Friday, February 20, 2009

Flour Frosting

cupcakevanillavanilla2

I never thought I would start a post title with flour frosting, sounds appetizing doesn't it? Well, it is the best buttercream type frosting I've ever had, tied with SMBC (But only Cassie's version). When I first started baking from scratch, I was really disappointed with frosting because I thought that anything made with 'real' ingredients had to taste better than the fake supermarket stuff we get, but it wasn't. No matter how creamy the butter + icing sugar frosting looked in the stand mixer or piped out on a cake, I just couldn't help scraping it off. Maybe it's the icing sugar I buy or I'm just weird, but all I could feel was gritty, pasty and taste cornstarch. I tried so many versions (with water, milk, cream, part shortening + sifted like crazy), but none of them could solve the icing sugar problems I was having. Finally I gave up and moved on to SMBC. Most people who make SMBC complain that it tastes like a stick of butter..well.. because it does (unless you have the right ratio of ingredients) so I was really disappointed when that failed too. It wasn't until I accidentally halved the sugar when making a quartered version of buttercream for the DB Filbert Gateau challenge when I finally made something that tasted creamy, sweet, and not like a stick of butter! It still wasn't perfect so I went searching for a SMBC with a similar ratio of butter to sugar to egg whites.

I still wanted to make frosting that tastes like the fake whipped cream stuff minus all the chemicals. Many people were saying that flour frostings taste a lot like whipped or pastry cream, but I was reluctant to try them because if I was having a problem with the tiny amounts of cornstarch in icing sugar, the thought of adding flour was grossing me out even more. Then Cassie made a flour frosting for her red velvet cupcakes and since I love her SMBC, I had to give it a try. Most of the recipes on google seemed to have the same ratio of butter, sugar and milk with flour being the only difference so I just randomly chose a recipe, but followed her directions. It didn't make sense to cream the butter and granulated sugar and then add the cooled cooked flour mixture anyway (unless if granulated sugar can somehow magically dissolve).

cupcakevanillavanilla2 (2)

As for the cupcake, I made a modified version of Billy Billy's vanilla cupcake, but I'm going to save that for another post because it's still not perfect (grr!). If anyone's interested though, here's the recipe to Billy's cupcakes. Oh and since I was baking cupcakes I couldn't help doing a direct comparison of my muffin tins. I mentioned that the William's Sonoma Goldtouch was the best pan I've ever used, but I didn't do an actual side by side comparision. The cupcakes baked in the Wilton were drier at the edges, which was more noticeable the next day and more crumbly. By the way, has anyone used Magic Line pans? I've read some good things about them.

Flour Frosting

1/4 cup flour
1 cup sugar
1 cup milk
1 cup butter cut in cubes (My butter was cool and firm, but I could still leave an indent when I pressed my finger into it)
1 tsp vanilla
pinch of salt

1. In a medium heavy-bottomed saucepan, whisk the sugar, flour, salt together. Add the milk and cook over medium heat, whisking occasionally (I had to whisk constantly or else it started to stick and clump at the bottom) until the mixture has thickened into a paste and slightly bubbly at edges (You probably don't want it boiling because we all know how boiled milk tastes..)

2. Transfer the mixture to the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Beat on high speed until cool. Reduce the speed to low and add the butter; beat until thoroughly incorporated. Increase the speed to medium-high and beat until the frosting is light and fluffy. If the frosting is too soft, transfer the bowl to the refrigerator to chill slightly: then beat again until it is the proper consistency.

3. Add the vanilla and continue mixing until combined.

I love this frosting, but I think it was still a tad rich and could taste a bit cleaner (although I'm being really picky here). I don't think I can reduce the butter though or it won't be stiff enough. I think I might try subbing some of the milk for water or play around with the flour amout next time.

63 comments:

  1. This looks amazing and you have sold me on trying this!

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  2. I'm intrigued by the frosting - it sounds delicious!

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  3. don't you just love the gold touch by WS? I would be soooo lost without mine. Why they have to be so pricey is beyond me.
    Fabulous cupcakes! I need to finally breakdown and buy one of those icing bags because I am just horrid at frosting freestyle.

