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Royal Icing

in quick and easy whole grain dairy free gluten free overnight guaranteed classic

Author: Sue Gray, entered by Susan Reid

Royal Icing Recipe

This is the traditional icing for glazing cookies, piping decorations, or assembling the walls of a gingerbread house. It's light and fluffy; the more you beat it, the stiffer it becomes. For a thinner version, simply thin with a bit of water until you have a consistency that will flow evenly over the cookie. Let it dry to a hard, shiny surface, then you can pipe over it or use food-safe markers to decorate. To color the frosting, we recommend gel paste or powdered colors. Liquid food coloring can dilute the frosting so much it separates and becomes grainy. Be sure to store any frosting you're not using in a tightly covered container; it becomes quite hard as it dries. We make this big batch of frosting, then divide it into smaller amounts to tint different colors.

View step-by-step
directions on our blog

At a glance

3 cups
Nutrition information


Choose your measure:

  • 1/4 cup meringue powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 3 to 4 cups confectioners' sugar, sifted
  • 3/4 cup cool water


  1. Place the meringue powder and salt in a large mixing bowl. Add the cool water, and stir slowly to allow the powder and salt to dissolve. Allow to sit for 5 minutes for the powder to hydrate (see tips below).
  2. Mix on low speed at first, to create a network of very fine bubbles. Add the sugar, increasing to medium and then high speed over several minutes. Beat until the icing is fluffy. You can adjust the sugar or water as needed to get a stiff, glossy icing that holds a tall peak.
  3. Cover the bowl with a damp towel, and cover that with a layer of plastic wrap to keep the icing from crusting over.
  4. If desired, divide the frosting into smaller containers and mix with gel food coloring. Add the colors drop by drop until you reach the desired color.
  5. To use for piping, put a tip in the bottom of a disposable pastry bag. Using a coupler will allow you to change tips with ease.
  6. Use a tall, heavy-bottomed glass to hold the pastry bag while you add the frosting. Take care not to fill the bag more than half full.
  7. Close the back of the pastry bag with a twist tie or spring clip, to keep the icing from backing up over your hand when you squeeze it.

Nutrition Information

  • Serving Size 17g
  • Servings Per Batch 36
Amount Per Serving:
  • Calories 46
  • Calories from Fat 0g
  • Total Fat 0g
  • Saturated Fat 0g
  • Trans Fat 0g
  • Cholesterol 0mg
  • Sodium 21mg
  • Total Carbohydrate 11g
  • Dietary Fiber 0g
  • Sugars 11g
  • Protein 0g

* The nutrition information provided for this recipe is determined by the ESHA Genesis R&D software program. Substituting any ingredients may change the posted nutrition information.