Perfect Cupcake Frosting and Filling


I always hear people say “I’m not a frosting person.” And while part of me thinks that’s ridiculous, I can understand to a certain extent when so many frosting are sickeningly sweet and heavy feeling. I love frosting that is more like whipped cream. I used to actually fold whipped cream into classic buttercream to get that lighter texture and not so rich taste. Then I realized that I could get that same result with this very unusual method.  I’d say it’s the perfect frosting.  It’s not so thick and sweet that you need a gallon of milk to get it down your throat. It’s mild and smooth, and light as air. I also love it because it doesn’t take away from a good cupcake like other really rich frostings can.  This frosting has a similar feeling and texture to a Swiss Buttercream, but with way less effort.  It’s great as a filling OR a frosting.

amazing vanilla frosting

Let me show you!  The frosting starts out with a mixture of all purpose flour and milk. 

amazing frosting

And even though I’m showing it here being whisked together, I’ve actually found you’ll get a much smoother result if you mix this part in a blender first and then pour it in your pan. 

easy white frosting

Now comes the weird part.  You’re going to cook this mixture until it gets thick- it happens fast and you’ll want to have a rubber spatula and constantly smash/stir it to keep it smooth.

Amazing frosting recipe

I usually take it off the heat when it looks like this photo above.  There are still some wet spots but as you stir it all comes together like this:

best frosting

Don’t taste it.  It’s not frosting, yet!  Pop it in the fridge- it needs to cool completely.  I sometimes pop it in the freezer if I want it to cool fast.  Put it in a bowl and smoosh it around and stir every few minutes to cool it off.

While it’s chilling, place some real butter (no margarine) and granulated sugar (not powdered sugar!) in a stand mixer. 

best frosting recipe

Whip it up for a few minutes so it’s light and creamy.  I use the whisk attachment on my kitchenaid, but any paddle should work.  Then you’ll add that glob of flour.  I know.  Weird!

amazing vanilla frosting recipe

I’m warning you right now it’s going to look weird at first.  Like, what the heck did I do weird.  But keep going.  You’ve got to whip it for a long time for all the sugar to dissolve and everything to come together.  Don’t be startled if it looks curdled and weird.  Eventually it will look like fluffy soft clouds of heaven.

Best vanilla frosting recipe

I usually give it a little taste and if I can still feel quite a bit of granulated sugar I keep on whipping.  Sometimes it takes 5 minutes, other times I let it go for almost 10 or so!  It’s worth it for this silky, fluffy, magical mixture.  

best vanilla frosting recipe

Pipe it or spread it or fill it or whatever.  Anyway you eat it, it’s fantastic.  Here’s a video if you need to visualize!


amazing vanilla frosting

Helpful Tips

1. Use real butter, and a good name-brand. Cheap butter does weird things.

2. If you beat for the 6-8 minutes and the mixture still looks strange, beat longer and at a higher speed if you can. It should come together, but it takes a little patience!

3. I personally think this frosting is best eaten fresh.  You can store for a few hours at room temperature, or try storing in the fridge overnight, letting it come to room temperature on its own, and then re-beating to fluff.  If you want to frost cupcakes or a cake the day before, refrigerate and just let come to room temp after.

4. Add extracts to your hearts content; lemon is wonderful! Food coloring is also okay.

5. The white sugar can be exchanged for brown. Try 1/2 white 1/2 brown for a warm caramel flavor.

6. Do not try to make other substitutions or additions. Sour cream, fruit purees etc. can do disastrous things.  Some people have had amazing success, just experiment at your own risk.  

7.  If trying to decide whether or not to double it- double it.  Chances are you’ll want more.  It’s a rather small batch, but on purpose.  

1 batch will not look like much, but it can spread on (just with a knife, a normal amount) 24 cupcakes.  If you want to pipe it thick, definitely double it.

Looking for Chocolate? This isn’t exactly the same, but very similar!

Perfect Cupcake Frosting and Filling

3 T Flour
1/2 C milk (whole milk is best, but I use non-fat when it’s all I have and it’s actually fine)
1/2 C real butter (I prefer salted, but you can use also unsalted and add salt to taste)
1/2 C sugar (that’s granulated sugar, not powdered sugar)
1 t vanilla extract, or other flavor if you wish.

Whisk together the flour and the milk. Heat in a small sauce pan on medium heat.
Whisk continuously until it starts to thicken. Let it cook, while stirring with a rubber spatula, until you can start to see the bottom of the pan.   Continue to cook until mixture has the consistency of thick pudding or paste.

Put  mixture in the fridge and let it cool completely, it’s fine if it stays in there long enough to get chilly, you just don’t want it warm at all. As it’s cooling, feel free to stir it occasionally to speed up the process and keep it from forming a crust on top.

It an electric stand mixer, beat the butter and the sugar for a minute or two until well combined and fluffy. You’ll want to use the whisk attachment on a stand mixer if you have one, instead of the flat paddle. Then while beating, add in the thickened milk mixture and the vanilla. Beat to combine and then scrape down the sides. Mixture will separate and look messy, keep beating!  Continue beating until mixture comes together and is light and fluffy, about 7-8 minutes, but time varies.  Take a sample of frosting between your fingers; frosting is done when light and fluffy and sugar granules are dissolved.






Related Recipes:
Chocolate-Glazed Cupcakes with Vanilla Creme Filling
Strawberries and Cream Cupcakes
Colorburst Cupcakes



  1. I agree with Cassie, this is the best frosting ever. Thanks for the cupcake Sara, now I know where the next 5lbs will be coming from. Sweet.

  2. Just tried this and must’ve done something wrong. Maybe using margarine in place of butter doesn’t work. My 3yr old thought it tasted so yummy though. I ended up adding an entire bag of powdered sugar, just ended up tasting like regular frosting, and I have about 4 cups of it. I’ll have to try again.

    1. I dont care if this is 4 years old, I have to comment. She specified REAL BUTTER and GRANULATED SUGAR

      It amazes me how people continue to blame blogs for their inability to read a freaking recipe.

      1. cords, compulsive commenting disorder?! i dont see where Millionaire Mommy blamed the blog. have you checked out your own inability to read and comprehend? she blamed herself more than she needed and still found a way to say something positive.

        are you sara’s mommy 🙂

        sara great recipe (although if you would try something without butter, it would impress me immensely) but one of your comments to someone else’s unsuccessful attempt makes me think you don’t always take negative feedback too well.

  3. Alright Millionaire Mommy- I don’t know if you’re a regular reader or not, but if you are, you should know in my recipes to ALWAYS USE REAL BUTTER! Lol. Especially in something like this where butter is a main ingredient. It’s what makes this frosting so yummy. I made sure to write “real butter” in the recipe because it would just be icky with margarine! Plus, the real problem- which is probably what happened with yours, is that margarine has extra moisture and other compounds in there, so when you’re whipping everything together, it messes up the chemical composition that would otherwise make it so light and fluffy.

    Give it another shot- with BUTTER! 🙂

    Oh- and you didn’t use powdered sugar in the original recipe, did you? Make sure to use granulated.

    1. this is the second time I have made this recipe, and I had major frosting failure – on my daughter’s 12th birthday. :0( And before ya’ll crucify me for not being able to read a recipe, I used REAL butter, I used granulated sugar and all that. I cooled the flour/milk mixture. The butter was not very soft, though and I’m wondering if that was my mistake? I beat it with the sugar, and it softened, but was not super light and fluffy. Would that alone keep it from completely emulsifying? It looked awful – I had to throw it away and go to the store to buy a cake. After saying a few bad words.

      The first time I made it, I think my butter was a touch too soft, but it emulsified nicely, and I just put the cupcakes in the fridge for a little afterwards. Tasted great. How did I screw up so bad?

      1. Sorry Connie, I can’t tell ya what went wrong! I’ve never had it not turn out so I come up with as many ideas as I can, but in the end they’re just guesses!

      2. It could have been that you had grease in your mixing bowl or on your whisk attachment. You should always wipe it all down with vinegar first. I’ve read this in another blog once. Good luck if you try it again.

