Italian Meringue Boiled Icing

chocolate cupcakes with italian meringue boiled icing

Italian meringue (also known as boiled icing) is a fluffy, white frosting for cake and other desserts. It is an incredibly easy 7 minute frosting, The snow white color makes it perfect for wedding cakes and desserts for winter holidays.

7 minute frosting with shredded coconut on a cake

If you could see what the piece of paper that this fluffy boiled icing recipe is written on, you will know that it is used often and well-loved. As a result, it is stained and splotched and crumbled.

What’s the difference between Italian meringue and boiled icing?

Italian meringue is one of my absolute favorite icings because it is light, fluffy, and pure white in color. This frosting is old-fashioned. Because of this, you can find it in old cookbooks under any of these names:

  • Italian meringue
  • boiled icing
  • seven minute frosting
  • cooked vanilla frosting

It is important to note that this cooked frosting is not the same as cooked milk frosting. The reason for this is, because there is no milk in this recipe.

Oh, and for those of you who may be wondering, “What is difference between icing and frosting?”, the answer is pretty simple. For the most part, frosting is thicker and fluffier than icing. Frosting is typically stable enough to use in between cake layers, whereas icing is too thin.

The thing is, this Italian meringue boiled icing IS thick and fluffy! As a result, you will understand why I call it also call it 7 minute frosting.

Why do you cook 7 minute frosting?

The reason that this frosting is cooked is because there are raw egg whites in it. Cooking them over high heat will remove any risk of illness from the bacteria. Additionally, adding hot sugar syrup to whipped egg whites creates a strong, stable, fluffy frosting!

I love the icing on chocolate cake, yellow cake, or underneath a layer of shredded coconut. Sometimes I get crazy and add some coconut extract to really bring out the coconut flavor. It is the perfect frosting to color because the base is so white. I also love it because it is not buttery. Basically, this is marshmallow, without the gelatin, it is the best fluffy frosting that I have ever put in my mouth.

I need to thank my friend Amanda for introducing me to boiled icing, I think of you every time I make it.

Italian meringue ingredients

ingredients to make Italian meringue boiled icing recipe

The ingredients for this 7 minute boiled icing are simple, basic pantry items. Plus, it’s an old fashioned frosting recipe, so you won’t need any special equipment to make it.

  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 2/3 cup water
  • 1/8 teaspoon cream of tartar
  • 3 egg whites
  • pinch salt
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
hot sugar syrup cooking in pan on stove top

In a saucepan combine the sugar and water with a pinch of cream of tartar.

making boiled icing in saucepan

Make sure that when you are cooking the sugar that you do not stir the sugar mixture. It will cause the sugar to crystallize and you don’t want that to happen.

cooking sugar syrup in saucepan for Italian meringue

Boil the sugar until it reaches 245 degrees F.

fluffy white meringue in mixing bowl

Meanwhile, put the egg whites and a pinch of salt in the bowl of a mixer with the whisk attachment. Beat until the egg whites are peaked.

pouring hot sugar syrup into whipped egg whites for 7 minute frosting

Slowly pour the sugar syrup into the egg whites. I mean slowly, this sugar mixture is 245 degrees, you do not want it to splash.

whipping Italian meringue boiled icing in stand mixer

Beat the Italian meringue on medium-high speed for about 7 minutes (hence the name seven minute frosting) or until the sides of the bowl cool down.

Important note: Do NOT over mix Italian meringue! It is possible to beat the egg whites too much. As a result, the frosting will lose its glossy appearance and then start to thin out.

fluffy white icing in mixing bowl and on stand mixer attachment

If you created the perfect 7 minute frosting, it will be light, fluffy, and have a glossy appearance.

adding vanilla extract to fluffy white frosting

Add the vanilla extract and combine on medium speed, just until combined

How do you fix runny Italian meringue boiled icing?

