugar in with the milk than the other half with the sugar and adding some mint extract along with vanilla. I didn’t have any butter so I used margarine which didn’t ( I feel) alter the taste.
this did not work in the slightest did it all properly and followed the instructions came out as liquidy YUCK.
I tried this recipe at least 3-4 time but my flour still couldn’t dissolve properly. I always end up with clump of flour in my frosting.
What did I do wrongly?
I haven’t made this frosting yet, but wanted to find out the shelf life? I’m looking for a frosting I can make a day or so in advance. Thanks for the help!
anyone know if this can be made sugar free…. like with splenda or stivea or something?
I have made this icing a lot and another thing in place of the milk use juice from frozen strawberries. It’s so good
Just finished making a triple batch. Read thru the directions several times before I started. Followed everything to the “T”. It tastes great, but is runny…like pancake mix. I have read thru all of the comments and there were a few other people that had the same problem, but their questions were never answered, so I’m going to try again and ask…Is there anything I can do to thicken/fluff up the consistency? Again, I promise I followed everything to a “T”. Please help as my daughters birthday cake and cupcakes are sitting waiting to be frosted :(. Please and thank you!!!
Mine was runny too and as a quick fix I put the whole bowl in the freezer for a while, which sort of thickened up the frosting.
Thanks for responding. I actually did put it in the freezer, but still could not work with it. I ended up throwing it out all together and ran to the grocery store again. I realized it didn’t work for me to triple the recipe. I made it one batch at a time. Two batches were enough and it came out perfect! My family loved the cake and had many positive comments regarding the frosting. For future reference, I would definitely not try doubling or tripling it. Worked best for me one batch at a time.
I must not have let it cool completely because it was more glazey and less whipped. A good flavor but hard to appreciate such sweetness when it is a little runny. Will try again.
Good post and so accurate. I frequently like to post a couple remarks each day having a link to my blog. I then keep track of my traffic. Depending on the interest in the site and the post, blog traffic does increase.
Hmm what kind of milk was used for the best results? Thanks!
I recommend whole milk, but I’ve used 1% milk with good results!
I’m having issues. The first 2 times I used the recipe, it worked out well. Fluffy and nice.
the 3rd and 4th time it curdled a bit…. I’m following the instructions…. any idea what’s happening???
Tried it after months of having made a mental note of it – turned out wonderfully well. Thank you for sharing!
I have enjoyed this recipe thanks for sharing. We had a big event on the weekend and I was busy putting cupcakes into the freezer to ice later on the day of the party, I played with the icing ( adding cocoa powder and Cadbury drinking choc) and got good results but didn’t have enough fresh cakes to use it on so I piped icing on frozen cupcakes quickly and then put them back in the freezer. Taken out of the freezer in time to defrost for the party and they were amazing . My niece (a cake decorator) thought the choc icing was mouse and “so good” . I have also had goog results adding a few drops of lemon, lime, or orange essence to the frosting, the orange on choc cupcakes makes nice jaffa cakes.
Can I replace the granulated sugar with honey??
Any problem adding food coloring to this recipe?
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Why shouldn’t we use powdered sugar??? I’m trying to make a batch (I halved the recipe) and I beat the butter and sugar for over 10 minutes and it’s grainy as can be!!! What is the reasoning behind granulated sugar? Can I substitute powdered sugar in the same proportions? Thanks for any help!
I should also add that I’m making this recipe in Italy and I think that the butter here has a lower water content compared to American butter. Maybe there’s not enough water to dissolve the sugar?
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Does this frosting need to be refrigerated if I use it on cupcakes? And is it stable enough that it won’t completely melt off of the cupcake at room temp. Also does it lend itself to be used as a base for different flavored buttercreams?
I just made this frosting, and it is delicious — perfectly smooth, fluffy and not too sweet. Have you ever added chocolate? I’m thinking of adding melted chocolate to the flour/milk mixture, but don’t know if the chocolate would do something weird… or maybe cocoa powder?
I used this recipe to make green tea icing for macaron fillings and all I did was mix in 2 tbsp of matcha powder. Not sure how pure chocolate would work, but I’m assuming cocoa powder will do the same. Just add in 2 tbsp and taste.
Getting ready to try this recipe this weekend on my son’s birthday cake. He cannot have regular sugar though. I usually substitute honey, pure maple syrup or Stevia in recipes that require sugar. Any thoughts on what would work best? Thanks!
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I made this and it was very very good. Everyone loved it! I will be making this many more times. Love it!
Can I use this frosting with fondant over it?
I use organic evaporated cane juice which is granulated; however, my frosting still is gritty, even though I beat it for at least 3 minutes. Do you think it’s because of the sugar I used?
You just rocked my world with this…. thank you so much for this recipe xxxx
I made this recipe a month ago for a cake and fell in love. Today while grocery shopping I saw Pumpkin Eggnog and made this recipe again today except I substituted the milk with the Pumpkin Eggnog….absolutely divine!! I put it on vanilla cupcakes.
