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Old Fashioned Frosting

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3/4 cup milk
1/4 cup heavy cream
6 tablespoons bleached flour
pinch salt
1/2 cup softened butter
1/2 cup solid shortening
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1 cup powdered sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla

Old Fashioned Frosting

  • Serves 12
  • Medium

About This Recipe

Most frostings these days use butter, with powdered sugar and flavorings beaten in. That type of frosting is just fine – in fact, it can be really good. But for the smoothest and most velvety white frosting, this is the recipe to use.

It’s unusual because flour and milk are cooked together until thick. This paste is cooled, and is then beaten into a mixture of butter, shortening, powdered sugar, and granulated sugar. The flour paste adds incredible smoothness to the frosting (those finely divided solids again), and you don’t taste the flour at all. Don’t worry about the solid shortening – it makes the frosting a more pure white color and you won’t taste that either.

Try this frosting recipe on white cakes, carrot cakes, yellow cakes, and chocolate cakes. You’ll love it!



In a medium saucepan, combine the milk, cream, flour, and salt. Mix well with a wire whisk. Cook over medium heat, whisking constantly, until the mixture becomes very thick. Cool for 30 minutes.


In a large bowl, beat the butter and solid shortening together. Gradually beat in the granulated sugar and powdered sugar. Beat in the cooled flour mixture.


Then beat again for at least 5 minutes until the frosting is very smooth. Beat in the vanilla. Then frost the cake!


Linda is a bestselling cookbook author and home economist who has written 50 books (49 cookbooks and Medical Ethics for Dummies) since 2005. She has worked for Pillsbury since 1988, on the Bake-Off and other projects. Linda has been a web presence since 2002, developing recipes and teaching people how to cook.

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