How To Make Royal Icing Recipe (2024)


Jump to Recipe Print Recipe

Use this tutorial on how to make royal icing recipe for piping and decorating sugar cookies. This quick and easy cookie icing dries hard and tastes great.

*Thank you Rodellefor sponsoring today's post so that I can share this tutorial on how to make royal icing recipe for cookies. As always, all opinions are mine.*

When I FIRST started cake decorating, I didn't know how to make royal icing or what the heck it was used for.

Well, imagine my SURPRISE when I decorated a dozen cupcakes with thisicing, resulting in such WEIRD and crusty tops ....hahaha.

Thankfully, I have LEARNT a lot since then and today, I am sharing everything I know and answering the most common questions I have gotten over the years.

How To Make Royal Icing Recipe (1)

fThey are great for the upcomingHOLIDAY season.

Once the icing dries, you can stack them, pack them andSHIP them to family friends.

How To Make Royal Icing Recipe (2)

I am really fond ofRodelle extracts and use it a lot in my baking and especially frostings.

I truly believe that your recipe is only as good as the ingredients you use and Rodelle products are high quality with strong flavor and aroma.

CLASSIC royal icing uses vanilla extract but Rodelle has so many otherAMAZINGextracts that you can use as well.

Thanksgiving is the perfect time to use their pumpkin spice extract, which smells HEAVENLY!

You can also add some turmeric or cinnamon powder instead of extracts.

However, keep in mind that turmeric will give your icing a natural yellow color.

How To Make Royal Icing Recipe (3)

What's royal icing? What does royal icing taste like? What is royal icing for cookies?

Thisicing is a type of frosting that is most commonly used for decorating sugar cookies and piping and doing intricate scroll works on cakes. It dries hard and dried fast and tastes VERY sweet and usually has a vanilla flavor.

Here are TWO of my most POPULAR cut out cookie recipes that are perfect for cookie decorating with thisicing:

  • Perfect sugar cookies (small batch recipe that can be doubled if you want a bigger batch)
  • Perfect chocolate sugar cookies

How to make royal icing with meringue powder?

Thisicing is made by mixing together egg whites or meringue powder (dried egg whites) with powdered sugar (also known as icing or confectioners sugar) until soft peaks form. It can then be tinted in different colors.

Why use royal icing? When is royal icing used? What is royal icing used for?

Thisicing is used for any type of cake/cupcake/cookie decoration that needs to be dry, hard and not spread. This is why cookies decorated with thisicing are so popular as party favors. This icing is alsocommonly usedto decorate traditional wedding cakes that require a lot of detailed scroll work.

How do you color royal icing? How do you make black royal icing?

Thisicing should be colored with gel food coloring. Liquid food coloring is not recommended since that can change consistency of the icing. For black icing, use black gel color but it's very important to let the icing sit for a about 6 hours and allow the color to develop and deepen.

How To Make Royal Icing Recipe (4)

How much royal icing do you need to cover a cake?

You NEVER use thisicing to cover your cakes. You have to use soft buttercream frosting for that. Royal icing dries hard and will create an awful crust on your cake. But that being said, thisicing is excellent for adding decorations on your cakes such as flowers.

Here are some of my SOFTbuttercream frosting recipes (these won't dry and harden!):

  • Classic American buttercream frosting
  • Best cream cheese frosting
  • Seven minute frosting
  • Healthy coconut cream chocolate frosting
  • Mocha frosting
  • Mango frosting
  • Seedless strawberry frosting
  • Orange buttercream icing
  • Cooked buttercream icing(with flour)
  • Cooked chocolate buttercream icing (with flour)

How to make royal icing flowers?

Any flower that you can pipe in buttercream icing can also be made with thick royal icing. The only difference is that flowers, which are made with this icing will dry hard and can be stored for months (in a cardboard box at room temperature, away from moisture, humidity and sunlight).

Here is a tutorial on how to make easy icing flowers.

Why is royal icing not hardening? Why royal icing won't harden?

There can be 4 reasons for this problem:

  1. The mixing bowl and any other utensils you might have used to make youricing had some grease and oily residue from oil, shortening or butter that interfered with this recipe. Thisicing MUST be made in squeaky clean equipment.
  2. Your egg whites were not fresh or your meringue powder was too old. Consider replacing them and making the recipe again.
  3. You might have used oil based extracts and those delay the drying time and in some cases, your decorated cookies will not dry try at all.
  4. You might be livingin a place with very humid climate and the moisture in the air is interfering with the recipe and delaying the drying time of your decorated cookies.

Why is my royal icing too runny?

You probably addedtoo much liquid in your recipe.

Is royal icing safe to eat?

Yes, thisicing is safe to eat. Some people are concerned about the use of egg whites and meringue powder but since they are pasteurized, they are safe for consumption.

How To Make Royal Icing Recipe (5)

Why is there lemon juice in royal icing? Glycerin? Cream of tartar?

