Yes, I have tried several: Squires Kitchen (from UK), Easy Royal (from Israel), and a couple of Brazilian brands. The easiest way to sum up the experience is that each one has been a different experience. The biggest difference has been in the texture. Some of the Brazilian brands were quite gritty, and impossible for me to use in detailed line work (another Brazilian one - forgetting the name now - was not though). Both Squires Kitchen and Easy Royal are very fine and great for all manner of piping. Both also seem to set with less sinking than my royal icing, because of added stabilizers. Both are also sweeter and more flavored (with vanillin) to start.

I would use either Easy Royal or Squires Kitchen more regularly if they were easier for me to get in the US. I was pleased with their performance; flavor is fine too. But I always enhance my icing with flavorings anyway.

I used CK royal icing mix for the first few months after I started cookie decorating. It was no problem. The taste was okay for me. The colour was a bit yellowish but you could get clean white colour by adding white colouring. I stopped using it because I was getting more into cookie decorating and I found it's much cheaper to make RI with sugar and egg white powder.

I actually have not used a RI mix so far - and honestly don't plan to. Generally there are not many of them available here in Germany (I could only find 2 brands actually). I checked the ingredients of them some time ago and they have only listed very few: sugar, dehydrated egg white, and stabilizers (citric acid). The price is appr. 6 EUR for 500gr.

The only question that popped up in my mind: why should I pay so much money for a ready mix of the said ingredients, when I can mix it myself for about 1/6 of the price???

Are there other ingredients in the mixes you can purchase at your place? If yes, it might make sense to give it a try. Otherwise to me a ready made RI mix seems rather superfluous...

Originally Posted by Laegwen:

I actually have not used a RI mix so far - and honestly don't plan to. Generally there are not many of them available here in Germany (I could only find 2 brands actually). I checked the ingredients of them some time ago and they have only listed very few: sugar, dehydrated egg white, and stabilizers (citric acid). The price is appr. 6 EUR for 500gr.

The only question that popped up in my mind: why should I pay so much money for a ready mix of the said ingredients, when I can mix it myself for about 1/6 of the price???

Are there other ingredients in the mixes you can purchase at your place? If yes, it might make sense to give it a try. Otherwise to me a ready made RI mix seems rather superfluous...

 

One of mine has: sugar, egg albumen, citric acid, anti-caking agent (which may be cornstarch, though not specified), and calcium phosphate. Another has: Corn starch, egg whites, sugar, gum arabic, sodium aluminum sulfate, citric acid, potassium acid tartrate, and vanillin. 

 

I think the added cornstarch makes the icings set with less sinking/cratering, or at least that's been what I've seen in my limited experience of using these two brands. Both also were very white.

 

I can't comment on the price, as both were sent as gifts, but anything with more processing is likely to be more expensive especially if bought in small quantity. 

 

I think the benefit to these products is the convenience of not having to mix much of anything and perhaps the added stability. In an area where it's harder to find pure dried egg whites (as it is here) or pasteurized whites, then they also address concerns about salmonella contamination as does meringue powder. I imagine companies would offer a cheaper, wholesale price if product were bought in larger quantities as well.

 

Still, I make the icing as I usually do without mixes; just a creature of habit, I guess.

@ Julia

Thanks for your reply! OK, it makes a little more sense if a RI mix has more ingridients than the ones I have found so fare. Especially stabilizers other than citric acid (which I use anyway for my icing).

But I guess I'm also a creature of habit - I like my icing to be mixed by me. I already worry about all those chemical stuff in the colors, I don't need to add worries about the ingridients of my icing

Do any of you sift your powder sugar?  Sifting aerates.  To me it will fluff up the mix and may not be desirable...  I've sifted and haven't sifted.  The other day, even though I got anxious and I probably goofed with the mix, I thought it made it too fluffy and not very easy to use. 

This post was forked into a new topic here: Effect of Sifting Powdered Sugar on Royal Icing?

I am forking (moving) Dona's question to another forum as it's not related to royal icing mix, and is likely to get lost under this topic. Please answer it in the new forum, and keep this one focused on the topic at the top (royal icing mix). Thanks.

 

Here's the link to Dona's new topic: http://cookieconnection.juliau...sugar-on-royal-icing

 

It's the same link as under her post.

Thanks everyone for your input. I was not sure if I wanted to try it, but was only thinking of taste and workability. I wonder if the ingredient "vanillin" is real vanilla in some form, or artificial, especially as the icing is white. The extra chemicals always worry me, especially things like preservatives and anti-caking agents. Now that I check the price, it makes even less sense. I believe I will stick with fresh and leave the mixes to explore another time. (Can't help but wonder if they are on to something if the corn starch prevents cratering though.)

Vanillin is an organic compound that can be derived naturally or through synthetic processes. According to what I've read, natural vanilla extract is a mixture of several hundred different compounds in addition to vanillin. So there's nothing inherently artificial about vanillin (as it exists in nature). That said, I find it straight up to be much less complex (and somehow more "artificial" tasting) than most natural vanilla extracts. Anti-caking agents could also be corn starch and not a chemical, so I'm not sure there's anything inherently artificial about these mixes. The more controversial decorating item is the artificial color that most of us use so generously!

