Vanilla Mousse Frosting

This recipe is a standard Italian Meringue Frosting. It is adapted from the traditional recipes in the sense that I have learned over time that you can do things with less precision than recipe books call for. For example, the butter does not actually have to be perfectly chopped up into little one tablespoon slices and if it is a little too cool it is ok. I find that when I add the butter a little more chilled that it takes less time for things to set up.

This Vanilla mousse frosting is very buttery and not very sweet. If you would prefer to have a taste that is slightly sweeter, you can add an optional cup of confectioners sugar at the end of the mixing process.

This recipe for Italian Meringue frosting makes A LOT of frosting. You may half the recipe. This will shorten the amount of time that it takes to make it as a large portion of the time is the cooling process.

Interested in seeing a pictorial step by step? Read my post about this frosting.

Vanilla Mousse Frosting

From at

Yield: This makes about 10 cups of frosting. You may half the recipe.

This is a light and airy not so sweet frosting. It is perfect on almost any cake.

You'll Need...

  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 4 cups unsalted butter
  • 3/4 cup water
  • 1 1/2 cups egg whites
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract


  1. Pour the egg whites into the mixer. [POUR]
  2. Mix with a whisk attachment on high speed. When the egg whites are foamy, add the cream of tartar. When soft peaks form, add the 1/2 cup of sugar. Beat until stiff peaks form. [BEAT]
  3. At the same time, mix 2 cups of sugar with water in a saucepan. Begin to cook, stirring constantly until the sugar dissolves and the syrup is bubbling. Heat to a firm ball stage on a candy thermometer (248 - 250 degrees). Immediately pour into a glass measuring cup to stop the cooking. [COOK]
  4. Beat the syrup into the prepared whites in a steady stream, taking care not to allow the syrup to fall on the beaters. It is best if you start by pouring a bit of the syrup into the whites with the beater turned off. Beat for 5 seconds at high speed and then add the rest of the syrup in 2 additions while the mixer is running. [BEAT]
  5. Continue to beat at low speed until cool. This is where you need to have patience as it takes about a half an hour. [BEAT]
  6. Beat in the butter at medium speed a bit at a time. Most recipes state to add one tablespoon at a time, but I typically add all the butter in 3 additions. Lower the speed slightly each time you add butter. After all the butter is added, beat at medium speed until fluffy. [BEAT]

Additional Notes

Read all the directions before you start to prepare this recipe. You'll want to make sure you have a candy thermometer and that you are aware that you have to do two things kind of simultaneously (heating the candy syrup and beating the egg whites)

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