The Best Frosting

Today I awoke to find an email from Joseph requesting I make this frosting at The Tasty Kitchen. Don’t ask me why he was reading The Pioneer Woman’s blog (one of my favorites!) first thing in the morning.

I couldn’t deny such a request and was curious for myself: what makes this frosting so superior? And, hello–has anyone noticed all the flour this recipe calls for?!

As I learned from the wonderful people at BakeBakeBake, this recipe has been around for quite a while! Many girls commented that they got the recipe from their grandmothers, and one even told me it originated during the depression and can be called “Poor Man’s Frosting” (which Google confirms).

Straight out of the bowl I wasn’t very impressed. Honestly, I immediately emailed Joseph whining that Ree had deceived me! It was much more buttery than I’d anticipated, and I couldn’t find anything to put it above any other icings.

But I decided to top my lonesome chocolate cupcakes anyway. As the frosting is too creamy to pipe, I spread it on with a knife.

And then cheered it up with nonpareils. I planned on waiting until Joseph got home from work to try, but that didn’t happen…

I was completely surprised when I bit into this cupcake–never have two flavors meshed together so well! The frosting complimented the chocolate absolutely perfectly.  I used my simple One Bowl Chocolate recipe, and this frosting really brought it up a level. This is what chocolate cake has been searching for for years.

I’m terribly sorry, frosting, for not having faith in you. I promise it won’t happen again.

That’s the Best Frosting I’ve Ever Had
Recipe from MissyDew at The Tasty Kitchen
1 cup Milk
5 Tablespoons Flour
1 teaspoon Vanilla
1 cup Butter
1 cup Granulated Sugar (not Powdered Sugar!)

Bake your favorite chocolate cake and let it cool.

In a small saucepan, whisk flour into milk and heat, stirring constantly, until it thickens (Note: it will be very, very thick!). Remove from heat and let it cool to room temperature. (If in a hurry, place the saucepan over ice in the sink for about 10 minutes or so until the mixture cools.) Stir in vanilla.

While the mixture is cooling, cream the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy. Then add the cooled milk/flour/vanilla mixture and beat until it all combines and resembles whipped cream.

Spread over chocolate cake and enjoy. Enjoy, really–I promise you will.

Do yourself a favor and make this! It is one of the easiest frostings I’ve come across, and it can do wonders when topped with a simple (even a boxed mix) chocolate cake. You’ll thank me for it, I swear.

Alter the foundation however you’d like–I’m planning on trying it with coconut flakes soon! I also am not big on butter so added some powdered sugar while beating, until it tasted the way I wanted.

Edit, April 1010: Since I posted this, I also tried it with powdered sugar. And boy, it was GOOD!


  • LilyBird

    I just saw this on PW and it looks amazing! My bf & I had a bad experience with some Paula Deen cream cheese frosting on V Day that was way too buttery and flat tasting so I hope this one is better.

    Can you taste the flour at all? I’m a novice baker but haven’t ever done a frosting with flour in it…

    17 March 2010
    • Alyssa

      Good luck! This is the easiest frosting I’ve ever had, so hopefully it will work out for you :)

      I can’t taste the flour at all! I think it is just there to thicken the milk.

      17 March 2010
  • Fran

    I will definitely try this!
    I started baking a lot this year but I have actually not made a cupcake yet, can’t wait to taste this :)

    17 March 2010
  • I’ve read about this frosting from .They shared it at Bakerella’s Red Velvet Cake post.
    I’ve yet to try this frosting soon… :D ooooooooooooh i’m so excited. :D

    19 March 2010
  • Renae

    This is my absolute favorite frosting to make. If you are feeling adventurous, try making it with coconut milk for a coconut cake – it’s amazing.

    19 March 2010
    • Alyssa

      That sounds amazing! Thanks for the suggestion–I’m going to have to try that soon :)

      19 March 2010
  • I saw this frosting, too. I’m curious about it. Very curious.

    21 March 2010
  • IamKaye

    Hello. This sounds exciting but i wonder if you ever tried using caster instead of granulated? I might try this but with caster first :) never really fancied granulated butter-cream ^^ i’ll keep you guys posted!

