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The best creamy vanilla frosting recipe (no powdered sugar)

If you’ve ever had someone request a “less sweet”  frosting recipe for a cake or cupcakes, then you need to know about this creamy vanilla icing recipe made with no powdered sugar. 

icing recipe no powdered sugar

Ermine frosting: The delicious frosting with a funny name.

 Ermine frosting is also known as cooked flour frosting, flour buttercream, or roux frosting. It is a creamy and silky frosting that’s made by cooking flour, sugar, and milk into a thick paste and then incorporating it into butter.

Ermine frosting has a unique flavor and is a less sweet frosting compared to classic American buttercream frosting, making it a favorite for those who prefer a less sugary option for their baked goods.

Wondering how ermine frosting got its name? Here’s an article that explains ermine frosting’s origin. 

Can you really make frosting without powdered sugar?

In addition to the classic powdered sugar frosting, there are other ways to make buttercream. Powdered sugar isn’t always available in some countries. In these cases, frostings like Swiss meringue buttercream, Russian buttercream, and ermine frosting are popular choices.

What sets them apart is that they are all made without powdered sugar and still have a silky texture and less sweet taste.

This frosting recipe is perfect for frosting:

Easy to make using basic ingredients

Butter- Use unsalted butter at room temperature for best results.

Flour- Just regular all-purpose flour works great.

Vanilla- Use extract or vanilla bean pods, whichever you prefer.

Regular granulated sugar- Don’t worry. It gets dissolved so the frosting isn’t grainy.

Milk– Use 1 cup milk or substitute heavy cream for a more luxurious taste.

Pinch of salt- I always add salt to buttercream frostings. It brings out all the flavors!

icing recipe no powdered sugar

Step-by-step tutorial: How to make ermine frosting recipe

Step 1. Gather your ingredients.

Step 2. Place sugar, flour, and salt into a medium saucepan. Whisk to combine.

Step 3. Add milk and vanilla to the sugar mixture, and stir to combine. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly until the sugar dissolves and the mixture boils. Continue cooking while stirring constantly for 1-2 more minutes until the mixture thickens to a pudding-like consistency. Remove from heat.

Step 4. Pour into a bowl and place plastic wrap directly on top of it to prevent skin from forming. Allow the mixture to cool to room temperature.

Step 5. Using a stand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment, or a hand mixer, beat the room-temperature butter at medium speed until it is a pale and fluffy creamy consistency.  (about 3 minutes)

Step 6. At low speed, add the room-temperature cooked flour mixture one tablespoon at a time, incorporating well after each addition. Add the vanilla extract and beat for two to three minutes until smooth and fluffy. Store in and airtight container in the fridge for up to 1 week. Rewhip before use.

Want to add some flavor variations?

This fluffy vanilla frosting is a great base for adding additional flavors.

Here are some great options to add different flavors and take your vanilla frosting to the next level!

Cream cheese frosting- add 1/4 tsp LorAnn Cream cheese flavoring along with the vanilla extract. (perfect for carrot cake)

Chocolate frosting- add 1/4 cup Dutch-processed cocoa powder and 1 Tbsp milk during step 3.

Peanut butter frosting- Into the finished frosting, swirl in 1/4 creamy peanut butter

The best creamy vanilla frosting recipe (no powdered sugar)

Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes

Equipment

  • Hand-held electric mixer
  • Stand Mixer whisk attachment

Ingredients
  

  • 1 cup Butter unsalted
  • 1/4 cup Flour all-purpose
  • 1 cup Granulated sugar
  • 1 cup Milk whole
  • 2 tsp. Vanilla
  • 1/8 tsp. Salt pinch

Instructions
 

Cooking the flour paste

  • Gather all your ingredients together.
  • Place sugar, flour, and salt into a medium pan. To combine.
  • Add milk and vanilla to the sugar mixture, and stir to combine. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly until the sugar dissolves and the mixture boils. Continue cooking while stirring constantly for one to two more minutes until the mixture thickens to a pudding-like consistency.
  • Pour into a bowl and place plastic wrap directly on top of the mixture to prevent skin from forming. Allow the mixture to cool to room temperature.

Making the buttercream frosting

  • Using a stand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment or a hand-held mixer, beat the room temperature butter at medium speed until it is a pale and fluffy creamy consistency
  • At low speed, add the room-temperature cooked flour mixture one tablespoon at a time. Incorporate well after each edition. Add the vanilla extract and beat for two to three minutes until smooth and fluffy.
  • Use immediately or store the frosting in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to one week. Re-whip before using.
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

Ermine frosting is the perfect solution when you need a less-sweet frosting. This easy recipe is a good alternative to traditional buttercream. and the simple ingredients make it so easy to make. If this is your first time trying a non-powdered sugar frosting, be sure and let me know in the comments.

Recipe Rating




Amanda

Friday 15th of March 2024

I love this recipe! I really like that it isn't as sweet as powdered sugar buttercream. I have made this recipe twice this month and everybody really liked it. The first time I added fresh lemon juice to make a lemon frosting for a lemon blueberry cake and the second time I added peanut butter to make peanut butter frosting for a chocolate peanut butter cake. Both were delicious! Thank you!

Better Baker

Wednesday 20th of March 2024

OOh! Those all sound delicious. Thanks for sharing!

Amanda

Thursday 14th of September 2023

Can this be made with cornstarch for a gluten free version?

Better Baker

Wednesday 20th of September 2023

I have not tried that yet. Please let me know if you make that substitution and it comes out well!