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Can’t wait to try for my husband’s birthday
My frosting does not have stiff peaks how can i make it alittle stiffer?
Awesome!!! loved it!!
I absolutely love your frosting recipe! I want to make a green tea version of this to go with a matcha green tea cake. Do you have any suggestions on how I would do this? I thought about replacing the milk with green tea instead but am worried the frosting wont come out right?
Can you add matcha powder to your roux? If the heating affected the flavor, maybe mix it in with the butter & sugar? It sounds delicious!
Wow I was searching for this recipe.. Just stumbled upon your site and become a subscriber. Thanks for sharing all these recipes.
Can this frosting be used for stacking cakes – Example a two tear cake with each tear filled once, or is the frosting to soft for stacking and covering with fondant?
Yes, you can use it to frost a layer cake; it’s not too soft. The first time I made it that’s what I did and the results were great!
This is a simple yet yummy recipe. I eliminate the flour and use it as a filling for cupcakes too!
loved loved loved this recipe!! the butter cream is light and fluffy and not gritty at all. so good. and not too much sugar either! amazing. i actually added 1/2 cup of drained cut up strawberries to top a homemade cake with and it was de-li-cious!! highly recommend!! im going to use this recipe for all my cakes now :)
Made this for the first time last night delicious but it was a bit too soft for piping perfect for spreading. Any ideas on where I went wrong
Sounds great! Making it tomorrow. How much cocoa do I add to this recipe to make it delicately chocolatey? Thanks in advance.
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One person commented that she would like to see the amount of butter reduced. I tried this a number of times with half the butter, one stick or a half cup. The frosting still tasted delicious. But no matter how long I beat the butter and sugar, and then the whole thing, the frosting remained somewhat runny and never got stiff. It was OK, but it would run slightly over the edges of the piece of cake when cut, even after days of sitting. Then I tried this with three quarters of the amount of butter, one and half sticks or three quarters of a cup. It worked fine. The frosting got to the proper consistency. Could not tell the difference between it and the full butter recipe. I now do it this way all the time.
P.S. I forgot to say that, since I reduced the amount of butter, I also went with a straight one cup of sugar rather than one and a quarter cups. It would probably work with 1 1/4 cups, but I have not tried it.
This is, hands down, the BEST frosting I have ever had. I followed all the ingredients exactly, the only thing I did differently was blend my sugar in my ninja, which made it a little finer. It did not come out grainy, and tastes amazing on my orange cream poke cake. Thanks!
I had to whip the frosting a little longer to get it to be quite as fluffy as yours, but it DEFINITELY turned out–I’ve never had success with homemade frosting before, so I’m SUPER excited!
Hello, I searched for whipped frosting and came across your recipe. I wanted a light frosting that would hold its shape in room temp for most of a day – this was the one! It worked great (never lost shape even though it was out for an entire afternoon), and while I couldn’t taste it myself due to dietary restrictions, everyone said it was super delicious. I also turned half of it in to chocolate by adding melted unsweetened baker’s chocolate after I’d used the first half – worked like a charm! :)
GREAT Recipe, I’ve bookmarked it for future use!
I’m not a fan of regular buttercream. I was searching the internet to find something else and found this. I just made it and I think I am officially done with buttercream! Does it hold up for wedding cakes in the south? Can I use it for piping?
This icing was the most delicious thing i have ever tasted, i put this on my plain cake and inside it too and it was the best it possibly could of got, the problem is, is that i made so much icing and not enough cake that i have got a tone of icing left over, but that is fine
thank you for this recipe, it was very nice!
can you make this a day before you want to use the whipped cream
It’s a good question! Unfortunately, I’ve never made it the day before I intend to use it. I’m sorry! Maybe someone else here has some insight? Anyone?
In response to Sara’s question: I made it the day before I used it, and it was still perfect.
There certainly is none better and after a short time any initial grittiness from the granulated sugar disappears.
Actually I froze some of the excess from a batch I made and thawed it several months later. It was like day one.
Hi…does this frosting take on colors? Like bright yellow and blue?
need to make this today, how do i make this cream cheese frosting should i just add to it or substitute some of the butter for cream cheese?
Holy freakin crapola!!!!! Best whipped frosting ever!!!!! I had 75 cupcakes to frost and freaked out because I didn’t have enough confectioners sugar, I saw this recipe and decided to give it a go, and it is delicious. I used skim milk and doubled the batch with a little less sugar and it was still a little sweet but super awesome! Thanks for this recipe :)
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I made some changes but loved the way it turned out. I am a buttercream lover! The sweeter the better! YUMMY! But a majority of my family isn’t so I gave this recipe a go. I was trying to make a marshmallow buttercream that was fluffy so this is what I did… I took the 2 sticks of butter (unsalted) and creamed it with 7oz of marshmallow fluff and 3/4 cup of powdered sugar. (I didn’t want to have the gritty texture that others were talking about) I mixed that with my whisk attachment until fluffy. Then I did the milk flour vanilla mixture and let it completely cool added it and turned that on high for about 2-3 min. So fluffy and not crazy sweet. I still like it but would have added more powdered sugar if it was just for me! Piped beautifully on my strawberry cupcakes. WINNER WINNER!
