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Sunday, September 27, 2020

Ermine or Boiled-Milk Frosting {AKA Vicki's Whipped Cream Frosting}

This frosting is so fluffy, creamy and delicious.  It tastes a lot like whipped cream and that's what it was called when I was introduced to it. Now I know that it's also called Ermine or Boiled-Milk Frosting.  No matter what you call it, it's good!

hand holding red velvet cupcake with ermine frosting rosette piped on top

     This frosting is fluffy and smooth and perfect.  It starts by boiling milk and flour together to make a paste and that is whipped into butter to make a frosting that isn't super sweet, but is really light and airy.  It is a lot like whipped cream, but more stable.  It is a classic topping for red velvet cake, but is great in a variety of applications!

     It is hard to believe, but I have been making this frosting for 10 years now!  I was working with my friend Vicki and her birthday was coming up.  Of course I had to bake her a cake!

     She requested red velvet cake with whipped cream frosting.   I had never heard of such a thing, other than the frosting some grocery stores call whipped cream.

beater from stand mixer inverted with a pile of fluffy white ermine frosting on top

     As far as I knew, red velvet cakes were topped with cream cheese frosting.  Apparently this is quite a point for debate, is it ermine frosting or cream cheese frosting that is the proper way to frost a red beauty.

     Vicki was obviously on team boiled milk frosting and I am always happy to try a new frosting!  She searched for the recipe of the exact thing she was talking about.

    I had certainly never made a cooked frosting like this!  I had melted chocolate for frosting before and made Marlene's Fudge Frosting, but never something quite like this.

   I instantly fell in love.  This frosting is not too sweet, it is just right.  

   The flavor is subtle, a lot like whipped cream!  However it does have better holding time and you don't have to worry about mixing it too long and turning into butter... it is already butter!

stand mixer full of fluffy white ermine frosting

   The key is getting the flour and milk paste correct.  It will still taste good even if it isn't perfect, but if you don't cook it long enough the frosting will be loose.

   If you don't stir it well enough, you could get small lumps.  If you scorch it, well then you better start over!

   It really isn't that hard.  Just don't be afraid to let it thicken and be sure to stand there stirring it while it happens.

sauce pan full of thick milk, sugar and flour paste for ermine frosting

    The first time I made this for my family everyone loved it.  I made a couple of brownies, covered them in whipped cream frosting and topped them in berries.

    Everyone was asking for the recipe.  Since then I have used the basic a idea for a number of other recipes.  I love the final texture it gets.

     If made properly you could certainly frost a layer cake with it with no problem! You can also use it to pipe onto cupcake or do embellishments on your cake. 

       I don't think I would use it to do anything too detailed or small.  It is a softer frosting and likely wouldn't hold a perfect shape.

       However it is perfect for ruffly piles, borders and large rosettes.  If you want to do anything too detailed, I would chill the frosting before and after piping it to make sure it has its best shot at holding.

slice of rolo poke cake with fork taking first bite (chocolate cake, filled with caramel, topped wither ermine frosting and drizzled with fudge and chopped rolos)

     Of course this frosting is great on red velvet cake and the brownies with berries as I described above.  I also used it on my Rolo poke cake and that was scrumptious if I do say so myself!

     This frosting was also the perfect way to wrap a blackberry shortcake cake too! It really gives the feeling of whipped cream but with less worry!

blackberry shortcake cake frosted with ermine frosting and topped with blackberry sauce

Tips and Tricks for making Ermine/Boiled Milk Frosting

Getting the milk and flour paste just right is the key.  You want it to be a thick paste before you remove it from the heat.

Be sure to keep stirring it, especially as it thickens. You don't want it to scorch on the bottom of the pan.

Originally I made the paste from just the flour and milk and added the sugar with the butter in the mixer. After a really long mixing period, it dissolves and isn't grainy.  Lately I've taken to adding the sugar to the milk and flour to make sure it is dissolved.

If the frosting seems a bit loose when you are done, there is a chance your butter was over softened or your paste wasn't all the way cooled.  Try placing the bowl of frosting int the refrigerator for 15 or 20 minutes and whipping it again.

