Fluffy Brown Sugar Icing {Pat’s Recipes}

In this small quaint town, there are few people that you don’t run into on a daily basis. It’s been a culture shock, a climate shock, and definitely a culinary shock since moving to this northern Canadian burg. And while there are moments where I long for my urban desert home, there are also moments of sweet and utter bliss. One of those moments happened when I met Pat.

Pat is a sweet old lady who lives just a few houses down from me. She’s a fun witted grandma with a few stories to tell. She belongs to the same Church as I do, and when you have less than 30 members in your area, you get to know them really well. Pat’s husband passed away last July, and all of her children and grandchildren have long since moved away. She’s been having trouble getting around on her own these days, so she’s moving closer to her family. We have been assisting Pat in packing up her house and finding little treasures along the way.

Fluffy Brown Sugar Icing {Pat's Recipes}

We stumbled across an old trunk that was filled with love letters, hand-made baby blankets and booties, knick-knacks, and a plethora of hand written recipes. My heart began to beat faster as I ran my fingers through them, and I could see Pat become excited when I asked her about them. She hasn’t cooked much since her husband passed, and it was something she loved to do. She graciously gave me a stack of intriguing recipes and I couldn’t wait to dig in.

The first one that really caught my eye was this Fluffy Brown Sugar Icing.

Fluffy Brown Sugar Icing

What I love about old recipes is the way they are written.

Pat wrote: “drops like a hair from spoon” as to know when the brown sugar mixture is ready. It was interesting, and I had to see what she meant.

Plus… hello… FLUFFY BROWN SUGAR ICING!! How could you not want to know what that tastes like?!

Fluffy Brown Sugar Icing

Sure enough, the mixture of brown sugar, water and corn syrup becomes thick like a rich caramel and when dropped from a spoon makes tiny (even smaller than pictured) strands that resemble hair.

Then you: “Pour hot syrup in a thin stream into egg whites, beating constantly.”

I thought for sure this wouldn’t work. Maybe I am just really novice when it comes to egg whites, but I assumed pouring a hot liquid into them would almost immediately deflate them.

But no, it didn’t.

Fluffy Brown Sugar Icing

In fact, it held it’s shape and gained a glossy shine.

It was amazing, and the taste is stellar. It’s like a fluffy caramel marshmallow frosting.

Fluffy Brown Sugar Icing

I dipped many things into that Fluffy Brown Sugar Icing. Chocolate covered graham crackers, pretzels, and peaches. The peaches won in my book. My husband just rolled his eyes said, “Oh, now peaches need frosting?!”

But seriously, this icing would be amazing when paired with just about anything… even a spoon.

Thanks for letting me introduce you to Pat. I have several more recipes that I can’t wait to share with you!

{UPDATE: Here are some more of Pat’s Recipes: Cherry Nut Bread and Very Nice Chocolate Frosting}

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Fluffy Brown Sugar Icing {Pat’s Recipes}

Yield: makes about 6 cups

Fluffy Brown Sugar Icing {Pat’s Recipes}

Ingredients

  • 1 cup brown sugar (packed)
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1/2 cup corn syrup
  • 4 egg whites*
  • 2 tsp vanilla

Instructions

  1. Mix brown sugar, water and corn syrup in a medium saucepan. Bring to a full rolling boil. (Be careful, as it will rise, so make sure the sides of your pan are taller). Let it boil at medium to medium high until the syrup drops like a hair from spoon (approximately 10 minutes). Remove from burner and set aside.
  2. Meanwhile, beat egg whites until stiff.
  3. SLOWLY pour the hot syrup in a THIN stream into egg whites, beating constantly. Beat until icing holds peaks, then blend in vanilla.
  4. Let cool to room temp, then store covered in the fridge until ready to use.
  5. Enjoy!

Notes from Shawn

*The egg whites are cooked when the hot sugar syrup is slowly streamed into them. So no worries about raw egg whites! :)

http://www.iwashyoudry.com/2013/07/22/fluffy-brown-sugar-icing/

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Comments

  1. That’s so sweet she gave you the recipes and so kind of you to help her pack. Can I just eat this with a spoon please?!

  2. This was a wonderful gesture on her part. These recipes can now be enjoyed many new and old friends.

  3. We just put a brown sugar cream cheese frosting on some peach cobbler cupcakes and it was fantastic. I’m going to have to try this recipe too!

    • OK, now you’ve got me dying for the recipe for peach cobbler cupcakes! I had already decided I have to try the frosting, but those cupcakes sound like the perfect thing to try it on.

    • Wow, those peach cobbler cupcakes sound amazing! Is that recipe on your blog? I couldn’t find it, and now I want to make them!

    • I hope that Peach Cobbler Cupcake recipe gets published!

  4. This looks awesome and I love the story behind it!! “Drops like a hair from a spoon”….good tip!

  5. Awesome! I hope she has a smooth move.

  6. OMG, really?! I’m dying over this!

  7. Wow. That icing looks amazing, and the story… the story was just perfect. Thank you for sharing!

    • Thank you Karen, I am so glad you enjoyed the story! She is full of great stories, so I can’t wait to share a few more with you!

  8. Sarah in CA says:

    Oh this sounds really good. i have been making “White Mountain” frosting since childhood. Another name is 7 minute frosting. I don’t use corn syrup but cane sugar syrup instead. Now i will switch it up using brown sugar. Tthanks for the new twist on an old idea.

  9. Heather says:

    This is awesome Shawn! Does Pat know you did this post? Send it to her!

  10. Kristen says:

    This frosting looks amazing! I love old hand written recipes. I have some of my grandmother’s best recipes that she hand wrote and I plan on framing them and hanging them in my kitchen. They are a treasure!

    • What a fantastic idea Kristen! I have so many that Pat gave me, I am trying to figure out a proper way of storing them. Thanks for that tip! :)

    • Deborah (Debbie) says:

      Kristen…I have recipes from my Grandma and Great Grandma…that’s what I was thinking of doing too…wouldn’t that be wonderful?!