Wonderful recipe! Nothing I have ever done for the first time came out right,….EXCEPT THIS! The KEY step I believe is beating the butter/sugar long enough, making certain it not only gets fluffy, but whitens as well.
Have you ever covered a cake with this icing and fondant?
This frosting is absolutely delicious! I Iced my son’s fudge chocolate birthday cake with this heavenly stuff and received SO many compliments. I’m not into frosting, as it’s always sickly sweet, but after tasting this, I feel like I could eat it by the spoonful. Amazing! I actually didn’t use a whisk beater, but made sure to beat it for quite a few minutes longer with the regular beaters on my stand mixer. I aced it on the first try, too! I’ll never use another frosting recipe again. Thank you!
This frosting was DELICIOUS, but I did make some changes – since I was nervous about it whipping properly (I’ve had issues in the past with frostings) I added the flour, milk and sugar together and cooked them down until it formed a very thick syrup. I whipped the butter while that was cooling and then added the milk/flour/sugar mixture to the butter, and whipped that all together. It came out scrumptious – light, fluffy, but very rich. I used it to frost a Hershey’s chocolate layer cake.
Just made a triple batch of this to frost cupcakes and a smash cake! It is a beautiful frothy whipped sight to behold! It was sweet enough for me; I don’t think I’d want it sweeter. It is still a bit gritty with sugar, and my butter was plenty soft, but I am following the recommendations of others and chilling it overnight. It’s still so delicious I really enjoyed cleaning up… and i am not really a frosting person. This is in my top 3 icings ever. Total keeper. Thanks for a wonderful tutorial. The pics were so helpful, especially for the roux.
In a few hours the graininess disappears.
Can i just add the sugar to the heated mixture to eliminate the chance of having grainy frosting? I keep seeing random comments about it? Has anyone tried putting all the sugar with the milk and just beat the butter by itself? I plan on trying this out this weekend, my sons first birthday party is the following weekend and i always like a test run!
I have heard people doing this but if you follow the recipe directions, any remaining graininess completely disappears in a few hours. The flour/milk mixture dissolves the sugar.
How long does the frosting last in the refrigerator?
I made this frosting and it turned out really fluffy but it has a dingy color and it had a flour taste that I did not like.
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So, I made so many substitutions that I wasn’t very hopeful for this frosting. I used a gluten free flour mix (consisted of rice flour, potato starch, and corn starch and Xanthan gum), I used margarine instead of butter and of course had to use a gluten free vanilla. I cooked the granulated sugar into the milk and gf flour mix. It was definitely not a cake mix texture, it was a thick gelatinous texture, slightly translucent around the edges. I let it cool, not very hopeful, added the butter and whipped it with my handheld mixer on its highest speed. End result is absolutely airy and wonderful I actually didn’t seen sweet enough!!! which is never my complaint about frosting. Its for St Patrick Day cupcakes for my food allergic little ones. They’ve licked the spoons and mixer blades and bowls….. I am one happy Momma. The cupcakes came of soft and moist too, worthy of this wonderful frosting! TY!!
This is by far the best icing I have tried!! Thank you for sharing.
This is the lightest frosting that I have ever made! To make sure the sugar dissolved well with the butter, I softened the sticks of butter in the microwave and beat it for a good 3-4 minutes. I baked a cake with lemon filling so I used lemon extract instead of vanilla. It was the perfect topping! I have also made it with vanilla extract when I make a chocolate cake. I’ve never liked heavy frosting and I’ll usually scrape it off so this is the best frosting for people who like it on the lighter side. Thank you for this awesome frosting recipe!!
Can you color this frosting and does it hold up well to sit out for a party?
Shld I use powered sugar or granulated sugar dear!
Pls tell me!
I need to try this!
I use granulated sugar just like the recipe says. Make sure to beat it really good. Some coarseness will remain but it will soon melt into the frosting and become perfectly smooth.
Can this be used under fondant?
Can I substitute Splenda for sugar? Please get back to me!
Can I use any kind of flour with this? I’m thinking coconut flour…
I get excellent results with all purpose flour put thru a sifter,
Yeah, coconut flour is pretty different than wheat flours.
Not saying it WOULDN’T work, I just have no experience with coconut flour. In fact I didn’t even know it existed. This recipe when followed properly is excellent. Myself, I use a half butter and half Crisco with superb results.