      3. I think you just had to let it keep mixing. She did say that if it didn’t look smooth keep it going and eventually it would come together. So this is possibly a recipe that calls for lots of patience 😉

    2. If you have extra frosting would it stay more than the few hours that you mentioned before ? Say a day or two ?

  4. Okay, my frosting came out funny. And it tasted a little funny, too, so I think I did something wrong (it tasted like grocery store frosting; it may have something to do with my increasing belief that Walmart and Sam’s Club butter isn’t actually 100% butter. And I’m not even a conspiracy theorist). When I do this all over again, here’s my plan (because it also totally trashed my kitchen–seriously, MASSIVE usage of lots of dishes here! 🙂 )

    –Make the frosting in advance. I think part of the problem was that my kitchen was still too warm after baking the cupcakes, so that, combined with the long beating time, made the butter semi-melty.

    –Make the cupcakes when it was convenient. Then hold onto them until I’m ready to fill them. I think doing it all at once was what made it so messy.

  5. Okay, I just re-read and you said NOT to make it in advance. So maybe I’ll make the cupcakes in advance. Oh, Sara, where did I go WRONG?? It was WEIRD.

  6. Mine turned out weird, too. It looked nothing like your picture. I was so sad! Maybe I’ll try it again.

  7. This frosting is soooooo good! It’s the perfect combination of not-too-sweet and creamy! I’m loving it so thanks a whole bunch o’ cupcakes 🙂

  8. I’m pleased to report that the second time I made this, it wasn’t weird. I don’t know WHAT the deal was the first time (although my kitchen really WAS hot…I’m thinking that had something to do with it), but the second time I made it, it was amazing! Yummy yummy yummy!

    1. I’ve been making a version of this for most of my life. It will be a mess if your kitchen is too warm. If it starts melting while you’re beating it, put bags of frozen vegetables around the bowl. You may be able to save it. I usually make the cooked flour mixture while the cake is baking. When the cake is cool enough to frost, the frosting mixture is cool enough too. Our traditional chocolate family birthday cake uses this frosting with a bit of mint and a bit of green color. Amazing!

  9. Can you add a flavor to this – like a tiny bit of lemon (or lime or coconut) powder? (the ‘real’ kind of powder…?) Just curious. I’m looking for a whipped, light, lemony or limey or cocunutty recipe, and I have some of the powders from KAF… so I was thinking if a half a teaspoon was mixed in at the sugar-butter-beating stage? Whatdyareckon?

  10. Oh Mary Mary Mary, you have no idea. I just made this a few weeks ago and I added 1t of pure lemon extract in (along with the vanilla) and it was to DIE for. Seriously I could have eaten it all with a spoon! I put it in between little mini lemon cakes and everyone was asking me what the heck was in there because it was so yummy. I’m actually concocting a dessert right now to post that uses it. So yes- flavor it up! I’ve wanted to try coconut, and also peppermint (on a chocolate cupcake, can you imagine?)

    1. Thanks for the this comment post. I was wondering the same thing about using a lemon filling. I will try it in my lemon cupcakes.

    2. I used this recipe for my first baking attempt. FOOL PROOF. Absolutely delicious. I just had some trouble with getting rid of all the flour lumps, which is why I keep getting small jelly bits in my icing. Hahaha. But nonetheless, it tasted fantastic. My mom even asked me for the recipe;)

      I started baking regularly because my cupcakes were such a success the first time, and I tried adding some extracts. My little sis loved the one I added strawberry extract to. And my brother, the one with mango extract. While my dad (who really isn’t a fan of icing or anything sweet), actually liked the one I added some almond extract to. Just have fun experimenting. I did and loved it ♥ Thanks so much for the recipe!

      1. I had an issue of the small jelly bits, too. Drove me NUTS as I was trying to pipe the icing onto cupcakes for my daughter’s birthday. It took me twice as long because I had to keep stopping to clean out the tip. Any suggestions to preventing this problem? Did I not mix it long enough? But it was delicious, and everyone was complimenting me on the cupcakes, but it sure was a pain to get them iced!

        1. I actually came across a similar flour based frosting before, the only difference was that it required icing sugar rather than granulated sugar. The instructions for the other recipe I came across said to beat the cooked flour mixture really well just before you add it to the butter and sugar mixture. I use a hand mixer so I just quickly whipped it and I never had a problem with coming across jelly bits in my frosting 🙂

      2. I don’t fancy extra steps like straining the mixture after cooking or cleaning out icing tips, so I measure the milk into my blender, add the flour, and whip it up before cooking in a pan. I just read that adding the sugar at this point also helps speed the process of the beating, since the sugar is already dissolved; I’m trying that today, since the blender method works so well (I’ve made it that way at least eight times in the last year, and I live in a HOT part of CA…I just use butter straight from the fridge and let my Bosch work the miracle, it doesn’t take as long as most people say if I do that). Anyhoot, try the blender, you won’t be sorry.

  11. Hi, Sara!

    Thanks for leaving your comment the other day on Needle 'n Thread! I will certainly try the flavorings – can't decide if I should do lemon or coconut first! In any case, tomorrow is Saturday, and you have inspired me to BAKE. I'll let you know how they turn out!

    I've subscribed to your feed here – and spent, oh… probably too much time meandering about. There are only 100 things I want to bake tomorrow. But I'll settle for the cupcakes & frosting!

    Thanks again!


  12. How long does this frosting last? I plan to make it on a Saturday to serve on Monday…will it keep? And have you tried it with brown sugar instead of white? I’m trying my hand at some cookie-dough cupcakes, and I thought a brown sugar icing would be perfect!

  13. ya know Dorothy, I haven’t had a lot of luck making this frosting ahead of time. When I kept mine in the fridge over night I found it started to separate. So since then I’ve only made it fresh. You might want to do a practice run and see how it stores best. Also I’ve never tried it with brown sugar, but you’re right- if it worked I bet it would taste amazing with cookie dough cupcakes! If I were you I’d start experimenting! Will you come back and let us know how it goes? I’m curious about all of those questions myself 🙂

    1. I made it with 50% white and 50% brown sugar and it was REALLY sweet, but still very good and the perfect consistency.

  14. This came out just like you described it: like the consistency of whipped cream, light and fluffy. The texture is great; it isn’t too rich and sweet like store-bought icing. I think I’ll try this on some cupcakes and take them to school with me–my friends will love them! How did you find out how to make icing with granulated sugar?

  15. Keristew-

    It depends on how much you’re putting on. (Piled high or just spread on top) But I’d say if you’re doing more than 12 you should double it.

  16. I’d really like to make this for my daughter’s b-day cupcakes at school, but I don’t think I can stomach getting up to make frosting “fresh” on a school day morning (on top of everything else!)… can I frost the cupcakes the night before and leave them room temp overnight, or will something weird and sicky happen?

    1. Just found and tried your recipe. Loved it, it was just like you said light, fluffy and just the right amount of sweetness. Have taken a beginner Wilton cake decorating class and tried making small flowers and leaves and it worked pretty good. I will definitely use it, can’t wait to try the chocolate version too. Got it from your site already.
      Thank you.

  17. sarey-

    It just so happens that I frosted cupcakes with this last night and left one out all night to see what happens! Don’t worry, nothing “sicky” happens, lol. But it does thicken/harden a little when sitting out that long. It is definitely MUCH better fresh. It almost takes on the texture of soft butter when left out. If I were you and you don’t want to make it the morning of- I’d probably stick to a classic buttercream. Although this stuff is really good so I hope you try it!

  18. Ok, I'm not an experienced cook/baker/whathave you. So, I have a possibly stupid question. The flour. Is it All purpose? Or something else?

  19. Renee- not a stupid question at all! I should specify in the recipe- yes, just regular ol' all purpose flour.

  20. I feel so lame now for offering to bring cupcakes to our meeting for Carolyn. What was I thinking? Next time I'll leave it to the professional, or at least copy your recipes!

  21. This recipe is AMAZING! I've made it three times and have gotten fantastic reviews every time! It's delicious as a filling in strawberry cupcakes with melted white chocolate lightly drizzled on top 🙂

  22. I've made this recipe 3 or 4 times, and every time it's been a hit! This is the only frosting my husband actually likes. Thanks for sharing it!

