Seven Minute Frosting Recipe

| March 11, 2013 | 30 Comments

Seven Minute Frosting Recipe
Follow the easy step-by-step, photo illustrated instructions for our Seven Minute Frosting Recipe.  You’re sure to love this old fashioned frosting recipe that’s so easy to make.  It’s light, marshmallow fluffy texture is, a quick and easy change from all those butter cream frostings you’ve been making.  Leave it plain, color it or, add a little flavoring for a frosting you can have ready to eat… in seven minutes.


Seven Minute Frosting Recipe
Seven Minute Frosting Recipe:


I have to admit, I love Buttercream Frosting in all of its sweet goodness but, sometimes, its nice to enjoy something a bit different.  Today, we step back to days of old for this truly old fashioned, light and fluffy, meringue frosting.

Seven Minute Frosting is a truly unique taste that should bring back many memories of those cakes and cupcakes your mom, grandmother or favorite aunt might have made.  It’s light, fluffy like marshmallow cream texture, isn’t real sweet but, it does have that sugar kick to it.  You can easily add a little food coloring to use it for all types of cakes and cupcakes and, you can even add a little flavoring to kick up the taste a notch.

I’m going to use this Seven Minute Frosting, along with some coconut, for a classic style Coconut Cake just to show you some of its versatility.

Wait… my mind just flashed back to days of “pieing” when, the Three Stooges and Soupy Sales use to toss pies all across the room in some hilarious food fight scenes.  Remember those?  I’m not suggesting you use this recipe for that though.  But, it IS plenty versatile.

You’ll find many variations for making Seven Minute Frosting in older cookbooks and across the Internet.  Many call for making it in a double boiler but, we’ll do it without one today.  It’s very simple and, it really does only take about 7 minutes to make it.  Spread it on cake layers, sheet cakes, cupcakes and more for a traditional type frosting that isn’t going to taste like every other cake at the local Bake Sale.

Ready to give it a try?  Grab the hand mixer then and… Let’s Get Cooking!


Seven Minute Frosting, ingredients.
Seven Minute Frosting Recipe:  You’ll need these ingredients… plus… a pinch of salt.


Seven Minute Frosting, add water.
Begin by placing the water in a small sauce pan.


Seven Minute Frosting, add sugar.
Add the sugar but, don’t stir it.  I just swirled it around a time or two as I moved it over to the stove.

Place the sauce pan with the water and sugar on Medium-High heat on your stove top.  DO NOT STIR.  Don’t ask me why not… I’m sorry, I don’t really have that answer but, it’s what most recipes suggest.  The sugar and water will make a syrup that needs to come up to 238º as it cooks on your stove top before adding it, in a small stream, to the egg whites.  You can let it begin to cook while we separate the eggs in the next steps below.  Just remember to watch it carefully so it doesn’t begin to burn.


Seven Minute Frosting, separate the egg whites and yolks.
Separate the egg whites from the egg yolks.  Its always best to do this using two bowls, in case a yolk happens to break.  Just saying it MIGHT happen sometimes… like in the photo above, for me.


Seven Minute Frosting, egg whites in bowl.
Place the Egg Whites in a large bowl.  Yes, a LARGE bowl.  I thought I was good with this one but, as it turned out, it wasn’t big enough once I started whipping them up.  Now I have another dish to wash.  Sigh.

TIP:  Make sure the bowl and the beaters of your mixer are clean and free of any grease.  Many folks will wash them in vinegar and then rinse them before beating egg whites.  Any grease film in the bowl or, on the beaters, could keep the egg whites from increasing in volume as much as possible.


Seven Minute Frosting, add cream of tartar.
Add the Cream of Tartar.


Seven Minute Frosting, add a pinch of salt.
Add a pinch of Salt.  A pinch might just be a couple of good shakes from a salt dispenser.  It’s not an accurate measurment so don’t fret about it.


Seven Minute Frosting, beat on high speed.
Use a mixer and beat the egg whites on high speed until they form soft peaks.


