Seven Minute Frosting

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Seven Minute Frosting

star rating (9) rate this recipe »
Published prior to 2008

Seven minute frosting has been around since the early 1900s, and probably before that. Pastry chefs know this type of frosting as a Swiss Meringue. To make the unique texture this frosting is known for, egg whites and sugar are combined and beaten over simmering water, to dissolve the sugar and achieve a very light, fluffy texture. The frosting must be used promptly, because it firms up as it sits and cools.

1 1/2 cups (10 1/2 ounces) sugar
1/3 cup (2 5/8 ounces) cold water
2 egg whites
2 teaspoons light corn syrup or 1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
pinch of salt
1 teaspoon vanilla

In the top of a double boiler, combine the sugar, water, egg whites, corn syrup or cream of tartar, and the pinch of salt. Beat with an electric mixer set at low speed for 30 seconds, then set the pan over boiling water (the pan shouldn't touch the water). Beating at high speed, cook the frosting for about 7 minutes, or until it's stiff and glossy. Remove it from the heat, add the vanilla, and beat an additional 2 minutes. Yield: Enough frosting to cover a 10-inch tube or 2 or 3-layer cake.


  • star rating 09/03/2014
  • Jennie L. from Philippines
  • This is amazingly simple! and delicious! But i'd like to know if it's possible to add color to this recipe? should i just fold the color in last?

    You could whip a few drops of food coloring into the frosting to tint it.~Jaydl@KAF

  • star rating 03/22/2014
  • from
  • Great frosting
  • star rating 10/22/2013
  • from
  • star rating 03/17/2012
  • Griffie1 from KAF Community
  • I remember my mom making this frosting. I think it was her most favorite and mine also. Adding a food coloring for special occasions was a cinche. It is smooth and very flavorful frosting. It just about melts in your mouth. When ever mom was making this recipe I always hung around to help and of course got to lick the bowl afterward. I am now 52 years old and will never forget this wonderfully delicious frosting. Some supermarkets carry it in the box which is also good and easier to make. I tried it from scratch and it doesn't always work for me. Mom was a pro at it. The sad part is some supermarkets have taken this boxed version of frosting off the shelves. But we still have the scratch recipe available.
  • star rating 10/12/2010
  • maviris from KAF Community
  • Ooh la la... this was fabulous. At about 5 minutes over my double boiler I started getting nervous - then it came together magically. It's too sweet for my husband's taste, but I love its marshmallowy goodness. I went 1.5x on the recipe because I had 48 cupcakes, but think one recipe would have been enough - and now I can't stop eating the leftovers!
  • star rating 05/31/2010
  • Sarah from TX
  • This is fantastic! The texture is light and soft, and the frosting is so delicate it's easy to flavor with extracts. A little bit of extra work with the double boiler, but perfect for the person who loves marshmallow-y frostings (also, pristine white color for the purely white cake fans).
  • star rating 01/20/2010
  • faye from NY
  • i used this for cupcake frosting. after the final beating, i let it harden a little bit to be able to pipe it better!
  • star rating 07/04/2009
  • Becky from CA
  • I tried this again, only instead of whipping everything in a double boiler I used a stand mixer and it turned out fabulous! I also washed the whip attachment and bowl with lemon juice and salt, just to be on the safe side. Oh, and I used water instead of tequila. The flavor of this frosting is akin to marshmallow!
  • star rating 06/15/2009
  • Becky from California
  • I made this, but I think my pan was too hot when I started because the egg whites never got stiff. Oh, and I used Tequila instead of the water and vanilla... perhaps that had something to do with it as well? Either way, it was easier to make than I thought it would be and I can't wait to try again - with a cool pan. I'm sticking with Tequila though, since it really added a nice kick. The frosting turned out like something for sugar cookies, so it was still a success in my book. I made this frosting for cupcakes so the end product wasn't as "pretty" since the frosting just pooled on top, but I plopped a thin cookie into and made edible art instead. Nobody knew the difference and it tasted great.
    Becky, it could be that you had some specks of fat in the bowl or on the beaters. That will keep your egg whites from whipping well. I scrub my bowl and beaters with salt & lemon juice before using whites, just to be sure. As for the tequila, I'm going to ask a fellow baker for his advice, and we'll get back to you. MJR @ KAF