If it is still loose, the paste probably wasn't thick enough.  A bit of powdered sugar or heat treated flour can help tighten it up this time. Just cook your paste a little longer next time! 

close red velvet cupcakes with fluffy boiled milk frosting and sprinkles on top

Have you ever made a boiled milk frosting? What is your favorite cooked frosting?

If you are a frosting fanatic like me, check out my Frosting 101. It goes through the different types of frosting and links to all sorts of delicious recipes!

Watch me make this frosting and decorate cupcakes 4 ways using my 2 favorite tips on YouTube:

thumbnail to click over to youtube to watch video

ermine frosting, boiled milk frosting, frosting for red velvet cake, old fashioned frosting, frosting with no powdered sugar
Tips for Making Ermine Frosting (AKA Boiled Milk Frosting) fluffy frosting tastes a lot like whipped cream. It's not too sweet and super airy. It is traditionally served on red velvet cake, but it is good on so many things. Watch how to make it and see 4 simple ways to pipe it onto cupcakes using my 2 favorite piping tips.
Yield: 18 Servings
Author: Cooking With Carlee
Ermine or Boiled Milk Frosting

Ermine or Boiled Milk Frosting

This frosting is fluffy and smooth and perfect. It starts by boiling milk and flour together to make a paste and that is whipped into butter to make a frosting that isn't super sweet, but is really light and airy. It is a lot like whipped cream, but more stable. It is a classic topping for red velvet cake, but is great in a variety of applications!
Prep time: 10 MinCook time: 10 Mininactive time: 30 MinTotal time: 50 Min


  • 5 Tablespoons flour
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 cup butter, softened (must be real butter)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract


  1. This first step is the most crucial part to this frosting turning out. In a saucepan, whisk together the flour and sugar. Add the milk a few tablespoons at a time to get started. Stir until there are no lumps. Once you have a smooth paste, add the remaining milk and stir until combined. Turn on the burner to medium heat. Continue to whisk and cook until the mixture thickens to a paste consistency. You want it to be pretty thick. It will be tempting to walk away and so something else, but don't. Once it starts to thicken it will go really quickly and it is important you don't get lumps or scorch the bottom. Place paste in the refrigerator to cool.
  2. Once paste is room temperature or cooler, add butter and vanilla to mixer bowl. Turn on low and stir until smooth. Add flour/milk paste and whip on high for about 10 minutes. Don't try to cut the time short, you really want to whip a lot of air into it.
  3. Spread on cakes, cupcakes, cookies or whatever scrumptious treat you are making!


This recipe makes plenty of frosting for a 9x13 inch cake. It can also frost 12-18 cupcakes depending on how generous you are with the frosting.



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Have your tried ermine frosting? It's also called boiled milk frosting. It is one of the traditional red velvet cake icing options, but is great on so many things.  It is lightly sweet and tastes a lot like whipped cream. This old school recipe is a must make!


  1. Who doesn't like whipped cream frosting! Looks delicious!

  2. Looks delicious and I'm glad it isn't too sweet. Sometimes frosting (or icing as we call it in Australia) can be sickly sweet and spoil the flavor of the cake. Thanks for sharing this recipe and linking up again with us Carlee at #AnythingGoes

    1. I agree, sometimes frosting can get sickeningly sweet. I think this one is just right! Thanks for hosting and stopping by!

  3. This sounds what I'm looking for, I'm going to have to try this! Pinning, thanks :)

  4. I need to try this frosting next time i decorate the cake, pinning it!

    1. Thank you! It is a little looser than buttercream, so it may not hold up to intricate decorating, but it would certainly be great to frost a layer cake or something!

  5. If it were not 102 today I would go bake a cake just to try this.

    Thanks for sharing on Creative K Kids' Tasty Tuesdays link up. Hope to see you back next week.

    1. I can understand that for sure! We have been in the high 80s this week, which has felt like a nice break from the heat. Hopefully we stay in the 80s for a while! Thanks for hosting!

