How to Make Egg White Royal Icing

By using pasteurized eggs, you can safely make egg white royal icing for your cookies without using hard-to-find meringue powder. Sponsored by Davidson’s Safest Choice Eggs™.

How to Make Egg White Royal Icing by FamilySpice.com

It seems that every holiday has me making and decorating a batch (or two, or three…) of sugar cookies. And I hate decorating cookies. I think it’s my complete inability to work slowly and patiently with a pastry bag that I end up with lackluster frosted sugar cookies. But, since the kids don’t mind what they look like and they only care what they taste like, it’s all good.

So it’s rather odd for me to be writing a post about royal icing when I am clearly not worthy of it. But this post is not about how to come up with those fine, perfectly decorated sugar cookies. This post is about royal icing and the number of ways you can  make it. And please don’t judge me on my mediocre decorating skills and lopsided circles. Okay?

Rosewater and Cream Cheese Sugar Cookies using Egg White Royal Icing by FamilySpice.com

When I first decorated our cookies, I just used powdered sugar and water. Then I realized it took over 24 hours to dry and harden. Not cool.

Enter in meringue powder. This is basically egg white powder and you can find it at Michael’s or buy it online. The meringue powder helps thicken and harden the royal icing more quickly then just time and dry air temperature.

Rosewater and Cream Cheese Sugar Cookies using Egg White Royal Icing by FamilySpice.com

But, being the haphazard baker that I am, I rarely have meringue powder in my cupboard. And when I do remember to go hit Michael’s to purchase some, they are always out because it is peak Christmas season and I’m not the only one who is decorating sugar cookies.

For several years I have had the honor of being one of Davidson’s Safest Choice Eggs Darling Dozen. I love their pasteurized eggs because I know they are safe to eat raw, mildly cooked, you name it – with no worry of salmonella poisoning. And since I always have their eggs in fridge, I no longer need to keep meringue powder in the pantry. Not to mention that it is more economical than that expensive can of powder.

Rosewater and Cream Cheese Sugar Cookies using Egg White Royal Icing by FamilySpice.com

There are two ways you can make the egg white royal icing. An acid is needed to stabilize the egg whites. This can be done with lemon juice, vinegar or cream of tartar. Ok, there are three ways you can make the egg white royal icing.

Since I always have cream of tartar in my pantry, it’s also much easier to find than meringue powder, and you only need a smidgen of it, I used the cream of tartar. Also, since the cookies I was decorating for this post was my Rosewater and Cream Cheese Sugar Cookies, I didn’t want a hint of lemon flavor in the icing. Or vinegar, for that matter.

Rosewater and Cream Cheese Sugar Cookies using Egg White Royal Icing by FamilySpice.com

Easy Peasy. And safe to eat because the eggs are pasteurized.

You can also eat rose petals, but keep them organic ya’ll!

You can find the recipe here for my Rosewater and Cream Cheese Sugar Cookies.

Egg White Royal Icing

By using pasteurized eggs, you can safely make egg white royal icing for your cookies without using hard-to-find meringue powder. Recipe by Laura Bashar of Family Spice

Ingredients:

  • 2 pasteurized egg whites
  • 1/2 tsp cream of tartar
  • 2 cup powdered sugar, sifted
  • 1 1/2 tsp water

Directions:

  1. In a glass or stainless bowl, whisk together until combined:
    • 2 pasteurized egg whites
    • 1/2 tsp cream of tartar
  2. Whisk in until smooth:
    • 2 cup powdered sugar , sifted
  3. Drizzle in (as needed) until icing is of consistency desired:
    • 1 1/2 tsp water
  4. Use right away or store in the refrigerator until ready to use.

Notes:

Cooking Tips: Royal icing may be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 4 days. This recipe works best when used right away. As it sits in the refrigerator the water and icing sugar separate and needs to be remixed before use.

You can substitute cream of tartar with 2 teaspoons of lemon juice. Omit water and add more powdered sugar until desired consistency.

Prep Time:

Yield: Will ice 32 cookies

Disclosure: As I am part of the Darling Dozen, I did receive a stipend from Davidson’s Safest Choice Eggs™ to develop a recipe using their pasteurized eggs. The story I have written is all true, and the opinions are truly mine. If I didn’t like it, I wouldn’t blog about it.

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2 Responses to How to Make Egg White Royal Icing

  1. Annette at #

    Iced sugar cookies have been my favorite cookie since I was a child, but nowadays it’s harder to find that same icing flavor. I made royal icing when I used to decorate cakes for my now grown children, but I remember it being super sweet and stiff (for making flowers), not this runny icing used on cookies. When I read your recipe it reminded me of the mixture I made to seal cakes (confectioners sugar + water + extract) which tasted a lot like the cookie icing I was after. So, the egg whites + tartar makes it harden, while keeping that same flavor. I’d forgotten all about meringue powder (haven’t used it in ages), but it’s nice to know I can get the same effect with eggs and vinegar/lemon/tarter which I always have on hand.

    These cookies look so delicious and beautiful.

  2. Kathleen at #

    I am SO thrilled to find this information … and see these beautiful cookies! I have been wondering about meringue powder for awhile, not knowing where to find it, and certainly not knowing about this substitute!
    Thank you so much … because this Christmas Season, our “Grands” will have the fun of helping with some of the fanciest, most decorated, shortbread cutout cookies around! Just think of all this pent-up creativity, waiting to explode!!!
    Now I want to host a cookie exchange this year, though it’s only May, to show off! It’s as if I just invented decorated cookies … !!!

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