Cakes, Cupcakes, Cookies and Dessert Recipes

royal icing 4

Royal icing


This easy royal icing recipe is fool-proof. It’s perfect for decorating cookies and doing scroll work on cakes. It tastes great, dries hard and dries fast.

When I FIRST started cake decorating, I didn’t know what the heck royal icing was :S

I DIDN’T even know it’s normally used to decorate cookies and dries hard at room temperature …

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

But thankfully, I have LEARNT a lot since then…heheh πŸ˜›

royal icing 6

I have been TWEAKING my recipe for 2 years and today, I am sharing my final version πŸ˜€

This royal icing tastes GREAT… just like vanilla!

It also dries HARD and dries FAST.

This recipe also only yields about 1.5 cups of icing.

So, it’s a SMALL batch recipe and that’s great for people like me who DON’T do a lot of cookie decorating….hehe.

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Royal icing also works as a great “GLUE” for sticking all the cookie pieces of gingerbread houses.

I have a very detailed tutorial for making a gingerbread houseΒ that you should check out during Christmas time πŸ™‚

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To make royal icing, you will need the following ingredients:

1.5 tbsp meringue powder
3 tbsp warm water (NOT hot)
1/2 tbsp light corn syrup
2 cups powdered sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract (use clear extract to avoid discoloration)

And here are the steps:

Step 1:

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

easy royal icing 4Step 2:
Beat this for about 1 minute until you have a white and frothy mixture.

easy royal icing 5

Step 3:
Add powdered sugar, corn syrup and vanilla extract and start mixing at medium to medium-high speed.

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Step 4:
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.Β 

– This icing is at the “thick consistency stage.” You can add some water to thin it out if you need your royal icing to be thinner.
– Please remember that a little water goes a LONG way. Add only 1/4 tsp water at a time and make sure to mix properly again. Β 

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Step 5:
You can now color your icing with gel colors.
Use a toothpick to add colors into your icingΒ 

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Step 6:
Mix with a spoon until the color is fully blended into your icing.

The color of your icings will get deeper and better the longer they sit.

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Step 7:
Royal icing dries very quickly, if exposed to air.
Make sure you store it in a plastic container with a tight lid.

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Step 8:
Also, cover your entire container in saran wrap.
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And you are done!

Use this icing immediately for your decorations or allow it to sit at room temperature (fully sealed) until needed.Β 

Use within a week or two.

You will probably have to whip it again coz royal icing has a tendency to separate into sugar and water, the longer it sits.Β 

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Well, that’s all for today.

If you liked this recipe, you may also like some of these other fantastic frosting/icing recipes:

Seedless strawberry frosting

strawberry frosting

Glace icing

glace icing

Buttercream icing

buttercream icing
Until next time, take care my lovelies πŸ™‚



  1. CCU

    July 16, 2013 at 2:42 pm

    Thank you for such a delicious pictorial to this icing πŸ˜€


    P.S Because of my exams, I will not be commenting for around 4 weeks – see you afterwards!

  2. Marta @ What should I eat for breakfast today

    July 16, 2013 at 2:55 pm

    I always wanted to make pretty cookies with icing. And now it can be royal as well πŸ™‚

  3. Belinda @zomppa

    July 16, 2013 at 4:38 pm

    You didn’t just learn, you clearly found your talent!

  4. Asmita

    July 17, 2013 at 5:32 pm

    Hi Abeer,
    I am crazy about cookies and cookie decorating. Thanks for this helpful post.

  5. yummychunklet

    July 17, 2013 at 7:03 pm

    Love decorating with royal icing!

  6. Swathi

    July 17, 2013 at 8:12 pm

    I have only tried store bought royal icing, I will try your recipe Abeer.

  7. Daniela

    July 18, 2013 at 12:47 pm

    Great, today I learned something new- Royal
    Icing. It’s the first time I heard about it and it seems
    a cool recipe for decorating. Thanks for sharing!

  8. Manju @ Manju's Eating Delights

    July 18, 2013 at 3:06 pm

    Even I tried royal icing for the first time few months back n can u imagine why? Coz I needed to something like an edible glue that can stick Fondant cuttings on a plastic rod for decorating a Carousel themed cake πŸ˜› LOL! But I loved its texture and the way u can decorate with it. I’m not a cookie decorator myself, but dont mind giving it a try sometimes.

