Royal Icing is like edible glue for cookie decorating and gingerbread houses!
What is Royal Icing:
Royal Icing is a very simple icing made of egg whites or meringue powder, powdered sugar and water. It is desirable for cookie decorators because it hardens quickly.
You whip it with a whisk and it becomes voluminous and fluffy. You can adjust the texture by adding more or less water depending on how you want to use it.
For piping designs on ginger bread cookies – I like it a little thicker, kind of like the texture of ketchup. For flowing or covering the surface of a cookie, you want it a little thinner so it flows.
I’m sure you’ve seen videos of those fancy cookie designs on social media where they outline the cookie with a thicker royal icing then “flood fill” the inside with a thinner royal icing.
I like to use meringue powder instead of raw egg whites, so I don’t have to worry about food safety issues. You can buy meringue powder or dried egg whites in the baking section of grocery and craft stores. I can often find the Wilton brand in stores. You can also order online.
What Does Royal Icing Taste Like?
Since the only ingredients are meringue powder (basically dried egg whites), powdered sugar and water. It tastes very sweet/sugary and almost a tiny bit tangy.
Personally I prefer the taste of other cookie icing and frostings (even-though they tend to “smush”) – so I tend to use royal icing for gingerbread houses and cookie displays. If I use on a cookie I’m eating, I generally just add some cute details – but that’s just me!
I actually prefer one of these delicious Icing/Frostings for totally covering a cookie (if I’m not worried about intricate design/detail):
Festive Spring or Easter Gingerbread House!
I love to decorate my KitchenAid Stand Mixer family for the holidays!
Royal Icing (Using Meringue Powder)
- 3 tablespoons meringue powder
- 4 cups powdered sugar
- 5 tablespoons warm water add more or less water to adjust texture
- Using electric mixer with whisk accessory, mix meringue powder, powdered sugar and half the warm water on low speed.
- Add more water to reach desired consistency. (I like mine about the texture of ketchup for detail work.)
- Whip at medium/high speed for several minutes until smooth.
- Store in an air-tight container.