Royal icing

Time 7 minutes
Yields Makes a generous 3 cups icing
Royal icing
(Bob Chamberlin / Los Angeles Times)

In the bowl of a stand mixer, or in a large bowl using an electric mixer, beat the egg whites and cream of tartar until the whites are fluffy and have formed soft peaks. With the mixer running, begin beating in the powdered sugar. Continue beating until all of the sugar has been added and the icing holds stiff peaks when the beater is raised. If not using immediately, cover the surface of the icing with plastic wrap to prevent it from drying and hardening.

Consuming raw eggs can pose potential health problems. If the icing is to be consumed, consider using pasteurized egg whites or substituting powdered egg whites or meringue powder (consult the packaging for proper substitutions). See story for step-by-step instructions on creating gingerbread house.

Noelle Carter is the former Los Angeles Times Test Kitchen director. She left in January 2019.
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