Royal Icing with Meringue Powder for Royal Icing Nests

YIELD: Approximately 3 cups of icing.  This recipe makes stiff-peak icing.

Note: Not all meringue powder is the same. Be sure to read the directions on the back of the meringue powder container for suggested amounts.

4 cups confectioners’ sugar, sifted

3 tablespoons meringue powder

1/4-1/2  cup warm water

1/2  teaspoon clear flavoring extract

(lemon, orange, almond, clear vanilla)


1. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, stir the confectioners’ sugar and meringue powder on low speed until combined.

2. Add the water (1/4 cup first and add more as needed) and beat on medium-high speed until very stiff peaks form, 5 to 7 minutes.

3. Add the flavoring and beat on low until combined.

4. Use the icing immediately or drape a damp tea towel over the mixing bowl or bowls to prevent the icing 

from drying out.

Note: Royal icing should be used immediately or transferred to airtight containers and refrigerated. Bring to room temperature and stir before using.

Make the nests:

Yield: 10 nests - more or less, depending on how much you inflate the balloons.

1 recipe royal icing, stiff peak, placed in a piping bag with Wilton #3 round piping tip

10 latex balloons

About 2 cups toasted coconut

30 candy-coated chocolate eggs

  1. Inflate the balloons to an approximate 3 1/2 -inch diameter and tie off.  Place them upright on an egg crate or in the tops of a few plastic tumblers. Pipe icing over the top 1/3 of the balloon.  Make many circular passes around the balloon while piping until the top is covered in icing. Note: Don't overload the top with icing.  Pipe until the balloon is just covered with icing.  
  2. Leave to dry at least 24 hours. The icing will dry to a hard candy matte finish.
  3. When nests are completely dry, snip the balloon at the tie-off with scissors, allowing the air to escape slowly.  The balloon will pull away from the sides of the nest revealing a bowl-shaped cavity.
  4. Line nests with toasted coconut (make sure coconut has completely cooled) and place 3 chocolate eggs inside.