For my first ingredient purchase, I opted for Wilton Color Flow because it was less expensive, and had fewer odd and difficult to pronounce ingredients than meringue powder (MP). Did a bit of research and learned that MP also has cream of tartar, so when I made my first batch by the MP royal icing (RI) recipe inside the lid, I shorted the 3T Color Flow measurement by 1T and added 1T of cream of tartar.  Everything turned out just fine and I was able to practice flood many MANY cookies and play with wet-on-wet, quilting, and layered effects with this RI at 10-second flood consistency. It dried well and had a small bit of a sheen.

I'm curious as to what the differences may be between RI made with Color Flow and cream of tartar and a basic MP recipe. 

Is the texture different?

Does coloring take better with MP? 

Can it be flavored as easily with non-oil based extracts/flavors? 

Does it keep just as long at room temp?



Original Post

To be honest, I had never heard about this product before. So I did a quick research what it is to check if I want it (just love to try out new stuff!) and decided I don't.

1. I don't really see the deeper sense behind it - I can do runouts perfectly fine with my normal royal icing which is simply made of 3 ingredients, powdered sugar, powdered egg white, water.

2. Both meringue powder and Color Flow contain a lot of chemicals which I don't want in my icing if I can help it. Especially CF with sodium lauryth sulfate. That's a thing used in shampoos etc, to make more foam and reduce the surface tension of water. It is said to cause skin problems when you are sensitive. I am very surprised it is even edible...

3. Cream of Tartar in MP is used to keep the stuff more flexible/cohesive while piping, more stable, as far as I know. Whereas Sodium Lauryth Sulfate in CF is meant to reduce exactly this, in order to have a smoother, shinier surface of your runout. In adding cream of tartar to your color flow mix, you have combined two materials which are supposed to achieve opposite things as I understand it. But maybe I am mistaken

I suppose you will find it harder to pipe intricate designs with color flow, as it is not meant to hold it's shape, but otherwise there will probably not be many differences to royal icing with meringue powder.

If you want a weird thing like a minor hazardous shampoo ingredient on your cookies, well, that's a different question. Wilton suggests removing decoration made with it and re-use it...

I'd be interested to hear other people's opinions about this stuff, maybe with a bit more chemical understanding than I have.

I have no idea what's in Color Flow, so I can't comment on how it differs from meringue powder, but . . .

Cream of tartar is usually added in very small quantity to egg foams/meringue (which can be made with meringue powder, of course) to stabilize the egg foam. Its function in royal icing might be some small amount of added stability, but because royal icing is usually mixed more thickly and is less aerated than meringue, I don't think the need for such stabilization is as critical. I've made royal icing without it and it's behaved pretty much as it always does.

Cream of tartar is also acidic and its often added to baked goods to activate baking soda and turn it into baking powder.

You can read more about the function of cream of tartar here ( Liesbet, our Toolbox Talk contributor, will also be doing an extensive post about cream of tartar this month, and I'll see if she's up for tackling some of your other questions.

This all said, I'm SUPER curious if you tasted your icing - adding 1 TB of cream of tartar to 3 TB of anything is a gargantuan amount (I usually add 1/2 tsp to 2 lb of powdered sugar and 5 egg whites to make royal icing), and I'd be surprised if the icing wasn't very tart.

BTW, this is a cut and paste from this page of Wilton's site ( where they talk about Color Flow and how to make royal icing from it. 

Wilton Site Screen Shot

They also answer your question about how it differs from their meringue powder icing. Though to note, they also recommend whipping their royal icing made with meringue powder for 10-12 minutes, which may be another reason why they describe their meringue powder icing as light and fluffy. I only whip mine 1 to 2 minutes at a very thick consistency, so it is less aerated to start and less in need of cream of tartar to keep it stable. 


Photos (1)

Wilton also notes in the above link that Color Flow pieces can take up to 2-3 days to dry (perhaps because of some of the flow-enhancing additives), which is not typical of small royal icing transfers. Usually small royal transfers will dry faster (1 day or less depending on size and icing thickness to start) under normal humidity.

thanks to julia!   i have used cf    but not to eat any cookies   just because i had it and it wasnt being used  lol     i believe  waste not want not   so  i used it to play with     

anyway    i agree with julia   you have to be referring to Wilton   as i think this is their property     etc   (legalese)         i've taken classes and   where cf was only used to make a bird   or something   lol   so long ago      and that the object is to be removed   not eaten     tossed  or kept            to me its sort of like pastillage  or wilton's version  ?   not sure              it can be chalky         now in playing with cf  as it can be used in place of ri       it worked   but not my preferred choice        and julia is correct in citing wilton    it does take days for it to harden      

I have used it!  It was the product I used when I started decorating cookies because I learned from Wilton magazines.  In a Wilton class it was used to create transfers, but the class was really bad.   But as soon I discovered  meringue powder that are less expensive I used it.  I found that Color Flow dries  in less time, I know others here posted differently,  but that was my experience.   

i had  classes in 2008 or 09      i was in a baking class but wasn't learning about decorations   hence the wilton classes     anyway     the instructor didn't refer to it as a transfer      indicated more like pastillage    

mpolly   you could use raw whites    see julia's recipe     there are a lot of recipes out there        king arthur has recipes  too        pros cons abound        raw whites  eggs    dual usage      you can use the yolks in food preps       as well as the whites          there's also    dry  whites  and yolks     i can't help with configuring amts for using these two products     then there's pastuerized whites      sm container here is almost $3         it lasts a while        if you are only practicing use whites    you'd have to know how to convert amt if you are only making half a batch       which  i would make    just to practice             another two cents is   don't over do practicing     you may do yourself a disservice    become overwhelmed    give up     don't give up    

CHELY Morales posted:

Yo utilizo cremor tártaro con polvo de merengue wilton y los resultados han sido satisfactorios , y tiene secado rápido. Vivo en México D.F. Así me a funcionado muy bien. Esa es mi experiencia! Saludos!

Chely ella está preguntando por un producto no wilton diferente en polvo de merengue
  Creo que he leído su respuesta correcta

donaharrisburg posted:
CHELY Morales posted:

Yo utilizo cremor tártaro con polvo de merengue wilton y los resultados han sido satisfactorios , y tiene secado rápido. Vivo en México D.F. Así me a funcionado muy bien. Esa es mi experiencia! Saludos!

Chely ella está preguntando por un producto no wilton diferente en polvo de merengue
  Creo que he leído su respuesta correcta

Miré a mi lata para asegurarse de que yo no estaba equivocado crema de tártaro es un ingrediente en polvo de merengue

Add Reply

Likes (6)
donaharrisburgCHELY MoralesJoanieCookie Me This ~ HeidiLaegwenEconlady