First on the First - Royal Icing

OK, first I have a confession.  Royal Icing is not a first for me.  I've done cookies, I've done some wet-on-wet techniques, and I've made the occasional gingerbread house.  After all, is it likely that someone with this in their house is unfamiliar with icing of any kind?

So I went back to my favorite recipe for Royal Icing, which is this one by Callye of Sweet Sugar Belle.  I'll give you a couple of notes from my own experience.  First, while I trust Callye regarding the using of flavoring with oils in them, I have had success with McCormick's lemon extract, if you want to go that way.  Second - go with the larger batch.  :-)  You'll want to practice.  However, the large batch does strain even Geraldine, my 5 qt. KitchenAid mixer, to her capacity.

The process of whipping the icing also pushes her to her limits - she tends to want to overheat.  I love her, but she's 15 years old now and I baby her.  One batch of icing per day is kind of my limit.

So, since I've played with Royal Icing in the past, I decided I'd try a technique I haven't done much with:  Figure piping.
First I set up my piping bags.  For these, I used a very clever tip from Sweet Sugar Belle again.  Wrapping the icing in plastic wrap allows the reuse of "disposable" piping bags.  And couplers allow you to swap out tips on a single color of icing.

Then I got down to work.

In the back you can see the (somewhat mishapen) eggs that I started.  Possibly thinning the icing would have made them smoother.  Or it might have caused the icing to run and flatten.  I opted not to do so in order to go on and pipe the chicks.  For the eggs and the bodies I used a #12 tip.

The wings, feet, beaks, and pupils were piped with a #2 tip, the whites of the eyes with a #3.
I did experiment with different features on these chicks.  Some I opted not to pipe head tufts on.  And some I tried a different beak style for.

Look for these little guys to turn back up in a little while - they need to dry a few days first.  :-)


  1. These are adorable, I never thought of using royal icing like this! Can't wait to see what they get up to when they're dry... :)

  2. Those chicks could not be cuter! Loved reading this post (and that your KitchenAid stand mixer has a name - he he)

  3. How cute and very creative!!! I love that you went a different direction with your royal icing instead of just decorating cookies. Your chicks are adorable. Love it! Look forward to seeing your pretzels next month :)

  4. Oh and I also love that you named your mixer :)

  5. How totally cute! I can see these guys hatching out of a chocolate egg.

  6. Hi from a fellow First on the First participant. Your birds ad ducks are so cute! What a unique idea to try.

  7. Thanks, everyone for the kind comments!

    Every time I see icing decorations at the cake supply store, I think about making my own. :-) So it's as well that I finally did.

    And, yeah, I named the mixer. (Also both sewing machines and my car. Strangely, none of the other appliances have acquired identities...)


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