What's Your Opinion On Ermine Buttercream?

Baking By ConnieCakes14 Updated 3 Dec 2017 , 4:14am by -K8memphis

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ConnieCakes14 Posted 9 Nov 2017 , 11:16pm
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I'm trying to find a buttercream that is not too sweet like American/regular buttercream but not too buttery like smbc. I personally find ermine to be a great middle. But if I decide to make the switch, I wonder if my clients will like it too? Anyone use ermine buttercream as their icing for all cakes and cupcakes and have great reviews from customers? Also, how does this buttercream do in decorating/under fondant/piping/filling? Thank you.

8 replies
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remnant3333 Posted 10 Nov 2017 , 1:03am
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Here is an easy recipe for frosting on the below link. I, personally have not tried this yet but plan to soon. Some people prefer the Swiss Meringue frosting that you have to boil. I guess I am looking for an easier recipe like below and want to at least try this one. 


Ermine frosting is flour frosting. I have tried it before and it turned out very good. The last time I tried it for some reason, I forgot to mix the flour into the milk really good before cooking it on the stove which created small little lumps in my frosting. I had to throw it all out. I remember my mom used to mix the flour with milk in a jar and shake,shake and shake it till it was very mixed up with  no lumps. I had previously forgotten my mom doing that.   I add the sugar to it also and cook it then let it cool with saran wrap on top so it doesn't form a skin on top. Once cool, I then mix it and add the butter and vanilla.

If flour is mixed up enough the frosting tastes really good, has no lumps and is not as sweet as American buttercream. It is more like whip cream. As for piping, it would probably pipe simple borders but it is a little on the soft and creamy side. It would not be good for intricate flowers. Maybe adding some 10X sugar or a couple tablespoons of piping gel may help it to pipe better but I have not tried that. 

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GI Posted 11 Nov 2017 , 1:07am
post #3 of 9

I liked Ermine bc for a stronger cake flavor such as gingerbread layer cake (an actual 4 layer torted cake).  I do not like it for the lighter flavor cakes such as white, yellow, etc.  I don't think it would taste that good for chocolate, but that could just be me.  I like ABC for certain cakes & clients but I do add a bit of pickling salt (very fine salt, like popcorn salt).  Adding the salt as much as 1/4 teasp in a large KA bowl full of ABC will cut the sweetness.  I also REALLY do like SMBC but I do put a ton of mixed flavors in it.

As for Ermine, it is not good for piping at all.  And, it MUST be refrigerated even on the cake.

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Baker Beach Posted 1 Dec 2017 , 9:12pm
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This may be useless to you :) since I don't work with fondant and don't do intricate piping (my cake style is more casual), but here is my two cents on Ermine and its uses...

I love it -- its a great choice for many cakes and my customers love it. and I feel sure yours would, too. It is so light-- not greasy or too sweet and with the right amount of vanilla, it could double for whipped cream. I especially like it on Devil's Food and it is my only filling for macarons (other than chocolate ganache). I have flavored it with lemon/lime/grapefruit zest or oil, pistachio/guava/ginger syrups, cranberry-orange/strawberry puree -- but you do have to go lightly on liquid flavors and I would stay away from flavoring with fruit curds because it will become WAY too soft. To make a chocolate version, you just add a couple tablespoons of cocoa powder to the flour mix. I could go on and on.  To keep your macarons gluten free, just sub cornstarch for the flour.

I have found it to go well with most cake flavors, especially chocolate, spice, hummingbird, pound cakes-- any of the more dense cakes that you might use whipped cream on. Cupcakes are perfect because while it might be too soft for intricate piping, it makes really nice, fluffy swirls. The main cake I don't like it on is chiffon-- which is funny because chiffon is great with whipped cream, but for some reason it just doesn't feel right.

As far as I know, you can't make it ahead like you can with SMBC or IMBC-- but you can make the pudding part a day or two ahead and keep in the fridge so that is something.

Hope this is helpful! Would love to know what you decide!

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-K8memphis Posted 1 Dec 2017 , 11:04pm
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in the 70's and 80's wilton printed this formula in their year books -- they called it french buttercream -- i used it exclusively for all my cakes because it smoothed over like glass -- cupcakes were not popular back then -- probably would be great for them though --

i did it just like baker beach said -- i would cook the pudding part and freeze it -- it doesn't get solid -- you can take it right out and mix it with the butter -- 

as far as lumps -- if you mix the flour and sugar together well -- then add the milk to that -- you will eliminate lumps -- while it's cooking you stir constantly right -- so i would start with a whisk to get things combined and end with a flat bladed wooden spoon -- to keep the bottom of the pan scraped off where many more lumps can form -- this was also pre-silicone days -- but the nice silicone spatulas that are available now are mahvlous, dahling, for making this icing -- some recipes say to add the sugar after cooking -- but you need it to mix with the flour to kill the lumps --

i used a pressure cooker pot -- not as a pressure cooker but just because it was such a nice great heavy pot -- i had the flame up all the way and it was very fast to make -- 

can't tell you how many nights i spent flattening out all those dang lumps on the counter metal spatula by metal spatula full smush smush smush --ha! 

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remnant3333 Posted 2 Dec 2017 , 5:06pm
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Years ago I made it and it turned out great but I only made cupcakes with it and I think I must have used cane sugar. I didn't try piping it years ago. This year when I tried, it lumped up something terribly so I will remember the using cane sugar mixing it together with the flour. Had to throw it all away!! What a waste of butter!!! It is good to know the pudding part can be frozen because I love anything with shortcuts to save time!! Will this frosting pipe borders and swirls? I don't remember whether or not this frosting crusts but thinking maybe no, due to being too soft??

 Can I use other stiff buttercream frosting that pipes intricate flowers on top and sides of cake that was spread with this flour frosting? Anyone have any pictures of cakes made with this frosting showing the kind of piping allowed with this frosting type? I have some in my freezer which will pipe intricate flowers if I can pipe on top of ermine frosting with. 


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-K8memphis Posted 2 Dec 2017 , 8:19pm
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yes i iced the cake with what i'm going to call the french vanilla buttercream and i could do borders -- it melts fast in the bag though so you gotta be quick and be ready to discard some of the melty stuff --and yes i would pipe roses & whatever else with regular confectioner's sugar buttercream -- works fine -- naw no pictures

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remnant3333 Posted 2 Dec 2017 , 8:33pm
post #8 of 9

Thanks, K8, I can always count on you to answer my questions!! I do appreciate it!!! This helps me a lot knowing I can use my other frozen buttercream for flowers on top!!!

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-K8memphis Posted 3 Dec 2017 , 4:14am
post #9 of 9

you're very welcome :)

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