Royal icing is a versatile and elegant frosting that is often used for decorating cakes, cookies and other delectable desserts. Traditionally, royal icing is made with egg whites. However, for those who follow a vegetarian or vegan lifestyle, have dietary restrictions or a need to comply with Arizona Cottage Food Law (like me) an eggless dairy-free version of this regal frosting is a must-have. I’ll share an easy, scrumptious recipe for eggless royal icing that will elevate your sweet creations to a whole new level.
Before we begin, I just want to point out that the term “eggless royal icing” is kind of an oxymoron. It’s like saying you’re going to make an eggless omelette. Egg whites are what make the icing “Royal”, so without them, can you still really call it Royal Icing? No, not really. But given that Royal Icing is pretty much the gold standard when it comes to decorating baked goods, if someone (like me) is looking for an alternative, chances are you’re going to google “eggless royal icing” (like me). So that’s why I titled this post “Eggless Royal Icing”.
No Eggs Allowed
I wanted to use Royal Icing for the cookie decorating classes I plan to offer at our studio, but Arizona Cottage Food Law does not permit the use of egg whites or meringue powder in icing.
In doing research for an eggless Royal Icing, I came across what seemed like a promising substitution. You can use Aquafaba in place of egg whites. What’s Aquafaba you ask? It’s chickpea brine. Wait…what?
Yeah, that’s right. It’s the leftover, yellow-ish goop that you dump down the drain after straining chickpeas.
To be honest, my first reaction to using chickpea brine in icing was to vomit a little in my mouth.
I mean, I love me some hummus, but do I want my icing to taste like beans? Uh, that was a BIG NO. But the more I read about it, the more it seemed like Aquafaba was this magical ingredient that was going to solve all my problems. That was until I read that Arizona Cottage Food Law also does not permit the use of Aquafaba in icing. So…back to the drawing board.
No Dairy Allowed
I came across other eggless Royal Icing recipes that called for ingredients like confectioners sugar, vanilla extract and milk, but that pesky Arizona Cottage Food Law does not allow dairy products in icing either.
So after more googling and some trial and error, I ended up with a recipe that I could use for cookie decorating classes at our studio.
Eggless Royal Icing Recipe
- 1 Tablespoon Light Corn Syrup
- 2 Tablespoons Warm Water
- 1 teaspoon Almond Extract (or substitute extract of your choice)
- 2 1/4 cups Confectioners (Powdered) Sugar
- 1/8 teaspoon Salt
Directions for Eggless Royal Icing
- You can mix everything by hand; you do not need an electric mixer.
- Add warm water to bowl, along with light corn syrup and salt, then mix. Warm water helps the light corn syrup and salt to dissolve faster.
- Add the extract and mix.
- Add the confectioners sugar 1/2 cup at time, mixing between each addition until all the sugar has been incorporated.
Piping and Flooding Consistency of your Eggless Royal Icing
After mixing all the ingredients together, your icing should be on the stiff side. If the consistency you have works for what you want to do, then you are all set. If you need a thinner icing, add more water, 1/2 teaspoon at a time. For thicker frosting, add a small amount of confectioners sugar.
When decorating cookies you generally want to outline the design (pipe it) first, then fill (flood) in the design. I’m not going to get into outlining and flooding in this post, because learning to outline and flood is a whole other topic that I’ll be writing about soon enough. Until then, there are a plethora of videos on YouTube to show you how to pipe and flood.
If you’re a beginner cookie decorator, I do recommend purchasing a Notta Cookie. These are great for practicing outlining, flooding and decorating without having to bake extra cookies. Not only do you save time and money not having to bake extra cookies, but you also save calories because you aren’t tempted to eat all your practice cookies!
Author: Nicole Bolin
Check out our sugar cookie recipe to go with your Eggless Royal Icing.