If you notice that your icing isn’t as thick and fluffy as you would like it to be, you may have over beaten the egg whites. You can attempt to stabilize and thicken the boiled icing by mixing in 1/4 teaspoon of meringue powder on medium-high speed for 1 to 2 minutes.

chocolate cupcake with piping bag of italian meringue icing in it

One thing that I also love about this icing is that you can it is recipes that are s’mores inspires. You can use a kitchen torch and burn the outside like a marshmallow to get the s’mores effect. It is absolutely delicious.

kitchen torch burning italian meringue icing on a chocolate cupcake
Italian Meringue Boiled Icing

Italian Meringue Boiled Icing

Yield: 6 cups
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 7 minutes
Additional Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 22 minutes

Italian meringue (also known as boiled icing) is a fluffy, white frosting for cake and other desserts. It is an incredibly easy 7-minute frosting, The snow white color makes it perfect for wedding cakes and desserts for winter holidays.


  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 2/3 cup water
  • 1/8 teaspoon cream of tartar
  • 3 egg whites
  • pinch salt
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla


  1. In a saucepan combine the sugar and water with a pinch of cream of tartar.
  2. Make sure that when you are cooking the sugar that you do not stir the sugar mixture. It will cause the sugar to crystallize and you don’t want that to happen.
  3. Boil the sugar until it reaches 245 degrees.
  4. Meanwhile, put the egg whites and a pinch of salt in the bowl of a mixer with the whisk attachment. Beat until the egg whites are peaked.
  5. Slowly pour the sugar syrup into the egg whites. I mean slowly, this sugar mixture is 245 degrees, you do not want it to splash.
  6. Beat the frosting on high speed for about 7 minutes (hence the name seven minute frosting) or until the sides of the bowl cool down.
  7. The frosting will be light and fluffy.
  8. Add the vanilla extract.
Nutrition Information:
Yield: 6 cups Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 204Total Fat: 0gSaturated Fat: 0gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 0gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 51mgCarbohydrates: 50gFiber: 0gSugar: 50gProtein: 2g

All information and tools presented and written within this site are intended for informational purposes only.

Did you make this recipe?

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italian meringue boiled icing chocolate cupcakes on a platter with white flowers and pink sugar decorations

Oh hey there!

Well, hello there! I’m Bree Hester, the Boston-based blogger and food photographer here at Baked Bree. Here you can get lots of weeknight meal inspiration, eat more plant-based meals, and still indulge in a decadent sweet treat. Baked Bree is a place where you will find great recipes and inspiration for your next family adventure.

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This Post Has 160 Comments

  1. Amanda

    OMG Bree, what I wouldn’t give to have a piece of that cake right now!!! Yum! Looks absolutely delicious!

    1. bakedbree

      Come visit and I will make you one!

      1. Ellie.96

        Hi Bree,
        Is there any way you can tell, if you don’t have a candy thermometer, when it’s done boiling?

      2. Judy Grant

        Bree,do you use corn syrup in this recipe . Thanks

        1. bakedbree

          No I do not.

      3. Juve

        Hello… Done my boiled icing, but the remainig icing in bowl looks like melting when doing my 2nd piping … What is the problem? Is it exposed in air? Or should I get it in ref? Thanks

        1. bakedbree

          It isn’t really piping frosting, and it doesn’t have a long life after you frost it.

  2. Sarita

    Hi Bree,
    I found your blog while looking for a recipe for ice cream cone cupcakes. I am planning on using yours, and I was wondering if this icing recipe would work? My son is really picky about icing- he won’t eat buttercream. He is more of the store icing lover. Would this taste like that? I want to be able to use the icing bag to make them beautiful like the ones you made. Thanks for sharing and all your hard work!

    1. bakedbree

      Hi Sarita, you can use this frosting, but I would make it the day that you are going to serve them. It tastes like marshmallow. I have yet to meet a kid that doesn’t like it.

      1. Chin

        Hi Bree, I’m hoping to use this recipe for the first time to make my birthday cake, do have any other recommendations for me if the frosting becomes to runny

        1. Bree Hester

          If you’ve cooked the sugar to the right temperature, it should not be funny. You also need to whip it until it is cool, the full 7ish minutes.

