This icing is hands down, the best icing recipe I have ever made, seriously, ermine icing, the answer to not too swet icing? yes, yes it is!
- Not overly sweet
- Not too buttery and greasy.
- Doesn’t require whipped egg whites or copious amounts of sugar.
- It is simple, easy, and it had me, a person who has NEVER been a fan of icing, struggling to stop eating it straight out of the bowl.
So if you have never made it before, say hello to…
Made with flour, sugar and milk in a pan to form a sweet paste, then add whipped butter and vanilla it whips up to a firm icing that is creamy and moreish while still holding its shape for piping.
It’s super easy to knock up, stores well, and you can use it to pipe or spread or fill any cake.
It doesn’t dry out, it doesn’t split in hot weather and it doesn’t feel greasy in your mouth.
Everything is in perfect amounts to suit those who have never really fallen in love with icing.
How much sugar ?
I add about a cup of sugar, I prefer raw as it creates a fuller flavour than white sugar and thats the sugar I have on hand, but you can use whatever sugar you like ( except brown sugar)
you can add more or less sugar as you wish, after all it’s ermine icing the answer to not too sweet, and therefore if your not too sweet is more or less than mine than decrease or add more sugar to suit your tastes.
I would advise that if you add more than double the sugar, that you increase your butter and flour by half more again if you want a stiff enough icing to layer or pipe.
Making ermine icing is a very easy process.
Easier in my opinion than most other icings.
Add your sugar and flour into a medium-sized saucepan, not too small that you can’t mix very well, but not too big where the flour may burn and cook for a few minutes to toast the flour.
this is important, to cook the flour so you don’t taste it in your finished icing.
Cook the flour and sugar before adding liquid
Mix on medium heat until you can smell the flour(it has a doughy smell), and some of the sugar forms little lumps(not all the sugar but if a few pea-sized lumps form as sugar just starts to melt slightly that’s fine)
This is to cook the flour, don’t skip this, if you don’t cook your flour enough, in this step and the next, you will have an icing that tastes like cake batter.
Add the milk to the flour/sugar mixture
Once your flour is cooking in the pan (DO NOT BROWN IT) add your milk, just pour it in, don’t worry if lumps appear, just keep mixing, they will disappear as the flour and milk mix cooks.
Cook on medium heat, stirring constantly until the mixture thickens.
When you can part the mixture with a spoon down the centre of the pot, and the mix stays stiff as well as the sugar being completely dissolved, you can pinch some in between your finger to see if you can feel grains, if you can keep mixing until you can no longer feel sugar.
Then just add the cooled mixture to your softened butter. You can prepare the milk, sugar and flour mixture a day ahead if you want to cull your on the day workload if it’s icing for a party cake.
Cool the mixture and add to whipped butter
Whip the butter for 30 seconds or so, then add the flour mix, whip until nice and fluffy and smooth. Then add the vanilla.
I am very generous with my vanilla. You could do one teaspoon, but I prefer two.
Play around with your sugars for texture colour of your ermine icing
if you use raw sugar over white sugar you can a rustic looking icing, which is I like, if your after a more perfect white icing, use white sugar instead.
I keep my icing white, but you could always add food colouring, if you added a liquid colouring, you would probably want to add it when cooking the milk and flour, if using a powder or paste colouring (which is always best in icings) then you can add it when you whip the butter and flour mix.
- 45 grams of flour (1/3 cup)
- 200 grams of white sugar or raw. (1 cup)
- 225 mls of milk
- 140 grams of softened butter
- pinch of salt (optional)
- 1 or 2 tsp vanilla
- In a medium saucepan, add your flour and sugar, stir constantly over medium heat for 2-3 minutes.
- once the flour has cooked for a few minutes (do not brown) add the milk and stir constantly stir until the mix thickens and the sugar is dissolved.
- stir until the mix thickens and the sugar is dissolved.
- when you can part the mix with a spoon and it stays stiff in the pan (doesn't collapse back into the part) take it from the heat, and cover with baking paper, right over the flour mix so a skin doesn't form.
- once cooled, add the softened butter to a mixer bowl and mix on medium speed for 30 seconds. (speed 6)
- Then add your cooled flour mix and vanilla and salt if you are adding, to the butter and mix for 1 minute, until smooth. If you want a thicker texture, whip for another minute on medium, if you are wanting to just spread it on a cake then just ix for as long as it takes to combine the butter and flour mix.
- use on cakes, cupcakes or slices.
using a good quality vanilla will make a difference here, splurge on the vanilla!
If you want a rustic looking icing, use raw sugar, it takes a little longer to dissolve, so make sure you cook the milk and flour and sugar until the sugar is dissolved
you can store this icing in the fridge for up to four days, or as long as butter and milk generally keep in an airtight container or bag.
make this ermine icing with my vanilla cake!
I hope you love this icing as much as I and my family do!
I use this icing on my vanilla cake and it is a pair made in heaven!
until next time…