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Royal icing

(33 Posts)
Atqui Thu 07-Dec-23 12:39:52

I haven’t made royal icing for years . Most of the recipes say you need glycerine. Is this essential?

SueDonim Thu 07-Dec-23 12:45:43

I think it’s to stop the icing from going rock hard. I suppose it isn’t essential but you might want to mind your teeth!

Septimia Thu 07-Dec-23 12:57:16

I've never used glycerine, just egg white, sugar and a few drops of lemon juice. It does go quite hard but I can still cut it (roughly!) and it soon dissolves in the mouth!

Oopsadaisy1 Thu 07-Dec-23 12:58:38

I’ve never used glycerine, mainly because I forget, I ice the cake a couple of days before Christmas so the icing is still soft enough to eat without losing a tooth.
I’ve just iced one that I’m taking down to our daughters on Sunday, I’ll warn her about the icing, but she’s young and her teeth are still good! I also think that it will be eaten well before Christmas.

Atqui Thu 07-Dec-23 13:48:33


AGAA4 Thu 07-Dec-23 13:56:16

I used to love rock hard royal icing. Not so much these days.

Nannan2 Thu 07-Dec-23 13:59:17

My sister used to do it every year and glycerine makes it lovely & soft.

Oopsadaisy1 Thu 07-Dec-23 14:53:13

As long as everyone’s cake has at least an inch of marzipan on them, they don’t seem to worry about the icing

They do love their marzipan and no I don’t make my own……

B9exchange Thu 07-Dec-23 15:25:54

Have to confess I only use fondant icing now, just roll it out and drape over the (home made!) marzipan. I can't bear the shop bought stuff with its artificial almond extract flavour!

dustyangel Thu 07-Dec-23 15:57:01

I used to ice wedding and anniversary cakes semi professionally years ago. Even then a drop of glycerin was recommended on the cake but not the piped icing. I don’t like fondant icing at all and would rather just have a rich fruit cake. Or just anything with real marzipan/ almond icing. Good job I’m in the land of almonds.

winterwhite Thu 07-Dec-23 16:52:27

I used to use a drop or two of rose water instead of glycerine. Worked well but may be less easily obtainable now.

Atqui Thu 07-Dec-23 16:58:52

I’ve used fondant icing for years but I fancied a change. Better go and get some glycerine and save the teeth !!

Nannarose Thu 07-Dec-23 22:10:01

I like to put glycerine in royal icing, to me, it isn't the right texture otherwise. Asmall bottle lasts for ages though, and it keeps perfectly well, so put it on your shopping list early!

Grayling1 Thu 07-Dec-23 22:15:35

I've always used glycerine. Lasts for ever and not expensive but worth it. Dr Oetker does a small bottle for just over £1.

Calendargirl Fri 08-Dec-23 07:23:08

We were given some diamond wedding cake, with a thick layer of royal icing.

Have to say I much prefer just a plain fruit cake, no desire for the icing nowadays.

watermeadow Fri 08-Dec-23 20:07:13

Royal icing seems very outdated now, replaced by fondant which is so easy to use. You can make wonderful decorations with fondant, just like using Play Doh and equally inedible.

M0nica Fri 08-Dec-23 20:11:05

I use glycerin, always have, always will. I am not great shakes at icing cakes or using different types of icing, but royal icing with glycerin to keep it soft is idiot proof (it always works for me) and reliable.

JackyB Fri 08-Dec-23 21:15:39

I haven't done any for ages, but I remember adding a couple of drops of vegetable oil (as colourless and bland-tasting as possible - e.g. sunflower or saflor but not rapeseed or olive oil)

Deedaa Fri 08-Dec-23 21:22:22

I always use Delia's recipe which includes glycerine. I find it still goes hard quite quickly. I hate fondant icing, which seems to be used on all the decorated cakes in the shops.

FoghornLeghorn Fri 08-Dec-23 21:25:38

I forgot the glycerine one year and my beautiful cake was coated in concrete. 😂

Redhead56 Sat 09-Dec-23 01:42:09

I made my royal icing yesterday I think the glycerine helps to emulsify the icing. I combined 500 gm icing sugar 1 tsp glycerine instead of three egg whites I use dried egg white from sachets with three tsp of water.

Whitewavemark2 Sat 09-Dec-23 02:16:30

Yes glycerine - I always rough ice the cake - no time to phaff around.

Whiff Sat 09-Dec-23 05:05:24

Always use glycerine in it but don't use an electric mixer or you will get to many air bubbles . It's hard to mix by hand but it's the only way to stop the air bubbles.

If you do use an electric mixer it needs to stand for a 2 hours with a damp tea towel over the bowl so it doesn't set.

If you put it straight onto your cake you will see the air bubbles that will need popping or the icing will set with bubbles. It's ok if you don't want a smooth finish but it's a pain if you do.

Always use white marzipan so it doesn't show through the icing.

Whiff Sat 09-Dec-23 06:11:42

If you want to colour it use food colouring paste not liquid. Use it a bit at a time as it more concentrated than liquid.

karmalady Sat 09-Dec-23 06:20:27

I used to put a tsp of glycerine into my royal icing, it makes the icing easy to cut and the icing melts in the mouth, without breaking teeth. I never bought ready made icing.