This EGG-FREE ROYAL ICING is the perfect icing to decorate your cooking without having to use eggs or even meringue powder!
I talked about this a bit in my Sugar Cookie Post last week, but I have serious envy over those who can decorate beautiful sugar cookies. I’m not just talking about covering a cookie with one icing color and adding some sprinkles. I’m talking all the piping. All the intricate details. All the multiple colors.
Have you seen those videos on facebook of people creating this works of art? They are mind-boggling!
I have such appreciation for those who have this talent. I know it takes time and practice to get it right, and I know a lot of it has to do with the actual icing.
Frosting and icing are not my strong points. I stick to muffins and quick breads. Easy things that you kinda can’t mess up.
But when it comes to these beautifully decorated cookies, you’ve got to use a royal icing. One that will set when it dries so you can layer on the colors for added detail. The biggest drawback for that is the ingredients list for royal icing. No, it doesn’t take a whole lot to make it, but you have to pick between using raw egg whites and run the risk of making your entire family and neighborhood sick if you’re passing them out as gifts. Or you invest in meringue powder, which is NOT cheap and you go through it quite quickly if you’re making royal icing often.
So I had pretty much given up on trying to become a cookie-decorating-master. That is, until I started playing with Xanthan Gum and Arrowroot Powder. I know, totally weird things that you’ve probably never heard of before, and you pretty much have to get them at the health-food store (although my local Kroger store does sell them both). BUT I promise you that it’ll be worth it. Initially when you look at the cost of either one of these thickening agents, you’ll get that sticker shock. But I ask you to look at the ingredients list. Half a teaspoon is all you need in order to make over 2 cups of icing! It’s going to last you quite awhile!
I am so thrilled to say that I have finally been able to make a royal icing that comes out the right consistency for both piping and flooding. I still have practicing to do, but I’m so giddy with the fact that I now can do it with a vegan icing that comes together in minutes.
- 4.5 cups confectioners' sugar (powdered sugar)
- 1 Tablespoon cornstarch
- 1/2 teaspoon xanthan gum or arrowroot powder
- 1 pinch salt
- 1/3 cup water
- food coloring (optional)
Combine all ingredients in a mixing bowl (or the bowl of a stand mixer with the whisk attachment). Beat at low speed for 1 minute, or until everything is thoroughly combined.
With the mixer running, drizzle 1/3 cup water down the side of the bowl so it doesn't splatter, slowly increasing mixer speed until sugar is incorporated. Beat at medium-high speed for 2 minutes, scraping down the sides as needed.
The icing should be thick and stiff enough so that the beaters or whisk attachment leaves ridges when drawn through.
Divide icing into however many colors you would like and color to your liking and decorate cookies as you would with regular royal icing, watering down slightly to fill piped lines.
If you make this recipe, be sure to snap a picture, upload it to Instagram and tag me (@happyfoodholly) and use the hashtag #inspiredbyholly
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