  23. I just want everyone to know we love this frosting. It's become our primary frosting besides ganache which I love but it too decadent for others. I know there is discussion about this lasting overnight….well let me tell you… I always make my kids cupcakes for school the day before. I leave the cupcakes out over night for at least 18 hours and they still taste fine the next day. I don't refrigerate it or leave it uncovered and they come out perfect. If it is very hot they might get runny but that's the except not the rule.

  24. Savoryouarsweetness- I'm so glad you posted that, thanks! I guess the trick is to not refrigerate overnight, which makes sense because I think it's the hardening of the butter than can cause condensation.

    So hear that everyone? Make ahead, just leave at room temp overnight!

  25. Okay what am I doing wrong? I tried this recipe TWICE and both times it tasted pretty good but the consistency was like cottage cheese. Is it my Walmart butter, the speed on my mixer, how long I beat it (the first time around 8 minutes, the second time around 15 on medium high speed)Got any suggestions?

  26. Okay, my guess (especially if you take a look at my earlier comment) is the Walmart butter–I swear to you all, that stuff isn't 100% butter. So give some Land O'Lakes a try and see if it works any better.

  27. I have attempted to make this a few times…with various results. It's my first time to really make icing from scratch, so I'm probably making simple mistakes. But one question is about the following…is this a step I am missing?

    "Even though it's thick, you can still it through a mesh strainer (just whisk in the strainer to push the thick stuff through)"

  28. amy- The only purpose of straining the flour mixture is to get rid of any clumps because they some times will hold up through the beating process and you'll have little flour lumps in your frosting. So yes, I always whisk mine through a strainer before cooling, but that shouldn't make or break it, ya know?

    I wish I could pinpoint what goes wrong when this doesn't turn out for people. I've honestly never had it *not* work so I'm not sure what happens!

  29. I LOVE this recipe! I was not a big frosting person until I made this frosting. I can not wait to make this for my sisters birthday party! Thank you soo much Sara.

  30. Melissa- yes it should work. Just keep it at the highest speed you can without it splattering all over the place and keep it going for the full amount of time. And recruit a helper so your arms don't get tired!

  31. Hi Sara
    Thanks for this recipe, I have been looking for a light coloured frosting as the normal buttercream has quite alot of yellow tint on it. Will this frosting be lighter?

  32. sundazy- it's an off-white, but I it's definitely whiter than a normal buttercream. I didn't edit the color in any of my pictures, so yes, it's pretty white. Hope it's what you're looking for!

  33. I just made this frosting with the colorful cupcakes and… It turned out GREAT!!! Thanks sooo much for the recipe, I have needed something like this for years.

  34. how do you *frost* the cupcakes? they look SO perfect in the picture. do you use a device or frosting bag?

  35. how do you *frost* the cupcakes? they look SO perfect in the picture. do you use a device or frosting bag?

  36. April–Someday we should do a tutorial on cupcake swirls! 🙂 It's really very easy–like, once you get the hang of it, it's much, much faster than icing them by hand.

    Anyway, you'll need an icing bag (or a large, heavy-duty Ziploc bag), a Wilton 1M star tip, and a large coupler. You can get most of the Wilton tips and couplers at Walmart, but I've never been able to find the 1M star tip or large coupler there. I've seen them both at Hobby Lobby and Michael's.

    Anyway, use the coupler to attach the tip to the bag and then fill the bag with icing. Pipe a swirl around the outside of the cupcake and then, while maintaining the pressure and not breaking the flow, make a smaller swirl on top of the big swirl and end with a little flourish. Does that make sense? It's a lot easier than it sounds. You could even get a cheap can of frosting to practice with. Anyway, let us know if you still have questions! 🙂

  37. Sara… THANK YOU! who would have thought white sauce could turn this butter frosting into silky and smooth mixture? It's also very light, very similar to swiss buttercream, but 30% less fat and sugar, I'll say! I tried this recipe for cupcakes frosting yesterday for a 3 years old who loves pink, skeptical at first.. but it turned out beautifully. Thanks again Sara! Well done.

    Note, I kept the frosting in fridge for 1 hour and it turned curdly… I solved this by beating them for a good 5 minutes and it's silky smooth again.

  38. THANK YOU! This frosting is amazing and SO easy. I have been looking for a perfect buttercream for my son's first birthday. Regular frostings are just WAY too sweet. I just whipped up a batch of this during naptime and it was so quick and it came together so quickly and perfectly. It leaves no oily weirdness and tastes like perfection- not too sugary, not too buttery. YUM!

  39. I wanted to wait until after I'd made this a couple of times to write a review… I made it for the fourth time yesterday, and have a few observations to share.

    1. BEATING TIME. The first time I made this I set my stand mixer on speed 6 and beat it for 7 minutes. I kept peaking in at it, and at 7 minutes it looked like a disaster – separated, gloppy, curdled, and gross. I figured I had nothing to lose by continuing to beat it, so I did. By the time I hit 9 minutes it was starting to transform, and by 10 minutes it was perfect. So now I beat it on the speed 8 setting, and by 7.5 – 8 minutes, it is perfect.

    2. "CHEAP" BUTTER VS. NAME BRAND BUTTER. For the reviewers who commented on the difference between "cheap" butter and name brand butter, I think there is some truth to this. With my first batch I used name brand butter and it turned out great. With the second batch, the small grocery store where I pick up last-minute items was out of the name brand unsalted butter, so I had to get the store brand. No big deal, right? WRONG.

    I did everything with the frosting the SAME way I did the first time, and although it did eventually start to resemble frosting after a LONG beating time, the finished product was very… umm… well, greasy. If you looked at it closely, it looked like it was separated in some parts of the frosting (kind of like if you didn't scrape down the bowl very well and it wasn't well mixed, although that wasn't the case). I also noticed a strange "greasy" film on the inside of the mixing bowl that I had not noticed the first time around. The taste didn't seem to be much different (still tasted very good) – but I still ended up throwing it out b/c it did not LOOK appetizing at all.

    I remade the frosting two days later with name brand butter and it turned out perfectly. I have no idea if this was a fluke or not, but I don't plan on chancing it again.

    3. STORAGE & SHELF LIFE. I have had these babies out on my counter for as long as two nights/three days in a sealed tight storage container and they stayed very fresh and yummy.

    Anyway, I can tell you from experience that the frosting keeps really well at room temp as long as its sealed tight. I did find that if you plan on keeping them for a couple of days, be sure to frost the cupcakes clear to the edge to keep the cake moist. Otherwise, the cake gets a bit dry around the edges.

    A couple of random notes…
    – This frosting is very white and beautiful, not off-white/yellow that you're used to seeing with homemade frosting with butter in them.
    – This frosting is even more light and airy than I expected from reading the original recipe and reviews. The density REALLY is like whipped cream, but far more tasty! Yes, I know that you said it was… but I'm a seeing-is-believing kind of girl. 🙂
    – I expected that this frosting may not hold up well to decor on top due to the light, airy texture – but it holds its own! I have used sprinkles, drizzles of chocolate, and even candy pieces – they all turned out perfect without pushing the frosting down or making it fall off the side.
    – Sara is right about doubling the recipe. By the time you eat some and then pile it high on the cupcakes, one batch is for sure not enough for 24 cupcakes.

    In the end I have to say that this is hands down one of the best frostings I've ever made, and it will continue to be a favorite of mine. Truth be told, I haven't made a "real" buttercream frosting since I found this recipe (and I might not for quite some time!) I think you could pile this stuff on just about anything and make it good! I just made them for a July 4th picnic and someone said they were glad that I "brought those cupcakes with the good icing!" 🙂 Thanks again for this awesome recipe Sara!

    A couple of pics on my blog:

    1. I second that–GREAT review! I tried making it the first time with a generic brand of butter, and while it was good tasting I agree that it had a kind of greasy film…it didn’t get quite as light as most people say, either. I also desperately wanted to know if I could make them today for a picnic tomorrow, so was happy to see that isn’t a problem as long as you don’t refrigerate them! I also thought your cupcakes on your blog turned out great! Thank you so much for taking the time to post such a helpful review! I’m off to buy some Land 0’Lakes butter and looking forward to frosting nirvana (something which I didn’t think existed outside of ganache…I hate powdered sugar frostings with a passion!!!). 🙂

  40. Although this was the strangest frosting I have ever made – the process was strange it turned out wonderful! I love the texture, how light and fluffy it is and the taste is awesome. I am a frosting snob and truly only eat cake for the frosting so it has to be good! I made two batchs. The first one I think I cooked the flour/milk mixture too fast and too hot and it got real thick – It was so thick I couldn't put it threw the strainer so I didn't but it still turned out great. The second batch I did a better job in getting the pudding consistency and it worked with the strainer. Thanks girls- I have a new favorite frosting recipe.

