This failproof 7-minute frosting is deliciously light, fluffy, and the perfect topping for almost any cake. Enjoy the icing’s marshmallow cream-like smoothness that will make you and your family and friends smile.
If you’ve never had this old-fashioned 7-minute frosting, I’d like to apologize. I am so sorry that you’ve missed out all these years, seeing as it’s been around since the early 1900s. This is a fluffy, glossy, and light-tasting icing reminiscent of meringue… only better and spreadable. It’s commonly found atop coconut cakes or other holiday cake treasures but goes just as easily with a simple pound cake or chocolate cake too.
There are many reasons to love this recipe, but most importantly it’s quick to make, easy to spread, and doesn’t include a like so many others. Unlike most 7-minute frosting recipes, this one is also not dependent on the weather or you crossing your pinky toes and perfectly reciting the magic word with five extra-large marshmallows in your mouth. No siree, this one comes out perfect every time. So if you’re a beginner baker looking for a foolproof frosting recipe, you’re in the right place.
Whenever I make this 7-minute frosting, there are tiny sugar crystals mixed amid the fluffy velvet cream. It’s just perfection. So don’t think you did anything wrong. Just dip your spoon in again and pop it in your mouth. Close your eyes, and enjoy the smoothness of this marshmallow fluff-like icing as it melts in your mouth.
I’d recommend watching our quick video tutorial before you start your recipe so that you can get a nice visual!
- 2 eggs (for the whites only)
- Cream of tartar
Helpful Kitchen Tools
How to Make 7 Minute Frosting
Place all ingredients into a thick-bottomed sauce pot, starting with the sugar.
You just want to use a good stainless steel pot for this, definitely not one with a nonstick coating because we are going to beat it for several minutes and all that mess would flake off and get in your icing – so don’t do that!
Then the cream of tartar.
And the egg whites.
Tip for separating egg whites and yolks
When separating your eggs for this recipe, it is a good idea to do so in a separate bowl rather than the pot you are going to combine all ingredients in. The reason for this is that you need only the egg whites and if you get any of the egg yolk mixed in, your icing won’t turn out. By separating them beforehand, you can throw out anything that gets a yolk in it (or dig out the egg yolk if you can without combining it with the white) rather than having to throw out your entire pot of ingredients.
Finally, add the water. We don’t add the vanilla extract until the end.
Place this mixture over medium-low heat (in between low and medium, so about a four on my stove) and turn that electric mixer on.
Beat this constantly for about 5 to 7 minutes, or until and stiff peaks form. I use this mixer for mine.
A word of caution
Now listen, right about now you’re going to be thinking “Okay, this is crazy. This is never going to form stiff peaks. I’m sure this is as good as it will get. I might as well give up and just ice the cake.”
Note about following this recipe: The pattern on the internet these days seems to be taking a recipe, making fifty thousand substitutions and alterations to it, and then getting your tinsel in a tizzy when it doesn’t turn out exactly like the original recipe said it would. I’m not saying you would ever do that, mind you, but I do want to issue a word of caution that this is one of those recipes which really must be followed to the letter. If you go rogue, you get rogue results. Maybe those will be good, maybe those will be bad, but they won’t be on me either way.
Look! We have stiffness! You can see how the and maintains the trail left by the beaters rather than sliding back into a glop. This is what we want.
Now add in your vanilla extract.
Fold in the vanilla extract. Maintain that perfect trail left from the beaters and keep from having any of the icing sliding back down to smooth. Remove this from the heat and have a little taste of it – pure marshmallow heaven.
Ice your cake with this 7-minute frosting and you’re good to go. I enjoy using a long frosting spreader to spread the icing.
Oh my goodness, how light and fluffy does that look?
This icing is very stable and keeps well for up to a week on an icebox cake stored in the refrigerator. Enjoy!
- There’s no substitute for cream of tartar for this recipe.
- If you want to jazz up your frosting, here are some fun additions:
- Use brown sugar instead of white sugar.
- Fold about 3 ounces of melted chocolate chips into the finished frosting. You want both products to be at the same temperature.
- Use a different extract flavor rather than vanilla, like peppermint or almond extract.
- You can also torch the frosting like you would meringue.
- You’ll need two recipes of this icing to ice a layer cake. Fortunately, this recipe doubles beautifully, so there’s no need to make two separate batches, just double it and make it all at once.
What’s the difference between this frosting and Swiss meringue?
The main difference between these frostings is that Swiss meringue is cooked but mixed off the heat. Meanwhile, this frosting is mixed as it cooks on the stovetop.
Here are more delectable cakes with frosting:
- 1 cup sugar
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar
- 2 egg whites
- 3 tablespoons water
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- Combine all of the ingredients except the vanilla in a stainless steel heavy-bottomed saucepan.1 cup sugar, 1/4 teaspoon salt, 1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar, 2 egg whites, 3 tablespoons water
- Place mixture over medium-low heat and beat with an electric hand mixer constantly for 5-7 minutes, or until icing is fluffy and stiff peaks form when the beaters are removed.
- Remove from heat and stir in the vanilla. Ice the cooled cake.1 teaspoon vanilla extract
“Peoples s’posed to be nice. That’s just the way you do things.”