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two frosted cupcakes and jar of frosting on white background

Ermine Frosting

  • Author: Lindsay
  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Cooling Time: 3 hours
  • Cook Time: 10 minutes
  • Total Time: 3 hours 30 minutes
  • Yield: 2 1/2 cups
  • Category: Dessert
  • Method: Stove
  • Cuisine: American


Ermine Frosting is an old-fashioned buttercream, often called “boiled milk frosting” or “flour frosting”, that’s made with sugar, flour, milk and butter. No need for powdered sugar here, making it a great frosting alternative for those who don’t like things too sweet.


  • 1 cup (207g) granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup (33g) all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 cup (240ml) milk (I use 2%)
  • 1 cup (224g) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract


  1. Combine sugar, flour, and salt in a medium saucepan and whisk until well combined.
  2. Add milk and whisk together until mixture is well combined.
  3. Heat mixture over medium heat, stirring constantly, until the mixture is thick and pudding-like. Do not heat over high heat or the mixture will cook too quickly and the sugar won’t properly dissolve. Remove from heat.
  4. Pour into a bowl and cover with plastic wrap pressed directly on top to prevent a skin from forming. Allow to cool completely to room temperature or refrigerate for a day or two before using. If refrigerating ahead of time, bring back to room temperature before proceeding.
  5. Once cooled, add the butter to a mixing bowl and beat on high speed until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes.
  6. Add the flour mixture (at room temperature) one tablespoon at a time, mixing on medium speed until well combined before adding the next.
  7. Add the vanilla extract and mix until well combined.
  8. Whip the frosting on medium-high speed until light and fluffy, 2-3 minutes.
  9. Use immediately or store in the fridge for up to a week or freeze for up to 3 months. Allow buttercream to come back to room temperature before using.


  • Serving Size:
  • Calories: 2611
  • Sugar: 212.8 g
  • Sodium: 712.2 mg
  • Fat: 184.6 g
  • Carbohydrates: 236.6 g
  • Protein: 13.4 g
  • Cholesterol: 493 mg