Seven Minute Frosting, soft peaks.
It doesn’t take long to reach this point.  The egg whites will be just firm enough that soft peaks form when you lift the beaters out of the mixture.


Seven Minute Frosting, sugar cooking.
The sugar should be bolling pretty good by this point.  Use a candy thermometer if you have one and bring the mixture up to 238º.  You can also use a glass of cool water to test the sugar.  Use a wooden spoon and let a few drops of the sugar mixture drip into the glass of water.  If it forms a ball by the time it hits the bottom of the glass, it’s done.  Be ready to start adding it to the egg whites once it reaches this point.  If it cooks too long, it may start to brown and caramelize or burn.


Seven Minute Frosting, add sugar in a slow stream.
Carefully add the hot sugar syrup into the egg whites while you are beating them on high speed.  This part can be a bit tricky so proceed with caution.  You don’t want to get any of the syrup on your hands because it’s very HOT.  A stand mixer might be easier to work with but you don’t need one.  Just pour a very small stream of the sugar syrup into the egg whites and continue to beat them as you go.

I suggest you also not have any children around while you do this.  Believe it or not, the sugar could hit the beaters and fly out as sharp shards if you’re not really careful.  You also don’t want to get any of it on your mixer while you’re doing this.  It sticks like crazy glue and I may or may not still have to figure out how to get it off my mixer.  I didn’t see that one coming while trying to take the pictures.  Camera is safe though.  Whew!


Seven Minute Frosting, add vanilla.
As you can see, I switched to a larger bowl before adding the sugar syrup.  After about 5 minutes of adding the syrup, I added the Vanilla Extract.


Seven Minute Frosting, firm peaks.
Whip it up another minute or so and you should see some fairly firm peaks form in the mixture.  You’ll need to work with it quickly from here on out as it may firm up even more.  Weather and humidity can have various effects on making Seven Minute Frosting.  Your room should be cool and not overly warm or hot and, a dry day is better than a humid or rainy day.


Seven Minute Frosting, frosting the layers.
You can use Seven Minute Frosting between layers or, just as a frosting for the outside of your cake or cupcakes.  You could add the frosting then, add some type of fruit filling between layers if you like.  Being a meringue type of frosting, soft and fluffy, it doesn’t really hold up thick between layers like a buttercream or cream cheese type frosting will.

I used this to make a coconut cake so I added some flaked coconut on top of the frosting before adding the next layer.


Seven Minute Frosting, frosting the layers.
Frost the outside and top of the layers as desired.


Seven Minute Frosting, frosted cake.
I used the frosting sort of as a crumb coat on my four layer cake.  These are 9 inch layers and I spread a good amount of frosting between each layer.  A slightly smaller layered cake or sheet cake would probably allow more frosting for the outside which can be swirled around into a really neat design.  I’m adding coconut so that wasn’t what I was looking for.  You do believe me don’t you?


Seven Minute Frosting, adding the coconut.
See… I’m adding coconut to the top of the cake.  Then, I had great fun taking handfuls of cocnut and throwing it all around the sides of the cake.  The frosting is soft and the coconut clings to it pretty well.  Once I was finished “playing,” I removed the parchment paper from the base of my cake and things looked a lot cleaner around the bottom.


Seven Minute Frosting, serve and enjoy.
Look good?  I wish I could share it with you because I think it turned out very well… if I must say so myself.

Seven Minute Frosting doesn’t care too much for the refrigerator despite the fact that it has egg whites in it.  Place it on a covered cake plate and leave it on the counter over night for serving the next day or so.  It also doesn’t freeze very well so keep that in mind if you plan to try the recipe.

It’s just one of those old fashioned favorites, from days gone by that, you should try at least once if you’ve never had it.  I think you’ll be well pleased with the results.  As for the egg whites, if that concerns you, use pasteurized eggs in making it.

