Poor Man's Frosting Recipe - Allrecipes.com
Poor Man's Frosting Recipe
  • READY IN 20 mins

Poor Man's Frosting

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"A fast recipe to frost a cake with."

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Ingredients Edit and Save

Original recipe makes 1 frosting for a 2 layer or 9x13 inch cake Change Servings
  • PREP

    20 mins

    20 mins


  1. Whisk milk into flour in small saucepan until smooth. Heat and stir until it boils and thickens. Cool thoroughly.
  2. With an electric mixer beat the butter, sugar and salt until light and fluffy. Beat in the cooled flour paste and mix until smooth. Stir in the vanilla. Use to frost any cooled cake.
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Reviews More Reviews

Most Helpful Positive Review
May 26, 2008

I use this recipe often. There a few caveats that should be mentioned as we all know that half of our cooking success is really in technique and not just the ingredients. First--try to make on low humidity day or have the AC going to dehumidify the air--things just seem to work in this recipe better with lower humidity. Second--WRT ingredients--whole milk or any level of cream will work better--must be dairy and not any of the imitations that are quite good but will NOT yielod the same result with THIS particular recipe. THIRD--please do yourself a favor and use butter the first few times around with this recipe--my only failures came in using a cheap margarine and other whipped "spreads" that are great on toast but don't always make the transition into old family favorite recipes (I figure if my mom and grandma made it with butter--if I want the same result I should use butter)--actually my frosting was slimey tasting when I used one of those 'spreads'--grossed me out and I wasted the other ingredients and still had to get dressed and run to my all night grocer. You need to reduce the flour and milk mixture to a smooth paste by constantly whisking over medium low heat. Is this a fussy recipe--kinda but well worth the effort and like everything else--the more times you prepare it--the better you will become.

Most Helpful Critical Review
Jul 08, 2003

This was very grainy and greasy. Recipe called for white sugar but maybe it was supposed to be powdered sugar or confectioner's sugar. Won't make it again.


33 Ratings

Oct 22, 2007

I use this recipe on all my cakes and have always received rave reviews. It is very smooth, creamy and sweet. Be sure to beat it well -- for 8 mins as you add each ingredient. You can even add peanut butter to the mix, which is great on a chocolate cake.

Jan 18, 2011

I have been searching for this recipe for over 20 years. A friend of mine in Michigan used it for a coconut cake and when I moved I lost contact with her, as well as my recipe book with all my favorites. NOW I can finally make icing that works for me. As SEVERAL people have said, this works only with butter, not margarine, though you can use shortening. The flour and milk must be COLD before you combine it with the other ingredients, not just room temperature. Otherwise, it is gooey and not at all what you are looking for. I put mine in the freezer when I take it off the stove and leave it for about 20 minutes or more until it is very well chilled. Do not take it off the stove until it is so thick that it is a paste, not a white sauce. Other than that, you should always be successful. Good luck!

Jan 02, 2009

I have a similar recipe that I got from my mother. Mine calls for 1 stick of margarine, 1/2 cup crisco and no salt. There are a couple of problems that people seem to have with this recipe. The first is that you must whisk the flour into the milk until you do not see any more clumps. Then you need to cook the mixture over medium heat and constantly stir until it thickens into a paste. Which is sort of a pain but well worth the effort. The second problem is that you must wait until the flour mixture is completely cool before combining with other ingredients. This is key. I use my recipe all the time. Goes great with chocolate chip banana cake.

Jan 29, 2005

My Mom gave me this recipe a few years ago, only she called it poor man's whipped cream. I love this recipe,and I use it all the time. It's wonderful for banana cake.

Nov 09, 2013

Great stuff. I can't have wheat, so I used potato starch in place of the flour. It did not fluff as much as it should have, but it made a rich, velvety frosting, very satisfying. Next time, I will try corn starch, tapioca starch, or arrowroot.

Oct 25, 2010

As a former professional cake decorator I'd like to say that I LOVE this recipe and used it often. On wedding cakes also....I like to make a thicker flour base (for decorator frosting) so I use more flour to milk, about half and half. I also give the base a whirl in the food processor after it is cool, to make sure it is perfectly smooth and able to pipe. Then proceed to the formula. As others have said, use BUTTER for the best results.


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  • Calories
  • 189 kcal
  • 9%
  • Carbohydrates
  • 20.2 g
  • 7%
  • Cholesterol
  • 32 mg
  • 11%
  • Fat
  • 11.9 g
  • 18%
  • Fiber
  • 0.1 g
  • < 1%
  • Protein
  • 1.1 g
  • 2%
  • Sodium
  • 114 mg
  • 5%

* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet.

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