Silky Marshmallow Icing

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 one 8- 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



  1. Fill 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.
  2. Place 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.
  3. Whisk 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.
  4. Carefully 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.