The Best Frosting

I am rarely left speechless {if you are my husband you are seriously nodding your head right about now}. I like to talk {husband still nodding}. To dissect the details of important matters, such as great toenail polish and food {husband falling asleep}. However, after taking a taste of this frosting, I was left completely speechless. No words. None. Just absolute, incredible tastebud bliss {husband shocked into silence himself}.

It is the best frosting I have ever tasted in my life.

You might have seen the phenomenon of this type of frosting swirling around. I tried the Tasty Kitchen version (highlighted by the Pioneer Woman) twice, and both times it was a disaster. I had given up on the so-called miracle of flour-based frostings until I saw and made this latest version.

It left me weak and trembling.

The Best Frosting

And do you know what tops it all? There is a chocolate version. Oh, heaven help me.

I slathered this frosting on the most decadent cake I’ve made to date (posting tomorrow!) and I can’t begin to describe the magical web of fluffy, creamy sweetness that is beholden in this frosting. I am a self-professed frosting hater, which makes my testimonial of this frosting all the stronger. I abhor the greasy, filmy, overly-sugary taste of traditional buttercream. Even the adventurous seven-minute/marshmallow frostings of the world leave me wanting.

But this frosting…well, it belongs in The Best Recipe section no doubt about that. My search for the perfect frosting is over. I’ll be honest, it is a little more work and requires a bit more planning than throwing butter and powdered sugar together in a mixer but I’m promising you here and now that the results are worth every minute. The real issue now becomes making sure any of this frosting actually makes it to the cake before being inhaled by my little lips.

The Best Frosting

One Year Ago: Basil Chicken in Coconut Curry Sauce
Two Years Ago: Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Cheesecake Bars

The Best Frosting

Yield: Makes about 4 cups frosting (plenty for two 9-inch cake layers)

The Best Frosting

Note: this frosting takes a bit of advance planning since the frosting needs time to cool so plan ahead! Originally, I put a note on here that was included in the original recipe that the frosting keeps in the refrigerator and then can be rewhipped, but I had to delete that note because every time I have tried it, it has been a major bust. After I have refrigerated it and rewhipped, it separates and never becomes satiny and delicious again. You may find different results but in good faith I have to say that in my experience, this frosting is best made and used fresh. Finally, I pipe a lot of cakes for my kids’ birthdays (think: Spiderman covered in Wilton stars) and although I haven’t tried it, I highly suspect that an hour or so of chilling time will lend this frosting nicely to being piped. When I try it, because I will, I’ll update the recipe with my notes.

This frosting is so magically delicious, it would be perfect on everything from sugar cookies to pumpkin bars to cake. Options are endless!

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 3 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 cups milk (I used 1% with stellar results)
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 24 tablespoons (3 sticks) butter, cut into 24 pieces and softened at room temperature

Directions

  1. In a medium bowl, combine the sugar, flour, cornstarch and salt. Slowly whisk in the milk until the mixture is smooth. Place a fine-mesh strainer over a medium saucepan and pour the milk mixture through the strainer into the saucepan. Cook the mixture over medium heat, whisking constantly, until the mixture boils and is thick enough that it starts to become difficult to easily whisk. This could take anywhere between 5-10 minutes, depending on your stove, heat, etc. It should bubble quite a bit at the end (be careful of the splatters) and thicken considerably.
  2. Transfer the mixture to a clean bowl and cool to room temperature – this is extremely important! If it is even slightly warm, the frosting won’t beat up properly. I refrigerated my initial mixture overnight. If you do this, make sure to pull it out in time to let it warm back up to room temperature. If you try to proceed with the rest of the recipe and the mixture is too cold, the butter won’t absorb into the frosting like it should.
  3. Once the frosting is completely cooled to room temperature (it should have no hint of warmth at all!), beat the mixture with the vanilla on low speed until it is well combined, about 30 seconds (a stand mixer will work best for this). Add the butter, one piece at a time, and beat the frosting until all the butter has been incorporated fully, about 2 minutes. Increase the speed to medium-high and let the mixer work it’s magic. Beat the frosting for five minutes, until it is light and fluffy. Let the frosting sit at room temperature until it is a bit more stiff, about 1 hour. I suspect if you chill it for an hour or so, it would be stiff enough to actually pipe with instead of frosting with a rubber spatula.

Notes

Chocolate Version: Add 1/4 cup cocoa powder to the sugar, flour, cornstarch, salt mixture in the first step. Once the frosting has been mixed for five minutes and is light and fluffy, mix in 3 ounces of semisweet chocolate that has been melted and completely cooled to room temperature.

