Friday, November 29, 2013

Egg White Royal Icing Recipe

Royal Icing is the icing that dries hard for cookie decorating. I usually make my Royal Icing with Meringue Powder. But sometimes I'll get questions about making royal icing with egg whites instead of the powdered version.

So, I made some with egg whites for these gingerbread houses. It's really quite easy, you just want to be sure you don't use the egg whites raw, to avoid any potential for food poisoning.

What You Need
3-4 egg whites (about 1/2 cup)
2 Tbsp. granulated sugar
1 tsp. vanilla
4-5 cups powdered sugar

Combine the egg whites and the granulated sugar in a heatproof mixing bowl, being careful to keep any yolk or other grease from coming into contact with the whites. (Grease makes royal icing melt, and not set up correctly.)
Set the bowl over simmering water, and whisk constantly until the egg whites reach the food-safe temperature of 160-degrees. (Be careful to keep the heat low, or the whites can cook.)

Remove from the heat, and set aside for about 15 minutes or until whites are just lukewarm, not hot.
Add 4 cups of powdered sugar. Mix on high speed with a hand or stand mixer for 4-5 minutes or until stiff peaks form. If icing seems runny, and won't form a stiff peak, try adding another 1 cup of sugar. (If it requires more than one more cup, you may have gotten grease in the icing, and it won't set up, regardless of how much sugar you add.)

I don't recommend using pasteurized egg whites. When I tried this, they would not mix up, even with 8 (EIGHT!) cups of sugar added, about 15 minutes of whipping... and the icing smelled bad in the end.
Compare this photo above with the one above it... you can see the difference.

Store royal icing in an airtight container. (I usually store it in zipper baggies so that no air comes into contact with it.)

*Note: I'm having some of the white icing turn yellow in the sunlight... I will update if/when I figure out a cause. In the meantime, if you need it to stay white, you may try white icing coloring or just be sure to keep it out of the sunlight.

Click the Links Below to See:
Royal Icing Recipe and Tips
Royal Icing Consistency
Cookie Decorating Ideas
Gingerbread House Recipe and Tips

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  1. This was amazing! I ended up having to make royal icing twice last week. I tried this recipe (using white egg powder) during the weekend, and my usual recipe (with powdered sugar) for one of my kids' school project. OMG!!! this one is so much better! I will never go back to powdered sugar royal icing again - thanks for sharing :D

  2. There is a problem with this recipe. I tried it 4 times and got cooked eggs every time. Egg whites set up at 140 to 145 degrees according to Egg
    Pasturized eggs areally brought to 140 and held there for 3 1/2 minutes.
    Even my final attempt-- whipped constantly and brought just over 140-- I ended up with very fine cooked egg pieces.

    1. How do you not end up with cooked eggs? I didn't even get to 150 before I already had cooked egg particles and meringue, what am I doing wrong? The water isn't boiling and the bowl isn't touching the water under it idk

    2. I'm sorry that it didn't work for you. I whisk it constantly. You could maybe try adding a little more granulated sugar? I'm sorry.
      - Beki

  3. I'm sorry to hear you had trouble. I do 160 every time, and it works for me.
    - Beki


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