Seven-Minute Frosting

April 13, 2016
5 Ratings
Photo by Posie Harwood
  • Makes enough for an 8-inch three-layer cake
Author Notes

This fluffy, sugary frosting capped off every birthday cake I had growing up. My mother still frosts most of her layer cakes with it: With just egg whites and sugar, it's far less decadent and heavy than a buttercream but has an ethereal quality that makes it much more worthy of a celebration cake in my opinion! —Posie (Harwood) Brien

What You'll Need
  • 4 egg whites
  • 3 cups sugar
  • 1/2 cup cold water
  • 1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
  • 3 tablespoons light corn syrup
  1. Combine all the ingredients in the top of a double boiler. Beat with an electric mixer set at low speed for 30 seconds, then set the pan over rapidly boiling water.
  2. Using a handheld mixer, beat the frosting for exactly 7 minutes.
  3. Remove the frosting from the heat, and beat for 1 minute more. If the frosting is too liquid-y and doesn't hold a soft-to-stiff peak, let it cool at room temperature for 10 minutes (or in the fridge for a few minutes), and then beat it on high speed for a few minutes until the texture is thick enough.

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • Pat Tiffany
    Pat Tiffany
  • Noreen Fish
    Noreen Fish
  • Posie (Harwood) Brien
    Posie (Harwood) Brien
  • Sandy

7 Reviews

Sandy March 18, 2018
My mother always used this frosting for a coconut cake. The coconut adheres nicely and the top doesn't get crackly. It keeps for several days on the counter but never lasts longer than that because it's too good!
Pat T. January 16, 2017
I want to try this frosting. Probably will have to try it when I do another cake for book club. I saw this as one of the frostings on a cake that was baked as part of one of the baking competitions in 2016 on NBC I think. Looked wonderful and all the judges had favorable comments.
Susnurse May 25, 2016
My Mother made this for me to as a child. We called it fluffy frosting and still do!
kathy April 20, 2016
How does the cake fare after being left on the kitchen counter? Does it have to be refrigerated later? (I'm talking about the frosting.)
Posie (. April 20, 2016
It's fine to leave out on the counter for a few hours! The frosting is best when enjoyed pretty quickly -- after a day, it'll get a bit crackly and gritty with sugar on the outside (I personally LOVE this day-after frosting, but it's not the ideal, fluffy texture you get when you first make it). If you're leaving it for more than a day, I'd refrigerate it, but aware that it will harden a bit.
Noreen F. April 18, 2016
This was always my pick for a birthday cake, too!
LGrimm April 17, 2016
Fond memories of my dad making Seven Minute Frosting. A classic!