  41. I ran out of all-purpose flour and all I have is bread flour, do you think it will still work? I can't wait to top the strawberries and cream cupcakes with this!

  42. Heidi–Bread flour has a lot more gluten than all-purpose flour, so I'm thinking you may run into some problems. Based on the comments we've gotten, that this recipe is already a little on the tempermental side, so if it were me, I probably wouldn't tempt fate…get thee to a grocery store, girl!! 🙂

  43. I am making this tomorrow and I need to ask a question…I hope it isn't a silly one..:)

    What temp should the butter be when I beat it with the sugar? Is room temp okay or should it be cold, straight from the fridge?


  44. I've made this frosting, to rave reviews, a few times now. My problem is I want to make a cream cheese variation as I am making chocolate zucchini cupcakes. I'm wondering if you can just subtitute some of the butter out for creamcheese (the block kind), is it worth tampering with such a perfect recipe?

  45. mamakatrina-

    I'm so glad you love this. I say tamper away! I've been experimenting with all kinds of variations. I have a really good one coming up in a couple of weeks. Next thing on my list is to figure it out in chocolate. I would LOVE to see it with cream cheese. I say give it a whirl and then come back and give us a report!

  46. I just wanted to jump in on the subject of tinkering with this frosting recipe…strawberry DOES NOT WORK! I've made the standard frosting recipe several times before, all with great success. Today I thought it would be fun to sub out half of the milk with some reduced strawberry puree (frozen strawberries, mashed and cooked down to 1/4 original volume). I think maybe the acidity from the strawberry is wreaking havoc on the frosting, preventing the emulsion from forming. The mixture looked curdled for the longest time, so I kept beating…which resulted in a complete breakdown of the icing into a pink pudding soup! Oh well, at least I know now what NOT to add.

  47. Thanks for the report Dorthy! I can see why a fruit puree wouldn't work very well. Flavored extracts work beautifully though, so you could always try that route next time. Not as great as fresh fruit, but a great back up option!

    1. Actually I have made this with strawberries and it was fabulous! I just added a few tablespoons of crushed frozen (thawed) strawberries and juice at the end. It was so delish!

  48. So yeah, speaking of tinkering, I tried subbing in some cream cheese and it was a mess. Same thing–curdly look, it never set up, and you couldn't taste the cream cheese.

  49. I really like the look of the is recipe, but I still find it extremely sweet. Any suggestions on toing down the sweetness? Add a little salt perhaps. I having also been using low fat milk, do you think that full cream milk might help tone down the sweetness? Thanks in advance for your suggestions.

  50. Clair- not sure what to tell ya girl. I don't think the milk will affect the sweetness at all, and I'd be wary about decreasing the sugar overall because you probably won't get the same texture. But if you wanted to play around with it, I'd cut the sugar by a couple of tablespoons and see if it works. Good luck!

  51. I will sure add this recipe to my personal recipes. I am always looking for a frost that I will like. This one seems to be wonderful. Thanks for sharing.

  52. Amazingly good frosting!!! I made it with margarine (I know… but I didn't have any butter and my car isn't starting.. so yeah… ) and it worked and tasted very very good! Thank you very much for the recipe! ^_^

  53. I LOVE this frosting. I am throwing a baby shower this weekend and the mom has been craving white cupcakes with chocolate frosting. Do you have a chocolate version of this? I just love the texture of this recipe and would rather use it than a buttercream. Thanks!

  54. can you add food coloring to this? My son wants a cake with hot lava on it and i love this frosting and the texture would work for the lava if I could just color it orange though

  55. I just made this. WOW. I am eating it off a spoon as I type this. Best frosting EVER! thank you so much! I added half vanilla and half butter extract.

  56. Wow, this recipe sounds delicious! I need to make about 60 cup cakes for my daughter's birthday party. Will this recipe work if I multiple the ingrediets to make more than one batch at a time?

  57. Hi,
    I wanted to know if I can use food coloring? I want to make some cupcakes for my daughter's high school volleyball team and want to use school colors. I read all the posts til I got to the bottom and then, the question did come up however with no answer!! Please let me know asap!

  58. Sorry Liz, that's because I emailed the answer and sometimes I forget to write it here too! The answer is YES- food coloring works great! I use gel or paste color so I don't add in too much moisture. And just whip it in quickly at the end when the frosting is all ready.

  59. thank you so much for this recipe! I was one of those frosting haters until you showed me the way LOL! It is wonderful!

  60. Love this recipe. I have tripeled it a few times now. Turned out great each time. Have you found a way to make a chocolate version? I'd love to give that a whirl!

  61. This frosting was just what I was looking for. It completely rivals my favorite cupcake store! It was light and fluffy and sat up beautifully on the cupcakes when I swirled them on with my pastry bag. I have searched the world over for this recipe …thank you so much for sharing. I'm so happy!! I've already shared it too. I learned one thing already…I need to take the milk and flour off the heat the minute it starts to set up. I kept on whipping it with the whisk and I had no lumps…I didn't strain it and it still worked perfectly.

  62. this frosting is absolutely sensational. i trialled a lemon variation yesterday for a tea party next week, and it was a big hit. Couple of things:

    – i heated the flour and the milk, whisking almost constantly, until it was VERY, VERY thick, and skipped the strainer step.
    – i used a regular hand-held flat paddle beater on the highest setting.
    – right at the end, i very, very gently folded in the zest of one lemon and applied to lemon cupcakes with a blunt knife.
    – Decorated with candied lemon peel. Perfection.

    the funny thing is, when you add the ultra thick flour milk glop to the beaten butter/sugar, it whips to that gorgeous silken state in about 2 mins on high. i'm not sure if the same result would be achieved with a whisk attachment though.

    Also, when I refrigerated the iced cupcakes overnight, the frosting hardened to the consistency of a light, perfect buttercream. Absolutely no separation or problems at all.

    Just wondering if this could be a solution to the storage problem that people have been experiencing with this frosting?

  63. kez- thanks for those notes, I'm sure they will be helpful to people. I've added lemon zest before too and I agree- it tasted AMAZING!

  64. This frosting looks really good. I've been looking for an easy frosting that doesn't taste like that butter and powdered sugar kind. My question is if the granulated sugar completely dissolves. The last time I made frosting from scratch, the recipe called for having the sugar cooked over a double boiler with egg whites to create a meringue before beating in the butter.

  65. Rebecca,

    Yup. The sugar dissolves completely into a silky smooth fluffy white heaven 🙂

  66. Thank you so much. This frosting plus the rainbow cupcakes was the hit of my daughter's birthday get together. I was a little worried that the frosting wasn't sweet enough, but it was perfect with the cupcake. Thanks again!

  67. I always feel very comfortable in the kitchen, but with this frosting I felt a little uneasey because the texture was not matching your steps Sara. This may be a strange question, but the butter should it be cold, room temp? I know not to melt it or anything, but I thought maybe my butter temp could be the ruining factor, still tasted delicious…but a little ugly to eyes…so I closed them and ate it anyway! Just curious about the butter temp?
    Love your site, thanks!

  68. Ashley, I let my butter sit at room temp for a few minutes, but not long enough to come completely to room temp. Does that make sense? So it's still on the chilly side. This frosting is tricky because it's SO good, but it can be temperamental for some people and I'm not sure what the issue is! Definitely try it again though, sometimes it's just some fluke thing.

  69. I tried this after re-reading the recipe several times and reading ALL the comments. 🙂 Sadly, it never came together (I even beat it for about 20 min altogether, in my stand mixer)… I used my fave butter, but it's cultured (European-style, organic), and I suspect that's what kept it from homogenizing correctly. If anyone has had success with cultured butter, I'd love to hear it. Looks awesome!