  11. Shawn this looks ridiculously good!! I want to drink that entire glass of it :)!

  12. Looks so yummy. I just love old recipes, how sweet of Pat to share this beauty with you. My favorite frosting is a boiled sugar method whipped into egg whites and the consistency is so super creamy, I will be giving this a try for sure!!!

  13. Yes! This sound oh so good. I love a good frosting!

  14. This recipe is extremely similar to meringues. The only difference is, you pipe the “frosting” for meringues onto parchment paper and dry them out in the oven!

  15. Thank you, Pat, wherever you are! I am dying to try this this icing!

  16. Hi! I was so excited to try this icing; and like you, I thought it wouldn’t turn out. I got a lil afraid that I had boiled the sugar mix to much. I took it off the stove when it had the strands and added it to the egg whites that were whipped up and waiting….however, it did not get fluffy when they came together:( Do you know what I am doing wrong? I am going to try it again:) I did leave my egg whites out at room temp- do you think that matters? Thank you Tamixo

    • Try using cold egg whites, and keep the egg whites beating while you SLOWLY stream the brown sugar mixture into the bowl. Once it holds it’s shape (shouldn’t take very long) you are golden! :)

  17. New. Favorite. Website. :D

  18. Can’t wait to try this! Sounds amazing! Thanks Pat for sharing!

  19. Donna Barkhouse says:

    Can you put this on a cake as soon as it is ready??

    • The frosting is quite warm once it’s done (from the hot brown sugar mixture), so I would maybe let it cool to room temperature first. That’s just me, cause I like a cool frosting, not a warm one. It’s personal preference I suppose.

  20. “Oh, now peaches need frosting?!”
    –Duh, dude. Duh.

    :-)

  21. This recipe reminds me of the recipes my mom used when I was growing up! Brings back memories and makes me yearn for these old recipes!

  22. I have found my true love :)

  23. Hi Shawn!! I tried to make the frosting again- following your suggestions. How wonderful it turned out!! Amazing:-) thank-you! Tami

  24. That frosting looks down right dangerous! I know that I would not be able to stop eating just with a spoon…although I am totally loving the idea of peaches dipped in frosting. And totally laughing at your husband’s comment because that is so something mine would say too ;-)

  25. Kristen says:

    What did Pat put this frosting on?

  26. I can’t wait to try this. It looks amazing. I find that the passing of recipes doesn’t happen enough. I have a few from my elders and they are my most treasured and most requested recipes. I am so excited to pair this frosting with…. I’ll let you know what I decide.

  27. Marie Shanahan says:

    This recipe can’t be called anything but wonderful. :) I even love the name. It reminds us of our Grandmothers! Mine was from Naples, and always smelled like basil and cooked like nothing I have ever seen since – we just adored her!!!

    I had a neighbor like this once. An ancient Sicilian lady who taught me all these incredible recipes. One of them being, if making lasagna and if you have run out of ricotta cheese, use cottage cheese. Everybody does it now, but this was years ago and I wasn’t sure it would work, but it did. She also said, you could simply drop cottage cheese by the spoonful into any red sauce, pasta dish with the same result.

    And bless her heart, she’s right!!
    :)

  28. Susan Mills says:

    I think you should make a scrapbook with the recipes in their original form and the stories behind them. Pictures of you making them. What a beautiful thing. (Make it digital and then you can send one to Pat and her family to enjoy also.) I have a friend who framed the recipes that were used by her mother in her mother’s handwriting. They are beautiful on the wall in her kitchen and such a keepsake.

    • Wonderful idea! I have many recipes passed down to me from my Grandmom and need thought of framing them. Thanks for sharing the idea.

  29. I was at Pat’s tonight and she said she would frost a cake or muffins with this stuff. She is pretty touched by this post and all the people who like the frosting.

  30. Hi Shawn, follow you on pinterest and fb. Thanks for the great story and recipe. Thanks Pat for the lovely recipe.

  31. Oh my, grab me a spoon and let me eat that icing! YUM!

  32. Pamela S says:

    Does anyone know if maple syrup could be used instead of the corn syrup? Or at least partially?

    • Or maybe honey?

    • Hi Pamela & KJ, I’m not an expert at corn syrup, but I did a little research and came across this article from David Lebovitz and he reckons that if the corn syrup is to be cooked to a high temperature (as it is in this recipe) to not substitute it with anything else. Things like honey and maple syrup can easily burn and would not yield the best results. That being said, you could always give it a go and see what happens, then report back and let us know how it turned out! :) Best of luck!

      • Oh, and here is the link to the article in case you wanted to check it out!

        http://www.davidlebovitz.com/2009/01/why-and-when-to-use-or-not-use-c/

      • Pamela S says:

        Thank you!

      • Slight correction on using maple syrup at high temperatures, it does not burn if you cook it down; that is how it is made, by reducing tree sap by boiling . Here’s a link about maple syrup: http://vermontmaple.org/?doing_wp_cron=1375877048.7591791152954101562500

        Because maple has a stronger flavor when it’s reduced, I think it would compete too much with the brown sugar flavor.

        And Lebovitz was talking about candy making when he suggested not using honey:

        “When can one not substitute something for the corn syrup called for in a recipe?

        For candy making, I strongly suggest sticking to the recipe. If a recipe calls for boiling a sugar syrup, unless specified, stick to using corn syrup. Especially ones cooked to a higher temperature. Honey, and the like, tend to burn when cooked down, so care should be taken to avoid that.

        If the recipe calls for cooking a syrup to a relatively low temperature (below 230F, or 110C), you can experiment with other liquid sweeteners, but I can’t advise in each and every case. You’ll just have to try it and see.

      • My husband and I couldn’t wait to put this on cinnamon rolls! The only problem was that we didn’t have corn syrup. We had read elsewhere that you could substitute honey, so that’s what we did. BLEH!!!! The honey burned and now I have this awful leftover taste in my mouth! It looked beautiful though…. We will definitely try this recipe again with the correct ingredients! DON’T USE HONEY! : )

  33. I loved your story! The recipe sounds wonderful and I can’t wait to try it. Thank you for sharing it. It is so nice that you reached out to this lovely woman and brought some joy into her life. So much can be gained and learned by spending time and talking to those experienced in life and any reason is a good reason to take a drive down memory lane and tell their stories. Have fun with the recipes!

