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TorontoJo, thank you--cooked flour frosting is great!

Isolda Jan 17, 2011 10:49 AM

It also freezes well. I made and frosted the cake last night, then left it out in the carriage house to stay cold (cake too big to fit in fridge). It froze because the temp was below 0 C. I brought it into defrost, then snitched a bit from a hidden spot and it is perfect! I'll be serving it at my son's b-day dinner this evening.

Here's TorontoJo's recipe, everyone, in case you didn't see the other thread:

Vanilla Buttercream Frosting

4 tablespoons flour
1 cup whole milk
1 cup butter
1 cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla

Mix flour with milk. Cook over low heat until thick, whisking the entire time. Set aside to cool. Cream butter and sugar until fluffy. Add vanilla and cooked milk mixture slowly. Beat until it feels like whipped cream.

She's serious about whisking the entire time--i wasn't paying attention and had to throw out my first milk-flour attempt. Also, I use lactose-free whole milk in this and all my baking that calls for milk--it's sweeter and I think it makes cakes more tender.

This recipe does NOT taste like cooked flour and would be fantastic with citrus, coffee or chocolate flavoring, as well as with the vanilla.

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  1. TorontoJo RE: Isolda Jan 17, 2011 01:27 PM

    Oh yay, I'm so glad it turned out well for you! It really is a wonderful frosting, isn't it?

    But to give credit where credit is due, I got the recipe from jdub1371, Axalady and operagirl on this thread:


    And the recipe as written above is directly from Axalady, from her grandmother's recipe. So hooray for Chowhound and passing it on!

    22 Replies
    1. re: TorontoJo
      bushwickgirl RE: TorontoJo Jan 17, 2011 01:58 PM

      And now you're passed it on further, as I've bookmarked it and will give it a try. Thanks!!

      1. re: bushwickgirl
        buttertart RE: bushwickgirl Jan 18, 2011 03:28 PM

        It's great, I used it on a banana cake last summer and on a chocolate cake later - both v tasty.

        1. re: buttertart
          bushwickgirl RE: buttertart Jan 19, 2011 05:50 AM

          And I bet it would be a very nice cupcake frosting.

          1. re: bushwickgirl
            buttertart RE: bushwickgirl Jan 19, 2011 06:33 AM

            Yeah, baby! (You know what? I've never ever made cupcakes.)

            1. re: buttertart
              iL Divo RE: buttertart Jan 19, 2011 07:03 AM

              double lemon cupcakes should be in your future OR banana pineapple buttermilk OR grade school coffee cake OR chocolate almond joy OR sour cream vanilla walnut.................come on, you can do it.............
              let's all encourage Buttertart..............come on BT! :)))

              but you must report back..............I'd say today looks like a great day!

              1. re: iL Divo
                buttertart RE: iL Divo Jan 19, 2011 07:25 AM

                It's really that the frosting/cake ratio on cupcakes puts me off them, since (other than this one and some few others) I could live forever without frosting.

                1. re: buttertart
                  goodhealthgourmet RE: buttertart Jan 24, 2011 07:26 PM

                  It's really that the frosting/cake ratio on cupcakes puts me off them, since (other than this one and some few others) I could live forever without frosting.
                  ditto. so i figured out a long time ago how to modify cupcakes to my liking...scrape off the frosting & set it aside; slice off the soggy domed top & discard; slice the remaining cake in half, spread with as much of the frosting as you'd like, and sandwich together. voila! you now have a cakewich :)

            2. re: bushwickgirl
              TorontoJo RE: bushwickgirl Jan 19, 2011 07:36 AM

              It makes an awesome cupcake frosting! I made it for some mini chocolate cupcakes and they were perfect. I had quite a bit left over, which I put in the fridge. And when I make a chocolate layer cake the next day, I used it to frost the cake tops that I had cut off to make the layers flat. It was the best "baker's prerogative" treat I've had in a long time. Picture me with a knife, a plate of two cake tops and a bowl of frosting. Happy, happy me.

              It was also really good smeared on my brown sugar pecan shortbread cookies and my ginger spice cookies. Hey, can't let the frosting go to waste, right?

              1. re: TorontoJo
                buttertart RE: TorontoJo Jan 19, 2011 07:52 AM

                OT but how about a recipe for the shortbread?

                1. re: buttertart
                  TorontoJo RE: buttertart Jan 19, 2011 08:09 AM

                  Sure! It's Dorie Greenspan's recipe. Based on some feedback from Candy many years ago, I use rice flour instead of cornstarch. And if you don't mind round shortbread cookies, you can just roll into a log, chill, then slice. Whichever approach you choose, I recommend refrigerating the cookies AFTER you've cut them and poked holes into them. Give them 10 - 15 minutes in the fridge to help them hold their shape during baking. They are very unassuming looking, but are totally delicious. I actually like them when they get a deep golden color, as they get a really lovely toasty flavor. I also usually skip the cloves.

