How To Make Royal Icing
This versatile icing can be used to decorate cookies or used to ice details on fondant covered cakes, or, can be used as frosting to cover an entire cake, especially nice at Christmas time on a rich fruit cake.
If you have any concerns about using raw eggs, you can buy bottled pasteurised egg whites in most stores, normally found in the fridge with the milk and cream.
This recipe is enough to cover a (tall) 20cm cake.
- 3 egg whites
- 500g icing sugar
- 1 tsp glycerine
- *See notes in recipe on flavourings and colours
- Place egg whites in a large bowl and whisk with an electric mixer until frothy. Add half of the icing sugar and mix until combined. Scrape down the sides of the bowl then add in the remaining icing sugar along with the glycerine (and if you’re using, flavouring of your choice) then whisk until icing thickens to your desired consistency, softer for spreading, or firmer for creating rough and firm peaks on cakes.
- As egg-whites may vary in volume, you can add more icing sugar, a tablespoon at a time, to thicken the icing. Likewise, if icing is too think and you wish to thin it down, add more egg white.
- If using bottled pasteurised egg whites, you may find you need to add more icing sugar to thicken it up. 3 tbsp liquid egg whites = 1 large white.
- To flavour royal icing, use 1 tsp vanilla extract, or use other extracts like lemon, orange or peppermint. Coffee flavouring is also lovely, but will tint the white to a pale brown. You can buy other unusual concentrated flavourings from specialty baking stores, but vanilla is a great option and goes with most cakes.
- To colour royal icing, add a few drops of gel or paste colouring, mix until combined, then add more until you reach the desired shade.
- Royal icing starts to dry and crust over if not used immediately. To save for later, transfer royal icing to a sealable plastic container then place a damp paper towel or a sheet of clingfilm directly on the surface of the icing. Seal container with the lid then store in the fridge. To use, remove from the fridge and allow to come to room temperature. Remove plastic/paper towel, give a quick mix if needed, and then use as you like.
- Will keep for up to 3 days in the fridge, stored in an airtight container.