Seven-minute frosting

Seven-minute frosting

18–20 cm round cake
Vanessa Levis


Quantity Ingredient
160g caster sugar
1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar
1 egg white
2 tablespoon water
1/4 teaspoon vanilla essence


  1. Place the sugar, cream of tartar, egg white and water in the top of a double saucepan or in a heatproof bowl placed over simmering water (do not allow bottom of bowl to touch the water). Beat with an electric beater on slow, or with a rotary beater, until the mixture is thick enough to hold its shape. This takes about 7 minutes, which gives the frosting its name. Cool a little, then stir in the vanilla or other desired flavourings and spread roughly over the cake.


  • Quantities may be doubled for larger cakes.


  • Peppermint seven-minute frosting

    Add 2–3 drops peppermint essence instead of the vanilla and a little pink or green food colouring.

    Marshmallow seven-minute frosting

    When the mixture is thick, after cooking for 7 minutes, stir in 1 cup chopped marshmallows. Stir until melted.

    Chocolate seven-minute frosting

    Stir in 90 g melted dark chocolate after cooking for 7 minutes.


    The range of cake fillings seems almost endless, but there are some universal favourites. Sponges are popular with a simple jam filling or whipped cream and fruit. Lemon butter transforms a plain butter cake or sponge sandwich. The smooth butter cream called crème au beurre in France is often sandwiched between many layers of cake to make a Continental gâteau. Cream cheese and ricotta cheese are often the basis of European cake fillings. Dried fruits, nuts, rum, chocolate, ginger and other flavourings are often added to a rich custard cream for luscious dessert cakes.
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