Ermine frosting is a light and fluffy buttercream that is similar in texture and flavor of whipped cream and but is sweeter and more stable like Swiss meringue buttercream. Ermine frosting has no eggs and makes for a really good whipped cream alternative for cakes. While the cooking process, and flour in frosting seems a bit odd, trust, as it really is a super delicious, easy and versatile frosting.
What is Ermine Frosting?
Also called flour frosting, boiled milk frosting, and heritage frosting, ermine frosting is an old fashioned frosting made with a cooked sweet milk flour paste (roux) and butter. It was the original frosting of red velvet cake, until cream cheese became more popular. Don't be put off by the flour in the buttercream. You won't taste it, and it aids in thickening the custard-like, pudding base of the frosting.
How to Make Ermine Frosting
Milk, sugar, flour and salt are whisked together in a saucepan until boiling. Visual cues will be the key to knowing when the paste has cooked enough. About 2-3 minutes after the paste has started boiling, it will have thickened and resembled vanilla pudding. Whisk constantly to prevent the milk from burning. Vanilla is added and the paste is strained into a bowl and set aside to cool until room temperature.
Beat the room temperature butter in a stand mixer with a paddle attachment until lightened in color and fluffy. Add the flour mixture to the butter, beating in a few tablespoons at a time. Once fully combined, add any additional flavorings. Beat the frosting on high for 3-5 minutes until light and fluffy.
Tips for Frosting Success
FLAVORING - You can infuse the milk with teas, herbs, etc in the milk/flour mixture or you can add flavorings at the end such as chocolate, nut butters, fruit curds, etc.
STORING - Ermine frosting can be left at room temperature up to a day to two, but should be refrigerated after. Bring to room temperature before rewhipping or serving. It can be refrigerated for one week or frozen for three months. Defrost in the refrigerator before bringing to room temperature.
Be sure both the butter and the flour mixture are room temperature before mixing. If either the butter or flour mixture is slightly too cold, the frosting could curdle. Keep beating and the ingredients will come together. If the ingredients were too cold, you can warm the bowl a bit with a blow dryer or kitchen torch, keeping an eye on it so that it does not begin to melt. Keep beating until the frosting will comes together.
If the frosting is too soft, place in the refrigerator for 15-20 minutes, before rewhipping again. Repeat placing it in the fridge in increments if necessary.
Ermine frosting takes color well. I prefer to use gel color, but you can use powdered color as well.
If you make this ermine frosting, let me know! Drop a comment or tag me on Instagram. I love seeing your bakes and creations.
For more frosting and buttercream recipes, check out these posts:
- 1½ cups (341g) whole milk
- 1¼ cups (223g) granulated sugar
- ½ cup (60g) all purpose flour
- ¼ teaspoon fine sea salt
- 1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract or vanilla bean paste
- 1½ cups (339g) unsalted butter, room temperature
- In a medium saucepan over medium heat, whisk together the milk, sugar, flour and salt, and bring to a boil.
- When the mixture starts to boil, continue to cook, whisking constantly for another 2-3 minutes. The mixture will thicken and resemble pudding.
- Whisk in the vanilla.
- Strain the mixture into a shallow container to remove any clumps. Place plastic wrap over the surface of the mixture to prevent a film from forming.
- Leave to cool to room temperature or pop in the freezer for 15-20 minutes. It should be room temperature to touch, not cold.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter on medium-high speed until light and fluffy.
- Add the room temperature flour mixture to the butter, a few tablespoons at a time.
- Once combined, whip the frosting on high for 3-5 minutes until smooth, light and fluffy.