Note: I made the chocolate version a few days after I originally posted this recipe and it is delicious! The color wasn’t quite as dark as I was hoping for; it definitely made for a lighter-colored chocolate frosting but the chocolate flavor is deep and terrific. I increased the melted chocolate to 4 ounces when I made it and may even do 5 ounces next time.

http://www.melskitchencafe.com/the-best-frosting-ever/

Recipe Source: adapted slightly from Cook’s Country Oct/Nov 2010

438 Responses to The Best Frosting {a.k.a. Magical Frosting}

  1. I think my grandma used to make something like this. It was incredible!

  2. Kim in MD says:

    Thanks to you, Melanie, I am a Cook’s Country subscriber now! I saw this recipe in the latest issue and was hoping you would test it-and you did! I can’t wait to see what cake recipe you paired it with. Thanks so much for sharing! :-)

  3. Angie says:

    Awe Mel – this recipe came 1 week too late. I was searching for a good frosting recipe for Trevor’s birthday cake last weekend. The one I found was ok, but this one sounds much much better! Guess I’ll just have to try it on Ethan’s cake in October.

  4. Jeanette says:

    i can’t wait to try this. i found a similar recipe on a blog that is written by a professional chef and she too said it was way over the top delicious. thanks!

  5. Stephanie says:

    Ah, this is the recipe my grandmother has been using for over 50 years! It is truly magical. And having messed it up many times, the key is definitely cooking the flour mixture slowly, and letting it cool completely. I’ll have to give it a try with the chocolate!

  6. yay! I love frosting! Although unlike you, I could eat buttercream frosting all day long. That doesn’t mean that I’m not looking for another recipe though – can’t wait to try this!

  7. Marian says:

    Mel, what is the purpose of the strainer? I tried to make your Schoolyard cupcakes without using a strainer, and it was utter disaster. It seems like the strainer wouldn’t make that big of a difference though.

  8. Jenn says:

    I make frosting almost identical to this. My only extra is the press the cooked and thickened mixture through a strainer to ensure there are no lumps from the thickener. The best ever frosting hands down!

  9. Kelly says:

    Hmmm….. usually I like homemade desserts much better than store-bought ones. But I have never ever tasted a homemade frosting that I thought compared to Betty Crocker Creamy Deluxe French Vanilla – not the whipped stuff, not Duncan Hines, not the plain vanilla or any other flavor – specifically Betty Crocker Creamy French Vanilla. To me, that frosting is the perfect frosting for a moist chocolate cake – creamy, rich, not too sugary/gritty. I honestly have doubts that this frosting will compare. It sounds like a lot of work too – will my curiosity be enough to convince me to do all this work to try something new? I wish someone else would make it and let me try it lol. If I ever do try it, I’ll come back and let you know what I think.

    (And if anyone is looking for a quick shortcut, please try the Betty Crocker Creamy French Vanilla! …. and I have my opinion about chocolate cake mixes too – if you’re going for a mix, it has to be Duncan Hines Moist Deluxe Dark Chocolate Fudge – again, this specifically – not Betty Crocker, not Devil’s Food Chocolate . Trust me, if you are looking for a quick, store-bought chocolate cake with white frosting, pair these two!)

  10. Teresa says:

    Now I have to make a cake today to try this frosting. Like you, I tried the recipe on Tasty Kitchen because it claimed to be the best frosting ever. I was so disappointed! Can’t wait to try your version. Thanks.

  11. Barbi says:

    I thought i was the only one who had issues with that frosting recipe on tasty kitchen/pioneer woman… I look forward to trying this recipe!

  12. Sara Qualls says:

    Do you think this frosting would be good with fresh or frozen strawberries beat into it? I was given the most divine strawberry cake recipe, but the frosting doesn’t do it justice. This frosting you have sounds a bit lighter (you know, 3 sticks of butter makes it lighter) which would be good with the strawberry cake. Their frosting was only butter and powdered sugar. Thanks.

  13. Melanie says:

    Yum, I have been making the Tasty Kitchen version for a few months and fell in love with that frosting! I am excited to try your version. They are similar enough that I know it is going to taste divine!! I can’t wait to try the chocolate version too. Thanks!

  14. Diane Riedel says:

    Thanks for sharing this recipe! Now you have stimulated me to make a cake today! It looks yummy in the photos.

  15. Cammee says:

    I have used the Tasty Kitchen version and we really liked it, but now I’m dying to try this one! I’ll wait for the delectable cake post tomorrow though :).

