Have a pan of simmering water ready. Combine egg whites, sugar, and meringue powder in heat-proof bowl of electric mixer. Set bowl over simmering water. Whisk until sugar dissolves and whites are hot, 3 to 4 minutes.
Transfer bowl to electric mixer. Using whisk attachment, mix on low speed, increasing to high, until stiff, glossy peaks form, about 10 minutes; add vanilla.
Preheat oven to 175 degrees. Make meringue roses: Tint a single recipe of meringue with food colors as desired. Use Ateco petal tips #102, #104, and #125 for various rose sizes. Fill 2 pastry bags, each fitted with a coupler, with tinted meringue. Using a dot of meringue, attach a 1 1/2- inch square of waxed paper to a number 7 flower nail. Holding nail between thumb and forefinger, twirl it clockwise as you hold the bag at a 45-degree angle and press out icing. Slide waxed paper off nail; place on baking sheet. Continue, placing only same-size roses on each tray. Bake trays of roses for 30 to 60 minutes or until dried through (baking times will vary with size). For the Ribbon Rose Cake, make 5 dozen roses in various sizes: 1 dozen 1 1/2-inch-diameter roses, 2 dozen 1-inch roses, and 2 dozen 1/2-inch roses. Cool completely; store in airtight containers.
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