7-Minute Frosting (a type of Swiss meringue) is one of the real classics in the world of patisserie – and naturally among skilled home chefs. However, you don’t have to be a master chef or confectioner to make a foolproof 7-Minute Frosting when you know a couple of easy tricks.
Moreover, making a keto version of the 7-Minute Frosting is surprisingly easy. Just read on, and I’ll tell you the secrets on how to make an easy, 5-ingredient keto variation on this classic frosting and get as light and airy result as your grandma had made it – only miles healthier!
How to make this Keto 7-Minute Frosting
This Keto 7-Minute Frosting is an excellent addition to your repertoire of keto frostings. Unlike heavy buttercream frostings or cream cheese frostings, this Swiss meringue-based frosting is light and airy – and practically calorie-free and carb-free!
All in all, making this frosting is simple. You combine all 5 ingredients in a saucepan and beat for full 7 minutes with an electric mixer over medium-low heat, until you’ve reached a very fluffy, airy, sturdy, and glossy consistency. Stiff peaks, so to say.
The ingredients you need for this frosting are egg whites, water, powdered erythritol, cream of tartar, and glycerin-based vanilla stevia.
The last one plays a crucial role: glycerin makes the frosting glossy, almost like sugar would do. When you make sugar-free frostings, it’s challenging to get a similar result than you would get with sugar, as sweeteners lack many of the properties of sugar, like viscosity.
Therefore, I found that glycerin-based stevia is just a perfect ingredient to lend both gloss and vanilla flavor. Plus, it’s alcohol-free.
Sugar-free meringues and meringue-based frostings – even you use glycerin – are admittedly not that smooth as sugary versions but still come close enough, so I bet this exquisite keto frosting pleases your palate.
This frosting is perfect if you avoid raw eggs as you cook the egg whites while beating them vigorously.
There are a few things to take into account to get the ultimately successful result. Let’s talk about the cooking process now when we got into it. So, the idea of this frosting is to slowly cook the egg whites while beating them.
The cooking temperature is important. If it’s too low, your egg whites won’t cook. If it’s too high, the meringue burns to the bottom of your saucepan. In my experiments, I found out that 194 °F (90 °C) was just the ideal temperature to make this frosting. Naturally, if you feel unsure and you want to guarantee that you won’t end up with burned frosting, you can use a water bath for preparation.
That’s it, let’s take a look at how to prepare this fascinating frosting:
Take a medium-sized heavy-bottomed saucepan.
Add 2 egg whites, preferably from organic eggs…
…1/3 cup (80 ml) powdered erythritol…
…3 tablespoons water…
…1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar…
…and 40 drops (about 1 teaspoon) glycerin-based vanilla stevia. You can actually add a pinch of unrefined sea salt or Himalayan salt for rounding the flavors if you wish, but I tend to leave it out.
Place the saucepan over medium-low heat (or a bit lower). The temperature should ideally be about 194 °F (90 °C).
Beat with a hand-held electric mixer for 7 minutes (yes, constantly!) until fluffy and stiff peaks form.
This is how the frosting evolves:
After beating 1 minute…
…and 7 minutes. Now we’ve got very stiff peaks.
Use as a frosting on your keto cakes.
This recipe is enough to frost (but not fill) a 9-inch (23 cm) cake.
How I came up with the keto version of the classic 7-Minute Frosting
I’ve done keto frostings since I started keto about 15 years ago. I’ve always liked both decadent buttery frostings but also light and airy meringue-based frostings. Well, I like everything sweet!
You can imagine that buttercream frostings and other heavy frostings are a cinch to make on keto, but making a successful keto meringue is entirely another thing as you don’t use sugar which is responsible for many of the good characteristics of meringue.
The first time I ever came across the concept of 7-Minute Frosting (or Icing) was in Ursula Solom’s book The Low-Carb Baking and Dessert Cookbook over 10 years ago. That book was my low-carb and keto baking bible before I started making my own tweaks and developing my own recipes.
I bet I tried almost all the recipes in that book. The Low-Carb 7-Minute Frosting on page 183 sounded fascinating, and I definitely wanted to give it a try. The recipe used xylitol (granules, naturally) and emphasized that xylitol is the sweetener that works best.