  3. emily @ the happy home

    i know that coconut cake is traditionally southern, but this Connecticut yankee is ob.sess.ed with it. that frosting looks good enough to just sit down with a spoon and eat! this has been starred in my reader & i can’t wait to try it!

    1. bakedbree

      It is. And I speak from experience. I love coconut cake. It is an Easter tradition.

  4. Emma

    I agree with you! Boiled Icing is my absolute favorite (although for awhile I was calling it wrongly Royal Icing and I’m not sure why). There are some amazing old fashioned frosting recipe’s out there!

    1. bakedbree

      Caramel frosting is amazing too. I need to perfect that before I share it.

  5. Tiffany

    This is my moms favorite icing– haven’t tried it yet, but you’ve inspired me 🙂

    1. bakedbree

      mine and my grandmother’s too!

  6. Lori @ Girl Meets Oven

    I’ve always been intimated by boiled icing, but your instructions make it seem less scary. I’ll have to give this a try sometime. Thanks for sharing it.

    1. bakedbree

      It really is not scary. Just make sure to get your sugar hot enough.

  7. Laura from White Fluffy Icing

    I love white fluffy icing so much that I named my food blog after it. What a fantastic post and scrumptious pictures!! Wow.


    1. bakedbree

      what a great name for a blog!

      1. Laura from White Fluffy Icing

        I was actually thinking the same about Baked Bree. Ha!

        Are you on Twitter, by chance?


        1. bakedbree

          why yes I am! @bakedbree

  8. Lee

    Hi Bree, This sure looks good, But I am confused..
    The ingredients say 1/8 tsp cream of tartar
    the instruction calls for using a pinch?
    Did you mean ?for the pinch of salt to be boiled
    Sorry I just want it to be clear to me…thanks

    1. bakedbree

      The pinch of cream of tartar goes in the sugar and the pinch of salt goes into the egg whites.

      1. rhiya

        Oh I put the cream of tartar in the egg whites, may I know the reason why it should be in the sugar ma’am ?

        1. bakedbree

          Because Emeril Lagasse said to do it that way and he wrote the recipe. 🙂

          1. Marjorie Young

            You can put it in the sugar and the clear vanilla too. Emerald is great but you can move things the way u like it.

        2. Bakerina

          Cream of tartar helps to keep the sugar syrup from crystallizing. Most icings and candies that start with a cooked sugar syrup call for cream of tartar, corn syrup, or lemon juice to be added to the sugar and water. 🙂

  9. Ann

    Just made a cake & cupcakes and topped them with this frosting. YUM! A new household hit. 🙂 Thank you, Bree.

    1. bakedbree

      You are welcome Ann!

  10. cakenikki

    Hey thank you for the recipe, I really would like to try it but I need to know if it stands up well in humidity I live in the Caribbean and humidity is always an issue for icings and frostings, how does this recipe hold up in heat.

    Look forward to your response.

    1. bakedbree

      I am not sure to be honest with you. I do know that it should be eaten the day that it is made.

  11. eleise

    I luv this icing and was raised on it…
    My grandmother used to make it from scratch and my mom use a boxed version of it and I think it was made by Jiffy which till this day i will never forgive for taking it off the market .I also se many people still looking for it and the box version was JIFFY …BRING IT BACK BRING IR BACK

    1. bakedbree

      I had no idea that there was a Jiffy version.

      1. Grams Phillips

        Actually, this recipe is over 150 years old. I have an original recipe written by my great grandmother that has the same ingredients and basic instructions. No candy thermometers back then. A cold water check was used. The recipe is stored in my family Bible that is also the same age.

  12. Debbie

    Grew up on both of scratch and Jiffy versions of this icing. I still make the cooked version for special occasions.

    And we always died it green at Easter one year we would have with green coconut and the next we wouldn’t but we always “hid” jelly beans in it on our Easter Cakes. I hated coconut but coconut was my sister’s favorite so our mom switched it out.

