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Ermine Frosting / Flour Buttercream #Basics

There’s something extra-special about serving hand-decorated cupcakes with beautiful swirls of frosting & sprinkles. Right?

When it comes to frosting, I’ve heard of the usuals – American buttercream, meringue-based buttercream (Swiss, Italian and French), whipped cream, cream cheese frosting. Recently I came across a name ‘Ermine frosting‘ which I hadn’t heard about before. Intrigued, I did a quick internet search and found out that this was the original frosting for red velvet cakes before cream cheese became all rage!! So when I made a fresh batch of my favourite vanilla cupcakes, I decided to try out this recipe instead of the usual American Buttercream I make. And I wasn’t disappointed at all! It’s a super smooth, super creamy, incredibly delicious buttercream with just the right amount of sweet. I had to literally stop licking the beaters 😀

Made with cooked flour and milk, it’s also called flour buttercream, boiled milk frosting, roux frosting, etc. It’s not as sweet as the American buttercream (which is a blessing!). It doesn’t use eggs and is fairly easy to make when compared to the meringues based buttercream. It tastes a little like a bowl of melted vanilla ice-cream 🙂 It tastes best the day it’s made, hence I recommend making a fresh batch as per requirements. The recipe frosts 12 cupcakes generously.

P.S. – the frosting can easily split if beaten too much since it has a lot of butter in it. Please stop mixing as soon as it’s well blended. Also, frosting tastes best the day it’s made, but can be stored covered in the fridge for few days. Bring it back to room temperature before using.


Ingredients –

35 g (or 4½ tablespoons) all-purpose flour
200 g (or 1 cup) granulated sugar
pinch of salt
240ml (or 1 cup) milk
227 g (or 1 cup) unsalted butter, softened at room temperature
½ teaspoon vanilla extract

Procedure – 

1. In a saucepan, mix the flour, sugar and salt. Add the milk and mix.
2. Put the pan on a low heat and keep whisking until the mixture comes to a boil.
3. Once the mixture starts bubbling, cook for another 1-2 minutes till the mixture starts thickening. Take the pan off the heat and whisk for a minute to beat some of the heat out of the mixture.
4. Move the mixture to a clean bowl and cover with cling film. Ensure the cling film sits directly on the mixture to ensure no film is formed when it cools. Let it cool to room temperature completely (about an hour).

5. Take the butter in a bowl and beat it for about 5-7 minutes with a hand mixer till it becomes light and fluffy.
6. Add the cooled mixture to beaten butter 1 spoon at a time and mix well.


7. Once the whole mixture has been added, mix for another 2 minutes or so till the frosting looks smooth and creamy. Add the vanilla and mix for another 30 seconds. Stop when everything is blended, DO NOT overmix.

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