  9. Alex

    July 28, 2013 at 6:28 am

    Oh I have to try your version…….. (I may only take photos of the 10th time I make it though. I’m so clumsy with icing!)

  10. Chitrangada Kundu

    July 30, 2013 at 1:31 pm

    Thank you so much for this details.

  11. Rebecca Yeo

    April 27, 2014 at 9:27 pm

    Thank you for sharing! You’re an angel <3

  12. Annabell

    May 6, 2014 at 4:17 pm

    Thanks for the pictures… πŸ™‚

    Separation in Royal icing:
    Is caused by grease either in containers, mixing bowl, paddle blades… Because way to remove this separation is using a spray bottle and vingar. Wipe everything down that will be touching the royal icing. Your kitchen aid will make a funny squeaking noise as the bowl is so well clean.

    Hope that might help. I do and love my flood cookies!!! I am going to try your recipe as well.

    I will start wrapping my containers in the cling wrap as well, not just the inside…..

  13. Teresa de Fátima Nunes

    May 24, 2014 at 1:47 pm

    Amei vou tentar… Grata.

  14. Clash of the Clans

    August 18, 2014 at 4:38 am

    Useful info. Lucky me I found your site by accident, and I am stunned why this accident didn’t took place earlier! I bookmarked it.

    Here is my web blog; Clash of the Clans –

  15. ebbyit

    December 9, 2014 at 7:17 am

    corn syrup produces serious damage to the brain.
    Better to replace it with glucose syrup or honey.
    Bye πŸ™‚

    1. Abeer Rizvi

      December 9, 2014 at 4:27 pm

      I understand what you mean. But, I don’t know how that replacement would affect this recipe.

      1. Stacie

        January 11, 2015 at 8:29 am

        Corn Syrup and High Fructose Corn Syrup are not the same thing, so your recipe is fine. Thanks for sharing!

  16. pamela

    December 18, 2014 at 1:40 pm

    Just found your site on pinterest. it’s fab
    I normally use icing sugar instead of meringue
    I can’t seem to get it in Ireland
    Keep up the good work

    1. Abeer Rizvi

      December 18, 2014 at 8:39 pm

      Thanks Pamela! Have you checked for meringue powder online? I am sure they sell meringue powder on Amazon and cake supply stores. It really does make the icing very stable. Give it a shot whenever you get your hands on meringue powder πŸ™‚

    2. pamela Jean hill nelson

      December 20, 2014 at 1:17 pm

      Hi! This sounds great! Making gingerbread houses with my precious granddaughters next week. We’ll use this recipe!
      Thank you and Merry Christmas!

      1. Abeer Rizvi

        December 20, 2014 at 7:27 pm

        Keep the icing at thick consistency and it’s gonna work like a great glue for your gingerbread houses. Have fun and marry christmas!

  17. Suzanne Holt

    December 20, 2014 at 7:34 am

    This is great! Thanks for the great pictures. PInned to my Christmas cravings board.

    1. Abeer Rizvi

      December 20, 2014 at 7:24 pm

      Glad you liked the step-by-step instructions! And thanks for pinning πŸ™‚

  18. Joni

    December 26, 2014 at 6:26 pm

    Just used your recipe and cookies look great. Can you stack when storing or should they be stored in a single layer? Thanks

    1. Abeer Rizvi

      January 1, 2015 at 8:46 pm

      Once the icing on the cookies have dried completely, you can easily stack them πŸ™‚

  19. Hailee

    January 6, 2015 at 10:37 pm

    Does this royal icing dry with a matte or shiny finish? πŸ™‚

    1. Abeer Rizvi

      January 7, 2015 at 1:21 am

      This royal icing dries with a matte finish.
      But, if you want a shiny finish, check out my glace icing recipe:

  20. ilsmarie

    January 11, 2015 at 4:18 am

    Hi all,

    I have a question.
    What is meringue powder? Can u please post the product or show the name brand. I’m from Curacao, and I’m not familiar with this. Maybe we know it as something different. So please help.
    Thanks in ad advance.

    1. Abeer Rizvi

      January 11, 2015 at 7:17 pm

      Meringue powder is basically dried egg whites powder. I am sure there are many brands out there but I use the one by Wilton brand.