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  4. I m so intrigued with this frosting. I ve just got a recipe which i have to try . i ll let you know about the results :)looks so creamy !

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  5. Thanks for this very interesting post about flour frosting. I don't think I have ever even heard of it.
    I found the vanilla cupcakes. They are made with buttermilk, which makes them really moist. We really like them. I have made them twice, but not since the summer, so I am not really sure how vanilla-y they are. I hope you like them if you give them a try. Here is the link-http://maresfoodandfun.blogspot.com/2008/07/ch-vanilla-buttermilk-cupcakes-with.html
    Let me know how it goes! and Thanks for all the kind comments you always make on my blog. It makes my day!

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  6. Thank you so much for posting this!

    This may sound crazy, but I'm intolerant/allergic to CORN...and cornstarch really sets me off. I couldn't figure out a good way to make frosting that everyone -- including me -- could eat. This is awesome!

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  7. OMG I have such a sweet tooth right now I could lick the screen!

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  8. This is the kind of frosting I make too- I never put anything else on cupcakes, it's SO good! Your pics are beautiful, I'd like to gobble that right up :)

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  9. I can't wait to try this frosting. It looks perfect!

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  10. Instead of flour, to lighten this recipe, you might try using cornstarch instead. Also subbing 1/2 the amount of butter for 365 organic (non-hydrogenated) shortening would "clean" the taste up a bit. I happen to like the taste with all butter, so I do it that way, but have always used cornstarch and never flour. I hope this helps!

    Kate

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  11. How interesting! I had never heard of this type of frosting. I am intrigued!

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  12. Wow the flour frosting looks & sounds delicious as usual. I'm fussy with frostings and just like to stick to good old glace! Hehe :)

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  13. These look absolutly perfect! So pretty! They look like they could be part of a backyard tea party :)

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  14. I never knew about this type of buttercream either until I bought the BAKED book by Matt Lewis & Renato Poliafito. It's the only type of frosting recipe they use in the book. I made a cinnamon one the same day I bought the book because I was so intrigued with the whole flour thing.......it was absolutely divine!

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  15. I don't like BC frosting at all and I thought I'd tried every available recipe. Thanks for posting this version...definitely a must try!

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  16. I'm so intrigued...I've never tried anything like this for frosting!

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  17. TRY REDUCING THE BUTTER!! Haha, sorry to yell :P Everyone tried to tell me the amount of butter in my SMBC recipe wasn't enough to create the emulsion. (That's just because they'd never seen it done before, I guess.) But it works! I bet it would work with this flour frosting too. ;)

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  18. I've heard of flour frosting but have never made it before. Your cupcakes look amazing!

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  19. I will definitely be trying this out!

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  20. Your flour flowers are so pretty! And like others, I've never heard of flour frosting...very intriguing! The cupcakes also look great - beautiful crumb!

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  21. Vanilla on vanilla is my favorite, and these look wonderful. Thanks for sharing!

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  22. Ive never had flour frosting!!! Yum! I need to try!

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  23. that is perfection right there.
    stunning & looks amazing!

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  24. This is definitely an interesting recipe for frosting. Too rich, huh? Let us know if you play around with it and get it just right, although I do love a rich frosting from time to time!

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  25. Guess what... You won my Pay it Forward Giveaway... Check out my blog ;) Could you please mail me your adress? My emailadress can be found at my blog!

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  26. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  27. This looks interesting.....Flour eh? Ive never heard of flour in frosting before but I have the EXACT same problem...I cant stand that taste of buttercream! but I LOVE whipped cream! (though I cant always use it)

    Im def gonna give this a shot! :)

    oh btw...by sugar ...do you mean icing sugar or granulated sugar?

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  28. Wow...I've never heard of this before. But I must say that it looks mighty good!

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  29. Mmm, sounds interesting. I too was thinking flour in frosting sounded odd, but you never know.

