Silky Marshmallow Icing

Sweet. Soft. Childlike. Heaven. Every time I make this decadently sweet icing that kids and adults with a sweet tooth love, I just want to dive right into the bowl of white, silky, marshmallowy meringue. Don’t be intimidated and think this will be too much work; it’s really easy and doesn’t take long. Simply throw all the ingredients in your mixing bowl over a double boiler, dissolve the sugar, heat the mixture, and then whisk as you would if you were making meringue.

3 cups; enough for one8- or 9- inch round cake
Preparation: 15 minutes

                                                                                                                                                                Photo: Nicole Franzen


2 1⁄2 tablespoons water
2 large egg whites, at room temperature
1 cup (200g) granulated sugar
1⁄4 teaspoon cream of tartar
1⁄4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract


1Fill a medium saucepan with about 1 1⁄2 inches of water, bring to a boil, and then lower the heat to maintain a gentle simmer.

2Place the water, egg whites, sugar, cream of tartar, salt, and vanilla in a metal mixing bowl. (use the mixing bowl of a stand mixer if you have one.) Place the bowl on top of the saucepan. Make sure the bottom of the bowl doesn’t touch the water.

3Whisk the mixture constantly for 4 minutes or until it reaches a temperature between 160º and 165°F/71 to 73°C if using a candy thermometer. Reaching the correct temperature is the key to success. The sugar will have dissolved, and the mixture will be opaque, bubbly, and very warm to the touch.

4Carefully transfer the hot bowl to the electric mixer. using a whisk attachment, beat the mixture on high speed for 4 minutes or until it’s white and fluffy with stand- up peaks. You can toast with a cooking torch or gingerly under the broiler if you like but it’s not essential.

Odette Williams is a cook,
writer & author of best selling
cookbook Simple Cake.

© 2020 OW