Royal Icing: Piping Consistency

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Piping consistency royal icing is easy to make and a quick way to decorate cookies.

Royal icing piping consistency Christmas cookies decorating

Royal icing can be used in two ways: flooding consistency and piping consistency.  Both dry hard, so it’s perfect to use when you are sharing or packaging your cookies.

Royal icing piping vs flooding consistency decorating cookies Christmas

Piping consistency royal icing is great for adding three dimensional details, texture, or shapes to your cookies.  You can easily tint the icing with gel food coloring.

What you need:

Egg Whites – Be sure to use pasteurized egg whites.  If you are concerned about using raw egg whites, you can use meringue powder (see alternate recipe below).

Cream of Tartar – This helps stabilize the egg whites, especially useful when you are using boxed egg whites.

Powdered Sugar – Sifted powdered sugar quickly dissolves into the egg whites, perfect for this icing.

Food Coloring –  gel food is used to tint the icing without watering it down.

How to make the icing:

Beat the egg whites and cream of tartar in the bowl of a stand mixer with a paddle attachment until foamy.*  Add the powdered sugar and gradually increase the speed to high.

Royal icing piping egg whites powdered sugar stand mixer

Mix on high for 5 minutes, or until the icing is very thick.  Use the icing as-is or tint it with gel food coloring.  It will start to harden almost immediately, so be sure to work quickly.  Transfer to piping bags fitted with a couplers and various piping tips.  This way you can easily switch out the tips for different effects.  Once the icing is in the piping bags, it’ll keep for several days.

Royal icing piping bag cookies decorating

*As an alternative to raw egg whites, whisk together the meringue powder and warm water until foamy.  Add the powdered sugar and continue as above.

Pro Tip:

To close the bag, I use a zip tie.  Because it closes so securely, you can apply a good amount of pressure when piping and it prevents any of the icing form leaking out of the top.

How to use royal icing

Royal icing is the perfect finishing touch to sugar cookies.  Try out different piping tips for interesting texture.  Be sure to decorate with lots of sprinkles!

Royal icing piping consistency Christmas cookies decorating

You can also start with a base layer of flooding consistency royal icing and pipe details on top.

Royal icing piping consistency flooding decorating

Piping consistency royal icing is also perfect for constructions and decorating gingerbread houses.

Royal icing piping consistency decorating gingerbread house Christmas

Have fun decorating!

Royal icing piping recipe

Royal Icing: Piping Consistency

For decorating cookies with three dimensional details and texture. This recipe makes enough icing to decorate 24 three inch cookies.
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Author: Corey Grimsley

Ingredients

  • 66 grams egg whites pasteurized, from 2 eggs
  • 1/4 tsp cream of tartar
  • 360 grams powdered sugar sifted
  • food coloring

Raw Egg White Alternative:

  • 2 tbsp meringue powder
  • 6 tbsp warm water

Instructions

  • Beat the egg whites and cream of tartar in the bowl of a stand mixer with a paddle attachment until foamy.
  • Add the powdered sugar and gradually increase the speed to high.
  • Mix for 5 minutes, or until the icing is very thick.
  • Use the icing as-is or tint it with gel food coloring. It will start to harden almost immediately, so be sure to work quickly.  
  • Transfer to piping bags fitted with a couplers and various piping tips.
  • Once the icing is in the piping bags, it’ll keep for several days.  Use immediately or store in the refrigerator.

Raw Egg White Alternative:

  • As an alternative to raw egg whites, combine the meringue powder and warm water in the stand mixer and whisk until foamy.  Continue with step #2.
Did you try this recipe?Let me know how it was!

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About me

Corey Grimsley

I’m an artist and art restorer who spends an equal amount of time in the kitchen. Follow along as I put an artisanal touch on all of my bakes!

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