The Pioneer Woman Tasty Kitchen
Profile photo of Ree | The Pioneer Woman

That’s STILL the Best Frosting I’ve Ever Had

Posted by in Baking, Step-by-Step Recipes

The mixer giveaway is still going on through noon today and winners will be announced Friday. Meanwhile, I wanted to re-post this recipe again for a slightly controversial frosting that I love so much I just made it again this week. And I realize it’s strange to call frosting controversial, but the comments on the original post did show mixed reactions and results. I happen to love it. Let me know if you’ve tried it yet!

From the TK Blog archives – March 2010

I’ve been intrigued with this frosting recipe for months, not just because of its alluring title, but also because if its ingredients. Five tablespoons of flour? In frosting? Let’s just say my interest was piqued.

I finally got around to making it yesterday evening; Marlboro Man’s grandmother has some old friends staying at The Lodge and I wanted to take them a treat. So I whipped up this frosting, slapped it on some chocolate cupcakes…and wound up considering not sharing them with the guests because it was so delicious.

You owe it to yourself to make this frosting sometime in your life.

You’ll just have to trust me on this.

Thank you, MissyDew, for submitting!

Here’s how you make it:


First things first: I made chocolate sheet cake cupcakes. They’re the best cupcakes around.

Here’s the recipe:

The Best Chocolate Sheet Cake (or Cupcakes!) Ever

Let your cupcakes (or cake) cool completely.



Begin by pouring 5 tablespoons of flour into 1 cup of milk. I used whole milk because I can if I want.



After adding the flour, whisk it together until combined, then place the saucepan over medium heat. Whisk it as it heats up and thickens, and stop when the mixture is very thick.

Cool the mixture completely.




The mixture will be very, very thick.



Add 1 teaspoon of vanilla to the cooled flour/milk mixture.




Stir it around to combine.





Pour one cup of sugar into a bowl with one cup of butter.



Whip it around until it’s light and fluffy, scraping the bowl once or twice to make sure it’s all mixed well.



Add the cooled flour/milk/vanilla mixture. Make sure it’s not the least bit warm!

I’m bossy. Sorry.



Next, just whip it on medium-high until the mixture resembled whipped cream.



This was slightly tricky for me, as I was afraid of overbeating the mixture and causing everything to start breaking down and falling apart. I’d say this is about 45 seconds of pretty hard beating.



And then it was time for the rubber to meet the road.





This was spread with a big spatula…



This was spread with a dinner knife. The frosting definitely has a whipped cream consistency; it’s not thick like a decorator icing.



Before I allowed myself to taste it, I made some sprinkled ones for my punks.





This makes for a crunchy cupcake!


And now…for the moment of truth.


THE VERDICT: Okay. Let me just explain something to you. After I took this bite, I looked around for the hidden camera. I was certain someone was playing a trick on me. This frosting is so UNBELIEVABLY divine, I almost couldn’t believe what was happening to me. The consistency is light, the flavor indescribably delicious, and a perfect complement to the rich chocolate cake. And don’t just take my word for it—after my daughter took her first bite, she looked at me and said “WHAT is this FROSTING?”

Even she knew she was in the presence of greatness.

Here’s the frosting recipe:

That’s the Best Frosting I’ve Ever Had

Note: I would probably recommend making the frosting on the same day you intend to serve it.

Thank you to MissyDew for sharing such a great recipe!



Comments are closed for this recipe.

Tammy on 10.10.2010

The worst frosting I’ve ever tasted – really – it was def. the worst I have made – yucky and paste like – ewwww… stick with buttercream :) Plus – why put gluten into frosting – Love all the other recipes you have posted!!!!!!

Susan Sjoberg on 10.10.2010

I’ve been making this frosting for years……maybe around 40!!! (got the recipe from a high school friend when I was about 16). I put it on my best chocolate cake and sometimes cover it with crushed frozen Heath Bars. My family LOVES it.


buttermilk banana bread by melanie on tasty kitchen- fabulous!!!!!! you gotta try it everyone:)

Ann from Montana on 10.10.2010

I am eating my first try and LOVE it.

I also do not like the super sweet, or super rich cream cheese frostings so maybe that is why this is such a love it or hate it thing.

I used it with an adaptation of Ree’s Yogurt Marmalade Cake – substituting 4 T of cocoa for the lemon and instead of the yogurt-marmalade drizzle, this frosting. That recipe with choc is not an overly sweet or rich cake which is fine with me but I’m guessing the super-sweet loving crowd would not enjoy it.

