This is the best royal icing recipe that you are going to find! This easy Royal icing Recipe is perfect for decorating cookies and desserts. Everything you need to know about making royal icing (how to make cookie icing), coloring cookie icing, and decorating cookied with royal icing will be covered in this post. This easy royal cookie icing recipe for sugar cookies can also be used to decorate cupcakes and cakes.
Royal Icing Recipe
I love making homemade sugar cookies and I love decorating them with this homemade royal icing recipe. Not only do they taste amazing but they look beautiful. You can use homemade royal icing, also known as cookie icing to decorate the cookies any way you want them to.
Royal icing is the only cookie icing I like to use when I am making Christmas cookies and other decorated cookies. This royal cookie icing recipe is easy to make and then decorate with. After putting royal icing on cookies it will harden and the decorative designs you have made will stay and not smear. This royal icing for cookies can be used on cakes and cupcakes as well, so it is great for all of your decorating needs.
Sugar Cookies with Royal icing
- Christmas Tree Sugar Cookies
- Pumpkin Sugar Cookies
- Elf on the Shelf Sugar Cookies
- Carrot Shaped Sugar Cookies
- Jack Skellington Cookies
- Minion Cookies
What is Royal Icing?
Royal icing is an icing that starts off liquid then hardens when it dries. Royal cookie Icing is the best icing to use when you are decorating cookies. To make it any color you want just add a few drops of food coloring in when you are making it. I love using this easy royal icing recipe with the no spread Christmas sugar cookie recipe and it makes the best sugar cookie with royal icing ever. The cookies look amazing and they taste amazing too.
Using Royal Icing when decorating cookies gives you the ability to make fun and beautiful sugar cookies and using royal icing to decorate cookies is quite easy.
What is the difference between icing and royal icing?
Royal Icing is made with powdered sugar, meringue powder, and water while buttercream frosting is made with butter. The biggest difference is royal icing hardens and is candy like, while buttercream is smooth and soft.
When you are decorating sugar cookies with royal icing you can also store them easier than decorating with buttercream because royal icing on cookies will harden and not smudge when you store them.
How to use Royal Icing
There are a few different uses for even though the main use is decorating cookies with royal icing.
You can also use royal icing to decorate cakes and this royal icing for decorating cookies is also great for decorating wedding cakes.
If you are making gingerbread houses, you can totally use this royal icing for gingerbread houses and gingerbread cookies.
This royal icing recipe is also great for decoorating cupcakes, yon can make designs on wax paper with the royal icing, let it harden and then use as a topper on cupcakes.
If you are looking to decorate sugar cookies, be sure to check out everything you need to know about decorating sugar cookies with royal icing.
What do the seconds mean when talking about Royal Icing?
When people start talking about the thickness and decorating cookies with royal icing measuring is done in seconds. The seconds simply stand for the amount of time it takes the icing when dripped back into the batch of icing in the bowl, to reabsorb and return to a smooth finish.
So if you need 20 second icing you will pick up your spoon and drizzle the icing back on top and see how many seconds it takes to disappear back into the bowl of icing. You will want to slowly stir in enough water to get to the right thickness.
How to Thin Royal Icing?
Aside from the initial water added to the recipe, there is no specific amount of water to add when thinning the cookie frosting. I suggest adding half a teaspoon at a time to get to the thickness you want.
When you are making this recipe for royal icing for cookies, there is no way to know exactly how much to add so we just have to use the accounting method to make the thickness we need and want. For example, it takes 20 seconds for the royal icing to flatten completely out again is considered 20 second icing.
If it seems too thick just add a few drops of liquid at a time to thin it down. If it is too thin then add a small amount of confectioners’ sugar and stir until you get it thick enough.
How to Thicken Royal icing
If you add to much water to the royal icing when you are thinning it out you can add more confectioners sugar to the royal icing to thicken it up.
What are the Different Royal Icing Consistency Types
There are a few different types of royal icing consistencies that you will make and can use with the basic royal icing recipe. Depending on how detailed you are decorating cookies with royal icing will depend on the type and consistency of royal icing you will need.
