Royal Icing 101

My favorite icing recipe!

This icing keeps for an entire month. I prefer refrigerating it, but it can also be left at room temperature. I love that it holds up well and is so versatile; I usually make a big batch during the holiday season and then use it to decorate everything like sugar cookies and gingerbread men (the icing sets up nice and firm too, so you can stack your iced cookies in a gift tin without worrying about icing smearing and making a mess).

To apply the icing, you have three options: dip, pipe/flood or spread.

I prefer the “spread” method, where I use a mini offset spatula to spread the icing on.

If I’m decorating an intricately designed cookie like a snowflake, I use the “pipe/flood” method where I pipe a border of icing along the edge of the cookie first. This creates a border, or “dam,” to make sure the “flood” icing does not flow over the edges. Then, I make my “flood” icing by adding a little water to the icing to thin it out and make it runnier. After the cookie is outlined, pipe the flood icing in the center of the cookie and it will flow out until it fills the entire cookie.

Whichever method you choose will work great since this icing is very forgiving. Not to mention, it mixes with food coloring well and, most importantly, tastes delicious.

royal icing 101
Print Recipe
5 from 5 votes

Royal Icing 101

Prep Time20 mins
Total Time20 mins
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Keyword: cookie icing, easy icing recipes, easy recipes, icing, royal icing
Servings: 20
Calories: 88kcal



  • In a mixer fitted with the whip attachment, whisk the powdered sugar and meringue powder together. Add the water and beat on high speed until thick and glossy, about 5 to 7 minutes. Add more water if needed. Make sure to store in an airtight container if not using right away.


Calories: 88kcal | Carbohydrates: 22g | Sugar: 22g