A ROYAL ICING is a quickly made sugar icing that can be used in place of fondant (a cooked sugar icing). It is made by stirring confectioners’ sugar and egg white together and brightening it with a little lemon juice.
Royal icing is used in a thin consistency to frost small cakes and cream puffs. A thicker version is used in combination with Ganache to decorate cakes (see “Decorating a Cake with Ganache and Royal Icing”). To use for lettering on a cake, it is thickened to a point where it will hold its shape well when squeezed from a decorating cone.
Once made, the icing begins to dry or harden rapidly. If it is not going to be used immediately, it should be covered tightly with plastic wrap. Most often, I use royal icing for decoration and spoon it into a parchment or wax paper decorating cone. I often divide one recipe to make a variety of colors. When doing this, I use vegetable coloring sparingly to create pastel shades and fill individual cones with the different colors.