Seven Minute Frosting makes a delicious Coconut Cake, Pineapple Cake or many other types of cake. It can also be used strictly by itself to frost your favorite cake.  It’s truly a classic and, well worth trying and adding to your recipe collection.  It’s also a very pleasant change of taste after having so many butter cream and cream cheese type frosting these days.  Like I said, I love them all but, I’m willing to continue the old traditions as well.  It’s what Taste of Southern is all about.



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Seven Minute Frosting Recipe on Taste of

Seven Minute Frosting Recipe

  • Author: Steve Gordon
  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Cook Time: 7 minutes
  • Total Time: 12 minutes
  • Yield: 16 Slices 1x
  • Category: Desserts
  • Method: Refrigerator
  • Cuisine: American


Follow the easy step-by-step, photo illustrated instructions for our Seven Minute Frosting Recipe. You’re sure to love this old fashioned frosting recipe that’s so easy to make. It’s light, marshmallow fluffy texture is, a quick and easy change from all those butter cream frostings you’ve been making. Leave it plain, color it or, add a little flavoring for a frosting you can have ready to eat… in seven minutes.



  • 4 Egg Whites
  • 1 cup Sugar
  • 1 cup Water
  • 1/2 teaspoon Cream of Tartar
  • 1 teaspoon Vanilla Extract
  • Pinch of Salt


  1. Place water in a small sauce pan.
  2. Add Sugar but, do not stir.
  3. Place saucepan over medium-high heat, bring to 238º.
  4. While sugar is cooking, separate the egg whites from the yolks. Save yolks for use later.
  5. Place the egg whites in a large mixing bowl.
  6. Add the Cream of Tartar.
  7. Add the pinch of Salt.
  8. Use a blender, on high speed and beat egg whites until they form soft peaks.
  9. When sugar syrup reaches 238º, slowly add, in a small stream, to the egg whites.
  10. Continue to beat the egg whites on high speed while adding all the sugar syrup over about a 5 minute period of time. Careful, the sugar syrup is very hot.
  11. Add the Vanilla Extract and beat another minute or so to incorporate the vanilla. Continue to beat only as long as needed to form firm peaks.
  12. Work quickly to spread over cake as the egg whites may continue to firm up and set.
  13. Enjoy!


If concerned about using egg whites, use pasteurized eggs to make the frosting. Frosted cakes and cupcakes are best stored covered, on the counter. It doesn’t like the refrigerator because of the moisture and doesn’t freeze very well at all.

Keywords: Seven Minute Frosting Recipe, 7 minute frosting, icing, coconut, pineapple, made from scratch, southern recipes, old fashioned


Your Comments:  Have you ever made or tried Seven Minute Frosting?  Does it bring back memories for you?  I’d love to hear your comments on our recipe.  It only takes a minute or two to share your experience with our recipes or maybe some memories you might have of it from days gone by.  It could help some of our readers in their decision to try it.  We’d love to hear from you in the section below.  Please remember, all of your comments are moderated.  That means that I personally read each and every one before it’s approved for our family-friendly site.  I also try to respond to as many of your replies as possible so be sure to check back soon for that as well.

Subscribe to our Newsletter:  If you like what you see, please submit your Email address in the box below or at the top right hand side of each page here on Taste of Southern.  I send out a short Newsletter each time we add a new recipe or anything else that might be taking place on our site.  It’s a great reminder for you to keep in touch and we will not share your information with anyone else.  So, do it now and keep up to date with life at Taste of Southern.  I hope you’ll tell your family and friends about us and I’ll look forward to seeing you again soon.

Be Blessed!!!


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Category: Desserts

About the Author ()

Award Winning Food Preservationist, Fisherman, Author of three cookbooks. "From Mama's Big Oval Table, From Mama's Big Oval Table - BOOK TWO and Carolina Christmas Sweets and Appetizers." Online Contributor to Our State Magazine Newsletter.

