Jan 08


Royal Icing Recipe {Free Illustrated Recipe}

Share it!   

Good royal icing recipes are hard to come by, let alone magical ones. Treat your treats to this sublime icing recipe, passed down through generations of mythical fairies.

For a FREE, sharable, printable version: click here.

An alternate version was submitted and accepted on They Draw & Cook, which you can find here.

For instructions on finding icing consistency for cookie decorating, click here.

Thanks to my amazing designer/art director Arthur Kononuk, for creating this adorable illustrated recipe and intro for me! I love it and hope you do too.



p.s. I linked this post up to Tidy Mom’s I’m Lovin’ It.




Related Content


  1. Heidi
    October 20, 2013 at 10:30 am | Permalink

    I’m sooooo glad I found you. You helped me discover the wonders of flooding cookies! My baking life will never be the same!

    • marian
      October 24, 2013 at 5:40 pm | Permalink


  2. Mae
    October 24, 2013 at 10:42 am | Permalink

    Hi I finally bought meringue powder! But I’m not good in scaling down your recipe. Can you help? I won’t be able to do so much at one go. Or is there a way to store them? For like a month?

  3. Svetlana
    October 26, 2013 at 12:40 am | Permalink

    Can I replace the meringue powder –> the raw egg whites?

  4. Jen
    October 29, 2013 at 1:28 pm | Permalink

    How do you store your Royal Icing?

  5. Mae
    November 6, 2013 at 10:45 am | Permalink

    I finally whipped up the royal icing. After 10 minutes the mixtures volumize but super thick. Thus I thin it further with water… But I add 1/2 tbsp everytime and mix too scared to over do it… But after many tablespoonful, doesn’t seems to thin out… Is it normal? Shd I just continue to add water till I get your 10seconds consistency? I try to use easy to pipe but does not smooth out with shakes… Please guide… I still have leftover too much to finish up… Tried to make Santa head transfer but Wilton Christmas red only give me pink after adding so much red…

    • marian
      November 12, 2013 at 10:45 am | Permalink

      Hi Mae,
      Yes, if it’s a dry season where I live, I have to add more water – even about 1/4 of a cup! Over time I’ve been able to get better at looking at the icing and knowing how much I will need. It can get frustrating at first though, I know. xo
      If that’s you on the second email too, you can send me photos at sweetopia AT inbox DOT com

  6. Mae
    November 9, 2013 at 8:43 pm | Permalink

    Hi I did some decor on sugar cookie … Sadly it’s terrible can I show you pics to get some pointers from you? Will need email addy. Thank you.

  7. Candy
    November 24, 2013 at 10:19 am | Permalink

    Hello, i would like to ask if i want to use real egg whites instead of meringue powder, how much (gram/ cup)egg whites do i need , thanks =D

  8. Criss
    November 25, 2013 at 6:16 am | Permalink

    What is the purpose of the cream of tartar?

    • marian
      December 3, 2013 at 6:03 pm | Permalink

      It helps stabilize the icing a bit… fine if you can’t find it/don’t have it, but if you were making a gingerbread house icing, it really helps with firmness. (I use a lot more in my gingerbread house icing though).

  9. Allison
    December 2, 2013 at 4:46 pm | Permalink

    Wow, I just made my first batch and the second is in the mixer right now. I have to comment on how easy this was. I was expecting a lot of trial and error to reach the 10 second rule, but it happened nearly right away. Thanks for a great recipe and a great website.

    • marian
      December 3, 2013 at 6:05 pm | Permalink

      Yay! Great to hear it Allison!

  10. Jessica
    December 3, 2013 at 10:14 am | Permalink

    I do not have a paddle attachment for electric mixer. Can I use just a normal hand mixer with the 2 attachments?

    • marian
      December 3, 2013 at 6:06 pm | Permalink

      Hi Jessica,
      Yes, you can. A few things to note though… The icing gets very thick at the end… You may want to add more water to thin it out a bit early, so it doesn’t tax your machine too much.
      Also, the nature of a hand mixer attachment means that more air gets incorporated into the icing, so you may have more air bubbles.

  11. Margo
    December 4, 2013 at 12:39 pm | Permalink

    Hi Marian,

    I noticed in this recipe you add Cream of Tartar. The meringue powder I use lists cream of tartar as one of the ingredients. Would I add extra or omit it from this recipe?


