Seven Minute Frosting

by Laura Silber

This is my version of a classic favorite, which is traditionally made by beating all of the ingredients with an electric hand mixer for seven minutes in the top bowl of a double boiler. Here, we first boil the sugar syrup on its own to 260° (using a candy thermometer to monitor), then beat it into the already whipped egg whites for one or two minutes—it’s quicker and makes an even fluffier frosting. You may use a standing mixer or an electric hand mixer.


  • 4 egg whites
  • Pinch of salt
  • 2 cups white sugar
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Beat the egg whites with salt until soft peaks form.
In a small saucepan, combine the sugar and water. Using a candy thermometer to monitor the temperature, boil to 260°. Remove from heat.
Turn on the mixer and begin beating the whites again on high speed. Immediately pour the hot sugar syrup in a thin stream into the beating whites, pausing occasionally to allow syrup to incorporate fully. (The hot syrup will cook the whites in motion as they whip, making them thick and glossy.) Add the vanilla and mix until incorporated.
You may use the warm frosting immediately or set aside at room temperature until you’re ready to use it.

Yield: Enough for the Three-Layer Chocolate Birthday Cake