Glycerin is sometimes added to prevent the icing from becoming too hard. Lemon juice or cream of tartar isalso sometimes added to make the icing more stable. My easy royal icing recipe does not use lemon juice, cream of tartar or glycerin and it still works PERFECTLY!

What is thick royal icing? What is flood royal icing?

Thick icing is used for piping outlines on cookiesand and it's also great for making flowers. Flood icing is simplythin icing that's used to fill the insides of the cookie outline. Royal icing for flooding is thinned out by adding more water into the recipe.

Where to store royal icing?

Thisicing must be stored in an air-tight sealed container (I like to cover the container in saran wrap too). It should be placed at room temperature away from humidity and sunlight. If exposed to air, it dries very quickly.

Where to dry royal icing flowers?Where to store royal icing flowers?

Theflowers can be dried at room temperature or a fan can be used to speed up the drying process. Once the flowers have dried and hardened, they can be placed in a cardboard box, away from moisture, humidity and sunlight and they will last for months and can be used to decorate cakes and cupcakes.

Are royal icing and fondant the same? Is royal icing like fondant? Are royal icing and buttercream frosting the same?

The answer to all three questions is NO. They are not the same. Royal icing icing is a type of frosting that dries hard. Fondant is a thick sugar dough that's soft and pliable and can berolled out. It's used to cover buttercream frosted cakes. Finally, buttercream icing is made by mixing butter or shortening with powdered sugar. It's very soft and creamy and used for filling and frosting cakes and cupcakes. It does not dry or become hard!

What are royal icing transfers?

Thisis a cake and cookie decorating technique in which you pipe the design on a sheet of wax paper and let the icing dry. Once the design is dry, you can carefully peel it off from the wax paper and stick it onto your cookies, cakes or cupcakes.

Can you make royal icing without electric mixer?

No, this icing needs to be beaten until stiff peaks form and you definitely need a stand mixer or an electric mixer for that.

Royal icing vs. Glace icing?

Glace icing is also used for cookie decorating. It dries hard but has a glossy finish.It's also egg-free (no egg whites and no meringue powder), making it perfect for people with egg allergies. It can also be made vegan, if dairy-free milk is used. I have heard people say that Glace icing is like a royal icing recipe without is my glace icing recipe.

How much royal icing is needed for gingerbread house?

Thisicing works as a great GLUE for sticking all the gingerbread cookie pieces together. But, the amount of icing needed truly depends on how big your gingerbread house is. For basic small gingerbread houses, my small batchicing recipe that I am sharing today is more than enough.

I have a very detailed tutorial for making a gingerbread housethat you should check out during Christmas time!

How To Make Royal Icing Recipe (6)

How To Make Royal Icing Recipe (7)

How to make Royal Icing

Abeer Rizvi

Use this tutorial on how to make royal icing recipe for piping and decorating sugar cookies. This quick and easy cookie icing dries hard and tastes great.

4.66 from 41 ratings

Print Recipe Pin Recipe

Prep Time 10 minutes mins

Total Time 10 minutes mins

Course Dessert

Cuisine American

Servings 1 cup

Calories 976 kcal



  • In a deep bowl, add meringue powder and warm water.

  • Beat this for about 1 minute until you have a white and frothy mixture.

  • Add powdered sugar, corn syrup and vanilla extract and start mixing at medium to medium-high speed.

  • Continue mixing until your icing becomes thick and peaks start forming, as shown in this picture.This usually takes about 5 minutes of mixing at high speed.

    Note:This icing is at the “thick consistency stage.” You can add some water to thin it out if you need your icing to be thinner.Please remember that a little water goes a LONG way. Add only ¼ teaspoon water at a time and make sure to mix properly again.

  • You can now color your icing with gel colors.Use a toothpick to add gel colors into your icing.

  • Mix with a spoon until the color is fully blended into your icing.Note:The color of your icings will get deeper and better the longer they sit.

  • This icing dries very quickly, if exposed to air.Make sure you store it in a plastic container with a tight lid.

  • Also, cover your entire container in saran wrap.



  • Use this icing immediately for your decorations OR allow it to sit at room temperature (fully sealed) until needed.
  • Use within 1 week. But, remember that you will have to whip it again because this icing has a tendency to separate into sugar and water, the longer it sits.
  • This is a small batch royal icing recipe and yields about 1 ½ cups of icing. It’s great for times when you just need to decorate a few cookies.
  • Recipe can easily be doubled or tripled.
  • Outline icing should be the consistency of toothpaste and filling or flooding icing should be the consistency of corn syrup.
  • For true white icing, use clear extract to avoid discoloration OR use white gel coloring.


Calories: 976kcalCarbohydrates: 248gSodium: 14mgSugar: 243g

Keyword christmas dessert, cookie decorating, cookie icing, easy royal icing

Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

Well, that's all for today.

Until next time, take care my lovelies!