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I just made this frosting and its amazing!! I did have to mix it for a really long time to get the sugar to mix properly. I even ran the sugar through the food processor before mixing with the butter. Maybe next time I’ll try running the sugar in the food processor longer. I am very excited to see how everyone likes the frosting tomorrow! How long will this store in the refrigerator?
Kari—–excessive beating is not necessary. Any graininess of the sugar melts into the frosting and completely disappears.
I have found mixing the sugar in with the milk so that it dissolves helps a lot. I also use a little less sugar, about 1 cup, but that’s just my preference. My son doesn’t like anything uber sweet.
Does this frosting have to be refrigerated after decorating the cake? I am making a cake for a 1 year olds birthday party and it’s an outdoor cookout. It’s pretty hot here too.
Andrea——From my experience it holds up pretty well in warmer temps. You can use something like I Can’t Believe It’s Not Butter sticks with great results. It will be somewhat creamier and softer than regular butter.
the 100 cal cupcake sounds great i will try it..but then the frosting with 1 cup of butter and 1 cup of sugar spoils it. no 100 cal frostings?
The frosting is super yummy! This is a million times better than my mother-in-laws’ ‘hand me down’ chalky, stiff, over powering sweet frosting. Why I like this frosting it’s not too sweet and the texture is soft and easy to ice a cake. Thanks a bunch for this recipe!
Hey. When I made this frosting, it was delicious but it looked beady and the butter seemed to kinda separate. Did I do something wrong? Again, it tasted great and not gritty but not too attractive.
Hi I have been making this icing for over a yr. I decorate alot of cakes and cupcakes and this is the absolute best I have used.. EVERYONE LOVES IT SO MUCH, some have even paid me extra.. :) I have alot of batches of this to do for an upcoming event and I made the flour/miilk mixture and put it in containers in the frig. Has anyone done this before and if so how did you come out with it..
Firstly I have been using this recipe over a year. I’ve never used butter only shortening. When in a hurry after cooking the milk an flour I place it in a bowl put cling over it(touching the surface so not to form a crust) an place in the freezer. Just check so it doesn’t freeze up.
After storing this in the fridge for a day and taking it out to get to room temp, it looked curdled or separated. I did save it by whipping it and adding powered sugar but it took forever and alot of sugar. Anyone else had this happen? Should I have just left it sit at room temp and not put in the fridge? Does it hold up at room temp on a cake?
Kim——- This frosting will hold up well at room temp. I use granulated sugar, not powdered. Any remaining graininess after the initial beating will disappear because sugar melts into the frosting.
I just made this, followed the recipe exactly and it turned out horrible. Very grainy.
Megan——-At first it will be a bit grainy but shortly the sugar granules melt into the frosting making it very creamy.
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is there a gluten free version to this ?
ive been looking for something to fill a gluten free cake thats not too sweet.
if you can, answer this soon!
Dani, Just substitute cornstarch for the flour. Then you will have a gluten-free frosting. I have found that it takes less cornstarch than flour. Rather than five tablespoons of flour, I have used four tablespoons of cornstarch, and it is still thicker than with the flour. Perhaps three tablespoons of cornstarch would be enough. When made with cornstarch (four tablespoons), I find it harder to fully blend the cornstarch/milk mixture with the butter/sugar mixture.
Do you think it’d work with gluten free baking flour?
It should work fine with gluten-free baking flour. You will know for sure when you see the milk thicken. I do prefer the texture when made with flour rather than with cornstarch.
the end result tastes and looks strange. almost as if the butter separated itself from the whole thing. looks like small oily dots everywhere. it also tastes too buttery. do you know why this happened and what i can do to fix it? any suggestions would be greatly appreciated!
I have never seen what you describe, so can only guess as to the cause. If there are small oily dots of separated butter, possibly the thickened milk had not completely cooled before you blended it with the whipped butter/sugar mixture, and the warmth partially melted the butter. The other possible cause would be that the butter/sugar mixture was not beaten long enough to be fully whipped. It should get fairly stiff, and this takes a while. If it was fully whipped, the only thing that would cause separation is that the thickened milk was not all the way cool when blended with it. As for a possible fix (and I stress “possible”), make sure that it is entirely cool, and keep beating it for a while to try to get it re-blended (or re-whipped).
okay thanks! so gluten free flour instead of cornstarch.
i was worried about it because i made a gluten free cake with it and it had a powdery feel to it.
I did a practice run of this last week in preparation for making my son’s birthday cake this week. It totally flopped, and after reading all the comments, I don’t know what I did wrong! I was religious about chilling everything, and it actually was ok, smooth and just a little gritty and fluffy, although it would be a major stretch to call it “light as whipped cream”. I refrigerated it and then pulled it out the next day to frost a cake. I r-whipped it and it totally went flat with little buttery lumps! It wasn’t gritty anymore, I’ll say that much. Now I’m trying to decide whether to try another recipe or see if I can do better in this one, but either way I’m afraid of messing up another one. :(
Is there anywhere I can use this recipe and make it a chocolate 7 minute frosting? If anyone has tried, please pass along!! Thanks!