    1. bakedbree

      What a cute idea! I have never had the Jiffy kind, I wish that I had, it sounds good.

  13. Janelle

    I’m making this right now, but without a candy thermometer! I’m just going to eyeball it… how long do you usually boil the icing for & at what temperature? I’ll make sure you link you up when I post it to my blog. 🙂 Thanks for the recipe.

    1. bakedbree

      I boil it over medium-medium high heat. Maybe 5-7 minutes?

      1. Christine

        My family has been making this frosting for years. Here is a tip for those who do not have a thermometer to check the temp: when the mixture has been boiling for a few minutes (and you can see that the sugar is disolved) take a fork and give a stir of the mixture ( do not touch the sides of the pan) gently lift the fork straight up with the tines facing down (bring the fork up to about eye level over the pan). You will see drops of the mixture forming on the end of the tines. Watch as the drops release from the tines – when you see a fine thread form and hang from a tine the mixture is ready to add to the whipped egg whites. I usually do this a few times (quick stir and look for a thread) just to make sure that I have a good “thread”. They can be short threads or as long as 3 or so inches (very thin and delicate) I usually take it off the heat when it has a bit longer thread. If you don’t see a thread form it isn’t ready…

        Hope this helps somebody!!

        1. Mona

          Thanks! This is an easy method!

          1. bakedbree

            It’s my favorite.

  14. Row

    I’m making my daughter’s birthday cake and she wanted pink icing on her cake. Can I add food color to this icing? Also, you think it would go well with a red velvet cake? This recipe looks yummy. Thanks.

    1. bakedbree

      Yes, it will be a pale pink and perfect on a red velvet cake.

  15. eriqa

    Hello Bree,

    I would just want to ask if I can use confectioner’s sugar instead of plain sugar? I had made an icing that just look exactly like this before in my baking class but it was called royal icing. but when i search of it now, royal icing seems to be the icing that turns very hard as candy. And before i remember we using a confectioner’s sugar for it. but the one we made before is not hard at all even after it cools it remained soft and like that in the picture and it tastes like marshmallow. So i am now confused which recipe to follow. the royal icing or this boiled icing. We used it before to cover a cake. Will the icing you made be able to cover a cake? and will not turn hard as candy ?

    Thank you sorry for lots of questions.

    1. bakedbree

      No, they are completely difference frostings. Royal icing gets rock hard, and is used for decorating cookies, etc… Boiled icing is a fluffy icing for cakes.

  16. Adrian O'Toole

    Made this boiling icing but its a little brown when you say light corn syrup do you mean the colour as in white corn syrup.

    1. bakedbree

      Yes, it is a clear product, so the frosting should be bright white.

  17. Raven

    Do you think this would hold up well as a filling inside cupcakes?

    1. bakedbree


  18. deb anderson

    i do not have cream of tarter,now what….helpl!!!!!

    1. bakedbree

      I am not sure, it stabilizes the eggs.

    2. Kathleen Lesly

      You can use a small pinch of baking powder. It worked perfectly here in Ecuador.

      1. bakedbree

        Good to know, thanks!

  19. Stay-At-Home-Chef

    Sooooo happy I found your recipe. I’ve been pulling my hair out trying to test a cookbook full of mistakes. Finally I found the proper way to make this type of frosting! THANK YOU 🙂

    1. bakedbree

      You are welcome. I make this frosting all the time and it is fool proof. I made it 3 times last week!

  20. Brittny

    I want to try out this boiled icing, but am a bit intimidated.
    Is this icing thick enough to pipe roses onto cupcakes, will it hold it’s shape? I have to make rose cupcakes, but I wanted to try an icing that wasn’t as heavy as an American buttercream.
    Thank you:)

    1. bakedbree

      It is just like marshmallow fluff. It will hold a soft shape, but for roses I would use something sturdier.

  21. ِAntoine Aswad

    Can we use it on Christmas cake??? & what will happen if we keep it to dry???

