How to make Ermine (cooked flour) Buttercream Frosting – Q&A

Hi guys, so many of you have seen my YouTube tutorial on how to make ermine buttercream frosting and there have been so many questions regarding this recipe! So, I’ve decided to combine all your questions into one place and answer them for you so that you can refer back to this post whenever you need to!

Easy to follow recipe – alternative buttercream to American Buttercream – less sweet and Delicious!


Watch the full tutorial on YouTube and check out the recipe here!

Questions & Answers on how to successfully make Ermine Buttercream Frosting (also known as cooked flour frosting)

Question 1: Can I use a hand mixer?

Absolutely! Almost any recipe, besides dough probably, can be successfully made using a stand or hand mixer.It may just take a little more time or patience.

Question 2: How do I color this buttercream frosting?

This buttercream frosting can be colored just as you would any other frosting. The best time to add the coloring in is right at the end. You can use gel, powder or liquid food coloring. I’ve even used spreads, such as biscoff, nutella or peanut butter. The key is to add a little at a time, mix, taste and add more if desired.

Question 3: Which recipes go well with this buttercream?

Ermine buttercream frosting can be used on any cake you like. It is mainly known to go well with red velvet, carrot cake or vanilla cakes, but I use it on all cakes or cupcakes.

Question 4: Is this buttercream stable and how will it withstand my hot climate?

Yes, it is quite stable as it uses flour, but you can increase the stability by substituting half the flour for corn flour/cornstarch. If you want to use it in a hot climate, try to refrigerate as much as possible. Any butter based frosting will only be able to withstand the heat for a certain time and then must be kept cold. So if you can, always keep in a cool environment.

Question 5: How much does this recipe make?

This recipe makes about 2 cups of buttercream frosting and it should cover 2 x 8 inch cakes or frost 12 to 16 cupcakes. (It all depends on how much frosting you use)

Question 6: How long can you store this frosting for?

This frosting can be stored in the fridge for around 3 days

Question 7: Can I use low fat milk instead of full cream?

Yes! You can use any type of milk for this recipe. Note, if using non-dairy milks, such as almond or other, the taste will change!

Question 8: Can I use a spread or margarine instead of butter?

No, I wouldn’t recommend using anything other than butter, specifically unsalted.

Question 9: Can I pipe flowers with this buttercream?

You can pipe the basic flowers, but it will be more difficult to use with more intricate piping, such as Russian piping tips, for example.

Question 10: Can I substitute the butter for Vegan shortening?

Yes, you can! A lovely subscriber did exactly this and she said it turned out great! Light & fluffy as it should be.

Question 11: Does this buttercream frosting taste like flour???

Not at all! The flour taste is cooked away and leaves a very smooth taste, sweet but not as over powering sweet as american buttercream and a velvety texture that is just amazing!

Question 12: Can I use cream cheese instead of butter?

No, this will totally change the recipe and taste. Rather make a cream cheese frosting if you like, or use this recipe as is?

Question 13: Can I add flavors to this recipe?

Yes, the best time to add flavorings is once the flour mixture has cooked, just before placing it in the fridge. Give it a quick mix together and place into a clean bowl, into the fridge.

Question 14: How can I turn this into chocolate frosting?

Very easily, just add up to a ΒΌ cup of cocoa at the end and mix well. Start by adding a little at a time and taste until you are happy with it.


American Buttercream is made from butter, icing/powdered sugar and any flavors you wish to add. It is a sweet buttercream frosting as there is a lot more sugar than butter and it is a great consistency for frosting or piping onto cakes and cupcakes. This recipe is also so versatile as you can add coloring, flavors, jams or spreads to it to create a range of yummy frostings.

BUTTER – I use a good quality butter for my buttercream and I do not use any shortening or other types of butter or margarine. There are many recipes that substitute butter for shortening or replace half of it, but not for this recipe. The best way to soften your butter is to remove it from the refrigerator an hour before you want to use it. You can soften it in the microwave, but it is not recommended as you can’t control the melting and you can risk it being too soft and you definitely don’t want to use a melted butter in your buttercream. It will just be runny and not have a good consistency to use.

SUGAR – American Buttercream uses a lot of Icing/Powdered Sugar and this is what gives it it’s yummy sweetness. You cannot, unfortunately, use less sugar than what the recipe uses as it will definitely change the taste and consistency. But, if you prefer or want to try a less sweet Buttercream/Frosting, than I recommend trying my Ermine (also known as Cooked Flour) Buttercream Frosting. It is so soft and velvety, but is not as stable as an american buttercream. If you want to pipe with your buttercream, then I would advise using an american buttercream.

LIQUID – I prefer to use milk in my recipes. The best would be whole/full cream milk, but you can also use water or cream. There is no secret or special recipe for this, but it’s about your personal taste and preference. So taste and add more or next time add less or try another ingredient until you’re happy with it. You will add more or less for not only the taste, but for the consistency too. If you want to frost your cake, then you can add about 3 tablespoons, but if you’re piping, then I would only add 1 or maybe 2 tablespoons of milk for a thicker consistency. That’s the joy of baking, it’s so versatile and easy to change or adjust.

VANILLA EXTRACT – If you are making a vanilla buttercream and not adding any other flavors to it, then you can add and taste again like before. Start by adding 1 and if you want a stronger vanilla taste then add 1/2 a teaspoon at a time, mix and taste again.


  • 250g Butter (unsalted & softened)
  • 500g Icing/Powdered Sugar
  • 1 teaspoon Vanilla Extract
  • 2 to 3 tablespoons Milk (other options to add are water or cream)

This recipe makes about 2 cups, but it can be halved or doubled depending on how much you need.


Place the butter in a large mixing bowl and beat the butter for about 5 minutes, until it is lighter in color, creamy and seems to have doubled. You can do this with a whisk, but I highly recommend using a hand or stand mixer.

Sift in half of the icing/powdered sugar and mix well before adding in the rest. Mix for about 5 minutes to fully incorporate the butter and sugar. You don’t want a ‘grainy’ texture and you can avoid this by sifting your sugar, adding it in in parts and mixing really well so that it dissolves into the butter.

Then add the milk and vanilla extract and give a final mix for 1 to 2 minutes. The milk will thin out the consistency of the buttercream so add more or less depending on what you want or prefer.

Some other buttercream frostings to try:

Chocolate Buttercream Frosting

Ermine Cooked Flour Buttercream Frosting

Chocolate Ganache Frosting

Swiss Meringue Buttercream