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There’s nothing sweeter than an old-fashioned homemade 7-Minute Frosting recipe. It’s made completely from scratch and so simple you will want to whip it up every time you get a craving for something sweet. All you need are a few pantry ingredients, and just about, well, 7 minutes!

Side view of Old-fashioned 7 Minute Frosting swirled on top of chocolate cupcakes.

Delicious, light, and perfect for all sorts of cakes! 7-minute frosting is a nostalgic recipe that reminds me of my grandmother. It was her go-to frosting recipe and always used on birthday cakes.

I’ve started quite the collection of frostings on this site. Have you tried my bright and fruity raspberry buttercream frosting or my rich and decadent salted caramel frosting? With each one I add, the recipes just get better and better. Take this 7-minute frosting for example – it’s unbelievable.

It has to be my favorite. It’s basically marshmallows in frosting form and I love how it balances out against a fluffy cupcake. I used it to top my favorite banana pudding cupcakes because it resembles the meringue topping on the classic banana pudding dessert. It would also taste amazing on this s’mores cake!

This frosting recipe is made with egg whites, granulated sugar, corn syrup, and vanilla. There’s no butter or loads of powdered sugar in this recipe. While I love buttercream frosting, sometimes it can be too rich and too sweet.

This marshmallow frosting recipe is not overly sweet and has hints of vanilla. It is shiny and feels silky on the tongue.  This makes it perfect for filling and icing ultra sweet, flavorful cakes. It’s perfect against a rich chocolatey cupcake or chocolate layer cake.

Because this frosting is so soft, it’s not good for piping or intricate designs. You’ll need an offset spatula to spread it on the cake. But you can use a pastry bag and pipe a single big dollop on top of cupcakes – it will hold up well for that.

For this 7 minute frosting recipe, you will need a stainless steel or any heatproof bowl. Put all the ingredients in, except for the vanilla, and whisk or mix with an electric mixer continuously as it heats over a saucepan of simmering water.

You won’t get stiff peaks with this frosting – the corn syrup will make it more like a marshmallow fluff consistency. Once the frosting thickens – this should take just about 5 minutes – remove it from the heat. Add the vanilla and continue to beat it until it’s thick but spreadable.

This usually takes around 2 minutes. A total time of 7 minutes!

Recipe Snapshot

TASTE: Rich but not overly sweet, like a marshmallow
TEXTURE: Silky and smooth
EASE: Very easy
TIME: 7 minutes!

What You’ll Need


This is a quick recipe that comes together with simple ingredients that you probably have in your kitchen already.

  • Egg whites – These should be at room temperature. Save the yolks for a fritatta or omelet.
  • Sugar – Use white granulated sugar for this recipe.
  • Salt – I always use kosher salt.
  • Light corn syrup – This helps with the consistency.
  • Cold water – Melt a couple of ice cubes in a cup of water to lower the temperature.
  • Vanilla Extract – I use homemade vanilla extract, but use the best quality pure vanilla you can find.
Overhead view of seven minute frosting in a glass bowl and on chocolate cupcakes.

How to Make 7 Minute Frosting

7-minute frosting is quick and easy and takes – you guessed it – 7 minutes.

  1. Step One. Mix ingredients. Combine the egg whites, sugar, salt, corn syrup, and water in a large stainless steel bowl or other heat proof bowl. Use an electric handheld mixer or a stand mixer to beat the ingredients together until well combined. Place the bowl over a saucepan of simmering water. Continue to beat on high speed for 5-7 minutes, until thick and fluffy.
  2. Step Two. Remove from heat and finish. Remove from heat, add the vanilla extract, and continue beating on high until the frosting is thick and spreadable, about 1-2 minutes. Use immediately or it will become difficult to spread.
overhead view of Fluffy 7 Minute Frosting in a glass bowl.

Handy tip:

This frosting must be used right away. If you try to prepare it in advance, it will thicken up and become too difficult to spread.

If using a double boiler, you cannot use a stand mixer, obviously. Mix the ingredients right in the double boiler using a whisk or an electric mixer.

Overhead view of Marshmallow Frosting slathered over a chocolate cupcake.

Tips For Success

  • Make sure the egg whites are at room temperature.
  • Use an electric hand mixer so your arm doesn’t tire out from whisking.
  • Once it has cooled to room temperature, use it immediately.


Storage & Freezing

This frosting must be used right away. You can not make it ahead of time to use later.

Once you frost cakes or cupcakes with it, serve within 12 hours or refrigerate the frosted cakes for up to 2 days.

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Side view of Old-fashioned 7 Minute Frosting swirled on top of chocolate cupcakes.

7 minute Frosting

Yield: 4 cups
Prep Time: 2 minutes
Cook Time: 7 minutes
Total Time: 9 minutes

There’s nothing sweeter than an old-fashioned recipe for 7 Minute Frosting. It’s made completely from scratch and so simple you will want to whip it up every time you get a craving for something sweet. Delicious, light, and perfect for all sorts of cakes!

Ingredients

  • 3 large egg whites, room temperature
  • 1 ½ cups (300 g) granulated sugar
  • ⅛ teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon light corn syrup
  • ¼ cup (60 ml) cold water
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Instructions

  1. Combine the egg whites, sugar, salt, corn syrup, and water in a large stainless steel bowl or any other heatproof bowl. Use an electric handheld mixer to beat the ingredients together until well combined. Place the bowl over a saucepan of simmering water. Continue to beat on high speed for 5-7 minutes, until thick and fluffy.
  2. Remove from heat, add the vanilla extract, and continue beating on high until the frosting is thick and spreadable, about 1-2 minutes. Use immediately or it will become difficult to spread.

Notes

This frosting must be used right away. You can not make it ahead of time to use later.

Once you frost cakes or cupcakes with it, serve within 12 hours or refrigerate the frosted cakes for up to 2 days.

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Nutrition Information:
Yield: 32 Serving Size: 2 tablespoons
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 41Total Fat: 0gSaturated Fat: 0gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 0gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 14mgCarbohydrates: 10gFiber: 0gSugar: 10gProtein: 0g

* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet. Since different brands of ingredients have different nutritional information, the values shown are just an estimate.

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86 Comments

  1. Betsy Rall says:

    My grandmother made a frosting that she called 7-minute icing. It had no corn syrup and no powdered sugar. No milk. No dreaded sugar grains. And, it hardened on the outside. Was a perfect balance for a Devil’s Food cake as well as white cake. So is this the same recipe? If not, what is it and where do I find it? I guess I should have listened closer. ?Thanks

    1. I’m not sure if this is the same recipe since I don’t know your grandmother’s recipe but it sounds similar. Mine contains corn syrup and doesn’t turn hard on the outside. It’s more like marshmallow frosting.

    2. @Betsy Rall, Yes, seven min frosting should have a slight thin crust after its been on the cake a while. Sooo good. This recipe is perfect.