I read another commenter saying that if the roux was correct, it would not taste “floury” and I agree – tasted mine to be sure. It doesn’t taste like much but it isn’t floury tasting either. At any rate, combination of taste/texture preferences and technique with this recipe.

Anne on 10.10.2010

My mother made this frosting (we called it icing) from the time I can remember growing up in the Midwest. She got the recipe from our minister’s wife, and we called it “Mrs. H’s icing” after her. It’s FABULOUS and doesn’t taste like any other frosting in the world!

Jenn F on 10.10.2010

thought this sounded interesting , so had to try it. Decided to try it this weekend atop some freshly made gingerbread -WOW! I slathered it on and topped with some cinnamon sprinkles and it was amazing. It lets the flavore of the cake shine through and compliments the flavor instead of being overly sweet and overwhelming like most. Thanks Ree!!!

Annie on 10.10.2010

This frosting does wonders on a plain cake donut. Also lemon cake.

Shelley on 10.10.2010

I made this after Ree’s original post, and had to make the night before. It tasted awesome – I couldn’t stop eating it! But when I took it out of the fridge the next morning, it was hard as a rock. So I dumped it into my stand mixer and as soon as it started to mix, it turned into this curdy mess! I don’t know if there was a way to save it – it still tasted really good! So I ended up just making up a batch of plain old buttercream. I’d love to know how to keep it from breaking down, because it is truly delicious!

Denise on 10.10.2010

I’ve absolutely tried it, and continue to “try” it every chance I get. My 3 year old helped me make it last week and we were lucky we had some left to put on the cupcakes!

MissyDew on 10.10.2010

DO NOT USE MARGARINE! Margarine has water and that can make the frosting flop. USE REAL BUTTER!

sharon k. on 10.10.2010

we gave this recipe a try this weekend, and it wasn’t the huge hit I had hoped for- my family still votes for basic buttercream icing. I was pleasantly surprised by how creamy and smooth this frosting was, but the butter flavor was overwhelming to me. I wonder if doubling the vanilla would help?

Lisa A. on 10.10.2010

I made this frosting right after it was posted the first time and had to throw it out. I HATED it!!! I usually love frosting, so I don’t know what my problem was with it. After reading all the reviews, I’m tempted to try again in case I did something wrong. I really, really did not like it the first time. Very gross, IMO.

Profile photo of dae7

dae7 on 10.10.2010

can’t wait to try it…. I have been looking for a frosting recipe that doesn’t use powdered sugar as I cannot find it in the little grocery stores here in Israel…. and so you were an answer to prayer for me on the frosting issue… THANKS!!!

Kristin on 10.9.2010

I was in Wal-Mart this weekend and saw a cookbook on the shelf that caught my eye. It was your cookbook!!! I love it!! Love the recipes the pictures everthang about it! I have just recently started bloggin and didn’t know about you yet. So after i bought the cookbook I came right home and looked you up!! I Love Love Love your blog!!! I will now be a Faithful Follower!

I will so have to try this! I may have to do this tomorrow right after church! I love to bake and decorate cakes and cupcakes!
God Bless!!

shbee on 10.9.2010

I made this with margarine — DO NOT MAKE THIS WITH MARGARINE.

I’m a novice in the kitchen, and this does not work with margarine. Live and learn!

Now I need to buy some butter and try again…

This is the exact same recipe that Magnolia cupcakes in NYC uses so it must be good…

D Cannon on 10.9.2010

My step-mom gave me this recipe years ago, it’s truly the best frosting I’ve ever eaten :) If you make a double layer chocolate cake and put a fat layer of this frosting in the middle, top, and sides..yum! It seems to make the cake moister, it is very very good.

Nancy on 10.9.2010

This IS the best frosting. I’ve been making it since the 60’s when I cut the recipe out of a newspaper column of recipe requests. The only thing I have done different all these years is use 4 T of flour instead of your five and I add the vanilla to the butter/sugar when I cream. Don’t stop at vanilla flavorings BTW. Rum is good, so is Maple. :-) There is also a chocolate version of this recipe where the sugar is increased slightly and cocoa added. I

lindsay on 10.9.2010

well, you just gave me a suga’ craving the size of Texas! Oh my that looks delicious…I swore i was going to order in tonight for the fam for the sake of a clean kitchen but I just checked the pantry and all the ingredients are there! Well, guess I’m gonna HAVE to make them! Looking forward to a little piece of heaven on my palet tonight!!
thanks for the yummy!