  16. Liz @ Blog is the New Black says:

    Magical for sure! ;)

  17. Mel says:

    Sara – I think this frosting would be even more magical with strawberries (or strawberry puree) beaten into it. Take care that the strawberries are not overly watery or else it might thin out the frosting too much.

  18. Mel says:

    Jenn – hopefully if the mixture is well strained prior to cooking you won’t need to strain it again – although, I guess I wouldn’t hurt, right?

  19. Mel says:

    Marian – the strainer should help eliminate any lumps from the frosting. It is fairly important in this recipe, I would say. As for the Schoolyard cupcakes – I’m sorry about the disaster. That frosting has definitely gotten mixed reviews and I’ve been in the process of testing it to figure out the quirks.

  20. Mel says:

    Kelly – I guess we’ll have to agree to disagree on this issue since I have never tasted any canned frosting that compares to homemade (especially this recipe). But having said that, I think it’s great if you’ve found a version that you love because it definitely makes life easier! Thanks for sharing your thoughts!

  21. Shannon says:

    I’m making my mom your carrot cake recipe this weekend for her birthday. I have only had cream cheese frosting on carrot cake. Would this magical frosting being magical even on that? I trust you…if you say yes then we are going for it! I am also not a typical frosting lover, the canned stuff is fake tasting and usually the other stuff is just not quite right.

  22. Katy says:

    You’ve convinced me; I must try this!

  23. I’ve tried ‘the best frosting’ as well, like many of these other people and was also disappointed. Anytime someone praises something so much I have to give it a try! And this does look really good! Although the picture of it in the bowl kind of looks like mashed potatoes to me hehe.

  24. As a fellow frosting hater, your review sounds great, I bet it is the corn starch that makes this frosting differant. Can’t wait to try.

  25. Melynda says:

    I have had good luck with the “other” recipes for this floating around and used through the years, but this one looks better! I could not longer make the other ones, they had crisco and we have not eaten that in years. Your shared recipe is all butter, thanks.

  26. Mel says:

    Shannon – actually, now that you mention it, yes, this frosting would be divine on carrot cake. I think if you twisted my arm, I’d probably always prefer the classic cream cheese frosting with carrot cake, but this magical frosting is seriously so light and creamy it would taste delicious, also. Let me know if you try it!

  27. Andrea says:

    I too was wondering how it would work without a strainer. I don’t even own a strainer, so I’m wondering are there different kinds? (sorry… I have no idea) And if there was one strainer that was a must have in the kitchen- what would it be? Thanks.

  28. Carrie says:

    On the stand mixer did you use a paddle attachment or a wire whisk/whip attachment?

  29. Shannon says:

    So I made the frosting and I keep licking my fingers – it is so light and fluffy even with so much butter. Yum! But now I’m wondering what would happen to the texture/flavor if I decided to add some cream cheese to it to go on the carrot cake. Although the flavor of this is really good, I too think cream cheese flavor is so yummy with carrot cake. If I softened the cream cheese first and blended it in room temp do you think it would be gross or would it take it to another level? Maybe I’ll just try it and let you know.

  30. Jeanette says:

    made this tonight with the chocolate cake recipe that you posted on 9/24. i made the cake into cupcakes and it worked just fine. it was really good and i really like this frosting for a change. one one cupcake, i sprinkled a little bit of instant espresso granules on top and it was yummy!!! the frosting stiffened up once refrigerated for an hour and i was able to use a 2d wilton tip to make a big swirl on top of the cupcakes. thanks for another winner! :)

  31. Jeanette says:

    oh, i forgot to ask….should i store the frosted cupcakes in the refrigerator or covered at room temp? thanks!

  32. Leilani says:

    This, too, is my favorite frosting recipe! It is much easier and lighter (at least I think so) than the traditional Italian buttercream. I will definitely try your recipe for accompanying chocolate cake. Congrats!

  33. CaSaundra says:

    Wow! I am definitely bookmarking this recipe. I am not a huge frosting fan either, but this recipe sounds unique so I am going to give it a try!

  34. Reyna says:

    My sister called me yesterday and said, “I have a favor to ask you.”
    “What?” I asked.
    “Mel posted a new frosting and cake recipe–I need you to try it.”
    “Well, for you, I guess I will. Twist my arm….”
    And so out of sisterly duty I made this amazing chocolate cake and frosting. I really don’t even like frosting (except your cream cheese frosting) and I feel sort of neutral about cake, but this frosting (and cake) is in a league of it’s own. It was so amazing. I’m so glad you’ve gone through all the legwork to find “the best”…because I will be looking no further!

