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.

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 64 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. Regina it is a lot of beating! I used to do it with a hand mixer but the arms were ready to fall off when done! It can be done, but I really enjoy using my stand mixer for it now.

    1. Oh my goodness hands down the MOST delicious frosting I’ve ever made! I kept telling myself to trust the process and the outcome did not disappoint! So light! So fluffy! So smooth, creamy and WONDERFUL! I’ll be making this time and again!!

  2. My mom only used this for her red velvet cakes. To me, it’s the only kind they should have-not cream cheese. She said she first found it in the recipe for a red velvet cake from the Waldorf Astoria.

  3. I made this frosting and it completely failed. I thought it was too thin to pipe on cupcakes right after making it so I put it in the fridge to firm up. It completely broke. Turned into a cottage cheese consistency, was putting it in the fridge wrong??

    1. I’m sorry to hear that you had trouble with the frosting. Here are some possibilities of what could have gone wrong:

      Cooking the Milk and Flour Mixture: The first step in the recipe is crucial. The milk and flour mixture should be cooked until it thickens and resembles a very thick pudding, as mentioned in the recipe. If it’s not cooked long enough or if there are lumps, it can result in a thin and unstable frosting.

      Temperature When Adding to Butter and Sugar: When adding the cooled milk mixture to the creamed butter and sugar, it’s essential that the milk mixture is at room temperature. If it’s too warm or too cold, it can cause the frosting to break.

      Chilling: Chilling the frosting is fine, especially if it’s too soft to pipe. However, if the frosting was put in the fridge for an extended period and then re-whipped without coming to room temperature, it could lead to a change in texture. However, based on your description, the frosting was wrong before refrigeration.

      Did you follow the cooking time and consistency described when making the milk and flour mixture?
      Was the milk mixture at room temperature when added to the butter and sugar?

  4. I was trying to decide what is best with red velvet, buttercream or cream cheese frosting, and I stumbled upon your recipe. I’ve never even heard of ermine!
    IT WAS PERFECT!
    Thank you :))

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