  22. ِAntoine Aswad

    Can we use it for the Christmas Cake??? & how will it look like when it dries.

    Antoine Aswad

    1. bakedbree

      What is Christmas Cake?

      1. CJ

        Usually, Christmas cake, (fruit cake) is made with royal icing, and has a layer of marzipan underneath. Here in the states, we usually just have non-iced fruit cake. No reason this would not work for a Christmas cake, and would be a twist on most European versions. Just remember though, icing does not hold up as long as royal does, so eat that fruit cake fast.

  23. Amy W.

    How many cups does this recipe make?

    1. bakedbree

      I don’t know, 6? Enough to ice a 2 layer cake.

  24. sophia

    i have tried to make this frosting but it comes out not too fluffy and also runny is it because an using a hand mixer in stead of a kitchen aid where did i go wrong

    1. bakedbree

      If you are using a hand mixer, I would do it over a double boiler. Or your sugar is not hot enough.

  25. Kudzu

    just like my granny made, thank you!

    1. bakedbree

      You are very welcome! Love this recipe!

  26. linh

    Hi, I live i Houston where it’s pretty humid. I know you said that it’s best to make it the day that it’s served. Is it okay to refrigerate it for a few hours also and do you have any suggestions on how to get it to be more stiff to withstand Texas’ humidity?

    1. bakedbree

      I would not refrigerate this, it might sweat. I don’t really think that there is a fix except for not making it when it is really humid.

  27. doris ann anuada

    Hi Bree,

    I have a little problem here.. im using a hand mixer only and it doesnt have a wire whisk.. will the regular beater do for this kind of icing in beating the egg whites?

    1. bakedbree

      I am not sure if this is the best method for this frosting. You probably should do the double boiler method instead.

  28. Rannie

    Hi, Bree! Uuhhmm.. How strong is the fire while boiling the syrup? Low, medium or high? I hope you reply..

    1. bakedbree

      It doesn’t matter as long as it boils. I like medium-high.

  29. rhonda halsell

    This is called ‘Snow on the Mountain” icing. My mother taught me how to make it years ago. It is her favorite and I made it for her birthday cake. Looked all around the internet to find recipe. Finally just took a chance on my memory. Turned out perfect! And the trick without the candy thermometer works. You have to boil mixture long enough and hot enough to candy.

    1. bakedbree

      Glad you found it again.

  30. Peter

    Hello bree!

    Is this good for countries where it is hot. Can it hold its form and not melt? And how long will it last?

    1. bakedbree

      It is best eaten the day it is made. As for heat, I don’t know for sure.

  31. cristina celestra

    hi…i’ve tried this recipe and it really worked. I loved this fluffy icing. Thanks for sharing.

    1. bakedbree

      You are welcome!

  32. Rene

    Hi Bree,
    Can you please suggest egg substitute for this frosting recipe? Thanks!

    1. bakedbree

      I would substitute the eggs. The egg whites are the base of this recipe and what stabilizes the icing. I’d probably use a buttercream if you are avoiding eggs.

  33. Liz

    Hi Bree,

    I’ve been trying to make this icing with a recipe which adds coffee granules at the sugar syrup stage, and I’ve tried substituting the water at the sugar syrup stage with black coffee, however when it boils, it forms a skin on top. Do you think it would be better to add flavours at the end, or it’s fine to do it during the syrup stage? Have you experimented with this at all?

    Thanks! I’m hoping to use this coffee frosting for my sister’s wedding cake!

    1. bakedbree

      I have not experimented, but I would add flavor at the end.

  34. Edith

    Hi Bree,
    Can i use this icing to make roses ? if yes , do you think the flowers will hold it’s shape?Thanks!!

    1. bakedbree

      No I don’t. This is not a decorating icing at all. It is the consistency of marshmallow fluff.

