This is a bright white, marshmallow-like frosting. It is similar to a 7-Minute Frosting, but you don’t have to stand over the stove to heat and whip the eggs; let the stand mixer do the work for you. Note that this frosting recipe, which uses 8 large egg whites, is meant to maximize the volume of your 5-quart stand mixer. We do not recommend making this frosting with a hand-held mixer.
Image: Dédé Wilson
- 1¼ cups plus ⅓ cup sugar
- ½ cup water
- 8 large egg whites, at room temperature
- 1 teaspoon cream of tartar
- Place 1 ¼ cups of sugar and water in a small saucepan. Stir to wet sugar. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, swirling pan occasionally. Dip pastry brush in cold water and wash down sugar crystals from the sides of the pot once or twice. Allow sugar mixture to simmer gently as you proceed with egg whites.
- Meanwhile, place egg whites in a clean, grease-free stand mixer bowl and whip until frothy on low speed using the wire whisk attachment. Add cream of tartar and turn speed to medium-high. When soft peaks form, add gradually remaining ⅓ cup sugar. Continue whipping until stiff, glossy peaks form.
- Bring the sugar/water mixture to a rapid boil and cook until it reaches 248˚ to 250˚ F. As syrup cooks, check visual cues to assess doneness if you do not have a thermometer: it starts out with a thin consistency and many small bubbles covering the entire surface. As the water evaporates, the mixture will become visibly thicker. Bubbles become larger and pop open more slowly. At this point the syrup definitely looks thickened, but it has not begun to color; this is the firm-ball stage (if you drop a bit of the syrup into a glass of cold water, it will form into a ball). When you squeeze the ball between your fingertips, it will feel firm and the syrup is ready.
- With the mixer running, pour syrup in a thin, steady stream directly over the meringue. Do not pour any on the whip or the sides of the bowl. Whip meringue until cool to the touch; this could take several minutes. Icing is ready to use and must be used immediately.
- If you would like to make this frosting for an 8-inch or 9-inch layer cake, use the following ingredient amounts, following instructions above (use 1 cup of sugar along with water to make the syrup; the ¼ cup sugar will be beaten into the egg whites to stabilize them):
1 ¼ cups sugar, divided
1/3 cup water
6 large egg whites, at room temperature
¾ teaspoon cream of tartar