snowy mountain

Ermine Icing

Perfect on chocolate cupcakes, ermine icing is the “traditional” icing for red velvet cake. It has a roux base, which means that the flour, sugar, and milk are boiled on the stove and create the basis of the icing. This is a great icing to make when you want a less sweet icing, don’t want pure buttercream, and/or don’t have confectioner’s sugar lying around! Honestly, this is my favorite non-chocolate icing.

Total time (including cooling): 2 hours. Covers two batches of muffins.

Materials: Stove pot; small mixing bowl; whisk; beaters. Missing materials or ingredients? Look here.


  • 1 cup milk
  • 5 tbsp flour
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 tsp vanilla
  • 6 tbsp butter
  • Optional: food coloring


  1. In a pot over medium heat, whisk together milk, flour, and sugar until it comes to a boil (about 5 minutes). Boil, whisking intensely, for about a minute until thickens. Turn off stove and transfer into a mixing bowl. Let cool, and put in the refrigerator for about 30 minutes.
  2. Beat in 2 tsp vanilla and 6 tbsp room-temperature butter. The icing should be spreadable/pipeable now. If not, it likely did not cool enough and you can refrigerate it again. Just whip it immediately before use.

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