Old-Fashioned Cooked Frosting

Old-Fashioned Cooked Frosting

Cooked vanilla frosting is a classic dessert topping.This old-fashioned icing recipe makes a sweet, fluffy frosting.

15 min. prep time
1 3/4 cups
20420 Ratings


2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
2/3 cup sugar
2/3 cup Land O Lakes® Butter, softened
1/2 teaspoon vanilla


Combine half & half, flour and salt in 1-quart saucepan. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, 3-5 minutes or until mixture thickens and comes to a boil. Boil 1 minute. Cover surface with plastic food wrap; cool completely.

Beat sugar, butter and vanilla in large bowl at medium speed, scraping bowl often, until creamy. Gradually add cooled flour mixture. Beat at medium speed, scraping bowl often, until light and fluffy.

Nutrition Facts (1 tablespoon)

Calories: 60

Fat: 4.5g

Cholesterol: 10mg

Sodium: 55mg

Carbohydrates: 5g

Dietary Fiber: 0g

Protein: <1g

Recipe #11605©2000Land O'Lakes, Inc.

Recipe Comments & Reviews

I am making a 40th wedding anniversary cake and spent all week testing recipes for both the cake and frosting - this is the best! MIX and MIX some more until it is the beautiful light and fluffy frosting!!
Agree that you MUST beat it a while to get the sugar to dissolve. As a child, I loved when my mom made this recipe because my job was to take a bit of frosting and crunch it between my teeth. if it crunched it wasn't done yet, needed to beat it some more.

It is a not -too- sweet frosting. It spreads wonderfully. If you don't like the strong butter taste, you can substitute some shortening for some butter.
I grew up on this. With patience, it is so amazing. Melts beautifully in your mouth. We would frost each layer of the cake with a different flavor -- coconut, almond, chocolate, peppermint.... I would eat each layer at a time so I didn't mix the flavors in my mouth. Beat it and beat it some more. One must do so until the granulated sugar dissolves completely. If it is a really hot day in the house, you might want to refrigerate for a few minutes when about half way through beating. Heat, when mixing, is the enemy. It should be room temp at most. After making it, frost cake etc and then put it back in the refrigerator. It firms up and will allow time to take it somewhere without sliding all over.
I was looking for a frosting recipe that would be less sweet than the usual confectioner sugar buttercream. This was perfect! It seemed odd to me to put flour in frosting, but it did whip up nice and fluffy. I decreased the sugar a little bit to 1/2 cup and kept everything else the same. It was very, very good. The only reason I didn't give it 5 stars is that it makes a batch that is quite small- barely covered my 9 inch cake. Next time I will double it,
I always make this cooked frosting. It is delicious and not very sweet.
I can tell you exactly what the reviewers who hated this recipe did wrong....They didn't beat it long enough after cooking it! The trick to this frosting is to beat it until the sugar incorporates into the other ingredients and that takes a little time. If the texture is grainy at all you need to mix it longer! I promise, if you do it right, this is one of the BEST, especially on Red Velvet Cake. YUMMY!!!
I should have read the reviews first. Maybe confectionery sugar would have made a difference as one reviewer said. It was like frosting the cake with butter. I love butter but not on cake.
This is wonderful, light fluffy and easy to make.
You must have patience ! It's an instant world but this is a blast from the past that can't be made in 2 minutes..... It is delicious!!
The worst I've ever had .Terriable . I have no words to say of how these people are getting paid to say this. This is a waste of time , money ansd effort.
I think this recipe works better with confectioners sugar.
This is absolutely perfect. I substituted ultra fine suger and it was perfect. So if you feel like its going to be gritty just use the ultra fine sugar and its wonderful. I always make a double batch out just up my undercurrents by 1/3 cup.
Very easy. For more flavor I added a 1/2 tsp of orange flavoring.
I've been looking for this recipe since my children were little. I had a cookbook that had a recipe called "jinas joy icing". lost in a house fire. It called for milk & flour. The first time I made it I was amazed how it whipped up & the granulated sugar dissolved as it fluffed. It's because of the butter.you CAN'T substitute, I tried. ick. Also, with these recipes you can totally regulate how sweet it is. Always ultra creamy, never too sweet! It's the only frosting my children remember from childhood and they are 18 & 23 years old now
I'm going to use this recipe for Thanksgiving. Having used your products, I know it will be perfect.
I thought this recipe tasted too much like butter and added an extra 1/2 tsp of vanilla. This is not my favorite cooked frosting recipe, though I had high hopes from Land-o-Lakes! I'm going to try folding in some rhubarb compote to make a seasonal frosting for some vanilla cupcakes. Fingers crossed that it turns out!
I have made this frosting before, although it was from a different recipe, the proportions of the ingredients were indentical. My frosting was smooth and fluffy. I didn't detect any gritiness at all from the granulated sugar and everyone who tried it thought it was delicious on the red velvet cake, not too sweet but nice and fluffy.
I have used a similar recipe for years and this is just as good. I do not add the salt when I use salted butter, and I sift the flour to help it blend easily with the half & half. If you beat it long enough my KitchenAid does a great job just with the regular beater, the sugar does dissolve and you get a wonderfully fluffy frosting.
I made this recipe to frost red velvet cupcakes I made for
Valentine's Day. Growing up, my dear Grandma always
made a red velvet birthday cake for me with a cooked
vanilla frosting. Her frosting recipe called for, among
other ingredients, a box of vanilla 'cook and serve'
pudding and shortening. While I love her recipe, I just
wanted to try a different cooked frosting minus the
shortening. This recipe has a really good flavor. I agree
that the sugar does not dissolve all of the way, and the
frosting seemed like it might separate as I was frosting
the cupcakes. It is not enough to frost 24 cupcakes, but a
doubled recipe would give you more than you need.
Overall, I would make it again but I may also continue to
try other cooked frosting recipes...
I found this recipe when I ran out of powdered sugar and needed to frost some cupcakes. This is delicious! The final texture had a slight grainy texture, so I will let the sugar and butter sit a little longer next time and blend very slowly. This recipe is not too sweet, less greasy than shortening frosting and lighter than buttercream. Next time I will experiment with a piping bag, but for a simple, delicious frosting, this can't be beat. It generously frosted 18 cupcakes.
There was a bakery in Pittsburgh that used this recipe; it is the best frosting I've ever had! It's not too sweet and you don't get that "grease" mouthfeel.
First, the recipe does not specify confectioners' sugar 10X Granulated sugar does not dissolve in this recipe.

