Royal Icing

Royal icing is so easy to make and really fun to work with.  The trick is in the consistency of the icing.  This icing is used to decorate cut out sugar cookies and will dry hard.  That makes it easy to package up and give as gifts.

I used royal icing on my spring sugar cookies, Easter cookies and butterfly cookies.

I used a #2 piping tip on these pastry bags.

Whisk together water and meringue powder.

Add in the cream of tartar and all the powdered sugar.

With the paddle attachment on your stand mixer, mix until completely incorporated.

Add water one teaspoon at a time until you reach the desired consistency.  You need thicker icing for outlining and thinner for flooding.  When I say thick icing, use the 10-second rule.  That means that if you draw a knife across the top of the icing, it should come together in about 10 seconds.  A thinner icing follows the same rule, but should come together in 5 seconds.

If your icing is too thin, just add more powdered sugar.  If it’s too thick, add more water.  Pretty simple.

Separate into smaller bowls and add in the food coloring.  Just one drop of the Americolor brand food color goes a long way.

One drop will give you a pastel color, more will make the color darker and intense.

I like to put my piping bag, fitted with a tip into a tall glass.  It makes pouring the icing into the bag so much easier.

This icing is used mainly for decorating cut out sugar cookies, but can also be used to adorn a cake or cupcake.  To use it on a cake, you will pipe the design out on wax paper and allow it to dry completely.  The shape should just peel off and you can add to your cake.

Royal Icing


3/4 cup warm water

5 Tablespoons meringue powder

1 teaspoon cream of tartar

2.25 lbs. powdered icing sugar (3¾ cups per pound)

In mixer bowl, pour in the warm water and the meringue powder. Mix it with a whisk by hand until it is frothy and thickened…about 30 seconds.

Add the cream of tartar and mix for 30 seconds more.

Pour in all the icing sugar at once and place the bowl on the mixer.

Using the paddle attachment on the LOWEST speed, mix slowly for a full 10 minutes. Icing will get thick and creamy.

Cover the bowl with a dampened tea-towel to prevent crusting and drying.

Tint with food colorings or thin the icing with small amounts of warm water to reach the desired consistency.


8 thoughts on “Royal Icing

  1. Pingback: Spring Decorated Sugar Cookies | Karen in the Kitchen

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