  6. Sadly, I've never tried this, but I always opt for things like ganache on my cakes cause I cannot stand how overly sweet frosting is. I'm going to have to try this one out :)

    1. I hope you enjoy this one. It is hard to go wrong with ganache though, yum!

  7. I can't wait to try this! Thank you so much for linking up at Tasty Tuesday! This post has been pinned on the Tasty Tuesday Pinterest board! I love having you and can't wait to see you next week!

    1. I hope you love it! It is one of my favorites.

  8. Yum! That sounds so tasty! We have birthdays coming up at our house, so I may have to make it. Thanks for sharing the recipe and for linking up at #HomeMattersParty

    1. I hope you love it if you do! Thanks for stopping by!

  9. I am a cupcake baker and I need all the different frostings I can get! Thank you for linking up with us at the Tips and Tricks Link Party!

    1. Well this works out perfect, as I am a cupcake eater! ;-) I hope you love this frosting. I really enjoy playing with different frostings!

  10. Wow!! Can't believe that will make a whipped frosting!! Going to have to try!! Thanks for Sharing on My 2 favorite Things on Thursday!! Hope to see you again this week!! Pinned!

    1. It doesn't seem like it would work, but it does make a very fluffy frosting. I hope you like it!

  11. Hi Carlee, I have gotten some of the best recipes from you. I pinned the Halloween brains recipe with shrimp tonight! My 4 grandchildren are staying with me for a few months and when they heard shrimp that was all it took. Thank you so much for all the good recipes!!

    1. Thank you so much, that is very flattering! We definitely enjoy our food around here. I am sure you are all having a great time in your months together. I know my parents and my little guy have a very special bond and I do with my grandma as well!

  12. I tried making this twice and it just looks a bit yellow and isn't fluffy... I did every step carefully but it still isn't working... Is it suppose to boil when cooking it the 10 minutes? I don't know what I'm doing wrong, please help...

    1. Oh no! I think the biggest thing is making sure you cook the flour and milk to a thick enough paste without scorching it and then making sure it is all the way cool before you add it to the butter and sugar. I sometimes put the milk/flour paste into the fridge for a little while to make sure it is cooled enough. You want the paste to be thick enough that you have to help it into the mixer bowl, you don't want a pouring consistency. I hope you have better luck if you try it again.

  13. (5 T flour)can any one tell me how much flour this is??

    1. 5 Tablespoons is just under a third of a cup or 8-9 grams of flour. I hope that helps!

  14. Without a doubt, this is my new favorite frosting.
    Followed your directions to the T, and it is sooo good!!
    Thanks Carlee!!

    1. Yay! I can't believe I am just now seeing this, but you put a smile on my face!

  15. While I absolutely love the flavor of this, it is rather sweet and took away from the flavor of the cake... maybe just me, but any suggestions on what can be done about toning down the sweetness???

    1. You could certainly try it with less sugar. I think as long as you cook the mixture into a thick paste, the reduced sugar content shouldn't affect the final texture too much. It is certainly worth a try!

  16. Haven't tried this recipe but I did try to make this before and frosted a red velvet cake.. worst thing I've ever made... I"ll have to get my courage up to try again...!

    1. When you get it right, it is really good! I hope you give it another go.

  17. Now that is a frosting to devour. Looks so fun to make too! Pinning for sure!

  18. This is the only cake frosting we used for red velvet cake- none of that cream cheese frosting and the red velvet cake was always what was asked for on birthdays. When I was a kid I would save big hunks of the frosting off my cake to eat alone. Also we called the cake Flame Cake. We also would have it at Christmas.

    1. I still like to save a little extra frosting for the end! ;-) I should make a red velvet cake this Christmas in your honor!

  19. Thanks so much for sharing this! My mother prefers not too sweet, so I decided to give this recipe a try on the cupcakes she requested for her birthday. She loved it and so did I! I planned on frosting 2 dozen cupcakes so I made a batch and a half, and now I have extra. How long will the extra keep? If I use it up quickly, does it need to be refrigerated? Thanks again!

    1. I would refrigerate it to be on the safe side. It should easily last a week in the fridge or you can freeze it up to 6 months. I am so glad you both loved it!


Thank you so much for taking the time to read and comment. I love reading your ideas!