  35. Tracy says:

    Ok I hate frosting. So when this popped up I made it the same day. I tasted the mixture when cooling, Hmmmm….interesting. I tasted the frosting after whipping in the butter….hmmmm still average. However, when I let it set for an hour and then put in on a chocolate cake…..it was just as you described it. DELISH!!! I don’t know what the waiting had to do with it but everyone who ate the cake thought it was indeed MAGICAL! Thanks!

  36. Susan says:

    Here’s the chocolate frosting to knock your socks off. It was published in a complementary issue of Cuisine at Home to go with an old fashioned chocolate cake. Both recipes have been posted together on Food.com….but it’s the frosting that’s the star in my opinion. The cake? Amazing for a cake with no eggs or dairy.

    http://www.food.com/recipe/old-fashioned-chocolate-cake-with-glossy-chocolate-icing-102587

  37. Mel says:

    Tracy – I was reading your comment going, ok, I hope it finally tastes magical…and I’m so glad that whatever the waiting did to the frosting turned it great for you. Thanks for the review!

  38. Mel says:

    Reyna – love the sisterly duty. Will you be my sister, too? I’m with you on the not loving frosting thing so I’m glad this converted you to loving some kind of icing. So glad you liked both recipes!

  39. Mel says:

    Jeanette – sorry my response is late on this. I’m glad that you liked the cupcakes and frosting! If it were me, I’d store them covered in the refrigerator. Before serving, I’d let them sit at room temperature for 10-15 minutes to take the chill off.

  40. Mel says:

    Jeanette – glad to know the frosting worked well enough to pipe with. I actually made it again this week and piped with it, too, and it worked great. Thanks for your review!

  41. Mel says:

    Shannon – I think there is actually a cream cheese version of this where you cut the butter down to two sticks and use an 8 ounce block of cream cheese that has been softened and add it to the frosting in pieces with the butter. Since you already made the frosting, it wouldn’t hurt to blend in the cream cheese and see what happens but I’d definitely make sure the cream cheese is very soft and I’d whip it up on it’s own before adding it to the frosting to avoid lumps. Let me know if you tried it!

  42. Mel says:

    Carrie – I used the whisk attachment.

  43. Mel says:

    Andrea – there are lots of different brands of fine mesh strainers but I got mine at Walmart or Target (can’t remember which one) several years ago. They came in a three pack of different sizes and are made of thin wire with a black plastic handle. I use them all the time – for basic pasta draining to straining puddings/custards/frostings, etc. They are very reasonably priced. If you had to just buy one, I’d get the large-ish size – mine is probably right around 8 inches.

  44. Adam B says:

    The. Best. Frosting. Ever. Nuff said. I just made it, and had to get on here and say that it is amazing. Thanks for sharing!

  45. Kristi says:

    I love your blog and I have tried dozens of your recipes. This frosting however seemed wrong to me. It didn’t have much taste to it. To me the frosting on a cake is supposed to make the cake pop. The consistency of the frosting was fantastic, but the flavor was lacking in a major way. Maybe I am too used to my butter cream, sugary frosting. If I make this frosting again I will definitely try adding more sugar.

  46. ingrid says:

    I’ve made a flour based frosting before but it didn’t come out quite right. The taste was very good (Kinda like Farina) but it wasn’t frosting-ish. I’m gonna give this one a try.

    I read in the comments about a cream cheese version….hope you’ll update us on that one if you give it a go.
    ~ingrid

  47. Mel says:

    Kristi – sorry that this frosting just didn’t taste right to you. I’m glad you left the comment, though, because it gives me the chance to clarify that this is definitely not an overly saccharine sweet frosting (which is probably why I like it since the sugary buttercreams aren’t my thing). This frosting is lighter/fluffier and less sweet than many traditional frostings and I love it for the reason that I can still enjoy the cake without being overwhelmed by the frosting. Although I completely understand how all of us have different feelings about our frostings! I think if you dare make it again, you could definitely try adding more sugar – although I don’t know how that would impact texture. Let me know if you try it and thanks again for your comment!

  48. Mel says:

    Adam B – thanks for your agreement that this really is the best. I was a bit nervous after posting it and issuing my claims that it is the best and has changed my life and yada yada. But I am ecstatic to read that others are loving it as well. Thanks again!

  49. Shannon says:

    It’s me again…just giving feedback so others know how it was. I didn’t end up putting cream cheese with it since I already used the 3 sticks of butter, though I may have tried omitting the one stick and adding the cream cheese if I’d seen that suggestion first. So, my mom tasted it and thought it was cream cheese frosting without any cream cheese. I guess I fooled her! Regardless we all loved it on the carrot cake my dad ended up making, which was moist and yummy! Once again two winning recipes.