  21. Allyssa

    April 15, 2015 at 11:11 pm

    I can’t wait to use this recipe! But I live in a small town so it’s hard to get clear vanilla extract. Would it be possible to use almond extract? I’m sure it will change the taste, but who doesn’t love almond?

    1. Abeer Rizvi

      April 16, 2015 at 7:24 pm

      Yes, the flavor might be a little different but like you said… everyone loves almond! πŸ˜‰

      You can also order clear vanilla extract online througH Wilton or Amazon.

    2. SquirrelyLove

      April 5, 2016 at 8:33 pm

      Uhh, lots of people don’t like almond extract. It’s very potent, and most people don’t seem to know how to use it sparingly. :/

      1. Abeer Rizvi

        April 6, 2016 at 5:43 am

        I know what you mean! Almond extract is very strong. Some people love it and some absolutely can’t stand it. The good thing about this recipe is that you can use whatever extracts you like and avoid those that you don’t like πŸ™‚

  22. shantha

    April 27, 2015 at 8:19 am

    hi Thanks for the fab tutorial. i have no idea what meringue powder?
    please clarify..
    tks shantha

    1. Abeer Rizvi

      May 3, 2015 at 2:27 pm

      Meringue powder is basically dried egg whites. I use the Wilton brand. You can buy it online or at stores.

  23. Paulette Harris

    June 14, 2015 at 8:30 am

    I would like to learn how to decorate and make good sugar cookies. Do you know anywhere that I can go to take a class. There are beautiful cookies on pinterest, etc. I can not find anyone to teach me. Thank you so much!

    1. Abeer Rizvi

      June 14, 2015 at 11:49 am

      I know there are some cookie decorators like Sweetambs who do cookie decorating workshops. They usually announce on their facebook pages where their workshop will be held. Also, look into Wilton classes. I have taken cake decorating classes with them and I hear they have added a few more classes into their collection. Maybe one of them is a cookie decorating class. Sometimes, community centers also offer cookie decorating classes. Check out their catalog. Oh, Craftsy has a detailed cookie decorating video. It’s not hands on but you can buy the class and watch it as many times as you like and keep practicing.

      I hope this helps! πŸ™‚

  24. Kristin

    December 16, 2015 at 11:48 am

    I have 8 people coming over to my house to make gingerbread houses. How many times do you think I should multiply this recipe to have enough for everyone?

    1. Abeer Rizvi

      December 16, 2015 at 4:14 pm

      I would make at least 4 batches, especially if you are making gingerbread houses with kids…lol. They make such a mess and end up eating a lot too..hahahha

  25. Rebekah

    December 19, 2015 at 12:31 am

    Have you used this in very hot weather? Is it ok? Sweltering in the Aussie heat making cookies and I need royal icing that won’t die in the heat.

    1. Abeer Rizvi

      December 20, 2015 at 2:50 am

      I have used this icing on cookies that were exposed to Chicago heat, which is quite hot and humid. I didn’t have any problems with this icing sweating or melting πŸ™‚

  26. Temika

    January 18, 2016 at 5:40 pm

    Can I use this for cupcakes

    1. Abeer Rizvi

      January 18, 2016 at 8:43 pm

      No… this icing dries hard and is used mostly for cookie decorating. These are some frostings you can use on cupcakes:
      Buttercream icing:
      Chocolate frosting:
      Seedless strawberry frosting:
      Mocha frosting:
      Orange buttercream icing:

  27. Erlinda

    May 29, 2016 at 8:18 pm

    Thank you,will definitly make this on my minion cookies.

    1. Abeer Rizvi

      May 30, 2016 at 4:19 am

      Please share pictures once you are done. Minion cookies are the cutest!

  28. Lisa Schumack

    July 25, 2016 at 11:47 am

    I use basically the same recipe with almond extract minus the meringue powder. When mine are dry they look like the heart cookies that you have pictured above. Did you use this recipe on those?

    1. Abeer Rizvi

      July 25, 2016 at 7:55 pm

      I used glace icing on those heart cookies. Glace icing is made with no egg whites or meringue powder (just like what you are describing). I feel like that icing is a little shiny and glossy. Royal icing is more matte… no gloss, whatsoever. Glace icing is also perfect for people with egg allergies. Both of them are great for decorating cookies and dry hard. You can use whichever one you like πŸ™‚

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