Jan has been cooking and writing about food for over 20 years. She has cooked on multiple television stations, including the Food Network.
This Frosting Really Takes the Cake
I love frosting of all kinds, and this one takes the cake, so to speak. This is a little less sweet than the buttercream frosting that is everywhere, but it has a gorgeous, subtle, and complex flavor that most frostings just don't have.
Boiled milk frostings were popular for decades, and the use of flour helped give these frostings a structure that was later supplanted by buttercreams. I think it's time to pull these back to the forefront. The flavor of this frosting is perfect for cakes that shine on their own with distinct flavors and textures, making it perfect for complex cakes like red velvet or a simple chocolate fudge cake.
This frosting allows the red velvet cake flavors to shine through, without overwhelming or taking center stage, which is just perfect in my book. Try this beautiful frosting for your next cake, and you'll add it to your go-to recipes, I promise!
- 5 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 1 cup whole milk, cold
- 1 teaspoon real vanilla extract
- 1/8 teaspoon salt (just a pinch)
- 1 cup butter, room temperature
- 1 cup regular sugar
- Place milk in a small saucepan, and whisk in flour. Turn heat to medium, and heat to the boiling point, whisking constantly. Bring mixture just to a simmer, with bubbles forming, and cook for at least one minute, until the mixture is thickened, like pudding. Remove from heat.
- Stir salt and vanilla extract into the milk mixture. Transfer to a bowl, and cover. Allow mixture to cool completely. It can help to put plastic wrap over the surface to prevent a skin from forming. Alternately, you can simply stir it every few minutes to facilitate cooling, and this also keeps a skin from forming.
- In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat together butter and sugar together until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes. Scrape down the sides of the bowl as you work.
- Working in batches, spoon milk mixture into the butter mixture, beating constantly, and continuing to scrape down the sides of the bowl. Continue adding the milk mixture until it's all fully incorporated, and the frosting obtains a smooth, fluffy consistency.
Cook the Milk and Flour
Add Flour to the Cold Milk
Add a Tiny Pinch of Salt
Add Real Vanilla Extract
Beat Butter and Sugar Until Fluffy
Begin Beating in Milk and Flour Mixture
Beat Until Smooth and Creamy
Ready to Use
Perfect Frosting for Red Velvet Cake
Vanilla Frosting Tutorial
How to Make Your Own Vanilla Extract
© 2017 Jan Charles
Rachel Alba on May 27, 2020:
Hi Jan, this frosting recipe sounds so good. I have seen one like it a long time ago, but never wrote it down, so I was so happy to see your recipe. The red velvet cake looks so good also. Thanks for sharing your frosting recipe.
Blessings to you and stay safe.
Dory on May 24, 2020:
I’m making this! The End
Jason on April 17, 2019:
I have a question. Eveytime my wife makes this the sugar never dissolves. And the icing is real gritty feeling. She used to make it and it wasn't but the last year it is every time. What's going wrong
Rachel L Alba from Every Day Cooking and Baking on October 19, 2017:
Yum, in some cases the best part of the cake.
Susan Zutautas from Ontario, Canada on October 19, 2017:
I'm always looking for a good homemade frosting to use and I think I've just found it right here. Thanks so much!