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Royal Icing

Prep Time30 mins
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Keyword: frosting, icing


  • icing bags
  • icing bottles
  • cookie pick
  • stand mixer


  • 4 cups powdered sugar
  • 3 tbs meringue powder
  • 5+ tablespoon warm water
  • flavor extracts optional


  • Combine all ingredients in a stand mixer with whisk attachment.
  • Beat on medium (maybe a 6) for 7 minutes. Gradually add more water as needed to get to the right consistency and scrape down the sides at least once.
  • Divide into bowls so you can add in food coloring. I prefer using my glass 4 cup measure because after I prep my stiffer, border icing, I can pour the thinner flood icing into bottles.
  • Going from here, you have choices. You can use piping bags or bottles. I use both. I put my border frosting into piping bags and the flood icing in bottles. I put the bottles face down in glasses so that gravity helps me out and I don’t have to shake the frosting down as I work. Get work station prepared and have fun.


Other design options:
1. After piping border, fill multiple colors in with no edge. Use cookie pick or tooth pick to swirl colors together.
2. After piping border, add smaller drops of flood icing to create mosaic look.
3. Use white chocolate candy melts to add decoration and extra flavor. Wait until the icing has dried completely and you are able to decorate all of your cookies at once. Candy melts harden as they cool, so you’ll need to work quickly. If it does harden in the bottle or piping bag, protect the tip and submerge it in hot water to soften it back up.
4. Create starburst effect by icing colorful circles from the center out to the edge of cookie. Using a pick, start at the center and pull out toward the edge. Repeat all the way around the cookie.
5. Get crazy, and go borderless. Just be careful not to over poor.
6. Add candies or sprinkles. My new favorite spot to shop for colors, sprinkles, and add-ins is the Natural Candy Store. (I avoid artificial colors as much as possible.)
Other flavor options:
* Chocolate and peppermint
* white chocolate raspberry
* lemon poppyseed
* orange vanilla bean
* Draw out your design first so you have some direction
* Pick 1-2 patterns and stick with them
* Have a large surface for the cookies to dry on overnight. I use sheet pans lined with parchment.
* Practice is key. The more you do it, the better your cookies will be.