Jan 08

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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.

xo,

Marian

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

 

 

 

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716 Comments

  1. Maya
    October 16, 2012 at 2:07 am | Permalink
    208

    Hi Marian, I really like your work and my children are eager to try the royal icing cookies for Halloween 🙂 but I have a question: it is a must to use meringue powder or can I replace it with egg white (if yes can you give how many grams) Merciiiiiiii

  2. marian
    October 16, 2012 at 8:24 pm | Permalink
    209

    Hi @ Maya: Here is a recipe with egg whites; http://sweetopia.net/wp-content/uploads/2011/12/Classic-Royal-Icing-Made-with-Egg-Whites.pdf

    Have fun decorating with your children!

  3. Lisa
    October 16, 2012 at 9:43 pm | Permalink
    210

    Thanks for answering! 🙂 I just have one more question though. About how many 3 inch cookies will this recipe frost? By the way, I hope that you have a great Halloween!

  4. marian
    October 16, 2012 at 10:47 pm | Permalink
    211

    No problem, @ Lisa: I would venture a guess at about 50-60 of that size.

  5. marian
    October 16, 2012 at 10:48 pm | Permalink
    212

    p.s. @ Lisa: Happy Halloween too! 🙂

  6. Lisa
    October 18, 2012 at 1:05 pm | Permalink
    213

    Hi 🙂 I am trying to make your Royal Icing but I don’t know how many cups of Icing sugar is in cups :S

    Would you mind letting me know 🙂 Thanks!

    I google it and some pages sais 6 other go up to 8 cups :S

    Thanks again.

  7. marian
    October 18, 2012 at 10:38 pm | Permalink
    214

    Hi @ Lisa: For icing sugar, it really is better to weigh it. Depending on the brand, how much it’s ‘fluffed up’ one cup will vary depending on those and other factors.

    If you can’t buy or don’t have access to a scale, I would try the 6 cups, mix the icing for 10 minutes, and then either add more icing sugar (or not). I have a youtube video on finding the right consistency for decorating if you like. Hope that helps!

  8. Melinda
    October 19, 2012 at 2:01 pm | Permalink
    215

    Hi. I came across your website on youtube, looking for a good royal icing tutorial. Loved your tutorial 😉 Wondering if i can substitute the cream of tartar? Oh and is there any other substitute for meringue powder besides egg whites?
    Thanks!

  9. Lee
    October 20, 2012 at 4:01 pm | Permalink
    216

    Hi Marian,
    Love your site. I’ve only just started using the mer ingue powder and have used your recipe twice. Followed the recipe and method completely however I get a super stiff icing that looks almost looks like shortening. I still use it anyway but its kinda like a base and just add water to get to the right consistency. I was expecting that 10 second rule consistency but its so stiff. What should it look like after the 10 minutes of slow mixing?
    Thanks for your help!
    Lee

  10. marian
    October 20, 2012 at 4:18 pm | Permalink
    217

    Hi @ Melinda: You can take out the cream of tartar, it helps stabilize (dry) the icing, but the icing is fine without it. Sorry, I don’t know about a substitute for meringue powder or egg whites!

    @ Lee: That’s right, it will be very thick when you’re done, but then you thin it out. The post above has a link to a video on how to find the 10 second icing. It might feel funny to thin out an icing that you just made thick, but the creamy texture which happens when the icing is mixed for 10 minutes, makes the icing really nice when decorating. Hope that helps!

  11. Jamie
    October 24, 2012 at 2:37 am | Permalink
    218

    Hi Marian!! I am trying out your royal icing recipe on cookies for a baby shower this weekend and had a question. I’ve never had royal icing before or made it. Is it good? Or really sweet. Odd question I know, lol, but I don’t like fondant but some people do.
    Also, I bought the meringue powder and in the ingredients it already has cream of tarter in it. Do I still need to add what your recipe calls for?
    Thanks so much! SO excited to try this 🙂

  12. Cat
    October 24, 2012 at 10:56 pm | Permalink
    219

    Hi Marian,
    I love your website. I only found it earlier today. I love the polar bear sugar cookies shown with your sugar cookie recipe. I’m always perusing sites for recipes to try. I’ve been baking sugar cookies only for a short while (started earlier this year) and have tested quite a few recipes trying to get down the technique of baking uniformly sized cookies.

