Monday, September 3, 2012

Fluffy Cooked Flour Buttercream Frosting

Lately, the kiddies have been complaining that frosting/icing on cakes have been too sweet.  I am glad that they told me.  It explains why they only eat two bites of a store-bought cake and leave the rest for me and hubby to finish.  It is a difficult task when we go to birthday parties, and my 3 kiddies leave their barely touched cakes for me to finish! 


It was so nice to stumble across "the Perfect Cupcake Frosting and Filling" from OurBestBites. This cooked flour frosting uses considerably less sugar (1/2 cup) than conventional buttercream (about 2 cups).  I had to try it!  It is very fluffy and not too sweet.  It is best made fresh to preserve its creamy fluffiness.  If refrigerated, the butter content will solidify in the fridge, and the frosting will get firm.  It didn't bother us, as they were quickly devoured cold from the fridge without any complaints. 

A cooked paste (roux) is made from flour and milk over the stove and then cooled.


The milk and flour was cooked over the stove over medium heat. Make sure there are no lumps.  Notice how runny it is.  


When the flour gets cooked, it becomes a thick paste.  Remove from heat and place in a bowl to cool. 


Cover the flour paste with clear plastic wrap and refrigerate to prevent the being formed on top.  Make sure it is completely cooled so the butter will not melt when it is added.   The cooled flour/milk paste is added to butter and sugar and then it is whipped for approximately 6-8 minutes until a fluffy frosting develops.


Instead of vanilla extract, I used lemon extract and a few drops of yellow food colouring.  I piped this frosting with a Wilton 1M tip on top of a simple vanilla cupcake.  I knew it was pretty good when the kiddies inhaled their cupcakes and my son wanted another one!  I asked him if it was too sweet and he said it was "SO GOOD"! 

[edited January 16, 2013] By request, I pulled out my digital scale and converted my Canadian "cup" measurements to weight in grams and ounces.  The recipe below has the ingredients by weight now!  

Fluffy Cooked Flour Buttercream Frosting
- lightly frosts 12 cupcakes 

3 tablespoon all-purpose flour, plain flour
1/2 cup homo milk (I used 1%)
1/2 cup butter (I used 1/3 cup)
1/2 cup granulated (caster) sugar (not powdered sugar) (I used 1/3 cup)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract or other flavour you wish (I used lemon extract)
- optional food colouring (I used 2 drops of yellow)

OR

Converted the recipe to units by weight:
3/4 oz (23g) plain flour
4 oz (110g) full-fat milk (I used 1%)
4 oz (110g) butter (I used approx 65g)
3 1/2oz (95g) caster sugar (not powdered sugar) (I used 65g)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract or other flavour you wish (I used lemon extract)
optional food colouring (I used 2 drops of yellow)

Whisk together the flour and the milk. Heat in a small sauce pan on medium heat.
Whisk continuously until it starts to thicken. Let it cook, while stirring with a rubber spatula, until you can start to see the bottom of the pan.   Continue to cook until mixture has the consistency of thick pudding or paste.

Put  mixture in the fridge and let it cool completely, it’s fine if it stays in there long enough to get chilly, you just don’t want it warm at all. As it’s cooling, feel free to stir it occasionally to speed up the process and keep it from forming a crust on top.

It an electric stand mixer, beat the butter and the sugar for a minute or two until well combined and fluffy. You’ll want to use the whisk attachment on a stand mixer if you have one, instead of the flat paddle. Then while beating, add in the thickened milk mixture and the vanilla. Beat to combine and then scrape down the sides. Mixture will separate and look messy, keep beating!  Continue beating until mixture comes together and is light and fluffy, about 7-8 minutes, but time varies.  Take a sample of frosting between your fingers; frosting is done when light and fluffy and sugar granules are dissolved.

- Adapted from "Our Best Bites:  the Perfect Cupcake Frosting and Filling".  


 Enjoy!
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31 comments:

  1. Sounds fab, but i have no idea about the amounts needed as i'm in the UK and we don't understand 'cups' :(

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    1. You can buy 'cups' in the uk quite easily. They're available in most cookery supply shops and aren't expensive.

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    2. So happy to hear a response from the UK! In Canada, baking is usually done in cups or by volume (mL). I will try my best to convert to units you can easily use. I just pulled out my digital scale and converted the amounts to oz and grams. I have updated the recipe with these amounts and you can try the recipe now! :)

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  3. standardised cup measure is about 250ml of liquid, if that helps. Use Google to convert it to ounces if need be.

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    1. Thanks for the advice! Just to avoid confusion, I quickly converted the recipe to UK-friendly units! :)

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  4. you can get the cup measuring spoons in the uk if you look in the baking section or on amazon. not sure about this but will give it a try.