Second, to frost a 9" x 13" cake, a double recipe is needed.

Third, the butter must be very soft before starting. If not, whipping it to soften it will result in a curdled look to the frosting.

It is not an overly sweet frosting which is good, and it spreads nicely.
What a fantastic frosting. Trying recipes out on the staff at work, I know I am getting an honest opinion ALWAYS. This frosting got five stars even from the critics. Belonging to a FOODIE READER WRITER GROUP for the Times News, I am obligated to be honest. jo jo cooper

Comment On This Recipe

Please correct the item(s) in red below:
3 Please select a rating

Email address will not be published

Please note, all submissions are screened for content deemed appropriate by Land O'Lakes. Comments are published within 3 business days.
Thank you, your comment has been submitted for approval


Your friend thought you might be interested in Old-Fashioned Cooked Frosting

The Simple Rewards® Club is your personal online resource for exclusive offers and information. It’s also our way of saying “thank you” for trusting Land O’Lakes and inviting us into your home. Membership is free, so sign up today.

FREE Sign Up Includes:
  • Our Measuring Cup® Newsletter Preview »
  • Money-Saving and Exclusive Offers
  • Online Recipe Box

Already a Member? Sign In.


YES. Send me the Measuring Cup® Newsletter.
Cancel and Go Back

Forgot Your Password?

Please correct the items(s) in red below

    We'll email instructions to the address you used to register.

    Reset My Password Cancel and Go Back

    Confirmation Email Sent

    We've sent a confirmation email to the address associated with your account. Check your email and follow the link within 3 hours in order to complete the password reset process.



    Starting February 15th, you will not be able to access your Simple Rewards account due to routine site maintenance. Accounts will return to normal functionality on February 29th.

    Thank you for visiting landolakes.com

    Not a Simple Rewards Member? Join Now. Forgot Your Password?

    Check Your Email

    Look for an email soon with instructions to reset your password.

    If you did not receive the email, please check your email junk folder (just in case) or contact us.

    Hi, I'm Becky. I'm eager to share my best ideas and favorite recipes from my 20+ years in the Land O'Lakes Test Kitchen. I'm also excited to help with any questions you have about cooking and baking with Land O Lakes® products. Some of the questions and answers will be published in our newsletter, The Measuring Cup®. Please use the short form below to ask your questions, or share your tip or memory.

    Please correct the item(s) in red below

    *These fields are required


    Your question has been submitted.

    Close Window