                  Brown Sugar Pecan Shortbread

                  1 1/2 c. a.p. flour
                  1/4 c. cornstarch or rice flour
                  1/4 tsp. salt
                  pinch ground cloves
                  8 oz. sweet butter - room temp.
                  3/4 c. packed lite brown sugar
                  1/2 c. pecans (fine ground)
                  Optional: confectioners sugar for dusting

                  1. Sift flour, cornstarch, salt & cloves.
                  2. Using a stand mixer w. paddle, beat butter & brown sugar on medium speed for 3 mins. or until smooth, reduce speed to low and add dry ingredients just until they disappear, add pecans - (don't overwork the dough).
                  3. Transfer dough inside a gallon sized ziploc & roll out to a 9 x 10 1/2" rectangle and 1/4" thickness. Turn and lift bag occasionally to avoid creases. When its the right size and thickness, seal bag (press out the air) and refrigerate dough at least 2 hours or up to 2 days.
                  4. Preheat oven 350 degrees.
                  5. Line 2 baking sheets w/parchment or silpat.
                  6. Place ziploc on cutting board and slit open. Turn dough onto board. With a sharp knife, (and ruler as a guide) cut dough into 1-1/2" squares. Transfer to baking sheets and prick each cookie two times with fork, pushing tines through the cookies until they hit the sheet.
                  7. Bake 18-20 mins. rotating from top to bottom and front to back midway. They should be very pale and not take on much color.
                  8. Transfer cookies to a rack to cool.

                  1. re: TorontoJo
                    iL Divo RE: TorontoJo Jan 19, 2011 08:48 AM

                    "And if you don't mind round shortbread cookies, "

                    how bout heart shaped?

                    yesterday while doing some marketing for the ingredients for the Gaucho Grill bread dipping/milenese sauce, I found a blister pack of heart shaped cookie cutters. 8 of them ranging from very large hearts to 1"er's, now I'll do little cute ones for my loved ones, thanks for sharing

                    1. re: TorontoJo
                      buttertart RE: TorontoJo Jan 19, 2011 08:57 AM

                      I love that ziplock trick. Hadn't noticed the recipe, thanks for bringing it to my attention!

          2. re: TorontoJo
            iL Divo RE: TorontoJo Jan 19, 2011 06:58 AM

            I wish I would have seen this last night.
            I made my husband his favorite 2X [double lemon] lemon cupcakes.
            They don't need frosting so I only powder sugared them on top.
            Did them for his dessert last night and for class today.
            Made him 24 extra for his cohorts studying with him.
            Anyway this is so good it would have made a wonderful topping for those lusciously lemony cupcakes. Dang too late now ;(

            1. re: iL Divo
              Joyfull RE: iL Divo Feb 27, 2011 06:01 AM

              iL Divo, would you be willing to share your 2X lemon cupcake recipe? I've got a husband that loves lemon in and on almost everything & your cupcake sound like the idea lemon treat for him.
              Thank you

            2. re: TorontoJo
              maplesugar RE: TorontoJo Jan 19, 2011 07:40 AM

              That's the thread I got it from too - it's become my go to for birthday cakes.

              1. re: TorontoJo
                iL Divo RE: TorontoJo Apr 27, 2011 06:37 PM

                just made that yellow amazing cake I'd written about on another thread.
                wanted to do your frosting so made it.
                it's in the cooling stage so I can mix the two mains together.
                the cake calls for very dark chocolate frosting but my husband prefers white so I'm making yours.
                every time I've made the cake I'm referring to, although the flavor is good, the cake is very tender so I keep saying I'm not doing it again, until today, when I thought oh what the hey...
                this frosting will be wonderful on it and it won't be too heavy for my husband.

                1. re: iL Divo
                  Chocolatechipkt RE: iL Divo Apr 28, 2011 05:37 AM

                  Do you have the recipe for this cake handy? I've been looking for a great yellow cake. :)

                  1. re: Chocolatechipkt
                    buttertart RE: Chocolatechipkt Apr 28, 2011 05:46 AM

                    Incidentally Martha Stewart's very nice show "Martha Bakes" on Hallmark on Mondays at 11 am (thank goodness for the DVR) is on yellow cakes next Monday.

                    1. re: Chocolatechipkt
                      iL Divo RE: Chocolatechipkt May 1, 2011 01:27 PM

                      Your wish is my command


                      1. re: iL Divo
                        walker RE: iL Divo May 1, 2011 04:11 PM

                        This yellow cake looks beautiful. It calls for vegetable oil: what do you use? (I think I don't like canola oil.)

