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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.

  • Yield: Makes about 1 quart

Photography: Johnny Miller

Source: Martha Stewart Living, December/January 1999


  • 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 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.

Cook's Notes

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.

Reviews Add a comment

  • 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
  • Miguel Casafont-Broutin
    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.
  • LaLaLoves
    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!
  • cammck216
    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?
  • pookmyster
    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.