How to make Royal Icing

One of the questions that I get asked the most is how do I make royal icing.

how to make royal icing

So, I am finally giving the recipe I use it's own special place.

I start with a basic consistency and thin it out with small amounts of water to how I like it.


  • 4 cups icing sugar

  • 3 tablespoons meringue powder

  • 1 tsp vanilla extract

  • 9 tablespoons water - have more water available to thin the icing out.


  1. Add sugar, meringue powder, vanilla and water to stand mixer.

  2. Combine on low speed, add more water if needed.

  3. Now mix on high with the paddle attachment for 7 minutes.

  4. Ready to colour and decorate.

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Yields approximately 4 cups of icing.

Keep in an airtight container.

If I know the consistency I want I will generally go ahead and add enough water at the beginning to get it fairly close. for instance, I like to add about 13 tbsp water when I am making the reindeer cookies so I start at 12 tbsp of water.

You can colour your icing right in the mixer. If you are using one colour then go ahead and add your gel paste to the entire mixture. You can also put some aside and colour a smaller amount in the mixer.

To colour smaller amounts of icing scoop out the icing into small bowls or cups. Add your gel paste and mix with a clean spoon.

Keep your icing in containers and use utensils/mixers that are completely oil and grease free. Any oily residue is royal icing's worst enemy. It can cause it to break down and separate.You can apply the icing using a spoon, piping bags or bottles with tips. A super easy way and inexpensive way to do it is to use a good quality zipper-lock sandwich bag. Just snip the size tip you want and off you go!

Have fun and happy cookie decorating!

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