Ermine Frosting, also known as milk frosting, flour buttercream, flour frosting, or $300 Dollar Frosting is a silky smooth frosting made from a cooked milk and flour mixture, sugar, and butter. It is made without eggs and is traditionally used to frost red velvet cake. But, don’t stop there; its light and airy texture is perfect as a topping for a variety of cakes and cupcakes.

Ermine Frosting in a Bowl.
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Ingredients & Substitutions

Milk: For a richer and creamier frosting, use whole milk or 2% milk. If substituting milk that is lower in fat, the frosting may be less creamy and more watery. You can also opt for non-dairy milk such as coconut milk.

Flour: Use all-purpose flour for best results. Cooking the flour with milk forms a roux that results in a more stable frosting. It also ensures that the flour has been fully cooked.

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 before the cooled milk mixture is added to it.

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. Or, try adding almond extract or citrus zest for a different flavor profile.

Adding Milk and Flour to Saucepan to Make Ermine - $300 Frosting.

What is the Difference Between Ermine Frosting and Buttercream?

Although both are popular types of frosting, Ermine frosting and buttercream differ in a few ways. First of all, ermine frosting is made with a cooked mixture of flour and milk, creating a roux. There is no cooking in buttercream. Another difference is the sugar used. Granulated sugar is added to ermine frosting with confectioners’ sugar is usually used in buttercream. Finally, ermine icing has a silkier texture when compared with buttercream’s more dense consistency.

Warm Butter and Granulated Sugar in a Mixing Bowl to Make Ermine - $300 Frosting.

How to Store Ermine Frosting

Ermine frosting should be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator. It will last up to a week. 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 Spice Cake Covered in Ermine - $300 Frosting.

Chocolate Ermine

Just in case you want a chocolate version of this frosting! Chocolate Ermine is a beautiful addition to any cake!

More Ermine Frostings

5 from 67 votes

Ermine Frosting

Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 5 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes
Ermine Frosting, also known as milk frosting, flour buttercream, or $300 frosting is a silky smooth frosting made from a cooked milk and flour mixture, sugar, and butter. It is perfectly sweet!

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
  • 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.
  • In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream together the butter and sugar on medium speed until light and fluffy (2-3 minutes). Stop the mixer and use a rubber spatula to scrape down the sides of the bowl.
  • 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 7-8 minutes, or until the frosting is smooth and creamy.
    Ermine Frosting in a Bowl.

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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. Can this recipe be doubled or tripled?

    I bake and this doesn’t come out to very much frosting once made. Thanks.

      1. I made this and followed the directions as written but the frosting turned out to be the consistency of thick pudding. I made sure the flour mixture was cooler than room temperature and I beat the butter and sugar as directed.

        1. your flour mixture may have been too thick. This can happen with a roux – I have had it get too thick for white sauce (gravy, cheese sauce etc) Adding a bit of room temp milk a bit at a time might work.

  2. This is the best frosting I’ve ever had. I only use 4 tbsp of flour and it works great with half and half too. Also, keep mixing the the milk and flour mixture after it’s done cooking or it WILL be lumpy. Cool to 80-85 degrees. I almost always double the recipe because I make 3-layer cakes.

  3. When making Ermine, I mix the sugar in with the flour and milk and cook all together. It dissolves the sugar and still comes out perfect! I have also made the “custard” in advance, refrigerated it until ready to make my cake, then add the butter. Saves some time on decorating day.

  4. I love this frosting!!! It is my go-to for coconut cake, and I often use it as an alternate to other buttercreams when I just want a lighter frosting.

    This is the original frosting for Red Velvet Cake, before cream cheese frosting became the “It” frosting if the cake world.

    I have started including the sugar in the ‘custard’ and I recommend it because the icing will not have a grainy texture. I cut my butter up in chunks and add them in a few at a time – cold, not room temp.

    Don’t be disturbed if it seems like it will never pull together! It will.

  5. i just made this, and it’s really runny.
    Measured actually
    How do I fix? I need to pipe this

  6. Just like my Mom used to make, she just called it 7 minute frosting. Thanks for the memories!

  7. Just made this for my husband’s Father’s Day cake. It’s great because it is not too sweet. Came together quickly. Looking forward to making it again.

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