Vegan Ermine Frosting

An old-fashioned frosting is given a modern twist with this vegan ermine frosting, made with only six ingredients. Also referred to as boiled milk frosting, you’ll love the soft and creamy texture that’s perfect as a filling between cake layers or frosting on cupcakes, etc. This frosting isn’t as sweet as some, which is why serving vegan red velvet cake with ermine frosting is so popular.

A cupcake has lots of swirly vegan ermine frosting on top. There are three more cupcakes with frosting in the background.

I love this creamy frosting more than I probably should. But there’s something about it spread over a cake (or in between layers) that screams comfort food in the very best way possible! This is an old-fashioned ermine buttercream recipe, but it has a new twist thanks to being veganized.

Why This Recipe is a Winner

  • Flour is used as a thickener in this cooked flour frosting, creating the perfect creamy consistency
  • Granulated sugar is cooked with milk and flour, leaving out the powdered sugar which can make frosting recipes so sweet
  • Vegan butter is whipped until light and fluffy creating the perfect foundation for this whipped frosting recipe

What You Need

You can find the full printable recipe, including ingredient quantities, below. But first, here are some explanations of ingredients and steps to help you make this recipe perfect every time.

Here are the ingredients you’ll need for this recipe:

  • Flour — I recommend using all-purpose flour.
  • Granulated sugar
  • Plant-based milk — I recommend using soy milk because it has a protein content similar to cow dairy. You can substitute almond milk.
  • Vegan Butter — I recommend a high-quality vegan butter, like Earth Balance buttery sticks, Miyoko’s, or make your own dairy-free butter. You can make ermine frosting with shortening by substituting an equal amount of vegetable shortening.
  • Salt — Use either table or sea salt.
  • Vanilla extract

How to Make Ermine Frosting

  1. Cook the flour and sugar in a saucepan over medium heat.
  2. Stir in the vegan milk. 
  3. Cook and stir until the mixture becomes thick.
  4. Cover it with plastic wrap touching the surface, and refrigerate until completely cool.
  5. Whip butter on medium-high speed until light and fluffy.
  6. Spoon in the cooled flour mixture, a spoonful at a time, while mixing to incorporate.
  7. Add the vanilla and salt.
  8. Whip on medium-high until the frosting is light and fluffy.

Here are more detailed step-by-step instructions.

Step One: Cook Flour Mixture

  1. Whisk together the sugar, flour, and salt in a saucepan over medium heat. Cook for 1 to 2 minutes to toast the flour. 
    A hand holds a whisk, stirring flour and sugar together in a saucepan.
  2. Pour in the vegan milk and use a whisk or spatula to stir it in. 
  3. Continue stirring as the mixture comes slowly to a low boil and thickens. Don’t turn up the heat, or you’ll risk burning it.
  4. It’s thick enough that a spoon or spatula leaves a trail.
    A creamy mixture is in a saucepan and a spatula has been run through the mixture, creating a line.
  5. Transfer it to a heat-proof bowl, cover it with plastic wrap touching the surface (to prevent a skin from forming), and refrigerate until completely cool.
    Looking down on a bowl full of a creamy mixture. It's covered in plastic wrap and the wrap has been tucked down into the bowl, touching the creamy mixture.

Step Two: Whip the Frosting

  1. Once the flour mixture is cool, add the butter to a mixing bowl and mix on medium-high speed until light and fluffy, around 2 minutes. 
  2. Turn the mixer speed down to medium and spoon in the cooled flour mixture, a spoonful at a time, mixing to incorporate it until adding more.
    A hand holds a spoon dripping a creamy mixture in with whipped butter. A bowl of the creamy mixture sits beside the mixing bowl.
  3. Continue adding the flour mixture, one spoonful at a time, scraping down the sides of the bowl regularly. 
    A hand holds a spoon, dripping a creamy mixture in with whipped butter.
  4. Once all the flour mixture is added and mixed, add the vanilla, turn up the speed to medium-high, and whip for up to a minute, until the frosting is light and fluffy.

Serving Suggestions

You can use this frosting immediately on a cooled cake, such as this Suzy Q Cake. Otherwise, see the tips below for storing it.

Here are some favorite cakes to serve with vegan ermine frosting:

Storage Tips

Store ermine frosting in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 5 days. When you’re ready to use it, let it sit at room temperature for about 30 minutes, then use a mixer to whip it again to make sure it’s light and fluffy. You can freeze this frosting in freezer-safe bags or containers for up to 3 months. When you’re ready to use it, thaw it overnight in the fridge, then follow the tip above to whip it again.

A piping bag is full of ermine frosting that is being piped onto a cupcake. There are more cupcakes in the background.