  50. Marci says:

    Is this frosting really, really light and buttery tasting? I made a frosting this weekend that was with egg whites and a lot of butter like yours and it was so light it almost tasted greasy. But if you’re convinced this is the best I want to try it.

  51. Mel says:

    Marci – yes, this frosting really is light and buttery. It is a completely different texture than egg-white frostings I’ve made before. I hope you like it if you try it!

  52. Mel says:

    Thanks for the feedback, Shannon! That’s funny (and wonderful!) that your mom thought it was cream cheese frosting anyway. Makes it easy on you!

  53. Linda says:

    I think people are having trouble w/The Tasty Kitchen version simply because they are not cooking the flour-milk mixture long enough nor beating the frosting enough.
    This is an old-time, simple recipe we used to call Poor Man’s Whip Cream Frosting. It has the taste and texture of whipped cream and is definately not a sweet buttercream frosting. The original recipe called for shortening (Crisco), but I make it w/butter instead.

    In a saucepan, gradually add 1 c. of milk to 5 Tbs. flour, stirring to avoid lumps. Bring to a boil, stirring constantly. Lower heat to medium and continue to cook and stir til a thick paste, about 5 min. Cool completely. This can be done ahead of time, placed in small bowl, covered and refrigerated.
    When ready for frosting, remove from frig and bring to room temp.

    Beat 1 c. room-temp butter til light and fluffy, about 2 min. Add 1 tsp vanilla and 1/3 c. regular sugar and beat til well-combined. Add another 1/3 c. sugar and beat, then another 1/3 c sugar (1 c. total). Scrape sides of bowl and beat 2 min.
    Add half of milk/flour mixture and beat well. Add remaing milk/flour mixture and beat 2 more minutes til fluffy and you can no longer feel the sugar if you rub a bit of frosting between your thumb and finger. That’s your Poor Man’s Whipped Cream Frosting!

    If a sweeter, more flavorful frosting is desired, add 1/2 – 1 c. conf. sugar and another tsp vanilla..

  54. Miss L says:

    My mix is currently cooling, even as we speak. What should it look like while cooling? Mine kinda reminds me of sweetened condensed milk at the moment…thick but kinda could be poured like a glaze (it IS still warm). Is this normal? Should I be panicking yet? Of course, I also used skim milk (it’s what I had), so if it’s supposed to be thicker or pastier (like the Tasty Kitchen version, which I tried and was a huge mess) that may be the trouble. Thanks for any tips!

  55. Linda says:

    It will thicken more upon cooling, but it definately should not be as pourable as a glaze when you finish cooking. It needs to be brought to a full boil, while you cook and stir. The flour will not properly thicken the milk unless it is brought to a full boil, not just a few tiny bubbles around the edge of the pot, but the whole mixture should be bubbling.

    Turn the heat down to medium and cook and stir a minute or two more for good measure.

    You should not be able to pour it into a bowl to cool. You should have to use a rubber spatula to scrape it out. It should be soft and smooth, but thick ……more the consistancy of peanut butter.

    Be sure to cover it as it cools so that it doesn’t develop a hard skin like pudding does if not covered.

  56. Mel says:

    Miss L – my mixture is the same consistency as what you have described. I’ve made this frosting three or four times now and the first boiled mixture is always thick but if I tipped up the bowl, it would slowly (very slowly) pour out – like a very thick pudding before it has set up. I wouldn’t panic if I were you since it sounds like your consistency is like mine has been. The mixture should be thick enough that it starts to get a bit difficult to wisk it toward the end of the cooking process but it shouldn’t be so thick that it clumps up and is a big mass. Hope that helps. Let me know what the result was!

  57. Mel says:

    Linda – thanks for your comments. As a clarification, this particular recipe that I posted, after boiling the flour and milk, should not be quite as thick as peanut butter as you mentioned in your comment. The consistency of this boiled mixture will be shiny and thick, like a really thick pudding before it has set up. It will take effort to continue whisking it but it shouldn’t be so thick that it masses together in a ball. My issues with the Tasty Kitchen weren’t with the fluffy outcome. It seemed to beat up just fine and work out that way but the texture was grainy and the flavor seemed off somehow. I liked this other version a bit better because of the cornstarch addition because it seemed to take out some of the flour taste/grittiness. You’ll have to let me know if you try the version I posted. If not, it seems like you are quite the expert on your own recipe – glad you love it!