How To Make Royal Icing Recipe (2024)


What three ingredients is royal icing made of? ›

To make royal icing, place the powdered sugar, water, and Meringue Powder in a large mixing bowl. With an eclectic mixer, beat the ingredients together until the mixture forms stiff peaks. This should take 7-12 minutes, depending on the strength of your mixer.

What is royal icing mix made of? ›

Royal icing is frosting that's made from confectioners' sugar, egg whites, and flavorings, and used in many ways to decorate cookies and cakes. The biggest difference between buttercream frosting and royal icing is texture-buttercream is creamy and soft; royal icing hardens to a candy-like texture.

What is the difference between cookie icing and royal icing? ›

Cookie icing can be used in the same way that royal icing can; however, it doesn't dry as hard as royal icing does. It's great for flooding cookies or piping designs into wet icing. To thin the consistency of cookie icing, just pop it in the microwave for about 20 seconds.

What is a good substitute for royal icing? ›

Anti-royal icing is an alternative to traditional royal icing. It does not contain egg white. And unlike classic royal icing, which hardens quickly and has a stiffer texture, anti-royal icing sets but remains a little lighter and fluffier, making it perfect for cakes, cupcakes, brownies and other pastries.

What makes royal icing thicker? ›

The icing consistency can be adjusted at any stage of the decorating process simply by stirring in sifted powdered sugar to thicken, or water to thin. Remember, at this stage, it is important to gently stir in (not whip on the mixer) any additional water.

What are the disadvantages of royal icing? ›

Disadvantages: Royal icing can crack. This makes it ill-suited for covering large surface areas (for instance an entire cake) or curved surfaces. Royal icing is rarely the most nuanced of flavors, with a somewhat bland (albeit sweet) flavor.

What are the two types of royal icing? ›

There are three main types of royal icing: stiff consistency, piping consistency, and flood consistency. They are used for different decorating techniques, although sometimes you can use different consistencies to achieve the same result.

Is royal icing soft or hard? ›

Royal icing is a hard white icing, made from softly beaten egg whites, icing sugar (powdered sugar), and sometimes lemon or lime juice. It is used to decorate Christmas cakes, wedding cakes, gingerbread houses, cookies, and many other cakes and biscuits.

Does royal icing get darker as it dries? ›

Rule of thumb: if the icing is the exact color you want it in the bowl, you've added too much color! The color will continue to darken as you bag the icing, decorate and dry. So, you want the icing still to be a shade or two lighter in the bowl than you ultimately want.

How long does homemade royal icing last? ›

Typically in today's modern world, royal icing made with meringue powder stores well in an airtight container at room temperature for at least 2 weeks. Some people even say 4. You'll know it's bad if you open it and it has puffed up a lot (bacteria growth) and/or it smells sour.

Is milk or water better for royal icing? ›

There are different versions of royal icing out there, but this is an easy one that comes together quickly with basic ingredients. This recipe uses milk instead of water, which gives it more flavor and just a tad of creaminess.

What is the most difficult part of decorating cookies with royal icing? ›

Cratering refers to the formation of small depressions or pits on the surface of royal icing cookies during the drying process, making it particularly frustrating because your cookies look fine as you work on them, and as it dries, these little craters start to form, and it becomes difficult to fill them in later.

Which tastes better royal icing or buttercream? ›

Buttercream tastes better and has a superior mouthfeel. Like its name suggests, this kind of frosting usually has butter, milk or cream, powdered sugar, and an extract flavoring, according to Bake Decorate Celebrate. The icing is smooth, creamy, and doesn't dry out fast.

Does royal icing mix go bad? ›

You can store freshly created royal icing made with meringue powder in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 2 weeks. Before using it on another dessert, all you need to do is beat it well in a mixing bowl at low speed.

What are the three types of royal icing? ›

There are three main types of royal icing: stiff consistency, piping consistency, and flood consistency. They are used for different decorating techniques, although sometimes you can use different consistencies to achieve the same result.

What makes royal icing safe to eat? ›

Royal Icing with Pasteurized Egg Whites

If your royal icing recipe calls for raw egg whites, opt for buying pasteurized eggs. This means the eggs were partially sterilized and more likely to be rid of any food-borne illness.

What is the key ingredient in all kinds of icing? ›

Sugar is the most important ingredient in all types of frostings, providing sweetness, flavor, bulk and structure.


Top Articles
Latest Posts
Article information

Author: Gregorio Kreiger

Last Updated:

Views: 5773

Rating: 4.7 / 5 (57 voted)

Reviews: 80% of readers found this page helpful

Author information

Name: Gregorio Kreiger

Birthday: 1994-12-18

Address: 89212 Tracey Ramp, Sunside, MT 08453-0951

Phone: +9014805370218

Job: Customer Designer

Hobby: Mountain biking, Orienteering, Hiking, Sewing, Backpacking, Mushroom hunting, Backpacking

Introduction: My name is Gregorio Kreiger, I am a tender, brainy, enthusiastic, combative, agreeable, gentle, gentle person who loves writing and wants to share my knowledge and understanding with you.