  34. This looks amazing! I love brown sugar frosting, but I have not had one like this! I can’t wait to try it.

  35. Oh dear. This was an utter failure for me. Over cooked the sugar, possibly over beat the eggs and ended up with marshmallow textured silly putty. I will try again, but not today. I do love the story!

    • Hi Tina, So sorry to hear that! Try to cook the sugar first, set it aside, then whip the egg whites. Stream in the sugar mixture and blend in the vanilla while the beaters are still going on the egg whites. Once it’s incorporated you should be good. The frosting has a light and fluffy texture, similar to marshmallow fluff, and can be piped in a frosting bag! Hope this helps! :)

  36. This looks wonderful! I am always looking for frosting recipes without butter since I have dairy allergic boys. I tried the recipe tonight (to top some fruit!) and burned the sugar. :( What temperature do you keep the burner at after the sugar boils?

    • Hi Kari, I didn’t use a thermometer so I don’t know the exact temperature, but once it came to a boil I left the heat at a medium high and stirred it somewhat frequently because I was afraid it might burn too. Seemed to do the trick. :) Hope that helps!

      • Thank you! Nailed it today! I lowered my heat this time and it only took about 5 minutes before mine passed the hair test. The frosting has a wonderful caramel favor and is so good! Thanks again for the help with the recipe!

  37. This is the method for making divinity, a delicious old-fashioned treat. The only difference is that for divinity, you use white sugar and boil the syrup a bit longer (you’ll need a candy thermometer). Either pecans or walnuts are folded in at the very end of the process. If you can make this frosting, you should be able to make divinity. Here’s a standard divinity recipe from Betty Crocker: http://www.bettycrocker.com/recipes/divinity/6bd6e6d7-fd23-47e2-a120-facc19bca138

  38. Angie Hilbert says:

    I just made this and it totally flopped. I boiled the corn syrup for ten minutes as directed and it smelled like it was burnt. I was stirring this as it boiled and I didn’t boil it on high. Then I added this mixture to the egg whites and all the corn syrup mixture sank to the bottom of mixer bowl and got rock hard. I dumped out as much of the frosting that would come out and I’m soaking my mixing bowl. Hope the rest comes out! Where did I go wrong?

    • Hi Angie, sorry to hear that it didn’t work out too well for you. Did you make sure to boil the brown sugar and water with the corn syrup? Keep it at a medium/high heat and I would also recommend stirring it regularly while it boils so it doesn’t burn on the bottom. Try whipping the egg whites after the sugar drops like a hair from the spoon, and pouring it slowly in a thin stream while it beats. Hope that helps! :) Thanks!

    • Angie – it sounds like your sugar went too long and got to the hard crack stage. Check out this site, which can help you with timing and temperature.

      http://www.exploratorium.edu/cooking/candy/sugar-stages.html

      Basically, this frosting is similar to Italian Meringue, with the exception of using the brown sugar and corn syrup. It makes amazing, shiny, silky frosting that stands up to being kept at room temperature, and pipes beautifully.

      Hope it helps!

  39. Thank you for the recipe, but the story touched my heart. So sweet.

  40. Thank you so much for the sweet story and sweet treat :)

  41. T'Hud Weber says:

    LOVE this idea, and recipe! Has anyone tried alternatives to using the corn syrup? Just curious, I just have a hard time with corn. Cheers, and thanks for sharing!

  42. Stumbled upon this and it sounds amazing! I love to bake and will be making my sons 1st birthday cake in a couple months. His smash cake will be traditional butter cream with lots of colors but the cake for everyone will have this frosting. Excited!

  43. Wonderful story and yummy recipe!
    I have translated it into Swedish and is sharing it on my Swedish blog, so Pat’s recipe has now made a trans-Atlantic journey. Thank you so much and please send my thanks to Pat :)

  44. what can I use instead of corn syrup? It doesn’t exist here in Italy.

  45. This reminds me of a wonderful brown sugar Italian meringue buttercream I made out of Gourmet magazine. I never thought of using it as frosting without the butter, I wil definitely have to try it! I’ll bet it would be good on a devil’s food cake.

  46. What a great story—love this!

  47. Awesome story, thanks for sharing. I would make copies of the recipes, make a book. Can not wait to try this.

  48. I can’t wait to try this. And what a treasure to have found. Is there any way you can share another awesome old recipe? They are so unique!

  49. Sharlene May says:

    My grandmother used to make this. She called it Sea Foam Icing. Thanks for posting. Now I can make it for my grandchildren.

  50. Vhanessa says:

    In Spanish this recipe is called “suspiro” which means sighs. For those that are having trouble getting it to rise, you have to whip the whites first until they get to the hard peak stage and the syrup has to be HOT when you add it. The idea is to cook the whites with the air from whipping incorporated; if not, you’re eating raw egg whites… You also have to make sure that there are absolutely no yolks when you try to whip, because the whites won’t rise. I add lime zest to the syrup as it boils. It is an awesome easy treat to make just watch out for small kids and boiling sugar syrup!

  51. I make this with maple syrup instead. Very delicious!

  52. my mom taught me to make this and the sugar was ready when it spun it a silver thread, amazing on banana cake!

  53. Is anyone concerned about eating raw egg?

    • Hi Melissa, there actually wouldn’t be any raw egg whites in the icing because the boiling hot brown sugar mixture will cook the egg whites! :)

  54. My mom always made this to ice our birthday cakes. She calls it Meringue icing; you can drop it onto parchment or wax paper lined cookie sheets and bake to make meringue cookies. She uses organic cane sugar (no corn syrup), plus a dash of cream of tartar to the egg whites so they keep their peaks. In Central America bakeries sell it in little cups with sprinkles on top, in many flavors – from mint to lemon to coffee – yum!

    • Oh my goodness, getting a cup of this icing with sprinkles on top sounds like the perfect little treat. Thank you for the tip about the organic cane sugar! :)

  55. This sounds amazing! My son is allergic to eggs, do you have any ideas for substitutes in this recipe? Thanks!

  56. Mescinna says:

    Have you tried adding any food color to this icing? Does it hold the color well?

