This is the type of frosting that is cooked over the stove, then whipped. This goes well on almost any type of cake.

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Ingredients

12
Original recipe yields 12 servings
The ingredient list now reflects the servings specified
Ingredient Checklist

Directions

Instructions Checklist
  • In a saucepan, stir together the sugar, water and cream of tartar. Cook over medium-high heat until the sugar is dissolved and the mixture is bubbly.

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  • In a medium mixing bowl, whip the egg whites and vanilla to soft peaks. Gradually add the sugar mixture while whipping constantly until stiff peaks form, about 7 to 10 minutes. Frost the cake of your choice.

Nutrition Facts

68.4 calories; 0.6 g protein; 16.8 g carbohydrates; 0 mg cholesterol; 9.3 mg sodium. Full Nutrition

Reviews (528)

Read More Reviews

Most helpful positive review

Rating: 5 stars
06/28/2007
yes!!! this is a wonderful frosting...soon to become one of my staples. When coloring, it comes out with a beautiful shine. For me, i had no cream of tartar so i used a pinch of salt in my egg whites and let it sit in them before i whipped them. The salt or cream of tartar helps to denature the egg whites so you get a better, fluffier result! PERFECT!!! Read More
(564)

Most helpful critical review

Rating: 2 stars
04/29/2010
I whipped this frosting for about 30 minutes, and still would not stand up when i piped it. Tastes like marshmallows, not so much like icing. My cupcakes turned out alright, but I will probably use a different icing ext time around. EDIT: The next morning the frosting turned into more of a froth... Read More
(32)
631 Ratings
  • 5 star values: 428
  • 4 star values: 99
  • 3 star values: 40
  • 2 star values: 28
  • 1 star values: 36
Rating: 5 stars
06/28/2007
yes!!! this is a wonderful frosting...soon to become one of my staples. When coloring, it comes out with a beautiful shine. For me, i had no cream of tartar so i used a pinch of salt in my egg whites and let it sit in them before i whipped them. The salt or cream of tartar helps to denature the egg whites so you get a better, fluffier result! PERFECT!!! Read More
(564)
Rating: 5 stars
07/07/2006
This frosting tastes like marshmallows, has a beautiful shine, and holds its shape well. I beat the egg whites in my kitchenaid until stiff before I began cooking the sugar and water. I rewhipped for a few seconds before adding the sugar mixture, and whipped while pouring it in. Don't stop whipping until the frosting becomes glossy/shiny. The sugar/water mixture never became clear for me, but I poured it in anyway. I added a teaspoon of lemon juice to the sugar water just to make sure it wouldn't crystallize. It was delicious with Wacky Cake VIII, for a great layered birthday cake!! Read More
(261)
Rating: 5 stars
02/12/2004
This is a perfect frosting for cupcakes-you can color it any color, then just dip the cupcakes in the bowl to frost them (you don't even need a knife!) Since it contains egg whites, it will dry out and become meringue-like if left uncovered. Keep the cake or cupcakes tightly covered and they should stay moist. Great recipe! Read More
(182)
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Rating: 5 stars
01/12/2009
This review is for 'ALL' of the people who say that they can't get this recipe to work. I have been using a this recipe for over 40 years, and it is a beautiful frosting. It is great on all cakes, and it is soooooooo gooood!!!!!!!!! The only way to make this fail is: not cooking your sugar mixture long enough. You need to cook it until it spins a 3 to 4 inch thread, and once it starts coiling, do not stir it, and when it has cooked long enough, pour it into the stiffly beaten egg whites (while you are beating them) in a thin steady stream, and then continue to beat the frosting on high until glossy. TIP: For those who do not know about the 'spin a thread' test, just cook this for 7 minutes. That is the name of the recipe I have used forever...."Seven Minute Frosting", and it is exactly like this one. Read More
(98)
Rating: 5 stars
01/10/2008
Absolutely perfect! I had a craving for Wacky Cake and was tired of my usual powdered sugar icing so I tried this instead. I wasn't sure if the cream of tartar in my cupboard was still good but it worked. As other reviewers have said this recipe makes plenty of light fluffy glossy easy to spread frosting with a nice marshmallow flavor. With an egg white frosting the key is to have a clean bowl and beaters without a speck of yolk. I don't yet own a stand mixer so I spent several minutes on it with my hand mixer but the results were worth it. My 8 year old daughter helped with it too. Why bother with store bought icing when you can make your own so easily? I can see lots of variations with this basic recipe too as others have mentioned with different extracts and using food color to tint. Fun! Read More
(87)
Rating: 4 stars
01/11/2007
I liked this recipe. It turns out really pretty. It's very white and smooth. I liked the taste of it, it is not too sweet, but my kids didn't. I had them try it before I put it on my son's birthday cake. They didn't like it at all. I used a tip from another review and added 1/4 tsp of almond extract. They would eat it then. I actually like it better with the almond extract too. The 1/4 tsp adds just a hint of almond. I would add more if you are a big almond fan. I liked just the hint. Read More
(84)
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Rating: 5 stars
11/09/2004
Yummy... just what I was looking for! Took a little extra effort than other frostings but mostly just time waiting to whip enough. Not difficult... but just the fluffy tasty frosting for my chocolate cake. Be sure to be patient boiling the sugar though. After a few minutes of boiling little bubbles will appear on the surface. Don't take it off too soon! Read More
(69)
Rating: 5 stars
11/06/2005
This was a successful recipe for me. I made 2-9" rounds of the Black Chocolate Cake (available on this site) and needed something as a filling between the two layers. I used half this recipe and the result looked like a big Oreo cookie-really cute! The key to turning eggwhites into stiff peaks is an impeccably clean mixing bowl and beaters (no fat should remain) and a good electric mixer. My KitchenAid stand mixer with the whisk produced the stiff peaks with no problems and the icing was nice and fluffy. Read More
(59)
Rating: 5 stars
07/27/2007
This frosting is just what i wanted. It has the right sweetness and it looks shiny and fluffy. I used this frosting with a piping bag to decorate 18 chocolate cupcakes. This is truly a heavenly frosting. Read More
(35)
Rating: 2 stars
04/29/2010
I whipped this frosting for about 30 minutes, and still would not stand up when i piped it. Tastes like marshmallows, not so much like icing. My cupcakes turned out alright, but I will probably use a different icing ext time around. EDIT: The next morning the frosting turned into more of a froth... Read More
(32)