    I use Magic Line pans almost exclusively now. Cakes come out so much less brown on the edges. Some folks think the baking time is longer, but that doesn't bother me. I don't know if they have muffin pans or not.

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  30. Steph, I'm saving this frosting recipe. I never have a good one. Thanks for the experimentation.
    Nancy

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  31. I'm totally intrigued by this --- thanks so much for sharing!!!

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  32. Wow Steph, you rock for doing all of this legwork for us! I also have trouble finding frosting recipes that I really love. I have never tried a flour frosting before and can't wait to give this one a go!

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  33. I actually felt the same way :). How great that you were able to make this up!

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  34. I love homemade frostings, actually they are the only kind I will eat. I think if less is used it is always better, but I have never noticed bad tastes either.
    I love the adorably simple piping you did, sort of like a little girls summer dress.

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  35. Intriguing!! I've never heard of flour in frosting before. And now I'm thinking about my muffin tins and stressing out about how my cupcakes/muffins could potentially be more moist!

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  36. Yum, I'm down with a whole post on frosting! I'll be honest I've yet to meet a frosting I didn't like though there are ones that I like better.

    Btw, Cassie rocks does she?! So many great things on her blog!
    ~ingrid

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  37. Bookmarked! I am so trying this, Steph. You know, IMBC is still number one in my book, but after so many disasters I'm going to wait a bit before I attempt it again. This one will find its way on a cake very very soon. Thanks!

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  38. I love the WS gold touch pans too! Whenever people give me WS gift cards that's what I buy.

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  39. Looks delicious!
    BTW, have you tried Rose Levy Beranbaum's buttercreams? I love the sugar syrup method...her NeoClassic Buttercream is to die for and isn't granular at all. You want to eat it with a spoon!

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  40. This looks delish! Will definitely try this out.

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  41. Hey there! Im going to be making this today (finally) I was just wondering what the consistency was. Is it stiff enough for decorating with? Im not making roses or anything, just a few shells and stars etc....will it hold up? :/

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  42. These look so dainty and feminine! Perfect for a shower. Very lovely.

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  43. I too would rather have store bought frosting! They can keep their fancy shmancy homemade buttercreams... Give me my pink Pillsbury vanilla frosting!
    I did not like this frosting at first (still too rich as you said), but I found it was amazing when allowed to get cold for a few hours. Everyone who tried it loved it.
    If you ever do find a recipe that tastes a bit "cleaner" though, be sure to let us know. :)

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  44. I just came across your site and was instantly captivated by your description of flour frosting and had to make it immediately- it's fabulous! Best frosting I have ever tried! Thanks SO much for sharing!

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  45. My mom and I (who is an avid frosting guru) just tried this and, although it seems wierd while you're making it, it turned out FANTASTIC. Everybody was raving about it and it was so easy to use! LOVE the natural ingredients. :)

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  46. i've always had problems with homemade frosting. recently i made a cake and bought that whipped frosting box mix from wilton b/c at that point i was more concerned with good texture and presentation than taste! anyway, i randomly stumbled upon flour frosting and found your blog. i'm definitely going to try this one, thanks!

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  47. is it very delicious per I am cut as I make?

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  48. A student of mine made cupcakes with this frosting, and I had to ask for the recipe - it has a wonderful "mouth feel:" so soft and light. I'm not curious to make it myself, particularly on Red Velvet cake, and to try it cold as one of your commenters suggested. Thank you!

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  49. how many cupcakes can this portion be used for?

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  50. I made this icing, and it was nice and creamy.
    Although, it was not thick enough to pipe, so I just spread it over the cake. Next time I will refrigerate it so I can pipe it.
    Great taste though :)

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  51. Hello,
    Can I freeze this frosting?

