Fluffy White Frosting (Boiled Frosting)

Fluffy boiled frosting on angel food cake

The Spruce / Diana Rattray

Prep: 15 mins
Cook: 10 mins
Total: 25 mins
Servings: 8 servings
Yield: 2 cups
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
169 Calories
0g Fat
42g Carbs
1g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 8
Amount per serving
Calories 169
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 0g 0%
Saturated Fat 0g 0%
Cholesterol 0mg 0%
Sodium 42mg 2%
Total Carbohydrate 42g 15%
Dietary Fiber 0g 0%
Total Sugars 42g
Protein 1g
Vitamin C 0mg 0%
Calcium 2mg 0%
Iron 0mg 0%
Potassium 38mg 1%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

This fluffy boiled frosting—sometimes called white mountain frosting for its mountainous white peaks—is an easy and somewhat less sweet frosting than the typical butter and confectioner's sugar icing.

To make this, a boiled sugar syrup is gradually beaten into egg whites to create a light and fluffy frosting with no added fat.

We've always loved this frosting on an angel food cake. It would be wonderful on just about any cake or cupcakes; think of it as a blank slate.

Top the cake with coconut or chopped nuts as soon as you finish frosting the cake.


Steps to Make It

  1. In a heavy saucepan, combine the water, sugar, corn syrup, and cream of tartar.  Stir to blend.

  2. Place the saucepan over medium heat, cover the pan, and bring the sugar mixture to a full rolling boil.

  3. Remove the lid and continue boiling the syrup (without stirring) to about 242 F on a candy thermometer, or until the syrup spins a thread when a small amount is dropped from a spoon back into the boiling mixture.

  4. Remove the syrup from the heat.

  5. Place egg whites in a clean, grease-free bowl. Beat the egg whites and a pinch of salt with an electric mixer until the egg whites begin to hold soft peaks.

  6. Continuing beating the egg whites while gradually adding the hot syrup in a thin, steady stream. Add the vanilla and continue beating for about 8 to 10 minutes, or until the frosting holds stiff peaks.

  7. Frost the cake immediately; the frosting will thicken more as it cools. 

  8. This makes enough to frost a large angel food cake, a 9-by-13-inch cake, or 2-layer cake.


  • Top the frosted cake with coconut, chopped nuts, or crushed peppermint candies as soon as you finish frosting the cake. Regular sprinkles are great, and so are small fruits such as berries, or even candied citrus peel.

Recipe Variations

  • Fluffy Orange Frosting: Omit the vanilla and substitute 2 to 3 teaspoons of finely grated orange zest and 1/2 teaspoon of orange extract.
  • Fluffy Lemon Frosting: Omit the vanilla and substitute with 2 teaspoons of finely grated lemon zest and 1/2 teaspoon of lemon extract.
  • Fluffy Peppermint Frosting: Omit the vanilla and add 1 teaspoon of peppermint extract. Fold 1/4 cup of crushed peppermint candies into the frosting or sprinkle the candies over the frosted cake.
  • Brown Sugar Boiled Frosting: Substitute packed light brown sugar for the granulated sugar and decrease the vanilla to 1 teaspoon.

How to Store Fluffy Boiled Frosting

Seal this frosting well in an airtight container and you can keep it in the refrigerator until you are ready to use it. Baked goods that have been frosted with this icing can be stored at room temperature, but refrigeration will help keep the frosting fluffy and soft for longer.

Do not freeze boiled frosting.