meringue powder: a user’s guide
What is meringue powder? Meringue powder is a key ingredient in making royal icing for decorating cookies or glazing donuts. Unlike cake or cupcake frosting, which is soft and uses butter or shortening, royal icing dries to a hard finish and is made typically from egg whites (fresh or powdered) and confectioner's sugar. By adjusting the amount of water in the recipe, royal icing varies in consistency according to its use: thick for defined lines, medium for softer designs, and a thinner "flood" to cover a surface with a smooth shiny finish or glaze. Meringue powder helps royal icing to dry quickly without cracking and provides elasticity for easy piping.
Why use meringueshop's meringue powder?
- taste. We make fresh meringues using organic raw cane sugar and then grind them into a powder. The royal icing made with our meringue powder has a true meringue flavor without the bitter aftertaste or odor common to commercially-produced meringue powders.
- quality. Our meringue powder is made with organic and non-GMO ingredients that is free from chemical stabilizers, artificial ingredients, and artificial flavor enhancers.
- performance. Our vegan meringue powder matches the performance of egg-based meringue powders and, we believe, goes beyond them by making a royal icing that dries smoothly without being brittle.
- organic. Our meringue powder is vegan! We prepare our own organic aquafaba broth (slow-simmered from organic chickpeas) as a substitute for mass-produced powdered egg whites.
What you will need to make royal icing:
- a scale, measuring spoons, measuring cup
- electric stand mixer or hand mixer
- piping bag and decorating tip, or ziplock bag
royal icing recipe (makes about 2 cups of royal icing, good for about two to three dozen cookies):
- 1/3 cup + 1 Tablespoon (45g or 1.6oz) meringue powder
- 1/3 cup + 1 Tablespoon (82g or 3 oz) water
- 1 lb (453g) confectioner's sugar
- 1g plant-based color powder (optional)
- flavoring and/or coloring (optional)
Steps for a successful royal icing. Our meringue powder works just like classic meringue powder. Just follow the steps below!
1) measuring and dissolving meringue powder with water
- Measure carefully, if you have access to a gram scale, this is the best way to achieve an accurate measure.
- Measure 1/3 cup + 1 Tablespoon (82g or 3 oz) water into a mixer bowl with a whisk attachment. Equal to 6 Tablespoons.
- Measure 1/3 cup + 1 Tablespoon (45 g or 1.6 oz) of meringue powder and add to the water. Equal to 6 Tablespoons.
- If using a color powder, add it at this step to allow it to dissolve.
- Note: Stir to dissolve and allow to sit for 10 minutes until the mixture thickens.
2) whipping the royal icing and adding confectioners' sugar
- Add confectioner's sugar to the thickened meringue powder.
- Beat for 10 minutes.
- Allow to rest for 10 minutes; the icing will thicken slightly. Thin to desired consistency.
- If icing thickens, rewhip first before adding water. It will soften and thin out.
3) optional: when adding liquid coloring or flavor extracts:
- The royal icing using our meringue powder has a flavorful citrus taste. If additional liquid coloring or extracts are desired, make sure to add a few drops in the beginning, when adding the sugar. Be careful not to add too much liquid, the icing loosens quickly. If a firm consistency is desired, you can always add 1 Tablespoon meringue powder or confectioner's sugar and rewhip for another 5 minutes. The icing will thicken when allowed to sit, especially if using the next day. Rewhip first before adding water, and thin to desired consistency.
4) consistency: thinning for flood icing or glaze:
- Add droplets of water with a squeeze bottle. The mixture will loosen up with just a little bit of water. Test for consistency by taking a spoonful of glaze and let it run down the sides.
- Tip: if using liquid coloring or flavor extracts, add these first before adding water to thin.
5) using a piping bag or ziplock bag:
- Place a pastry tip inside a pastry bag and spoon in the icing.
- Cut the corner of a ziplock bag, place a pastry tip inside the bag, spoon in the icing, and seal the bag.
- No pastry tip? Just spoon the icing into a ziplock bag, seal the bag, and cut the corner of the bag.
Place unused royal icing into a sealable container. Press a sheet of plastic wrap directly onto icing, top with lid and refrigerate for up to three weeks. Remove any large crystallization, add a few drops of water and stir to remix.
TROUBLESHOOTING / FAQs
Q: Why do I need to let the meringue powder hydrate in water first?
A: The meringue powder performs best when allowed to absorb water first and helps the foam to reach its full potential.
Q: The icing doesn't look thick enough to hold its shape. Can I fix this?
A: First allow the icing to sit. It will thicken in ten minutes. If a thicker consistency is preferred, mix 1/2 cup of confectioner's sugar with 2 teaspoons meringue powder and fold this mixture a little at a time until you arrive at the desired consistency. It is always best to weigh all the ingredients, measuring a teaspoon of liquid can vary from utensil to utensil and affect the end result of your royal icing.
Q: Is your meringue powder allergen friendly?
A: Yes! It is free from the eight top allergens including eggs, milk, tree nuts, peanuts, wheat, corn, and soybeans. There are no artificial ingredients and it is all organic. Our facility is dedicated peanut and tree nut free. We recommend using an organic brand of confectioner's sugar when mixing royal icing.