    • marian
      December 18, 2013 at 1:15 pm | Permalink

      Hi Margo,
      No worries, you can take it out – it’s not a huge difference. The cream of tartar stabilizes the icing a bit, and if your meringue powder has it, that’s great!

  12. Melly
    December 8, 2013 at 12:36 pm | Permalink

    Wow, this is the best royal icing recipe ever! It flowed so smoothly and dried nicely. Thanks so much for sharing it!

  13. December 9, 2013 at 10:49 pm | Permalink

    Hi, I NEVER comment, sad to say, but to you, my hats off to your amazing website. You are such a blessing to us home cooks. I am a very busy working mom that googles and pinterests everything on the fly, and there you were. Thank you, thank you, thank you!!!!!! You Rock

    • marian
      December 18, 2013 at 1:16 pm | Permalink

      Thanks Meli and Belinda! xo

  14. Megan
    December 10, 2013 at 2:32 pm | Permalink

    i was wondering – where i live we only have icing mixture not icing sugar or confectioners sugar – i’ve looked a the ingredients and it’s simply sugar and starch from tapioca or corn – do you think this is ok to use in the royal icing recipies?

  15. Charoula
    December 10, 2013 at 6:20 pm | Permalink

    Hi Marian,

    Thank you for sharing all your secrets for decorating cookies!!!!!!!! I have never decorated a cookie, although i want to give it a try! I have read in many blogs,that royal icing doesnt taste that good. Is it true? If so, can we use any flavourings to change that?
    Thank u in advance! Have a nice day! xx

  16. Jessica R
    December 15, 2013 at 6:33 pm | Permalink

    Hi there! I’ve been using your recipe for a while now and I love it. However recently the icing does not thicken after 10 minutes on low. I always make sure to wipe the bowl and beater with vinegar prior to starting so I’m not sure what could be wrong. After 10 minutes, its really runny so I’ve been cranking the kitchen aid to 3 or 4 for about 5 mins to thicken it. Any thoughts? Thank you

  17. Maggie
    December 16, 2013 at 11:02 am | Permalink

    I write you from Mexico, I love your page, thanks for all the information.

    • marian
      December 18, 2013 at 1:10 pm | Permalink

      Thank you Maggie!

  18. Stephanie
    December 18, 2013 at 11:36 am | Permalink

    How many normal-sized cookies will 1 batch of this frosting recipe cover?

    • marian
      December 18, 2013 at 1:12 pm | Permalink

      Hi Stepanie,
      It varies with the amount of detail and shape of the cookie of course, but it makes quite a bit – I would say enough to cover about 35-45 cookies.

  19. Stephanie
    December 18, 2013 at 11:41 am | Permalink

    Hi there! For royal icing recipe, how many normal-sized cookies will the recipe cover?

    • marian
      December 18, 2013 at 1:13 pm | Permalink

      Hi Stephanie,
      Oops, I should have answered both of you above… Just take a quick look at the comment above you here.

  20. as
    December 18, 2013 at 12:45 pm | Permalink

    I don’t use cream of tartar what’s the cons and pros for this ing?

    • marian
      December 18, 2013 at 1:17 pm | Permalink

      Hi As,
      It helps stabilize the icing a bit… fine if you can’t find it/don’t have it, but if you were making a gingerbread house icing, it really helps with firmness. (I use a lot more in my gingerbread house icing though).

  21. Molly
    December 20, 2013 at 1:23 am | Permalink

    Hi there,

    Just wondering how many gingerbread houses this double recipe covers, (roughly).

    I was thinking of halving the recipe.
    I have 2 houses to make.

    Thank You :)

    • marian
      December 20, 2013 at 11:24 am | Permalink

      Hi Molly,
      I would do one batch for two houses. Hope that helps!

  22. Charlotte
    December 20, 2013 at 11:18 am | Permalink

    I was wondering when I make my cookies the frosting looks amazing first, then when it dries it becomes sticky and looks like the flooding part has sunken. Could it be the weather?

  23. Madison
    December 23, 2013 at 1:27 pm | Permalink

    What is powdered icing sugar? Is it different from powdered sugar?