    • Mary Lou Dunn says:

      Use gel colors, not liquid. I work in a high-end dessert bakery and gel colors do not change the consistency of the icings and frostings.

  57. I have been looking and looking for a recipe just like this. Years ago my mom made banana cake and frosted it with this type frosting. My 2 sisters were especially fond of those cakes and I’ve been wanting to surprise them with one. Thank you so much for sharing! Enjoy those old recipes. They are sure to be dandys.

  58. This is wonderful, giving it to my grand daughter who is the baker in our family. My mother loves divinity so I am going to try it and send to her in Iowa. Thanks so much for sharing this amazing recipe.

  59. holy god this looks TOO good!

  60. So how did you happen to move from AZ to a tiny town in my homeland? And that picture of the frosting in the jar…stunning!

  61. Hey!! thanks for the recipe!!! Im Using this frosting with http://lovecookeat.com/chocolate-crepe-cake/ this recipe!

    I dont use corn syrup, so instead, I doubled the brown sugar and doubled the water. It takes a bit longer to boil down. Once I got it to a full rolling boil, I turned it down to a med. heat and just watched it carefully. after 10 mins or so it has gotten very thick… almost ready. Threw a bit of cream of tarter into the egg whites when they were at a soft peak.. getting ready to finish it up! ** the egg whites wont pick up.. Im wondering if its because today is cloudy and slightly humid?

    UPDATE: Poured the sugar mixture into the soft peak egg whites… The egg whites went flat but are getting thick now. The sugar mixture has cooled to a hard frosting in some spots and has built up around my beaters. the hardened candy has been shaved off by the beaters and mostly back into the frosting..
    At first I thought something was wrong, but the frosting is picking back up into a beautiful whip. Not like whipped cream… but more like… super thick and creamy spread… I think it will work for what Im doing! Will have to try making the peaked eggs on a clear day… maybe the humidity is the reason it didnt peak.

  62. Welcome to Canada! I love thiis icing. I always heard it called boiled icing and usually had it on devil’s food cake cooked in a bunt cake pan. To me this procedure is a wonder of science. Sugar is so amazing. Add baking soda to boiled sugar it foams up and makes toffee. Boil a mix of milk butter and brown sugar for 15 minutes and beat it for 15 minutes you have wonderful brown sugar fudge. Boil it longer and get rock candy ie. suckers. Spin sugar and get cotton candy. Yes sugar is a wonder of science! I wonder who thought to put it in egg whites? By the way marshmallow is a good description marshmallow is made similar to this, so is nougat. They both use whipped egg white. Thanks for sharing! Hope you like Canada.

  63. Great frosting. Just like grandma used to make. I would love to get a hold of Ms. Pats recipe box. Thanks for sharing.

  64. I LOVE this frosting! It rained here all day and I made frosting and it was SO good.

  65. I done this recipe years ago.So good everyone should try it.It’s fast and also good on muffins,and other dessert.A must try.

  66. That was such a cute story, well written. Thank you for the recipe that sounds amazing. I will have to try this recipe this weekend. Nice site too.

  67. Joanie from NC says:

    What a “sweet” story about your neighbor. I hope she will be happy nearer family and hope you snagged some copies of her recipe treasures! Any thoughts from anyone who has made this how long it might last in fridge before use? A day, 2–3 days? Thank you!

  68. This looks AMAZING!!!

  69. So I tried this twice with no luck. The eggs completely deflated and smelled AWFUL. My kitchen still stinks. Out of curiosity, I tasted it. It just tasted like molasses, which isn’t exactly what I was looking for. I’m a pretty experienced baker, but I haven’t made a meringue icing in years so I’m not sure what I did wrong. I followed the instructions pretty carefully. After the first failure, I looked up other meringue icing recipes for the exact temperature of the syrup, but it still didn’t work. Should I let the syrup cool longer? This looks amazing, and I really want it to work. We were going to use it to fill whoopie pies. Any thoughts on where I went wrong?

    • Hi Tonya, My gut instinct is that something is wrong with your eggs. The egg whites should not smell awful, in fact I don’t think they really smell like anything. You need to be careful that you did not get any yolk into your whites, cause that will not work.

      If you only have egg whites, make sure you whip them until you get stiff peaks.

      Once your brown sugar mixture is boiled to the proper consistency… remember, you are dipping a spoon in and letting it drip slowly back into the pan, looking for thin and wispy strands that look like hair, or even spider web consistency, if that is easier to picture.

      Then, SLOWLY stream the hot liquid into the stiff egg whites, WHILE the beaters are going (at a high speed). The hot liquid will cook the egg whites, and once the brown sugar mixture has been added, add the vanilla and keep beating till stiff peaks form again. Shouldn’t be much longer.

      Because of the brown sugar being boiled down to near caramel, the frosting tastes like a caramel marshmallow frosting… it’s really delicious. Try again using these tips, I bet you’ll have success!

  70. I’m going to try this very soon – sounds delicious. Thanks for sharing.

    For those ladies having problems with eggs that won’t whip up – it’s usually because of grease (from butter or oil) in your bowl.
    Always use a glass or metal bowl (not plastic) and give the bowl and your beater/whisk a wipe over with lemon juice on a kitchen paper towel before using. The lemon juice removes any trace of grease that may be in there.

  71. Jill Blotter says:

    My son has had the great pleasure of being fed by you while serving a mission in your quaint little town and it has been a highlight for him! THANK YOU!! He told me to look this recipe up and others… and I love your blog. You are very talented and I will try this right away. Thanks for looking out for Elder Blotter. :)

    • Your son is such a GREAT missionary! It’s been a pleasure having him and his companion come for dinners every week. :) (it’s been a highlight for me as well). You did a fantastic job raising a gracious, kind, and faithful boy!

  72. Saw this on Pinterest, it looks amazing…so light and fluffy! Will try it out soon and let you know how it worked out for me :)

  73. I tried to make this tonight and had no problems until pouring my caramel into my egg whites. When I poured the caramel it kept getting spun by the beaters and span into a “sugar web” around the beaters before it ever got to my egg whites. How do I get the caramel mixture into my egg whites without getting stuck in my beaters?

