Royal icing

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 😛

royal icing 6

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

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.

royal icing 1

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 house that you should check out during Christmas time :)

royal icing 4

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.

easy royal icing 6

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. 

– 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.  

easy royal icing 7

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

easy royal icing 8

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.

easy royal icing 9

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

easy royal icing 10

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. 

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. 

easy royal icing 12

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 :)

42 thoughts on “Royal icing

  1. CCU

    Thank you for such a delicious pictorial to this icing 😀


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

  2. Daniela

    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!

  3. Manju @ Manju's Eating Delights

    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 😛 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.

  4. Annabell

    Thanks for the pictures… :)

    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…..

  5. pamela

    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 Post author

      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 :)

  6. Joni

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

  7. ilsmarie

    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.

  8. Allyssa

    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 Post author

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

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

  9. Paulette Harris

    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 Post author

      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! :)

  10. Kristin

    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?

  11. Rebekah

    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 Post author

      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 :)

    1. Abeer Rizvi Post author

      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:


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