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Prepare for a Sweet Recipe Throwback: How to Make Seven-Minute Frosting

Seven-minute frosting. If you’re a cake decorator, chances are you’ve at least heard of the stuff: A fluffy, cloud-like cake topping which sets firm and tastes delicately of marshmallows.

Today’s the day to try your hand at making this unique topping with our easy-to-follow tutorial for how to make seven-minute frosting.

Seven minute frosting

Photos via CakeSpy

Must-know tips for seven-minute frosting:

As you make this frosting, you’ll notice that while the recipe doesn’t take forever to make, it definitely requires at least seven minutes. The “seven minutes” refers to the amount of time you mix the frosting, not the entire recipe. That having been said, it is suggested that you rely on visual cues rather than timing the mixing in this recipe.

It’s very important that you read the recipe first, and measure out your ingredients before you begin. This recipe is not difficult, but it does require constant attention and some fast-moving steps, so being prepared will help ensure success.

While the frosting will keep once applied, it needs to be used to ice a cake right after you make it. If you don’t, the eggs can separate within the mixture, giving it an odd, gluey texture. Using the icing right away will ensure that it will keep its shape and consistency.

What about corn syrup? Many recipes for seven-minute frosting contain corn syrup, which gives the icing a silky-smooth texture with minimal effort. This recipe is a little trickier than recipes with corn syrup, but it’s worth it, because it has a more delicate flavor and texture than its corn syrup-containing counterparts.

While the hot sugar will help “cook” the egg whites, if you are concerned about the use of raw egg in this recipe, pasteurize the eggs before you begin.

What kind of cakes will taste good with seven-minute frosting? Basically any cake flavor that would taste good with marshmallow. Chocolate, coconut, or lemon cake would all be divine. The cake used in this tutorial is a yellow “poke” cake with a chocolate topping.

Frosted cake

Seven-minute frosting recipe

Adapted from Taste of Southern

Makes enough to fill and top a 2-layer, 8-inch cake


  • 4 egg whites
  • 1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Note: International readers may enjoy our handy metric conversion guide.

Step 1:

Place the egg whites, cream of tartar, and salt in the bowl of a stand mixer. Using the whisk attachment, whisk on high speed until the mixture attains soft peaks. Stop the mixing, but leave the mixture in the bowl.

Soft peaks

Step 2:

Place the water and sugar in a medium saucepan. Place the saucepan over medium heat, and without stirring, bring to the lower range of temperatures for the “thread” stage, which is 215 to 234 degrees F. which is Once it registers this temperature range, remove from heat.

Note: I removed my sugar mixture from heat at about 215 degrees F.

Boiling the sugar

Step 3:

Begin the mixer again, on slow speed, and pour the hot sugar into the mixture in a very slow, steady stream. Once incorporated, add the vanilla and then switch to high speed on the mixer. Mix until the frosting has attained stiff peaks.

Firm peaks

Step 4:

Use to top your cake right away, as this frosting sets firm.

Frost your cake

Enjoy your cake, which is bound to wow whoever gets a taste.

Finished cake with seven minute frosting

Have you ever tried seven-minute frosting?

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Can this frosting be used under fondant?


Helene: I think the only possible issue would be that this frosting sets firm. If you were able to apply the fondant fairly soon after icing the cake, I believe it would be a great pairing. however, once it begins to set it might be difficult to smooth the fondant.

I personally have not done it, but perhaps other readers have and can offer thoughts?


this is one of the frosting so my mom used to make and the favorite of all the kids for licking the beater. Forgot all about this I am going to have to make it for my grandson who is allergic to dairy. Thanks for sharing.


Can this frosting be used on a three tiered wedding cake?


Hi! After the cake is frosted/iced, how long can it stay at room temperature? is it necessary to refrigerate? is this frosting heat tolerant? Can this be colored or flavored, and if yes, at which stage? Thanks for your response!

Jessie Oleson Moore

Hi Ruby,

I kept the cake at room temperature for 3 days–well covered, of course. It is more heat tolerant than buttercream in my opinion but it is definitely not suited for hot, humid days. I would add tint / flavoring at the moment in step 3 when it calls for adding the vanilla extract.


Why is this called “Seven-Minute Frosting”? it is a typical Italian meringue… I do not see any difference one from the other. Thanks

Jessie Oleson Moore

Hi Victoria,

To tell you the truth the name behind this recipe is more about framing it for the home cook, I think. As stated in the article, “As you make this frosting, you’ll notice that while the recipe doesn’t take forever to make, it definitely requires at least seven minutes. The “seven minutes” refers to the amount of time you mix the frosting, not the entire recipe. That having been said, it is suggested that you rely on visual cues rather than timing the mixing in this recipe.”

The Ninja Baker

Do believe I have successfully made 7 minute frosting before. But it is a sensitive, somewhat more than a few minutes to make frosting. But, you’re right, Jessie; definitely worth it…Worth the compliments 😉 Great tips and recipe.


I’m going to attempt this frosting. ….thanks for putting it on here ,…could I ask a question…..what could you use in the place of : corn syrup : ….as some recipes ask you to use this. But I’ve never been able to find in shops near me. ….with thanks ….Jenny

Caroline Rumbold

I’m sure I read somewhere that you can use golden syrup in place of corn syrup.

Caroline Rumbold

Just re read the ingredients and can’t see corn syrup is needed!


I am using 7 minute icing on my cupcakes for my wedding. How long ahead of time can I make them?


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