Royal Icing

Royal Icing

Royal Icing

Royal Icing
4.4 rating based on 12,345 ratings
4.4/5 (10)
Course: Icings, Frostings, and GlazesDifficulty: Easy
Servings

6

cups
Print

An opaque icing that dries to a hard, matte finish.

Ingredients

  • 1 pound powdered sugar

  • 5 tablespoons meringue powder or 1/4 cup pasteurized egg whites*

  • 2 tablespoons water

  • food coloring (optional)

Directions

  • Combine powdered sugar and meringue powder or egg whites in a mixing bowl and beat on low speed. Add water drop by drop. The amount depends on whether you used the powder or the egg whites, and on the temperature and humidity in your kitchen. You will need more if you used meringue powder and less if you used pasteurized egg whites. Add the water slowly and do not let the mixture get runny – you will probably not use all of it. Beat until the mixture holds a trail on the surface for five seconds when you raise the mixer from the bowl. If you like, you can tint the icing with a few drops of food coloring. You can divide the icing into two or more bowls and make several different colors.

Notes

  • For a softer icing that doesn’t dry as hard, try our Powdered Sugar Icing I.
  • *We do not recommend using raw egg whites in this recipe because of the risk of Salmonella, especially if children, elderly, or pregnant women will be eating them.

Reviews

Name & Location
(example: Sue in LA)
Rating
Review

★★★★★
fantastic! i would make it again!
- lakesha

★★★★★
Works great if mixed and beaten for the proper amount of time. I have used this recipe for years!
- A Baker

★★★★★
I have used this specific recipe before and will again!! We look forward to making cookies for our Secret Santa Picking Party! :)
- Tat2luvgirl

★★★★★
My Grandma had her own bakery, so I grew up using this icing. Royal icing is about durability, not flavor. You can premake flowers or other 3D piped decorations with it and store in an airtight container for up to 6 months. Go to wiltons's website and you can learn what you can do with it. It's fun to work with because it holds up better than buttercream.
- Christina

★★★★★
This was the first time I have ever tried royal icing and I love it. This icing is absolutely the best one I have tried for piping tiny little decorations onto glazed cookies. I have always used a solid shortening based icing for decorating and I found this much easier to make and to use. Next time, though, I'm cutting the recipe in half. I made the whole recipe and was adding a few little decorations onto cookies that were already glazed (different recipe for glaze) and I only used maybe a third of the recipe to decorate ten dozen cookies. I used meringue powder and had to add almost 1/2 of a teaspoon of extra water to get it to a consistency to pipe the decorations. I'm strictly an amateur and it took a bit of fiddling to get it just right. Also, I added an extra drop of water to a small amount to thin it enough for tiny dots and lines, but do it drop by drop because it thins it out really quickly. I also had to add quite a bit more sugar to pipe leaves. I used liquid food coloring and I wanted to make really dark leaves and it thinned it out too much because I was only coloring a small amount and had to use several drops to get the color I wanted. It took a lot of extra sugar just for a half cup or so to get it really stiff, and I couldn't really get it as dark as I wanted because I had to keep adding sugar. Does anyone know if this icing can be saved for a few days like glaze? And what if it gets hard? Can you just add more water? I made way too much and hate to waste it. Also, I noticed Katie didn't like the taste. Honestly, I agree. I think maybe the meringue powder makes it taste a little like cardboard and so I added some vanilla. BIG mistake. It colored it kind of an ivory color so it wasn't pure white, but if you do add vanilla, take it off the water you add. (Another mistake I made.) I only used this to decorate cookies I had glazed already with almond flavored glaze and so you couldn't even taste the decorations, but I probably wouldn't frost an entire cookie with it.
- Cathy

★★☆☆☆
I didn't like the taste of this icing so I will continue looking for something that tastes better. I used 1 tbs vanilla in place of some water, I added 4 oz of cream cheese & 2 tbs butter to the recipe and it tasted much better to me.
- Katie

★★★★★
I use lemon juice instead of water (or citric acid crystals)in the mixture to make it tangy. It is perfect for decorating sugar cookies and dries without the colors of the red hots and sprinkles running.
- Susan E.

★★☆☆☆
Although this icing makes for pretty decorating, it dries too hard and crunchy. It actually hurt my teeth to bite into it. I have found that Toba Garret's glace icing is much more compatible with my decorating needs. It dries solid and stackable, yet chewy. I think royal icing should be used for nonedible items such as cookie ornaments and gingerbread houses.
- A Baker

★★★★★
I made this for the spicy gingerbread cookie recipe and it worked very well. I lined the cookies with the recipe as is and flooded them with a thinned version of the same. To thin the icing, I just added water in very small incriments until icing was the consistancy of paint. I used a small round tip for the lining and a small flat tip for the flooding. Using the small flat tip gave me better control over the flow.
- A Baker

★★★★★
This was the first time I have ever tried royal icing and I love it. This icing is absolutely the best one I have tried for piping tiny little decorations onto glazed cookies. I have always used a solid shortening based icing for decorating and I found this much easier to make and to use. Next time, though, I'm cutting the recipe in half. I made the whole recipe and was adding a few little decorations onto cookies that were already glazed (different recipe for glaze) and I only used maybe a third of the recipe to decorate ten dozen cookies. I used meringue powder and had to add almost 1/2 of a teaspoon of extra water to get it to a consistency to pipe the decorations. I'm strictly an amateur and it took a bit of fiddling to get it just right. Also, I added an extra drop of water to a small amount to thin it enough for tiny dots and lines, but do it drop by drop because it thins it out really quickly. I also had to add quite a bit more sugar to pipe leaves. I used liquid food coloring and I wanted to make really dark leaves and it thinned it out too much because I was only coloring a small amount and had to use several drops to get the color I wanted. It took a lot of extra sugar just for a half cup or so to get it really stiff, and I couldn't really get it as dark as I wanted because I had to keep adding sugar. Does anyone know if this icing can be saved for a few days like glaze? And what if it gets hard? Can you just add more water? I made way too much and hate to waste it. Also, I noticed Katie didn't like the taste. Honestly, I agree. I think maybe the meringue powder makes it taste a little like cardboard and so I added some vanilla. BIG mistake. It colored it kind of an ivory color so it wasn't pure white, but if you do add vanilla, take it off the water you add. (Another mistake I made.) I only used this to decorate cookies I had glazed already with almond flavored glaze and so you couldn't even taste the decorations, but I probably wouldn't frost an entire cookie with it.
- Cathy
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