Royal Icing

Whipping it Up! Royal Icing

What is Royal Icing?

Royal icing is a hard white icing, made from softly beaten egg whites, icing sugar, and sometimes lemon or lime juice. It is used to decorate Christmas cakes, wedding cakes, gingerbread houses, cookies and many other cakes and biscuits. It is used either as a smooth covering or in sharp peaks.

Ingredients

500g Whipping it Up! Flavour of your choice
118ml of lukewarm water
 
If you don’t need this much mixture, half both ingredients and half again until you get the amount you need.
 

Instructions

Place the Whipping it Up! powder and water in a large mixing bowl, and whip (with the whisk attachment) whip on medium speed until very stiff and thick (the royal icing should hold a stiff peak). Scrape down the sides as you go to make sure there’s no residual powder. Tint as needed with gel  colours.

  1. In the bowl of a stand mixer, combine the Whipping it Up! mixture and lukewarm water. In this context, “lukewarm” means just slightly warm to the touch.
  2. Use a whip attachment to whip the mixture on high until frothy. Scrape down the sides as you go to make sure there’s no residual powder.
  3. Pro tip: Use a water bottle to lightly spray the sides before scraping them. This will help ensure that the powder dissolves and your royal icing is lump free.
  4. Whip the royal icing until you’ve reached the desired consistency.
  5. If you need more than one consistency, whip your royal icing to the stiffest consistency and add a few drops of water at a time to the remaining icing to water it down to the desired consistency.

You may be wondering, “Ok, if I’m supposed to whip the royal icing to the desired consistency… what consistency should I be using?” Great question! This really varies from cookie to cookie and project to project.

Some people like to use a piping consistency to outline their shape before filling it in with a flood consistency icing, while others like to use one consistency for filling their shape.

It also depends on the task. Are you covering a cookie? Piping lettering? Creating flowers or other intricate designs?

Stiff Icing: As the name implies, this the thickest/stiffest consistency of icing you’ll use when decorating cookies. This icing will hold a very stiff peak and has a spreadable, frosting-like consistency.
Uses: Flowers/succulents/other intricate shapes that need to hold their form like brush embroidery. 

Piping Icing: This is best described as a medium consistency icing. It should hold a soft peak that doesn’t spread when piped. Think soft serve ice cream.
Uses: outlining cookies, lettering, detailing/filigree, piping borders

20 second icing: This isn’t a consistency you see called out very often.

If you’re unfamiliar with icings that are delineated in seconds, the seconds simply stand for the amount of time it takes the icing to reabsorb and return to a smooth finish.

In other words, if you pick up a spoonful of icing and drop it back in the bowl, this icing will take approximately 20 seconds to reabsorb. This icing lies somewhere between piping icing and flood icing.

Rather than outline and fill, pipe an entire layer of this icing straight onto the cookie, use a toothpick to work it into place, gently shake/tap and it’s good to go.

Uses: Filling or covering cookies, royal icing transfers, building dimension, wet-on-wet.

Flood icing: This is the thinnest icing you’ll use when decorating your cookies and it’s used primarily for filling in areas that have been outlined with piping icing. This icing should be right around a 10-12 second consistency.
Uses: flooding outlined areas, wet-on-wet

Top Tip: Use a water bottle to lightly spray the sides before scraping them. This will help ensure that the powder dissolves and your royal icing is lump free.

How do I store royal icing?

Royal icing made with powdered egg whites can be stored at room temperature. To keep the royal icing from crusting, place a piece of plastic wrap directly on the surface of the royal icing.

If you keep it for more than a few days, the water may start to separate from the icing. This doesn’t mean you can’t use it, but you’ll want to give it a good mix before you do. You can store royal icing in this manner for about 2 weeks.

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