Ube buttercream frosting–silky-smooth, creamy, fluffy, and much less sweet than your regular frosting. It’s firm enough to hold its shape and pipes beautifully on ube cupcakes and ube cake.

Buttercream Ube Flavored Frosting

Smooth and Rich Ube Buttercream Frosting

This frosting is called Ermine frosting also known as boiled milk frosting. It’s an old-fashioned, French-inspired frosting made of flour, sugar, milk, and butter.

The first time I tasted it I knew right then and there that it would be perfect for my ube cakes. I don’t know why I only recently discovered this, but it’s now my favorite frosting ever!

It has everything I want in a frosting–fluffy, creamy, less sweet, and best of all is it doesn’t easily fall apart like a traditional buttercream.

What you’ll need

To make this frosting really “ube-ish”, I tweaked it a little bit by using some of our favorite Filipino ingredients.

  • All-purpose flour – the secret to a creamy yet sturdy buttercream frosting.
  • Sugar – I recommend using granulated or caster sugar as they dissolve easily.
  • Evaporated Milk – instead of regular milk. It’s richer with a hint of caramel flavor. This brings out the familiar ube flavor we love from ube halaya.
  • Butter – use pure unsalted butter.
  • Ube extract flavor – available online or in most Asian and Filipino stores.
  • Condensed Milk – adds sweetness and delicious milky flavor to the frosting.
  • Salt – to balance the sweetness of the frosting
Ube Buttercream Frosting

How to make Ube Cake Buttercream Frosting

Here are a few tips on how to make a successful ermine buttercream frosting:

Use room temperature milk even better if warmed i.e. microwaved for 20 seconds. This prevents lumps from forming when added to the flour-sugar mixture.

Constantly stir the milk until the mixture becomes smooth like a custard consistency. If you stop stirring, lumps may form. It will thicken as the milk gets hotter. The thicker the mixture the thicker and sturdier the frosting will be. I made mine a bit thicker.

Cover with a cling wrap as soon as it’s transferred to a bowl. This will prevent skin from forming. Let it cool on your kitchen counter for 20 minutes then refrigerate for 30 minutes to speed up the cooling.

Use softened but still cool butter. If it’s too soft, the frosting will become runny and greasy.

Storage and Make-ahead

If you live in a warm tropical place like myself, the frosting can become too soft if left on the counter for too long. If this happens, chill in the fridge for 30 to 45 minutes before pipping.

This frosting can be made ahead. Store in an airtight container and should last in the fridge for one week. Re-whip before using.

Frequently asked questions

What if my milk roux has lumps from the flour?

Don’t throw it away. It is still usable. Strain the custard in a fine mesh to remove the lumps. It can get messy but it’s better than wasting the ingredients.

Can I use regular milk instead of evaporated milk?

Ermine frosting is primarily made of fresh milk. Definitely use it if you can’t find evaporated milk.

Watch how to make it

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Try these next…

Buttercream Ube Flavored Frosting

Ube Buttercream Frosting

5 from 3 votes
This is actually an ermine buttercream frosting flavored with ube. It's silky-smooth, creamy, fluffy, and much less sweet than your regular frosting. It’s firm enough to hold its shape and pipes beautifully on ube cupcakes and ube cake.
preparation time20 minutes
Total cooking time10 minutes



  • Place sugar, flour, and salt in a saucepan. Stir constantly and cook for 30 seconds over medium heat.
  • Slowly pour the milk while continuously stirring until the mixture becomes thick and smooth. This should take about 5 to 7 minutes. Lower the heat if needed. Milk can burn easily over high heat.
  • Remove from heat and pour into a stainless or heat-proof bowl. Press cling wrap over the top and sides of the bowl to prevent skin from forming. Let it cool for 20 minutes at room temperature then refrigerate for 30 minutes to further speed up the cooling. Don't completely chill as it won't mix well with the butter (see note 3 to make ahead).
  • Once the boiled milk has cooled to room temperature, beat butter with an electric mixer until light and fluffy. Add milk mixture 1 tablespoon at a time beating until smooth. Scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl every now and then. Add condensed milk and salt together with the last scoop of the roux.
  • Add ube extract flavor and food color. Beat for another 2 to 3 minutes until it reaches the consistency of whipped cream. Adjust the food color based on preference.
  • Spread on cupcakes or cakes with a knife or use a piping bag with a pastry tip.

Recipe Notes & Tips:

  1. Food color – I recommend using gel paste for better results.
  2. Condensed Milk – do not add more than 4 tbsp as it can affect the overall texture of the frosting.
  3. The milk roux can be made ahead and refrigerated overnight but take it out of the fridge 1 hour before using. 
  4. Serving size: This frosting makes tall swirls. For minimally frosted cakes you can scale down by using half a portion of each ingredient.
Jump to Video
Author : Mella
Course : Snack
Cuisine : Western
Keyword : boiled milk frosting, ermine frosting, evaporated milk frosting, Ube cake frosting
Nutrition Facts
Ube Buttercream Frosting
Amount per Serving
% Daily Value*
Saturated Fat
Trans Fat
Polyunsaturated Fat
Monounsaturated Fat
Vitamin A
Vitamin C
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
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  1. Hi, I just made the cupcakes now and they are what I wanted. Perfect and delicious. Brilliant recipe. Just want to ask if it’s ok to add ube powder?

    1. Hi Lorraine, Glad you enjoyed this recipe 🙂 I have not tried using ube powder to make this frosting or the cupcakes.
      – Mella

    1. Glad to hear you loved the taste! I’m sorry to hear about the frosting separating. This can happen if the butter was too cold or the flour mixture was too cold. What you can do is whip the flour mixture and butter in a separate bowl. When it becomes smooth, gradually combine them together.

      Hope this helps.


  2. Hi! I absolutely love this frosting! Have you used this recipe as base for different flavors? I want to make a strawberry frosting using this base with freeze dried strawberries and strawberry flavoring. Any ideas?

    1. Hey Kendra! I’m so glad you loved the cake frosting. It happens to be my favorite too! However, I haven’t personally tried it with freeze-dried strawberries yet. If you’re interested in experimenting, I suggest preparing the base frosting first and then adding a small amount of it to test with the freeze-dried strawberries. That way, you can see how it turns out before incorporating it into the entire batch. Enjoy the baking adventure!
      – Mella

  3. Hi Mella can I ask how many cupcake did you frost on this recipe of ube buttercream? Thanks I’m of your subscriber here in nz my brod lives in pasir ris . Very easy recipe each time you post Mella.

    1. Add it together with the last scoop of the milk roux. Sorry, I totally missed that. Thanks for pointing it out. I’ve corrected the recipe card.
      – Mella

    1. Hi Wil, Those are just cake crumbs from one ube cupcake. Just crumble them with your hands and sprinkle them on top of the frosting.
      – Mella

  4. 5 stars
    hello!! can i make this ahead of time? i wanna try this recipe for my grandfather’s birthday and i was thinking if i could make this ahead of time.

    1. Hi Andrea, Yes, you can definitely make this ahead. Just place it in an air-tight container and place it in the refrigerator. When ready to use, give it a quick whip using a mixer to smoothen the texture.
      – Mella

  5. 5 stars
    This buttercream is the best! Found myself licking the spatula clean because it was that good. Haha

      1. Hi Jane, I only recommend ube extract for this frosting as the jam may alter the texture of the frosting.
        – Mella