Obeying the instructions, I made the frosting with xylitol over a water bath in a huge saucepan. I remember my huge saucepan was full of frosting when I was beating the heck out of it. It was so full that it was almost spilling over. Well, at least the consistency got pretty good!
However, I still remember the sandy and grainy mouthfeel of that frosting, thanks to the xylitol granules, which didn’t dissolve in. Moreover, the frosting was far too sweet to my taste. Yes, I love sweet, but not too sweet. My mission is to wean off people – including myself – from overly sweet flavors and create recipes with much more natural sweetness.
I folded in plenty of whipped cream to make the frosting edible, using about half frosting and half whipped cream. Now, the frosting was both airy and rich!
I still made a version of the Low-Carb 7-Minute Frosting with erythritol granules but didn’t notice any difference to the version with xylitol. I also reduced the amount of sweetener to a more natural level. And again, I was left with a sandy and grainy mouthfeel.
About 10 years ago, there was no powdered erythritol available – nor could I make any myself because I didn’t have a powerful blender – so making meringue was even trickier. Nowadays, there is powdered erythritol available, and I also have a proper blender that I often use to make my own powdered erythritol, so things are looking much better now.
Maybe because of the sandy and grainy mouthfeel of the granulated sweeteners, I forgot the recipe for about 10 years. However, it was somewhere back of my mind all the time, waiting for the time to pop out and get improved when there were powdered and thus better dissolving sweeteners in the market.
A couple of weeks ago, I finally let the idea of this frosting pop out into my consciousness. My birthday is approaching, and I was planning my birthday cake. This frosting – in its improved form – would be just the perfect frosting for my birthday cake, I concluded.
I skimmed through the old recipe in The Low-Carb Baking and Dessert Cookbook and checked many conventional and sugary 7-Minute Frostings on the web.
I was pondering if I should add glycerin to make the frosting glossy, but my 5-ingredient quota was filling, so I was hesitating. I certainly needed water, egg whites, powdered erythritol, cream of tartar, and vanilla flavor. There was no room for glycerin there.
Then, I suddenly realized that I could hit two birds with one stone: if I used glycerin-based vanilla stevia for the vanilla flavor, I would get both the gloss-providing glycerin and the needed vanilla flavor. In addition, I could also reduce the amount of erythritol to avoid any aftertaste and to balance the sweetness with stevia. Sounded like a good plan to me!
After calculating the needed amounts in my head, I was ready to conduct my first experiment. Beating and heating proceeded smoothly, and the result was also smooth and fluffy (without a hint of sandy mouthfeel!) and slightly glossy, however, I was too careful with the heat and used simply too low temperature in my stovetop. I noticed this mistake two minutes before the time was over, but it was too late.
The meringue didn’t cook properly, so it started separating after a while. I stored the frosting in a plastic container, and eventually, I ended up with a mess of pale liquid in the bottom of the container and dull-looking pieces of frosting floating on top. Eww.
So, getting wise from this mistake, I increased the heat for my next experiment. Now, I found the ideal temperature, and the frosting turned out gorgeous and long-lasting!
I also decreased the powdered erythritol from 1/2 cup (120 ml) to 1/3 cup (80 ml) and increased the vanilla stevia from 20 drops to 40 drops to get more vanilla flavor and reduce the cooling aftertaste of erythritol even more.
Now, the frosting looked awesome. I frosted a keto cake with it. Even I stored the cake for a few days, the frosting looked just perfect and untouched. It didn’t suffer at all from storing! My son totally loved the frosting as well and was secretly scraping the frosting on the cake with a spoon to his mouth.
Moreover, I was happy with the taste as well. It wasn’t too sweet, but it was still sweet enough. The hint of vanilla from vanilla stevia was perfecting the flavors. Cream of tartar has quite a strong taste, but I was happy to notice that it wasn’t overpowering here at all.
Overall, I was super happy with how the frosting had turned out and was pleased to frost also my birthday cake with it.