Comments (30)

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  1. Shawna Ellis says:

    This recipe was posted several years ago, but I wanted to comment. I lost my go-to white icing recipe which I had been using for many years to make coconut cakes at Christmas. It had been called “seven minute cloud icing.” This is the closest to my old recipe that I’ve found. Thank you! Just wanted to add that I make the frosting as directed until finished, then whip in a 16 ounce container of sour cream to cut the sweetness. It destroys the structural integrity of the frosting, so is only good for when cakes are in a deep foil pan, not double round cakes. But I already have my coconut cakes in a foil pan since I poke holes in it and pour over a can of coconut milk to moisten it. This frosting with the sour cream added is the perfect topping for this!

    Thanks again for the recipe.

    • Steve Gordon says:

      Hi Shawna, Thank you for sharing your comments with us. I’ve never tried this frosting using sour cream, but I bet it’s good. Thank you for the suggestion, and thank you for mentioning that it doesn’t hold up to frosting a layer cake. Good advice. I do appreciate your visit and I hope you’ll visit with us often. Be Blessed!!! -Steve

  2. Barbara Wilson says:

    This recipe was the only one my precious mama ever used! It was always so special and she also would bake angel food cakes and use this icing! It is beautiful and really good for Easter! I bought some marzipan frosting and I am going to make a green coconut nest on top and make the Easter eggs out of the marizpan and use food coloring to make the different colors! Thanks for bringing back wonderful memories of my childhood!

    • Steve Gordon says:

      Hi Barbara, It’s my pleasure to share the recipes and I’m glad this one brought back some good memories for you. Your cake sounds great and I hope it turns out well for you. Thank you for sharing your memories with us. I appreciate your visit and do hope you’ll stop by again… real soon. Be Blessed!!! -Steve

  3. Shawna says:

    This is the same recipe as my mother passed on to me and which she used for coconut cakes. It was called “7 minute cloud icing” in the newspaper clippings she had. I always found it too sweet, even as a child. Wanting to make a coconut cake and experimenting around with it led me to use this as a “base” for a sour cream frosting I now use for coconut cakes which are very well received. I make as directed then add sour cream to taste and who a little longer. Adding the sour cream makes it far too gloopy to frost the traditional way, but I make my coconut cake in a deep 13×9 pan, poke holes in it and saturate with coconut milk, then plop the frosting and coconut on top. Not pretty, but they are delicious and always well received!

    I had misplaced my old recipe and was glad to find this one which seems exactly the same. Thanks!

    • Steve Gordon says:

      Hi Shawna, Thank you for taking the time to share your comments with us. I’m glad you found the recipe, and the changes you made sound interesting. Never thought about adding sour cream to the frosting, but I bet it was good. I hope you’ll take a look at the recipes I’ve posted for Coconut Cake as well. I’ve got a couple of versions. Thank you for stopping by today, I hope you’ll continue to visit with us often. Be Blessed!!! -Steve

  4. Found my way to this page from and now I’m hell-bent on making her poke cake with this frosting TONIGHT.

  5. Gail says:


    Sorry but I agree with Jill this is not seven min frosting. It does not even look right. Yours appears gooey and more like marshmallow. If u make it with a double boiler like all the recipes I have ever seen u get a much fluffier frosting that may crystallize after a couple days but does not disappear. Yours sounds like a candy constancy. I have been making this for years now and with a much easier then what u describe.

  6. Debbie says:

    My Mother always made this, but called it divinity frosting as it is made the way you make divinity candy.

  7. Holly says:

    Hi Steve! I was missing my grandma – she would always bake me a birthday cake with this frosting and stick real flowers from her garden all over it 🙂 so much better than any store bought cake. Thank your sharing – I’m going to try this tonight.

  8. Julie says:

    The actual name is Italian Meringue. It’s also used as the base to make one of the most delicious buttercreams in the world! As for not stiring the sugar; small amounts of sugar crystals stick to the sides of the pan. Once the syrup starts boiling those sugar bits can cause the melted sugar to re-crystallize & ruin the entire thing. It’s a chemistry thing! But a way to get around that is a pastry brush and a glass of water to “wash” down the sides of the pan as it comes to a boil and occasionally while it’s boiling. Nice to know my pastry education can be used to help others & not just me 🙂

  9. Sandi McKendree says:

    Thanks for all the details…can’t wait to try it! Saw reviews of another no cook frosting and some said after awile it turnd into a “foamy mess that dissolved into the cake”. Does your recipe ever do that???

