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

That’s the Best Frosting I’ve Ever Had

Posted by in Baking, Step-by-Step Recipes

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.

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.

foodiemom on 3.16.2010

That’s my grandmother (who sadly I never met)’s recipe! Its to die for!!!! I”ve made it with both confectioner’s sugar and granulated and they are both great in there own special way.

Kelly on 3.16.2010

@thelittlekitchen – I’ve used this to pipe decorations. Nothing major, just some dots and scallops, but it works fine. It does want to get very soft when warm/hot, so it’s best not to have this out on a hot day. Or to try to pipe it in a hot kitchen. Been there, done that. And Ree is right when she’s being bossy about making sure the flour mix is completely cool. It will alter the whipping ability of the butter if it’s warm. Think: melting = not good.

Here’s a cake I frosted with it:

Michelle H. on 3.16.2010

I can attest to the divinity to this frosting!!

My grandmother, mother and myself have been making this for years (usually paired with red velvet cake) and it is delicious.

I will also attest that it is ABSOLUTELY ESSENTIAL to cool the flour mixture completely. Cook the flour mixture the day before if you need to. I’ve seen impatience turn a pound of butter into a gloppy mess as soon as a cool-but-not-cool-enough flour mixture was added. (My recipe proportions are a little different and it was a double batch.) It wasn’t pretty.

AlaskaTeacher on 3.16.2010

I have to echo the praises of this frosting on red velvet cake! Amazing!

susanpaige on 3.16.2010

I have made this same frosting for red velvet cake and it is delicious!!

TraciJ on 3.16.2010

This brought back memories – I used to make this frosting “back in the day” and totally forgot about it. It is yummy!!!!

kristia on 3.16.2010

mmmmmmmmmmm…..can’t wait to try it!!! :) thanks for showcasing it! ;)

BeckyJo on 3.16.2010

This is the frosting that my Aunt Julia always used on her red velvet cake, and I’ve adored it ever since I was a kid. It’s also perfect on marble cake. :)

Becky on 3.16.2010

Grandma’s Butter Icing! She made the most devine chocolate cake with butter icing. It was my favorite (I even inherited the plate she always put it on) She gave me her ‘recipe’ but by the time I tried it myself she was gone and it didn’t come out. She always cooked from memory and hated when we asked her to write things down. I will have to put this side by side and see if I can make it work now. You have made my day (and my next birthday) I hope. Yea!!!!

Jamie on 3.16.2010

I have a recipe like this that goes with my Red Velvet cake. It’s called “chalk-white frosting” and it IS good!

Lindsey on 3.16.2010

yum- i grew up eating this as a filling on what we called twinkie cake. cause it reminded us of twinkie filling!

Kelly on 3.16.2010

I make this recipe, but the sugar cooks with the flour and milk. It is what I’ve called The Best Buttercream Frosting Ever, so there seems to be a consensus on this. :)

Stephanie R. on 3.16.2010

@Karyn – we make a Suzy Q like cake with this also! Soooo good with chocolate cake. Hmmm – this pregnant girl may make this today!

Avalee on 3.16.2010

I’ve heard of this recipe (or very similar versions) referred to as ‘Gravy Icing’ or ‘Boiled Icing’. The last time I made it, it was fine left out, covered, at a cool room temperature for a couple of days (’til the cake was gone).

I like it because it holds it shape regardless of humidity. The boyfriend likes it because it isn’t too sweet :-)

Hmmm… now I’m getting ideas!

Kathy on 3.16.2010

This was the frosting I always made when growing up. Very delicious but make sure you don’t get any lumps in the Flour mixture.

Tracy V on 3.16.2010

I have used a similiar recipe for years. Mine calls for 1/2 shortening and 1/2 butter. The longer you beat it for (about 15 mins) the lighter, fluffier, and creamier it will be! It will not break down. Also, do not use margarine. It tends to separate, don’t know why, but it does. Use real butter! Best frosting for chocolate cake!

Jan on 3.16.2010

needed inspi for frosting. This may be what sends me over the edge. Thank you!

THEFLAAFIVE on 3.16.2010

I didn’t look at the exact recipe, but this about about what we use to frost our Red Velvet Cakes – a buttercream. YUM!

Stacey Swallows on 3.16.2010

Now I know what I’ll be doing this weekend!

Profile photo of Julie | The Little Kitchen

Julie | The Little Kitchen on 3.16.2010

I’m going to try this but I’m also curious if this icing is good for piping and/or decorating. Has anyone tried this? Thanks!

Gwen on 3.16.2010

This looks like the old Red Velvet frosting recipe, but I’ve never heard to cook the flour! My grandma’s old recipe has me adding the flour, Tbsp by Tbsp, to the beaten butter/sugar, then beating it for literally 10 minutes. This way sounds a bit simpler, I think I’ll try this method soon.

This is definitely the best for icing children’s cakes; it doesn’t harden like regular butter icing, and the texture is lighter so it doesn’t tear apart the cake when you’re being all fancy.

corrie on 3.16.2010

Sounds like a cookie dough recipe made to the consistency of frosting…. who DOESN’T like cookie dough?

Profile photo of fitfarmgirl

fitfarmgirl on 3.16.2010

Well I was thinking of what to make tomorrow for desert for St Patty’s day… guess I just found it ;) I’ll add just a drop or 2 of Green food coloring and that will make it perfect for St. Patty’s day ! Thanks !!!!

Karyn Knight on 3.16.2010

Hey! Ree! Since you are like a ding dong fan and all…this is the frosting you make for the cream filling. You can make like a giant SuzyQ, Ho Ho cake or a giant Ding Dong. Wait..oops sorry…what did I just say? Anyway, it is great filling! I use powdered sugar and half Crisco/ half butter.