Hi, is there a trick to softening the butter? My flavor fluffiness came out great but the butter is still in very tiny clumps no matter how long I mix.
10 seconds in a microwave does the trick.
Yesterday, I made a vanilla-bean cupcake filled with a fresh strawberry filling. I was trying to get a similar vibe of a strawberry shortcake, in cupcake form of course. At first, I was going to make a thick whipped cream to pipe onto the cupcakes, but unless kept in a refrigerator, it would lose its freshness and consistency. Then, I thought about doing a traditional vanilla buttercream instead. However – I realized it would be too sweet for my taste and overpower the flavor of the cake and filling. I did some research and found this recipe for cooked frosting. Reading the positive comments, I went ahead and decided that this was the perfect topping for my dessert. The recipe itself is truly fantastic and will be my go-to option for any cake recipe. After reading some of the comments, I did a few things to avoid some of the problems others encountered. Since some commented that the frosting had a grainy texture due to an incomplete incorporation of the sugar, I simply improvised. I added the sugar to the flour/milk mixture, instead of creaming it with the butter. It fully dissolved during the stovetop procedure, so the frosting had a 100% smooth texture and no graininess. Secondly, I cooked all of the ingredients as the recipe said – but after the seven minutes of cooking, I passed the mixture through a fine mesh sieve to remove future lumps from my frosting. It was not too thick at that point, so it was not too difficult. Finally, I let it cool completely, stirring the flour/milk/sugar/vanilla mixture every few minutes. Then, I followed the rest of the recipe and it turned out to be an amazing treat. I usually think frosting is too sweet and don’t eat it, but I could definitely eat a bowl of just this. Be sure to try it out and do what I did if you have any problems :)
Easier and quicker than I expected. Ran out of vanilla extract after 1 1/2Tbs so added a little almond extract. Wasn’t grainy after the flour mixture was incorporated. Tastes like a rich buttery whipped cream that actually has flavor. Can’t wait to try it on the finished cake. Used salted sweet cream butter since that’s what I had on hand. Thank you for the recipe.
Does anyone have the calories per serving and nutritional breakdown for this icing? I found it for the cupcake recipe, but don’t see it here. Thanks!
Used 1 stick of butter and 1/2c peanut butter and it was awesome. My kids loved it!!
I was just wondering if this frosting ends up being a white or cream color. I wanted a white light whipped frosting for my sister’s wedding cake she wanted me to make. This one sounded amazing.
Although somewhat off white as you are making, in a short while it does end up being completely white and creamier.(no grit) Especially if you use a 50/50 balance of butter and shortening.
YEP. Tastes like a sweeter version of whipped cream. THE BEST. FYI I did dissolve the sugar in the warm milk because I’m paranoid. I could have gone with less sugar but personal preference.
This icing is awesome, however, need some assistance. I’ve made this twice and both time it started out as a smooth consistancy but seperated and became lumpy over time. Any suggestions on what I’m doing wrong?
This icing tasted like it was made from ingredients I found in the garbage! Absolutely disgusting!:( and a complete waste of my time… Would not recommend it to anyone ever. Yes its thick, yes its fluffy, no it does not taste like heaven. Gross!
This frosting is by far the best. Please do give it another try, but use the Bob Evans method; “Do it right or don’t do it”
I have been making a similar frosting/icing for years. This is my suggestion for some of the problems listed here. Mix flour and sugar together in a bowl, continue to mix well as the sugar will help break up the flour lumps. Shake in a sifting motion as large lumps of flour will come to the top of sugar, then crush lumps until flour and sugar are lump free. If you are in a hurry run through a flour sifter, until incorporated without lumps. In a saucepan heat milk or cream until WARM. add flour and sugar SLOWLY into milk and whisk or stir continuously to PREVENT LUMPS from forming. Cook as directed but remember as it thickens the consistency will be slightly different than milk and flour only. Cook until THICK. ALSO remember that because you added the sugar there will be more tendency to STICK if you’re not vigilant about stirring. This will also cure the ‘GRITTY SUGAR PROBLEM. When finished cooking remove from heat and allow to cool until barely warm.
Excel cooling now by putting in a cold water bath in sink until cooler. DON’T RUSH THIS STEP BY USING COLD WATER BATH as it can regranulate the sugar. Make sure you have let it cool until barely warm FIRST. Sugar can be reduced to your taste if too sweet. Butter may also be reduced if desired less fat or color. For whiter color use clear vanilla extract. Also if you desire a thicker icing
use a teas. or two more flour but it will thicken faster and stick easier during cooking. Resist desire to accelerate cooling in fridge as this too can regranulate sugar if mixture is still warm. Cool in bath in steel saucepan or steel bowl to cool faster in bath. May be refrigerated AFTER cooling to enhance thickening. Add butter and vanilla after cooling cooked mixture and whip as directed.
