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royal icing

Royal Icing Recipe

Royal icing is exactly what you need for your hoilday baking needs including but not limited to gingerbread houses, and piping, flooding, and glazing Christmas cookies. Using egg whites, this royal icing dries hard and smooth. This recipe makes enough to cover 80 medium sized cookies!
4.80 from 10 votes
Prep Time: 5 mins
Total Time: 5 mins
Serves: 4 cups
Calories: 905kcal


  • 32 ounces (907 g) powdered sugar sifted
  • 5 ounces (142 g) pasteurized egg whites
  • 1/2 teaspoon (1/2 tsp) cream of tartar
  • 1 teaspoon (1 tsp) vanilla extract substitute any flavor you desire


Royal Icing Instructions

  • First, combine your egg whites, sifted powdered sugar, and cream of tartar in the bowl of your stand mixer with the whisk attached. 
  • Mix the ingredients on low to get them combined, and then bump up the speed to high (speed 5 on KitchenAid, speed 4 on the Bosch) for 1-2 minutes.
  • Add in your vanilla extract and whip it until it’s white. There is no need to mix it for longer than 5 minutes. 
  • Then, place the royal icing into a bowl or container with a lid. Your THICK royal icing is now ready to be thinned down to the consistency you desire!


  • How to Add Color to your Royal Icing: 
    • Start with one drop of food coloring per cup and then go from there. 
    • Make sure when you’re adding your color that you mix it with a spoon and try not to add any air into your icing.
  • How to Outline Cookies with Royal Icing:
    • Start with 1 cup of the stiff royal icing you have prepared and then add 1/2 tsp – 3/4 tsp of water until you reach a glob consistency (you can watch the video in my recipe for more guidance). 
  • How to Flood Cookies with Royal Icing: 
    • For flooding your cookies with royal icing, you will need to outline your cookie first so that the icing does not fall off the cookie.
    • To make the flooding icing, you’ll add about 2tsp-3tsp of water to your thick royal icing until you get ribbons that become flat after about 10 seconds (for more guidance, you can watch the video in my recipe).
  • How to Make Royal Icing Glaze
    • To get a smooth coat of royal icing, you’ll want to add 1 1/2 tsp – 2 tsp of water to your thick royal icing.
    • Once you add a little water (about 1 teaspoon) to your icing, then your royal icing will be MUCH smoother.
    • This is also called 15-second icing because when you spoon it back onto itself, it takes about 15 seconds for it to get flat (see video below for more guidance).
      • At this stage, you can spoon your royal icing onto a cookie, smooth it out, and that’s it! I like this consistency the most for quick glazing and I don’t worry so much about outlining. This is the perfect consistency for beginners and kids!


Serving: 50g | Calories: 905kcal (45%) | Carbohydrates: 227g (76%) | Protein: 3g (6%) | Sodium: 74mg (3%) | Potassium: 61mg (2%) | Sugar: 221g (246%) | Vitamin A: 310IU (6%) | Iron: 0.7mg (4%)