Royal Icing Recipe – For Cakes and Cookie Decorating
Royal Icing is a quick and easy icing that dries hard. It’s very sweet because it’s mostly powder sugar and Egg whites. It has endless uses in the cake and cookie decorating world. Once you learn the right method to make it, and the right consistency that works for you, it can be a fun experience.
In this post you will find.
- Royal Icing with Meringue Powder
Black Royal Icing
with Egg White powder
with Raw Eggs.
RI to cover a Fruit Cake
Royal Icing decorations can last for ever if stored properly.
Humidity is its worst enemy and grease can break it down ruining all your hard work.
So the key to success with RI to get the recipe and consistency right first..
More about Royal Icing Tips can be found on my Tip Thursday – Royal Icing Basics
Video – How to make Royal Icing
While there are many many recipes out there….there is usually only one that works best for you. These are the ones that work for me. For many years I used the recipe made with raw Egg Whites before I switched to the Meringue Powder.
I find working with the raw egg whites recipe the best for me so when possible I try to get pasteurized egg whites.
Royal icing will breakdown with grease so before you start ensure that your mixing bowl and utensils that you use to make your icing are all grease free. I wash my mixing bowl and paddle attachment with warm water. Take a paper hand towel, add a few drops of white vinegar on the towel, use the towel to wipe the bowl dry.
Royal Icing with egg white powder
Meringue powder is usually found in cake decorating stores and already contains cream of tartar and salt to it making it more stable to make Royal Icing. But if you cannot find it and don’t want to use raw eggs, you can buy the egg white powder for your regular grocery stores and add the remaining ingredients
While the method is the same as the video below- here are a few progress pictures of how to make it with Egg white Powder
Royal Icing Recipe Card to Print
- 3 tbsp Meringue Powder.
- 4 cups sifted powdered sugar/ Confectioners sugar / Icing sugar.. (about 1 lb or 450 grams)
- 6 to 8 tbsp of warm water.
- 1 TspAlmond Extract or Clear Vanilla Extract
- 1 tbsp of Light corn syrup
- 2 tbsp of egg white powder
- ½ tsp salt
- ¼ tsp cream or tartar or 1 tsp lemon juice
- 4 tbsp warm water.
- 3 cups sifted powdered sugar (330 grams) more if needed.
- 1 tsp Almond or Vanilla extract
- Place (dry ingredients) meringue powder (or egg white powder, Cream of tartar and salt)
- Plus half the sugar in the mixing bowl. I prefer to sift them together so there are no lumps.
- Add in 6 tbsp of water.
- Start the mixer on low, once all the sugar is incorporated.
- Turn the mixer up to medium and continue mixing for about 5 minutes until you have a gooey consistency.
- Next add the balance sugar.
- Check to see if you need more water, do not add more than ½ tbsp at a time.
- Continue to mix for 3 more minutes.
- Add Extract and light corn syrup.
- Now turn the mixer up to medium and beat for another 2 to 4 minutes.
- Once your reach a stiff peak consistency, your royal icing is ready.
Consistency: It’s best to add water to a small batch when you need it. If you add too much water now, you may end up having to add sugar to thicken it up again. I believe too much sugar makes the icing flaky and once dried it tends to chip off even with the slightest draft of air.
No matter how soon you are going to use your RI, always transfer to a sealed bowl, covered with cling wrap.
The left overs can be stored in the fridge sealed well.
Black Royal Icing
- Black Royal Icing.
- 3 tbsp Meringue Powder
- 3 cups Icing Sugar (sifted)
- 1 cup Coco Powder (sifted)
- 5 tbsp of warm water
- 1 tbsp of black food gel color.
- 1 tsp Vanilla extract
- The method is the same as shown the Royal Icing video above.
- This icing stays a bit sticky and difficult to pipe. But It is still what I prefer because I do not like using excessive food color (esp to make black)
Royal Icing with raw egg whites
For those who cannot find meringue powder this is a good alternative provided you can find Pasteurized eggs.
- 2 large egg whites
- 1 tbsp of lemon juice.
- 4 cups sifted powdered sugar (400 to 440 grams)
- 1 tsp Almond or Vanilla extract
- Take all the precautions regarding grease as above then continue.
- Add all the ingredients to the mixing bowl with paddle attachment. Mix on medium for about ten minutes. If necessary add more powdered sugar.
- Once ready you can use it just as regular royal icing, adding ½ tsp of water as needed.
- Use fresh, left over can be kept in the fridge for about 3 days. Bring back to room temperature and mix well before using.
This picture here below is made with Raw Egg whites. Can you tell the difference? Not really.
Covering the entire cake with Royal Icing –
The above recipe dried hard like candy and cannot be used to cover the cake.
If you do need to cover a fruit cake with Royal Icing. First cover the cake with Marzipan and add glycerin to the Royal Icing.
Add 1 tsp of glycerin to your Royal Icing for the bottom tier of cake,
2 tsp of glycerin for the second tier.
3 tsp of glycerin for the top tier.
If it’s a single tier cake – add 1 tsp of glycerin per cup of Royal Icing.
Uses and Storage
- Royal icing dried hard when comes in contact with air. So as soon as your icing is ready place it in a grease free container that has a tight lid. Use a cling wrap/ plastic wrap and place directly over the icing to prevent any air from touching it.
- Royal Icing is best used fresh, the longer it sits around the weaker it gets. You will see the water and icing separate. Mix well before yo re-use it.
- Royal icing (not made with fresh egg white) can be kept at room temperature and can last for up to a week. If kept in the fridge can be kept for up to 2 weeks.
- Royal Icing decorations last for ever if stored properly. Humidity does reduce their shelf life. So if you do have spare left over royal icing from your cakes. Don’t throw it away, make drop flowers which are really easy to make and are great to add a little life to any simple cake.
Know your RI – A Good Royal Icing is strong and dries hard.
- When you hold a piece of dried RI you should be able to break it into two pieces.
- If it crumbles into small pieces means your RI is weak with too much water.
- and If it is crusty – turns to a powdery mess… it means you have too much P. Sugar in your recipe you need more egg whites or meringue powder next time.
Oops that was a long post and too much info in one post.. I hope it didn’t bore you..
Ah well, that’s all about Royal Icing for you. I hope that helps you with your next project with cakes or cookies.