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Vegan Royal Icing

Did you know you can make Vegan Royal Icing from chickpeas? I finally tried it and it works.

Vegan royal icing in a bowl.

VEGAN ROYAL ICING

Few weeks back I made Vegan Sugar Cookies. Today I’m going to show you how to make royal icing without egg whites, using aquafaba.

CHICKPEAS BRINE/AQUAFABA

Who would have thought that chickpeas, an annual legume, could be used to make something sweet? I like chickpeas, and I use them in salads or eat them plain with apples. They are also the main ingredient in hummus.

Little did I know that brine from chickpeas can be used to make Vegan Royal Icing and Vegan Sugar Cookies. Isn’t that awesome?! So next time you drain chickpeas be sure save the brine. And you can also freeze it for later.

Make sure to drain the chickpea brine through a fine mesh sieve. Just in case there are some bean bits in the aquafaba. You don’t want those in your vegan royal icing.

Draining chickpeas from the can.

CREAM OF TARTAR

I use cream of tartar/potassium bitartrate in this recipe to stabilize aquafaba. Into aquafaba, add cream of tartar and whip it until foamy. Then you can add all of the powdered sugar.

Fit your mixer with a wire attachment and beat on low speed until thick. I also add a little bit of white food coloring while it’s mixing. It helps brighten the icing and has some stabilizers that can help delay icing from crusting.

Mixing icing with a wire attachment.

HOW TO COLOR ICING

To flavor my royal icing I like to add with Vanilla, Lemon and Almond extracts.  I know it seems like an odd combination of flavors but it really works. Of course, nothing is set in stone and you can experiments with other flavors. However I’d recommend that you stick with Vanilla Extract. You can then add other flavors of your choice.

Extract to flavor royal icing.

FOOD COLORS

I use gel food colors to color royal icing. Check with the manufacturer if you have further questions about the contents of gel food colorings you are using.

HOW DO YOU BAG ROYAL ICING ?

To bag the icing I mostly use tipless piping bags bags and a tape sealer to seal them. Make sure to get the tape too, as the sealer doesn’t come with it.

Royal icing in piping bags

DOES VEGAN ROYAL ICING DRY HARD?

Yes, this aquafaba royal icing dries hard. If you’d like it to dry with a softer bite try using little bit of corn syrup or invert sugar.

HOW LONG DO COOKIES DECORATED WITH VEGAN ICING LAST?

10-14 days. I find that vegan cookies tend to dry out a little, and they get crunchier with time. I’ve had some vegan decorated cookies for three weeks and they were crunchy and still delicious. You can add invert sugar to vegan cookies and keep them softer for longer.

CAN I USED VEGAN ICING TO MAKE PIPED FLOWERS?

You’ll need to add extra powdered sugar to make it stiff to pipe roses and such. I find vegan royal icing slightly less flexible than traditional meringue based royal icing and it maybe harder to pipe 3 dimensional flowers with it.

DOES AQUAFABA ROYAL ICING TASTE LIKE CHICKPEAS?

No worries, eggless aquafaba royal icing doesn’t taste like chickpeas at all. Vegan icing is a bit sweeter than traditional meringue based royal icing. It’s also less flexible

CAN I USE HOMEMADE CHICKPEA BRINE TO MAKE ROYAL ICING?

For the best results use liquid from store bought can of chickpeas.

MORE VEGAN RECIPES

Vegan royal icing in a bowl.
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5 from 9 votes

Vegan Royal Icing

Royal icing made from canned chickpeas brine. Great for cookie decorating.
Store in the fridge, for up to 5 days.
Course Frosting, icing
Cuisine American, French
Keyword aquafaba royal icing, eggless royal icing, vegan royal icing.
Prep Time 10 minutes
Author Hani

Ingredients

Vegan Royal Icing

  • 6 tbsp strained canned chickpeas brine (90 ml)
  • 4-5 cups powdered sugar (480-600grams)
  • 1/2 tsp cream of tartar substitute 1/2 tsp lemon juice
  • 1/2 tsp Vanilla extract
  • 1/2 tsp almond extract
  • 1/2 tsp lemon extract
  • 3 drops white food coloring

Instructions

VEGAN ROYAL ICING

  • Open a can of store bought chickpeas, drain and strain the brine though a fine mesh sieve.
  • Measure chickpea brine (6 tablespoons, 90 milliliters) into a bowl of your stand mixer. Add cream of tartar (1/2teaspoon).
    Beat with a wire beater until the mixture is foamy. Add all powdered sugar (4-5 cups, 480-600grasms) and continue beating on low speed until thick.
    Beat in Vanilla Extract (1/2tsp), Lemon Extract (1/2tsp) and white food coloring (3drops). Beat until thick, 5-8 minutes.

Storage

  • Store in an airtight container, covered with plastic wrap, and closed with a lid in the fridge for up to 5 days. Let come to room temperature before using.
    Thin icing with room temperature water to desired consistency.

Color Vegan Royal Icing

  • Vegan royal icing can be colored with gel food colors.

Notes

CAN I USE HOMEMADE CHICKPEA BRINE? – For the best results, use brine from drained store-bought chickpeas. It isn’t easy to control the concentration of homemade chickpea brine.
MY VEGAN ROYAL ICING IS NOT DRYING; WHAT HAPPENED? – I see this happen when too much food coloring is added. As with all royal icing recipes adding too much food coloring can result in excessive drying times. Allow icing to dry overnight.
 

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Vegan royal icing in a bowl.

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74 Comments

  1. Hi Hanni again! Uhm I was so sure that somewhere in ur page, saw that the vegan royal icing can be stored in the freezer, right? If it’s like that… uhm, in what way u put in in a container, how long lasts? All the tips, because I’m gonna travel soon, but not for so long & I want my icing to be ready to use when I’m back…
    Please help ♡
    Thanks :)!

    1. Hi Charlotte,
      yes, you can store it in the freezer. Let it come to room temperature and check the consistency, if needed add a little powdered sugar to
      restore the stiff consistency.

  2. Hey, thanks for this!
    So far I’ve tried making royal icing using aquafaba, egg replacer powder, I’ve tried adding lemon juice or cream of tartar and whatever else I can find- but it’s taking upwards of four days to dry. It crusts very quickly, but then just stays gooey under the surface…. What am I doing wrong?! I’m following very well known recipes, not eyeballing it.

    1. Hi G,
      Where do you source aquafaba? Do you make it yourself or strain it from the canned chickpeas?

      Also, please make sure the tools and mixer are grease free. I usually have an opposite problem, where it’s crusting and drying quite fast.
      Have you tried working with a vegan royal icing mix to see if you experience the same problem? It’s hard to figure out what could be causing this without
      seeing you make it.

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