I was paying attention to the chat this morning with Evelindecora and royal icing mix from Squires Kitchen. I looked at their website and as is mentioned here, there doesn't seem to be a comprehensive listing of the ingredients. So, here's my question...since SK RI mix contains vanillin is it wise to further flavor it? I usually use vanilla, almond extract and butter flavoring in my RI. Should I add the almond and butter flavorings should I decide to try the RI mix? Also, I'm not particularly fond of the really hard RI and always use glycerin and/or light corn syrup

as a "softener" to the icing. It didn't look like glycerin was included in the RI mix from SK. I do believe that I read somewhere that it's ok to add 1 tsp of glycerin to 500g of SK RI. Anyone have any experience with any or all of this? (Sorry for the long post.)

Originally Posted by Cookies Fantistique by Carol:

I was paying attention to the chat this morning with Evelindecora and royal icing mix from Squires Kitchen. I looked at their website and as is mentioned here, there doesn't seem to be a comprehensive listing of the ingredients. So, here's my question...since SK RI mix contains vanillin is it wise to further flavor it? I usually use vanilla, almond extract and butter flavoring in my RI. Should I add the almond and butter flavorings should I decide to try the RI mix? Also, I'm not particularly fond of the really hard RI and always use glycerin and/or light corn syrup

as a "softener" to the icing. It didn't look like glycerin was included in the RI mix from SK. I do believe that I read somewhere that it's ok to add 1 tsp of glycerin to 500g of SK RI. Anyone have any experience with any or all of this? (Sorry for the long post.)

I've used Squire's Kitchen (and other) royal icing mix; it dries hard all of the way through, as it's mostly just sugar and eggs with some flavorings (there is a complete ingredient list on the package). But my experience is that most of the mixes are flavored rather heavily with vanillin. You can certainly flavor over it with more flavoring, but you might need a little more that you are used to adding.

Originally Posted by Julia M. Usher:
Originally Posted by Cookies Fantistique by Carol:

I was paying attention to the chat this morning with Evelindecora and royal icing mix from Squires Kitchen. I looked at their website and as is mentioned here, there doesn't seem to be a comprehensive listing of the ingredients. So, here's my question...since SK RI mix contains vanillin is it wise to further flavor it? I usually use vanilla, almond extract and butter flavoring in my RI. Should I add the almond and butter flavorings should I decide to try the RI mix? Also, I'm not particularly fond of the really hard RI and always use glycerin and/or light corn syrup

as a "softener" to the icing. It didn't look like glycerin was included in the RI mix from SK. I do believe that I read somewhere that it's ok to add 1 tsp of glycerin to 500g of SK RI. Anyone have any experience with any or all of this? (Sorry for the long post.)

I've used Squire's Kitchen (and other) royal icing mix; it dries hard all of the way through, as it's mostly just sugar and eggs with some flavorings (there is a complete ingredient list on the package). But my experience is that most of the mixes are flavored rather heavily with vanillin. You can certainly flavor over it with more flavoring, but you might need a little more that you are used to adding.

Thank you, Julia! I really appreciate the feedback. I've decided to give it a try in a small quantity (mix and shipping is $$$$). Will provide feedback when I use it .

Originally Posted by Cookies Fantistique by Carol:
Originally Posted by Julia M. Usher:
Originally Posted by Cookies Fantistique by Carol:

I was paying attention to the chat this morning with Evelindecora and royal icing mix from Squires Kitchen. I looked at their website and as is mentioned here, there doesn't seem to be a comprehensive listing of the ingredients. So, here's my question...since SK RI mix contains vanillin is it wise to further flavor it? I usually use vanilla, almond extract and butter flavoring in my RI. Should I add the almond and butter flavorings should I decide to try the RI mix? Also, I'm not particularly fond of the really hard RI and always use glycerin and/or light corn syrup

as a "softener" to the icing. It didn't look like glycerin was included in the RI mix from SK. I do believe that I read somewhere that it's ok to add 1 tsp of glycerin to 500g of SK RI. Anyone have any experience with any or all of this? (Sorry for the long post.)

I've used Squire's Kitchen (and other) royal icing mix; it dries hard all of the way through, as it's mostly just sugar and eggs with some flavorings (there is a complete ingredient list on the package). But my experience is that most of the mixes are flavored rather heavily with vanillin. You can certainly flavor over it with more flavoring, but you might need a little more that you are used to adding.

Thank you, Julia! I really appreciate the feedback. I've decided to give it a try in a small quantity (mix and shipping is $$$$). Will provide feedback when I use it .

I had great results with it; I also like CK Products royal icing mix - though both are VERY sweet and vanilla-y.

I use Silver Spoons Royal Icing Sugar Here in the UK, it's not a ready to use mix you do need to add water, but that's it

So I find it really easy to use it does what I need it to do, I can make it to the consistence I would like then.

Saves me time making it from scratch too, especially when I sometimes don't have the extra time to do that.

 

Silver Spoon used to make the best chocolate chips too but they stopped making them still on the hunt for the perfect chocolate chips no luck so far & I have tried loads.  

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