  70. I love this frosting! Like one of the later commentators, I stir the milk/flour mixture until it's really thick, and then it whips up a lot faster, and I even like the texture better. My sister pointed me out to this site, and I've used it on other things besides cupcakes, and it was delicious!

  71. hi, i'm thinking of making this recipe for giving out to friends on valentines day, but i was wondering if (since i live in a hot climate 29 degrees Celsius) should i leave these 60 or so cupcakes in the fridge instead? and since i am deciding to make the high-tops, what is the easiest mean of transporting them to give to people? i wanted to give them in individual plastic containers along with other condiments… what do you think? thanks in advance for your advice

  72. Olly, as long as it's not that hot *inside* your house, they should be fine left at room temp. It will definitely separate after being chilled and then thawed again.

    As for transportation, that's up to you. You can buy individual cupcake holders and cute boxes that protect the tops. I get them at my local craft store. Or you could put a cupcake in a plastic cup. That's all I can think of!

  73. This was amazing. I was very sceptical about the sugar disolving, but how wrong was I. I did put the iced cupcakes in the fridge. Ate the last one 3 days later. My frosting didn't separate. A definite keeper. Thanks so much.

  74. Thanks for stopping by my site and telling me about this one. I want to try doing the frosting again in hopes that it turns out better than the first time I made it. I love the steps you gave.

  75. I have been making a slightly different variation of this for many years, but only as a cupcake filling. My recipe calls for half the amount of cooked flour and milk, and instead of 1/2 cup butter it uses 1/4 cup butter or margarine and 1/4 cup shortening. The granulated sugar is 1/3 cup instead of 1/2 cup. I have never had a bit of trouble with it and have never had to put the cooked mixture through a sieve. I'm going to try it as a frosting this afternoon.

  76. adrienne- no you shouldn't be able to feel sugar granules, so maybe you didn't beat it long enough? Or is your sugar extra coarse?

    and the flour mixture should be just a little thicker than a white sauce.

  77. YUM!!! I just made a trial batch of this frosting and it is light and fluffy and reminds me of the whipped cream frosting that I've been trying to find a recipe for forever! I do think it will taste even better when I add lemon extract to go with the lemon cupcakes I'm going to make for my niece's baby shower (I detect a bit of the flour taste when I use vanilla for flavoring). I had the mixture really smooth to begin with so I wonder if I would still have to strain?? Easy and yummy if you follow directions and use the right ingredients and I would also imagine it is important NOT to over cook the flour/milk mixture. THANK YOU!

  78. I had a bake sale recently and used this frosting recipe for the cupcakes and someone came up to me and said that this reminded him of dunkaroos which I thought was the best compliment ever for anyone who understand that those were by far the best childhood snack ever! he also bought like 5 cupcakes!

  79. This is my first time attempting, and I think I might have cooked the flour/milk a little too long. Should I just start over now? or would I be ok to attempt the rest of the recipe?(i tried to read comments to see if you already answered, but thought this would be faster.) THanks!!!

  80. Lauren, my guess is that you'd be okay. I think it's a bigger problem to *under*cook it, so if it were me I'd go for it.

  81. Yeah! It totally turned out! I have to say, it is the most differently delicious frosting I've ever had. Now I'm just waiting for my devil's food cupcakes to cool, so I can fill them! yum Thanks!!!

  82. Hi ladies! Love your blog! Slightly off-topic question for you: I found this icing/filling recipe on another site and made it, but the whisk on my Wolfgang Puck stand mixer doesn't get all the way to the bottom of the bowl, so I ended up beating with a hand mixer. I have heard that people with Kitchenaids have had the same problem. What type of stand mixer do you use, and is this a problem?

  83. Nicole, we both use kitchenaids and there is a little space at the bottom that doesn't get hit. But it's nothing that isn't solved by stopping once or twice to scrape the bowl. I do however most of the time now use a beaterblade attachment and it scrapes that little black hole at the bottom, as well as the sides. You can read a little blurb about it in this post:

  84. This frosting was amazing…It does take a while for it to come together but it worked great…I was a little worried since I am in Poland right now, and didn't know how the ingredients here would work, cause everything is a little different, but it worked…a great frosting recipe!! Thank you!!!!

  85. I followed the ingredients listed in the first step and it came out really sticky so I kept adding milk then I hopefully ended up with doubling the recipe. It is cooling now, I am a bit skeptical now.

  86. Diana- it's supposed to be sticky! Next time just keep with it and it will work just fine 🙂

  87. I am not a super experience baker and this worked really well for me. When I made the milk and flour, it was very thick so I started over with the same results. I used it anyway and it worked fine. I made a double batch and frosted 50 3" sugar cookies and still had 1 cup left. Everyone kept asking if I had bought them from a bakery because they wanted to lick the icing alone. Thanks!

  88. Yes, I did double it and then it came out liquidy. I put it in the fridge and it came out exactly right. Thanks. I was a bit skeptical, thank you! It was very differnt and good.

    1. I know this post is old, but I just wanted to tell you that I was looking for a creamy, light, not too sweet frosting recipe, and this worked PERFECTLY!! I tripled the recipe, as I had 4 dozen cupcakes to frost and I had no problem with it at all, and it got great reviews from both kids and adults. Thanks so much, I will definitely use this again 🙂

        1. Marie, I will answer for Sara, since she is so busy. 🙂 A small t always means teaspoon and a large T always means tablespoon. So, you will need 3 tablespoons of flour for this recipe.

  89. I've been wanting to make this for a long time now and I finally had a reason to make cupcakes. I made this twice today, once this morning and once this afternoon. This morning it was fantastic. This afternoon it was not great. I didn't think my kitchen was too warm but apparently it was. I will be making this in the morning from not on! 🙂 Thanks for another amazing recipe!

  90. I really want to try this frosting recipe! Did you ever find a way to make it in a chocolate version? Because I would love to try it in chocolate if I like this one 🙂

  91. I reckon it might work with 'chocolate butter'- adding a two teaspoons of cocoa to the softened butter before beating together with the sugar. Giving it a try this weekend- will report back!

  92. How long do these keep at room temperature? If I had left overs for 3 days would they still be okay sitting out on the counter?

  93. Meghan- what kind of person has cupcake leftovers after 3 days?? lol. It won't be bad as in bad *for you*, but it might start to lose it's perfect texture.

  94. This may be a silly question, but can this frosting be used for cakes too or is it not the right consistency for the sides of the cake. My mother made a frosting very similar to this years ago but it was half butter/half shortening and used powdered sugar instead of granulated sugar. Can't wait to try it, have cupcakes to do for a confirmation next week.

  95. i love this frosting because in no so much butter. i will try today on a cake. Thank you!

  96. The first time I tried this I used store brand butter and only had the paddle attachment for my mixer….disaster. Had all the problems that others had. Reread all the comments and decided to give it another try, this time using brand name butter and the whisk attachment. This frosting is without a doubt one of the BEST I have ever had. Brought back memories of the frosting my mother made but it was even better!!! Without a doubt will be my go-to frosting from this point forward. Thanks!!!

  97. This recipee is exactly the one my mother got from the Slavic woman who lived next door to us when I was growing up. We had never seen a frosting that started with a white sauce, but as you have discovered, it makes the best butter frosting ever.

  98. I tried this recipe about a week ago, and it flopped. I have no idea what went wrong, but it was bad. I was hesitant to try it again, but I did. This time it tasted wonderful! Definitely delicious! Thanks for sharing!!

  99. I just tried this frosting, it tasted Yummmm!! But when i was beating the mix, it startted looking silky almost instantly! (despite mine being a flat paddle beater)but in a couple of minutes by the time i got my decorating bag ready it started looking like it was seperating it was not silky it was like cottage cheesy. Also if i beat it again it gets silky but within seconds starts seperating. What m i doing wrong? is it the butter but why did it look silky in the 1st case then?
    Okay i have a silly question… i want frost my cupcakes can i use the whipped cream u get in those redy made pipe kind tubes at the super market. will it stay or will the cream flatten and deform?

    1. Did you manage to overcome that? may I ask how? I’m having the same problem. I think i whipped it enough..

  100. Neha- that's totally normal. You just need to let it keep beating for the full amount of time for it to remain silky smooth. It goes through all kinds of weird stages in between!

    about the whipped cream question- sure you could put whipped cream on cupcakes, you'll just want to do it right before serving. If you let it sit for too long it will flatten out.