Piping Royal Icing
This is what I call medium icing. Is it the icing recipe that is used fully as directed below. It is best used for piping decoration edges and making lines when you are decorating.
20 second Royal Icing
Thinned out with a little bit of water, it takes 20 seconds for the the icing to reabsorb and return to a smooth finish after piping it. You will want to use a #4 round tip with your piping bag for this icing.
This icing is the thinnest consistency that you are going to use. It is best used when you are wanting to fill in a large area that you have already outlined as the frosting will spread quickly filling in the area that you have already lined with 20-second frosting or piping frosting.
Stiff Royal Icing
This is the thick, frosting like spreadable icing that you would use to make things like flowers that you are putting on a cake. To get this consistency you will use less water than the recipe below calls for. You can not pipe this frosting with a thin tip.
For decorating sugar cookies
You will want your icing consistency to be somewhere between heavy cream and ketchup. Not too thick that it won’t come out of your pastry bag or squeeze bottle and not too thin that it rolls over the sides of your cookies.
How to Flavor Royal Icing
You can easily flavor this royal icing by using clear extracts in the flavors you want them to be. All you have to do is add a few drops of the flavor you want to have the icing be. If you are wanting the icing to remain white then you will want to use a clear extract. If you are working with colors then you can use the colored extracts to flavor the icing.
Extracts that work well with Royal Icing
How to Color Royal Icing
Coloring this cookie decorating icing is simple. All you will do is add a few drops of food coloring to your royal icing.
Use food coloring gel. Using food coloring gel is the best way to go. It is already similar consistency of the icing so it will not add more liquid to it like you would do if you were using liquid food coloring.
Make more icing than you think you are going to need. I find it hard to get the exact color a second time when I am making this icing so I always suggest making more of color than you might need. It is better to have leftover icing then having to make more and it not being the exact same color.
Royal Icing colors get darker as it dries. When you are making royal icing colored keep in mind that when the icing dries the colors will become darker.
How Can I Make Royal Icing Ahead of Time?
You can make this icing ahead of time and store it, or if you find yourself with leftover cookie icing after you have decorated your cookies you can store it to use for later. To store the icing all you have to do is put it in an airtight container in the fridge.
How long will Royal Icing last?
It will keep in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks. When you want to use it again, just let it come back to room temperature before working with it again.
How much Royal Icing does this recipe make?
This recipe makes Makes 1 cup, about enough for 12 cookies. If you are going to be making a lot of colors and cookies you will want to double, triple, etc. this recipe.
Royal Icing Recipe Ingredients
- confectioners sugar (Powdered sugar)
- meringue powder
- water. (You will need more if you are thinning out your frosting)
- clear flavoring extract (Optional, if you are choosing to flavor your icing)
- pinch of salt
- Gel Food Coloring. If you plan to color the frosting.
How to Make Royal Icing
Combine the sugar and meringue powder in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Mix on low speed until well combined.
Stir in 2 tablespoons of the water.
Next, add a clear extract to make your frosting take on different flavors if you want to.
If the mixture is still crumbly add the rest of the water.
Mix on medium-low speed for 5 minutes.
Color icing with desired food colors by blending a drop of coloring into the icing.
Gradually blend additional drops until you achieve the desired color.
Cookie Making Supplies
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best royal icing recipe
- 1/2 pound confectioners sugar sifted
- 2 1/2 tablespoons meringue powder
- 3 tablespoons water and more if needed
- 1/2 teaspoon clear extract
- Combine the sugar and meringue powder in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Mix on low speed until well combined.
- Stir in 2 tablespoons of the water.
- Next, add a clear extract to make your frosting take on different flavors if you want to.
- If the mixture is still crumbly add the rest of the water.
- Mix on medium-low speed for 5 minutes.
- Color icing with desired food colors by blending a drop of coloring into the icing. Gradually blend additional drops until you achieve the desired color.
- Immediately cover the iceing with plastic wrap coving the cerface of the icing. Store in your fridge for up to 10 days.
54 Weight Watchers SmartPoints for the entire batch.
Comments & Reviews
How do I store royal icing once made? Room temp ok? For how long?
I store mine in the refrigerate for up to 2 weeks. Just let it come back to room temp before working with it again.