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  5. one stick of butter is the same as ours, 250grams. You can buy measuring cups at most supermarkets and cake craft suppliers.

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  6. Most measuring jugs have cup measurements. I will be trying this!!

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    1. A liquid cup and a dry cup will measure differently, so becareful when using a measuring jug.
      These are the conversions:
      1/2 cup milk = 125ml
      1/2 cup butter = 113 grams
      1/2 cup sugar = 100 grams
      I hope that helps!

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    2. Thanks for sharing! Learning to bake in a different measurement system can be a fun challenge. ;)

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  7. Doesn't the granulated sugar make the buttercream 'bitty'?

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    1. I thought it might too, but beating the mixture for 7-8 minutes (or maybe 1-2 minutes more) with a whisk attachment would be enough time to dissolve the sugar into something smooth and creamy. The key trick is to use a stand mixer for that duration. A hand mixer may not have enough power to whip the frosting properly.

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  8. Just so you are aware UK cups and US cups are different sizes!! But as long as the ratios stay consistent it shouldn't matter :-)

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  9. Never mind the cups, has anyone tried the recipe! I may try this as I have purchased some cups as I make the US white cake recipe. I am looking forward to trying this recipe, thank you.

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    1. I have converted the recipe to oz and grams! Have fun! :)

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  10. Can you use this icing for crumb coating and for icing under fondant?? Thank you!

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    1. I have never tried this frosting for crumb coat and fondant. When made fresh, it has the soft and fluffy texture of whipped cream. This frosting is not so fluffy when refrigerated. It hardens like regular buttercream when cold (from the butter content) but tastes less sweet, due to the smaller amount of sugar used. This would be a fun experiment. I am thinking that if you do use a crumb coat and icing under fondant, cool (refrigerate or freeze) the frosting for a certain period of time (10 min?) until it hardens enough to handle the weight of the fondant. It would still be a lovely cake to taste test! :)

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  11. Just made some of the buttercream, don't actually have any cakes yet :) It sounded so good I just wanted to make it straight away, and I wasn't disappointed. It is delicious and so easy to make. Thank you so much xx

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    1. Thanks Kim! So glad you enjoyed it! It is also lovely with biscuits (lady fingers, Savoiardi) if you don't have any cake. :)

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  12. Hi!..what is the shelf life of this buttercream.,at room temp and on the fridge?...thank you..

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    1. I am not sure about the shelf life of this buttercream as it does not last very long! Best eaten fresh to preserve the fluffy nature. Because there is milk and butter in this buttercream, I would consider this to have a comparable shelf life as a whipped cream frosting - several hours at room temperature and 2-3 days in the fridge.

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  13. I see....thank you...,,,will definitely try this..:-)

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  14. Can you use this icing for making roses?

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  15. Hi! I'm using this frosting ever since I tried it, economical and not too sweet but when I changed the brand of butter everything went wrong. I used almarai butter which is from middle east and change it by Irish butter from Ireland. It has the same amount of fat. Now, my frosting is soft and easily melt. What can i do? Do you think adding flour in milk to make it thicker helped the frosting to get hard and have a beautiful swirl?

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  16. Hi Michelle. I tried making this frosting this morning and it turned out great! I had to stop myself from eating it straight out the mixing bowl. You see, I don't really like buttercream, but THIS is just yummy. I think I'll use even less sugar next time. Thank you for sharing.

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  17. Hi Michelle !
    Thank you for posting this - I haven't registered on here yet but will in the next few days (it's my first time on here), so I'm down as 'anon' at moment - I have been searching and searching for a less sweet icing and just found your recipe, after seeing all the good comments, I'm going to give this a whirl now (I'm in the UK, so following your converted measurements). Outside of a ganache or mascarpone frosting, I'm usless, so if this works for me, you'll hear me screaming for joy all the way over there ;o)

    My greatest trouble is any icing with strawberries in, especially buttercream, anything I try, just ends up watery and sugary and tasting artificial even though I use fresh strawberries (I usually puree them first and add them slowly to end of mixture). Nothing I try works, it's just runny sugary artificial soup. Can you advise me on how I can add strawberries (and how many) to this particular frosting? I'd be so grateful for any advice (raspberries work, strawberries hate me ;o))

    Right - off to give this a go (Lee)..........

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  18. So delicious! Will use this recipe from now on.

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  19. Hi

    How well does this frosting keep out of the fridge? Can I use this for a cake I am covering with fondant/pettinice?

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  20. I already brought powdered sugar... Can I still use it in this recipe?
    1 cup granulated sugar+1 3/4 cup powdered sugar

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  21. hello this sounds interesting...would try it soon. but can you melt the sugar with the milk mixture so you dont have to spend too much time at the final stage lol

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Let me know what you think!