I’ve also been making this frosting for years, and something I now do to make it even fluffier is I whip a cup or so of heavy cream and fold that into the frosting. It is so light and delicious. I also cut the sugar in half because we find it to be too sweet when made like the recipe says. I use a bit more than half a cup of sugar for it.
Try adding crushed up Oreos for a cookies and cream frosting and put that on a yellow cake. Soooo good.
I’ve even added instant coffee or instant espresso to the milk to make a coffee frosting. Make sure and add vanilla, too. This was really yummy.
Here is a link for a wonderful chocolate frosting using this same basic recipe. It uses both cocoa and chocolate chips melted. It is to die for! I also add whipped cream to the chocolate one and this truly tastes like a mousse, but holds up well on a cake.
You can also make this with brown sugar for a caramel-y frosting. Mmmm.
Hi, I’m looking to make a first birthday cake and I know that I want to use this type of whipped frosting, but will it be suitable for piping over and decorating? I’m not planning on using fondant.
Hi there! love this frosting recipe! but I was wondering if I could use coconut milk instead of regular milk?
Hello! I will be making this icing for my daughters 1st birthday on monday(yayy!) i was wondering what you think may happen if i use powdered sugar or half powdered half regular?
Thanks in advance!!
LOVE THIS! Most frostings have a strange taste to me due to the powdered sugar. I’m just not a fan. I used super fine sugar and beat it like crazy. It was a bit runny, and I’m pretty sure I just made the worlds ugliest cake because this was pretty much impossible to frost with decently. Honestly, don’t care a bit because it was fabulous! The taste reminds me of swiss meringue buttercream, but with a better mouthfeel. I’ll make it again, and see if I can get it to stabilize better to properly frost a cake, but I think it’s better for swirling on cupcakes. It’s sliding off my cake as I type this, hopefully popping it in the fridge will stop that.
Just be sure to beat this frosting until it’s fluffy then it’ll be stable as well.
I use this frosting all the time and my family loves it, especially my mom who doesn’t really like frosting. I was wondering do you have a recipe for chocolate mouse?
Love this frosting. But one question: when I’m letting the flour/milk mixture cool….I find that it forms a skin, which later ends up being small bits in the icing. Doesn’t really affect texture, or taste, but makes the frosting less than perfect from a colour perspective. Any thoughts on how to minimize the “skin” effect on the flour/milk mixture? I guess I could just scrape it off, but don’t really want to throw any of it out…
Thanks for sharing this recipe! Made it and love it!! No more grains! But I’m just wondering if I can use shortening to replace the butter as the weather here is hot and humid and I find that the frosting melts really fast!
I have used a 50/50 blend of shortening and butter or “I Can’t Believe It’s Not Butter” with great results.
I just tried this recipe & its yummy. … only problem is it isnt very fluffy… anything I can add to make it fluffy….its more like a cake batter
Make sure to use enough flour. Use medium heat and whisk constantly until it’s nice and thick and be sure to let it cool completely before beating into the butter/sugar mixture.
Is it necessary to use unsalted butter?
I love this frosting! If I wanted to make it chocolate, how much cocoa powder would I add? And when?
What I find works best is combining cocoa powder with vegetable oil to form a thick liquid similar to melted chocolate squares and beat in. How much depends on how chocolatey you want your frosting. Start with one tablespoon of cocoa powder and work from there.
Really yummy frosting! It is very light and fluffy and the taste is just delicious!
This being the first time I tried it, I got little clumps of flour/milk mixture in the texture – not terribly, but definitely noticeable. I whisked it non-stop, but I think I was scraping the edge of the sauce pan too much pulling off pieces that had clumped together and they never broke down. It still tasted great on my cupcakes – it’s just something I’ll watch for next time I make it.
I used the ingredients as stated, but I mixed in the sugar into the milk/flour mixture after I removed it from the burner to assure the sugar would dissolve completely. I whipped the butter alone in the mixer and then added the milk/flour/sugar mixture (completely cooled). I used it with my decorating bag/tip and it held it’s shape well.
Thanks for posting this recipe! ;)
Help. Will this hold up in hot July humid weather. I had a frosting that was wonderful more like whipped air with flavor. But the lady won’t share the recipe. Held up. Next day was the same. It was dryer though. Any thoughts
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My Grammy used to make this many (70 ) years ago. She called it Poor Man’s Frosting. We ate it on every came she made and the whole family loved it. I did a cookbook in 1988 and included it and had many letters from people all over the country praising it and thanked me for sharing it. I am about to make a carrot cake tomorrow and my thickened sauce is also made. I also love it on Red Velvet cake, chocolate cake (with some peanut butter added) and it really makes the filling for Whoopee Pies, the very best!
It’s awesome to go to see this website and reading the views of all colleagues on the topic of this post, while
I am also eager of getting experience.
Hi, could you use half butter and half cream cheese?
