Royal Icing Recipe

3 kl. icing sugar/confectioners sugar
500 ml cold water
70 g. albumen substitute



Pure albumen is much more expensive than substitute and is made with pure hen albumen. It makes a very strong icing which is suitable for run-out work, lace pieces, and extension work. There are two ways of reconstituting pure albumen:

  1. Whisk into cold water and place into refrigerator overnight before use.
  2. Whisk into tepid water and leave for 1 hour. Always rewhisk and strain before making icing to remove any lumps.

Albumen substitute: Substitutes are made from man-made substances such as alginate, milk powder or blends of both. They dissolve more easily when whisked into cold water and can be used immediately. Substitutes are perfectly fine for direct piping; however, the quality of the finished product is not as good as the pure albumen.

Basic ratio of sugar to albumen is 5 to 1.


  1. Ensure all equipment used is grease free. If grease is present, the icing will not take on air and the result will be a very dense, shiny icing which will not pipe properly. Wash in very hot, soapy water, rinse and dry.
  2. Wipe utensils and inside of bowl with lemon juice.
  3. Make up the albumen solution using the above instruction.
  4. Sift albumen solution into a mixing bowl.
  5. Add icing/confectioners sugar (not necessary to sift).
  6. Place mixer on speed 1 for 5 minutes.
  7. Turn off mixer and scrape down bowl with a grease-free plastic scraper ensuring that no dry royal icing from the bowl is incorporated.
  8. Remix to incorporate any sugar from scraping down until icing forms peaks (approximately 2 minutes) when a spatula is put into it and pulled out.
  9. Be careful not to overmix as too much air will make the icing airy and weak. It is important to mix for 5 minutes before adding any extra sugar or the icing may become too dense and heavy to pipe. Carefully remove from from mixer, ensuring no hard pieces from the edge of the bowl are collected. Place in a plastic container with a tight fitting lid. Before closing the lid, cover icing with cling wrap and a damp paper towel  to prevent it from crusting. Royal icing will keep for about 4 days in a cool dry place, not in the fridge.