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Seven-Minute Frosting

This cake frosting is named for the length of time it must be beaten in the final stage. Have the cake you are going to frost already prepared before making the frosting; it must be spread on while the beaten egg whites and sugar are still pliable; once frosted, the cake may sit out for several hours before being served.

  • Yield: Makes about 1 quart
Seven-Minute Frosting

Photography: Sang An

Source: Martha Stewart Living, December/January 1999/2000


  • 3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 tablespoon light corn syrup
  • 3 large egg whites, room temperature


  1. In a small, heavy-bottom saucepan, combine 3/4 cup sugar, corn syrup, and 4 tablespoons water. Place over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until sugar has dissolved, about 4 minutes. Rub a bit of the mixture between your fingers, making sure any no graininess has disappeared. Raise heat, and bring to a boil without stirring. Continue boiling, occasionally washing down the sides of the pan with a pastry brush dipped in cold water to prevent sugar from crystallizing, until a candy thermometer registers 230 degrees, about 5 minutes. (Depending on the humidity, this can take anywhere from 4 to 10 minutes.) Remove the syrup from heat (temperature will keep rising).

  2. Meanwhile, in the bowl of an electric mixer, whisk the egg whites on medium speed until soft peaks form, about 2 1/2 minutes. Gradually add remaining 2 tablespoons sugar. With mixer on medium-low speed, pour syrup in a steady stream down side of bowl (to avoid splattering).

  3. Beat the frosting on high speed until cool, about seven minutes. It should be thick and shiny. Use immediately.

Reviews (15)

  • elainekyu 2 Jan, 2014

    I made this for the first time yesterday and it worked beautifully!! Love the lightness and fluffiness of it. I used room temperature egg whites and left out the corn syrup as I did not have any at home. Pretty much followed the rest of the instructions to a "T". It was great!!

  • PaulaSummerlin 18 Jun, 2013

    Thank you so much, Martha, for this recipe! My dear mother-in-law used to make it for a pineapple cake that my husband dearly loves. Unfortunately, she passed away suddenly and I never saved the recipe. This sounds exactly like hers! I am going to surprise my husband with the pineapple cake and this 7 Minute Frosting(she called hers a White Mountain Frosting) but the ingredients are the same. Again thank you so much and if I could, I would just hug you for this recipe!
    Hugs, Paula

  • miguelcasafont 16 Mar, 2013

    My Mother makes this frosting and she adds a few drops of lime juice to the mixture after the hot sugar is poured, at the end of the recipe, this gives a shinny look and a great taste! I have tried it many times but cannot get it ok, do not know why my Mothet makes it all the time and hers is perfect. Try the lime juice a small tea spoon of it makes the difference.

  • alicialauraestable 12 Jul, 2012

    I made this for the first time and it turned out quite well. Paired with the red velvet cake many thought it tasted like a Jos Louis. Yummy!

  • courtneymckinnis 11 Jun, 2012

    This did not work at all. The first time, it burned right as it reached 230 degrees. The second time, it worked unill i poured it into the egg whites. It turned into a big blob of hard sugar surrounded in egg whites. It also didn't take 7 minutes. It took a good half hour to an hour. This was definatly not worth it!

  • osheak 10 Apr, 2012

    I made this a few times. Always taste good but I can never get the stiff peaks no matter how long I mix. What should I do to get the stiff peaks?

  • caroldvera 11 May, 2010

    this frosting is so delicious

  • poppyseeds 2 May, 2010


  • embslp 1 Apr, 2010

    I've made this frosting many, many times. It works beautifully.

  • casey94 28 Mar, 2010

    I tried this twice and both times it didn't work. I am an experienced baker and I used a candy thermometer. I even took the "syrup" off heat at 200 degrees and it was like taffy. I recomend the Whipped Frosting, so much easier.

  • christieskitchen 4 Jul, 2009

    I add 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract to 7-minute frosting.

  • Canalgirl 7 May, 2009

    Can this frosting be used for a cake to be eaten the next day?

  • Liboria 18 Aug, 2008

    Seven-minute frosting has been around for a long time. My mom made it and used it on her cakes for years and years. It was always yummy and pretty. Now that she's gone, I hope to develop her perfect technique to make the frosting. After all even the best of the best recipe will not turn out if you don't knowwhat you're doing. Thanks Martha!

  • GFCFboys 7 Mar, 2008

    My DH used this frosting on the red velvet cake for the annual men's cake bake. He followed the directions to a T. Everyone thought the frosting looked odd and kept asking about it. The taste was rather odd too. We won't use this recipe again.

  • ShirleysGoodThings 14 Feb, 2008

    Don't touch the hot syrup like the recipe said - the syrup is clear when the sugar is dissolved. I don't usually have very good luck with frosting but I was able to turn this into a wonderful topping for the red velvet chocolate cake!

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