  101. My baby is turning 2 next week and has requested an Elmo cake – would this frosting work if I piped in on with a star tip or smoothed it on and then fluffed it to look like fur? I'm not a big fan of traditional buttercream, and I'm dying to try this frosting!!

  102. jjnhubs- sure, this frosting pipes really well. Although I'm not sure how it will hold up with the crazy amount of food coloring you need to achieve "Elmo Red"!

  103. Thanks!! i made the frosting again and i did beat it more. its great!! i love the taste…this works so well….im not using whipped cream im sooo using this frosting 🙂 thanks Sara.

  104. Has anyone found a way to make this chocolate? I want to do the chocolate cupcakes with this as a filling and then a chocolate frosting on the top for my daughter's birthday. But of course I'll have to do a practice run ahead of time :).

  105. Awesome, thanks! I cannot wait tot try this! I am planning to do this as cupcakes and then a yellow cake and this sounds like a perfect frosting for that as well!

    Any tips on melting chocolate if you are not using a microwave and do not have a double boiler? Any time I do it I usually just heat a big pot of water and put a smaller pot on top of that. I don't own a microwave :).

  106. Mary, that's perfect! Even if you don't have an "official" double boiler, it's considered one when you place a bowl on top of simmering water. I use a glass mixing bowl because it heats up fast.

  107. I made this frosting today for my daughters and my birthday cake. I will admit I was a little nervous, but it was really easy and turned out great! I doubled the recipe and had no problems with it at all. It got rave reviews by everyone. My ex-husband said it was the best frosting I've ever made, and one of my friends, who does cake decorating like a professional said it is now her favorite frosting. Thanks so much!!

  108. I made this recipe today, I even used walmart's butter. It came out perfect! Creamy, silky, fluffy and almost like whipped cream! I made yellow cupcake and used this recipe for its filling. Yummy!

  109. Fantastic! Very light and creamy. Worked the very first time I tried it and every time since. Definitely a keeper! Only thing that could be any better would be if it were more white instead of off-white- but that is what you get when you use butter. This is now my go-to buttercream frosting recipe. Thank you for this terrific recipe!!!

  110. I need 3 cups of this to dye red (organically of course) for a ladybug cake, then I'm going to use it to fill the chocolate cupcakes. Any idea if I should make this x 4 or 5? Thx!

  111. You just need 3 cups of frosting total? I think doubling might be enough, and x 3 should give you more than enough.

  112. You were right, doubling was enough. I ended up making this twice. The first time I used a lot of organic food coloring that unfortunately changed the taste. So I re-made it and used less food coloring and more vanilla. Our ladybug cake wasn't very red, but it was very tasty. Thanks so much!

  113. I originally recieved this recipe from my mother. We call it wallpaper icing. Due to when heating the flour and milk in a sauce pan till it resembles wallpaper paste. It has always been the favorite recipe at our house and when I take it anywhere!
    Glad your sharing it!

  114. By the way I use butter if I want more of a wedding cake icing and margerine if I make a devils food cake. Just as good!

  115. FYI, one batch of this is enough to fill the chocolate cupcakes, and doubling it is enough to fill and frost them if you choose to do that instead of ganache. Yummy!!!

  116. Made this tonight and it was so delicious! I'm very glad I found this recipe, and your site. I'll be stopping back again for sure. Cheers!

  117. I just made a "trail run" batch for my boys birthday party tomorrow…DELISH!

    Since it's supposed to be 112 degrees tomorrow, hopefully people can appreciate the cuteness of those big tops for one minute after we bring them outside before the frosting melts!

  118. Ok, so I had avoided making this frosting for a LONG time. The whole milk/flour/let-it-cool thing turned me off… too much extra work! But last weekend I made Kate's strawberry cupcakes and since she specifically used this frosting, I thought I'd finally give it a try. Well, I was right about the milk/flour thing, but it was all my own fault. The first time I let it cook too long and it was pretty thick, though I think it would've still work [I was just too chicken to try it]. The next TWO times… well, it was late and I was tired and I somehow glazed over the whole mixing milk and flour and THEN turning on the heat and was adding milk to an already heated pan and… yeah, that didn't work. Fourth time was the charm!! [And I don't think I'll have any problems next time… got ALL my mistakes out of the way!] After that, it all whipped together quite nicely and easily. I whipped the crud out of it and it was very good, though I didn't think it was quite the "near-whipped-cream" consistency everyone was talking about, so I might let it go a little longer next time. It was, however, very silky and tasty and I will be making it again!
    [Oh, and I want to try the chocolate, too!]

  119. I would love to try this recipe for my birthday in three weeks (yes, I have to make my own birthday cake), but I want to know if anyone has tried it gluten free and/or dairy free. If not, I'm going to try it on my own and I can share the results.

    1. I know it’s waaaaay past 2010, but I just found this recipe a few days ago.

      I had no problem mixing up the frosting and the consistency was great. BUT, I bake gluten-free and this recipe DOES NOT work with Bob’s Red Mill Gluten-Free All Purpose flour. Bob’s has a funny taste to it that bakes out, but since frosting isn’t baked, it’s definitely noticeable in a bad way that people don’t want to eat. 🙂 I don’t know if this recipe works well with another GF flour, and I probably won’t try all the options to find out. But, I’d be thrilled if someone else has had a good experience with another blend and would share that info.

  120. Don't worry Aileen, I make my own bday cake too :). I have not tried it gluten free yet but was trying to figure that out since my mom is allergic to wheat. I did see a gluten-free all purpose flour at my local walmart, FYI :).

  121. I tried reading through all of these posts… maybe i missed it… but, is it okay to add gel coloring to this? have you ever done so? would i need more flour? I plan on making a very, very large batch and dividing it in 4 and then making 4 different colors for a tropical themed bridal shower. Thanks for the response!!

  122. Yes, gel coloring works great! If you're making a huge batch, you might want to do it in 2 separate batches.

  123. omg this is the best ever! i did this for the first time last week for my niece's birthday cupcakes with little butterfly marshmallow fondants on top, and they were a GREAT HIT.

    not sure if this will help or means that i did it wrong, but when i cooked the white sauce base, i think i did it a bit longer than i was supposed to (because of the warning that most people undercook it). it was not runny at all – in fact the whole gob collected on the ladle i was stirring it with. i got so worried. i chilled it anyway and then dumped it into the whipped butter and sugar, and in TWO minutes at medium high, i got the nicest icing ever! maybe it was a fluke but the icing was light, fluffy and super yummy. because the white sauce was so thick, i couldn't sieve it. but the lumps were barely noticeable. maybe the next time i try it, i will cook it till runny, sieve it and cook a bit more?

  124. I just made this and it is DELICIOUS! I have to say, I was very nervous, I thought for sure it would be a disaster! I was using a hand mixer, so I wasn't sure if it would work as well. My flour/milk mixture was thick, so I stirred in about 1 tsp milk before I cooled it in the fridge to thin it out a little. This worked great! I used 1/2 tsp vanilla and 1/2 tsp almond extrace, and it has a wonderful flavor. Eight minutes with my hand mixer, and it was a wonderful frosting. My husband loves it! 🙂 Thanks for the great recipe!!

  125. I'm am SO excited to have found this recipe. I have 350 cupcakes in the freezer for my daughter's wedding reception on Saturday and qualms about frosting these light delicate cupcakes with heavy, sickly-sweet frosting. I've googled light frostings before and this is the first time you came up. I am so HAPPY. Just tried with a beautiful teal color, decorator tip and voila. Perfection! Am a bit nervous about how much in advance I can make this…so I'm leaving it out overnight to see. Will let you know what happens after several days. I will definately be sharing this link with my blog readers sometime in the near future.

  126. Great Frosting!!!! I was a little uncertain about it but I am so glad that I tried it. The frosting came out great!!!

  127. I made the rainbow cupcakes today as a practice set, for my daughter's birthday later this week, when I'm going to take 2 dozen to her class. They came out fine, really bright and vivid!

