Seven-Minute Frosting

April 13, 2016
Photo by Posie Harwood
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

  • Makes enough for an 8-inch three-layer cake
  • 4 egg whites
  • 3 cups sugar
  • 1/2 cup cold water
  • 1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
  • 3 tablespoons light corn syrup
In This Recipe
  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.

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  • Pat Tiffany
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  • Noreen Fish
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  • Posie (Harwood) Brien
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  • Sandy
I like warm homemade bread slathered with fresh raw milk butter, ice cream in all seasons, the smell of garlic in olive oil, and sugar snap peas fresh off the vine.