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My Favorite Vanilla Frosting

also called Boiled Milk Frosting, Ermine Frosting, and Roux Frosting. Lightly adapted from BakeSpace
Course Dessert
Keyword creamy, vanilla
Cook Time 15 minutes
Resting Time 15 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Makes 2 cups


  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 3 tbsp. all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • pinch of salt


  • Whisk flour into milk over medium heat in a small saucepan. Whisk constantly until the mixture thickens.
  • Remove from the heat and let cool 15 minutes (optional: transfer to a separate bowl and cover with plastic wrap while cooling), until lukewarm.
  • Meanwhile, cream butter and sugar until fluffy.
  • When the boiled milk is cool enough, pour it through a fine-mesh strainer into the bowl with the creamed butter. Add the vanilla and salt to the bowl.
  • Beat the milk and butter together until combined. The frosting should be smooth and silky, not at all soupy. This may take up to 10 minutes.
  • Spread or pipe immediately onto your cake.


This recipe makes enough to thinly frost an 8" round layer cake, or to pipe frosting on 18 cupcakes.
You can easily double the recipe, but the beating time will increase. Should you attempt to triple the recipe, you will need to add the milk to the butter in two batches or else it will not emulsify.
*This frosting should be stored in the refrigerator, as it can separate in warm temperatures. (It is safe on the counter for a few hours, but it does contain a lot of milk, so don't plan to sit it out long-term.)