    • Steve Gordon says:

      Hi Sandi, Thank you for the question. I don’t think I’d call it a foamy mess, but the frosting does sort of “go away” after a couple of days. It doesn’t hold up like a Buttercream frosting if that’s what you’re asking. Still, it’s a good one, and one of the older types of frosting. I hope you’ll try it at least once, and see what you think of it. Thank you for the question, and for your visit today. I trust you’ll stop by for another visit with us… real soon. Be Blessed!!! -Steve

      • Therese says:

        hi Steve,

        I know you said the frosting is best made in day of serving but I wondered anyway- if I made it the night before and iced the cake, would the icing still have the kind of softness required to decorate with lollies etc the next morning? I suspect that if I did the decorating the night before the colours in the lollies would run….

        I’m making the women’s weekly ‘castle cake’ for a. 5th birthday next Sunday.

        • Steve Gordon says:

          Hi Therese, My apologies for not being able to respond sooner. I do appreciate the question. Your decorations would probably run if added very far ahead of time. I think it would be best if you could frost and decorate the cake on the day you intend to serve it. The frosting isn’t very thick and will not hold up like other frostings you are accustomed to. I hope this helps. Thank you for your visits, and do visit with us again… real soon. Be Blessed!!! -Steve

          • Barbara says:

            My mother made the old fashioned boiled icing. I use to have her recipe, but lost it. It was handed down from generation to generation. I also use to have a 200 year old blackberry jam cake from my father’s side of the family. Also numerous cake, pie, bread and cookie recipes, from the years; my mom did bakery work, back when they used real butter, plain flour, etc. My mom spent 42 years in bakery work.

  10. Deanna says:

    I love 7 minute frosting, but have had it turn grainy on me. Will the cream of tartar prevent this? I need to make a smores wedding cake and thought this frosting would be perfect.

    • Steve Gordon says:

      Hi Deanna, Thank you for your question about the Seven Minute Frosting. While I can’t claim to be an expert with the frosting, I do know it can sometimes be a bit difficult to get along with. It’s best when served the same day it was made, so try to keep that in mind for your cakes if at all possible. You also want to make sure that the sugar is fully dissolved before proceeding. Using a thermometer is highly suggested. The Cream of Tartar works with the egg whites to make them froth up faster and better, and to make a stiffer meringue. Damp weather can play a part in whether your frosting turns out right or not as well sometimes. Mainly, just watch that the sugar gets fully dissolved, and try to consume the frosted goodies on the day they’re made, and hopefully you’ll not have that problem.

      I hope this will help. Best of luck with that wedding cake. Thank you for your visit and be sure to visit with us again… real soon. Be Blessed!!! -Steve

      • Val Ruck says:

        Hi. My mother-in-law has lost her 7 minute frosting recipe. She says all the ones that she hears about today are all fluffy. She remembers hers as being FIRM on her cakes many years ago. How do you make the firm 7 minute frosting and NOT the fluffy one? Thanks.

        • Steve Gordon says:

          Hi Val, Thank you for your question. I’m afraid I don’t have an answer for you regarding a firm frosting. Perhaps some of our readers can chime in and offer some help. Could it have been another type of frosting she might have been using? Maybe we can get some help with this. Anyone?

          Thank you for stopping by. I do hope you’ll visit with us again… real soon. Be Blessed!!! -Steve

  11. Mary Thompson says:

    Mother also made divinity in a similar way, so I hope to find that recipe as well. I read your article on opening coconuts, and agree with every point! In our family, Daddy was in charge of the coconuts. He would always try to make sure they were good before he let us “kiss the monkey” to get a taste of coconut milk, but I’ll never forget the one I rushed to taste first and found it rotten. I don’t think I’ve tasted one since then.
    I really appreciate the time and effort you took to include helpful tips and techniques. Those pictures are priceless!