Frequently-Asked Questions

Why is my frosting grainy?

You should bring the flour mixture and/or butter to room temperature before combining the ingredients, otherwise, you’ll be left with grainy frosting. However, if your frosting is grainy, you can fix it by whipping it a little longer than usual.

Why is it called ermine?

An ermine is actually a mammal that has a soft, white winter coat. This frosting is named after this wild creature because of the similarity in color and softness. It is an old-fashioned frosting that was more widely used before the availability of other frosting ingredients, such as powdered sugar and cream cheese.

Is ermine frosting good for piping?

Yes, you can pipe boiled flour frosting by adding it to a piping bag using your favorite tips. Use organic gel food coloring to add creative colors to your frosting to decorate cakes for parties and more.

Vegan Frosting Favorites

This vegan ermine frosting is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to vegan frosting recipes. Here are even more you’ll enjoy:

A cupcake has lots of swirly vegan ermine frosting on top. There are three more cupcakes with frosting in the background.

Vegan Ermine Frosting

This creamy vegan ermine frosting is perfect over cupcakes, vegan red velvet cake, or even with this homemade Suzy Q Cake! It's not as sweet as some frosting, so you can use it as a generous filling between cake layers.
5 from 4 votes
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 25 minutes
Total Time: 40 minutes
Servings: 14
Calories: 202kcal

Ingredients

  • cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup plant-based milk
  • 1 cup vegan butter
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Instructions

  • Whisk together the sugar, flour, and salt in a saucepan over medium heat. Cook for 1 to 2 minutes to toast the flour.
  • Pour in the vegan milk and use a whisk or spatula to stir it in.
  • Continue stirring as the mixture comes slowly to a low boil and thickens. Don't turn up the heat, or you'll risk burning it. Once it's thick enough that a spoon leaves a trail, transfer it to a heat-proof bowl, cover it with waxed paper touching the surface (to prevent a skin from forming), and refrigerate until completely cool.
  • Once the flour mixture is cool, add the butter to a mixing bowl and mix on medium-high speed until light and fluffy, around 2 minutes.
  • Turn the mixer speed down to medium and spoon in the cooled flour mixture, a spoonful at a time, mixing to incorporate it until adding more. You'll need to scrape down the sides of the bowl regularly.
  • Once all the flour mixture is added and mixed, add the vanilla, turn up the speed to medium-high, and whip for up to a minute, until the frosting is light and fluffy.
  • You can use this frosting immediately on a cooled cake. Otherwise, cover the frosting and store it in the fridge for up to 5 days. When you're ready, let it sit at room temperature for about 30 minutes, then use a mixer to whip it aga¼in to make sure it's light and fluffy. You can freeze this frosting in freezer-safe bags or containers for up to 3 months. When you're ready to use it, thaw it overnight in the fridge, then follow the tip above to whip it again.

Recommended Equipment

(The products above contain sponsored links to products we use and recommend)

Notes

You can substitute vegetable shortening for the vegan butter. 
You can use soy milk, almond milk, or even coconut milk for this recipe.
For chocolate ermine frosting, add ¼ cup cocoa powder after the flour mixture has been incorporated and mix until light and fluffy.
Be sure to let the flour mixture cool completely before adding it to the whipped butter.
Calories: 202kcal | Carbohydrates: 17g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 15g | Saturated Fat: 4g | Trans Fat: 2g | Sodium: 49mg | Potassium: 25mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 14g | Vitamin A: 36IU | Calcium: 22mg | Iron: 1mg

The nutrition information shown is an estimate provided by an online nutrition calculator and should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.

5 Responses to Vegan Ermine Frosting

  1. Avatar thumbnail image for MarlyShirin Reply

    5 stars
    This is one of my favorite recipes. And since going vegan I had a hard time finding a recipe that had the right amounts to get that same consistency. And this is it!!! It’s just like vegan whipped cream. Luvv quick question doing a simple vegan baby shower cake. Will be sitting in Florida inside minimal ac. Can I use this? Or better to stick with ABC? Thanks for any input

  2. Avatar thumbnail image for MarlyCaitlin Reply

    5 stars
    This turned out so well! I used Silk oat milk and Miyoko’s vegan butter. Thanks for the recipe.

    • Avatar thumbnail image for MarlyMarly

      I’m so glad you liked it, Caitlin! Your ingredient choices look spot on!

  3. Avatar thumbnail image for MarlyBritney Reply

    5 stars
    This looks so easy! Can’t wait to try it!

    • Avatar thumbnail image for MarlyMarly

      So glad you like it, Britney!

Rate / Comment

Your email address will not be published.

Recipe Rating




This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.