    I want to try your royal icing recipe but could not get a legible print out from the free illustrated version. So I retyped in on my computer and am providing a copy below in case any of your other followers need a larger print, like me. (My eyes are not what they used to be, especially lately.)

    Magical Royal Icing Recipe

    Ingredients:
    – 3/4 cup Water (6 oz)
    – 5 Tbs Meringue Powder
    – 1 Tsp Cream of Tartar
    – 2.25 lbs Powdered Icing Sugar

    Directions:
    Step 1: Add water and meringue powder to mixing bowl and hand mix with a wisk for 30 seconds.

    Step 2: Add cream of tartar to mixing bowl and hand wisk for 30 seconds.

    Step 3: Add all of the powdered icing sugar to mixing bowl and using paddle attachment of electric mixer
    combine using a slow speed for 10 minutes.
    TIP: If your meringue powder has no vanilla, add a teaspoon of clear vanilla extract (or flavor of your choice).

    Step 4: Separate out required amount of royal icing and tint with gel food color.
    Cover remainder in mixing bowl with a damp towel to prevent drying while tinting icing.
    Load tinted icing into piping bags using tips & couplers and coupler caps, as needed.

    I hope this helps and thanks for sharing.

  13. Sophie
    October 25, 2012 at 11:00 am | Permalink
    220

    Hi ! I’ve been watching your cookies for a long time and, since I’m now pretty good at baking macarons, i needed a new challenge and tried royal icing yesterday evening. Challenge is the right word here because I had some trouble. I used this recipe, exactly (I’m using wilton powder, whick already have cream of tartar, do I have to add more ?), and the icing got really stiff and heavy as soon as I added the sugar. My kitchenaid started slowing and i got scared so i stopped it and added 1/4 cup of water. It got pretty stiff quickly (few minutes), so i stopped it, and started playing with some of it (i had to add a lot of water to get to the 10 sec. rule). I put it in a piping bag, it was kind of runny but i managed to play with it anyway (writing words, drawing circles and pumpkins …) but the real problem was when it dried. It took a while to dry and, after a few hours, it was really fragile and crumbled into powder. I don’t know what went wrong :(. So here I am, asking advice to the cookie godess (:p) because I really want to know how to do it !
    Thanks !!

    PS : I added 1 tsp of almond extract but I don’t know if there was oil in it.

  14. marian
    October 25, 2012 at 6:54 pm | Permalink
    221

    Hi @ Jamie: Yes, it’s pretty sweet, but paired with a nice cookie, is delicious. You can leave out the cream of tartar, that’s fine. 🙂 Best of luck!

    Wow, @ Cat, that’s so nice of you, thanks!!!

    Hi @ Sophie: Yes, that’s good that you added the 1/4 cup of water. I will be doing a video on making royal icing, and will mention this; you can make this exact recipe in a dry climate and in a humid environment, and you will get different results. It’s amazing what humidity will do!! Depending on the humidity of the environment you’re working in, you will either have to add water or not.
    To get to the 10 second rule you will also have to add more or less water depending on the environment.

    If the texture is how I understand you describing, the crumbling is from overmixing – here is a photo of when I’ve done it: (#3)

    http://sweetopia.net/2010/12/10-keys-to-cookie-decorating-success-or-10-mistakes-to-avoid/

    Once you get used to making it where you are, you will get used to how much water to add and won’t have to mix it as much.

    Hope that helps! xo

  15. Sophie
    October 26, 2012 at 9:52 am | Permalink
    222

    @ marian: Thank you so much for your answer !
    It’s exactly that texture that I had but it doesn’t make a lot of sense since I mixed it for only a few minutes. Maybe it’s because the speed was on high (and there is oil in my almond extract, I’ll try without it) …I’ll try again tonight (I didn’t master macarons in one night, so I was prepared to fail a few times).
    I’m also taking a cookie decorating class tomorrow at the Cake show in Montreal this week-end (maybe you’ll do a class here next year !). I think it will help a lot.

    Thanks again, your website is such an amazing source of inspiration, I hope I’ll manage to do cookies as beautiful as yours :).

