Cake · Frosting · Recipes

7 Minutes to Healthier Frosting

German Spice Cake with Sea Foam Frosting
The frosting is amazing!

Oh happy cake day!

Okay, stating that frosting is healthy may be a little over the top, but there is one frosting that does stand out above the rest. Move over butter cream, there’s a new (old) frosting in town.

Since I can remember my family has baked their own cakes. In fact, my parents never bought us a store made cake until I worked at Byerlys bakery. While working there, I instantly fell in love with butter cream frosting for two reasons; one it was easy to make and two, it turned out every time I made it. But, I eventually found out that it had way to many calories and I began scrapping it off of all the cakes I ate. Thus, began my love hate relationship with cake.

Both my mom and dad enjoyed to bake. They each had their own favorite things to bake. Mom liked to make brownies, bars, and chocolate cake with white fluffy frosting. Dad liked to bake apple pie, cookies, breads, and spice cake with fluffy sea foam frosting (I think he made up the name). The one thing they both enjoyed making was, fluffy 7 minute frosting. One used white sugar the other used brown sugar. Both are delicious and have a dramatic presentation, but sometimes the frosting would be a little fussy and for whatever reason, it wouldn’t turn out.

After many years of avoiding 7 minute frosting: for fear of failure, I decided to tackle my family’s recipe and come up with one that turn out perfect every time. The main problem both my parents experienced was stabilizing the frosting so it wouldn’t collapse or melt. Sometimes my mom’s frosting would even crystalize. I began to look through cook books to compare recipes to ours and found a couple of ingredients that were included in the recipe that my parent’s recipe did not call for; cream of tartare and corn syrup. I easily add them to the recipe but, occasionally I would still have a frosting that would collapse. I decided to tackle the method.

One recipe I came across was from a Martha Stewart cookbook. It had 2 times the amount of eggs than other comparable recipes called for and her method was very different. She allowed the eggs to come to room temperature and then she heated them to 160 degrees. She did not whip the frosting while heating, she waited until the mixture reached the right temperature and all the sugar was dissolved (the reason my mother’s frosting would crystalize). Then, the recipe directed you to whip it for 5 minutes. But, the frosting didn’t have a thick creamy rich flavor because of the addition of 1/4 cup of water, which, I also believe, occasionally caused the frosting to collapse in humid conditions. I omitted the water, increased the number of eggs, added both cream of tartar and corn syrup to my parents recipe, I now had an almost fool proof recipe.

I will admit sometimes my frosting has drooped, but I soon realized it was from using old eggs. Buy the freshest eggs you can find and bring them to room temp. Use them the same day or your frosting may not hold up for longer than 24 hours.

The egg whites in this recipe are much healthier for us than butter by far. Eggs have protein where as butter is all fat. Yes, there is still sugar, but If we reduce the sugar it’s no longer frosting. Remember cake is meant to be a special treat eaten on special occasions. So, why not make it just a little bit more healthy? Happy guilt-less frosting eating!
Miller’s New 7 Minute Frosting

6 egg whites from fresh eggs at room temperature
1 1/2 cups sugar (white for white frosting and brown for sea foam frosting)
2 tablespoons corn syrup
1/4 tsp cream of tartar
pinch of salt
1 tsp vanilla
1 baked cake of any kind


In a double boiler or in bowl a that will fit over a pan of boiling water, combined all ingredients together except the vanilla. With a wire whisk, continually stir the egg mixture until the temperature on a candy thermometer reaches 160 degrees. Remove from heat and pour into a mixing bowl.
With a hand or standing mixer, beat frosting until glossy and fluffy.
Add the vanilla beat until combined. Use frosting immediately. Keep frosted cake covered lightly with plastic wrap.

2 thoughts on “7 Minutes to Healthier Frosting

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