                        1. re: walker
                          iL Divo RE: walker May 1, 2011 09:05 PM

                          Walker: I used Crisco corn oil because that's what I had that was open.
                          TorontoJo: it's all about proper measurement. I can't stress that enough.
                          There are explanations about the amount of oil used, let me know if you need help.
                          I indeed did myself.
                          You won't be disappointed and your frosting on top was perfect. I'll do it again for the singing rehearsal with your frosting instead of the chocolate called for because same day I'll be bringing Nigella Lawsons chocolate dense decadent cake (whatever it's real name is(?).
                          Both of you please post if you do make it, I'd like to know of anyone's experience.

                        2. re: iL Divo
                          TorontoJo RE: iL Divo May 1, 2011 05:27 PM

                          Ooh, thanks for this, iL Divo! Looking forward to trying it with some of the frosting variations below.

                  2. TorontoJo RE: Isolda Jan 18, 2011 05:00 AM

                    Isolda, how did the cake go over with your son?

                    2 Replies
                    1. re: TorontoJo
                      Isolda RE: TorontoJo Jan 18, 2011 09:28 AM

                      He loved it! (And this was after eating four tacos, his requested birthday dinner.) My in-laws even took some cake home with them, which they never do. A hit all around.

                      1. re: Isolda
                        TorontoJo RE: Isolda Jan 18, 2011 09:38 AM

                        Tacos and cake, whee! You are a great mom!

                    2. iL Divo RE: Isolda Jan 19, 2011 06:49 AM

                      I used to belong to another now defunct food board.
                      I asked for help with frostings for red velvet cupcakes.
                      I had 2 I'd already done for 3 different batches of red velvet cake recipes.
                      One day I just got bored and looked online for the variances in RV cake recipes and found there were several. Since they're such a big deal, I made all 3 kinds of recipes in the form of cupcakes so husband could take them to work at the Sunday meeting and they'd disappear from our house and ME.

                      Did a typical cream cheese frosting on one batch.
                      Did a non typical [I'd made up this one from nowhere] for an orange cake I'd concocted.
                      So I needed a third. A lady sent me a personal message that only I could see saying not to share please. Something about it was her great grandmothers recipe from 150 years ago.
                      Reading it it appeared very off beat to me, strange too, after all flour in the frosting I'd wondered if she'd even gotten my request correct or was this the cake recipe I thought. Anyway, reading it all the way through I knew it was indeed for frosting so I buckled up and made it, but was hesitant. The color and consistency was ok but seemed maybe a bit off as it was almost off white or ecru. Either way it didn't matter because I was totally impressed with this delicious frosting and would use it many more times on any cake.

                      This is very close to it.......thanks for bringing it out for all to see......

                      1. GraydonCarter RE: Isolda Jan 19, 2011 07:56 AM

                        > This recipe does NOT taste like cooked flour and would be fantastic with citrus, coffee or chocolate flavoring, as well as with the vanilla

                        I'm curious what this tastes like, how is it an improvement over powdered sugar frosting?

                        2 Replies
                        1. re: GraydonCarter
                          iL Divo RE: GraydonCarter Jan 19, 2011 08:01 AM

                          creamy smoothe consistency delicate flavor, without any hint of knowing there's flour in there.
                          it's surprising actually to me anyway

                          1. re: GraydonCarter
                            TorontoJo RE: GraydonCarter Jan 19, 2011 01:55 PM

                            It's a LOT less sweet and greasy than traditional buttercreams, which is understandable if you compare the ingredients. It tastes like sweet cream and vanilla. Really creamy, really good.

                          2. Chocolatechipkt RE: Isolda Jan 24, 2011 09:00 AM

                            I wish I'd seen this the other day. I made chocolate cupcakes with a quick coffee frosting, but I would have loved to try this. Next time ...

                            Has anyone tried flavoring this?

                            1. c
                              chuang RE: Isolda Jan 24, 2011 06:46 PM

                              I was so excited to try this after reading about it. I wonder if I did something wrong though,because mine looked kind of curdled, not smooth. It tasted fine, just looked kind of odd. Anyone with a suggestion of what I should do to avoid this? Greatly appreciated!

                              1 Reply
                              1. re: chuang
                                Laura D. RE: chuang Feb 21, 2011 06:23 AM

                                I didn't make this exact recipe but have had the curdling issue occur several other times when making this cooked custard/gravy buttercream. I have no idea why it occurs, but it has been enough of a reason for me to give up on these buttercreams (too much butter, milk, etc. thrown away perhaps).

