Royal Icing

Tutorial
Tutorial

Royal icing is that hard white icing traditionally spread over marzipan on fruit Christmas cakes and wedding cakes.

An extremely versatile icing. It can be used to create either a flat surface on cakes or a textured finish. It can be piped to create intricate patterns  and used as “glue” to stick decorations onto cakes.

Royal icing can be bought ready-made, but it is easy to make at home using a food mixer.

Although traditionally made with raw egg white, because of the possible risk of salmonella, a safer option is to use dried egg white (meringue powder). You can find this at larger supermarkets, cake stockists or order online.

Ingredients

  • 4 teaspoons (2 sachets) dried egg white powder (meringue powder) plus
  • 6 fluid oz water OR 4 large egg whites
  • 1 kg (2lb 4oz) icing sugar
  • 2 teaspoon (10 ml) glycerine (optional – You only really need to add glycerine if you are using royal icing to coat the cake. The glycerine should stop it turning rock hard.)
  • 2 teaspoon lemon juice (optional – Lemon juice is added if the iced cake is to be stored for a long time as it helps prevent the royal icing from yellowing.)

With Dried Egg White

Step-by-Step Guide

Step 1

Sieve the icing sugar and dried egg powder into a clean grease free mixing bowl.

Step 1

Step 2

Add the water and mix on a slow speed to a thick paste. If it is crumbly, add a few more drops of water.

Step 2

Step 3

Leave the mixer on slow and beat for 5-10 minutes until the icing is thick and glossy and stands up in peaks. If you beat it too fast your mixture will be full of air bubbles which may make it difficult to pipe or spread neatly.

Step 3

Step 4

Stir in the glycerine and/or lemon if using.

With fresh, raw egg whites

Step-by-Step Guide

Step 1

Whisk the egg whites in a clean grease-free bowl until they become frothy.

Step 2

Fold in the icing sugar a bit at a time then stir in the glycerine and /or lemon juice if you’re using them.

Step 3

Beat the mixture thoroughly for 5-10 minutes until the mixture becomes thick and the icing stands up in peaks.

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