    Then I made the frosting. I think you should put up a video of the cooking process for the milk and flour bit, because I was so unsure of whether mine was done or not… it got really thick and I could pull it with a spatula, see the bottom and then it would fill in again, so I took it off the heat. I let it cool on the counter, and when we whipped it up, it seemed to work, but… it wasn't as light or whip-creamy as I thought it was going to be (although it was very silky and smooth), and I thought it had a raw flour taste (only to me, hubby loved it), and a bit of an aftertaste… so does that mean I under-cooked it or over-cooked it?

  128. Wow! this is LOVELY! So creamy! I added raspberry extract for my niece's birthday cake and it is delicious!!! thank you! (Also- I used bread flour and skim milk as that was what I had on hand, and it still turned out beautifully!) I can't wait to hear the reaction tomorrow!

  129. Ok, the first batch I did was definitely undercooked, but was still usable. I was the only one who noticed the raw flour taste… the second, third, and fourth batches were much much better! You must cook it to the point where it doesn't fill in behind the spatula.

    I added almond extract on the 4th batch and it was definitely my favorite. I had also chilled the milk/flour paste to a cold state on the 4th batch (rather than just to room temp), and while it was harder to get started in the mixer, it definitely came out lighter, fluffier, and had the whip-creamy taste & texture I was looking for! I will definitely make this again!!

    Oh, and you can refrigerate the leftover, but if you want to use it again, you have to let it come to room temperature, and then whip it up again a bit… between the 3rd and 4th batch I did this, and it worked fine.

  130. Oh, I forgot to say I dyed the frosting! My girl got cupcakes at school, and a chocolate cake with rainbow frosting for the family party later that evening… it dyes very nicely with about an 1/8 tsp of the gel color (red needed a little more) but it was super cute… on a 9×13 chocolate cake, I made sky blue to cover the cake, piped on white fluffy clouds, and pink lettering, and then made a rainbow by piping/spreading from the bottom up! It was awesome and she loved that, too!

  131. I made this frosting yesterday. Tasted delicious but the consistancy was more like a cake batter than a fluffy light icing. I used an electric hand mixer with whisk attachment as my standmixer died the other week. I used room temp butter (sat out for a few hrs before I used it). Icing looked normal, no curdling/seperation etc. I whipped the daylights out of it too, hoping it would finally get fluffy! At least 12 or 13 minutes. Any suggestions on what went wrong? Appreciate any input, you can respond to Thanks!

  132. I'm not sure what to tell you Danielle other than give it another shot sometime! I think having a stand mixer really does help, but I do know lots of people who have success with hand mixers. If it never curdled or separated then that makes me think there was a fluke from the get-go. I hope you're able to try again and that it comes out perfect, because it's amazing! Sorry I don't have a better answer for ya!

  133. Wow, this is the absolute best frosting I have ever tasted! I didn't strain it (because the only strainer I have is a tiny play one for my daughter) and it turned out great. I didn't have enough the first time so I had to make more and it turned out fabulous as well. Thanks for the recipe!

  134. Angie, I don't have experience with fondant- but I do use this for a crumb coat with iced cakes. It firms up in the fridge so it works well for that.

  135. Ok, I know this is an old post but i've been searching for a good not so sickly sweet icing. This was delish, especially with some almond extract! If you still check this, i do have a quick question. One batch makes no where near enough to generously frost 12 cupcakes, am i doing something wrong? I had to make a double batch to frost 12. I love this and would like to keep using it…just wish it made more.

    On a side note, i was experimenting with this recipe and even though you said it doesn't mix well with fruit, cream cheese etc. I decided to test my luck anyway. I had made a thickened strawberry puree earlier that i had intended to use as filling. (I pureed some strawberries with sugar and cornstarch and thickened on the stove) I gently folded in 4T of it and it held up just fine and was absolutely amazing! None of it made it on the cupcakes, we ate it all! Maybe it was because i used cornstarch in the fruit mix???

  136. singularly, the BEST frosting I have EVER made. Thank you SO much for blogging about all the things I am interested in! You guys ROCK!

  137. I don't know what I did, but my frosting stayed exceedingly silky and goopy although a beat the daylights out of it with a stand mixer. I made sure I didn't undercook it from the beginning–it seemed a little thick right from the beginning but the more I beat it, it seemed the more goopy it got. Needless to say I am devastated. Any thoughts for my next attempt? I so much want pretty cupcakes like yours!

  138. Okay, tried it again tonight just cause my candy-corn cupcakes looked so cute. Still no luck. My frosting remains ultra silky smooth–I can't get that whipped lovely texture for the life of me. I haven't got a clue what I'm doing wrong.

  139. Andrea – it might be the type of butter you are using. Some people have noticed problems with non-name brand butter, others haven't. If you are using a store brand butter, I'd switch to Land-O-Lakes or Prairie Farms or whatever is not store brand for you and give that a shot. If you are using name brand butter, what kind of milk? Also, sometimes the humidity or lack of it in my house has affected my baking and cooking. Could that be happening to you? Just a few thoughts. I really hope you get it to work out, b/c it is just so awesome!

  140. Thanks Mary & Sara–my butter wasn't store brand, but I don't know the brand well either–I just moved here and am still getting used to the local selection they have. I will try this frosting one more time with different butter and milk and if it still doesn't work then this recipe has officially conquered me.

  141. Andrea–One other thought I had is that you may not be cooking the flour/milk mixture long enough. I've found that the frosting still turns out of the "pudding" mixture is a little overcooked, but it will be like you described (thin and silky) if you undercook it. So maybe try using brand-name butter and then cooking the milk mixture just a little longer. Good luck!!!

  142. hii..

    hv been surfing for different different frost… m new wid baking n cooking.. i hv one extremely silly question..

    is it salted yellow butter u use? or white butter? or some unsalted yellow butter?

  143. hey… thnk u for da prompt reply.. its very easy to arrange 🙂 thnk u once again 😀 will try n let u know.. its mah sister's bday this december.. so want to try some..

    had one more query.. first you cover cake with this cream.. but thn if i want a layer of jelly to be set on top of it thn.. wht kind of icing is preferred?

  144. I'm not quite sure what you're asking. Do you want to fill a cake with jelly? This is just like a normal buttercream icing so you'd use it in the same way.

  145. Hi all, I am going to try to make this frosting this weekend with pumpkin cupcakes. I'd like to add some flavoring, like cinnamon and/or powdered ginger. Does anyone know if this will cause me problems?

  146. This frosting is to die for!!! I am the person who doesn't like frosting, and I was eating this by the spoonfuls! Thank you for a recipe that is not so overpowering with sugar!!!

  147. Very good! I used half white and half brown plus a bunch of cinnamon, ginger and nutmeg to go over pumpkin cupcakes. It was a hit!

  148. Just made this today and it turned out amazing! If anyone else is a little nervous to make this due to its "tempermental" reputation, give it a shot! I took the flour milk mixture too far (it was really thick) and it still turned out! I love it and will be using it again and again! Thank you OBB for making me the go-to person for all desserts at family functions, they think I am amazing and its all thanks to you! 🙂

  149. It took two goes for this one. First time, it curdled and just wouldn't come together. I think the flour batter wasn't chilled enough. The second time, it worked like a dream. I stuck the flour mixture into the freezer to chill for 5 minutes and also made sure my mixing bowl and all equipment was cold. Piping was easy and it held its shape well, like regular buttercream although this is much softer and creamier. The taste? Divine. Not super sweet. Had a melt in your mouth texture and a lovely butter taste. I'm leaving this out over night to see how it holds up. If all is good, I'll be using this to frost over 8 dozen cupcakes this week. Thanks for this recipe.

  150. I'm so very excited to try out a few variations of this recipe. I'm making 8 dozen cupcakes here next week and I need 5 different frostings. This will be made into 3 for sure! I do have one question regarding the brown sugar. Has anyone actually done it and had it work out well? To me brown sugar is wetter than white sugar so I didn't know if it would affect the process at all. I'm planning on putting it on pineapple cupcakes for a less messy version of the sugary gooey stuff that normally goes on upside down cake. I want to use brown sugar and maybe a dash of cinnamon. Any thoughts?

  151. Danielle- it tastes amazing with brown sugar. I recommend using 1/2 white and 1/2 brown. A dash of cinnamon is delicious too!