  58. Melanie says:

    Just tried this tonight! It tastes awesome! Having tried both the tasty kitchen version and this one, I think that I still prefer the tasty kitchen version. I don’t have a problem with it tasting gritty and it doesn’t have as strong of a buttery flavor to me as this one did, but this recipe is still a keeper! I can’t wait to try the chocolate version!

  59. Jen says:

    I also made the Tasty Kitchen version of this and it turned out a huge flop. I always trust Cooks Country so I’m sure you’ve got it right here!

  60. Karina says:

    this might be JUST what I have been looking for. I have a super delish moist chocolate cake recipe (which I bet rivals yours – I have not tried yours yet so I can’t truly judge – but will soon!) that my husband also loves but he does NOT like my homemade frostings (picky picky) and I cannot STAND store bought frostings. I’ll try this week!!!

  61. Mel says:

    Melanie – thanks for checking in on this recipe! Glad you liked it!

  62. Brye says:

    I am so excited to see this recipe and the chocolate cake recipe!! My son turns one on Friday and I wanted to make him a cake and my 3 year old demanded that K wants a choclate cake. I just pulled the cake out of the oven and the frosting is waiting to go on. Can’t wait to try it!!

  63. I made this tonight and it is great. I let it set in the fridge for about 20 minutes and then piped it on cupcakes. I had enough for 24 cupcakes with some leftover. I may or may not have piped some of the extra icing directly into my mouth…..:)

  64. Mel says:

    Steph – thanks for the laugh. Seriously. I’m glad I’m not the only one that sneaks a little frosting into the old gullet!

  65. Morgan W. says:

    So I made the Tasty Kitchen version a few weeks ago and thought it was “so so.” Seriously nothing to write home about. I was sure I did it wrong because everybody raved about it. Then you posted this recipe and I made your version tonight along with your Divine Chocolate cake recipe (though I made mine into cupcakes!).

    I haven’t even frosted them yet but have licked the spoon of the frosting a couple of times. I must be doing something wrong because I think it is rather boring! I hardly taste any of the sweetness. I used canned butter for both. Do you think that makes a difference? The butter smells and tastes the same but I just can’t imagine why I don’t just love it. I love all things sweet, and I usually love all things that other people totally love….so I am afraid I a missing something. Perhaps a 3rd time will be a charm and I will make sure to use freshly store bought butter????

    p.s. The Divine Chocolate Cake IS MOST DEFINITELY AMAZING!! That is a recipe that I will forever hold on to! Thanks! :)

  66. Morgan W. says:

    After posting my last comment, I read through a bunch of other’s. Linda (comment #53) helped me realize that I am probably doing it right. I think next time I will add a little more sugar for my taste. Like this recipe needs more calories, right?? :)

    Thanks Mel! Love your website!

  67. Tricia says:

    I just made it, and it tasted…SOAPY? I can’t figure it out because I know I used clean utensils. The prefrosting mix was tasted, and it was OK. Not soapy, not overly sweet. The only thing I can figure is my butter was off? I didn’t actually taste the butter before it went in to the mix. It was in an unopened box, but I’ve had it about a month. Do you recommend unsalted butter? Or, fresh butter?

    I haven’t scrapped it yet. It’s sitting in the fridge, firming up, I’m hoping for some magic!

  68. Mel says:

    Tricia – well, I have to say, I never thought I’d hear this frosting described as soapy! I have no idea what might have happened. Butter shouldn’t go bad after a month, but you might check the expiration date to be sure. I always use regular, salted butter. Let me know if the taste manages to change after the sit in the refrigerator!

  69. Mel says:

    Morgan – I think you are doing everything right. This is definitely a recipe that is going to either WOW people or leave them wanting for more sweetness. I liked the frosting for it’s mild sweetness but you should try adding more sugar next time. I’m glad you liked the chocolate cake, though! And as for canned butter, I’ve never used it (or heard of it to be honest) so I’m not sure the effect it would have on this frosting. If you have access to regular butter that comes in 1/2 cup sticks, you might try that to see if it helps the frosting’s taste.

  70. Tricia says:

    Still not great after an overnight in the fridge. I think it’s better, but my 5 year old is telling me to leave it off the cupcakes! I added some powdered sugar, and I think I will add even more. I think it can be saved. Maybe.

