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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4.58 from 14 votes

Fluffy Brown Sugar Icing {Pat’s Recipes}

Fluffy frosting that tastes like brown sugar caramel heaven.
Prep Time15 mins
Cook Time5 mins
Total Time20 mins
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Servings: 6
Calories: 234 kcal
Author: Shawn


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


  • 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.
  • Meanwhile, beat egg whites until stiff.
  • SLOWLY pour the hot syrup in a THIN stream into egg whites, beating constantly. Beat until icing holds peaks, then blend in vanilla.
  • Let cool to room temp, then store covered in the fridge until ready to use.
  • Enjoy!
*The egg whites are cooked when the hot sugar syrup is slowly streamed into them. So no worries about raw egg whites! 🙂


Calories: 234kcal | Carbohydrates: 58g | Protein: 2g | Fat: 1g | Sodium: 62mg | Potassium: 81mg | Sugar: 58g | Calcium: 34mg | Iron: 1mg
Keywords: Brown Sugar, cake icing, corn syrup, egg whites
DID YOU MAKE THIS RECIPE?don't forget to share a picture and mention @iwashyoudry on Instagram or tag #iwashyoudry!
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.
496 Responses
  1. Sierra

    Ok So what did I do wrong ….I was doing the steady pour and the sugar sauce hardened around my mixer and left giant chunks on the bottom! I was mixing vigorously…. Help

  2. Cheryl

    This is made,similar to a Swiss buttercream that I make using white sugar. Curious if I could turn this into a brown sugar buttercream icing. Has any tried it yet?

      1. All I had was maple syrup- not the real stuff, but the kind that’s mostly corn syrup anyways 🙂 , and it turned out great! I cut back the water a little, don’t know if I had too, but it worked!

  3. Carolyn

    Hello, I was wondering if you’ve tried this recipe with muscovado sugar and would it work as well? I wanted to try it with muscovado sugar to get more of a butterscotch flavor. Thanks!

  4. Wioletta Henningsen

    Its fantastic! A little too sweet, I’ll use a little less sugar next time. Thank you for this amazing recipe

  5. Jessica

    Just tried this recipe and it worked out great. I just loved your story about Pat as well. My grandmother was a baker and cake decorator but passed when I was a baby. How I wish I had her to teach me and share her stories! Thank you so much for sharing this 🙂

  6. Laurie A Ryan

    Amazing!! This was by far one of the easiest icings to make and the silky texture is beautiful. My new favorite recipe for an old baking staple.

  7. Lukie

    You have to try this as a dip for sweet potato fries!!!! It would will taste just like Thanksgiving sweet potatoes with brown sugar and marshmallows!!!

  8. Kaitlyn

    My icing tastes fantastic and is the consistency of a marshmallow fluff… but when piped it doesn’t really hold it’s shape… in your picture you can see that you used a star tip… when I use a star tip I get just a round dollop (as if I’d used a round tip)… do you think I didn’t beat it enough? Or at a high enough speed?

    Thanks in advance… it’s awesome that you are still answering questions on this post 4 years later!!!

    1. Hi Kaitlyn, The icing isn’t a very stiff icing, but it should hold a softer shape. My guess is that your egg whites weren’t beaten stiff enough before adding the sugar mixture. I’m glad you enjoyed it! 🙂

  9. Claire Tillett

    Hi I made this to go with a butterscotch cake. Although this frosting tasted amazing I was slightly disappointed that it absorbed completely into the cake. Is there any way to stop this as I would love to use this delicious frosting again xx

  10. Steph S

    Tried making this today, and followed the recipe and video exactly. It turned out nothing like the photo or the description. It’s so dense and gooey, like marshmallow fluff. In fact, comparing it to my homemade marshmallow fluff recipe, they are identical with the exception of the brown vs white sugar. It’s incredibly sticky. Does not work for cupcakes, cake, etc. Might even be too sticky gooey for cookie icing. Very sad. I ended up using a different recipe and got perfect frosting.

  11. This icing goes amazingly well with everything! Great recipe Shawn! 🙂 One question though; Do you think replacing corn syrup with honey will have any affect on the final result? Keep up the great work, greetings from Athens Greece!
    Mirella and Panos

  12. Selkie

    this was fantastic. I thought it would be way to sweet, but it surprisingly isn’t. It was so incredibly fluffy, and then I realized that I hadn’t added any colour to it, so I added some and remixed, which completely deflated it. Totally my fault. Still tastes yummy

  13. Barb Flavin

    I live in a really small town too and I love that it makes it so easy to get to know folks. I met a very sweet teen at a restaurant–my husband and I had gone there for an early dinner and she was the person who took you to your table, filled your water glass, etc. She confided in us that her teacher had given them an assignment and the grade they received for this project would be counted heavily toward their final grade in the class. The assignment was “What are you passionate about? Create something that will show the entire class what that is.” She loves the idea of being a pastry chef. She gave us a candy that she had made for her class and it was delicious. So I told her #1, I’d bring in some of my favorite recipes and #2 as she gathered recipes she should ask the person who gave it/them to her to tell a story about them–why were they a “favorite?” I also suggested that she ask her mom about her recipes–any good stories about them? I have my maternal grandmother’s red potato dumpling recipe–they’re really good but not as good as the story that goes with them. My maternal grandmother said they were a secret test. She had four daughters and the secret test was that when a daughter brought home a beau for dinner the first time, Grandma would serve roasted pork loin with red potato dumplings. If the beau liked them, then he was a prospective candidate for marriage. If he didn’t, he was to be dropped like a hot rock. And they could not be told beforehand about the test. As each daughter brought home a beau, everyone around the table would wait with bated breath to see how the beau rated. One daughter’s beau didn’t like them, so her three siblings cautioned her to dump him. Unfortunately, she didn’t and when she announced to her sisters that they were getting a divorce, they replied “Siska, you knew this would happen–he didn’t pass the test! He was a jerk from the start but you were too kindhearted to believe it!” Needless to say, the entire family rallied round Siska to help her through that difficult time. I was the oldest grandchild and sure enough, MY beau was given the test too, although we were already married at the time. When he asked for thirds on the dumplings everyone started clapping and my uncle congratulated him. My poor husband had such a confused look on his face because of course I didn’t warn him about the test. And yep, we’re still married 48 years later!

    After hearing the story of the dumpling test, the young teen was so excited about this potential “other side” of recipes. She said she couldn’t wait to get home and ask her parents if they had any good stories to go along with some of their family recipes. It’s a fun thing to add to the back of your recipe card/page.

  14. Yvonne

    I don’t flub many recipes but I did this one. Tuned the cooking to ten minutes constantly stirring. Took way over ten minutes and really didn’t get the seeing effect mentioned. Started smelling overcooked. Icing turned out dark color and I don’t really care for the taste. IF I bothered to this mess again, I wouldn’t cook that long. Pan since it cooled will be horrible to clean. Hoping when the icing cools it will be sweeter.

    1. Sounds like you overcooked and burnt the sugar, which will turn the color dark and give it a real bitter taste. Sorry you didn’t get the best results. The best way to get that sugar off your pot is to just let it sit with hot water in there, it will dissolve really easily. 🙂

  15. Melissa

    So just made this but I found the syrup got hard around the will in the mixture
    Although icing is stiff and tastes great, I feel I still did something wrong? Help please

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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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