Friday, March 22, 2013

Easy Royal Icing Easter Eggs

I had so much fun with the swirled icing effect in my last decorating project, that I decided to try it again for these cuties. Very simple, and I had the best time making them! First of all, you need some royal icing. Traditionally, royal icing is made with raw egg white whipped with icing sugar. But as I've never been comfortable using raw whites, I use either meringue powder or egg white powder instead.

When I first came to Sydney and started searching for meringue powder, I found that Wilton (which is perhaps the most popular brand) was quite expensive here, and also not widely available. A bit of Googling put me onto a local Aussie product called Pavlova Magic, which is about a third of the cost of Wilton's meringue powder and easily available at every supermarket. So that's what I've been using, and the icing turns out quite well.

If you search the Net, there are several different recipes for royal icing, most of which yield huge quantities. I adapted my recipe from this delightful site, and toned it down to produce about one to one and half cups of icing. You can scale this up, as per your requirements.

Royal Icing Recipe

2 tsp meringue powder
3 tbsp water
Pinch of cream of tartar (optional)
1 1/2 - 2 cups sifted icing sugar
Few drops clear vanilla extract* (or other flavour of your choice)

Firstly, all your equipment must be scrupulously clean; traces of grease or any other impurity spells doom for this icing.

If using handheld electric beaters, lightly whisk the meringue powder and water together. Then whisk the cream of tartar, if using (this acts as a stabilizer; some folks use it, some don't ... I do, because it's available, but don't worry if you can't get it). Then add the sugar a cup at a time, and the extract.

If using a stand mixer, you can mix everything together straight away. Either way, you need to beat it on low speed till the mixture forms stiff peaks.

This makes your basic icing, which can then be thinned down with more water to different consistencies. To store, transfer icing to an airtight container, preferably a glass one, and keep in the fridge. It will last you a couple of weeks, at least. The sugar and water tend to separate over time, so you'll need to re-whip the icing before using.

* If you want pure white icing, use clear extracts. Regular vanilla extract will still get you white icing, but it'll be an off-white.

To make these Easter eggs, you'll need piping consistency icing (like toothpaste), which is best kept in a piping bag with a small round tip (like Wilton #2), and flood icing (like honey) in plain white, and in the colours of your choice. For the flood icing, I didn't bother with piping bags. I spoon the base icing in, and I keep a bunch of these tiny plastic containers handy for when I need different colours in small quantities (and where details aren't really important). You also need some toothpicks, one per colour, and some extras for swirling, and a damp paper towel to clean them. Lastly, your work surface: you need a template of egg shapes, which you can either draw or print; put the template on a baking tray, place a sheet of parchment paper over the template and you're good to go.

1. Outline the egg with the piping icing. Fill in with the flood icing. Get a blob of coloured icing on the blunt edge of a toothpick and drag across the white icing. Add the colours in any order.

2. Using a separate toothpick, start at the bottom and drag the pointed edge up and around the inside of the egg, ending at the middle. Clean off the tip.

3. You can go from the outside inwards, or start at the middle and work your way outwards, till you've swirled your way through and distorted the original lines.

4. On this egg, I used horizontal lines again, but instead of swirling them up and down, I moved the toothpick sideways for a different effect. Feel free to experiment here.

Once you've made as many eggs as you want, leave them on the parchment paper on the tray to dry out overnight, or at least 8-10 hours. Once they're fully dry, gently peel the paper away from one corner and you'll be able to lift the eggs clean off. You can store these eggs (or any royal icing shape for that matter) in an airtight container pretty much indefinitely. They last for ages and won't spoil.

Use them to add an Easter touch to cakes & cupcakes.


  1. Bootiful eggs and easy too:-).

    I have a small tin wilton meringue pwdr with me..yeah they are expensive but havent seen any alternatives:-(.

    1. Thanks! If I remember right, Dr. Oetker brand egg white powder was sometimes available at some of the supermarkets there. Keep an eye out for it, I think it should work too.

  2. No new posts;-o.

    Get back soon and show us some of ur more dazzling creations:-)).