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Royal Icing Recipe

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Royal Icing Recipe

Do you want your cookies to look so pretty that you cannot take your eyes off them? Well, Royal Icing should be your answer.

Take your boring sugar cookies or shortbread cookies to the next level by using this recipe for Royal Icing. 

With just 3 ingredients in your kitchen already, this recipe is one of the easiest recipes you will ever make. And to make it even better, add any of your favorite gel food coloring in this recipe to make the cookies prettier.

Royal icing is a sweet icing made with egg whites, icing sugar, and vanilla essence. Many recipes use meringue powder, egg white powder, or milk to make royal icing, but traditionally egg whites are used, which is best for a reason. And eggs are one of the most accessible ingredients that we can get.  

You can use this to outline or fill the outlined cookies. It will make your cookies look like they came out of some fancy high-end bakery. 

Drizzle it, dip the cookies in them, or simply decorating by piping. You can use this recipe any way you want it. This is the perfect recipe for Royal Icing you will ever find. It starts with a soft texture, but as you let them dry out after decorating the cookies, it will harden and create a hard shell on the cookies, but it is still soft enough when you take a bite.

Why You’ll Love This Recipe

  • Texture: It is smooth, glossy, and firm in texture if you prepare it properly as per the instruction. It has a soft and velvety feel when you touch it but hardens quickly after drying, making it perfect for creating intricate and detailed designs on cookies. When freshly made, it has a soft and creamy texture, just like soft, peaked whipped cream. This allows us to pipe and spread it on cookies easily. It dries out quickly, forming a smooth surface with sharp edges, which helps in maintaining the intricate designs on the cookies.
  • Easy: Making this recipe is relatively easy. With just 3 ingredients and simple instructions, you can make this recipe very easily within a few minutes.
  • Versatile: Its ability to adapt to different techniques such as flooding, piping, and intricate designs makes it a key tool for decorating cookies, cakes, or gingerbread houses for bakers. 
  • Long lasting: Unlike some other icing or frosting, Royal Icing relatively has a longer shelf life. As the icing dries out and hardens the surface, it helps in preserving delicate decorations, making it ideal for creating stunning designs that can be enjoyed and admired for a longer period of time.

Important Ingredients Used in the Recipe

  • Egg whites: The primary ingredient in making royal icing is fresh egg whites. Egg white provides the necessary protein structure that helps the icing to set and harden as it dries out. It also provides the icing with a smooth and glossy finish. Make sure you do not get any egg yolk mixed in the egg whites while separating eggs. If you get any egg yolk mixed in egg whites, you will not get any fluffy texture from them.
  • Icing Sugar: Also known as powdered sugar or confectioners’ sugar is essential for sweetening the royal icing and achieving the desired consistency. The fine texture of icing sugar ensures smooth and lump-free royal icing.
  • Vanilla Essence (optional): To enhance the flavor of royal icing, I have added some vanilla essence to it. But you can also use almond extract or any citrus extract instead of vanilla essence. Adding flavoring to the royal icing enhances the flavor.
  • Food color (optional): To create vibrant and visually appealing royal icing, I have added different gel food coloring to it. Adding color allows bakers to create and customize any cookies according to their creativity.

How To Make Royal Icing

Preparations: Gather all the ingredients accurately according to the recipe. Make sure that you separate the egg whites from the yolk carefully. Any trace of egg yolk may ruin the texture of the royal icing. Use squeaky clean bowls.

Beating egg whites: In a clean bowl, beat egg whites until you get a foamy texture. Beat the egg whites at a low speed, then proceed at high speed. This way, the proteins present in egg whites will separate properly and give us a smooth and glossy royal icing.

Adding icing sugar and vanilla essence: Add icing sugar gradually in parts. Do not dump all the icing sugar at once, it will get lumpy, and you will not get the desired consistency. Lastly, add in vanilla essence and beat again until you get a nice glossy royal icing. It will be in a liquid form and will not have stiff or soft peaks, so do not overbeat the egg whites, or the texture will get ruined.

Adding color: Divide the royal icing into different bowls and add edible gel colors of your choice.

Decorating: To decorate your cookies, pipe the outline of your cookies first, then flood it in the middle. If you feel like the royal icing is a bit stiff, you can add a few drops of water to loosen it. And if your royal icing is too flowy, add icing sugar to make bring it to pipeable consistency.

Chef’s Tips For The Recipe

Quick Tip For Perfectly Whipped Egg Whites.

Use the clean bowl to whip the eggs. Any residue of fat or water will retain the egg whites from becoming fluffy.

Use room temperature eggs for separating egg whites and yolk. Make sure that you use room-temperature egg whites only. Whip the egg whites at low speed until foamy. It allows the protein to break down better.

Tip For Adjusting The Consistency.

Add a few drops of water to bring it to flowy consistency for flooding the cookies. Or add more icing sugar to bring it to pipeable consistency.

How To Store Royal Icing

You can store royal icing in the fridge for 2 weeks. Make sure that you keep it in an air-tight container or a sealed piping bag. It can stay fresh at room temperature for 1 – 2 days.

More Easy Recipes

If you like more stuffed cookies like this, then check out our other recipes that are:

Cream Cheese Frosting Without Powdered Sugar

Homemade Chocolate Frosting

Caramel Frosting

Frequently Asked Questions

Why is my royal icing too runny?

You may have added too much water to bring it to flowy consistency or overbeaten it. You can add more icing sugar to bring it to the right consistency.

Can I use castor sugar instead f icing sugar to make Royal Icing?

No, you can not use castor sugar instead of icing sugar to make royal icing. Icing sugar is traditionally and typically used to make royal icing. Using a different sugar may result in a grainy texture and a meringue, and you do not want to pipe meringue on top of your cookies, right?

Why does my royal icing have air bubbles?

The air bubbles may have formed during the mixing process. Beat the egg whites at low speed until to minimize the air bubbles.

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Royal Icing

Do you want your cookies to look so pretty that you cannot take your eyes off them?
Well, Royal Icing should be your answer. Take your boring sugar cookies or shortbread cookies to the next level by using this recipe for Royal Icing!

  • Total Time: 15 to 20 minutes

Ingredients

Scale
  • 2 Fresh egg whites
  • 200 g Icing or confectioners’ sugar 
  • 1 tsp Vanilla essence
  • Gel colors, as per your choice

Instructions

  1. In a clean bowl, beat egg whites until you get a foamy texture. Beat the egg whites at a low speed, then proceed at high speed. 
  2. Add icing sugar gradually in parts. Do not dump all the icing sugar at once, it will get lumpy, and you will not get the desired consistency.
  3. Lastly, add in vanilla essence and beat again until you get a nice glossy royal icing. It will be in a liquid form and will not have stiff or soft peaks, so do not overbeat the egg whites, or the texture will get ruined.
  4. Divide the royal icing into different bowls and add edible gel colors of your choice.
  5. To decorate your cookies, pipe the outline of your cookies first, then flood it in the middle. If you feel like the royal icing is a bit stiff, you can add a few drops of water to loosen it. And if your royal icing is too flowy, add icing sugar to make bring it to pipeable consistency.
  • Author: Chef Aruna
  • Prep Time: 10 to 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 5 to 10 minutes

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