  152. This stuff was great. I made it to top brownies. Only problem is it didn't seem to like the heat of my hand while piping, because it was pretty separated toward the bottom of the bag there. Butter was Lucerne, and flour/milk mix was perfect. It never did thicken up past the creamy stage, no matter how long or high I beat it for. Tasty, but a bit heavy on the butter I think. I might try adding a little powdered sugar or whipped cream to it. Keeper nonetheless, thanks for sharing.


  153. Ok I have an update!! I made this frosting yesterday with the substitute of half brown sugar and the addition of a little cinnamon. I was nervous after 10 minutes of whipping that nothing was happening but after an additional 5 of so lo and behold I had frosting! It tasted incredible! It honestly had a chocolate chip cookie dough kind of flavor to me (minus the chips) and was great on my pineapple cupcakes. ALSO, I made a batch of the chocolate which turned out amazingly. I am normally not a huge fan of chocolate frosting for some reason but this is just great. I'm a little baked out right now after 5 dozen cupcakes but I can't wait to actually try the standard version of the frosting! I did have to make 2 batches of the flour/milk mixture because once it starts to thicken it goes really fast and my first one was perfect when I started to remove it from heat but then thickened up to oatmeal almost! But the second one I did was perfect. Thanks for my new go to recipe!!

  154. This icing is so great. So smooth and yummy!
    Many people have asked which icing I use and so I refer them to your lovely blog!

  155. Bernie, I've never tried it before, but I would think it would work. Let us know if you try it!

  156. Heaven! I just made my daughter's birthday cake last week and used a standard buttercream frosting. It was heavy and rich and I wanted something light and fluffy for her party with some friends.

    I made this and it was PERFECT! After a mixup…

    I doubled it but did not double the vanilla. I frosted all 24 cupcakes and then realized that it was VERY buttery tasting. So I scraped off the frosting and added some Lemon Extract. The butter taste was still pretty strong after 1 tsp, so I kept adding more till I got a hint of lemon tartness, followed by the buttery sweetness.

    I got a bit more practice frosting (YOUR!) rainbow cupcakes and they look great!

    So good. I can't wait for tonight! Thanks!

  157. i just wanted you to know i tried making the frosting with eggnog instead of the milk and it was AMAZING! i used salted butter and i think when i make this again i will use unsalted. this is my fav frosting recipe. thanks for sharing it with all of us!

    1. O.O Eggnog frosting?!?! Oh my goodness, I am definitely going to try that, thank you for the suggestion!!!

  158. Eggnog?! I would have never guessed that- you may have changed my life! lol Can't wait to try that one.

  159. Oh…this frosting is DELICIOUS!! I love the texture, it's super light and fluffy and surprisingly not grainy like recipes I've tried using powdered sugar. From now on this will be my "go-to" recipe for frosting.

    –During the cooking of the flour and milk I did let it get too hot too quickly and it ended up super thick…I decided to try it anyhow and it still turned out AMAZING!!
    –I wanted to experiment with how long they last at room temperature and mines kept for 3 days with no problems, it still tasted yummy and light. (We live in Hawaii so it's always pretty warm & I didn't have any problems, I just stored it in a tupperware that seals well)
    –We also tried storing it in the fridge but I wouldn't recommend it, ours didn't separate but the frosting got hard, it may have softened if I let them "thaw" but I prefer to just leave them at room temp.

    Thank you all so much, this blog is just too dangerous for me! Everything looks so yummy!!

  160. I have been looking for this all my life 🙂 Question – how about using as a cupcake filling, okay to leave in for a few days or will it do weird things?

  161. Michelle, it's fantastic as a filling! And yes, it's fine to leave it in for a few days.

  162. Hi Sara or Kate,
    I made this frosting regularly, but sometimes have issues that I have not been able to figure out.

    I've had success with adding syrupy flavorings (e.g. caramel, fruit syrups or melted & cooled jam, etc). When using this sort of flavoring, I make a white sauce with less milk; then I stir in the syrup – this way the total liquid is about the same and the thickness of the sauce is also similar to normal.

    My problem is: occassionally, the frosting looks kind of un-emulsified, and some of the liquid kind of oozes (for example, if the frosting is colored, there'll be colored liquid in the un-emulsified air-holes.

    This also sometimes occurs in my meringue buttercreams – the liquid actually accumulates at the bottom of the mixing bowl.

    I'm not sure if it should be corrected by adding MORE butter, or adding more liquid/white sauce (i.e. increasing or reducing the fat content)

    Have you had any such experiences?

    Thanks for maintaining such an imformative site and for replying to all your readers – we really appreciate it!

    Happy new year to you and your families!

  163. Hi Sara or Kate,
    I made this frosting regularly, but sometimes have issues that I have not been able to figure out.

    I've had success with adding syrupy flavorings (e.g. caramel, fruit syrups or melted & cooled jam, etc). When using this sort of flavoring, I make a white sauce with less milk; then I stir in the syrup – this way the total liquid is about the same and the thickness of the sauce is also similar to normal.

    My problem is: occassionally, the frosting looks kind of un-emulsified, and some of the liquid kind of oozes (for example, if the frosting is colored, there'll be colored liquid in the un-emulsified air-holes.

    This also sometimes occurs in my meringue buttercreams – the liquid actually accumulates at the bottom of the mixing bowl.

    I'm not sure if it should be corrected by adding MORE butter, or adding more liquid/white sauce (i.e. increasing or reducing the fat content)

    Have you had any such experiences?

    Thanks for maintaining such an imformative site and for replying to all your readers – we really appreciate it!

    Happy new year to you and your families!

  164. moni- I know what you're talking about. If you're having that problem when adding flavorings then it's just the issue of an added element that's causing it to change. If it's just with the normal frosting, then I honestly don't know how to fix it. I wish I had a better answer, but I don't know- sorry!

  165. Hi

    I'm new in the frosting area, so my question is perhaps stupid.

    Can I use this frosting underneath fondant ?

    Tryed the frosting recipe the other day and with a few ajustments it became quite good. Im from denmark and we don't use Cup's and i didn't know what a "T" was, but in the end it all turned out fine.



  166. Lotte- sorry about the measurement confusion! I should write those out to be more clear. I think the frosting would work just fine underneath fondant. Have fun with it!

  167. Lotte–I was trying to get here before Sara, haha! 🙂 I've tried it under fondant a few times and I think it's too soft; the fondant tends to slide off. I've heard that some people have replaced with butter with shortening JUST for using under the fondant (not for actually frosting cupcakes) and that it works better because shortening has a higher melting point than butter.

  168. Just tried this today…

    I realize after reading some comments that I *forgot* to add the lemon flavor I was going to add (and didn't use vanilla or almond extract), so that would have helped somewhat. But my main concern is this: I can taste the flour. I don't like my frosting to taste like flour!

    I used medium heat and whisked constantly while it was cooking. It seemed that the window of time when it the pan bottom showed was very small, and then it started to thicken a lot more, so I whipped it off the stove. The comment about it looking like wallpaper paste was right on. It got gummy as it cooled. Could it have not been cooked enough? I assumed it would end up brick-like if I cooked it any more. LOL

    I went ahead and used the frosting, because I didn't want to make a new batch (x3)…but now I'm wishing I hadn't used it. It just doesn't taste right. 🙁

  169. Zannister-
    I can see how it would be difficult to read through all the comments on this recipe, but I know a lot of people have had problems using an off-brand of butter. I have had mine be pretty thick upon cooling but have just whipped the shinola out of it with my stand mixer until it produces what I want. How long did you beat i?

  170. The texture of the finished product was fine. I don't have any complaints there. As others with thicker flour/milk have mentioned, it didn't seem like it took the full beating time to get to a creamy consistency (but I continued the full time anyway). My problem was just with the flavor. I used Trader Joe's brand butter – don't know if that matters when it comes to tasting the flour.

  171. Leaving out vanilla, or any other flavoring definitely makes a difference! Maybe try it again with some flavor and I bet you'll notice a difference.

  172. I had some frosting left, so I added lemon oil and a bit of vanilla. Definitely an improvement. I'm not sure I'm sold over a more traditional buttercream frosting, but at least it doesn't taste like flour now. 😉 Overall, it was a fun learning experience, since I'd never filled cupcakes or used a piping bag. Thanks for the posts!

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