    • When you pour the sugar into the bowl, make sure you have the mixer on high and put the sugar in right at the lip of the bowl, letting it run down the side of the bowl. It may not seem like it will get mixed in but it will. Hope that helps!

  74. This is very much like Seafoam Frosting which I admit I prefer because I don’t want to use corn syrup. But I love the flavor!

  75. My first batch of sugar syrup was burnt because I did not understand the hair strand analogy. I’m much more of a technical baker than intuitive. I found an Italian Meringue recipe with exact temps (115C, then whip eggs to stiff peaks and remove syrup from heat at 120C) and followed that. Now it’s come out perfect. It’s in a bag in the fridge waiting to be piped tomorrow – I hope it keeps it’s texture. We shall see. Have to keep family from dipping spoons in for “one more taste”

  76. Had the same problem with hardened sugar on my beaters. Assuming that I need to pour liquid at a distance from my beaters? Also burned he sugar mixture. Going to try again. Don’t have a standing mixer. Might be easier with one.

  77. Hi this looks amazing thank you for sharing. Old recipes are the best. I have a half sheet cake to make for a b-day party next week. I wanted to know is it thick enough to make roses with and how well does it hold up to warm weather?

    • Hi Linda, If you are thinking of making rosettes with a piping bag and tip, I think it might work. Keep in mind the icing is very light and fluffy so it has lots of air bubbles in it, it’s not a smooth texture. As for the standing up to heat I am not sure. I think it would do fine sitting on the counter for a couple hours, but if it’s outside in the sun it might get runny. Hope this helps!

  78. Vorrei trovare un maggior numero di articoli/post scritti con la stessa fluidità, i miei complimenti.

  79. Teresa Reichek says:

    I tried this recipe, and I failed! I didn’t get glossy when I added the hot sugar, I got lumpy. It finally smoothed out for the most part, but the taste was awful. It tasted like burnt sugar – ugh. Am I supposed to heat the sugar to a boil slowly? I think I got it to the hard ball stage b/c the little bit that dripped on the counter instantly became hard and sharp like glass. I am going to try to give it another try tomorrow b/c I have a delicious peach cake just waiting for this icing.

    Any suggestions on what I can do to make it work?

  80. Elizabeth says:

    What kind of corn syrup do I use? Light or dark?

  81. Holy YUM! This frosting looks like a cloud! Gorgeous.

  82. This is Italian Meringue, but I like the idea of using brown sugar to give it a deeper flavor-would be fantastic on carrot cake! For those having issues figuring out when the sugar is ready, cook it until it is 238-240 degrees (soft ball). If you don’t have a candy thermometer, you can drop a little of the sugar into a glass of cold ice water-if the little ball that forms is solid but soft, you are good to go.

  83. jessica CaPages says:

    I’m not seeing the actually recipe…

  84. Someone is using your recipe as spam on Pinterest :(

  85. can this be made and used later in the day? or should it be used right away?

  86. Why are some people not keen on corn syrup? We don’t have it in the UK but can get Karo syrup in some places. Can you make it without the corn syrup? I usually make swiss meringue buttercream but am keen to try this with no butter :)

    • Hi Kim, I can’t speak for everyone, but I assume when people see corn syrup, they automatically think of High Fructose Corn Syrup, which has been labeled as something not good for our bodies. This is what wikipedia says: “Corn syrup is distinct from high-fructose corn syrup (HFCS), which is created when corn syrup undergoes enzymatic processing, producing a sweeter compound that contains higher levels of fructose.” Fructose is harder for our bodies to digest.

      Karo syrup will work in this recipe. I have never attempted to make it without the corn syrup, but some readers have stated that they tried with with maple syrup and have had success. Hope I answered your questions! :)

      • Hi Shawn I just tried this but ended up with the sugar syrup hitting the egg white and hardening immediately instead of mixing in. Should you beat it in with the whisk on slow and should the egg whites be room temp perhaps? I will NOT be defeated I am going to make this!!!

        • Keep the egg whites beating at high speed while you slowly stream in the hot syrup on the side of the bowl. If your syrup hardened it could mean that you over cooked your syrup mixture. Hope that helps! :)

    • Karo Syrup IS corn syrup.

  87. this recipe is NOT for begginers i tried and ended up with a hard mess :S

  88. I found this on Pinterest, it looks delicious! I’ll have to substitute the maple syrup for the corn syrup, my family doesn’t like incorporating that into our diet. I can’t wait to eat this! A pot luck is coming up and I think I’ll use this to frost some cupcakes to bring! I’m so happy I found this!

  89. I tried this recipe on Tuesday (Thank-you Pinterest!). It tastes just like my grandma’s old “Boiled Icing” recipe. I wasn’t sure it was going to all mix together but my husband helped to pour the sugar syrup in while I mixed it with my hand mixer and it turned out amazing. I would love to try it with maple syrup as suggested above, that sounds too yummy!

  90. THIS WAS AMAZING!!! LOVE LOVE LOVE LOVE … yes I used all caps lock – I had to shout how awesome this was!!! I forgot the vanilla in the end and still was amazing!!! I can’t wait to taste a 2nd time with the vanilla!!!

  91. Terica Hacker says:

    Can not wait to try this! My church has a dinner once a month I needed a WOW that’s good recipe… Thanks bunches!!

  92. This may sound like a silly question but, do you use dark corn syrup or light?! Looks good but i dont want to mess it up :)

  93. This is DELICIOUS! Thanks for sharing, can’t wait for our party guests to taste it tomorrow!

  94. Is this icing stiff after letting it sit in the fridge or will I be able to ice cupcakes with it?

    • It’s a light and fluffy frosting, it stays that way after being refrigerated too. Don’t let it sit for more than a few days in the fridge or it might begin to separate.

  95. Used this to frost 48 cupcakes for a baptism! Everyone loved it!

  96. This sounds wonderful! I am going to add a dollop (or maybe just a bit more ;) ) to my coffee!

  97. So I’ve tried this a couple times and I’m not having much success. Do you add the sugar mixture immediately after you reach the “drops like hair” point? Because I’ve been letting it set while I beat the egg whites, but by that time (5 or 6 minutes) the sugar has hardened in the bottom of the pan and takes FOREVER to get back out. Any suggestions?