    • Steve Gordon says:

      Hi Mary, Thank you for your kind words and your compliments about our recipes. I greatly appreciate you taking the time to share them. I’d never heard the “Kiss the monkey” expression, it made me smile. I could never bring myself to drinking the coconut water without seeing the inside of the coconut first. I think it’s certainly worth the wait to be sure it’s all OK. Like you, one bad coconut is all it takes.

      I’m thankful you found Taste of Southern. I hope you’ll stop by for another visit with us… real soon. Be Blessed!!! -Steve

  12. Mary Thompson says:

    Thank you!!! I had almost given up on finding my mother’s recipe, but this seems exactly right. She always tried to make it when most of us kids were somewhere else, probably because of the potential for burns. (Also because so many kids were too much of a distraction when she needed to be careful.
    She used this for most “occasion” cakes, and almost always sprinkled coconut on it. (As a kid I hated the coconut, but most of my siblings loved it, so there you are.)

    • Steve Gordon says:

      Hi Mary, I hope this is indeed the recipe that you’ve been looking for. It’s an old one and a favorite of many folks. Let me know if you try it sometime. I’ll be waiting to hear how it turns out for you. I appreciate your comments and do hope you’ll stop by for another visit with us… real soon. Be Blessed!!! -Steve

  13. Jill says:

    This is not 7-minute frosting; it’s boiled icing. With 7-minute, the ingredients are similar (less egg whites and water) and everything is whipped together in the double boiler. No worries about temperature; you can see when it’s ready.

    • Steve Gordon says:

      Hi Jill, Thank you for taking the time to share your comments with us. As mentioned at the top of the recipe, there are lots of versions of 7 Minute Frosting in cookbooks and all over the Internet, and many are made using a double boiler. The recipes for both are pretty much the same, and I guess its more a matter of what you grew up calling it. Either way, I hope you call it “Good.” I’d be more than happy to look at your preferred recipe for Seven Minute Frosting if you’d like to send it to me. Email me direct: steve AT the name of this I’ll look forward to hearing from you.

      I do appreciate your visit and I hope you’ll be trying some of our recipes. Be sure to stop by for another visit with us… real soon. Be Blessed!!! -Steve

  14. Teresa Jones says:

    I just copied your Baked Picnic Ham recipe, and I love all your help full hints and you don’t assume we are all good cooks and we should know certain things. You made it look so easy and mistake free. I signed up for your newsletter and started snooping around your site and came across this seven minute frosting. I am 49 years old and this is one of the first scratch recipes I started making as a teen, and I just learned some new techniques thanks to you, like the importance of making sure your beaters on a hand mixer are real clean. Not that I am a slob, just some time when cooking and using the same tools, I may just give them a quick clean, instead of a real clean. Your instructions helped explain some of the mistakes I have made in the past. Also, since I have a diabetic in law, I tried making this frosting with “fake sugar”, and it doesn’t work. It would cause the egg whites to melt down instead of whipping up. Basically, I wanted to say Thank-you for your excellent recipes and the tips. Your help really keeps me from making mistakes and makes me look like a Chef in the kitchen.

    • Steve Gordon says:

      Hi Teresa, Thank you for your very nice compliments. I’m thankful you found our site and that you’re willing to try out some of the recipes. Cooking can be fun but it can also be frustrating if you let it sometimes, because things DO go wrong. I’m glad you keep on trying and learning. We never get too old for learning do we? It’s my pleasure to post the recipes and the pictures. I’m always happy to learn that someone has given one of them a try. When you leave a comment about your results, it may just help someone else as well. I’ll be interested in learning how that ham recipe turns out for you also. Just remember, you will always be a CHEF in your own kitchen, keep up the good work. I hope you’ll stop by for another visit with us again… real soon. Be Blessed!!! -Steve

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