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It seems like when it comes to decorating and frosting cakes everybody only ever talks about some sort of buttercream or cream cheese frosting. Now, don’t get us wrong, we love a good buttercream and we can do some serious damage to a cream cheese frosting, but there are other frostings out there! One of which we had to dig out of the archives and bring to light because it’s still just as good now as it was in its heyday…we bring you boil milk frosting.

Also referred to as ermine, roux, gravy or cloudburst frosting, this is a flour-based frosting that allows it to thicken up and set to perfection. It takes a little longer to make than your traditional American buttercream, but it’s oh so worth it. Start by whisking together your milk and flour over medium heat.

This essentially creates a thickened roux that you then beat into a more classic frosting mixture of butter and sugar. This stuff sets up like a dream and really made us question ever going back to buttercream. We’re hooked on this and you will be too!

Serves 3-4 cups

1 hour

Rated 4.6 out of 5
Rated by 11 reviewers
  • 2 cups whole milk
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups (4 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1/2 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  1. In a medium saucepan over medium heat, whisk together milk and flour until smooth.
  2. Bring mixture to a boil, while whisking continuously, and cook for 1-2 minutes, or until thickened.
  3. Remove from heat and transfer to a heatproof bowl. To prevent a film from forming on surface, take a sheet of plastic wrap and place it directly on top of milk mixture, then let cool until consistency reaches that of pudding.
  4. In a separate bowl or mixer, cream together butter and sugar for 4-5 minutes, or until fluffy and lightened in color.
  5. Gradually add cooled, pudding-like milk mixture and beat until smooth and fully incorporated.
  6. Beat in vanilla extract and salt, then taste and adjust, if necessary, then use to frost cakes or cupcakes.

Recipe adapted from The Kitchn

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