Jan 08


Royal Icing Recipe {Free Illustrated Recipe}

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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.




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  1. December 6, 2014 at 12:49 pm | Permalink

    Love how you made this recipe into an image! Great way to explain how its done!

  2. jane
    December 10, 2014 at 8:34 am | Permalink

    If I don’t have a standing mixer, is it possible to whisk it just by hand?

    • December 21, 2014 at 1:16 pm | Permalink

      Hi Jane,
      You can, it will just take a lot of arm work and whisking by hand may incorporate more air than with the mixer and paddle attachment, but it is doable!

  3. Jane
    December 14, 2014 at 7:18 pm | Permalink


    I am going to try this recipe and am just wondering how big your tablespoons are. In Australia they are 20mls, they are 15mls in the US aren’t they?

  4. Breann
    December 18, 2014 at 5:39 pm | Permalink

    Hi Marian,

    I was just wondering how the icing should be stored overnight ?


  5. Bernadette
    December 20, 2014 at 2:55 pm | Permalink

    I love the illustration of the royal icing recipe. I am someone who loves pictures over just words. Lol

  6. Laura Oneal
    December 21, 2014 at 11:57 am | Permalink

    Hi do you use liquid food coloring or paste when coloring your icing?

  7. Sarah
    December 28, 2014 at 4:00 pm | Permalink

    Can I substitute egg white instead of meringue powder? and how would I do that?

  8. Lena
    January 1, 2015 at 10:40 am | Permalink

    Hello. How I can make my icing glossy after its dry? Thanks.

  9. desmond
    January 3, 2015 at 4:09 pm | Permalink

    Hi!! I love your videos and blog, I was wondering does this recipe work with piped string works that’s not on a surface but piped like into Strings that hang?? Please answer!!!

  10. Sara
    January 8, 2015 at 12:33 am | Permalink

    Hi Sweetopia, do you know this recipe is peanut free? Or do you know of any peanut free royal icing recipes?

  11. Brea Craig
    January 11, 2015 at 1:18 pm | Permalink

    Marian, I love your blogs, recipes, and tutorials, but I love most of all that you respond to questions in your comments section. That is pretty awesome!

    • marian
      February 16, 2015 at 1:36 pm | Permalink

      Hi Brea,
      Thanks so much! :)

  12. January 17, 2015 at 1:23 pm | Permalink

    Hi Marian,
    I was wondering what would be the conversion of the powdered sugar to cups, also how much does this recipe make

  13. Brittney McCaskill
    January 23, 2015 at 12:08 pm | Permalink

    Hey, Loving your blog and tutorials. I’ve learned so much from your 10 second rule, but a 2 questions. Just clarifying, you use the same icing for outlining, flooding, adding details on the dried flood icing? (just in different tip sizes) 2. What effect does cream of tartar have on your icing? I use the basic same recipe, except no cream of tartar and I add corn syrup. Thanks!!!

  14. Kim
    February 12, 2015 at 2:34 pm | Permalink

    What brand of meringue powder to you use? I tried Wilton and it was horrible! I added vanilla because it was not listed as an ingredient.

  15. Maria Regina
    February 14, 2015 at 8:36 pm | Permalink


    How are you?

    Can you say for me what’s meringue power?

    Exist here in Brazil????

    • marian
      February 16, 2015 at 12:50 pm | Permalink

      Hi Maria,
      Meringue powder is a mixture made with sugar, pasteurized dried egg whites, cornstarch, gum arabic, stabilizers, and usually includes vanilla flavouring. It is used to add volume, stiffness and is often preferred over real egg whites due to food safety concerns. The more you use in your royal icing recipe, the harder the icing will dry. Meringue powder is not usually sold in grocery stores but can be found in bulk food stores, baking supply stores or on the internet.

      For more definitions, I do have a glossary here:

      Here are some alternatives if you can’t find it in Brazil:


  16. Damara
    March 10, 2015 at 7:42 am | Permalink

    Hi there,

    Great website! I’ve seen so many variations of royal icing. What is the purpose of the cream of tarter in this recipe? I’ve seen both variations.

  17. Andy
    April 3, 2015 at 5:55 am | Permalink

    I just noticed that my can of Wilton meringue powder has cream of tartar in it. will I still need to add the tsp as directed above? Thanks Marian. I love your site, and you have inspired me to take my passion for baking and decorating much further. Thank you. =-)

  18. Leigh Jessen
    April 4, 2015 at 9:05 pm | Permalink

    hello. I absolutely love your work, inspiration and videos but I’m so wanting to decorate cookies and cakes like you do. Do you offer classes? I searched your website and note you live in Barrie area. I live in Victoria harbour and would love to learn how to do royal icing properly. Mine never turns out. Perhaps you can recommend someone? Thanks again. I love your site.

    • marian
      April 13, 2015 at 9:50 am | Permalink

      Hi Leigh,

      Awww, thanks so much! We’re practically neighbours! I do teach high school classes but just don’t have the time to do private classes right now. I would recommend the Bonnie Gordon College of Confectionary Arts. I took the cookie class there years ago and it was excellent. (Their banner is to the right in the side bar of the blog).
      Thanks again for your compliments! xo

  19. Lindsay Lanteigne
    April 5, 2015 at 3:27 pm | Permalink

    Hi! I love your work! Have you ever added corn syrup to your royal icing? I’ve been enjoying the addition of cream of tartar. Not sure if I should add both?
    Thanks for your time…and Happy Easter!