                              2. iL Divo RE: Isolda Feb 2, 2011 09:40 AM

                                I want to make this now/today for the yellow cake that's cooling.
                                My question is do I have to go buy whole milk or can I use what I have?
                                I have:
                                fat free 1/2&1/2
                                regular 1/2&1/2

                                TIA for helping me

                                3 Replies
                                1. re: iL Divo
                                  TorontoJo RE: iL Divo Feb 2, 2011 10:15 AM

                                  I'd use the 1% and maybe add some of the regular half and half, say 3/4 c. 1% and 1/4 c. half and half.

                                  1. re: TorontoJo
                                    iL Divo RE: TorontoJo Feb 2, 2011 10:28 AM

                                    it's what I did.
                                    thanks TJ.
                                    I'm letting the frosting cool now, is that right before I frost the cake

                                    1. re: iL Divo
                                      TorontoJo RE: iL Divo Feb 2, 2011 11:09 AM

                                      You can frost right away. Or are you talking about letting the flour/milk mixture cool before beating into the butter/sugar mix?

                                2. Chocolatechipkt RE: Isolda Feb 20, 2011 07:27 PM

                                  I made this tonight, and it was good. I had my doubts until the very end, but suddenly it fluffed up and my doubts faded. I think I still prefer a trad. buttercream for some cakes, but this is quick and easy and not overly sweet or greasy. Thanks!

                                  1. operagirl RE: Isolda Feb 20, 2011 07:44 PM

                                    I absolutely love this type of frosting. Used it last year on a lemon poppyseed cake I made for a friend's birthday -- filled with blackberry jam and frosted with this stuff, it was a huge hit!

                                    Oh and by the way, after cooking the flour/milk mixture, you can cool it very quickly by transferring it to a steel mixing bowl, and setting that bowl in a larger bowl filled with ice water. Just whisk the mixture until it cools down to room temp, which will happen in a few minutes.

                                    1. darklyglimmer RE: Isolda Feb 21, 2011 06:49 AM

                                      Does anybody have any suggestions for making a chocolate version of this? Would it just be a matter of replacing one or two of the tablespoons of flour with cocoa, or would you add cocoa in addition to the flour? Thanks - it's my husband's birthday today and there's a chocolate cake on the horizon, I'd like to make this frosting!

                                      1 Reply
                                      1. re: darklyglimmer
                                        tokyo RE: darklyglimmer Dec 22, 2011 12:16 PM

                                        I would also like to make a chocolate version. It seems like it would be easiest to add cocoa powder, but is there an advantage to using melted chocolate? If melted chocolate is better, at what point should it be incorporated?
                                        Edit: Just found my answer below. Need to learn to KEEP. READING. :)

                                      2. g
                                        greeneggsnham RE: Isolda Apr 2, 2011 10:51 AM

                                        I am making this frosting for probably the 5th or 6th time today and just wanted to add my endorsement. This has become my go-to frosting and everyone who has had it loves it. My big girl is turning 2 today, so making another batch! Just wanted to add my thanks to TorontoJo and Axalady, operagorm and jdub1371!

                                        1. c
                                          cheesymama RE: Isolda Apr 25, 2011 02:08 PM

                                          I love this frosting, it is my new go to for cakes and cupcakes. After making our traditional bunny cake I had some extra frosting and chocolate cupcakes. I added about a teaspoon of instant espresso powder to the frosting and mixed in, still some granules visible but had a great coffee flavour!
                                          Anyone have any experience flavouring this in other ways? I would love to make a chocolate version, but don't know if I should use cocoa powder or melted chocolate and at what stage to add it.

                                          15 Replies
                                          1. re: cheesymama
                                            HillJ RE: cheesymama Apr 25, 2011 02:16 PM

                                            I swirl fresh fruit purees in the frosting just before I'm ready to frost the cakes. I use the frosting for gifting mini cakes; lemon, orange, strawberry, black raspberry and grapefruit and then I make a fresh fruit puree that compliments or mirrors the cake flavor and swirl into the frosting batches.

                                            1. re: HillJ
                                              cheesymama RE: HillJ Apr 25, 2011 04:10 PM

                                              Thanks, that will be my next batch. Maybe mango or strawberry.

                                            2. re: cheesymama
                                              TorontoJo RE: cheesymama Apr 26, 2011 06:36 AM

                                              If you do experiment with chocolate, please report back, as I have the same question!