    • Rachael
      December 31, 2013 at 12:35 am | Permalink

      I was wondering the same thing! As a side note, your website is amazing and so, so helpful!!!!!!! :)

    • marian
      January 2, 2014 at 10:22 am | Permalink

      It’s the same thing. :)

    • marian
      January 2, 2014 at 5:17 pm | Permalink

      Thanks by the way!! xo

  24. Surekha
    January 1, 2014 at 10:31 pm | Permalink

    Hi Marian,

    I am from India and I always have a problem when some recipe contains ingredients that we do not easily get here. Like for this icing you have used meringue powder and cream of tartar… We do not get the same here. Can you suggest what to use? I bake a lot and take orders for pies cakes and cookies. But decorating the cookies would be wonderful but I have to use fondant icing which I am not really very fond of. Hope you can help.

  25. Jordyn
    January 4, 2014 at 1:11 pm | Permalink

    Hey, I was wondering how many cups was 2.25 lb???

  26. Reese
    January 5, 2014 at 12:27 am | Permalink

    Hello Mirian,

    I am new to this and don’t really understand all of the ingredients. Like what is Cream of Tartar and Icing sugar? Are these things that I can get from the supermarket?

    • marian
      January 7, 2014 at 2:39 pm | Permalink

      Hello Reese,
      Icing sugar is powdered sugar or confectioner’s sugar. Cream of tartar is explained here:
      You might like the glossary for other things too.

      You can find both at the supermarket, icing sugar in the baking aisle and cream of tartar is usually in the spice aisle.

  27. Dalia
    January 8, 2014 at 1:00 am | Permalink

    Hi! I love everything you do, so I wanted to try doing some, but the royal icing never got the consistency of the 10 seconds rule even though I kept adding more water, finally when I said screw this and made them with that consistency, after they dried, I couldn’t even touch them because the royal icing turned into dust :( Greetings from Mexico :) !

  28. Lizbeth
    January 13, 2014 at 10:34 am | Permalink

    Hi – I’m sorry but I dont understand your measurement conversion chart, can you tell how many cups of sugar equals 2.25 lb, thanks

  29. Crycupcakes
    January 14, 2014 at 1:21 pm | Permalink

    I like very much your icing recipe
    but when my cookies are decorated after 24h The icing crumbles!!!!
    I have beat The icing less 10 minutes
    Help me pleaseeeee

  30. Sheri
    January 28, 2014 at 8:06 pm | Permalink

    Love, love, love this recipe! Thank you so much for posting this

  31. sarah cotton
    January 29, 2014 at 9:54 pm | Permalink

    I just loveeee your website in tutorials!!! Very helpful!!
    I love making cookies for my daughter’s!! :)

    • marian
      March 11, 2014 at 11:16 am | Permalink

      My pleasure, Sheri and Sarah!

  32. Mandy
    February 10, 2014 at 12:13 am | Permalink

    Hi, could I use this recipe to ice a cake?

    • marian
      March 11, 2014 at 11:18 am | Permalink

      Hi Mandy,
      It dries to a harder texture than a typical buttercream. I would recommend a buttercream recipe (have a few in my recipe section if you like).

  33. Kimberly Pavatt
    February 11, 2014 at 5:45 pm | Permalink

    How do you achieve such a brilliant red in the royal icing. Mine always looks pink. Thank you,

  34. Jayne
    February 13, 2014 at 8:28 pm | Permalink

    Hi there,

    I had tried halving this receipe previously and it worked great, but i still had a lot of icing left over. This time i decided to adjust the receipe since this time i only had 200g of icing sugar. The icing didn’t dry shiny or hard like it does usually, and took a much longer time to dry. I read that you said cream of tar tar is a stabilizer, and i’m working if i’ve maybe put too little in? I did have to go down to buy and add in more icing sugar in the end because the icing did not pass the 5 sec rule cause it was too runny, and was wondering if by adding more sugar and not more cream of tar tar or meringue powder ruined it. Any advice on the best way to adjust Royal Icing portions, so i don’t have to throw out alot of the icing? Also, what does meringue power do to the icing, and how does adding too little or too much change it?

    • marian
      March 11, 2014 at 11:20 am | Permalink

      Hi Jayne,
      Meringue powder, besides flavour if it has vanilla in it, helps add volume. You can actually freeze leftover royal icing if you have leftovers. Hope that helps!

