White Fluffy Frosting

(recipe, James Beard)


This quantity is sufficient for a 9-inch two-layer cake or the equivalent.


  1. 1½ cups sugar
  2. ⅔ cup water
  3. ⅛ tsp. cream of tartar
  4. 3 egg whites, stiffly beaten
  5. ⅛ tsp. salt
  6. 1 tsp. vanilla


  1. In a saucepan, combine the sugar, water, and cream of tartar. Bring the mixture slowly to a boil, stirring once or twice to dissolve the sugar before it bubbles. Cover, and boil 3 minutes, then uncover and boil to 245 degrees.
  2. Remove the pan from the heat and pour the syrup in a thin stream over the stiffly beaten whites in a mixing bowl. Add the salt and vanilla and continue beating until the frosting cools and is firm enough to spread. If the frosting stiffens excessively, beat in about ¼ teaspoon boiling hot water.


Culinate editor's note: If you've ever eaten Marshmallow Fluff, this gooey frosting — essentially an Italian meringue frosting — will taste remarkably familiar. Spread some of this marshmallow goo in between two soft chocolate cookies and make your own MoonPie.