Grandma Marie’s White Icing

Grandma Marie's White Icing

And as if cupcakes with heavenly icing were not enough, while I was making these I was watching a Steelers game. I love watching the games in London because one of the commentators is a huge Steelers fan and always wears his gold tie and a black jacket when they play. This night was great because Lynn Swan was visiting London and he visited the show!  It almost felt like I was back in the Burgh!

Watching the Lynn Swan talking about the Steelers on a UK football show.  Love Pittsburgh!

What makes this icing different is that it starts with cooking milk and flour together to make a paste which then has to cool completely about an hour in the fridge.  Please make sure you remember the time needed for cooling when timing out this recipe.

Another keys is to keep the icing cold so once you have iced the cake or cupcakes or whatever you are using it for make sure you keep them/it in the fridge.

I promise this will be your favorite icing recipe and if it is not then there may be something wrong with you.  Just kidding…maybe…

(For UK measurements see Tips, Conversions and Substitutes page)

  • 5 tablespoons flour
  • 1 cup or 237 ml milk
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup vegetable shortening (I highly recomment Crisco.  In the UK you can buy this online or from Waitrose online.)
  • 1/2 cup or 114 grams butter (room temperature)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract (also very good with almond extract)


  1. Add the flour and milk in a sauce pan and whisk until the flour has completely dissolved into the milk.  This can take a while but you do not want to have any clumps.Whisk together the milk and the flour until there are no lumpsAdd five (5) tablespoons of flourAdd the flour to the milkWhisk together the milk and flour until there are no lumps
    Make sure there are no lumps in the milk and flour mixture
  2. Put the pan over a low-medium heat and stir constantly until the mixture takes on the consistency of paste.Heat the mixture over a medium to low heat.  Constantly stirring to keep from burning or sticking.Constantly stirring as the mixture thickensHeat until the mixture becomes a thick paste
  3. Remove the paste and place in a bowl.  Cover that bowl with plastic wrap making sure to press the film right up against the paste to prevent a skin from forming.  Place this in the fridge and allow to cool completely, about an hour.Put the paste into a bowl
    Cover the paste with plastic wrap pushed right up against it so a skin cannot form.  Refridgerate to cool the paste.
  4. Once the paste has cooled, cream the sugar, butter and shortening for several minutes until light and fluffy.  This really is best done with a good standing mixer which I do have now but at the time I took these pictures I only had my little hand mixer.In a large bowl add your butter, shortening and sugar. We've always used Crisco for the shortening.  Both the butter and shortening must be softened.

Cream together the sugar, shortening and butter for several minutes until fluffy and pale.  7 minutes is a good number.

  1. Add paste to the butter cream one spoonful at a time, mixing all the while.  Add the cooled paste in batches and blending well after each spoonful.
    Add all the paste and mix until incorporated
  2. Add the vanilla extract and beat to incorporate.  I prefer to use the natural brown colored extract but you may like to use the clear extract so as to not darken the color of the icing.  Blend the mixture for 7 minutes to ensure that it is fully blended and there are no little clots of the paste left in the mixture.Add the vanilla extract
    Once all the flour and milk paste is mixed in.  Mix on the highest speed for 7 minutes.
  3. If you wish to tint your icing with food coloring do it now by adding a few drops of food coloring.Add food coloring to tint the frosting / icing at this point. I tinted them orange
  4. Decidantly frost your dessert of choice and try not to eat too many spoonfuls while doing it.  I know it is hard.
  5. Remember to keep the dessert you have frosted in the fridge as it can melt otherwise.  I prefer the taste cold myself.  Serve and enjoy!

Frost your cake or cupcakes generously and keep in the fridge until serving.  This frosting does melt in heat

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