Frosting for Frosting-Haters!

Cake, frosting, and just about everything involved with those two “tasty” words are treats I avoid. I am not on a crazy diet, nor do I have food allergies. As far as I can remember, I have never had a bad experience with these two foods. For some reason, I am in the small percentage of the population who doesn’t really care for this much-loved dessert. Would it kill me to have a bite? Nope. But I will happily take ice cream, a cookie, or a fruit pie any day.

That being said, I love to bake. My waist line likely appreciates the fact that one of my favorite things to bake is cupcakes! I generally experiment with different cake recipes, and my taste-tester husband’s response is that they are always “good”. On the other hand, I have found a certain frosting variety that people have raved about, I enjoy piping with, and I…get this…think tastes good!!

Many other bakers think I am nuts that I love making frosting that takes several hours. Frosting with flour? Frosting that you start on the stove?! WHAT?? While the timeline of this sweet, creamy topping is in fact a long one, it does NOT take several hours. If you can spend a few minutes getting it started, let it chill for a few hours (or overnight if you need to), and take ten minutes to whip it to perfection, you will find that is it definitely worth it.

Here is a link to the process. For some reason I can’t find the link that I located a year or so ago and memorized, but this one is very similar. Please note: I generally use a bit more flour (about 6 tablespoons) along with using a half tablespoon of vanilla extract and a half tablespoon of almond extract. Sometimes even a bit more as I tend not to measure.

Because this link makes you search for the recipe, here it is!

 Easy Homemade Frosting


5-6 tablespoons flour
1 c. milk (I like using higher fat milk, but I’m sure skim works just fine)
1 c. butter
1 c. granulated sugar
1 teaspoon total of flavorings (vanilla, almond, mint…whatever!)
Desired food coloring, sprinkles, sugars, candy bar pieces, etc. for coloring and topping (Andes Mint pieces with a mint-flavored chocolate cake scored some rave reviews)


Pour the flour into the milk. Whisk it together and then cook over medium heat, continuing to whisk until thick. Cool the mixture completely.  It should be very thick. Add your flavoring and stir it together.  In a separate bowl, pour the sugar into the butter and whip with a mixer.  Add the cooled flour/milk, flavoring mixture.  Whip on medium-high until it resembles whipped cream.  Frost and enjoy!

This frosting can be whipped using any type of mixer with the whipping attachment, but from experience I know I have more success with my Kitchenaid stand mixer. It is strong and speeds up the process.

Because this blogger took excellent pictures, I won’t attempt to recreate what she did (nor could I). For my cupcakes, I find it much, much faster to pipe on the frosting. These Valentine’s treats were decorated with a Wilton 1M tip along with a piping bag.


I like to frost the cupcakes right in whatever containers I will be storing/transporting them in. If I don’t, I seem to overdo it and the frosting globs together.


I had PLENTY of frosting for 20 cupcakes, and easily could have decorated 22. Had I skimped a little, this recipe would have been enough for 24 cupcakes. Jessa is thrilled when I make “cuppy cakes”. They were, shockingly, reported to be “good” by the husband.

To be honest, I didn’t eat any of the cupcakes. I never do. But I did more than happily taste the frosting a few times while it was whipping up to check the consistency. That is a big win for me! Don’t feel sorry for me…I hit the Valentine’s candy pretty hard.

I recommend frosting these the day you need them, simply because they do seem to “melt” a bit over the course of time. They taste great (and look 80-90% perfect) for several days, though. 🙂

Even if you are a diehard classic buttercream fan who swears you will never change, I dare you to try this recipe. Friends have reportedly loved the “creaminess”, “lightness”, and the fact that this frosting “is not at all too sweet”. Coworkers who aren’t big frosting fans tell me that they like this frosting. It’s a frosting-haters frosting!

If you happen to enjoy eating cupcakes along with your frosting, be sure to check out these great recipes from Jessi!

What is your favorite frosting recipe? Do you have a go-to cake recipe you want to share? I would love to hear about it!


Lana Criswell is a born and bred Hawkeye fan who has lived in Iowa City for almost ten years! She came for college and never looked back. Lana has been married to her husband, Tom, for two years and is momma to Jessa (3.5 months) and Charlie, the dog. She finished graduate school nearly four years ago in speech-language pathology and works at Children’s Center for Therapy in Iowa City. She is excited to be able to work 80% time now and have some “girl time” with Jessa each week. Lana loves spending time with family and friends, cooking/baking, going to Hawkeye games, going on walks around the neighborhood with the dog, and reading.


  1. I am so gonna try this! Abby and Gavin care more about the frosting than the cake, Josh likes MASS amounts of frosting on his cake and I prefer just a little bit of frosting on mine. So for the butter – do you melt it before adding the sugar or just make sure it’s kind of soft? Thanks, Lana!

  2. I set the butter out for a few hours before I need it so that it is soft. If you do need to melt it, I would let it cool down before going forward since the frosting should be cold to whip up well. You will have to fill me in next time I see you!


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