Followed it exactly, gorgeous! light and fluffy. Thank-you!
I used to make this frosting when I was a kid, 40 years ago, it was in my moms cook book called Anns whipped frosting. I loved it then and I love it now.
I have a recipe that is very similar to this from my grandma, and she has specified to use imperial butter and whole milk. Whenever I make it I have an issue with it separating, and I can’t figure out why.
Did you use a specific brand of butter and have you ever had an issue with this recipe separating?
I’ve never made frosting before, but I followed this recipe exactly, except for maybe the sugar, I used castor sugar, might be the same thing, don’t know. I’m in Tasmania, Australia. Oh, and also added 2 table spoons of un-sweetened cocoa powder and half table spoon of milk at the same time as combining the two mixes. Anyway, the frosting turned out beautiful, smooth and creamy, fluffy, not too sweet, everyone loved it, and they put in orders. Hmm.. they can make their own! (-;
My advice to anyone is; Just follow the recipe’s instructions, and you won’t go wrong.
I made this and everyone loved it. I also added a little almond flavoring with the vanilla. I added 1 tsp mint too because I was making white cake and wanted more pizazz. The terminology “incorporated” for the sugar into the butter made me think the sugar needed to dissolve. 10 minutes later I knew it wasn’t going to happen. So I added the flour and milk mixture. Then the sugar dissolved nicely. The only problem I had after that was it seemed to need to be kept refrigerated or at least very cool or it got too soft and semi-melted.
This is my absolute favorite recipe for frosting! I’ve made it a few times now and I just have a couple suggestions that can really perfect it! So first, I put the vanilla in with the butter and sugar instead of getting it hot. It made the flavor more rich in the finished product :) Also, I make the frosting a day before I plan on serving it so that the grainy texture dissolves. I’m not sure how it does that, but the next day there’s absolutely no grainy texture :)
Hi Andie! I made this frosting this past weekend, and WOW! Totally delicious. It reminded me of a fluffy version of French buttercream. My daughter wasn’t big on the yummy, buttery flavor. Could you use shortening instead of butter, to get a mild flavor to the frosting?
Tried the recipe today and I must admit that this is the best icing ever. My kids loved loved it and my husband who usually does not like icing was so so impressed. Thank you for sharing.
I haven’t had the time to read all the comments, but wanted to say that for those having a problem with it separating, try using half shortening and half butter.
I’ve been making this frosting since around 1959/60 and the original recipe I had, called Bakery Frosting, did it that way so you got buttery flavor with the stability of shortening. Also, it called for part granulated sugar and part confectioner’s sugar, so that might help with anyone experiencing grittiness.
Let me start by saying that I’ve always been one of those people who say, “Ew, I hate cake!” Even as a kid, I was told I /had to/ have a piece, otherwise it was bad luck for the birthday boy/girl. I very reluctantly complied.
My brother, however, is at least 99.9% sweet tooth. He’s been gone for two weeks, so I wanted to make him something special for his return. My choice? Cake… and your frosting. Your gushing sold me on the recipe.
I made it exactly as you said (except for my “extra teaspoon of vanilla for bad measure” rule) and it turned out perfectly. It’s chilling in the fridge right now because he’s not home for another 10 hours, but it is taking all of my willpower to not go up there and stick my finger in it …again. I gave my mom a little taste and her face actually lit up, as if I told her to expect a grandchild or we’d won the lottery, or something of similar exuberance.
So. I must extend to you my thanks, and my kudos. After this frosting, cake will forever be ruined for my entire family, simply because nothing will ever be this good.
Have you ever made this w whipping cream? I love whipped cream frosting for all the reasons you mentioned above not as heavy not as sweet light fluffy but typically melts fast and doesn’t hold up. Was looking for ways to slightly thicken it and was gonna try your recipe w whipped cream instead of milk but curious your thoughts.
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OMG… I made this frosting today and it is awsume! I will use this as a dip for fruit. It is not to sweet and melts in your mouth. I was on the phone telling my Mother about it and she said that she had never heard of such a thing. haha. I will be taking her a peice of cake so she can try it.
I have never baked before in my life. this was easy to follow and tasted amazing thank you so very much for the recipe
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I also grew up in MA, and my mother made a frosting very similar to this. I never liked super sweet confectioner’s sugar frostings (choking sound), but this one is SO GOOD! My mother called her frosting recipe “Dizzy Frosting”. I have no idea why (dizzy with delight????? :-)
Thank you SO MUCH for posting this. It is a treasured recipe from my past which I had misplaced. I’m SO glad I found this blog, and I just finished your book (speechless – in a very good way). Thanks for everything. Really.
I tried this recipe for my son’s birthday cake. The sugar never incorporated into the butter. I tried it with powdered sugar like the recipe warns you against. It turned out perfect.