  35. Debra Morgan

    Similar to my grandmother’s recipe. 1 Cup sugar, 1/3 cup water, 1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar. Stir these ingredients then heat on med on stove. Leave alone until mixture reaches soft ball stage. Meanwhile beat 2 room temp egg whites until peaks form. Quarter 8 regular marshmallows ( 1 cup miniature). As soon as mixture reaches soft ball stage, remove from heat and throw in marshmallows. Immediately pour slowly in rotating egg whiles. Marshmallows will melt while beating with egg whites. Add 1 teaspoon vanilla. Beat till icing holds its shape. Could be 3-5 min. I never needed to beat 7 minutes . You can pour on cake or cupcakes immediately. Makes great frosting for 2 layer coconut cake or 13×9 sheet.

  36. Kemi

    Hi Bree, Just wanted to let you know that I’ve been using this frosting lately on a gluten free coconut cake I make for my extended family. Yes your directions have made it seem a lot less daunting. Comes out perfect every time and just enough to cover the three layer cake. My husband loves it! Thank you!

    1. bakedbree

      I am so glad! I love this frosting too. It is my favorite on chocolate cake.

  37. Rita

    Hi Bree. I make boiled frosting every year on a lemon poppy seed cake for my own birthday because it is my favorite. Couldn’t figure out why it turned out sometimes and not others. I never used a thermometer, just the thread test. I think it is the stirrring issue. Actually making it today!! Happy Birthday to me!!! Thanks for clearing that up for me. Will also use the thermometer.

    1. bakedbree

      I’m happy to help. If you stir the sugar it will crystalize and not give you a smooth syrup. I hope that is works for you.

  38. Kiki

    Hello Bree,
    I came across with your site while searching for ideas for my son’s birthday cake, and absolutely fell in love with your funfetti cake and this fluffy boiled icing! Both of them! Do you think the two will get along well if I put the boiled icing over a funfetti cake? Thank you for all the great postings, I will be visiting often!

    1. bakedbree


  39. cherryleml

    Hi Bree

    I was searching the web for this icing my aunt used to make for me as a reward before I was even old enough to go to school! 🙂 I love this icing, it’s so versatile and very good for decoration too. I am now compiling recipes of everything my aunt taught me which I have been doing blindly all these years.

    Thank you, Bree. I can now pass this on to my son who’s soon off to uni! Yes, both my kids love cakes as I do, and the little girl begs to leave her some to lick clean from the mixing bowl. Just like I used to do!

    1. bakedbree

      That is so sweet! Love family recipes. This is my absolute favorite frosting ever.

  40. Mariquiat Marikit

    hi Bree…so thankful i hit this page…been looking for it awhile…i’d been using this kind but forgot…now i have it again…oh can form flowers but not for long…needs perfect timing on the sugar….tnksss….

    1. bakedbree

      You are welcome! This is my favorite frosting.

  41. Geraldine Stevens

    try your 7 minutes frosting, and I just love it. I am using it on my cake that I do for birthday and wedding. Thank you so much

    1. bakedbree

      You’re welcome. It is my FAVORITE frosting. I haven’t made it in awhile, I need to.

  42. Alvier Remollo

    Is this good for chiffon cake?

    1. bakedbree

      It would be perfect. It’s super light and fluffy.

  43. RIA

    Hi Bree! Thanks so much, I wish I can send you a pic of what I did, thank you for your recioe, it turned out so good, first time I did it. But may I ask, how many days will it last if I make it day before my son’s baptism, will it still be okay the next day?

    1. bakedbree

      I like to eat this the day it’s made. It doesn’t stay marshmallowy, it gets sort of a crust on it. I’m glad that it worked for you!

    2. Mama Melyn

      After mt first boiled icing, made it several times already. In my observation, when the sugar is cooked longer it it will have crusts on it the following day. However, if the sugar is cooked just right, it will stay marshmallowy longer but do not undercooked it as it will gets watery. 🙂 Those are just my observations.

      1. bakedbree

        Thanks for sharing that!

  44. Ntxhiav

    Hello, is it possible to mix this icing with a blender if I don’t have a electric mixer? I wanted to make sugar cookies with this icing on it, but didn’t want to mix it by hand as it takes too long.