Jean on 10.9.2010

If you bake a yellow box cake in a 9×13 pan , let it cool, slice it in half so you have two large rectangular layers, then fill it with this frosting – wrap the whole cake in foil and store it in frige for 48 hrs. – you will have what my family calls a Twinkie cake. Leave the top plain, or dust with powdered sugar, or top with whipped cream.

Leslie Lewis on 10.9.2010

I made it right after you posted it for the first time. It was delicious. The five members of my family still vote for traditional buttercream as the family favorite, but we will keep this one in our file.

jenn wilmer on 10.9.2010

I just made this icing and the cupcakes, they are simply heaven on a plate!!!! The cake is wonderfully moist and the icing is just perfect.
My new choc. cake and icing recipe!! Thanks.

Donna on 10.9.2010

The flour/milk combo definitely MUST be cool, or it flops. That’s happened to me twice. I’ve used this icing as the cream filling for my Perfect Chocolate Cake recipe…and this icing makes it divine!

Patty D. on 10.9.2010

We call this ‘Economy Frosting’ –a great plus for when there is more month than paycheck–costs less not having to use all the powdered sugar–pssst–don’t tell C&H

Amy C on 10.9.2010

I’ve made this and went exactly by the directions. It was a soupy separated mess. Had to dump it out. And I hate to be negative but I was so looking forward to it.

amy b. on 10.9.2010

If I have the time, this is my go-go frosting recipe. I’m in love with it – I love that it’s sweet, but not too sugary sweet. I will say though, after the first day, it’s not near as good – definitely a make and eat the same day type of thing.

If I don’t have the time, I just do a basic cream cheese frosting – it’s quicker than having to make a roux, but the roux is SO worth it.

lauren in arkansas on 10.9.2010

Oh my. Although cupcakes were made, and each one was covered with a very generous portion of the frosting, there was so much left over. All I can say is, it did NOT last in the bowl. My spoon was very busy! :) This IS a keeper! Thank you! :D

Pam on 10.9.2010

This is the frosting my family has always used for red velvet cake and as a filling for chocolate whoopie pies. If it’s good on them, it would definitely be good on cupcakes.

Profile photo of KrisDot

KrisDot on 10.8.2010

I tried this once and wasn’t terribly impressed. I can see it’s potential, but I must have done something wrong. It was like a rich fluffy butter…had an odd ‘oily’ taste to it. ( and kinda yucky by the next day.) I’m willing to try it again sometime when I have the time to mess with it…

Megan on 10.8.2010

I have made this at least a dozen times since it was first posted. It’s soo good, I once made it for my daughter’s 13th birthday, but I used it as filling in chocolate cupcakes and made chocolate gonache for on top. They were sheer HEAVEN! My daughter LOVED them! Try it, so, so good!

Deb on 10.8.2010

Had such high hopes for this frosting but no one in our family was a fan. :(

Profile photo of joluv2bake

joluv2bake on 10.8.2010

For Jen M:

Once flour and milk mixture has been cooked and thickened, cover top of mixture with plastic wrap with excess tight around the insides of pan and put pan lid on top and put in the refrigertor for several hours to completely cool. Once cooled, then mix into creamed butter and sugar and mix until completely mixed together and light and fluffy.

Another tip is if you are short on time, make the milk and flour mixture and put in the refrigertor for overnight and next day/evening cream the butter and sugar and add cold flour/milk mixture and finish making the icing.

For those that say it doesn’t hold up, not sure what the problem is as I’ve made this recipe since the 60’s and it has always held up. Made last week for a friend’s birthday and iced the cake on Monday night and she had the last slice the follow Sunday night (6 days later). She did keep cake in the refrigertor.

Hope all of this helps those having problems.

Jen M on 10.8.2010

Tip I used: put the flour/milk mixture into the freezer for 5-10 minutes to coll it down. And that stuff was mad thick. I could have made bricks to build a fort with it, but I think that’s the key.

Jen M on 10.8.2010

Just made it and it’s SO good. However, I didn’t read the directions before I started and I don’t plan to serve the cupcakes till tomorrow. Plus, said cupcakes are still warm, so I’m going to chill the icing and re-whip it tomorrow morning and then frost then. Hope it holds up in the fridge!

