Confectioners’ sugar, meringue powder, water, and extract are the only ingredients needed to make royal icing, a baker’s number one tool for making edible art. We used meringue powder— a blend of dried, pasteurized egg whites, sugar, cornstarch, and citric acid—rather than the traditional raw egg whites, for food safety and ease. Whipped into a stiff mixture, this icing will appear dense and thick, not light and fluffy like your typical meringue—that’s good! The meringue powder isn’t needed for creating volume. Instead, it’s the secret ingredient to creating a structured, pipable icing that will harden into a resilient edible adornment.
Makes about 6 cups
- 1 (2-pound) package (907 grams) confectioners’ sugar
- 5 tablespoons (50 grams) meringue powder
- ¾ cup (180 grams) warm water (105°F/41°C to 110°F/43°C)
- 1 teaspoon (4 grams) almond extract
- In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat confectioners’ sugar and meringue powder at low speed until combined. Slowly add ¾ cup (180 grams) warm water and almond extract, beating until fluid, about 1 minute. Increase mixer speed to medium, and beat until stiff, 4 to 5 minutes. Store in an airtight container for up to 3 days.