                                              1. re: TorontoJo
                                                maplesugar RE: TorontoJo Apr 26, 2011 03:30 PM

                                                Me too! I'm thinking of adding a tablespoon of cocoa when I take the roux off the heat & see how that goes. I was just waiting to recover from all the Easter goodies before I made another cake. : )

                                                1. re: maplesugar
                                                  buttertart RE: maplesugar Apr 27, 2011 06:12 AM

                                                  Maybe put the cocoa in with the flour? I think it would benefit (bloom more) from being dissolved in the liquid - also since cocoa powder is a slight thickener too it shouldn't interfere with the roux setting up.

                                                  1. re: buttertart
                                                    maplesugar RE: buttertart Apr 27, 2011 12:23 PM

                                                    I think you're right... when I first thought about it I was wondering if it'd cause the roux to be too thick. When I get around to making another cake I'll report back :)

                                                    1. re: maplesugar
                                                      buttertart RE: maplesugar Apr 27, 2011 12:38 PM

                                                      What are you waiting for? It's Wednesday! ;-)

                                                      1. re: buttertart
                                                        maplesugar RE: buttertart Apr 27, 2011 12:47 PM

                                                        LOL Actually I need to bake for the girls' school bake sale that's tomorrow I just wasn't thinking cake.

                                                        1. re: maplesugar
                                                          buttertart RE: maplesugar Apr 27, 2011 01:20 PM


                                                2. re: TorontoJo
                                                  cheesymama RE: TorontoJo May 4, 2011 04:09 AM

                                                  I tried a batch of chocolate this morning for cupcakes for our school bake sale. I added one tablespoon of cocoa powder to the flour mixture and about a tablespoon of cocoa powder to the butter sugar mixture. It's got okay chocolate flavour, not terribly deep or rich. I'm sure the kids won't complain (especially after I stick candy on top!), but the next time I try this recipe in chocolate I will stick with cocoa in the flour mixture and add some melted chocolate after I have combined all the other ingredients.
                                                  Once I master chocolate I'm moving on to chocolate raspberry!

                                                  1. re: cheesymama
                                                    TorontoJo RE: cheesymama May 8, 2011 04:37 AM

                                                    So I finally got around to experimenting with chocolate a bit. I tried the version of the vanilla buttercream that roxlet uses (below) which has the sugar added to the roux. I added 3 tablespoons of cocoa to the roux, which got beautifully dark and still thickened up nicely. I did a quick chill by putting the hot mixture into the mixing bowl, then putting the bowl into ice water and stirring a bit. It was cool in just a couple of minutes. Then, following the recipe, I beat the butter into the mixture. I did have to do another quick plunge into the ice water, as it wasn't setting up. I tasted it, and it didn't have the depth of flavor I like in chocolate frostings (my frostings always use melted chocolate, rather than cocoa, so that may be the problem). I check in my pantry and had one lone square of unsweetened chocolate. So I melted that and beat it into the frosting. It did beat up beautifully, as you can see in the first photo below.

                                                    The flavor was ok, but overall, it really didn't do much for me. However, I would bet that kids would love it, as it tasted a bit like a milk chocolate frosting that you would buy at the grocery store. The good news is that it's not nearly as sweet as those, so it's probably worth a try for those who are looking to make this recipe chocolate.

                                                    I spread it on the yellow cake that Il Divo linked to above. My intent was to frost one layer with the chocolate experiment and the other with the vanilla recipe that roxlet posted, but sadly my vanilla batch totally failed. I have no idea what happened -- maybe I added the butter too quickly, or maybe my butter was too warm -- but it just "curdled" and never fluffed up.

                                                    The cake has a very nice texture, but I found it lacking in flavor. On my first bite, all I could taste was the chocolate frosting. So I took a bite of just the cake, and it tasted of... not much. So my quest for a good yellow cake continues. But I really appreciate the effort the poster of the original recipe went to in order to make the recipe, and I thank Il Divo for sharing it. I love trying recipes from other hounds!

                                                    1. re: TorontoJo
                                                      TorontoJo RE: TorontoJo May 8, 2011 10:18 AM

                                                      So here's a strange update. I tasted the yellow cake again today and the flavor has improved significantly. It must be like my old standby chocolate cake recipe -- not meant to be eaten on day one, and gets moister and more flavorful on day two. Go figure!

                                                      1. re: TorontoJo
                                                        thatshowibake RE: TorontoJo Jul 28, 2011 05:29 PM

                                                        When I made this the first time today and it came out so amazingly good I had to go further & experiment (although I should be getting a wedding cake baked up tonight so I'm not so cramped for time later but I digress.
                                                        I added dark chocolate powder to this and it was great! Some may want it a bit sweeter so a good milk chocolate would be good I bet. I haven't used melted yet but will soon.
                                                        I also replaced the vanilla for, key lime, mango, lemon, and white Russian flavorings. Not all at once of course these are all
                                                        Diffrent batches. All of them are great!! The key lime could stand to be a bit stinger though. But I haven't altered The amount of liquids yet. I add these in in place of the vanilla. I will try to replace part of the milk with some to get a stronger flavor, fingers crossed it works. I want to make a white chocolate & cherry flavor to put into my truffles has a filling.
                                                        The texture of this iceing and the way it melts in your mouth reminds me of a fine truffle

                                                        I thank all who had a hand in posting this rec. on here
                                                        It's the best yet!!