    • Hey Chris! I’m sorry you’re having some difficulties. Once the sugar reaches the “hair stage” I would slowly stream that in to the beaten egg whites right away. A minute or two shouldn’t hurt it, but don’t wait too long. Try beating your egg whites once the sugar starts to boil. It should take about the same amount of time for the egg whites to fluff as it will for the sugar to get to the “hair stage.” I hope that helps!

      • Wow thanks for the quick reply! I’ll be sure to try again soon. So it’s ok to leave the sugar to boil? I was afraid to stop stirring it :)

        • No problem Chris! I’m here to help! :) Once the sugar reaches the hair stage, remove it from the heat and pour it slowly into the egg whites (while they are still being whipped at a high speed). If you leave the sugar to boil for too long it will become hard and brittle and make a giant mess in your stand mixer. It can be a tricky recipe, but definitely worth the end result! :)

  98. Brittany Clapp says:

    Oh please, pretty please post more of her recipes! I love this!

  99. I have been looking for an alternative to buttercream frosting. Usually I just use icing sugar and a drop of liquid (coffee, wine or water!) and the icing gets hard which I also like, but it stays thin!

    This looks divine and I can not wait to try it! Although I can’t get corn syrup where I live, so can you suggest an alternative?

  100. If anyone out there is allergic to egg all you need to do is heat up corn syrup(in microwave) . Place in bowl and beat until fluffy! MMMMMMMMMgood.

  101. I’m not sure but I may have burnt the sugar? It tastes bitter and it never reached the drops like hair point but it was starting to smell burnt so I poured it into the egg whites anyway and it looks like your picture but a darker brown than that and is very sticky and stringy

    • YES, i guess you cooked the sugar too much.
      So, here is the details…very important.
      1st, You need a food thermometer.
      You put the sugar and the water in the pan , pour and cook until th temperature reach 110° C (sorry you need to translate in °F). At that T°, you start to beat the eggs white in the mixer (don’t stop cooking the sugar+water).
      When the T° of the sugar reaches 117°C / 120°C max, you THEN, put it SLOWLY and continuously on the eggs white.
      An other info is that while you cook the sugar with the water, you don’t want the sugar to crystalize on the border of your pan, so try to not pour too hard and clean the borders of your pan with a wet cooking pencil during the cooking.
      Of course, not to mention to be careful as the cooked sugar (uncooked caramel) can burn you hard.
      If you accidentally have some on your skin then put your hand under running cold water for 10 mn. You don’t want kids around as it can be very dangerous for them.
      And yes, the cooked sugar sterilize the eggs withe, so no health danger…
      Enjoy… :))

      • The temperature is right. For those of us at higher elevations, remember to lower the temp by 1 degree F for every 1000 feet of elevation. Where I live, a temperature of 221 F is perfect. Great recipe.

  102. Michelle Cusick says:

    WOW-WEE. This icing was great. Something a little different than we usually have. I made it for my husband’s birthday. Iced a chocolate cake (my great grandmother’s recipe). Yummy. This recipe will be going in the box for future use!

  103. It’s dairy and gluten free too!! AAAAAAAAAAAwwwesome!! I have been struggling with a good dairy free frosting alternative..this is so simple! thanks for sharing!

  104. Hi, I noticed that foodsweet has stolen your picture. Actually, that’s how I found your site – I first found the pic on pinterest, then it took me to foodsweet and I wondered why there were no detailed instructions. Then I saw a link to the recipe source. They have removed your watermark from the photo. It’s kind of a sly way of doing things on their part. http://foodsweet.com/fluffy-brown-sugar-icing/

    • I found this site the same way. I came for the icing, but I’m staying for the writing. Thanks for sharing this recipe!

  105. Aubreeanna says:

    Just ran to my kitchen and made this and love it! It’s basically just a brown sugar meringue but a great one! I’m thinking pumpkin anything right about now!

  106. This worked out terribly for me. I couldn’t beat the sugar syrup in fast enough so it cooled before it was all mixed in, and bits of syrup hardened onto my beaters. As others had better results, something weird must have happened with mine. It was sort of frothy and bland, as only about half of the syrup was mixed in. Really disappointed, as it looks lovely.

    • It sounds like you may have over cooked the sugar syrup. It shouldn’t harden like that. I would make sure you are testing the syrup for doneness constantly and once it shows the signs of being ready, slowly stream it in.

  107. Catherine Marler says:

    You can do the same thing with regular sugar, and the result is fluffy white icing, much like marshmallow fluff.

    For those who say it didn’t work, you cooked it too long, which makes the sugar crystalize.

    • I recall making this frosting when I was my mom’s helper. This was my favorite; but I do remember having to keep it covered so a crust couldn’t form.

  108. For those who might need something more exact, I used a candy thermometer and boiled the sugar mixture to just between softball and hardball (240-250). It worked perfectly!

  109. Julie Martin says:

    Thanx for sharing! Always looking for new and interesting recipes for frosting. (Crisco… NOT included) I for one can eat brown sugar from the bag, and you have fluffy brown sugar frosting?! Oh yes, this will be tried soon.

  110. As an event designer, I’m hosting a going-away party for a financial advisor next weekend. The theme is going to be money/finance with elements of gold and green. I’m totally using this icing to top my cupcakes. I wonder if sprinkling just a dusting of brown sugar on top (you know, kinda looks like gold flecks) would be too much.

    YUMMMMMM

    Can’t wait. Thanks for the idea.

    • Teresa Reichek says:

      Use edible glitter, it would be perfect for what you are looking to do. Check the Wilton cakes web site or try a higher end coking supply store like Sur la Table or Williams Sonoma.

    • Turbinado sugar sprinkled on top!!

  111. I noticed that the storage longevity of this stuff isn’t very long (I know, I know, how did it even make it into the fridge to be stored, it’s so tasty), and after about 4 days in the fridge it broke down back into its base components and became stringy and gross looking. You could re-whip it and it’ll go back to its fluffiness. But you can also freeze it. I put some leftover into a baggie in the freezer to see how long it would keep (I made it for friends for Christmas). I placed it in the freezer on December 22nd, and opening it today, January 12th, it is still fluffy and soft and just as delicious.