Profile photo of TamaraBoat

TamaraBoat on 10.8.2010

Mmmm….made this tonight to go on my chocolate cupcakes for the kids and husband…they all LOVED it!
From the previous comments I was a wee bit leary, so I added a little more vanilla and some butter extract. The taste was fantastic and the texture is so silky and light. If you know there is flour in it you may be able to taste it in the background, but that in no way detracts from how good it is.
One thing I ran into…perhaps my flour mixture wasn’t quite cool enough because it seemed like the frosting was the consistency of pudding when I started topping the cupcakes. Once the frosting sat for a couple minutes it was much better and it did hold up and not slide off like it had at first. I was also using a handheld mixer rather than a stand mixer so perhaps that made a difference as well.
My husband is NOT a fan of super sweet icings…he declared this one “…a keeper!”

Elizabeth on 10.8.2010

Help! I tried making this frosting to go on cupcakes for my daughter’s birthday- it did not go well :(
I’m not sure exactly what I did wrong, but it was very runny and grainy looking. The butter was room temperature as was the milk/flour mixture. I followed the recipe perfectly. The only thing I can figure out is a may have beaten it too much? Would that cause it to be runny and grainy looking?
I ended up using a different recipe that I have previously had much success with since I was running low on time, but I’m still eager to try this and have it work! I do have to say that although it looked quite ugly, it still tasted good.

Profile photo of bbcbrook

bbcbrook on 10.8.2010

We loved this recipe. Bobby Flay used a similar recipe in a Red Velvet Cake Throwdown I believe. It always has people asking “Whats in this frosting?”.

Hilary on 10.8.2010

Can you over beat the frosting? I have been beating it for 20 mins and it isn’t getting thicker.

Brenda on 10.8.2010

Love this frosting! I tried it after your initial post about it and it is a huge staple frosting for me. Since we are vegetarian and organic, it’s expensive and an hour drive (we live in rural Iowa) to get powdered sugar so this was a wonderful way to avoid it, and the frosting is awesome! Thank you again!

Niz on 10.8.2010

this is the traditional frosting for waldorf astoria red cake. i agree – it’s fantastic.

Mary Ann on 10.8.2010

I think I made this frosting the first time I made red velvet cake[it gas been eons ago, so I don’t remember exactly!]. It WAS a very strange combination…the flour and the milk, but it makes a wonderful frosting. And if you don’t have cream cheese for a cream cheese based frosting, this will take its place…easily!

Lisa in MI on 10.8.2010

My mom has been using something similar on her Waldorf Red Velvet cakes for the past 40 or so years……..although her recipe calls for powdered sugar instead of regular sugar. I get one every year for my birthday around this time! :)

Ellieho on 10.8.2010

Sounds like whoopie pie filling to me…YUM!

Jess :) on 10.8.2010

I am so looking forward to trying this! It looks incredible on those chocolate cupcakes :)

Annie McD on 10.8.2010

VERY similar to the frosting my mother puts on my red velvet birthday cake each year. It’s the best frosting ever! Love you Mom!

pam on 10.8.2010

This recipe has been in my family for years. My mom used to cut a cone out of the middle of the cupcakes and fill with the icing then put the top back on. Cute and delicious.

This is also delicious on red velvet cakes.

julianniem on 10.8.2010

I made this frosting for my sons 5th birthday party (a starwars cake). It was a delicious frosting and great for my husband who has blood sugar issues, not too sugary. The kids that normally didn’t like frosting or cake asked for seconds.
Only thing was I didn’t like the way color mixed with it. It was okay, but not great for the color.

josey on 10.8.2010

this is the recipe my MIL uses! OMG it IS the best…i’m so picky about icing and it really is pure ecstasy. hehe. i love to add some fresh vanilla bean to it as well. it is absosmurfly addicting on Ina Garten’s Beatty’s Chocolate Cake, too. hehe!! thanks for sharing!!

Julie on 10.8.2010

I tried both recipes today, best chocolate cake and best frosting and my husband gave me 2 thumbs up! Now I will have to exercise to wear all that sugar off!

Lezlie on 10.8.2010

Oh my gosh … I just made this and it is unbelievable! While I was making it I thought about my Grandma Allie. I think I remember her making icing this way. Would definitely follow with the depression era recipe theory.

MaryAnn on 10.8.2010

I’ve used this frosting recipe for years– I found it in an old “Settlement” cookbook that is all baking! It’s beyond delish, especially on dark chocolate cake!