                                                        1. re: thatshowibake
                                                          TorontoJo RE: thatshowibake Jul 29, 2011 10:34 AM

                                                          Ooh, thanks for reporting back on the flavor experiments. Let us know how the others go.

                                                          1. re: TorontoJo
                                                            Becca Porter RE: TorontoJo Mar 3, 2012 11:10 AM

                                                            Cook's Country put out several flavor variations of their version called Miracle Frosting. Including chocolate, I believe.

                                                3. t
                                                  TerriL RE: Isolda Apr 26, 2011 08:24 AM

                                                  Has anyone tried this recipe with an immersion blender?

                                                  1 Reply
                                                  1. re: TerriL
                                                    Isolda RE: TerriL Apr 26, 2011 10:46 AM

                                                    I haven't and probably wouldn't. You need to incorporate a lot of air into it to make it fluffy, and an immersion blender is better at just pureeing stuff. My IB does have a whisk attachment, but that wouldn't be sturdy enough.

                                                    You can do this with a handheld electric mixer, though, if you don't have or don't want to deal with a stand mixer.

                                                  2. roxlet RE: Isolda Apr 26, 2011 04:43 PM

                                                    I made a version of this where you add the sugar to the flour mixture. It came out fantastically!

                                                    9 Replies
                                                    1. re: roxlet
                                                      TorontoJo RE: roxlet Apr 26, 2011 05:24 PM

                                                      Ooh, how did the texture turn out? I'm curious because this recipe often results in a slightly "curdled" look that I'd like to eliminate if I could.

                                                      1. re: TorontoJo
                                                        roxlet RE: TorontoJo Apr 26, 2011 07:18 PM

                                                        The texture was perfect. No curdled look and no graininess. The frosting was smooth and creamy.

                                                        1/4 cup flour
                                                        1 cup sugar
                                                        1 cup milk
                                                        1 cup butter cut in cubes (My butter was cool and firm, but I could still leave an indent when I pressed my finger into it)
                                                        1 tsp vanilla
                                                        pinch of salt

                                                        1. In a medium heavy-bottomed saucepan, whisk the sugar, flour, salt together. Add the milk and cook over medium heat, whisking occasionally (I had to whisk constantly or else it started to stick and clump at the bottom) until the mixture has thickened into a paste and slightly bubbly at edges (You probably don't want it boiling because we all know how boiled milk tastes..)

                                                        2. Transfer the mixture to the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Beat on high speed until cool. Reduce the speed to low and add the butter gradually; beat until thoroughly incorporated. Increase the speed to medium-high and beat until the frosting is light and fluffy. If the frosting is too soft, transfer the bowl to the refrigerator to chill slightly: then beat again until it is the proper consistency.

                                                        3. Add the vanilla and continue mixing until combined.

                                                        1. re: roxlet
                                                          TorontoJo RE: roxlet Apr 27, 2011 04:35 AM

                                                          Thank you for this! I look forward to trying this variation soon. Now I just need an excuse to make a cake...

                                                          1. re: TorontoJo
                                                            roxlet RE: TorontoJo Apr 27, 2011 05:01 AM

                                                            Today's Wednesday. That's your excuse!

                                                            1. re: roxlet
                                                              TorontoJo RE: roxlet Apr 27, 2011 08:31 AM

                                                              You're absolutely right!

                                                          2. re: roxlet
                                                            chowser RE: roxlet Apr 27, 2011 05:55 AM

                                                            Being lazy, I wonder if I could use the electric bowl mixer as the top of a double boiler and do the first step that way. Then, I wouldn't have to transfer it. It's how I do some other buttercreams. Would that get hot enough?

                                                            1. re: chowser
                                                              roxlet RE: chowser Apr 27, 2011 06:18 AM

                                                              Really, I have no idea since there are so many variables. I suppose that you could also put the mixer bowl directly on the heat...

                                                        2. re: roxlet
                                                          TerriL RE: roxlet Jul 17, 2011 08:01 PM

                                                          Never made this frosting before, but I made two batches yesterday using this method and they turned out great. I filled and frosted a triple layer cake, and for the filling I mixed in a generous amount of crisped malt bits a I got at a local cake supply store. Highly recommended! I chilled the frosting for about 30 minutes, then put on a crumb coat. I chilled the rest of the frosting for an hour or so to firm it up, and did the final coat. The cake stayed refrigerated for a couple hours, then sat at room temp for about 3 hours before slicing. Thanks for posting this!