    And for the coincidence, I’ve had ITP too (no problem since feb. 2008) and I started baking at the same time :p.

  16. marian
    October 26, 2012 at 11:47 am | Permalink
    223

    Hi @ Sophie: No problem! It does make a difference which speed you put it at. It does say slow mix above, but the little bubble is easy to miss I think. The faster you mix the icing, the more that is incorporated into it. The almond extract shouldn’t make a difference – it’s a nice flavour addition. Have fun doing the class in Montreal!
    Did your ITP go away randomly? Mine did … it was so strange… just all of a sudden went away!
    Have fun decorating and talk soon!

  17. Sophie
    October 26, 2012 at 11:57 am | Permalink
    224

    Yep, I missed the “slow mix” part … I’ll do better next time and tell you how it went !
    My ITP lasted for several years. It started in 2001 with trips to the hospital almost every 2 months. After a surgery and an experimental treatment I’ve been ok for the past 4 1/2 years. But it made me discover my passion for baking, so I’m ok with it :p.
    Thanks again & have a great day :).

  18. marian
    October 26, 2012 at 12:02 pm | Permalink
    225

    @ Sophie: Sounds like we have a similar story. 🙂 I feel the same way, at least it helped me find my passion!

  19. marian
    October 29, 2012 at 12:03 am | Permalink
    226
  20. Janelle
    November 1, 2012 at 1:05 pm | Permalink
    227

    Hi Marian!
    Im kinda in a time crunch. Im making about 70 cookies for a baby shower and I was checking my meringue powder and didnt see that it had vanilla in it. Well I have looked around and cant find CLEAR Vanilla, would it be okay to still add the dark vanilla since I will be using coloring anyway? Any other ideas would be great.
    Thanks!

  21. marian
    November 1, 2012 at 1:08 pm | Permalink
    228

    Hi @ Janelle: Sure, that’s no problem. Good luck!

  22. Amanda
    November 4, 2012 at 8:32 pm | Permalink
    229

    What kind of food coloring do you recommend?
    Love your stuff! Thanks(:

  23. Taylor
    November 4, 2012 at 10:20 pm | Permalink
    230

    Hi Marian! Just wondering but what is the cream of tartar for in this recipe because I don’t usually see it and my friend mixed this by hand for the whole 10 minutes one time and was that just because she got lucky or could you do that consistently? Thanks! 🙂

  24. Nicole
    November 5, 2012 at 11:37 am | Permalink
    231

    so what do I do if my child is allergic to eggs ? is there a known substitute for meringue powder. I feel bad that she can’t decorate cookies with me

  25. Jess
    November 11, 2012 at 7:16 pm | Permalink
    232

    Hi,these look great and i plan to make them asap, but i am unsure of the cup to gram conversions.
    I have been looking on the internet and different websites end up with different conversions..

    Would it be possible for you to give me the cup to gram measurements?

    Jess

  26. Shauna
    November 12, 2012 at 6:56 pm | Permalink
    233

    Hi Everyone,
    I want to use Royal Icing, but I don’t like it! I tried the Antonia 74 recipe, which is very similar to this one, and it came out tasting like marshmallows, and dried looking like chalk. I did use powdered egg whites instead of Meringue. Could that have made the difference? It looked so chalky, very unattractive. So I’ve tried glazes, but they have their own problems (though I do like the appearance and taste better). Does anyone know of a recipe that combines the best of both worlds? Or maybe could help me figure out if my RI was so horrible because of the egg white substitution?
    Thanks!!
    Shauna

  27. jacynthe
    November 13, 2012 at 12:39 pm | Permalink
    234

    I am quebecoise French speaker excuse my English therefore. what I wanted to know if the ice royal resists has the congelation thank you

  28. Tahira
    November 16, 2012 at 11:42 am | Permalink
    235

    Hi. I made RI with water, icing sugar and egg white powder. I stored them in a bag and left them out. Within less than 24 hrs, I’ve noticed a few dark spots on it. I think its getting mouldy. Is this possible? I’m also getting a weird smell..I think. We are having fairly warm weather where I stay. Should I store it in the fridge next time?

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