Royal Icing Recipe and Tips (2024)

Royal Icing Recipe and Mixing Tips

(This is what I use and how I do it, but remember, elevation, humidity and other factors will contribute to the icing results. Practice making icing to learn what ingredients and icing consistencies will work best for you!)

You'll need:

1 pound 10x/powdered sugar (or 4 cups)

1/3 cup warm water, plus several tablespoons for making icing consistencies

¼ Meringue Powder (I use the CK brand - available soon in my online shop!)

1 tsp flavor (I use vanilla)

Recipe can easily be doubled in a 5 Qt Mixer!!

Here are the steps to making royal icing:

  1. Pour 1/3 cup warm water into mixer. The warm water will help dissolve the meringue powder.
  1. Add ¼ cup meringue powder.
  1. Mix for a minute or so on medium speed until fluffy and foamy. Scrape sides if necessary.

Royal Icing Recipe and Tips (1)

  1. Add 1 tsp of flavor and mix until incorporated. I use vanilla (brown). You may wish to use clear vanilla for an extra white base icing. Lemon and/or almond are also popular icing flavors.
  1. Once fluffy and foamy, add 1 pound of powdered sugar; which is approximately 4 cups. Keep mixer on low, add slowly to avoid a powdery explosion. Using the plastic shield or putting a kitchen towel over the mixer also helps to contain sugar spills and poofs.To reduce lumps/tip clogs, you may wish to sift your sugar first (I don’t sift…I just switch icing tips or poke a toothpick in to break up the clog)

    If your icing seems too stiff, add another tablespoon or two of water to loosen the icing a bit.

Royal Icing Recipe and Tips (2)

  1. Once all the sugar is added, I increase the speed to 4 (or a medium/low speed). The amount of mixing time can vary from 4-7 minutes depending on the humidity. Beat icing until it changes from the ivory color to a white. After a few minutes of mixing, you’ll notice the icing will become stiff and it increases in size.

Royal Icing Recipe and Tips (3)

  1. After 4-7 minutes, pull the blade out. If a soft (or stiff) peak forms…you’re ready to starting coloring your icing.

Royal Icing Recipe and Tips (4)

This photo is a great example of a soft peak...perfect for PIPING!!

  1. Separate into containers with an airtight lid. (If left uncovered, icing will crust.)
  1. Add color (I like Americolor or Wilton food gel and it will soon be available in my online shop!) and mix to desired color. Add slowly…you can always add more if needed.

    Royal Icing Recipe and Tips (5)

  2. Remove a small portion ¼ - ½ cup for piping and use remaining for flood icing. I use a glass to hold my icing bag while I fill. A damp paper towel helps keep the tips from drying out.

Royal Icing Recipe and Tips (6)11. To make flood consistency, slowly add water 1 tsp at a time, until icing thins to desired consistency. Run your spatula or knife through the icing. Count how long it takes the line to disappear. Most of my flood falls between 5-10 seconds. I like to err on the thick side to avoid a watery icing.

Royal Icing Recipe and Tips (7)

See how this icing ribbons and sits up on top of the icing. It will eventually blend in, but this is a great example of the Flood consistency. Not too thick, but not thin/watery! I pour this icing into a squeeze bottle!

Here is my work space once my icing colors are all mixed!!

Royal Icing Recipe and Tips (8)

I hope you find this recipe and tutorial helpful! More tutorials, supplies and videos will be avialable soon on!

Happy Decorating,


Royal Icing Recipe and Tips (9)

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Royal Icing Recipe and Tips (10)

Royal Icing Recipe and Tips (2024)


How to get perfect royal icing consistency? ›

To achieve flood consistency, start with stiff icing and add a couple of tablespoons of water at a time. To test it, take a spoonful of icing and drop it back into the bowl. It should take between 15-20 seconds for the icing to smooth itself out. This is known as 15 or 20-second count royal icing.

What is the 10 second rule for royal icing? ›

If the icing surface becomes smooth in anywhere between 5-10 seconds, then your icing is ready to use. If it takes longer than approximately 10 seconds, the icing is too thick. Slowly add more water. If your icing surface smoothes over in less than 5-10 seconds, it is too runny.