    1. bakedbree

      No, I don’t think that it will work.

  45. Kay

    In your recipe you have it where you add the Cream of Tarter to the sugar mixture and the salt to the egg whites. I believe it is the other way around.

    1. bakedbree

      Ok. I’ve been making this recipe for years and years. It is an old Emeril Lagasse recipe, and I double checked, this is how he makes it, so I’m going to say that it’s right.

  46. Ernest Dupuis

    If I do NOT have a candy them. how long do I cook,or Hoe Else can I tell it’s ready ?

    1. bakedbree

      I think that you can do the ball test. But truthfully, I don’t think that I would make this without a thermometer.

  47. Ernie Dupuis

    Dose this recipe (boil frosting) need to be refrigerated ?

    1. bakedbree

      No, I would not put it in the fridge.

  48. Neha deo

    Hey bree,
    Can we use gelatin instead of cream of tartar, because where i live, i cannot get cream of tartar but i get unflavoured gelatin

    1. bakedbree

      I have never tried that substitution, so I can’t say for sure. Sorry!


    All my aunts and my mother called this recipe Boiled Frosting, with the boiling syrup poured onto the meringue while continuing to run the mixer on high. It can be cranky especially if cooked too long, or if it is too humid. It can get hard but not as hard as royal. If cooked past soft ball, you end up with divinity candy, which is wonderful stuff. Sometimes, it is runny then you just ladle it on the cake slowly. The version with the sugar, water and corn syrup in the double boiler and whipped for 7 minutes is Seven Minute Frosting and is more like marshmallows. Very. fluffy and shiny.

    Cream of tartar is essential to get a good meringue with lots of shine. I always just put the salt and Cream of tartar in the egg whites. Egg whites of course should be at room temp before beating them.

  50. Jennifer

    Mine turned to soup when I poured it in.. no saving that and I followed exact directions.

    1. bakedbree

      I would check your candy thermometer. I’ve made this recipe hundreds of times and have never had that happen. Sorry!

    2. Kitty

      The instructions don’t say it but you need to keep beating the egg whites on high while pouring the hot syrup slowly into the bowl. This might be where things went wrong for you.

  51. Barbara Owens

    Would I be able to use Splenda Granuals in place of sugar?

    1. bakedbree

      I am doubtful that it would work.

  52. Liz Lambton

    Hi, this icing sounds great. Could you make it chocolate flavour and if so which would be best to add, melted chocolate or cocoa powder?
    Looking forward to trying it.

    1. bakedbree

      I’d try a little cocoa powder, maybe 2 tablespoons or 1/4 cup tops.

  53. Kate

    Cups you double this batch and it still turn out ok?!

    1. bakedbree

      I don’t know to be honest, but it wouldn’t in my mixer. It would not fit, it gets pretty big.

  54. O.T.

    Also known as Italian meringue 😉

  55. Pingback: A Dozen Uses For Leftover Egg Whites

  56. Henrianna Pearce

    Now I will have to make a cake to put this on or just eat it by its self.

    1. bakedbree

      Yes you do! And I’ve also just eaten it straight from the bowl.

  57. Kristen

    This icing came out perfectly! I topped fresh strawberry cupcakes with it for a birthday celebration. And had enough left over to give someone a bowl of it to eat as well as top a coffee with some. No adjustments were necessary for the recipe at all.

    1. bakedbree

      I’m so glad!

  58. Sedonia

    So bree you really don’t have to use 1/8 teaspoon of cream of tartar just a pinch will do, please clarify thank you.

    1. bakedbree

      Ok, use a pinch.

  59. Nancy Rose Harrar

    Can this icing be placed between two cake layers? Would it hold up, or just squish out the sides? Thanks!

    1. Bree Hester

      It’s like marshmallow fluff, it’s very light, it will probably squish out the sides.

