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Royal Icing

  • Total Time: 15 minutes
  • Yield: approx 3 cups of icing 1x


If you’ve ever wanted to make fancy cookies, this recipe is your perfect go-to source!


  • 4 cups powdered sugar
  • 2 tbsp. meringue powder
  • 5 tbsp. water
  • 1/2 tsp cream of tartar


  1. Mix meringue powder and water in the bowl of a stand mixer until slightly foamy.
  2. Sift powdered sugar and cream of tartar, than add to the mixer.
  3. Mix on low speed until the sheen has disappeared and the icing has a matte appearance (about 10 minutes).
  4. Transfer the contents of the mixing bowl into multiple air-tight containers, based on how many colors and consistencies you will need.
  5. Add a very small amount of warm water at a time and stir by hand until fully incorporated. Continue until the icing has reached a consistency appropriate for piping. (Remember, if you are having any difficulty piping, it is still too thick. Add a little more liquid and try again.)
  6. Using a pastry bag, pipe around the edges of each cookie. Make sure to keep the leftover icing covered at all times when not in use so that it does not harden.
  7. Once all the cookies have been edged, stand the pastry bag tip down in a cup with just a tiny bit of water to keep from drying out.
  8. Choose another container, and thin out by incorporating a small amount of water at a time, until the icing drips off the spoon easily when lifted and then smooths in with the icing still in the bowl {about 5-7 seconds} If you go too far and the icing is too thin, add more sifted powdered sugar to thicken it again. Let icing rest for at least 10 minutes, then stir with a spoon to pop any bubbles that may have formed.
  9. Once the icing has reached the desired consistency, transfer it to a squeeze bottle (or plastic bag with a hole in one corner), and flood the area surrounded by the piping on each cookie. If it does not completely spread to the edges, use the tip of the squeeze bottle to help it along. Allow to set 1-2 hours until hardened.
  10. Use the remaining thicker icing for piping decoration as desired.
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: n/a
  • Category: Dessert
  • Cuisine: American

Keywords: royal icing, homemade icing