Rachael Hardin on 3.16.2010

i am making those right now!! It just looks to good to wait!

Shana on 3.16.2010

Ree- I agree that this is the best icing ever! I first saw it in the Magnolia Bakery cookbook years ago. Usually I make it with red velvet cupcakes and it is always a BIG hit! If you don’t have the Magnolia Bakery cookbook, I recommend getting it. Best desserts I’ve ever had!

Abbie D on 3.16.2010

I just made the frosting on Sunday for the first time also. DElicious. I was wondering when to stop beating it, though, as I was expecting it to look a lot more like whipped cream. (And in my brain I was visualizing Cool Whip…I realize those are two different things.) ANYWAY, when I finally decided to stop beating it I took a taste and said, “Whoa…I don’t know if it’s whipped enough but it can’t get much better than this!”

So I stopped. And tasted it a few more times. And then frosted my cake. And tasted it a few more times.

Just to make sure it was going to be ok.

Profile photo of terriedots

terriedots on 3.16.2010

Can you tint this frosting? I want to bake a cake for my hubby for St. Patrick’s Day (can you guess his first name? LOL), but I’d want green frosting, of course.

Miss B on 3.16.2010

I found this recipe in a early 1900’s cookbook, they called it “Gravy Icing”. It’s fabulous. I’ve made it without the vanilla, substituting lemon, orange, coffee, and chocolate flavorings. All turned out well.

Kristin on 3.16.2010

I think this is the type of frosting my mom used to make when she would make filled cupcakes…it was the best, and I don’t even usually like frosting!

Sharon on 3.16.2010

Really? I’m totally intrigued. My son has his 2nd Birthday coming up and since cupcakes are on the agenda, I’ll trust you on this one… but flour in frosting? I’m a tad nervous!

Steffi on 3.16.2010

OMG…this looks fan-tab-u-lous!!!!!!!

Do you think you can subsitute 8oz of cream cheese for the cup of butter for a cream cheese version? Food Lion had cream cheese on sale 3 for $5 :-)

Shauna on 3.16.2010

This post is 2 days late! I was searching for a great frosting recipe for cupcakes for my daughter’s birthday this weekend. . . had to settle for good ol’ buttercream (they still tasted good) but it would have been great to given this one a try. Hmmm. .. maybe it will just give me a reason to bake more cupcakes!

Batman's Mom on 3.16.2010

I bet this will make some tasty green frosting for my st. pattys day cupcakes :)

Abby @ They Lend Me Their Hearts on 3.16.2010

I bet it is fantastic! Sometimes frosting can be too sweet that you can’t even finish your cake. I bet the flour takes some of the edge off. Looking for an excuse to make cupcakes now! hmm.. I know some kids with birthdays coming up :o)

a on 3.16.2010

We’ve been making this frosting for years! It’s good with cocoa added too…

Amy on 3.16.2010

My grandmother gave me the same recipe years ago & it is a family favorite too! I always put my saucepan in the fridge but cover the surface of the milk mixture with waxed paper to avoid lumps. And I agree- it’s the best on chocolate cake!

SherryC on 3.16.2010

My mom has used this frosting for her American Beauty cake (red cake) for years. It’s the best.

Nancy on 3.16.2010

I was given this same recipe by my dear friend Molly Pospiech years ago when when worked together. She paired it with her chocolate mayonnaise cake recipe. The two combine into the most amazing taste i’ve ever had, not to sweet but so moist and chocolatey! It has been one of my favorite recipes for years. I treasure it because it always reminds me of her, sadly her and her
husband were killed in a car accident soon after moving here to Colorado from Bath, N.Y. I will post her cake recipe on her soon.

Jen on 3.16.2010

a recipe very similar to this one is an old family favorite from the depression era….so glad you found it and love it

tammy on 3.16.2010

I have had this frosting before. My aunt used to make it because it was my uncle’s favorite and I LOVED it. Later on when I was all grown up I asked her for the recipe. I have to admit, I looked at the ingredients and thought she was mistaken. However, she insisted….so I made it. OH YUM….it is so, so good.

Chelsea on 3.16.2010

I love the sprinkles on there. That is so cute! I want to go make some right now.

Tonia on 3.16.2010

This is the icing, my grandmother has used for ages. She uses half butter half Crisco. It’s her standard icing for Red Velvet Cake.

Mom of 4 on 3.16.2010

I wonder… can you make a chocolate version of the same thing by simply adding cocoa powder?

pati mk on 3.16.2010

I can’t wait to try this. My sis-n-law makes the best buttercream frosting and my kids rave about it, well, we’ll see now!!! Thanks.

Janice on 3.16.2010

We also use this on red velvet cake. Don’t know where I got the recipe but it has been in my recipe box for as long as I can remember. Yum!

pattyk on 3.16.2010

This is the traditional Red Velvet Cake frosting we have always used, and is much better than cream cheese frosting that most people use on Red Velvet. It is much better if each layer of cake is split and also much prettier. Refrigerate the cake or the frosting will not taste as good after a few days.

Profile photo of jls4408

jls4408 on 3.16.2010

Oh goodness, this sounds (and looks) so delicious. Normally, frosting isn’t my thing. It has to be super light for me to enjoy it. Most of the time it’s just to heavy and too sweet (if that’s possible) for me to enjoy. I’m going to have to try this ASAP. I’d definitely do it this weekend, but it is hubs birthday and I’ve already picked out a reese’s peanut butter cup cake to make him.

Robin on 3.16.2010

Yum! I need to bring a snack to Bible Study on Thursday. I’m going to make these into mini-cupcakes with that frosting! Thanks!

ern on 3.16.2010

My friend gave me a recipe including this frosting, only she used it to pipe INSIDE the cupcakes…put some chocolate frosting on top and you’ve got yourself some homemade Ding-Dongs!