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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.

Update; the word meringue in step one has been misspelled, so I’ve corrected the printable version, but have left the original up in this post, in case replacing it would break the links on Pinterest.



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




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  1. 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!

  2. 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!

  3. 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?

  4. 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!

  5. 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!

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

    I really love your cookie tutorials.

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

    Aw, thanks! I appreciate the comment Grace!

  8. Madison
    November 25, 2014 at 7:08 pm | Permalink

    Can I use regular powdered sugar? Also, I do not have a way to measure out 2.25 lbs. Is there an amount using cups?

    • marian
      November 25, 2014 at 9:18 pm | Permalink

      HI Madison,
      Yes, icing sugar is powdered sugar (or confectioner’s sugar). I have my measurement conversion info. here if you like;
      Happy baking!

    • Madison
      November 25, 2014 at 9:46 pm | Permalink

      Thank you very much!! I can’t wait to start baking!

  9. November 26, 2014 at 3:22 pm | Permalink

    sweet illustration, thanks for the reciep 😉

    • marian
      November 27, 2014 at 8:54 am | Permalink

      🙂 Thanks Soda!

  10. Dawn
    December 4, 2014 at 12:46 pm | Permalink

    Hi! I love your website! I was wondering if have a recipe for royal icing in a smaller amount. Thank you.

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

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

  12. 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!

  13. 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?

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

    Hi Marian,

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


  15. 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

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

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

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

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

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

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

  19. 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!!!

  20. 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?

  21. 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! 🙂

  22. 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

  23. 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!!!

  24. 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.

  25. 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:


  26. 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.

  27. 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. =-)

  28. 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

  29. 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!

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