Vanilla-Bean Milk Frosting

chocolate cupcakes with milk frosting
Photo: Kate Mathis
Prep Time:
10 mins
Total Time:
45 mins
3 cups

Two types of vanilla -- the bean and the extract -- make this creamy bechamel-based frosting super aromatic. Use it to decorate our Chocolate Heart Cupcakes.


  • ¼ cup unbleached all-purpose flour

  • 1 cup whole milk

  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

  • Pinch of kosher salt

  • 2 sticks unsalted butter, room temperature

  • 1 cup sugar

  • 1 vanilla bean, split and seeds scraped


  1. In a small saucepan, whisk together flour, milk, vanilla extract, and salt until smooth. Heat over medium-high, whisking constantly, until mixture becomes thick and resembles pudding, 3 to 4 minutes. Remove from heat; transfer to a bowl. Cover surface with plastic wrap and let cool completely, about 30 minutes.

  2. In a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat butter with sugar and vanilla seeds on medium speed, scraping down sides as necessary, until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Add milk mixture and continue to beat until frosting is light and fluffy and looks like whipped cream, 2 to 3 minutes. Use immediately.

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