                                                          1. re: TerriL
                                                            roxlet RE: TerriL Jul 28, 2011 07:54 PM

                                                            You're welcome! It's become my favorite frosting.

                                                        3. m
                                                          MellieMag RE: Isolda Apr 30, 2011 06:01 PM

                                                          I've used a slightly different version of this recipe for almost 40 years. I found it in one of my girlfriend's mom's old cookbooks. It was called "Delicious Frosting" and it truly is. I made a double batch of it last week to frost the bunny cake.My recipe says you can use milk or water and I have used fruit juice in the past as well.

                                                          8 Replies
                                                          1. re: MellieMag
                                                            Caitlin McGrath RE: MellieMag Apr 30, 2011 08:27 PM

                                                            Oh, the fruit juice tip is great, thanks! That would be a great way to vary the flavor.

                                                            1. re: Caitlin McGrath
                                                              narelle RE: Caitlin McGrath Jul 11, 2011 09:28 PM

                                                              Sorry for digging up an old post.

                                                              Has anyone used this for a traditional layer cake affair? Frosting, piping etc. Is it smooth like a buttercream? I want something that looks traditional, proper, fancy but is lower in sugar and fat.

                                                              It's cool weather, so heat won't be a problem. Thanks

                                                              1. re: narelle
                                                                TorontoJo RE: narelle Jul 12, 2011 06:03 AM

                                                                I know this is used as the frosting in Axalady's mom-mom's red velvet cake, so that would indicate that it's fine for layer cakes.

                                                                1. re: narelle
                                                                  Caitlin McGrath RE: narelle Jul 12, 2011 11:01 AM

                                                                  It's absolutely good for frosting layer cakes - a very traditional recipe for that. It's not as dense as buttercream, a bit fluffier, so not sure about piping, as I've not tried it with this. It spreads smoothly, has a nice texture.

                                                                  1. re: narelle
                                                                    maplesugar RE: narelle Jul 12, 2011 11:01 AM

                                                                    I have used this recipe for layer cakes many times but haven't done any serious piping. It does hold it's shape when you run a comb around the sides.

                                                                    1. re: maplesugar
                                                                      narelle RE: maplesugar Jul 12, 2011 03:55 PM

                                                                      Thank you all, that;s great!

                                                                    2. re: narelle
                                                                      bpjacks RE: narelle Mar 3, 2012 09:59 AM

                                                                      I know this is an old thread but in case it's useful to someone in the future... I have made a nearly-identical buttercream frosting for almost 15 years (recipe from a 1960s book on cake decorating; only difference is 1/4 cup flour instead of 4 Tbs and 2 tsp vanilla instead of 1) and the author's note on the recipe says: "if buttercream is to be used for tubework (borders, etc.) flour and milk mixture should be rubbed through a wire strainer before it is added to creamed butter and sugar."

                                                                      1. re: bpjacks
                                                                        meerastvargo RE: bpjacks Apr 22, 2012 07:21 AM

                                                                        1/4 cup flour is the same as 4 Tbs.

                                                                2. t
                                                                  thatshowibake RE: Isolda Jul 28, 2011 04:54 PM

                                                                  I made this today and it is the best most amazing icing I have ever used!!!
                                                                  It melts in your mouth like a fine truffle :o)

                                                                  At first i thought the wad now way it could be goodness, then half way through it was so grity but I stayed with the hand mixer for about 10+ mins... And something magical happened
                                                                  It will now be my
                                                                  Go to iceing and I hope the bride likes it like I do

                                                                  1. i
                                                                    ivory_kitten RE: Isolda Mar 22, 2012 02:01 AM

                                                                    Do you think this could be made with a gluten free flour?

                                                                    3 Replies
                                                                    1. re: ivory_kitten
                                                                      ivory_kitten RE: ivory_kitten Mar 22, 2012 09:29 PM

                                                                      Well to report back - I made this with Orgran gluten free flour and it worked out fine! Added extra vanilla and it tasted almost as good as regular wheat flour frosting! It frosted about 50 mini cupcakes (kid sized) with a nice piped swirl, maybe 2-3 teaspoons per cupcake? I did half chocolate and half vanilla and mixed it together in the piping bag for marble effect :)

                                                                      1. re: ivory_kitten
                                                                        Caitlin McGrath RE: ivory_kitten Mar 22, 2012 11:38 PM

                                                                        What did you use or do to flavor the chocolate version?