    Just thought you could share with your readers that it freezes beautifully and doesn’t harden or lose texture or flavor, and it probably will last months.

  112. Just a quick question. How did you get it to the consistency I see in the glass container? My first attempt was a disaster, I cooked the sugar too long. Second attempt turned out fine, but the frosting is still more like a sticky meringue than something with enough body to hold shape as a buttercream would. Should I keep beating it much longer after adding the cooked sugar?

    • Hi Lisa, After you add the cooked sugar you will need to keep beating it until it gets to those stiffer peaks, otherwise it will just fall and not hold up like you’re looking for. Hope that helps! :)

  113. I tried your recipe and I made a few changes,i didn’t have corn syrup so I used 1/2 honey&1/2 maple syrup,by the way I doubled the recieipe,i found it to be very sweet so at the end I put about 1 cup of unsweetened cocoa, it was great,i used it to decorate my husbands birthday cake which I made from scratch as he doesn’t like boxed anything .

    • Thanks Mary! I’m glad you found a way to make the recipe work with what you had. I like how you added the cocoa powder, I bet that tasted great! :)

  114. I thought you would enjoy my blog post. As promised, I used your recipe for inspiration for this particular party and provided you with a shout out and link in my blog. The cupcakes with your frosting were a huge hit. http://www.risetotheoccasions.com/journal/2014/1/27/money-themed-going-away-party

  115. I’ve made frosting like this before, it’s by far my favorite kind.

    My real question is, what attachment are you using on your mixer? It looks totally different than any I’ve seen before.

  116. This is very similar to making divinity, only using white sugar. I have made it for years, and for the ones having problems with it not holding up they may need to cook it a little longer and beat it longer. I love brown sugar everything and I am so wanting to try this recipe very soon. I just might need to try it on a spice cake, I think it would be delicious.!

  117. This turned out so yummy! I got a huge mess of caramelized sugar around the edge of my bowl where the beaters flung the syrup without incorporating it but most of it made it into the egg whites and the result is so tasty and smooth – like brown sugar marshmallow fluff. Thanks Shawn (and Pat)!!

    • BTW it only took me about 4 minutes to reach 245 degrees – right between soft and hard ball, and higher than ‘thread’ which is ~230 :)

  118. Holy Deliciousness!!! This Is Amazing!! Glossy And Beautiful!

  119. I absolutely can’t wait to try this. Tried to make marshmallows for the first time today…what a mess! Lol…Gotta go to work , but tomorrow its on like Donkey Kong!!!! Thanks for this recipe!!!!

  120. Looks good and thinking of using this for valentines day. Can you substitute the corn syrup for agave nectar?

  121. I love this easy recipe and your story :) Thank you so much for sharing..

  122. I took the ten minutes too literally the first time and burnt my first batch. The second time I followed the comment that said to get to 221F and that only took a few minutes and it turned out perfect.

    • The 10 minutes is just an approximation because everyone’s stove will take a different amount of time. I’m glad that you got it to work out though! :)

  123. If you add some room temp butter, when the eggs have cooled in the mixer, you will have made a Swiss Meringue. Yummier!

  124. Leah Simpson says:

    Is it necessary to use the Corn Syrup? Does it serve a particular purpose for stability or something? I would prefer to avoid it if I can. Has anyone managed to do the recipe without it?

  125. Would one be able to add food coring to this? Or would that make the frosting unstable?

  126. did you beat the egg whites while pouring in the sugar in the highest speed?

    Thanks! Will try this later!

  127. how long did it take you to get stiff peaks? it’s taking me longer than I expected… :(

  128. Hi i am kavin, its my first time to commenting anywhere, when i read this paragraph
    i thought i could also make comment due to this brilliant article.

  129. Can’t wait to try this recipe. I love this story, it’s beautiful. Thanks for sharing Pat with us!

  130. Sofia Jasso says:

    I will make it and add softened butter to make an icing. Do you think it will stay as fluffy?

  131. Just made this for the first time. (It’s not even on the cake yet! lol). I wish I’d read the comments first and used my thermometer for the syrup. Also, I’m thinking a stand mixer is a MUST for this recipe. I couldn’t work the mixer, hold the bowl AND pour the syrup in a thin stream. I enlisted the help of my teenage son to whip the egg whites while I poured in the syrup, but, since I’d interrupted a game of Flappy Bird he wasn’t very helpful. I ended up with some hard candied syrup lumps on the beaters and a few in the bowl. Still tastes AMAZING though!!!

  132. This was beyond incredible. I was worried about bits and pieces. I had some of the syrup slinging onto the side of my mixing bowl and becoming hard as a rock. So I thought, well, what the heck. If it’s already ruined, it won’t hurt to keep mixing it. It was AMAZING! I did end up with some gunk on the beater and in the very bottom of the mixing bowl, but the vast majority of it is unbelievable. I posted on FB that I’m sure the streets of heaven must be paved with this stuff, it’s THAT good!!!
    Thank you SO much. Love your blog!!!

  133. Seriously, fantastic weblog arrangement! The length of time were you blogging pertaining to? you have made blogging and site-building start looking quick. An entire glance of one’s web site is great, aside from the material!

  134. Good Lord, a complete fail for me. Everything was going great….then I smelled the burning. Filled the house with that burnt sugar smell. Maybe I will try again some day as it looks really great! And it seems that others have had great success. Thanks for posting the recipe.

  135. I made this frosting today for bananna cupcakes. Took me 3 batches to get it close. The first batch, i lost when the egg whites deflated after adding the sugar syrup. Any idea what may have caused my eggs whites to flop? Could my syrup not have been cooked enough or added to quickly? Batch 2 the sugar syrup was ready before the eggs whites and burned. Batch 3 worked with some caramel crunchies in the frosting. Very nice light texture and not overly sweet. Any advice would be appreciated.

  136. Does this icing hold up well for piping? I’m making a carrot cake for an Easter birthday, and was thinking that this might work well flavor-wise. Have you tried piping on a cake with it?

