How to Make Royal Icing for Christmas Cakes

Written by elaine davidson
  • Share
  • Tweet
  • Share
  • Pin
  • Email
How to Make Royal Icing for Christmas Cakes
Royal icing can make your Christmas cake attractive while helping keep it fresh and moist. (Jupiterimages/liquidlibrary/Getty Images)

The tradition of using royal icing to top Christmas cake is an old one, originating in the United Kingdom. This easy-to-make white icing not only looks attractive on Christmas cakes, it is easy to spread on the cakes' uneven surfaces and it helps keep them fresh longer as it forms a hard, protective shell. Ice the Christmas cakes directly after preparing it as it will turn from royal icing to royal concrete in the bowl within minutes.

Skill level:
Easy

Other People Are Reading

Things you need

  • 0.454kg. confectioner's sugar
  • 4 tsp lemon juice, or 2 1/2 tsp vanilla extract, or 1 1/2 tsp of either, orange, peppermint or almond extract
  • 4 small egg whites or 4 tbsp of meringue powder plus 6 tbsp warm water
  • 3 to 6 drops edible glycerine, optional (adds gloss)
  • Large bowl
  • Electric mixer or wire whip

Show MoreHide

Instructions

  1. 1

    Sift 0.454kg. confectioner's sugar two or three times to ensure it has a fine consistency with no lumps.

  2. 2

    Separate four egg whites into a large bowl and reserve the yolks for other cooking uses. If you prefer, make a meringue mixture instead composed of 4 tbsp of meringue powder mixed with 6 tbsp of warm water.

  3. 3

    Whip the egg whites or meringue mixture with an electric mixer or wire whip until stiff.

  4. 4

    Gradually add 4 tsp lemon juice or a flavouring extract like vanilla (2 ½ tsp), orange, peppermint or almond (1 ½ tsp) to the large bowl along with the sifted confectioner's sugar. If you prefer a glossy icing over a matt finish, add 3 to 6 drops of edible glycerine.

  5. 5

    Mix for an additional minute or two until all the ingredients are well-blended and the mixture is a good consistency to spread. Use as soon as possible or cover the bowl with a damp cloth to keep the icing from hardening.

Tips and warnings

  • If your icing appears greyish you have two options: It will turn snowy white if you beat it longer, or you can add a drop of blue food colouring during the mixing.
  • To get a smooth finish on your cake while icing, put the icing on the cake and then dip a palette knife into a bowl of hot water (don't get the knife too wet) to spread it and smooth it out.
  • If you are worried about the risk of salmonella from using raw egg whites, substitute meringue powder.

Don't Miss

Filter:
  • All types
  • Articles
  • Slideshows
  • Videos
Sort:
  • Most relevant
  • Most popular
  • Most recent

No articles available

No slideshows available

No videos available

By using the eHow.co.uk site, you consent to the use of cookies. For more information, please see our Cookie policy.