Ermine Frosting is the Goldilocks of buttercreams. It’s less sweet than American Buttercream and a little sweeter than Meringue Buttercream. This old-fashioned frosting is juuuust right!
All About Ermine Frosting:
Ermine frosting is known by many names; boiled-milk frosting, roux frosting, Heritage frosting and flour frosting to name a few.
Whatever you call it, this is an old-fashioned frosting recipe that starts with a pudding base. Then you add the pudding to whipped butter to make a light, luscious and silky smooth cake frosting.
Because the sugar is cooked into the “pudding” base, there is no grittiness in this frosting. What you have is a creamy, airy buttercream with a lovely milky flavor.
Ermine is the traditional frosting for Red Velvet cake. I love to use it as the base for Malted Chocolate Frosting and to frost Malted Milk Blondies. Use coconut milk in the pudding to make Coconut Rum Frosting.
- All Purpose Flour – The flour thickens the milk to create the pudding base.
- Sugar – Sugar sweetens the frosting.
- Milk – Is the base for the pudding mixture.
- Vanilla/Salt – Together they balance the flavor of the frosting.
- Butter – Use unsalted butter to control the amount of salt in the recipe.
How to make Ermine Frosting:
- Cook the flour milk and sugar together over medium heat in a small saucepan.
- Cook the flour mixture until it is thick like pudding.
- Whip the butter until it’s light and aerated
- Add the pudding and mix it until combined.
- Switch to the whisk.
- Whip until the frosting is light and fluffy like whipped cream.
- For best results, Ermine Frosting should be used to fill and frost your cake as soon as it’s made.
- If you do make the frosting ahead of time, refrigerate until ready to use. Bring the frosting back to room temperature then rewhip to aerate.
- Because it’s made with milk, after 3-4 hours at room temperature a cake iced with Ermine frosting should be refrigerated.
- Ermine frosting can be frozen for up to 3 months. Wrap in a double layer of plastic to prevent it from picking up off-flavors in the freezer. After defrosting, rewhip to revive the buttercream.
FAQs about Ermine Frosting:
Yes, add food coloring to the pudding base or to the whipped buttercream.
The frosting will keep up to a week in the refrigerator or up to 3 months in the freezer.
If your Ermine frosting is runny either the butter was too soft or the pudding was warm when added to the butter. Chill the frosting briefly and then re-whip.
The pudding was probably too warm when added to the butter. Chill the frosting briefly and then re-whip.
No, Ermine frosting will not form a crust. It will firm up a bit in the refrigerator. For a true crusting buttercream make American Buttercream.
If you’d like to try a slightly richer version of this frosting, here’s a recipe for German Buttercream. German Buttercream has an egg custard base instead of a pudding base.
An if you love chocolate, try this Malted Chocolate Frosting which is a version of Ermine Frosting.
If you love this recipe as much as I do, I’d really appreciate a 5-star review.
Ermine Frosting Recipe
- 12 oz granulated sugar (1 ½ cups)
- 2 ½ oz all purpose flour (½ cup)
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 12 oz whole milk (1 ½ cups)
- 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
- 12 oz unsalted butter (room temperature)
- Combine 12 oz granulated sugar, 2 ½ oz all purpose flour and ¼ teaspoon salt in a saucepan, whisk to combine. Slowly whisk in 12 oz whole milk until smooth. Heat the mixture over medium low, whisking constantly, until it begins to boil.
- Continue to cook and stir for 2-3 minutes until it thickens to a pudding-like texture. Immediately remove from the heat. Transfer to a bowl. Add 1 tablespoon vanilla extract and cool to room temperature.
- Cream 12 oz unsalted butter until light and fluffy. Add the pudding, a little at a time, until completely incorporated. Switch to the whisk attachment and whip the buttercream until it’s light and fluffy.
- Use immediately to fill and frost your favorite cake.
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