    • Hi Peggy! I piped the frosting into that jar in the picture, and it held well while it was in there. The frosting will only hold for a day, maybe two if it’s refrigerated, so I wouldn’t frost it too early. Enjoy!

  137. Lost me at eggs…I was getting soo excited. Maybe I’ll try it with something else to substitute the eggs.

  138. Margaret says:

    Tell Pat THANKS for us…love the non-dairyness of this pretty frosting!

  139. Hii. Thank u so much x that recipe. Im also member of the church in Panama (centro America) and its wonderful. God bless u and pat.

  140. Hi! I tried reading through all the comments, but I didn’t see a post like this. Mine is so hard! Like caramel flavored rock candy. It tastes really good, but I can’t use it as icing. LOL Any tips for me?

  141. ritakarns85 says:

    thanks so much! i was looking for a great frosting for my sisters wedding cake that was dairy free and not too greasy. she hates buttercream and this looks perfect. do you think i could add a little lemon flavoring because she wants a strawberry lemonade cake. any advice would be great!

    • LeeAnn says:

      I have made this frosting several times, it is nothing short of amazing. However, because of the brown sugar it has a caramel taste to it. I personally don’t think the caramel and lemon flavors would blend well. If you make it with white sugar (the standard seven minute frosting), you could certainly add the lemon. I hope this helps some.

  142. This is whats considered an Italian Meringue. Unless you bring your sugar to hardball, this will only bring your egg whites up to about 125deg and should NOT be considered safe for immune compromised or elderly people. Use pasturized egg whites to be safe.

  143. ThedaP says:

    I loved the light creamy texture and the delicious flavor. I refrigerated my cake and the extra frosting. Unfortunately, my frosting separated and melted off my cake. Although the extra frosting whipped back up it was not the same. Any suggestions on fixing this? How do you store cakes and extra frosting?

    • Hi Theda, unfortunately, the frosting does not stay together for more than 2 days (in my experience) in the refrigerator. I’ve never tried freezing it, so I’m not sure how well it would hold up in there. I’m glad you enjoyed the icing though! :)

  144. kristi m. says:

    Is there a way to sub the corn syrup?

  145. Kelsey M says:

    Has anyone tried freezing this frosting? My son has a milk intolerance so I like to keep frosted cupcakes in the freezer to pull out when we go to birthday parties so he gets some cake too :) Can’t wait to try out this recipe!!

  146. gloria mackenzie says:

    thank u so much for posting. i had a similar recipe from grandma years ago, but over the years of moving it got lost.how many times did i wish i had the recipe .i used to eat it with a spoon sometimes as well lol.this recipe is even better,and i think its the story behind it.love old stories and old recipes. they are still the best in my book .every time i make it i remember the story behind it.
    thanks again for sharing.

  147. This frosting looks so good… unfortunately I screwed it up SO bad :( I overcooked the brown sugar mixture… it wasn’t a pretty sight! I’m not sure if I have it in me to try it again. Maybe someday :(

  148. jeannine says:

    so sweet of you to help your neighbor – we have an elderly neighbor whom i have come to adore and we help her where we can too. my question is did she say if there was any specific cake or dessert she used this icing on? it just seems to me with so many of these old recipes that there were specific pairings. just curious! please thank her for her generosity in sharing with you and, hence, all of us!

    • Thanks Jeannine! Pat said she would use this on a chocolate cake, but I think it would be delicious on a spice cake as well. :) Hope you enjoy it!

  149. I can totally see myself devouring peaches and strawberries dipped in this icing! Need to make that a reality–and soon!

  150. This looks amazing and what a heartfelt story to go with it. I was wondering how this would hold up piped high on top of cupcakes in warmer weather. Could they be left setting out for a good part of the day and remain intact?
    Thanks

  151. As you can see my name is Pat, I was named after my mother, Pat. This was her signature icing when I was a child. She would frost a spice cake with it and take it to neighbor’s homes when there was an event in the family. I always loved this frosting!
    Pat

  152. I want to bake this on top of a pie. Like a delicious, sweet meringue.

  153. I will defiantly be giving this a try. I to love reading old tucked away forgotten recipes.

  154. This is kind of silly, but I can’t really tell if I made it correctly. My icing tastes good and a bit more brown than your picture. The problem is it has the texture of what I’m assuming marshmallow fluff does? Is this correct or did I do something wrong? Also.. there was a little bit of the corn syrup mixture at the bottom of my pan and it hardened. Any idea on how to get that out? Lol it’s as hard as a rock. Beautiful photos!

    • Hey Sidney, sounds like you made it correctly. I think it totally tastes like a caramel flavored marshmallow fluff. And the hard sugar in your pan will easily come off when you soak it in warm water. :) Hope that helps!

  155. Debi Nattier says:

    I just found your blog, love it. It’s so nice to be able to print your recipes, but hate the little note in the middle that says “watch how this expert preps his BBQ”. Kinda takes away from the recipe. Just saying.

    • Thank you for your input Debi! Those little notes are a type of ad to help counter balance the cost of ingredients, hosting my website, and other costs involved with running a website. I agree, they are completely annoying to have printed on the recipe and I’m working on a way to figure out how to have it not included in the printing process. I hope you’ll still enjoy the recipes in the meanwhile and come back for more. :)

  156. Cassie Hickel says:

    I just found this recipe and used it on some pumpkin cookies…oh my word! It’s light and fluffy and complements them PERFECTLY! Totally labeling as a dip so I can use it on everything and with everything ;)

  157. can you beat this to long? I made it and beat until it was cooled down and think I messed it up. It was hard to get in a piping bag.

  158. Using this on my pumpkin cupcakes that I am making :) but, can I make the frosting the night before using? Or will it not keep in the fridge?

  159. I grew up in on a farm in the midwest during the 40’s and I still have this recipe that
    my mom always used on our spice cakes.

  160. I just made the recipe, but the sugar syrup just splattered all over the sides of the mixing bowl instantly turning to a rock hard clump. It didn’t matter if I poured slowly or quickly or beat the egg whites at different speeds. How do you get the syrup to combine with the egg whites?

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