Ermine Frosting

Helene

(1)

Looking for a cake frosting that is not too sweet, not too buttery, but it’s still light, fluffy, pipeable, and of course delicious, so the Ermine Frosting (aka flour buttercream) is for you.

If you’re not a big lover of American buttercream, this Ermine Frosting is a great alternative, the perfect balance between sweetness and flavor. And it’s easier to make that Swiss meringue buttercream.

ermine frosting on a cupcake

What’s Ermine Frosting / Ermine Buttercream?

Also called flour frosting, boiled milk frosting, and heritage frosting, this Ermine Frosting is made with a milk pudding base (milk, flour, sugar, salt) added to whipped butter. Don’t worry, no flour taste in this flour frosting.

Why you’ll love this Ermine Frosting?

  • It’s easy to make
  • No eggs require
  • It requires common ingredients you probably already have in your pantry
  • It’s great for frosting, filling, or pipe decorations
  • The flavor can be changed easily 
  • You can color it easily with gel or powder
  • The ermine icing is not overly sweet, and you don’t need 1lb of powdered sugar.
  • If easy to fix in case you have a curdle ermine buttercream.
ermine frosting close-up

How to make Ermine Icing Recipe?

Everyone deserves a cake with a nice frosting, and this recipe is the best frosting recipe, at least for me.

Making ermine buttercream is actually pretty simple:

-In a small saucepan, combine flour, sugar and salt. And add in your milk.

-Cook over medium-heat until a simmer, stirring constantly until the mixture is fully combined, no lumps remain, and it thickens to a pudding-like consistency. 

-Continue to cook for another 2-3 minutes.

-Pour the mixture into a heat-proof bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Make sure to touch the surface of the mixture to prevent skin from forming. Cool to room temperature.

-When your pudding base is cooled and ready to use, stir with a spoon to soften.

-Note: your ingredients must be at room temperature.

-Place your softened butter in the bowl of your stand mixer with the paddle attachment. Beat until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes. Scrap the sides as needed.

-While the mixer is running on a medium speed, add one tablespoon at the time of the pudding mixture, making sure it’s fully incorporated with the butter before each addition.

-Once all the pudding base is fully incorporated, swap with the whisk attachment and whip the ermine buttercream on medium-high speed for 2-3 minutes until smooth and fluffy.

-Add your vanilla extract or any flavorings and mix but do not overmix. And here is your Ermine Frosting recipe, ready to be used.

Full instructions are at the bottom of the page. Get all measurements, ingredients, and instructions in the printable version at the end of this post.

Here the process in photos, step by step:

ermine frosting process
ermine frosting process
ermine frosting process
ermine frosting process

How to add flavor to the Ermine Frosting?

You can start by infusing the milk with:

  • Vanilla
  • Dried berry powder
  • Espresso powder
  • Cocoa powder

Or, at the end, when the whipped butter is fully mixed with the pudding-base, you can add:

  • Vanilla extract
  • Melted chocolate (melt the chocolate and let it cool, we don’t want to incorporate it when it’s hot, otherwise it will melt the butter)
  • Dulce de leche
  • Pistachio butter
  • Berry jam: small quantity and choose a jam not too watery 
  • Citrus zest: avoid citrus juice, it might ruin your frosting

Troubleshooting with the Ermine Frosting?

My Ermine Buttercream is curdled: 

First, it’s completely normal that at the early stage, it curdles a bit, just keep whipping.

If you still have a curdle buttercream: either the pudding base or the butter was too cold. Keep whipping a little bit, and it might come together.

If it’s still not come together, all you have to do is warm it up a bit:

– Place the bowl briefly over a pot with simmering water.

– Some people warm the sides of the bowl with a hairdryer. I have never tried this method.

– Microwave 1/4 of the buttercream for 10 seconds, then pour it back into the buttercream. 

IMPORTANT: No matter which option you choose, make sure you warm up a little bit; we don’t want to melt the butter.

My Ermine Frosting is too soft:

-Either your butter is too soft, or the flour mixture is still warm. Place the bowl in the fridge for 20-30 minutes and re-whip.