  20. Jen
    May 20, 2015 at 8:34 pm | Permalink

    I have made this recipe so many times and it always comes out so thick! I always have to water it down. What am I doing wrong?

  21. Eve
    June 1, 2015 at 2:40 am | Permalink

    Love your picture explanations! In your step 3, which is adding the icing sugar and mix it with paddle in the mixer. I do not have the paddle for the mixer, is it ok for me to use the whisk tool?
    And what is the consistency of this royal icing recipe? For outlining or flooding?

    Thank you.

  22. Khyla
    June 26, 2015 at 8:36 pm | Permalink

    I’ve just tried your icing recipe and it’s super thick – like whipped cream thick. What am I doing wrong? I followed the measurements to a T.

    • Marian (Sweetopia)
      June 27, 2015 at 7:15 am | Permalink

      Hi Khyla,
      You did it correctly. :) Royal icing can be used for different purposes, thick or thinned out. In the post above in bold and italics I shared the link you’ll need for general cookie decorating consistency. Have fun decorating!

  23. Suha
    July 20, 2015 at 7:18 pm | Permalink

    Hi Marian! This is fabulous, thank you so much for sharing I will try using the egg version of this recipe for stencilling.

    Also, may I please ask where can I find this cute recipe illustration template/image? Thanks


  24. Christine
    August 25, 2015 at 10:01 am | Permalink

    Hi Marian:

    I have been having lots of trouble with my royal icing either caving in or leaving holes when I flood small spaces. I have tried to use a dehydrater this has not helped…any suggestions. I am wondering if the brand of meringue powder might make a difference…would you share what brand of meringue powder you use.

    Thanks so much for your help.


  25. Gina Duran
    August 26, 2015 at 11:13 am | Permalink

    The brand of meringue powder I’m using right now has cream of tartar listed in the ingredients. Do I still need to add it per your recipe?

    BTW … your site is AWESOME!!!!! And an invaluable resource to me.


  26. vanessa
    October 8, 2015 at 9:05 pm | Permalink

    Hi Ms. Marian! I would just like to ask what is shelf life of the cookies decorated with royal icing using the egg whites. I can’t find meringue powder here. Your reply is greatly appreciated. Thanks in advance.

  27. October 16, 2015 at 9:23 am | Permalink

    I like your presentation by infographic. I just print the recipe, it looks awesome and hope it test good too.

  28. Anna
    October 21, 2015 at 2:35 pm | Permalink

    Hello ! I really like your blog, thank you for all these wonderful ideas !
    Actually, I’m French, and I have absolutely no idea what cream of Tartar is. Could you please explain it to me ?

  29. Cam
    October 28, 2015 at 12:31 pm | Permalink

    Hi Marian! Great blog! I was just wondering about how much icing the recipe above yields? Thanks!

  30. Tessa Merdiani
    November 28, 2015 at 8:20 pm | Permalink

    Hello Marian

    I tried your Royar icing recipe, when i tried to dry my royal icing over night, it’s not become hard, the royal icing still wet. Am i doing it wrong ?

  31. angelica stern
    December 17, 2015 at 9:19 pm | Permalink

    what is icing sugar

    • marian
      December 18, 2015 at 10:59 am | Permalink

      Icing sugar is also known as confectioner’s sugar or powdered sugar.

  32. Breana
    December 29, 2015 at 3:10 am | Permalink

    What kind of meringue powder do you use? I am having difficulty finding one that has vanilla.

  33. Jaime Fitzpatrick
    March 10, 2016 at 1:28 am | Permalink


    I have so many good things to say about you, your blog and your willingness to help everyone trying to be as good as you, but for now I’ll just ask, for a standard cookie, what size tip do you use to flood? I’ve read that 2 is your favorite for outlining, but what about flooding? Thanks!


  34. Bambi Burton
    May 15, 2016 at 10:20 am | Permalink

    Hey was wanting to know how long you can store the icing at what temp and if you can bring it back to life. Thanks, love this recipe!

    • Jessica
      May 24, 2016 at 4:04 pm | Permalink

      i use this recipe as well and i love it. i actually freeze my royal icing and just take out and let get to room temp then mix again and its perfect. i even add a little more powdered sugar if i need it thicker. i have so many colors of royal icing in my freezer and a tub of white ready to be colored for my next order :) it usually doesn’t last too long in my freezer because i get multiple orders every weekend. :)

  35. Jessica
    May 24, 2016 at 3:56 pm | Permalink

    Hi :-) i use this royal icing recipe and i Love it !! I am starting a home bakery business and am organizing the cost of the treats I offer. my question is how do you figure the average amount of cookies this recipe covers? i know its different for each order depending on size of cookie and the details involved. my cookies are average 3inches. any help is greatly appreciated!

  36. barbara
    June 13, 2016 at 4:55 pm | Permalink

    if i don’t have cream of tartar is ok ?

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