The White Vinegar Trick To Stabilize Royal Icing In A Flash

Royal icing is one of those baking hurdles that still pose a challenge to many seasoned bakers as it is much more temperamental in comparison to its buttercream brother. Home bakers use royal icing to top cookies or to accent gingerbread houses — picture those shortbread cookies with a layer of frosting smoother than an egg and not a drop out of place. This kind of icing is relatively easy to make because it doesn't require too many ingredients; in fact, the perfect royal icing recipe can usually be made with just pasteurized egg whites, powdered sugar, lemon juice, and glycerine.

Even with a short ingredient list, though, royal icing can be hard to master because there can be so much variation in consistency between royal icing used for flooding or bordering on cookies. In that regard, getting the perfect royal icing is easier said than done. There is one secret ingredient that bakers can use when facing royal icing woes: white vinegar.

Stabilize your egg whites with vinegar

Getting the consistency just right with royal icing can be tricky, to say the least. Sometimes you're not even sure if your icing is good until it has set completely; and, by then, it might be too late. 

There is more than one recipe to make royal icing as the sweet topping has many uses in the baking world. As royal icing calls for eggs in the recipe, some bakers like to use cream of tartar to prevent the weeping of moisture in the eggs as culinary scientist Jessica Gavin states.

It's important to stabilize the egg whites when crafting your icing, but sometimes cream of tartar isn't always what you have on hand. Luckily, you can substitute cream of tartar with white vinegar (using white vinegar specifically prevents you from getting any of that vinegary taste peeking through). You do have to use a bit more vinegar than you would cream of tartar; but, after adding the right amount, you should be well on your way to stabilizing those eggs and achieving the royal icing consistency of your dreams.