Ermine Frosting (Flour Buttercream)
6 cups (enough to frost a 2-layer, 8-inch cake)
Named for its beautiful white color and creamy texture, ermine frosting was the original topping for red velvet cake until cream cheese frosting came along. Add flavor with additions such as almond extract, cocoa powder or peanut butter powder.
- 1/2 cup sifted Swans Down® Cake Flour
- 2 cups sugar
- Pinch salt
- 2 cups milk
- 2 cups (4 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- Whisk flour, sugar and salt together in a heavy-bottomed saucepan. Add milk and whisk to combine. Bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring constantly. Continue to cook, whisking constantly until mixture resembles the consistency of pudding (5 to 10 minutes).
- Pour into a medium bowl and cover with plastic wrap placed directly on top to prevent a skin forming. Cool to room temperature.
- Whisk butter in a stand mixer with a whisk attachment until butter is light, fluffy and pale, about 3 to 4 minutes. Add room temperature flour mixture to whipped butter in heaping spoonfuls at a time, whisking well after each addition. Add vanilla and whisk until incorporated.
- Add different flavorings at the end, such as 1/4 cup sifted cocoa powder, 1/4 cup peanut butter powder, 1/2 cup caramel, 2 tablespoons espresso powder dissolved in 1 teaspoon hot water, or almond, peppermint or any other extract (substitute for vanilla extract).
- If frosting starts to look curdled or it feels too stiff, it may just need to be warmed up a bit. Place a bowl over steaming water just until the sides start to melt and then return it to mixer and continue to whisk. If it seems too loose, place it in the refrigerator for about 10 minutes and re-whisk.