Makes about one cup
- 2 large egg whites
- 1/8 tsp cream of tartar
- 2 1/2 cups confectioner’s sugar, sifted
- Liquid or paste food colorings as needed, optional
- In the clean, grease-free bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, beat the egg whites on low speed just until they become loose, about 1 minute. Add the cream of tartar and continue mixing on low speed until the egg whites become frothy, about 2 minutes.
- Add the confectioner’s sugar gradually with the mixer on low speed. Continue to mix until the icing holds a soft peak and is dull in appearance, about 2 minutes. If desired, divide the icing among smaller bowls and add food coloring.
If you won’t be using the icing right away, take the following steps to keep the icing from drying out: Clean the sides of the bowl or container to remove any drips; if a dry crust develops on the bowl, small pieces can drop into the icing and clog the tip of your pastry bag or parchment paper cone. Place a dampened paper towel directly on the surface of the icing and then cover the bowl very tightly with plastic wrap. Refrigerate for up to 5 days.
Note: You may prefer to use pasteurized egg whites in this recipe to eliminate any food safety concerns.