Chocolate Ermine Frosting is a silky smooth chocolate frosting made by cooking a milk and flour mixture and mixing it with butter, sugar, and cocoa powder. It is based on Ermine Frosting, or $300 Dollar Frosting, but with added cocoa powder for the chocolate flavor. Don’t worry, this frosting will not cost you $300, but it is a delicious and versatile frosting for cakes and cupcakes, as a filling, and even as a dip!

Chocolate Ermine Frosting in Bowl of Stand Mixer.
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Ingredients & Substitutions

Milk: For a smoother and creamier frosting, it’s recommended to use whole milk or 2% milk. However, if you opt for lower-fat milk alternatives, the frosting may turn out less creamy and more watery.

Flour: For the best outcome, it’s best to use all-purpose flour. Cooking the flour with milk makes a roux that gives a more stable frosting and makes sure the flour is fully cooked. You can use gluten-free flour, but some readers have said the frosting is not quite as smooth.

Butter: Butter is an essential ingredient in ermine frosting as it adds flavor and creates a smooth and creamy texture. Use unsalted butter for the best results.

Sugar: It’s important to use granulated sugar in ermine frosting. It gets creamed with butter and cocoa powder, so there is no need to worry about grittiness!

Cocoa Powder: For a richer depth of flavor and darker color, use Dutch-processed cocoa powder. You can substitute regular unsweetened cocoa powder, but the frosting will be a lighter color and lack the depth of flavor.

Vanilla: Vanilla extract is added to the frosting to enhance the flavor. However, you could leave it out if you don’t have any on hand.

Steps for making Chocolate Ermine Frosting in Stand Mixer.

Chocolate Ermine Frosting vs. Chocolate Buttercream

Although similar, there are a few differences between chocolate ermine frosting and chocolate buttercream. Chocolate ermine frosting, which is also known as milk frosting, flour buttercream, or flour frosting, is made by first creating a roux by cooking flour and milk together.

In contrast, there is no cooking involved in making buttercream. Additionally, buttercream uses confectioners’ sugar rather than granulated sugar. Lastly, chocolate ermine frosting has a silkier texture compared to buttercream, which tends to be denser. Both are delicious options for decorating your sweet treats.

Partially frosted yellow cake using Chocolate Ermine Frosting.

How to Store Chocolate Ermine Frosting

Chocolate Ermine frosting will be great at room temperature for about a day. After that, it should be refrigerated. Ermine frosting will last up to a week in the refrigerator. When ready to use, let it sit out at room temperature for about 30 minutes. Then, re-whip it to restore its smooth texture. This frosting can be frozen for up to 3 months, but freezing it could affect the texture. When thawed, whip it up to restore its texture.

Pieces of Yellow Cake with Chocolate Ermine Frosting on Them.

More Ermine Frostings

Bowl of Chocolate Ermine Frosting on Dark Cutting Board.
5 from 16 votes

Chocolate Ermine Frosting

Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 5 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes
Chocolate Ermine Frosting is a silky smooth chocolate frosting made by cooking a milk and flour mixture and mixing it with butter, sugar, and cocoa powder.

Ingredients

  • 1 cup (245 g) whole milk
  • 5 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup (2 sticks / 227 g) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 cup (200 g) granulated sugar
  • ½ cup (59 g) Dutch-processed cocoa powder
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Instructions

  • In a medium saucepan over medium heat, whisk together the milk and flour. Cook, whisking constantly, for 3-5 minutes, or until no lumps remain and the mixture thickens and resembles a very thick pudding. It should coat the back of a spoon.
  • Remove the pan from the heat and let the mixture cool to room temperature. (The mixture will get lumpy again as it cools.)
  • In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream together the butter, sugar, and cocoa powder on low speed until the cocoa powder is incorporated. Increase the speed to medium and mix until light and fluffy (2-3 minutes). Stop the mixer and use a rubber spatula to scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed.
  • Add the cooled milk mixture to the bowl of the stand mixer. Beat on medium-high speed until the frosting is light and fluffy (2-3 minutes), pausing to scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed.
  • Switch to the whisk attachment. Add vanilla and mix on high for 8-10 minutes, or until the frosting is smooth and creamy.

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Meet Amanda Rettke

Amanda Rettke is the creator of I Am Baker, and the bestselling author of Surprise Inside Cakes: Amazing Cakes for Every Occasion – With a Little Something Extra Inside.Over the course of her 15+ year blogging adventure, she has been featured in and collaborated with the Food Network, New York Times, LA Times, Country Living Magazine, People Magazine, Epicurious, Brides, Romantic Homes, life:beautiful, Publishers Weekly, The Daily Mail, Star Tribune, The Globe and Mail, DailyCandy, YumSugar, The Knot, The Kitchn, and Parade, to name a few.

Reader Comments

  1. I read somewhere, you can make a cream cheese version of Ermine frosting by replacing part of the butter with an equal amounts of cream cheese. Any comment on a ratio for how much to replace?

  2. Hi Amanda,

    I love all of your recipes, what is the app you use to enter the ingredients where you can change the ingredients by cups, ounces, etc.

  3. I have heard that blooming Coco gives it a richer taste profile. Have you ever added the cocoa to the warm roux, instead of creaming with the butter and sugar?

  4. That is so luscious I could eat it with a spoon. I have always made the Silver fox version for my homemade red velvet cake. The texture is like whipped cream. I add the flour/ milk paste n small chunks while my stand mixer is on high speed. Luscious. And to me the pure vanilla extract or vanilla paste is not optional. In the chocolate version it is probably optional. Thanks.

  5. Literally THE best frosting I’ve ever tasted!!! I was a skeptic too! 🤣 Mine turned out way too loose to decorate my cake with. Any tips on how to firm it up a bit more?

    1. I had that too! I refrigerated it overnight and then put it back in my mixer and whipped it up again the next day (only takes a couple minutes) and it’s the perfect consistency for stacking and decorating!

    1. Just seeing this, but a hand mixer works just fine for Ermine Frosting. I have never made the chocolate version but it’s essentially the same from the recipe I’m reading. Be sure to at least double the recipe if you are frosting multiple layers, and I even make 1 1/2 recipes to frost a sheet cake. It only makes 2 cups of frosting.

  6. This sounds like the frosting on a carrot cake from Wegmans I had recently. Very light texture and delicious. Can you add a touch of cream cheese to the mixture or will that spoil the consistency of the ermine frosting?

  7. Take Chocolate ermine frosting up a few notches by adding a sprinkle of dry instant coffee granules to bring out chocolate flavor. It won’t taste like coffee!!! Add it to the butter milk portion it so it dissolves! Proceed with recipe

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