How do you make old-fashioned boiled icing?


Quick Answer

Old-fashioned boiled icing is made by boiling egg whites, sugar and cream of tartar together, along with other ingredients. The mixture thickens as it boils and can be flavored with a number of different extracts.

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How do you make old-fashioned boiled icing?
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Full Answer

Old-Fashioned Boiled Icing

This boiled icing is easy to make and should be used immediately as it loses volume the longer it sits.

Cook Time: 10 minutes

Yield: About 4 cups, enough to frost two 6-inch cakes.


  • 1 1/2 cups, or 10.5 ounces, white sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 3 large egg whites
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract


  1. In a small saucepan, combine the sugar, cream of tartar and water. Fit the pan with a candy thermometer.
  2. Stir the sugar to dissolve and heat the pan over medium-low heat.
  3. Fit a stand mixer with the whisk attachment. When the sugar mixture reaches 240 F, pour it into a heat-resistant bowl.
  4. Add the eggs and vanilla into a mixing bowl. Slowly pour the sugar mixture into the bowl while mixing on medium. For best results, add the mixture to the side of the bowl, rather than in the center. When all the sugar syrup is added, turn the mixer to medium-high.
  5. Whisk the icing mixture until stiff peaks form. The icing should be slightly warm and very thick. This should take about 10 minutes.
  6. Stop beating when the icing is thick. Use immediately.
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