This delicious flour buttercream is silky smooth, perfectly light and fluffy, and not quite as sweet as my original flour buttercream (or ‘ermine buttercream’), making it the perfect buttercream to pair with a sweet cake. It also pipes beautifully!
Right. Time to add another great building block to my Building Block Collection. And what a building block it is. Buttercream! And you know how I feel about buttercream, right? Love, love, love it! And personally I think this is my best recipe yet. Yes, even better than my original flour buttercream! Intrigued yet? 😉
Do you remember the Puking Unicorn Cake? Of course, how can you not, it being a puking unicorn cake and all… But anyway, as I sat eating it back in November 2016, I felt that, delicious as it was, perhaps it COULD do with a little less sweetness. Of course, I told you guys this in my last post about that super cool Vanilla Milk Soak. But back then, I hadn’t heard about Momofuku yet, and I didn’t know there was such a thing as a milk soak to use instead of imbibing syrup. So I decided to come with a less sweet version of my famous flour buttercream, which is sometimes called ‘ermine buttercream’.
Experimenting with my original flour buttercream recipe was so much fun! It reminded me of doing the Battle of the Buttercreams and whipping up batch after batch of buttercream to develop the best recipes and test how the different buttercreams (there are six! Did you know?) compared to one another.
Flour buttercream has always been my favorite. Not only because it’s delicious and light and fluffy and super smooth and pipes beautifully, also because it’s really easy to make and you don’t need eggs to make it. So I’m super excited to show you a less sweet version of this amazing buttercream! I’ve already used it in that beautiful Paste Rainbow Meringue Heart Cake, and I’m planning on using it in a Blue Ombré Vanilla Cake I’m making for my youngest niece’s birthday this week.
To make this delicious buttercream, you need just 6 ingredients: unsalted butter, table salt, flour, sugar, milk, and vanilla extract. And, all right, since Momofuku made it cool, you can use fake vanilla extract if you want. I used the real stuff, though…
For this recipe, I use 130g of granulated sugar (which is ½ cup + 2 tablespoons + 1 teaspoon), instead of the usual 200g (1 cup). Quite a difference, but it works!
Anyway, step one: whip up a simple flour-based pudding on the stove. Not difficult at all. Just make sure the pudding doesn’t catch on the bottom or sides of the pan as it cooks.
To make the pudding, combine flour, sugar, and salt in a medium-sized saucepan and whisk or stir until combined. Next, add the milk slowly and whisk to combine. Because you’ve already stirred the flour, sugar and salt together, there won’t be any weird lumps.
Once all the ingredients are nicely combined, place the pan on the stove and heat over medium-high heat, whisking constantly, until the mixture thickens and comes to a boil. Once the first bubbles start to appear, turn the heat down to low and get yourself a rubber spatula. Cook the pudding for 2 minutes, stirring constantly and scraping the sides and bottom of the pan as you go to keep the pudding from burning. After 2 minutes, remove the pan from the heat and stir for another minute to knock some of the heat out of the pudding.
Scrape the pudding onto a nice clean plate, press plastic wrap directly against the surface of the pudding to keep a skin from forming, and let it cool to room temperature. Oh, and take the butter out of the fridge to let it come to room temperature, too!
As you can see, this pudding is a lot thicker than the pudding for my original flour buttercream. Sugar has a lot of water in it, see, and as I cut back on the sugar but not the flour, we’re working with a slightly different flour/liquid ratio here.
After it has cooled to room temperature, this pudding should be so thick that it holds its shape on the spoon, and it shouldn’t feel sticky when you touch it with your finger.
Anyway, once pudding and butter have come to room temperature, it’s time to put the two together. We’re going to use the Beaten Butter Method for that so first beat the butter for about 7-10 minutes until it’s really pale and fluffy, then add the pudding one spoonful at a time, mixing well after each addition.
Once you’ve added all the pudding, mix in the vanilla, then smush the buttercream against the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula for about a minute to get rid of any large air bubbles (totally optional, but it makes your piping look prettier!)
This recipe makes a little less than my original recipe for flour buttercream (again: because it’s made with less sugar). It still makes 530g of buttercream, though. More than enough to generously frost 10-12 cupcakes with a big buttercream swirl (like this), or to frost about 15 cupcakes with a rose swirl, as I’ve done in the photos in this post ↓.
Still, how much buttercream you actually end up with all depends on the amount of air you beat into it. So make sure that both the butter and the pudding have come to room temperature before you start beating the two together! If either ingredient is too cold, the buttercream won’t lighten properly. And beat the hell out of that butter, too!
So, let’s look at some fun facts about this delicious frosting, so you can compare it to my other buttercream recipes:
Color: the palest ivory
Texture: OMG fluffalicious!
Piping: pipes beautifully
Level of difficulty: medium, because you need to cook the pudding on the stove
Fat content*: 29%
Sugar content*: 26%
Does it form a crust: no
* based on nutritional information.
Oh, and in case you were wondering: my original flour buttercream has a sugar content of 45%. Huge difference, right?
I love the rose piping, by the way. It looks so pretty. Very wedding-appropriate if you ask me.
So, so, SO thrilled about this recipe! Hope you like it as much as I do 💕
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- 35g (or 4½ tablespoons) all-purpose flour
- 130g (or ½ cup + 2 tablespoons + 1 teaspoon) granulated sugar
- pinch of salt
- 240ml (or 1 cup) whole milk
- 226g (or 1 cup) unsalted butter, softened at room temperature
- ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
- Combine flour, sugar and salt in a medium-sized saucepan. Whisk together. Add the milk and whisk until combined.
- Place saucepan over low heat and allow the mixture to come to a boil, whisking continuously. Once the mixture starts bubbling, cook for 1-2 minutes, stirring with a rubber spatula and scraping the sides and bottom of the pan as your go. Remove from heat and stir for a minute to knock some of the heat out of the pudding.
- Using a rubber spatula, scrape the pudding onto a clean plate and immediately cover it with plastic wrap, pressing the plastic wrap directly onto the pudding to keep a skin from forming. Allow to cool to room temperature.
- Once the pudding has cooled, beat the butter in a medium-sized bowl until smooth and fluffy and lightened in color, 5-7 minutes.
- Add the cool pudding one tablespoon at a time, mixing well after each addition. Once all the pudding has been added, mix for another few minutes, until the buttercream looks fluffy. Add the vanilla and mix for another minute.
- Use immediately for best results or keep covered at room temperature for up to 3 hours until ready to use. Buttercream can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for up to a week. Allow to come to room temperature before use and, using a mixer, beat if necessary until creamy and fluffy again.