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  • Helen Dissell


Royal icing Recipe – Sugarartcreations Pty Ltd  is a mixture of egg white, air and icing sugar, beaten together well. Other ingredients may be added, as described in this chapter. 

There are three different consistencies used for different applications: stiff, medium and soft peak.  

Egg white has a PH of 8 and needs to be neutralised for optimum efficiency. Therefore, acid is added. Acid can be found in varying forms: lemon juice, white vinegar, cream of tartar or acetic acid. Acetic acid is not entirely edible and therefore not often used. Lemon juice can weaken and discolour the egg white. I prefer to use a very fine grain cream of tartar.  

Royal icing is used to pipe both base and side borders, piped flowers, flood work or run-in work, calligraphy, lace points, filigree, brush embroidery, amongst others, and is also the basic ingredient in my recipe for flower paste (which is used to make beautiful, fine, modelled flowers).  

It is essential that the correct consistency is achieved for each particular application of work, to ensure success. 


1 egg white at room temperature (to achieve optimum results) 

Icing sugar mixture or pure icing sugar sifted through organza (300-400g depending on size of egg white) 


Pinch cream of tartar 

¼ tsp liquid glucose  or gum Arabic 

Small glass bowl

Small metal spatula 

Miniature whisk 


Place the egg white in a small glass bowl. 

(Do not use a plastic bowl as plastic is porous and fat molecules adhere to it which breaks down the royal icing.) 

Using a miniature whisk, gently break up the egg white.

Add a pinch of cream of tartar, ¼ teaspoon of Actiwhite or Pavlova mix, and ¼ tsp liquid glucose  to give extra strength). 

Continue to whisk by hand until well blended. 

Add ½ teaspoon of the icing sugar at a time and continue to beat in well until fully blended. If too much icing sugar is added at one time the icing becomes thick and heavy and the proportions of air, icing sugar and egg white are imbalanced, resulting in a difficult medium to work with. 

Continue whisking in the icing sugar until a medium peak forms. (See consistency checks at the end of page). You will have to change to mixing with a spatula or a knife at this stage as the icing becomes too heavy for the  miniature hand whisk.  

Medium peak means that when the spatula is scraped clean against the side of the bowl and then put back into the icing and lifted upwards, a peak forms at the top of the icing that gently curves over but does not stay upright. 

Depending on the work being completed, a soft, medium or stiff peak royal icing is required.  

The quantity of icing sugar needed for correct consistency depends on the size of the egg white used. Therefore no quantity is given, but an approximate amount is 300-400g. 

Once the correct consistency has been reached, cover with plastic wrap and a damp cloth. 


Always make sure that you beat the royal icing well before using it, if it has been left for more than an hour. Do not make the mistake of adding more icing sugar if you think it is too runny (instead of giving it a good beat) as it will dry out too quickly and become heavy. 

Depending on location (due to the increased humidity in the atmosphere in some areas) icing sugar mixture is a better option

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