To one pound of extra refined sugar add one ounce of fine white starch; pound finely together and then sift them through gauze; then beat the whites of three eggs to a froth. The secret of success is to beat the eggs long enough, and always one way; add the powdered sugar by degrees, or it will spoil the froth of the eggs. When all the sugar is stirred in continue the whipping for half an hour longer, adding more sugar if the ice is too thin. Take a little of the ICING and lay it aside for ornamenting afterward. When the CAKE comes out of the oven, spread the sugar ICING smoothly over it with a knife and dry it at once in a cool oven. For ornamenting the CAKE the ICING may be tinged any color preferred. For pink, use a few drops of cochineal; for yellow, a pinch of saffron dissolved; for green, the juice of some chopped spinach. Whichever is chosen, let the coloring be first mixed with a little colorless spirit and then stirred into the white ICING until the tint is deep enough. To ornament the CAKE with it, make a cone of stiff writing paper and squeeze the colored ICING through it, so as to form leaves, beading or letters, as the case may be. It requires nicety and care to do it with success.
The Whitehouse Cookbook, by Mrs. F.L. Gillette (Year 1887)