Here’s the recipe for you to enjoy:
- 3 tablespoons water
- 2 egg whites
- 1/3 cup = 80 ml powdered erythritol
- 1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
- 40 drops (about 1 teaspoon) glycerin-based vanilla stevia
- (pinch of unrefined sea salt or Himalayan salt)
- Combine all ingredients in a medium-sized heavy-bottomed saucepan.
- Place the saucepan over medium-low heat (or a bit lower), ideally 194 °F (90 °C).
- While heating, beat with a hand-held electric mixer for 7 minutes (yes, constantly!), or until fluffy and stiff peaks form.
- Remove from the heat and use as frosting on your keto cakes or cupcakes.
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Low Sugar, So Simple: 100 Delicious Low-Sugar, Low-Carb, Gluten-Free Recipes for Eating Clean and Living Healthy
The Low-Carb Baking and Dessert Cookbook
Anthony's Premium Cream of Tartar, 2 lb, Gluten Free, Food Grade, Non GMO, USP, FCC, Made in USA
NuNaturals Plant Based Vanilla-Alcohol Free Stevia Extract Drops - All Natural Liquid Sweetener - 2 oz (2 Pack)
NuNaturals Plant Based Vanilla-Alcohol Free Stevia Extract Drops - All Natural Liquid Sweetener
NOW Natural Foods, Organic Confectioner's Erythritol Powder, Replacement for Powdered Sugar, Zero Calories, 1-Pound (Packaging May Vary)
Anthony's Confectioner's Erythritol, 2 lb, Non GMO, Natural Sweetener, Zero Calorie, Keto & Paleo Friendly
Swerve Sweetener, Confectioners (Pack of 2)
|Nutrition information||In total||Per serving if 8 servings in total|
|Protein||7.6 g||1.0 g|
|Net carbs||0.3 g||trace|
|kcal||32 kcal||4 kcal|
Tips for variations
This frosting is perfect as is. However, there are a few things how you can tweak the recipe:
- For lemony frosting: Replace the water with an equal amount of lemon juice. You might have to increase the sweeteners (erythritol and stevia) as well.
- To make the frosting richer, fold some whipped cream in the ready frosting.
- Need still a tad richer yet airy frosting: Then make Swiss Meringue Buttercream by adding 1 stick (4 oz = 115 g) softened unsalted butter to the ready Keto 7-Minute Frosting until fluffy.
- I haven’t tested this frosting with other sweeteners than erythritol. You can try how allulose works if you get some. Also, monk fruit is a fantastic keto-friendly sweetener. Don’t use liquid sweeteners, though, since they might make the fluffiness disappear and your stiff peaks fall in record time.
My breathtakingly fabulous week in Greece is over, and I returned home on Friday. I was spending most of the time in Corfu, and I have to say that Corfu made me the most awestruck of the few Greek islands I have visited. Green nature, beautiful flowers, stunning and unique houses, tasty food, friendly people, and just so many other things were impressive and made the whole trip maximally enjoyable.
Actually, it was supposed to rain the whole week, but the weather turned out sunny and surprisingly warm. It was a pleasure to take long walks and swim in the pool in the yard, among others.
I was happy to have a fully equipped kitchen in the house where I was accommodated. Well, almost fully equipped since there was no whisk or anything I could have used for whisking or beating!
I had some Ketokamu baking mix with me, and I was doing some experiments. Well, there were no measuring cups or spoons in the house either, so I just had to eyeball things. Luckily, I have a long-time experience in cooking and baking, so it was relatively easy.
I did mozzarella dough (Fat Head dough) experiments and made pastries filled with cheese. They were really delicious!
Here’s another, sweet version. I made the filling using apple, walnuts, and cinnamon that I had fried in butter and sweetened with erythritol. These pastries were also good, but I admit the filling should have been somewhat sweeter.
I also made a cheesy skillet bread which turned out super tasty. I posted the recipe on my Finnish Facebook group about keto baking. That recipe would be actually something to be posted here on my blog as well, but naturally with other flours than our Ketokamu baking mix (until we get the baking mix to the international market, that is!)
So, tomorrow is my birthday. I’m not planning to celebrate it magnifically; I will just make a cake using this frosting now when I’m into it. Birthday is a perfect excuse to bake as I love to bake, and actually, there is always a good excuse to bake!