    22 March 2010
    • Alyssa

      Hi there! Sorry, this is the very first time I’ve made the frosting. I’m very curious to experiment, though! Please let me know how it goes with caster! :)

      22 March 2010
  • […] Since I haven’t been home in a while, I decided to do something similar. I used the wonderful frosting I posted a couple weeks ago. It’s very adaptable, and the coconut helped it taste less […]

    2 April 2010
  • I’m going to try this with vanilla cupcakes tomorrow – do you think it will work with vanilla cupcakes?
    also, what chocolate cupcakes recipe do you use? i used the hummingbird recipe and it burnt a little at the edges.

    11 June 2010
  • this didn’t work for me AT all. i just doubled the mixture and it remained a runny, magnolia mess when i beat it for 5m. gutted :(

    12 June 2010
    • Alyssa

      Aww I’m sorry. I think you should try again! It’s very, very simple, but you have to be sure to thicken the milk a lot at the stove, as that provides much of the consistency. The Pioneer Woman posted step-by-step photos that might help.

      12 June 2010
      • Maybe I didn’t leave the milk mixture to cool for long enough. I doubled the mixture too which might have been risky. I will try again when I have more time! I love the easter cupcakes you made with this!

        19 June 2010
    • Christine

      I seemed to have the same result :( The taste was good, not too sweet like other frostings but the consistency is soupy. I made sure to thicken it to a roue, like where it was almost solid and once I added the vanilla it just all fell apart. This was my first sttempt at making a homemade frosting so the error was probably my own.

      21 July 2010
  • Jasmine

    This tasted nice. But the best icing I’ve ever had was browned butter icing. So delicious…cupcakes, cookies, pumpkin break, cinnamon raisin toast, pretzels, granola, etc. I have never tasted something so wonderful and versatile. You should give it a go

    1 stick salted sweet cream butter
    3 cups confectioner’s sugar
    2 teaspoons vanilla
    splash of whole milk

    Heat the butter over medium heat. Stir as it melts. It will become frothy and you’ll notice little brown bits under the surface of the foam. I like mine dark, but a light honey color is good too.

    Let cool slightly. Pour into a bowl. Add vanilla, sugar, and milk. Beat with a mixer until desired consistency is reached. If a little too stiff, add more milk 1/2 teaspoon at a time.

    Spread over goodies while warm. It makes a lovely glaze that becomes shiny as it dries. You may refrigerate icing. To reheat to pour, microwave at medium heat for 15 second intervals. Enjoy

    21 August 2010
    • Alyssa

      My goodness, that sounds delicious! I have never heard of sweet cream butter but am going to have to search because I must try this. Thanks so much for the recipe!

      I’ve been living in a hotel for almost two months and am dying to get into a kitchen! That frosting is going to have to be part of my first meal in my new house.

      21 August 2010
  • Eeuuw, this frosting was the worst I’ve ever tasted.
    It was way too greasy and made you sick after having just half a cupcake.

    This definitely would not be made again, especially wasting 1 whole cup of precious butter.

    16 January 2012
    • Alyssa

      You know what, I’ve had varying results with this frosting too. Half the time I LOVE it, and half the time I think it’s awful. I’m not sure what marks the fine line between the two. I haven’t made it in a while because of that.

      18 January 2012
  • The frosting I made used 1 cup of granulated sugar & 1 cup powder sugar at the end. Made it with half real butter and half crisco. You still get a little oily taste, but still much better than any supermarket bakery frosting.
    Can not use the soft spreadable, it has water and other stuff to make it spreadable. And ingredients I can not pronounce. Stick with the real butter, the sticks not the whipped. Butter also melts in your mouth with out leaving a coating, like a good chocolate. I think this a great frosting, light buttery.

    16 April 2015
  • I've been looking for this recipe for over 20 years my mother-in-law used to make it and I forgot to get the recipe from her before she passed on. This is the exact recipe that you used and I am thrilled, and my grown-up kids are thrilled and I found it.

    24 December 2015

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