  71. grace says:

    after seeing the version on tasty kitchen, i had my doubts–i’m a skeptical person by nature. however, i find myself believing your assessment of this frosting and am now itching to try it myself! what can i say, melanie, except that you’re worthy of my trust. :)

  72. Morgan W. says:

    We moved a couple of months ago and I had LOTS of butter in my freezer. I was too cheap to just throw it away. Honestly, I was too cheap to give it to a neighbor. That is when I canned it to make it “moveable” and it is great! It was super duper easy. Totally google it!

    Once I adjust the frosting with more sugar, I think it will be great. I love texture of it so I am sure that the 3rd time will be a charm!

  73. Mel says:

    Tricia – hope you can save it!

  74. Cristina says:

    Has anyone tried a non-dairy version of this frosting? If so, what modifications did you use? I was thinking of Coffee Rich or soy in place of milk, but have never tried boiling either. And would sub. margarine for butter. Any thoughts?… Need a TNT, non-dairy frosting that is not overly sweet. Taste and quality come first.

  75. Mel says:

    Good luck on your non-dairy search, Cristina. I can’t give any advice at all since I’ve never worked with diary replacements.

  76. Whitney R. says:

    My flour mixture is currently cooling, I’m getting excited!

  77. Tiffiny says:

    Mel I am also very, very picky about frosting. In fact, I usually scrap off most of it when eating any kind of frosted dessert. I hate when it’s too sweet or too gritty. This frosting was neither! It was, as you call it, magical – so smooth, light and fluffy, and not too sweet. This was my first try at homemade icing and it came out perfect! I put it on the Schoolyard cupcakes (which are also awesome, btw). Thanks so much!

  78. Mel says:

    Tiffiny – thanks for letting me know you loved this frosting – great idea to use it on the schoolyard cupcakes. I’ll be trying that thanks to your suggestion!

  79. Katie Minharo says:

    For Tricia,

    Try adding salt to help with the soapy flavor. I’ve always had trouble with frosting and recently realized that the answer was more salt. It helps fix weird chemical flavors. Good luck!

  80. Shante says:

    Having tried this last night, and I’m pretty sure I made it correctly, I thought it was so-so. Really I think it’s a matter of preference. I don’t like butter cream, so I thought I would love this, but I didn’t. Everyone else thought it was just ok too. The texture was great, but the taste was lacking for me and I thought it was too buttery. Sorry Melanie, this was the first of your recipes that I haven’t raved about, but everyone has different taste buds. One thing I can’t wait to make are your vanilla pudding cinnamon rolls on Christmas again this year. Those are definitely magical in my family!

  81. Mel says:

    Shante – my only wish is that everyone’s taste buds love this frosting as much as I do, considering I make it for everything. But I’m glad you shared your opinion even though you weren’t crazy for it!

  82. Christine says:

    I made this back in December for my daughters 2nd birthday and it was a hit! I made the chocolate version today for my mom’s birthday and it was wonderful!!! My husband has already requested that I make it for his birthday!

  83. Mel says:

    Christine – glad you loved both versions!

  84. Catherine says:

    I have wanted to make this for a long time, but I am gluten-intolerant so the flour was a no-no. Today I made it for my son’s birthday cake, and just subbed cornstarch for the flour (when using flour as a thickener, you can sub half the amount of cornstarch instead) so 5 T. total cornstarch, and it came out perfectly! I could not believe how delicious, how light and fluffy and perfect it was! A lot more work than my standard powdered sugar frosting that I always make, but so much more delicious! Thanks for another great recipe, Mel!

  85. Mel says:

    Catherine – look at you getting all brilliant and making this recipe gluten free. That’s awesome! Thank you so much for checking in with your variations…I know it will be able to help others with gluten intolerance.

  86. Amy Wein says:

    Did you ever pipe with this?? I am hitting birthday season here in Minnesota!!

  87. Debbie says:

    I’ve been wanting to try this frosting for months and I finally made it today! It’s soooo good! I don’t like buttercream or gritty/sugary frosting but this was creamy and delicious! Where has this been all my life?! LOL

    I let the frosting chill a little bit in the fridge after the final step. Then I piped it onto red velvet cupcakes. Yum! Thanks for the great recipe!

  88. Stephanie says:

    Oh..my..gaaaah!! I too was left speechless when I tasted this. I just made a batch for my son’s 2nd bday party which is in a couple days. I’ll be making one of your cupcake recipes to put this on top of. I hope it’s just as good after it sits in the fridge for a couple days.

