It requires practice to ice cakes smoothly. It is a good rule to allow a large quarter of a pound of powdered loaf-sugar to the white of every egg. The whites of four eggs and a pound of sugar will ice a large cake. Having strained the white of egg into a broad, shallow pan, beat it to a stiff froth with hickory rods or a large silver fork. It must be beaten till it stands alone. Have ready the powdered sugar in a bowl beside you; add it, gradually, to the beaten white of egg, a tea-spoonful at a time, and beat it very hard Perhaps some additional sugar may be required to make the icing sufficiently thick. Flavour it by beating in at the last a few drops of oil of lemon, or a spoonful of fresh lemon or orange-juice, or a few drops of extract of vanilla, or extract of roses. Lemon-juice will make it more adhesive, so that it will stick on better. Turn bottom-upwards the empty pan in which the cake was baked, and place this pan on a large flat dish, or an old server. Dredge the cake all over with flour, to take off the greasi-ness of the outside, which greasiness may otherwise prevent the icing from sticking well. Then wipe off the flour with a clean towel. Take up the icing with a spoon, and begin by heaping a large quantity of it on the middle of the top of the cake. Then, with a broad-bladed knife, spread it down evenly and smoothly, till the top and sides are all covered with it of an equal thickness. Have beside you a bowl of cold water, into which dip the knife-blade, occasionally, as you go on spreading and smoothing the icing. Put it into a warm place to harden. When nearly dry, have ready sufficient icing to ornament or flower the cake. This must be done by means of a small syringe. By working and moving this syringe skilfully, the icing will fall from it so as to form borders, headings, wreaths, and centre-pieces, according to your taste. If you cannot procure a syringe, a substitute may be formed by rolling or folding a piece of thick, smooth writing paper into a conical or sugar-loaf form. At the large end of this cone leave paper enough to turn down all round, so as to prevent the side opening, and the icing escaping. The pointed end must be neatly cut off with scissors, leaving a small round hole, through which the icing is to be pressed out when ornamenting the cake. The hole must be cut perfectly even; otherwise the icing will come out crooked and unmanageable. These paper cones, in skilful hands, may succeed tolerably; but they must be continually renewed, and are far less convenient than a syringe, which can be bought at a small cost, and is always ready for use. Where much icing is to be done, it is well to have a set of syringes with the points of different patterns.

To decorate cakes with ornamental icing, requires practice, skill, and taste. A person that has a good knowledge of drawing can generally do it very handsomely.

To colour it of a beautiful pink, tie up a little alkanet in a thin muslin bag, and let it infuse in the icing after it is made, squeezing the bag occasionally. When sufficiently coloured, take out the bag, and give the icing a hard stirring or beating before you put it on. Cover the cake all over with the pink icing, and then have ready some' white icing for the border and other ornaments, - to be put on with the syringe.

Icing may be made stiffer and more adhesive by mixing with it, gradually, a small portion of dissolved gum tragacanth. This solution is prepared by melting gum tragacanth in boiling water, (if wanted for immediate use,) having first picked the gum quite clean. The proportion is half an ounce of the gum to half a pint of water. It is slow in dissolving. To keep it from spoiling, add to the gum (before the water) a few drops of strong oil of lemon, or oil of cinnamon.