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  52. Hi Steph,

    Looking for a great cooked flour recipe i came along your blog, thank you for sharing this with us.
    I want to make this recipe as soon as possible, now i was wondering how long can i keep this frosting, and how do i store it.
    Best regards,
    Astrid (the Netherlands)

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  53. I tried out the recipe, but unfortunately I did something wrong. Initially, the consistency was too runny. I when added the butter and it turned SO buttery and yellow.
    I don't know what I did wrong as I believe I followed the recipe. Help? :(

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  54. This is a wonderful recipe, but I have to say that it's off a bit. We have made this type of frosting for 30+ years in my family, and you need to leave the sugar out of the original mixture...instead you need to beat the butter/shortening with the sugar until the sugar is totally melted and the fat is light and fluffy...this takes a while and you can decrease the amount of time it takes if you use extra fine sugar or pulse your regular sugar in a blender or food processor. Anyway, once you have the fat and sugar creamed together and whipped up very fluffy, then add the flour pudding mixture (make sure this is COMPLETELY cold) and beat it for a good 15 minutes at least. If you want a totally white frosting, use all shortening, if you want a richer but less fluffy buttercream, use all butter, if you want something in the middle, use a 50/50 ratio. Putting the sugar into the base makes this frosting whip up faster, but you lose a lot of volume and the texture isn't quite the same. Please try it this way- it makes a huge difference.

    This frosting does need to be refrigerated, because of the dairy in it. It will keep for at least a week in a tightly covered container. Enjoy!!

    Oh, this can also be used to extend and augment regular canned frosting...it makes it much lighter and gives a great texture, and it will hold piped shapes a bit better if you do this. If you are planning on piping decorations, I'd definitely add some canned frosting to this to bulk it up so there's more definition to your piping.

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  55. I have a version of this recipe but it tastes very light and not too sweet. I often do not like icing because of the 'too sweet' taste or greasy taste.
    1/2 c milk
    2 1/2 Tablespoons flour
    cook until thick, put into bowl, cover with plastic wrap and put in frig to cool

    Meanwhile...
    mix together until no longer gritty (takes at least 15 minutes)
    1/2 c crisco (regular or butter flavor)
    1/2 c sugar
    1/4 teas salt

    Add two mixtures together, blending until very light and fluffy. Add 1/2 teas vanilla extract (NOT vanilla flavoring!)

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  56. This icing recipe is very close to a Custard Frosting recipe from Fannie Flagg's Original Whistle Stop Cafe cookbook. Instead of granulated sugar though, it uses sifted powdered sugar. Goes fantastic with the homemade red velvet cake recipe in the cookbook too :)

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  57. As someone else mentioned, the Baked cookbooks use this kind of frosting. I'd never heard of it either until I bought those books. *However*, I had made a "creme filling" for whoopie pies that used a very similar technique, but used shortening instead of butter for a more Twinkie-like filling. Still actually really good! Since discovering the Baked cookbook version (which I am pretty sure is identical to yours), I haven't gone back to ordinary frostings unless I am making a cream cheese version. That's the only one I manage to get perfectly smooth and not grainy at all - I'm with you, normal American buttercreams are disgusting and I always end up scraping them off. Very heavy and sugary with a granular texture despite using powdered sugar.

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  58. I just made this for a chocolate swiss roll. It was fabulous, my family and myself were very impressed. Lovely, silky and smooth.

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  59. This is the traditional frosting for Red Velvet cake. And granulated sugar really does "magically" dissolve. My crazy cake frosting recipe uses granulated sugar. I mix it for 12 minutes in my stand mixer - comes out fluffy & beautiful everytime. Any less, and it's crunchy.

    BTW, did ya know powdered sugar has cornstarch in it? Maybe that accounts for the graininess. Never bothered me personally, if it has sugar & butter in it, I'll eat it.

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  60. Two questions:
    Can this be refrigerated, how is it after refrigeration?

    I also like gold touch pans of WS. I wish I could buy more, I have the 10 x 15" and mini muffin pan, they're awesome!

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  61. This recipe is SO much better than the recipe PW uses. I just used yours after using PW's twice before and this was perfectly smooth and did not have the flour taste that was present in the other recipe. The sugar is completely dissolved here and there are no risks for flour/doughy clumps. Oh and the fact that you can pipe this seals the deal! Thank you!!

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  62. Is this frosting good with fondant over it ? Please help, I am baking now!

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