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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. 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?

  2. 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.

    • Lissa
      December 21, 2016 at 1:20 am | Permalink

      I myself am not sure about the whisk attachment. As for your other question …
      I use the same recipe and the consistency is always fairly thick. When doing each color I add a VERY small amount of water before adding my color as I find its easier to mix. Once mixed I let the colors sit for at least an hour to allow each to develop (colors will get a little darker which is really helpful when doing black or red as they take a fair amount of coloring). More water will need to be added to get to outline consistency and again to get to a good flooding consistency.

  3. 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!

  4. 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


  5. 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.


  6. 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.


  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. 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 ?

  10. 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!

  11. 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 ?

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. 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!


  15. 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. 🙂

  16. 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!

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

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

  18. Fatemeh
    October 26, 2016 at 12:39 am | Permalink

    Hi.excuse me what can i use instead of meringue powder and iciyng suger?

  19. Karen
    October 27, 2016 at 12:59 pm | Permalink

    I Marian,I just adore your site and so thankful for you sharing all this info with us.Im just learning how to make royal icing.Would you share which brand merenque powder you use please?I was wondering if it makes a difference.I used Wilton and their recipe(no cream of tarter)and it took a full day to dry and then sort of looked pitted by then.Did I over mix or was it the brand?Thank you so much for any tips you can give me!

  20. Sladjana
    November 28, 2016 at 2:29 pm | Permalink

    Can we get the recipe with egg whites

  21. Rosie
    December 1, 2016 at 7:11 pm | Permalink

    Hi Marian,
    I just want to thank you for all your wonderful recipes and tutorial videos. But I specially want to thank you for this royal icing recipe! Honestly, I’ve struggled with my icing for years and when I used your recipe wow — I’m a happy camper!! 🙂 — my icing came out stable, it has volume and no air bubbles. I also used a heat-fan to dry my cookies and I’m amazed that they dried smooth. I do live in a humid area so I used less water than what’s listed on the recipe. Then, I mixed my colors the day before so, the following day I just smoothed the icing to get rid off the air bubbles, and bingo…smooth icing!
    Thank you Marian, you rock!!! 🙂

  22. Mary
    December 5, 2016 at 9:20 am | Permalink

    I just recently found you on Instagram and have been mesmerized by your videos of your cookie decorating! They are so beautiful and sweet (no pun intended!). I love your Christmas cookies, especially the reindeer!
    Thank you so much for sharing your wonderful talent with everyone!

    • marian
      December 5, 2016 at 11:01 am | Permalink

      Hi Mary,

      Thank you so much for taking the time to come comment! I really appreciate it!

  23. Cherri P
    December 5, 2016 at 10:07 am | Permalink

    I am totally new to all of this and excited to begin.
    I am not sure on the powdered vanilla. I have figured everything else out. Where is the best place to find this?
    thank you in advance

  24. Cherri P
    December 5, 2016 at 10:07 am | Permalink

    I am totally new to all of this and excited to begin.
    I am not sure on the powdered vanilla. I have figured everything else out. Where is the best place to find this? Oh and how much to use?
    thank you in advance

    • marian
      December 5, 2016 at 10:57 am | Permalink

      Hi Cherri P,

      Do you mean the icing sugar? It goes by other names; confectioner’s sugar, powdered sugar are some examples.

      The clear vanilla liquid extract can usually be found at Michael’s or your local bakery supply store, and of course on line at Amazon.

  25. Bianca Betheldo
    December 6, 2016 at 4:17 am | Permalink

    How many cookies would you say this covers???? 1kg of icing sugar is so much.

    • marian
      December 6, 2016 at 7:54 am | Permalink

      It covers about 40-50 cookies, average sized.

