This fluffy frosting is my absolute favorite. Creamy, tangy and not too sweet. It tastes very similar to cream cheese frosting but doesn't require refrigeration and stays soft for days. My go to cupcake and cake frosting, it's been at every birthday and party I've thrown for the last 4 years and always gets a ton of compliments.

Believe it or not cake is not my favorite dessert. I guess it's not actually the cake, but the super sweet frosting that's typically slathered all over it. I'm just not a fan of thick sugary frosting, but this frosting is different and so good.

I first found a recipe for fluffy frosting when I didn't have enough butter or powdered sugar to make the usual buttercream. I scoured the internet in a last minute frenzy to find something that could be made without making a trip to the store. When I found this this, it blew my mind! I had no idea that frosting could be made with standard white sugar and flour. Yes, because it is a stovetop cooked frosting, it takes a little more effort to whip up, but I wouldn't call it difficult, just different. Plus the benefits far outweigh any extra effort required. I've made a few modifications to that original recipe, but it's still just as much of a crowd pleaser as it's always been.

Gather your ingredients
1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons flour (or 10 tablespoons), 2 cups milk, 2 teaspoons vanilla, 2 cups ultrafine granulated sugar, 2 cups (4 sticks) room temperature unsalted butter, 1/8 teaspoon salt

I always use whole milk because it's what I have on hand, but this frosting tastes great with any milk, or even cream! If you are using salted butter rather than unsalted 'sweet cream' butter, then simply omit the extra salt. I use ultrafine baking sugar for this frosting just to make it super smooth and ensure a perfect finished product. It also works with regular granulated sugar but the finished product may be a bit less smooth.

Off heat, measure flour into a medium saucepan and slowly whisk in the milk

Place over medium heat and whisk constantly. This part is very important but also very boring... Remember when Grandma used to make you stand at the stove and whisk the gravy? Yep, it's just like that so grab a cup of coffee or a glass of wine and get comfy. Trust me, I speak from experience, if you stop whisking for even 30 seconds your base will get lumpy and make things more difficult later.

After about 10 minutes your mixture will come to a boil and thicken. Once you see bubbles come to the surface it will be completely thickened. 

Remove from heat and transfer to a bowl to cool. If you happen to have any lumps in the mixture  you can push it through a fine mesh strainer when transferring to a bowl. 

Cool completely. Then stir in vanilla extract

Cream butter, sugar and salt

Add cooled milk mixture and whip

Fluffy whipped frosting can be spooned or piped onto cupcakes or easily spread on cake. This large batch is enough to frost a single layer cake and 24 cupcakes or 36 cupcakes or a large triple layer cake but it can easily be halved for smaller baking projects.


Fluffy Whipped Frosting
recipe by Tristin Rieken of ONEarmedMAMA.com

  • 1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons flour
  •  2 cups whole milk
  •  2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  •  2 cups ultrafine granulated sugar
  • 2 cups (4 sticks) room temperature unsalted butter
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • Off heat, measure flour into a medium saucepan and slowly whisk in the milk.
  • Whisk constantly over medium heat, about 10 minutes or until thickened. 
  • Remove from heat and pour through a fine mesh strainer into a bowl to cool.
  • Once completely cool, stir in vanilla.
  • In a stand mixer or large bowl cream butter, sugar and salt.
  • Add cooled milk mixture and whip until smooth. 

Cake photos courtesy of Johannah Chadwick Photography

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