  35. Embeearqam
    February 13, 2014 at 11:42 pm | Permalink

    Hi there, i’ve been inspiredto try my hand at cookie decorating for a while now, but your recipe and tutorials got me rolling. Even though i messed up the recipe by accidentally beating together eggs and sugar together first instead of sugar and butter, the flavor was still pretty good, and even though i was a little short on tips and still new to consistencies, i has a lit of fun creating these messy little things for my sons. Thanks for the great blog!

    • marian
      March 11, 2014 at 11:21 am | Permalink

      Thanks so much for sharing, Embeearqam! I’m glad you had fun!

  36. stephanie
    February 15, 2014 at 12:43 pm | Permalink

    I love your site and all your tiips. I have a question though. Sometimes when I ice my cookies they dont dry and the icing is tacky. What is causing this?

  37. Fi
    February 23, 2014 at 6:27 am | Permalink

    Hi, can I use ‘egg white powder’ instead of meringue powder, is egg white powder better than raw eggs because of bacteria ?

  38. Dawn
    March 9, 2014 at 8:31 pm | Permalink


    I was wondering about the meringue Powder, I saw you can add vanilla but either the vanilla clear is imitation or expensive – -I was wondering if you had any comments on powder vanilla (real and colorless) is I can add that – I am making caillou cookies for my son’s 2nd birthday and stumble on the site – I have never used royal icing or made it – Also I only have a hand mixer that I will be using ( this thing can cut through anything so far)any tips for a a first time royal icing user

    • marian
      March 11, 2014 at 11:26 am | Permalink

      Hi Dawn,
      I’m sorry, I’ve never used powder vanilla, however, I don’t see it being an issue. Perhaps only a question of how much or little to use, depending on how strong you’d like it to be.
      All the best with your decorating – have fun!

  39. Shannon
    April 15, 2014 at 11:55 am | Permalink

    I made your sugar cookie recipe and royal icing on the weekend for my daughter’s Frozen birthday and I couldn’t have been happier with the results considering it was my first time. Everything worked the first time and I had so much time. I am hooked. Your website is amazing and I look forward to learning more from you. Thanks so much:)

  40. Martha
    May 24, 2014 at 11:16 pm | Permalink

    I have a question.. if I want the royal Icing not to be so hard can I do something or put less of any of the ingredients?? I love the flavour but I do not know if it is supposed to be that hard when it dries.. or if I did something wrong.. It was hard but edible.. just want to know if it can be a little softer.. (when you bit the cookie)
    Thank y ou

  41. Elyse
    August 19, 2014 at 12:05 am | Permalink

    Approximately how many cookies will one batch of this cover? I’m making 160 3″ circles, 80 of one color and 80 of another. Thanks for any help!

  42. Ashley
    September 29, 2014 at 12:33 pm | Permalink

    I am making cookies for my twins’ 2nd birthday, and was planning on using your recipe. Does the icing dry matte or does it have a shiny finish? I would really like a slightly glossy look. Thanks!

  43. vickie
    October 15, 2014 at 2:44 pm | Permalink

    Does the frosting dry very hard? i don’t like it to be too hard but i like the shiny look and want to be able to stack them. is this the right recipe for me?

  44. Jennifer
    October 28, 2014 at 2:50 pm | Permalink


    Can you tell me what the purpose of cream of tartar is?

    Does this recipe dry rock hard ?

    • marian
      October 29, 2014 at 1:48 pm | Permalink

      Hi Jennifer, it acts as a stabilizer, and is especially useful for royal icing for gingerbread houses. You can take it out if need be, for cookies.
      I just answered a similar question for the 2nd half of your questions. Happy decorating!

  45. Jan
    October 29, 2014 at 11:18 am | Permalink

    Dear Marian,

    in Germany I can’t find Cream of Tartar. Can I leave it off? I have Meringue Powder by Wilton which lists Cream of Tartar as an ingredient. Should I use 6 Tbs instead of 5?

    • marian
      October 29, 2014 at 1:56 pm | Permalink

      Hi Jan, you can leave it out, yes. Happy decorating!

  46. November 14, 2014 at 8:26 am | Permalink

    I really love your cookie tutorials.

  47. November 14, 2014 at 12:02 pm | Permalink

    Aw, thanks! I appreciate the comment Grace!

Show Pingbacks & Trackbacks

  1. [...] brush to push the icing to the edges. It’s perfect everytime and saves time too. Here is the royal icing I love from Sweetopia. Be sure to check out her amazing cookies, recipes and tips [...]

