Italian Meringue Frosting

This light, airy, and not-too-sweet marshmallow style frosting is perfect when you want to make a dramatic mile-high effect with your icing. Pile it as high as you like, but best not to use it between a layer cake – the weight of the cakes will squish out all the frosting.

Even better, use a kitchen blow torch and carefully ‘toast’ the frosting to create a beautiful look.


Allow the syrup to boil until it reaches 245°F. Use a pastry brush dipped in water to brush down any sugar crystals that get stuck to the sides of the pot. This will prevent the mixture from potentially ‘seizing’ (undissolved sugar crystals can cause a chain reaction, making the entire mixture re-crystallize).


At high speed, whip the egg whites and cream of tartar until soft peaks form.


Slowly pour the hot syrup in the eggs whites, while the mixer is running. This could take 5-7 minutes to fully incorporate all the syrup.


A thick, snowy-white, glossy texture – perfect!


Spread a thin ‘crumb-coat’ over the entire cake. Then go back and add your final frosting layer, as thick as you want. Don’t use between the layers of a cake though, the frosting isn’t strong enough to hold up the weight of the cakes and will just ooze out (I did in the picture below, only for the purposes of getting a picture of the step).

See also
Lemon Cream

To make individual-sized layer cakes, use a large round cookie cutter (or a tin can with both ends removed), to cut your sheet cake up.


It only takes a few seconds using the torch to create the toasted effect (it can go from golden to burnt very quickly – so be careful!). This mini torch shown I’m using was only $10, that my husband found for me at a car parts/tool store! Inside, it uses a regular butane lighter.



Italian Meringue Frosting

Marla Hingley
This icings surface stays soft after it dries, so it's perfect to use to create a beautiful toasted look, using a mini kitchen blow torch.
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 5 mins
Total Time 15 mins
Servings 12


  • 2/3 cup sugar
  • ¼ cup water
  • 3 egg whites room temperature
  • ¼ tsp cream of tartar
  • 1 tsp vanilla


  • In a saucepan, stir together sugar and water over medium heat. Once dissolved and starts to boil, do not stir anymore. Allow to a boil until a candy thermometer registers 245°F, about 5 minutes.
  • While the sugar syrup boils, whip the egg whites and cream of tartar in a large mixing bowl until soft peaks form.
  • With your mixer running at high speed, slowly pour in a thin stream of the hot syrup into the egg whites. After about 5 minutes the frosting should be thick and glossy. Stir in the vanilla, then frost cake.


Makes about 3 cups
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!
See also
Thin Chocolate Glaze


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  1. My mom made this except she boiled the sugar mixture till a thread was formed on the end of a drip of hot mixture. Then she slowly added this mixture to the beaten egg whites, beating all the time.
    Then added vanilla. Easy!

  2. I have the same recipe “White Mountian Peak Frosting”. I use it all the time for my coconut cakes. I love it.

  3. Sorry for the delay, I was trying to test some recipes using Splenda and stevia. Stevia was a complete bust, and with Splenda the eggs whipped up but didn’t turn into a creamy smooth texture as it does when using real sugar. So if anyone out there has had success making a sugar free meringue frosting let me know and I can share it with everyone.

  4. In making a sponge cake, I’ve slowly added 1/4 c. agave (instead of sugar) to 6 already stiffly beaten egg whites, beating an additional 2 minutes incorporating the agave. It held up and had a glossy finish.

  5. You could try Coconut Palm Sugar. It is safer for Type ll Diabetics but you want to taste test because a little goes a long way. Joan, please don’t mind me saying that if you follow a Gluten Free diet as this site shows then you should be able to reverse your Diabetes. I am a health coach and have helped many people with this. Much information you can find online. Hope this helps & good luck to you 🙂

  6. I have type 1 diabetes so there’s no reversal here. I also have CystIic Fibrosis and Celieac’s. So either way I am stuck with no cure. But my doctors have told me that eating a gluten free diet can also go the other way and possibly cause my diabetes to be out of control at times due to more carbs and because of the rice flours. I will however try the agave nectar although I have tried it before it didn’t do much for the sweetness. I am also going to try the honey and nectresse avenues.

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