Fluffy Brown Sugar Icing {Pat’s Recipes}

This amazing Fluffy Brown Sugar Icing is a vintage recipe! It's light and fluffy and tastes like a caramel marshmallow!

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}

NEW!! Watch this short video to see how the Fluffy Brown Sugar Icing is made!

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Fluffy Brown Sugar Icing {Pat’s Recipes}

Fluffy frosting that tastes like brown sugar caramel heaven.

  • Author: Shawn
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 5 minutes
  • Total Time: 20 minutes
  • Yield: 6 cups
  • Category: Dessert
  • Method: Stovetop
  • Cuisine: American


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


  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!


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

Keywords: brown sugar, egg whites, corn syrup, cake icing

About the author

Shawn is the Owner and Creator of I Wash You Dry. She loves to create and share simple, family-friendly recipes. Mom to 5 adorable children and dwells in the desert of Southern Utah.
481 Responses
  1. Rose

    Oh my!!!!!! This is delicious!!!! I was looking for a quick and easy frosting to top a cake and this is it. Mind you that this was the first time I even tried to do an egg white frosting.

    I didn’t have vanilla extract at home, but I did have almond extract and it ended up spectacular!!

    Will be using it for my daughters birthday cake in two weeks.


  2. heath

    This recipe is actually an Italian Meringue and is Not a buttercream, unless you add butter, which then would be an Italian Meringue Buttercream. (BTW, French Buttercream is made with Egg Yolks instead of Egg Whites.) It’s incredibly important to use a thermometer to make sure the sugar syrup reaches the appropriate “Hard Ball” temperature (250 degrees F), otherwise you’re very unlikely to hit the appropriate temperature just eyeballing it, which won’t pasteurize the raw eggs appropriately, and your meringue won’t have the correct consistency either (resulting in gritty textures, soupy-ness, separation, etc).

  3. Shalynn

    I tried making the syrup and it just hardened so fast! I’m not much of a cook but I swear I followed the recipe. I have hard caramel

    1. Hmm… I’m not sure how well it would travel. My gut reaction would be that as long as it’s chilled it should be ok, but on the travel day… I’m not sure how well it would hold up.

  4. Brooke

    Would love to know what I did wrong??? Just made this and got a bowl full of soup, would not thicken up and turn into a fluffy frosting, I followed everything the recipe said to do and it just didn’t work!!

    1. This is probably due to your egg whites not getting beaten enough or you might have had some egg yolk get in there. Also any oily residue left in your mixing bowl could prevent the egg whites from being beaten properly. Sorry you didn’t get the best results. Those pesky egg whites can be difficult sometimes!

  5. Here is a little tip for you. Add a pound of butter to your brown sugar icing and you will get an amazing French buttercream. The first part of this recipe with the sugar and egg whites is Italian Meringue, so by adding butter, you get French Buttercream which is truly amazing.
    Also, you will know when your sugar is ready when you can blow a bubble with the sugar….just find a metal utensil with a hole in the end and at 242 or firm ball stage, you can blow a bubble (or sting hair)
    I have made Italian Meringue with sugar, syrup, maple syrup…the results are the same if you reach 242 F.

  6. Joyce

    Hi, could you replace the corn syrup with something like golden syrup or maple syrup? Corn syrup is very hard to find over here. Thanks

    1. Cheryl

      Hi Joyce,
      It is my understanding that Golden Syrup is the closest equivalent you have to our corn syrup and it’s very often used in recipes calling for corn syrup. So yes, you should be able to use it and it should turn out great.

  7. Shut the front door! This frosting is amazingly beautiful! My friend asked me to bake her daughter a dairy free cake. I made depression chocolate cake and tried this icing. So glad I did. It’s glossy, smooth, beautiful and tasty! Thank you!

  8. Jill L Fauth

    Followed the recipe, and indeed it made the most tasty frosting. It is a new favorite. I was getting tired of buttercream frosting and this is just divine and quick to boot!

  9. Darlene

    I have made this recipe several times now but NEVER use more than 2 eggs whites (lg or ex-lg). My frosting is far more creamy, thick, and far more caramel taste with only 2 egg whites.
    It is very important not to stir the sides of the pot while it boils. This will prevent the frosting from going sugary the following day.
    Shawn thank you for sharing this delicious recipe. Your boiled icing recipe is the best I have found. This is perfect.
    Thank you, Darlene
    (Nova Scotia)

  10. Megan

    I tried this and did it twice but it never fluffed up it thinned out. Now it’s mush. What can I do to fix it? To maybe make it thicker at this point it’s oversized and won’t do anything

    1. Are you referring to your egg whites that didn’t fluff up? It can take time to whip some air into them, just keep going until soft peaks form… but not too long or it will fall flat when you add the sugar. Hope this helps!

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Shawn Syphus Hi, I'm Shawn and I'm a busy mom of five; pretending to live on a budget. I love to cook, and explore new recipes, but they have to be quick and easy with as few dishes as possible.

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