  26. Greta
    December 18, 2016 at 11:34 pm | Permalink

    Hi! I love how cute the recipe is and picked this one for my first shot at royal icing. I just finished mixing and consistency and all seems great BUT I tasted it and there’s a tart/tangy/sour taste. I’m afraid to frost my cookies. Is this normal? Does it taste different when it dries? I don’t want to frost my cookies if this frosting will be tangy. If it shouldn’t be, I don’t know where I went wrong. Used wilton meringue powder and shilling cream of tarter. I flavored with vanilla and even a little almond extract after I tasted that it was tangy. I’m pretty sure I followed the recipe exactly. Right now I have a wet towel over it until I know how I should proceed.

    • December 19, 2016 at 8:47 am | Permalink

      Hi Greta,
      Assuming all the measurements are correct (icing sugar/powdered sugar, water, cream of tartar and meringue powder), it should be fine. I wouldn’t say I’ve tasted a sour taste but perhaps our palates are different? It definitely tastes sweet to me and does pair nicely with the cookies. Please let me know how it goes for you.

  27. Christy Vasquez
    December 23, 2016 at 1:45 pm | Permalink

    Do not attempt this with a hand mixer. It will die and fail miserably . Didn’t make it past the 5 minute mark before it bent the beaters and broke something inside . It’s the day before Christmas Eve and I still have about 5 batches of cookies to make Lol. So question , does it have to be mixed for 10 mins? I think I got about a good 7 mins in before the disaster , icing is very thick and kinda glossy but not much volume

    • marian
      December 23, 2016 at 6:22 pm | Permalink

      Hi Christy,

      I’m so sorry to hear about your hand mixer! I always use my KitchenAid stand mixer. And yes, your icing will still be good to use. You may need to thin it out depending on the type of decorating you’re doing. All the best to you!

  28. Stacy
    May 31, 2017 at 5:23 am | Permalink

    I am having trouble with my icin gb cracking. Can you give me any tips to prevent this?

    • Stacy
      May 31, 2017 at 5:25 am | Permalink

      Icing cracking*

  29. September 8, 2017 at 5:44 am | Permalink

    I love icing!

  30. Jennifer
    November 18, 2017 at 8:08 am | Permalink

    Hello, your cookies look amazing. I live in Switzerland meringue powder does exist here. Could I replace it with something else? Thank you for your help. ❄️

  31. Jennifer
    December 1, 2017 at 10:25 am | Permalink

    How much icing will this make? I have 4 1/2 dozen rolled sugar cookies to decorate and am curious if I should double the recipe for icing.

  32. Maybel Lee
    January 4, 2018 at 7:57 pm | Permalink

    Hi .. need some advise I have a pipping tip NZ 0 for super fine line what royal icing consistency should I use? cause I tried 18sec the icing can’t pump out.. and if 10sec the line spreads… Please really need some advise.. Thanks in advance..

  33. Jocelyn SIlverman
    January 23, 2018 at 2:34 pm | Permalink

    Thank you so much for sharing your royal icing recipe!!! I have been using meringue powder to make my icing but never got the consistency quite right. Your method is perfect and the addition of cream of tartar makes so much sense.

    Two things I did differently were, I used a 2 lb vs. your 2.25 lbs and I sifted my powder sugar before adding any of the additional ingredients. I have found that helps when mixing it and keeping the lumps and air bubbles “away”.

    I do agree that it is a bit thicker than what I have made in the past but I have found that it is easier to add a bit of water to thin it out than having to add more meringue powder and then more powder sugar and then more water….. 🙂

    Thank you again.
    Happy baking and decorating.

    • marian
      January 24, 2018 at 9:58 am | Permalink

      Thanks Jocelyn, happy baking and decorating as well!

  34. Kalii Roller
    April 3, 2018 at 10:04 pm | Permalink

    I obviously did something wrong, I could not get mine to thicken. It was too thin even for flooding icing. I followed the directions exactly?

    • marian
      April 5, 2018 at 7:43 pm | Permalink

      Hi Kalii,

      It’s hard for me to say without seeing the process. My first inclination is to say the measurements must have been off, as the icing is not runny when the recipe is followed.

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