  60. Tammy McClellan

    I love your recipe because you state how long to cook the sugar and not to stir it – where the others did not. They only stated to boil and cool 1-2 min. My first attempt of 7 min Frosting was with the double broiler/egg white method – it was great and was very firm but turned grainy later in the day. Then I wanted to try an alternative to using egg whites. I decided to use a recipe similar to yours using Meringue Powder and water in place of the egg whites… and using corn syrup instead of cream of tartar . It turned out great and didn’t turn grainy….even the next day! But it started to sag a bit off the side of the cake (unlike my first recipe) and I believe it was because I didn’t boil the sugar properly. I’m sure that will do the trick! Thank you! I also used more meringue powder than the other recipes called for. I couldn’t get the peaks and had to redo it 3x! I used 1/2 cup water to “4 Tbs “Meringue Powder which is the same amount in the Royal Icing recipe . (I found “3 Tbs” Meringue Powder is not enough to get the peaks).

    1. Bree Hester

      I am glad it works so well for you – just a note though – this is a not a frosting to use if you aren’t going to eat your cake relatively soon after you frost it. It does not hold up well and isn’t meant for that. If you want a cake you can frost and hold for awhile, use a traditional buttercream.

  61. Viddi M. Fajardo

    Why is that that my boiled icing turned out to be runny?

    1. Bree Hester

      You may not have whipped your egg whites enough. Or you didn’t whip the mixture until it was cool and tried to use it before it was ready? There are a lot of factors as to why, I’d start over and it give it another try.

  62. Carol

    I’ve always made 7 minute frosting over a double boiler and not cooking the sugar syrup first. Do you know if the frostings are the same and have the same properties?

    1. Bree Hester

      Yes, they are the same, but there is more than one way to make it.

  63. Surati

    Can I make this and frost a chocolate cake , and then refrigerate the whole frosted cake till ready to serve in few hours later ? Will the frosting hold well ?

    1. Bree Hester

      Not in the fridge. It will hold at room temperature for a day.

  64. Vera

    I’m not a talented baker, so I need very specific instructions. This icing recipe turned out perfectly! Thank you! for such a great recipe!!

    1. Bree Hester

      Excellent! I am so glad that this worked for you! I love it on chocolate cake.

  65. Miles

    I made this frosting and it turned out great at first, nice texture and very easy to work with. Even put it between layers of cake and it was fine. But a few hours later the sugar formed crystals and the frosting ended up gritty. Any idea what went wrong? I followed the recipe closely.

    1. Bree Hester

      This isn’t a frosting that is made to last a really long time, but it should last longer than that. That has never happened to me, I am so sorry that I can’t be more helpful. If I had to guess, I would say to make sure that your thermometer is calibrated to make sure your sugar temp was correct.

  66. Jim Bob

    I am a native Houstonian and have lived on South Pacific jungle islands. Houston makes the islands seem blissfully dry and comfortable. My mother made boiled icing
    exclusively. I have made boiled icing from the jungle to the desert and it is a never fail for me.

  67. Sheng

    Hello! Is there any other ingredient to use if I don’t have cream of tartar?

    1. Bree Hester

      Try a little lemon juice or white vinegar.

  68. Becky T

    Hi Bree,

    I made this frosting on Sunday and now today (Wednesday) it is all crystallized. Is there anything that can be done to fix it? I’m going to scrape it off the cake and repurpose the cake into truffles, I’m just wondering if there is anything that can be done with the frosting. Any help would be appreciated. I just read above that it is not a good idea to refrigerate the cake after it is frosted, could that have caused the crystallization?


    1. Bree Hester

      No. This is not a frosting that is designed for longevity. If you need something like that, use a buttercream. It will crystalize because it’s cooked sugar – humidity, temperature, all of these things will break it down.

  69. Joanne Iovine

    Bree, I want to use this icing for cupcakes. Did you run into any problems piping it? Did the “swirls” hold their shape?

    1. Bree Hester

      I can’t really say. It is essentially a whipped marshmallow, but if it’s hot it could melt.

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