How to make royal icing shiny when dry? ›

One of the main keys to shiny icing is getting that icing to dry quickly. The faster the icing dries, the shinier it will be. One simple method to faster drying is to just aim a fan at your drying cookies. I like to aim the airflow so that it passes evenly over my cookie sheet, not directly down at a particular cookie.

What does overmixed royal icing look like? ›

Undermix, and your royal icing looks translucent and is structurally weak. Overwhip, and you're giving too much volume to the egg proteins via air, causing the structure to weaken in a different way. Overmixed icing usually looks porous when dry, and sometimes will not even fully dry and be soft/brittle.

How do you get royal icing to set hard? ›

If you are using an instant royal icing mix then it should already set quite hard but you can and some extra powdered egg white to make it even harder. If you want the icing to remain slightly soft then you can also add 1/2 teaspoon liquid glycerine to each 500g/5 cups sugar.

What happens if you mix royal icing too long? ›

Overmixing the icing

If you overmix or mix the icing on a high setting, you'll whip too much air into the mix, leaving you with a frosting that looks more like a crunchy sponge than a smooth finish. Follow our step-by-step guide to make perfect royal icing.

Why is my royal icing not forming peaks? ›

It sound like your icing needs to be thicker. Sift in a tablespoon more icing sugar and stir well. Test it in the bowl so make sure it will form a peak that holds. If it doesen't, sift in some more icing sugar, stir and test again until it does.

What are the three types of royal icing? ›

There are three main types of royal icing: stiff consistency, piping consistency, and flood consistency. They are used for different decorating techniques, although sometimes you can use different consistencies to achieve the same result.

How long to wait between royal icing layers? ›

The short answer to this question is about 8 hours (or one sleep as I like to say). In this post, I first walk through some commonly asked questions about how royal icing dries. Then, I walk through step-by-step hour-by-hour royal icing drying for 8 hours.

How to fix royal icing mistakes? ›

If the cookie was decorated in the last 30 to 60 minutes, Maddie suggests scraping off the icing that has cratered and piping it again, adding squiggles of icing inside the outline and filling the cookie with flood icing. This technique also works well for fixing small areas of your cookie.

Is meringue powder necessary for royal icing? ›

You can make royal icing—with egg whites! This simple royal icing is made with pasteurized egg whites instead of meringue powder.

Why put corn syrup in royal icing? ›

Corn syrup helps give shine and also a soft-bite to your icing. Without corn syrup, your royal icing can be as hard as a rock, and no one wants to chip a tooth on a cookie. I use 1 Tablespoon of Karo Light Corn Syrup in my icing recipe.

Why does my royal icing taste bad? ›

A: Bad tasting icing is very disappointing. It is likely caused by bad powdered sugar or vanilla extract.

How to get royal icing smooth? ›

-Spread the icing over the top of the cake with the spatula so that it just tips over the sides. -Lean against the turntable to hold it firmly in place (without touching the cake), hold the metal ruler horizontally at a 45° angle and pull it towards you evenly across the surface of the icing to smooth it.

How do you make royal icing not runny? ›

Keep in mind that the longer you beat the royal icing, the thicker it becomes. If your royal icing is too thin, just keep beating it to introduce more air OR you can add more sifted confectioners' sugar.

Why is my royal icing not thickening? ›

I'd experienced this issue when I thinned my icing with too much water for flooding. The good news on that front is that if you noticed that you'd done it before you start icing a cookie, you can stir in some sifted powdered sugar (or some reserved piping consistency icing if you want some) and recover.

How do I make sure royal icing doesn't bleed? ›

Start with a base icing that has white gel added to it. Uncolored royal icing has an off-white natural tinge and is more likely to allow bleed and absorb color. Add white gel to your base to act as a stabilizer to prevent color bleed right off the bat. The biggest culprit in color bleed is usually oversaturated color.

Why is my royal icing not forming stiff peaks? ›

It sound like your icing needs to be thicker. Sift in a tablespoon more icing sugar and stir well. Test it in the bowl so make sure it will form a peak that holds. If it doesen't, sift in some more icing sugar, stir and test again until it does.


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