                                                                        1. re: Caitlin McGrath
                                                                          ivory_kitten RE: Caitlin McGrath Mar 23, 2012 06:16 PM

                                                                          I used a handful of milk chocolate melts (melted of course!) as well as the vanilla - maybe 80-100g and just stirred it in to the frosting which was already vanilla flavoured. Prob would have been better with dark but milk was all I had

                                                                    2. l
                                                                      LUV_TO_EAT RE: Isolda Mar 22, 2012 07:00 PM

                                                                      I'm not a baker but seeing a recipe that looks relatively easy with readily on hand ingredients and all the raves, tempted to try this.

                                                                      How much does this recipe yield? two dozen cupcakes, one cake or ???

                                                                      2 Replies
                                                                      1. re: LUV_TO_EAT
                                                                        roxlet RE: LUV_TO_EAT Mar 22, 2012 08:02 PM

                                                                        An 8 or 9 inch layer cake. As for cupcakes, it depends on how thickly you frost them, but I'd say about a dozen.

                                                                        1. re: roxlet
                                                                          Caitlin McGrath RE: roxlet Mar 22, 2012 08:11 PM

                                                                          I've frosted about dozen cupcakes with half a recipe, but I don't favor the big-piles-o'-frosting style.

                                                                      2. maabso RE: Isolda Apr 8, 2012 07:49 AM

                                                                        I just made this frosting and I am in love! It will now be my permanent frosting recipe. Thanks for sharing :)

                                                                        1. h
                                                                          haiku. RE: Isolda Oct 21, 2012 03:36 PM

                                                                          Raising a question about piping with this icing again. I'm planning to make halloween cupcakes, and will need to pipe the various designs through different nozzles. I would need something that holds up and tastes good.
                                                                          Also, at what point should I beat in the colouring? At the end?

                                                                          2 Replies
                                                                          1. re: haiku.
                                                                            roxlet RE: haiku. Oct 21, 2012 04:05 PM

                                                                            I think you could add the coloring whenever the base is cool. As far as piping goes, you will most likely have to firm up the icing in the fridge a bit. It's sturdy, but it tends to be a bit soft when it's first done. BTW, I cook the sugar with the flour and milk. I find that the icing is quite silken that way with no grittiness.

                                                                            1. re: haiku.
                                                                              Caitlin McGrath RE: haiku. Oct 21, 2012 04:34 PM

                                                                              I would add the coloring at the end, because I think that's the only way you could know exactly what the tint will be. (If you add it to the flour/milk mix before beating in the butter, I assume the tint will become lighter once you add the butter.)

                                                                            2. Ruthie789 RE: Isolda Oct 21, 2012 03:45 PM

                                                                              The recipe seems to be the same one used on the Traditional Red Velvet Cake.

                                                                              1. iL Divo RE: Isolda May 20, 2013 03:22 PM

                                                                                at first the frosting is thin-I literally had my kitchen aid on almost full bore 13 min-the result

                                                                                1. y
                                                                                  youareabunny RE: Isolda Aug 16, 2013 02:33 AM

                                                                                  I am making an Oreo cake for Saturday.I just made two layers of vanilla cake and I will make this frosting, and for the filling I will take half of this frosting and mix it with chopped Oreo.

                                                                                  Does this need to be stored in the fridge? Because this is for a friends party and I don't think there is room in the refrigerator For the entire cake.can I make the frosting Friday and put it all together Saturday and keep it on the table? I am in San Diego so it is not very hot or cold, just right I think.

                                                                                  I have read a few comments here and there about the texture changing, although I can't really see whether it is before or after refrigeration, And some of the comments say the texture changes for the better i.e. graininess disappears, and others say that it totally separates. Any hints here? Am I better off making the frosting the day of and assembling everything at the last minute? Or can I do some of it Friday? Thanks

                                                                                  2 Replies
                                                                                  1. re: youareabunny
                                                                                    TorontoJo RE: youareabunny Aug 16, 2013 05:44 AM

                                                                                    It's a pretty forgiving frosting and is stable at room temp. Is there any way you can put the whole cake together on Friday and just serve it on Saturday? You can leave the whole cake out, no problem. If not, then make the frosting on Friday and refrigerate that. Let sit at room temp on Saturday until it's soft enough to spread. If it looks like it's broken, just beat it for a few more minutes with your mixer.

                                                                                    1. re: TorontoJo
                                                                                      youareabunny RE: TorontoJo Aug 16, 2013 10:02 AM

                                                                                      I can definitely put everything together on Friday. I had presumed that it was a forgiving frosting, and I think I just read a bit too much into the negative comments, which was about three of them LOL. Thanks a lot Jo.

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