  89. Leticia says:

    ok, I made a comment about the yummy delicious “unbelievable” chocolate cake with ganache and said I would try the magical frosting. Well, my oldest daughter, 11, was the first to taste it while it was in the making process and she said it reminded her of cool-whip but a little firmer. I thought that was a pretty good description. I made the “unbelievable” chocolate cake for my youngest daughter’s 8th birthday last month. I also made the “magical” frosting to go with it and topped it off with ganache….OMG…that was the BEST EVER. The whole family fell in love with the cake combination. Even my babysitter said she had never had cake/frosting that good before. It was chocolately, moist, creamy, rich, and fluffy all in one bite. It wasn’t overly sweet, it was the perfect combination to make your taste buds give you a hug.

  90. Jessi says:

    Hey! When I add the butter I find that the frosting starts to separate. Do you know why this is?

  91. Mel says:

    Hi Jessi – that is normal for this frosting. Once the butter is added piece by piece, the frosting will look like it is separating but as it mixes (and it needs to mix for a long time), it will come together. Make sure the frosting base is perfectly cooled before adding the butter. Hope that helps!

  92. Katie says:

    Hi Mel,
    I want to try this frosting, but I don’t need 4 cups. Will it work just as well if I cut the recipe in half?

  93. Ashlee says:

    Now that it’s been a few weeks since making this, I can talk about it. My 3 year old insisted on having a princess birthday cake, so I obliged, thinking I could make it with this frosting. The frosting was so good! I kept snitching at it. I colored it pink, and frosted the princess cake (I piped it and it worked great). I finished the cake completely at 12:30, it was beautiful and finished! Then, at 12:45, before I could even take a picture, the whole thing fell apart. It was so sad! The birthday party was supposed to start at 1:30, so I whipped up a “cake” out of a paper plate stuck on Barbie, frosted it with a can of the nasty store-bought cake, and we blew candles out of that, then I served scoops of my collapsed cake. Everyone thought the frosting was good, the presentation…not so much!

  94. Brooke says:

    I made this today to ice some hummingbird cupcakes and it was amazing! Not to sweet, not greasy.. just great! I did cut out one stick of butter and added 6 oz of cream cheese (I had a partial block in the fridge) so it had just a subtle cream cheese flavor. Also, I refrigerated it for a few hours to pipe it on which worked like a dream too. Thanks for sharing I will be keeping this around!

  95. Lindsay says:

    I, as well, have tried the Tasty Kitchen (PW) recipe and quite liked the taste of it, but it didn’t seem to come together as well as I had hoped. I am intrigued by your recipe (as you have tried the Tasty Kitchen one, too), but I am wondering about the amount of butter this recipe calls for… 3 sticks of butter seems like a lot! Does it have a greasy/filmy/overly buttery taste to it? Also, do you use unsalted or salted butter for the frosting? I am wanting to find a good frosting recipe for a chocolate cake for my husband’s birthday. It really does look great…and any feedback you have would be great! Thanks so much!!

  96. Lindsay says:

    Hmm.. I do have another question, too. After the fact, is it best to keep cakes frosted with this frosting at room temperature or in the fridge for the next few days? Will it ‘hold together’ sitting out on the counter? Thanks for all your help!! =)

  97. Mel says:

    Lindsay – reading through the other comments on this, you’ll notice that there are a fair amount of people that do think it is very buttery. That’s actually what I like about it but it might be a turn off for you. I always use salted butter because I never buy or have unsalted butter on hand. As for storing the frosted cake, I’ve never frosted a cake more than a few hours before serving. The frosting hardens quite a bit in the refrigerator (I’ve noticed with leftovers of the frosting) so I’m not sure you would want to store the frosted cake in the refrigerator. I’m afraid that when it came to room temperature it might separate a bit – which is what I’ve seen happen to the refrigerated frosting leftovers. Hope that helps!

  98. Lindsay says:

    Thanks for your feedback! I think I made my question a little confusing… I, too, won’t frost my cake more than a couple of hours before serving, but I was wondering how you store your cakes with this frosting after you’ve had the party and eaten some of the cake. Do you keep the leftover cake on the counter or put it in the fridge?

  99. Jill says:

    I have just made the frosting, and I find it very disappointing. I read from someone else that their comment is the same as mine. The butter is separating a lot. I made sure the mixture was completely cooled and I mixed it for 5 min. I let it set for an hour and I also refrigerated it for a time trying to get it to set up and have a little more body to it. I have frosted the cake and it is drooping off and looks separated. What did I miss?

  100. Mel says:

    Jill – I have no idea what you missed and I’m not sure why it would be separating. Whenever I make this, it whips together like a fluffy, creamy whipped cream. The temperature of your butter might be an issue (either too cold or too warm) but really, it’s almost impossible to know why it would have separated unless I could be right there with you while you made it. I’m sorry!

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