Fluffy White Frosting Made Simple

As a mom of three, I’ve done more than my share of baking for school events and birthday parties. I’ve tried every type of frosting out there, and by far, Fluffy White gets the most compliments whenever I use it.  It has the perfect consistency, a subtle marshmallow flavor that does not overpower the item it’s frosting, and you can add coloring to easily customize it. It pipes well, and holds up for days in the fridge if you want to bake a few days ahead of time.

Up til now, I’ve always opted for the Betty Crocker store-bought brand–nothing could be simpler than heading to the grocery store and picking up a container at the supermarket.

Or so I thought.

Then, I found THIS RECIPE on AllRecipes.com for Homemade Fluffy White Frosting. Wow–game changer!

When I’m in a hurry, I will still revert back to the Betty Crocker version, but I have to admit, this homemade version tastes almost exactly the same, and is very simple to make IF you have a stand-mixer.  Here’s the recipe, if you’re not inclined to click through, along with some helpful tips:

For the sugar syrup:
— 1 cup of white sugar
— 1/3 cup water
— 1/4 tsp cream of tartar

For the whipped base:
— 2 egg whites
— 1 tsp. vanilla extract

Mix the first 3 ingredients in a saucepan and heat until bubbly and sugar is dissolved. (Don’t take it off too soon–wait until it’s boiling rapidly and you see bubbles forming on the surface of the syrup. It won’t be thick, just really hot!)  Take it off the heat and let it cool down a bit.

In a large mixing bowl (preferably a stand mixer, if you have one, since you’ll be whipping this for a while) combine the egg whites and vanilla and beat until soft peaks form. (I took it a bit further than “soft” because I read in some reviews for this recipe that some people had trouble with getting the finished product to thicken up.)  Then gradually (I’m talking a really slow drizzle here) add the syrup into the whipped base. Once all the syrup is incorporated, crank up the mixer to high for a couple of minutes, until the frosting is thick and fluffy. NOTE: This homemade version is somewhere between the consistency of frosting and store-bought Fluff spread. It pipes just like frosting, but it does get a little sticky after a few hours.

A few other tips:

Make the sugar syrup first, and let it cool down a little before adding it to the whipped egg white & vanilla mixture. As it is, the frosting turns out a little warm at first because of the hot syrup, and it pipes better when it’s cool.

Use a stand mixer and drizzle in the syrup very slowly–this will give you the perfect consistency, and will keep the hot syrup from breaking down the whipped egg whites.

The recipe says that adding the syrup to the whites should take 7 to 10 minutes, so don’t rush it. During that time, you might be thinking it’s easier to just buy your own frosting, but if you factor in the drive to and from the grocery store, this is still faster. Once all the syrup is in, just crank the mixer up to high and take a few minutes to wash the pot you made the syrup in, and it’ll be perfect before you know it. The key is to get lots of air whipped into the frosting so that it builds volume and earns the name “Fluffy”.

Put the frosting in the fridge real quick just to cool it down a bit before you start piping it onto your cupcakes. If you’re just spreading it on, then by all means, have at it right away.  Using this recipe, I had more than enough frosting to generously cover 24 cupcakes, and had at least a full cup of frosting leftover (closer to a cup and a half).  The final product tastes just like marshmallows–similar to store-bought Fluff but not nearly as gooey, and without all the chemical preservatives.

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