Lemon-Thyme Frosting

1 cup sugar
1/4 cup water
2 egg whites
5 sprigs thyme
1/2 teaspoon lemon juice
zest of one lemon
pinch salt

Beat the egg whites and salt to soft peaks using an electric mixer. Meanwhile, in a medium saucepan, bring sugar, thyme, zest and water to a boil, stirring occasionally. Continue to boil until it reaches soft ball stage (when a drop of the syrup forms a soft ball when dropped in cool water)while continuing to stir occasionally. Strain and discard the zest and thyme. Keep the mixer running (you need a stand mixer or a friend to complete this next step safely) while you pour a continues stream of the molten syrup into the egg whites. Continue to beat for about 5 minutes, adding lemon juice after about two minutes, or until the frosting is fluffy, glossy and cool. Frost cooled cupcakes or cake.

My thoughts:

A lemon and thyme infused satiny fluffy icing. Boiling the thyme, lemon and sugar together really infuses the icing with a true to life flavor that would be hard to replicate in other forms of icing. I’d almost call this frosting sophisticated, the kids might like it but it definitely has a grown up vibe. I used it to frost cupcakes, but I think it would also be good on an old-fashioned layer cake. My husband thinks it is so good, he’s been sneaking spoonfuls of the leftovers and eating it straight out of the bowl.


  1. oh, I’ve never thought about mixing strawberries and thyme, but it sounds like a great idea. I bet these smelled heavenly while they were baking :).

  2. I just made this recipe, and it is wonderful! I think I added too many strawberries (didn’t have any large ones, so I estimated), so they weren’t as fluffy, but they still taste great. The frosting is perfect, and I’m already thinking of how to adapt it to other things. My apartment also smells pretty amazing right now, thanks for such a creative recipe!

  3. I just made this icing to go on a lemon layer cake, but with fresh thyme not at corner store, substituted several large chunks of peeled ginger in the steeping phase. Effect is mild, but nice.
    Execution of boiled icing was pretty simple and came out perfectly…Great recipe.