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Royal Icing Recipe for Decorating Cookies

Royal Icing Recipe for Decorating Cookies

This is my all-time favorite royal icing recipe for my iced sugar cookies.

Find the Spanish Voiceover video here.

What is meringue powder?

Meringue Powder is a mix of dried and powdered egg whites, sugar, flavor, and stabilizers. It's an essential ingredient in making royal icing.

Where can I find meringue powder?

We sell Meringue Powder in our online store and ship anywhere within the United States. If you need meringue powder right now, try your local grocery store or craft store.

Is royal icing easy to make?

Royal icing is simple to make, and only takes 4 ingredients: meringue powder, vanilla extract, powdered sugar, and corn syrup. You can make royal icing in as little as 10 minutes.

How do I color royal icing?

Add a few drops of gel food color and then add droplets (yes, droplets!) of water to bring it to the consistency you want. Read our blog on coloring royal icing here.


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Siobhan - March 28, 2024

Hi there. Please help – my icing seems to look “old”. How do you make yours look so shiney ?

(Love your tutorials 💛. Thanks for sharing them for free 😀)
The Cookie Countess replied:
Hi Siobhan! If your icing is drying matte and you want it to be shiny instead, you can do a few things. One, add corn syrup to your recipe if it’s not already in there. Two, make sure you aren’t overmixing your icing, which can result in changing the texture. And three, get your icing to dry faster. For this third option, you can either aim a fan over your flooded cookies to speed up crusting and drying, or you can invest in a dehydrator; pop your cookies in on the lowest setting for 10-20 minutes, and your icing will dry nice and shiny. Whether you use a fan or a dehydrator, though, make sure it is dedicated only for your cookie use—you don’t want a dusty old fan blowing dust particles all over your wet flood, or cookies that taste like beef jerkey lol. Good luck!

The Cookie Countess - March 13, 2024

Hi Dot! Make sure there are no heaters or fans near your decorating area that may be causing the icing to dry more quickly than usual. You can also decrease the amount of meringue powder in your icing. Good luck!

Alma - January 24, 2024

Hello dear, I’m throwing a Decorating Cookies party for my daughter. I was wondering if I can add food coloring to this recipe? Thanks so much!

If anyone else knows the answer to my question please feel free to share your advice.


A mom – wannabe baker
The Cookie Countess replied:
Hi Alma! Sure you can! Have fun!

bubbieone - November 22, 2023

how come the video shows butter extract , but the recipe does not. Just made my first batch, and so far it looks like a great recipe. I did not have the butter extract in it. What does it do, just in case I want to try it next time?
The Cookie Countess replied:
A vanilla-butter extract is an optional flavor-boost to this icing recipe. You can certainly leave it out if you don’t have it, but adding one teaspoon of this extract can bring the flavor of the icing to the next level. Enjoy!

Maria - November 20, 2023

Can you taste the lemon in the icing?
The Cookie Countess replied:
It’s a subtle lemon flavor, but you can increase or decrease that to your taste 😊

Becca - November 17, 2023

I’ve never made it with the corn syrup. Does it still dry hard and allow you to stack the cookies if needed?
The Cookie Countess replied:
Hi Becca! Yes, this icing recipe does dry hard enough for you to stack your cookies. The corn syrup just gives the icing a slightly softer bite than typical hard royal icing. I hope this helps!

M’Liss - November 14, 2023

Hi! I’m wanting to test out this RI recipe but I don’t have corn syrup on hand. Is it ok to leave it out? And if I do, do I need to add a little more of anything else for consistency purposes? Thank You
The Cookie Countess replied:
Hi M’Liss. The corn syrup gives the icing a little bit of a softer bite. Royal icing tends to dry very hard, so corn syrup in an icing recipe keeps you from breaking a tooth lol. That being said, you can leave it out if you prefer; some cookiers do prefer to not add it, which is fine. I would make the recipe as-is otherwise, and add a little more water as needed. Good luck!


Miranda - November 14, 2023

I’ve tested recipes for 3 years and this was my favorite! FINALLY! Thank you so much for sharing!
The Cookie Countess replied:
Yay! We love to hear that, Miranda! Happy decorating!

Mary - October 10, 2023

Can almond extract be used instead of vanilla for royal icing?
The Cookie Countess replied:
Hi Mary! Sure, you can substitute almond for vanilla if you prefer that. Alternatively, you can simply add almond in addition to the vanilla for even more depth of flavor. Vanilla acts as a great backdrop for pretty much everything! 😊

Lissa Barrett - October 10, 2023

This icing tastes amazing, but I had a bit of trouble with mixing as the mixture was so thick my stand mixer was ‘hopping’! I followed the recipe exactly, watched the video
4 times before attempting! My DIL is the family cookie expert (but lives 11 hours away) and her advice was to add more water and I had to add at least another 1/2 cup of water. I am using ingredients I found locally as far as the meringue powder, butter & lemon extracts. Could this be the issue?
P.S. I have made the ‘standard’ royal icing many times with no issues, but doesn’t even come close to the flavor of your recipe!)
Thank you, in advance, for any advice!!
The Cookie Countess replied:
Hi Lissa! Yes, when made according to the recipe, this icing will be very thick straight from the mixer (you can see how stiff it is at the end of the video at the top of this blog!). This is the perfect consistency for stenciling, detail work, flowers, etc. If you are using your icing to flood, you can definitely just add more water to get it to the right consistency for you. I personally like to follow the recipe until I’ve reached the nice white, fluffy look I know means my royal icing is “right” and then add water to get where I need it to be. I hope this helps!

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