Royal Icing Recipe

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

I have been making royal icing for years. When I first started, I did a lot of research on the internet and looked at countless decorating books to see what recipe would be the right fit for me. I tried many different ones, but ran into problems with them either cracking, drying with dull, flat color, etc.

So over the years my recipe has changed quite a bit. I tried to fix the problems I has having by adding a little bit of this and taking out some of that. Now, I finally have a royal icing recipe that is consistent every time I use it and am so happy I can finally share it with all of you!

Royal Icing Recipe

{yield: covers roughly 40-50 3.5 inch cookies}

5 tablespoons meringue powder
3/4 cup warm water
1 teaspoon cream of tarter
1 kilogram powered sugar
1 teaspoon clear vanilla extract
1 teaspoon of light corn syrup

When I make my royal icing, I always make sure that I have all that ingredients that I will need before I get started.

Using my electric scale, measure out 1 kilogram of powered sugar (minus the bowls weight) and set aside.

In a standard mixing bowl, add 3/4 cup of warm (not hot) water to the 5 tablespoons of meringue power and whisk by hand for 30 second.

I then add 1 teaspoon of cream of tarter and mix by hand again for 30 more seconds. The cream of tarter acts as a stabilizer for the royal icing. In Miami, humid days are plentiful and are not always the best for icing cookies. Adding the cream of tarter really makes a different in how the icing sets up on the cookies.

Attach the paddle to your mixer, add the powered sugar into the bowl and mix at a low speed for 1-2 minutes or until all of the sugar has been incorporated.

Add the teaspoon of clear vanilla extract and the teaspoon of light corn syrup to the icing mixture. The addition of the corn syrup adds a nice shine to the cookies once they are completely dry.

Scrap down the sides of the bowl and paddle, then continue to mix for 8 minutes or until glossy stiff peaks form.  Be sure to not over mix!

You will need to cover with a damp cloth or use plastic wrap over bowl so the air does not dry out the icing or form a crust (which is no bueno!).  At this point I usually distribute the icing out into smaller bowls and tint with the colors I am going to use.

One things that I learned the hard way is that white royal icing (with no food color added) will not always stay white when it dries. I once ended up with almost yellowish splotchy spots all over my white cookies and had to start completely over. #fail.

(Look closely and you can see the color difference between the "white" royal icing color and the white soft gel paste food coloring.)

I now add white (yes, white) food coloring to my icing if I will be using any on my cookies to give me a pure white color. I am happy to say that I have not had any more incidents with discoloration since I started doing this!

This royal icing is easy to make and even easier to work with. Happy cookie decorating my friends!

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