Lemon Ermine Frosting is a smooth, creamy, and buttery frosting made with a cooked lemon juice and flour mixture for just the right lemony zing in every taste. It has a smooth-as-silk texture and a POP of bright lemon tartness that pairs so well with the subtle sweetness of classic ermine frosting. It will give many baked goods a bright lemon flavor! It is perfect for piping and frosting cakes! I also have a Vanilla Ermine Frosting you will love!

Lemon Ermine Frosting Piped into a Glass Jar with Lemons around it.
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Ingredients & Substitutions

Lemon Juice: For best results, use freshly squeezed lemon juice. You will need about 4-5 large lemons for one cup of juice.

Flour: All-purpose flour will be cooked with lemon juice before being added to the creamed butter and sugar.

Butter: Use unsalted butter for the best results in the frosting.

Sugar: Ermine frosting uses just one cup of granulated sugar. This is less when compared to many other frosting recipes like Buttercream.

Steps for making the heated flour mixture then adding butter and sugar to stand mixer and then adding flour mixture to stand mixer to make Lemon Ermine Frosting.

What is Lemon Ermine Frosting?

Ermine Frosting is a frosting usually made with a cooked mixture of milk and flour. In this case, instead of milk, I cooked freshly squeezed lemon juice with the flour. The process of cooking the flour mixture makes it different from buttercream, which does not require any cooking. Ermine frosting also has a silkier texture than buttercream. I also have a chocolate ermine frosting you will love!

Bowl of Lemon Ermine Frosting Smoothed Out with Lemons around.

What Desserts Pair Well With Lemon Ermine?

This bright, tangy lemon ermine frosting would pair well with many cakes, cupcakes, and other desserts. Here are some ideas:

Spoonful of Lemon Ermine Frosting.

How to Store Lemon Ermine Frosting

Although best used immediately, lemon ermine frosting can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator. It will last up to a week. When ready to use, let it come to room temperature. Then, whip it to bring back its smooth texture.

More Ermine Frostings

Lemon Ermine Frosting Piped into a Glass Jar with Lemons around it.
5 from 6 votes

Lemon Ermine Frosting

Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 5 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes
Lemon Ermine is a smooth, creamy, and buttery frosting made with a cooked lemon juice and flour mixture for just the right lemony zing in every taste. Be warned, this frosting is beautifully tart & sweet!



  • In a medium saucepan over medium heat, whisk together the lemon juice and flour. Cook, whisking constantly, for 1-2 minutes, or until boiling. Boil for one minute, still whisking constantly. Remove from heat and bring 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 room-temperature lemon 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. Mix on high for 7-8 minutes, or until the frosting is smooth and creamy.

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What the Test Kitchen had to say about this recipe:


I have a new love for Ermine Frosting. After testing the original Ermine, we wanted to try ALL of the flavors. Lemon is my new favorite. You get that zing of lemon with a beautiful buttery finish. This would be great on a white cake or cupcake.

It was tart and delicious! If you are looking for a LEMON frosting, this one will make you pucker! Loved it! So fresh, and tart!


There is definitely a kick to this lemon frosting! I was surprised by how much zing there was to it. I really loved the lemon flavor overall. It was tart and had the right amount of sweetness.


This frosting definitely has lemon zing as soon as you taste it. Then, the smooth, buttery flavor is noticed. It would be a lovely addition to many desserts if you love lemon!


This is just the perfect frosting. It whips up so nicely and is perfect for piping. The fresh, bright lemon taste is perfect for any spring dessert or cake!

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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. To Amanda Rettke, I have reviewed each step on how to make this amazing frosting for cakes and etc., I would rather have this Frosting for my cakes than store bought. I will be trying this Recipe so wish me luck.
    Thank you,
    Mary C Birdwell

  2. My Aunt made this type of frosting. We never knew what it was called, just Aunt Betty’s icing. It’s the best!!!

      1. Should looked further in the comment section, to clear the air. I wish you had a cooking show videos libraries.

    1. I’ve made ermine icing with gluten free flour and it turned out perfectly. I also used a monk fruit Allulose sugar replacement.

  3. I made a lemon layer cake. I used this frosting for the filling between the layers. Then I did a crumb layer using the rest of the frosting all over the cake. Then frosted the entire cake with a Swiss buttercream. It was a hit. The lemon ermine was nice and lemony without being too tart.

  4. This frosting was so easy to whip up using my stand mixer. The tart and sweetness of this frosting is phenomenal! Nice and whipped.

  5. Amanda, thanks for all the great recipes. However, I will be adding a half tsp of vanilla extract to this, as another recipe I am famous for in my family, calls for fresh lemon juice/confectioners sugar/vanilla extract soak. It is the small amount of vanilla extract that elevates the lemon flavor out of the stratosphere. I hope you try it sometime. 🙂

    I am going to try this with some sort of cake, leaning toward a fresh blueberry cake or perhaps just a plain yellow cake, and garnish with fresh muddled, lightly sugared and warmed blueberries.

  6. JUST the kind of frosting recipe I was looking for! Thank you! What do you think… Could I mix a shot of Irish Creme as part of the milk?

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