How to make royal icing shamrocks

Written by sue stepp
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How to make royal icing shamrocks
(Creatas/Creatas/Getty Images)

When looking at beautiful decorated cakes, one might wonder how people create the intricate designs out of icing. Decorating cakes or cookies require a few simple geometric shapes and repeated patterns even for intricate designs. Adding simple shamrocks using royal icing dresses up any cake or cookies for a holiday event. Make professional looking shamrocks in a few simple steps using a few simple shapes.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • Icing piping bag
  • Writing icing tip
  • 0.454kg icing sugar
  • 5 tbsp meringue powder or 1/4 cup pasteurised egg whites
  • 2 tbsp water
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • Green food colouring
  • Scraping spatula
  • Electric mixer
  • Parchment paper
  • Cake or cookies

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  1. 1

    Add icing sugar, vanilla, and egg whites or meringue powder in a large mixing bowl, and beat the mixture on low speed while adding water drop by drop. The amount of water used varies. If you're using the meringue versus the egg whites, you use a little more water. Do not add too much water, or the mixture will become runny. All the water may not be used.

  2. 2

    Beat the mixture until it forms soft peaks on the surface when you pull the mixer blades up. Scrape the side of the bowl with a spatula, and mix for another 2 minutes.

  3. 3

    Fill the icing piping bag ¾ full of royal icing, and attach the writing tip. Twist the piping bag's open end closed, and keep twisting it until the icing starts to flow smoothly out the tip.

  1. 1

    Place a piece of parchment paper on a flat surface. Pipe out a heart shape in green coloured icing. Make another heart shape opposite of the first heart with the points of the hearts touching each other. It will look like a mirror reflection of the first heart.

  2. 2

    Make a third heart with the tip touching the bottoms of the first two hearts, and the top pointing up between the other two hearts. The three geometric heart shapes form the leaf part of the shamrock. Add a half moon shape coming off of where the three bottoms of the hearts meet to make the stem. Repeat the process for more shamrocks.

  3. 3

    Fill each heart shapes with icing using the same icing piping tip with a repeated back and forth motion until you totally fill the heart shapes in the shamrocks. Thicken the stem the same way.

  4. 4

    Let the shamrocks dry on the parchment paper, and lift them with an icing knife. Apply them to a cookie or cake using a dot of royal icing like glue, and stick the shamrock in place. Make the shamrocks directly on cakes or cookies after practice.

Tips and warnings

  • Because of salmonella problems, it is not recommend to use raw egg whites. It is very dangerous for the elderly, children, and expecting mothers to eat uncooked egg whites, so powdered meringue is safer.

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