Have you ever been wondering how to make delicious royal icing for your cakes?
If so, then you might have heard of meringue powder – a unique and widely used ingredient in royal icing.
Meringue powder helps to give royal icing that thick, firm consistency, ideal for decorating cookies, cupcakes, and cakes.
But what do you do if you don’t have any meringue powder handy or simply prefer to use another ingredient?
Thankfully, there are five great alternatives to meringue powder in royal icing that can provide similar results – everything from ground egg whites to aquafaba.
So if you’ve been wanting to start making delightful frosted treats at home but don’t know where or how to start with meringue powder, read on – we’ll show you exactly what it is and how to substitute it.
What is Meringue Powder?
Meringue powder is a great ingredient to add to many sweet recipes, including cakes and cookies.
It is made from pasteurized dried egg white combined with sugar, cream of tartar, cornstarch, and occasionally other ingredients such as artificial coloring or stabilizers.
The result is an off-white powder that can easily be incorporated into any baking project.
As it is completely fat-free, the use of meringue powder adds lightness and volume without unwanted grease.
When mixed with water, meringue powder creates a thick syrup-like consistency that can be added to cookies or cakes for moisture or used to make royal icing.
With its subtle sweetness and elasticity, meringue powder also makes for ideal food decoration.
The 5 Best Substitutes for Meringue Powder in Royal Icing
If you are looking for a substitute for meringue powder in royal icing, there are a few options that may provide similar results.
These substitutes can help to reduce the cost of your recipe and make it easier to find ingredients when making royal icing.
1 – Egg Whites
Egg whites are known for their various versatile uses in baking and cooking.
Raw egg whites can be used to stabilize foams, binding meringue, or thicken custards.
The taste of raw egg whites ranges from bland to slightly sweet, whereas their texture is reminiscent of water with a slightly slippery viscosity.
Egg whites are a great substitute for meringue powder when making Royal Icing – all you need to do is whip up the egg whites until stiff peaks form, and this will provide the same result as using meringue powder.
With a few extra ingredients and ratio adjustments, you will have a perfect icing mixture with the same consistency required in baking.
2 – Egg White Powder
Egg white powder is a versatile ingredient made from pasteurized egg whites that can be used in a variety of ways.
It has a light, creamy consistency that is easily dissolved into liquid, and when reconstituted, it mimics both the look and taste of regular egg whites.
For bakers, it provides an alternative to meringue powder for making royal icing.
The powder can simply be whisked in with powdered sugar, water, lemon juice, or almond extract – with no need to whip up separate egg whites.
Egg white powder also eliminates any raw-egg concerns associated with using real eggs in recipes too.
Try it out next time you decide to whip up some royal icing stacks, and your baking results are sure to please.
3 – Unflavored Gelatin
Unflavored gelatin is a useful cooking and baking ingredient that is often overlooked.
It is most commonly known for its role in desserts, such as Jell-O, but it can be used for savory dishes too.
This versatile ingredient is flavorless but provides texture and stability to many recipes, from sauces to mousses and custards.
While unflavored gelatin itself has an unappealing colorless, rubbery texture when cooked, it blends seamlessly into other dishes without influencing the taste or changing the color too much.
In fact, experts suggest using unflavored gelatin if you’re looking to substitute for meringue powder when making royal icing – when dissolved with water first, it won’t affect the taste of the icing while providing thickness, much like meringue powder would do.
So why not give unflavored gelatin a go?
4 – Aquafaba
Aquafaba, an unlikely culinary star derived from the liquid of canned chickpeas, has been gaining its own following for its unexpected capabilities.
It whips beautifully into a white foam that is nearly indistinguishable from whipped egg whites, making it a better-for-you egg substitute in dishes from meringue pies to vegan mayonnaise.
The texture and taste of aquafaba are generally pretty neutral, although some subtle chickpea overtones tend to linger; when used in royal icing, this gentle flavor doesn’t present itself very much.
To use aquafaba as a substitute for meringue powder as an ingredient for royal icing, you can whip the liquid until soft peaks form and add it to your ingredients just as you would with meringue powder or egg whites.
5 – Vegan Meringue Powder
Vegan meringue powder is an innovative, plant-based product that provides a flavorful alternative to traditional meringue powder.
It is made from an all-natural blend of pea and potato proteins designed to provide the same excellent taste, texture, and performance as regular meringue powder.
Its use in baking products such as royal icing yields a glossy consistency without the traditional egg whites.
When substituting vegan meringue powder for regular meringue powder in royal icing recipes, it’s important to reduce the amount of liquid otherwise specified for regular meringue powder (usually water).
Otherwise, your frosting will end up too runny.
Used correctly, however, vegan meringue power can help create fantastic confections with amazing flavor and texture.
In conclusion, meringue powder is a key ingredient in royal icing, but it can be substituted with many other ingredients to create a delicious and attractive finished product.
Egg whites, egg white powder, unflavored gelatin, aquafaba, and vegan meringue powder are all viable options for substituting meringue powder – each boasting its own unique benefits.
So next time you’re looking to make some royal icing, why not give one of these alternatives a try? You won’t be disappointed.