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Impressive! I was on a search for an icing with the “yum factor” and texture of crisco based icing that was healthier and this is a delicious alternative. The first attempt at the frosting was perfect, however, the second attempt gave me a great tasting and passable but more runny product. I think because I used an off-brand butter the second time and it wasn’t quite totally soft.
Regardless, this will be my new standard frosting. Thanks for sharing this. Wonder how it would work with some marshmallow cream?
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Could I make the frosting the night before and it still be fluffy the next when I pipe the cupcakes? Also, how long will the leftover frosting (if any) last?
Was wondering if could use at least partial brown sugar. Trying for more flavor and a antique white color.
I am going to try this today. I’m going to add peanut butter for the chocolate cake. I’m a little nervous about it being gritty though. Someone said they melted the sugar in with the flour mixture. Humm
Wish me luck!
First of all your web site is VERY, VERY slow.
I made this recipe today and it doesn’t look like the pictures above. IT LOOKS CURDLED AND FALLS OFF THE CAKE! I don’t have a whisk on my stand mixer but I don’t want to waste ingredients to try it again with a hand mixer.
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nicely frosting but I want to use the half cup sugar is it?
I was looking for some inspiration and came across your blog. Going to try this out soon. Thank you for sharing.
I just made this and the first batch tasted like flour and still had grit from the sugar. I highly recommend my slight changes…place pan over medium low heat add in flour, stir by scraping bottom of the pan for a few seconds, while thats heating up add in the sugar to the pan of flour, but USE FINE BAKING SUGAR! then make a center in the pan and SLOWLY whisk in milk and constantly stir, up the heat to medium and keep constantly whisking until everything is incorporated, slightly bubbling, and the liquid becomes a paste similar to the consistency of pudding. Remove from heat and stir a few more times. Then proceed with regular instructions. This worked best for me and came out waaaaay more silky and smooth. Almost tasted like whipped cream. I did not add the vanilla to mine because I am using other flavors.
Just made this frosting and it is amazing. My family doesn’t like sweet frosting so this was perfect. As others have said I was concerned when beating the butter and sugar together because no matter how long I went the grittiness was still there. I decided to give up on it and added the milk, flour and vanilla mixture and it fixed it right up. No more grittiness. This recipe makes a LOT of frosting so I didn’t feel like I was having to be extra careful spreading it to avoid the cake showing through.
I made a vanilla Bundt cake, topped it with this frosting and add fresh berries to the top and on the vintage serving plate that I used.
Thank you so very much, i am like most in not loving frosting. I have tried so many recipes and not liking any. I think this will be PERFECT for the trim ect. for an ice cream cake I’m making tomorrow for my brothers 40th. With all the tips and comments from everyone it should come out beautifully. I’ll let you know how I fare. Thank you again!
My grandmother always made the most delicious red velvet cake and this was her frosting. I’m so thankful to have come across this because I lost both recipes but I KNOW these were the frosting ingredients. Now if I could only find that 50 year old red velvet recipe!!!
I’m wondering how I can get the icing whiter. If I leave out the vanilla would that be enough? (I used normal brown vanilla and it was an off-white colour.)
I added 2tsp or grenadine along with the vanilla. It was delicious! I have never tried this recipe before and I absolutely loved it!!! will for sure make it from here on out! the grenadine added a lovely flavor to it and wasn’t overpowering, used it on strawberry cupcakes. Absolutely the best homemade frosting I’ve had.
I found your recipe on another website calling for a blend of almond and vanilla extracts. I REALLY wanted an almond cake. However, due to my haste or my glasses, I used lemon extract accidentally. OM Goodness! Light and fluffy, slightly refreshing, definitely not cloying. I think I’m in love.
I’ve made the recipe several times and love it! Attempting a chocolate version today. Considering melting chocolate chips and adding them after cooled. Just not sure if I should add to sugar mixture or at the end. Suggestions?
what a bout cocoa powder and some extra sugar?
I LOVE this frosting recipe!! It takes me a long time with the mixer to get the sugar incorporated, so next time I might either pulse regular sugar in the food processor or buy super fine sugar to make it go quicker. Another commenter said the grittyness disappeared after beating in the flour/milk mixture, and I agree. Though I did have to beat it a lot longer than the recipe said, it was worth the time. If your icing is gritty you just haven’t beat it long enough! I really don’t care for buttercream, so this is a perfect replacement. Not overly sweet and so fluffy. I’ve actually made this 4 times now.
Can gluten free flour be used in this recipe?
I just found this (yes it’s September 2020 and it appears to have been first posted a decade ago). Would this work with lemon oil or lemon extract? I need a great lemon frosting!
Hello! Made this today and it is absolutely delicious! Visiting my daughter who has a gas stove so the milk/flour mixture cooked in about 4 minutes! Hoped all would come together and it did. Frosting is for deep, dark chocolate cupcakes which I will frost tonight and am wondering if frosting can sit in refrigerator?
Wonderful recipe! Thanks so much!
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I really love frosting, i do enjoy them with my family