Thursday, June 11, 2009

Seven-Minute Icing

My mom's been telling me about seven-minute icing for years: how easy it is, how classic it is, how light and fluffy it is, and how CHEAP it is since it doesn't include butter. So, even though I'm very attached to piping buttercream on cakes, last week I took the opportunity to whip some up (hello, obvious pun).

True to its reputation, is was easy and fast. I was really excited to put it on my Oreo fudge cake, since the chocolate cake and its filling of fudge and crushed Oreos is quite rich, and the seven-minute icing was a lighter alternative to buttercream (even though nobody complains about buttercream, trust me!). It also was perfect on Oreo cupcakes - the ones with whole Oreos baked into them! - and good ole white cake with sprinkles. One word of warning: if you're frosting a cake with a moist filling, like the Oreo fudge cake, take care to refrigerate the cake overnight before serving in order to prevent the filling from leaking out and the cake from sliding when transported.

It turns out that seven-minute frosting is basically marshmallow without gelatin and corn or agave syrup, so the process is quite familiar to me. Beat the egg whites, make a syrup, and beat the syrup into the whites. Et voilà!

I have to admit that I was spurred on to make this icing by two friends who separately sent this recipe to me - and who happen to be married to each other, by the way. How could I not make it after that lovely coincidence? This whimsical and pretty treat is a sweet tribute to my friends. Who apparently associate me with cupcakes.

Seven-Minute Icing
from King Arthur Flour

2 large egg whites
1 C sugar
1/4 tsp cream of tartar
1/3 C water
1/8 tsp salt
1 tsp vanilla extract

Prepare icing once cake or cupcakes are completely cooled and you are ready to frost them.

Beat the egg whites in a stand mixer until they are foamy and thick; they should mound in the bowl without holding a peak. Set aside while you prepare the syrup.

Combine the sugar, cream of tartar, water, and salt in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil, stirring frequently until the sugar is dissolved.

Begin to beat the egg whites again, immediately pouring the sugar syrup into the mixing bowl in a slow stream while the mixing continues. As you beat, the mixture will thicken. Once all the syrup is added, stir in the vanilla and continue to beat until the icing is thick and will hold a peak.

Immediately spoon the hot icing onto the cooled cake/cupcakes, swirling decoratively (that's the funnest part!). Decorate with sprinkles, cookie crumbs, etc.

One recipe is enough to frost 2 dozen cupcakes.


  1. Your cupcakes look gorgeous! They look much better than those on the KA site. :o)

  2. Thanks, Mary! Totally due to yours and T's influence!