Baker's Frosting

As today is Valentine's Day and I have a few cupcakes in the freezer that need frosting, I thought I'd share another icing recipe.  Some people call icing, "frosting" and vice versa.  Whatever you call the stuff it should be nice and creamy and, of course, sweet but, not too sweet.  That's a difficult thing to achieve as the main ingredient in icing/frosting is sugar.  I've had this recipe in my box for years and I've made it now and then over the years and I've always been pleased with how it turns out and it actually doesn't taste as sweet as many icings as the base of this recipe is a cooked milk and flour paste.  

This recipe or a version of it has been going around the cooking blogs for a long time but I've had this recipe long before the World Wide Web was a baker's best friend.  I don't know who gave it to me but it seems to me I was in my early 20s or even a teenager when this recipe came into my possession.  For sure, it is an old recipe probably dating back to the early or middle twentieth century. (Now I feel really old.) 

The recipe makes a lovely, creamy mixture that can be slathered on a cake or piped on cupcakes and you can use it to decorate as well.  It's only two drawbacks are the time it takes to make and it cannot be frozen and re-whipped like other butter icings/frostings.  But it is well worth making because it is sooooo good and if you use it the day you make it, it will stay on the cake or cupcake several days without any undue problems.  The taste and texture is similar to a Swiss Buttercream icing but you don't get as much butter flavour as the SBC.

The cupcakes were made several weeks ago and frozen (from the Yellow Butter Cake on this blog) for one of the children at church.  Her birthday is on this coming Monday but we'll celebrate with her at church this Sabbath.  Birthdays are such significant days for 4-year olds.   I coloured the icing a pale pink and decorated with crushed cherry-flavoured candy canes and valentine sprinkles. 

Baker's Frosting
5 tablespoons flour
1 cup milk

Mix the flour and milk together until there are no lumps.  You may want to do this in a blender, but for sure at least use a whisk.  In a medium saucepan bring mixture to a boil; cook stirring constantly until very thick.  Taste to make sure there is no raw taste of flour.   Scrape the finished flour/milk paste into a small bowl and completely cover with plastic wrap.  Cool to room temperature.  You may refrigerate this mixture if not making the frosting until the next day, but bring it back to room temperature before continuing on to the next step.

1 cup butter
1 cup white sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla or favourite flavouring

Cream together the butter and sugar until creamy and fluffy.  Add the vanilla and slowly add the room temperature paste, a couple of tablespoons at a time. Continue beating for almost 10 minutes until it looks like whipped cream.   May be coloured with food colouring if you wish.  

Mix the flour and milk together, whisking until no lumps remain.  Bring to a boil and cook until very thick.  Transfer the paste to a small bowl.

Completely cover the paste with plastic wrap by pressing out any air bubbles with your hand.  Before using let it cool to room temperature.  You can see how thick the paste has become.

Whip the butter and sugar together.  Remove the plastic wrap from the paste, removing any areas where a "skin" may have formed.  Continue beating the butter and sugar while adding the room-temperature paste a couple of tablespoons at a time.  Add the vanilla.  You can see the brown vanilla at the edge of the bowl.  Beat until creamy and smooth.

I tinted the frosting a pale pink because it's Valentines Day and because a little girl will have a 4th birthday.  I found these fancy cupcake liners at the Dollarama. To pipe a "rose" start in the middle of the cupcake and continue going round.

I had a few cherry-flavoured candy canes left over from Christmas.  I put them in a plastic bag and crushed them with a hammer.  They made the perfect trim for the cupcakes.

All dressed up for Valentines Day!


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