-Ensure to measure the ingredients correctly; too much milk and the buttercream turns too soft.

-Make sure you cook the pudding base long enough. If the pudding base is not thick enough, you probably didn’t cook enough.

ermine frosting close-up

FAQs

How to store the Ermine Frosting?

This frosting can be left at room temperature for 4-5 hours, depending on your climate; beyond that, it should be refrigerated.

My buttercream gets hard in the fridge. Like any buttercream, it will firm up to the consistency of butter in the fridge. Ermine Frosting should be eaten at room temperature. Let it back at room temperature for 1 or 2 hours to soften again before consuming, time depending on how hot the day is. 

Can I make it in advance?

It’s best used immediately. Like any buttercream, it will set quickly.

But the frosting can be placed in an airtight container and refrigerated for 4-5 days. Make sure to bring it up to room temperature and re-whip it before using. 

Alternatively, prepare the pudding base the day before, and place it in the fridge. Don’t forget to bring it back to room temperature the following day.

Can I color it? 

Yes! Use color gels or powder for best results.

How to get a pure white buttercream?

Start to beat the butter well until it becomes very light.

Add a tiny amount of purple gel food coloring at the very end. When I say a tiny, it’s literally a minuscule amount as we just want to neutralize the yellow (opposite color in the color wheel).

Can I use it under fondant?

I’ve never tried it myself, but after a bit of research on google, it seems it is firm enough to use under fondant.

ermine frosting piping decoration

Try these recipes, next:

If you tried this Ermine Frosting or any recipe on the blog, let me know how you liked it by leaving a comment below.

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Ermine Frosting

  • Prep time: 20 minutes
  • Cook time: 15 minutes
  • Total time: 2 hours
  • Serves: 1

The Ermine Frosting (aka flour buttercream) is not too sweet, not too buttery, but it's still light, fluffy, pipeable, and of course delicious.

Ingredients

  • 35 g (1/4 cup) all-purpose flour
  • 125 g (1/2 cup + 2 tablespoons) caster sugar
  • 1 pinch salt
  • 275 ml (1 cup + 2 tablespoons ) milk
  • 250 g (1 cup + 2 tablespoons) unsalted butter, softened
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Method

  • 1)

    In a small saucepan, combine flour, sugar and salt.  Add in your milk . Cook over medium heat until a simmer, stirring constantly until the mixture is fully combined, no lumps remain, and it thickens to a pudding-like consistency.

    The process is very similar to a pastry cream. It usually takes between 10 to 15 minutes, depending on your stovetop or the size of your saucepan.

  • 2)

    Continue to cook for another 2-3 minutes.

  • 3)

    Pour the mixture into a heat-proof bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Make sure to touch the surface of the mixture to prevent a skin from forming. Cool to room temperature.

    Note: You can let it cool in the fridge but make sure it’s back to room temperature before continuing the recipe.

  • 4)

    When your pudding base is cooled and ready to use, give a stir with a spoon to soften a little bit.

    Note: your pudding base must be at room temperature but not too warm/soft to continue the recipe. The butter should be soft.

  • 5)

    Place your butter in the bowl of your stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Beat until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes. Scrap the sides as needed.

  • 6)

    While the mixer is running on a medium speed, add one tablespoon at the time of the pudding mixture, making sure it’s fully incorporated with the butter before each addition.

  • 7)

    Once all the pudding base is fully incorporated, swap with the whisk attachment and whip the ermine buttercream on medium-high speed for 2-3 minutes until smooth and fluffy.

  • 8)

    Add your vanilla extract and whip on medium speed until fully incorporated but do not overmix . And here is your Ermine Frosting recipe, ready to be used.

Notes

US/UK baking spoons, standard size:  teaspoon: 5ml / tablespoon: 15ml / cup: 240ml

quantity to frost :
– 10-12 cupcakes: depending which decoration you choose.
– a 3 layer 6-inch cake with no special decorating or for a naked cake with a nice decoration on top.

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