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.
Can the cream of tartar be left out I do not like the flavor of it however I wasn’t sure if it affects the consistency? Thanks!
Hi Kayla, yes it can. Happy decorating!
How long can I keep the royal icing out of the fridge? I live in a hot weather country and I’m wondering if I can keep it out of the fridge (covered with cling film in a box). Will it go off?
I would err on the side of caution if you live in a really hot country, and refrigerate. Happy decorating! xo
Emilee Powell says
Is the powdered icing sugar the same as the powdered sugar i can get at any store?
Yes powdered sugar is also known as icing sugar or confectioner’s sugar, and is found in the baking isle of most grocery stores.
Always love your beautiful cookie designs, recipes and your tutorials, Marion! Do you have a recipe for royal icing made with fresh egg whites? I need to make royal icing today and I cannot find meringue powder anywhere. TIA!
Thanks! Yes, I do have a RI recipe with egg whites, designed for gingerbread houses, but you can use it with decorated cookies. Here it is:
You will need to thin it out… here is a video on royal icing consistency:
In case you are near them, if I don’t buy it online, I buy my meringue powder at Michael’s or the Bulk Barn (Bulk Barn is Canadian).
Hope that helps!
Hello! I am in awe of your cookies and your decorating techniques. I love the idea of the chocolate valentine cookies. When you were making the stripped & flower cookies, I noticed the chocolate were different in colors (lighter and darker). My question is, are you still using dark chocolate (or white chocolate)? or is it with just the white royal icing (no chocolate in it)…if so, can the white royal icing be flavored with a chocolate extract?
I’ve never seen chocolate extract but I’m sure it exists and you could do that. (Not sure about white chocolate though, but again, I’m sure it could be done). I made chocolate royal icing, which turned out a light brown, so you can color your chocolate icing a deeper brown by adding brown food coloring. Hope that helps!
Patricia Roberts says
How do I order a book im just getting into doing cookies I volunteer in my granddaughter class doing crafts won’t to make cookies for Easter
I’m sorry, I don’t have a book, but just share blog posts on how to decorate cookies, and have cookie decorating video tutorials too. Here is my YouTube channel if you’d like to check out the videos:
Nitzia Espino says
The first time I did a super mario cookie. The black seeped thur the skin tone color. Looked like a web of black going thru it. So I tried again. This time I let the skin tone color dry for 15hrs before using the black and then again for the red. It didn’t seep thru. But after a whole day I noticed the red and black was staining over the skin tone color. I gave up idk what I’m doing wrong. The colors are hand made I let them sit for a whole day before using them so the full color could set in and not darken when it’s on the cookies. Any advice?
Sorry for the delay!
I’m not sure what the environment is like where you were decorating, but make sure it’s as humidity free as you possibly can. Run a dehumidifier, let the cookies dry in a different room than where you wash your dishes (steam), and possibly use a little less coloring (color your icing ahead and use less than you think you need, let it sit so you can see how the color deepens).
Hope that helps!
Thought of a few more things… try thickening your icing… may have been too runny. Also, if it still doesn’t improve (perhaps your environment is very humid), try using powder food coloring. Here is another post if you haven’t seen it yet:
hello. how long does it take for the royal icing to dry on decorated cookies? how to make it shiny instead of the matte color.
thanks for your help
It does depend on:
– your consistency – the runnier the icing, the longer it takes to dry,
– the size of the cookies – the larger they are the longer they take to dry
– how thick you’ve layered your icing – the thicker, the longer it takes
– as well as the environment conditions. The drier the environment the faster they dry.
You can speed it up by using a dehydrator or fan. The fan also makes them dry a bit shiny.
I usually have a test cookie that I can poke with my finger or even taste, to see if the cookies have dried.
Hope that helps.
Can your sugar cookie cutouts that are decorated with the royal icing be frozen and thawed? I’m hoping to do some as I go for the holidays so that I may focus on the dinner meals at the time of the holiday.
Do the colors remain vibrant or do the run and become spotty?
For the most part I have had success freezing and thawing decorated cookies; only once did I see spotting. I am not sure why only then unfortunately. i did write a post on it here (have frozen cookies many times since writing this post):
Worthwhile to check out the comment section I think.
And here’s a post on thawing them:
Hope that helps a bit!
How many cookies will 1 recipe of royal icing cover? I’m planning to decorate 6 dozen cookies. How many recipes should I make?
It’s hard for me to say without seeing the size and design of your cookies, but I would hazard a guess at 3 batches of royal icing.
Thanks so much for your help! I will try 3 batches.