  2. By Winter Hat and Mitten Decorated Cookies | Sweetopia on December 19, 2013 at 12:58 pm

    [...] with a cookie recipe of your choice, such as gingerbread, and prepare royal and buttercream icing. You’ll also need a few [...]

  3. [...] for these chocolate sugar cookies covered with royal icing, they were really such easy cookies to [...]

  4. By Groundhog Cookies on January 29, 2014 at 3:02 pm

    [...] This time of year can be dreary, particularly in our region, so why not bake some fun cookies to share! Ella made large gum paste flowers for the hearts and small ones for the girl groundhogs to wear in their hair.Sugar cookie recipe. Royal icing recipe.  [...]

  5. By Gluten Free Valentine Sugar Cookies on February 10, 2014 at 6:44 pm

    [...] perfect for decorating. This is a big deal for me! Chocolate cookie recipe Vanilla cookie recipe Royal icing recipe A certain little boy was bored with my activities. Filed Under: [...]

  6. By Fifteen Icing Recipes for Cookie Decorating on February 13, 2014 at 4:41 am

    [...] Royal Icing for Cookie Decorating via Sweetsugarbelle 2. Royal Icing Recipe via Bake at 350 3. Royal Icing Recipe with Free Illustrations via Sweetopia 4. Wilton Royal Icing 5. SugarDeaux Quick Dry Royal Icing 6. Fresh Lemon Royal Icing via [...]

  7. [...] Cookie cutters (I got the DC, Maryland and Virginia cutters from Hill’s Kitchen) (Optional) Edible decorations Royal icing recipe (My favorite is this one from Sweetopia) [...]

  8. By Decorated Sugar Cookies | jungeunie on May 18, 2014 at 8:47 pm

    [...] tried many different royal icing recipes and couldn’t find one that worked as well as this one (this lady is amazing!). It’s difficult to get the consistency right but I watched this video [...]

  9. By Puppy Cookies | She Bakes and Creates on May 22, 2014 at 9:46 pm

    [...] decided to try a slightly different royal icing recipe this time. I used this recipe from Sweetopia. She has a super sweet site with tons of helpful tips and videos. Check it [...]

  10. [...] owls that I liked the look of and went for it. We got most of our helpful tips from a blog called Sweetopia and especially appreciated the hints for using royal [...]

  11. [...] very time consuming, they are a bright spot at any party. Here are my go-to sugar cookie and royal icing recipes and some examples of some tasty ones I’ve made! bridal shower for my sister-in-law [...]

  12. [...] and the perfect royal icing consistency! I used Sweetapolita’s Perfect Cookie Pop Recipe and Sweetopia’s Royal Icing Recipe. The flowers were made from fondant [...]

  13. By Election Cupcakes | stringingpopcorn on September 21, 2014 at 2:44 am

    [...] The political symbols are made of royal icing that were left to dry overnight. I like Sweetopia’s royal icing recipe. [...]

  14. [...] completely before decorating with your favorite icing. I used the Royal Icing Recipe from Sweetopia.net. I flavored mine with ¼ teaspoon almond extract and 3 drops of orange oil. WordPress [...]

  15. By Elsee Blog » Blog Archive » Iced sugar cookies on October 1, 2014 at 2:52 am

    [...] And this recipe for the royal icing [...]

  16. [...] decorate, you’ll need royal icing and the items listed [...]

  17. By Sugar Cookies with Royal Icing on October 31, 2014 at 2:44 pm

    [...] Royal Icing by Sweetopia [...]

  18. By The Perfect Peanut Butter Cut-Out Cookie | Sweetopia on November 16, 2014 at 2:44 pm

    [...] think?  I will be sharing my recipe with you soon (it needs a little more tweaking), and my go-to royal icing recipe was perfect for the white snowmen I had a hankering to [...]

  19. By Mini Advent Calendar Cookies | Sweetopia on November 22, 2014 at 10:31 pm

    [...] icing recipe I used can be found here. Consistency of the icing for this kind of decorating is key. To help you find the decorating [...]

Leave a Reply

XHTML: The following tags may be used: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>

Privacy | Hosting by Media Temple | © Copyright 2009-2014, Sweetopia. All Rights Reserved.