In the Kitchen

7 Minute Frosting

Growing up, my grandmother’s frosting was my absolute favorite. For red cakes, she would make a traditional Ermine frosting. But, for her signature chocolate cake, she made this sweet and fluffy 7 Minute Frosting. Spread thinly, because a little will go a long way, but don’t expect a smooth finish. Sweet with a little sugary crunch, this frosting sets up to have a natural flaky consistency. 

Years later, I realized that it was also dairy free. Of course, my grandmother’s celebration cake has both butter and buttermilk, but this frosting could easily be used on other dairy free confections. It’s somewhat of a cross between spun sugar and a dense meringue.

The recipe is very forgiving. When I used to make meringue with my grandmother, she’d warn me that if any yoke got into the mix the meringue would never set up. That said, I got a little yolk in the pan and it still set up. Also, most baking recipes will require you to be careful not to over mix. I probably over mixed this (I was nervous about the yolks so I whipped it to death). The result was a slightly crumbly texture that was a little difficult to spread, but still delicious.

The hardest part of the recipe is that you need a double boiler. Technically, somewhere in my basement exists a double boiler. However, I just boiled water in a large pot and placed a slightly smaller pot on top. You have to hold it there for 7 plus minutes, so you want to be comfortable.

7 Minute frosting
My impromptu double boiler. From a clear base, the frosting will quickly take on a shiny, white appearance.

7 Minute Frosting Recipe

In the top of a double boiler, add:

2 egg whites, unbeated

5 T. water

1 1/2 c. sugar

1/4 t. cream of tartar (your 1 1/2 t. light corn syrup)

pinch of salt

Place over rapidly boiling water.

Beat consistently with a hand mixer at medium speed for seven minutes, or until the frosting stands in peaks.

Remove from the boiling water. Add vanilla and beat at high speed until think enough to spread.

Frosts the top and sides of 2, 9″ layers or one 13 x 9 x 2 cake.