Do you have a super yummy sugar cookie recipe for your cookies? Hoping to make some cookies for the holidays
I do, the post is so old and doesn’t look the prettiest, but it’s an excellent recipe; https://sweetopia.net/2009/12/sugar-cookie-recipe/
Your cookies are beyond adorable!!! I’m just getting started in cookie decorating and have so much fun with the creative outlet. I’m on the hunt to find my perfect royal icing recipe. I’ve seen several that call for cream of tarter and others call for corn syrup. Can you tell me what how these ingredients effect the outcome of the icing?
Welcome to the hobby! It definitely is a fun creative outlet, the design possibilities are endless, and the cookies are so much fun to give!
The cream of tartar helps stabilize or set the icing. Many meringue powders come with the cream of tartar incorporated, so you can omit it if you like. During warm and humid summer months, it might be a good idea to add more anyways, and I always add more to my recipe when making gingerbread houses. (I chat about it in this video; https://sweetopia.net/2011/12/gingerbread-house-royal-icing-video-kitchenaid-7-quart-mixer-giveaway/ ).
The corn syrup can help give a bit of a shine. Here’s a post I wrote on it (near the bottom); https://sweetopia.net/2011/11/gluten-free-coconut-cupcakes-with-coconut-frosting-shiny-royal-icing/
Hope that helps!
Vi Pratt says
Thank you for the information on storing the sugar cookies. Your work is beautiful. I am going to try your receipt for the royal icing. Thank you! I used to make a ginger bread village and made all my own pattern. I have not made that in years and now at 75 I’m going to make it next year . I want to teach my grand daughter how to do it, but we live to far apart right now. I am building a house on my daughters property and will be moving in by Feb. So happy to teach her. I learned a few things watching you so I will be adding that to my village. So again Thank you for sharing! Just to add a little laugh to your day… One year that I made the village and it’s pretty big about 6 feet wide, We had a collie dog and it was raining real hard so we left her stay in for the night. Well in the morning the village was all tore apart and she was laying on the so sick from eating a good share of the village! God Bless and Happy Holidays!
Hi Vi Pratt,
Thanks for the chuckle!
I’m so glad you’ll be sharing your skills with your family, and I’m happy to be a small part of it!
God bless you and your family!
How many cups are you supposed to use of the confectioner sugar? Is 2.25lbs 8.5 cups?
Is it possible to leave the meringue /water/cream of tartar sitting too long? I measured my sugar after mixing those 3 together and then added. This time I got a very thick icing. Very meringue like! The last time I used this recipe it came out just as it should but not this time. Not sure what else I could have done. Thanks!
I am just starting to get into cookie decorating. My mixer doesn’t have a paddle, am I okay to use the regular beaters?
The regular beaters will incorporate more air, so you may have little air bubbles when you decorate, but it’s still doable. Happy decorating!
How long does your lemon cookie, in a cookie wrapper keep fresh, and or how long could it’s shelf life be. Asked to make cookies for gift boxes and I said about a week.
Your cookies are beautiful!
Please How long does your lemon cookie, in a cookie wrapper keep fresh, and or how long could it’s shelf life be. Asked to make cookies for gift boxes and I said about a week.
Your cookies are beautiful!
Thanks Angel! Here is a detailed post for you on that:
I use to cook some gingerbread houses for Christmas gifts, and now I would like to try to make some cookies. The question is, I live in Europe ( France) , and I don’t know what kind of meringue powder I must to choose? Wilton is so expensive and rare. These I found comes without corn syrop and seldom WITHOUT egg’s whites! ( I guess why they called meringue powder with only rice proteins and so on). What kind of powder do you use? What must contain ( or not) a good meringue powder? I found one that 7%of whites, sugar and citric acid, is 7% is enough? Best regards, Marina
Hi Marina, you can use just egg whites instead. Meringue powder is dried egg white (basically). Here is my recipe with egg whites:
Hi! Your cookies are gorgeous!!
Is the conversion of 2.25 lbs to cups of powdered sugar about 8 1/8 cups? It’s a lot more than the other recipe I have for royal icing so wanted to make sure. Thanks!
Hi! I was wondering if you have used any natural food dyes to color your icing? If so, do you have a favorite brand? I have both liquid forms and powder forms, the powder one has a richer color but not sure if or how that would affect the recipe!
Thank you 🙂
Is it really 2.25 POUNDS of sugar?? Can that be right?
Hi Jess, yes, 1 kg or 2.25 pounds of sugar. It makes a lot of icing. You can halve the recipe or freeze the leftovers if you have any. Happy decorating!